Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for January, 2004

With the recent Black Hand expansion, we got a some exciting new vampires in the Nosferatu Antitribu department, filling in some already reasonable deck strategies, as well as allowing for some completely new deck designs that might just be pretty solid. In the name of making sure that all Nosferatu type vampires are equally reviewed, I introduce you to our six new Nosferatu Antitribu pals (stars at the end of description are your standard rating on a scale of 1-5):

Tock (4) obf, pot, pre. Tock is a weird vampire with a weird picture. I like his picture, but man. Those are some long arms. Regardless, Tock, again, is kind of a weird one. He has the standard pot, obf of most Nosferatu, but then he gets Presence tacked on. Now don't get me wrong--Presence is a really useful ability, but tacked on to a Nosferatu like that makes one kind of have to stretch to find a really good use for him--in terms of the fairly common Presnece and Obfuscate combination, he might find some play as a fill in for a Settote deck, but there are already a couple of 4 point pre obf vampires (and a three point Pander, to boot). Clearly, he'd fit into some sort of Pot/Pre/Obf deck--in fact, it was like he was specifically designed for such a strategy basis, but what, really, are you gonna do with such a deck? Tock can get together with the likes of Amadeo, Harrod, and Cailean, but overall, I'm not seeing such a deck as that handy--stealth vote rush? Stealth bleed with hit back combat defense? Certainly possible ideas, but unless you are *really* stuck on making a Nosferatu deck with both Potence and Presence in it, Tock isn't likely to see much play. **

Ingram Frizer (6) OBF, AUS, pot, ani. Black Hand. Ingram is also kind of a weird one, but she certainly has play capabilities. Her disciplines don't mesh that well with any particular current Nosferatu crypt--they have a smattering of Auspex around, but very little (if any) available AUS, so while Ingram introduces the always welcome prospect of bleed bounce to a Nosferatu crypt, unless you are using alot of her, or packing a good number of skill cards, the Bounce possibilites are going to be fringe, at best. This being said, even as just a standard Nosferatu with OBF, she isn't that bad, and she can certainly find a home in some Malkavian type decks. Her biggest advantage, however, is her Black Hand membership, which (along with two other good !Nos) gives you access to some very powerful cards--mostly Reunion Kamut and Ministry. Looking at the overall selection of Black Hand vampires, she fits right in, and could be the back bone of a solid Potence/Auspex type deck. ***

Teresita, The Godmother (7) POT, OBF, ANI, for. Black Hand Seraph. Teresita gets +1 intercept against Camarilla vampires. Ok. Now we hit gold. Teresita is a *fantastic* vampire for the Nosferatu--three in clan superiors and the very common inferior Fortitude means she can mix into pretty much any current Nosferatu deck style and add quite a bit of utility. She can fight well. She can intercept well (with built in intercept action!). She can call votes well (especially if she relies on her Animal Magnetism...). She is a BH Serraph, again, giving you access to so very useful cards, including the three Watchtowers--it is worth throwing The Four Ride Forth (the Master Watchtower that allows you to untap a BH vampire at the end of your turn) into any deck she is in (which can be most of them...), regardless of any other Black Hand cards in the deck. Overall, Teresita is a superb vampire that will see a lot of play. And she is really cool looking. Yaa for Teresita! *****

Tarbaby Jack (8) POT, OBF, ANI, ser, dom. Black Hand. If Tarbaby is ready, you get one extra transfer during your influence phase. Tarbaby is a pretty good vampire overall, with a nice spread of disciplines (including the always welcome Dominate), but mostly, he is likely to see play in decks that want to maximize Black Hand possibilities. The extra transfer he provides is certainly handy, and will help out in the long run, especially in a deck with bigish vampires, but even with his three in clan superiors and Dominate, there are usually going to be other choices for a given deck, barring a Black Hand heavy strategy. But then, he also has a fantastic picture. He might see play in some sort of Typhonic Beast deck (having POT ser) along with Murat, but other than that, I'm not seeing his Serpentis as that useful. ****

Mateusz Gryzbowsky (8) POT, OBF, ANI. At long range, Mateusz's strikes inflict 1 less damage. +2 strength. Right. If ever there was a vampire that screamed "Make a deck out of me!", it is Mateusz. His built in +2 strength means he could, theoretically, be the basis of a very potent (ahem) multi rush deck, as you could skimp on damage dealing strikes in the deck, meaning more useful other stuff. But his discipline spread leaves him slighly behind on the tech curve--without Fortitude, you can't rely on Freak Drive to fuel the multiple actions necessary (and avoid getting killed, to boot). You could play with multiple skill cards for a Fortitude graft, but that is slower and riskier than, say, just using Lasvernus instead. You could play with AUS weenies for Preognizant Mobility (and bounce!), but that is a lot of moving parts. There is something out there that will make Mateusz a pure, unstopable killer, and when I find it, he's coming for you. In general, with three in clans, he can fit in most generic Nosferatu decks, but unless he is going to be the star of the deck, he is likely better replaced with someone else. But also, fantastic picture. ***

Yong-Sun, Harmonist (10) THA, POT, OBF, ANI, aus. Advanced. Cardinal. Yong-Sun gets +X bleed, where X is the number of vampires in the target Methuselah's ash heap. Much like Mateusz, Yong-Sun advanced wants a deck built out of him. Luckily, however, the deck virtually builds itself. See, Regular Yong-Sun can take actions to burn vampires off the top of your prey's crypt (i.e. putting them in the ash heap). And Yong-Sun comes with THA, meaning he can use Rutor's Hand. If you do the simple math, you end up with a merged Yong-Sun packing Rutor's Hand taking two actions every turn--burn a vampire, and bleed at +X, where X goes up by one every turn. Yeah, yeah, Archon Investigation totally demolishes you (well, that and PTO...) And Bleed Bounce will hose you (although he comes with built in responsible bleeding). But in terms of a power bleed deck, this is the best option the Nosferatu have. Throw in his 3 votes as Cardinal and fringe Auspex for added intercept defense, and you have a deck just waiting to be made. The only flaw is that due to a printer error, Yong-Sun The Regular *was not reprinted* in Black Hand. So getting the 6 or so necessary basic Yong Suns (I figure a crypt of 6 Yong-Sun, 3 Yong-Sun advanced, and then 3 aus/obf or ani/obf weenies is the way to go, with a few Gift of Experience to pick up some slack) might be difficult for a while (till WW introduces a mail in or swap for promo Yong-Sun's that they have promised). But when that day comes, there will be a reckoning. Oh yes. A reckoning. ****

Overall, the Nosferatu as a whole did pretty well with the Black Hand--one pure gold Vampire, four reasonably solid vampires, and one kinda fringe vampire, but I suspect that all of them will see play in the long run.