Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for June, 2003

Yaa! A new Nosferatu newsletter! A few months back, when I posted my last newsletter, I put out a call for a few Nosferatu themed decks to use in a deck clinic kinda deal for my next newsletter, but, well, as three months passed and I am easily confused, I accidentally deleted the submissions, and am without them for this newsletter (although thanks to everyone who sent in decks!). On the upside, however, a new expansion came out since the last newsletter, leaving me with a bunch of new vampires and cards to review!

For those of you just joining us, all of my old Nosferatu Newsletters (37 of them, spanning the last 5 years) are archived at my own doofus website:

So anyway, the Anarchs set was released not to long ago, and with this set came a good chunk of solid new material for the Nosferatu to use and take advantage of, which I will review now...

Clarissa Steinburgen (3) ani, obf. *** Clarissa is a perfectly standard 3 points, group three vampire, with two in clan disciplines that actually work pretty well together. Nothing real splashy, very utilitarian, and she's kinda cute for a Nosferatu! The biggest strike against Clarissa, however, isn't really something that is her fault--did the group 2/3 crypt really *need* another ani/obf vampire? They already have access to Shannon Price (for whom I have a sick affection...) and her much suaver cousin, Panagos Levidis. Clarissa is functionally identical, giving a group 2/3 animalism obfuscate deck three good cheap vampires to fill out their crypt with. While this certainly isn't a bad thing, Clarissa would have been much better served (or more specifically, the Nosferatu cause would have been much better served) is Clarissa had been, say, a neo-Duck, with pot/obf instead, allowing for a very solid group 2/3 pot/obf crypt. But we didn't get that, which is ok.

Sundown (6) ANI, POT, obf, pre. During a referendum, Sundown can burn 1 blood to gain 1 vote. ***** Sundown is a fantastic Nosferatu vampire in every way. Good discipline spread, efficient use of points, reasonable special ability, fantastic picture, and all in a good, mid sized package. Sundown can go in many different deck types, including animalism/potence combat (which is certainly a viable strategy with a group 2/3 crypt), any kind of general Nosferatu strategy, and even some sort of kooky Nosferatu with presence vote deck, hanging around with Amadeo and their kinda lame pal Harrod. And how cool is that flight jacket he is decked out in? Very hip.

Tusk, The Talebearer (6) OBF, pot, ani. Advanced. When Tusk declares an action, you may burn the top card of your library. If the burned card requires Obfuscate, then Tusk gets +1 stealth for the current action. Otherwise Tusk burns one blood. * Oh, Tusk, Tusk, Tusk. You could have been a contender. You could have been someone. Instead? You're just a chump. Well, ok, that is kinda harsh. Advanced Tusk doesn't improve upon non advanced Tusk at all, discipline wise, so he is still behind a couple points of abilities, and paying 6 points for only one superior discipline is kind of steep. So Tusk clearly needs to have a solid special to recomend him. His special is, in actuality, kinda cool. When combined with old Tusk's special, you can always burn the top card of your library to get +1 stealth (when you know there is an Obfuscate card on top), which, when faced with a non blocking prey, helps you clear junk from your deck. In theory, this is pretty solid. Sadly, however, to really get good use out of this, you need to have Tusk and Tusk advanced combined. Which means your crypt has both Tusk and Tusk advanced in it. And probably a Gift of Experience in a master slot, just to make sure you can have both at the same time. And then you need to merge them. All of which is *way* too much work for a kinda cool special ability, when it comes from a 6 point vampire with only one superior discipline. Sad. I like his new picture, though.

Smallpox Griet (9) POT, OBF, CEL, ANI, thn. If Smallpox successfully inflicts hand damage in consecutive rounds of combat, the opponent gets a pox counter. A minion with any pox counter takes 1 damage during his or her untap phase. Burn all pox counters when Smallpox leaves the ready region. ** Smallpox is kinda cool in theory, but in practice, she is going to be really hard to get mileage out of. A good discipline spread, sure, but she really needs to be in a good combat deck, and good combat decks don't generally work well with 9 point vampires. Sure, you could build a whole deck around her, but these types of decks are generally difficult to work. On the up side, if you do get her to work, when she sends someone to torpor, they are probably going to stay there, as when they come out, they are just going to end up eternally hunting. Not bad, but just too difficult to make work in practice.

In terms of new vampires, the Nosferatu did pretty well, what with 2 very playable new smallish vampires, a cool if unwieldy huge vampire, and, well, Tusk+. Combined with the two or three new Caitiff that can find a home with the Nosferatu (Eddie Gaines, Lisa Noble, Hannah Redmond), the group 2/3 Nosferatu crypt has been rounded out a great deal.

The Nosferatu also got a really cool new ally, Nosferatu Bestial (which has a lot of text that i don't feel like copying here). Bestial is a potent new weapon in the arsenal of the animalism intercept arm of any Nosferatu strategy, giving you a solid blocking vampire for 1 pool, and more importantly, a way to flood your vampires with Raven Spies. Every turn, Bestial can pick up a new spy, which can conveniently be sent to live with a pal via a trip to Heidelberg Castle. The saving of an action on a regular basis is fairly huge, and even without Heidelberg, Bestial can make a significant blocker with a posse of Ravens and Aid from Bats. Very cool.

That is all for this newsletter. Hopefully, I'll be back next month or so with another installment.