Official Nosferatu Newsletter for November, 2003

So I have been totally slacking off of late with the Nosferatu Newsletters, but with the upcoming Black Hand expansion on the horizon that'll be rich with Anti-Nosferatu goodness, I figure I'd get off my ass and get back in the habit, for a while at least.

So anyways, inspired by a recent discussion thread involving the necessity of Blood Dolls in decks, I wondered how much good Blood Dolls actually do. Thus, in an attempt to really use some serious Blood Doll action as well as integrate some lesser appreciated Anarchs cards into a deck, I pulled together an arguably Nosferatu based horde/bloat deck.

"Blood? Again?"

1x Basil (1) obf
1x Normal (2) obf
1x Dimple (2) obf
1x Max Lowell (3) obf
1x Watenda (3) obf
1x Dollface (3) obf
1x Shannon Price, The Whisperer (3) obf
1x Duck (3) obf
1x Sammy (4) obf
1x Agrippina (4) OBF
1x Cicatriz (5) obf
1x Lithrac (5) OBF

14x Blood Doll
6x Life in the City
4x Effective Management
1x The Rack
1x The Labyrinth
1x Humanitas

7x Cooler
2x Blood Tears of Kephran
1x Aaron's Feeding Razor
1x Palatial Estate
1x Catacombs
4x Kindred Intelligence
2x Arson
3x Rumors of Gehenna
1x Ritual of the Bitter Rose
1x Muddled Vampire Hunter
18x Night Moves
6x Lost in Crowds
6x Cloak the Gathering
4x Spying Mission
4x Faceless Night
2x Clotho's Gift

A weenie horde deck with the potential for a ridiculous amount of pool gain and consistent, if small, bleed potential, if this deck survives the early game and gets set up, it has the capability of rolling forward though most opposition.

The crypt is a pretty straight forward weenie Obfuscate crypt, focusing on Nosferatu (to facilitate the Kindred Intelligence angle). On the high end, there is Lithrac to combo with the total prayer Ritual of the Bitter Rose--if someone, somewhere is in torpor with some blood on them, get the Edge, send Lithrac to diablerize and play Ritual to refill all your vampires. Between the Edge, Lithrac's special, Cicatriz's vote, and an extra Rumors vote card, he might just survive the Blood Hunt (and if there is a great deal of vote presence on the table, just send Basil...) Cicatriz is handy for a touch of vote presence and a strong special ability in a heavy Obfuscate deck (if no one ever tries to block you, Cicatriz's extra discard can be a lifesaver). Sammy is the one real oddball, as he should be Regillio, Seeker of Akhnaten, but I simply cannot abide by Regillio's portrait. Sad, but at least Sammy is finally seeing some actual play in one of my constructed Nosferatu decks!

The Master selection consists of an absurd number of Blood Dolls (which, as the key to absolute victory, much like infernalism, should drive me to winner's ville :-). I figure with 14, I should draw them early and often, facilitating survival in the early leg of the game, as the only defense this deck has is pool gain, and without playing Blood Dolls like every turn from the start of the game, the deck isn't really going to make it. By mid game, with 6 or 7 Blood Dolls and enough blood influx, the deck should be able to survive quite a bit of non Rush combat abuse. Life in the City keeps minions topped off, and the Humanitas (combined with the Catacombs) stands in for the only combat defense in the deck--yeah, you can torporize me with impunity, but I'll just pop back out for free (at least in theory).

With lots of minions and lots of actions available, equipment is going to work out just fine. The Coolers result in a constant influx of blood to the vampires with little of the risk that is associated with hunting grounds--they are very unlikely to be burned or stolen and you can pack multiples of them without contesting. Aaron's Razor is great for the long run, and the Blood Tears are an easy investment in the future. Rumors of Gehenna help the deck flow (and survive early in the game by speeding up the Blood Doll application), and if you give everyone at the table the benefit, it just might actually pass. 18 Night Moves is in no way out of the question, in terms of efficiency and forward momentum--with 7 or 8 minions in play by the mid game, they will flow much better than regular stealth (as most folks will stop trying to block at some point), and combined with 1 stealth modifier will tend to make most bleeds unblockable. Sure, you can't ever bleed for more than 1, but who was going to do that anyway?

The strengths of the deck are clearly the potential for rampant pool gain and the advantages that come from having lots of weenie minions. Most bleed defenses will be hard pressed to keep up with the deck, as bouncing 1 point bleeds is generally futile and and it'll be difficult to intercept reliably +4 stealth bleeds.

What'll kill this deck? Clearly, Rush combat. These little vampires will just get thrown into torpor with reckless abandon if attacked. The Humanitas and Catacombs are a token effort, but the best defense against Rush combat for this deck is to simply hope they don't have blasters. Early speed bleeding is also likely to be a problem, as the pool won't start rolling in until the mid game, so it is not impossible to get run over before getting set up.