Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for December, 2004

Heh heh. So I figure with all the madness over the recent lists of newly banned cards in competitive play and all, I'd try and deflect attention back to the new 10th Anniversary set cards that were all the rage of discussion a couple days ago by looking at the contents of the sets and commenting on how they might affect everyone's favorite clan in this month's issue of...The VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter!

So coming soon to a game store near you (or, well, an internet discount house, as the case may be) are the two new 10th Anniversary sets. Each contains 100 cards, of which 90 are reprints from previous sets which haven't seen a printing since they were originally issued, and then the remaining 10 cards in each set are 10 new bonus cards made just for the set. The two sets each contain the same 10 new cards and then 90 different reprint cards in each set, most of which are group 1 and 2 vampires with the new card format.

For my purposes, I'm going to sift through the reprints and see what might be useful or particularly harmful to the Nosferatu (and might be completely new to players who don't have tons of old cards), and then follow that up by looking at the new cards in the set.

First off, the 180 reprinted cards consist of all the group 1 Nosferatu vampires from the Jyhad set. These have all be analyzed in past newsletters (see for past Nosferatu Newsletters), but for completions sake, here are the reprinted vampires:

Set 1
Chester DuBois
Ebanezer Roush
Lucretia, Cess Queen
Selma the Repugnant
Sheldon, Lord of the Clog
Tusk, The Talebearer

Set 2
Grendel, the Worm-Eaten
Marty Lechtansi
Sebastian Marley
Tiberius, The Scandalmonger

So we finally get back (or at least get in new card format) all our beloved Nosferatu vampires from the days of yore. None of them were changed to bring them up to current vampire design standards (so, like, Sebastian Marley and Tusk are still not so good), but at the very least, players without access to Group 1 Tusk now can finally make the merged combo which is, admittedly, a pretty good merged vampire in the appropriate deck.

Other than lots of old vampires reprinted, there are plenty of other weird, cool, or handy cards that haven't been in wide circulation for a while. Some of the reprints that might be of use to the Nosferatu that either deserve another look for older players or a first look for newer ones include:

Set 1:

-Vanish from the Mind's Eye: Actually not a bad card at all in a Nosferatu deck that uses, say, disguised weapons as a defensive technology. Press to end to save your hide, or press to continue if you have the upper hand in a fight. A card you probably want a bunch of if you are going to use them, but luckily, probably really easy to get as singles.

-Vampiric Disease: An interesting (and thematically appropriate) card for Nosferatu combat decks. Consider diseasing a minion, and then spreading the love to slow down your opponents, using Taste of Vitae to balance out the Disease. Maybe not the best idea ever, but one that is newly available.

Set 2:

-Shepherd's Innocence: Always a good weapon in any Animalism heavy deck, allowing you to mass Raven Spies on a single minion should you be so inclined while spreading the blood cost around. And if Animalism is popular in your group in general, there is nothing more humorous than stealing everyone's retainers and watching the hilarity ensue.

-Dirty Little Secrets: A reasonably useful card to combine with Couriers and Feline Saboteur to make your prey discard like crazy. Combine with Steam Tunnels to selectively remove cards from your prey's deck.

-Anachronism: Definitely a card that is worth another look as defensive technology for a Nosferatu close range combat deck (or any deck, for that matter) due to the recent popularity of large vampire multi rush decks that use Assault Rifle as their main source of damage. Yeah, Canine Horde is good for this too, but Anachronism insures that, say, Count Germiane or Fatima aren't going to be machine gunning you to death from long range for the rest of the game.

So overall, not a ton of stuff available to shore up your Nosferatu strategies, but certainly a few cards are mixed in that open up new ideas and possibilities if you didn't already have access to them.

As for the brand new cards:

-Rastacourere: Definitely a good card for bulking up the political power of Nosferatu decks. The Nosferatu have good permanent voting presence (ahem), but without reliable access to Presence, they have trouble pushing votes past significant table opposition. A few Rastacoureres in the deck, and you can whittle away the voting power of your opposition, especially as with Obfuscate handy, they can actually get the action through.

-Powerbase: Los Angeles: Certainly a help to Anarch decks, but not necessarily so much a help for the Nosferatu. Perhaps I'll investigate Nosferatu based Anarch strategies and get back to you.

-Polaris Coach: Permanent stealth is always good, but as the Nosferatu have access to Obfuscate like crazy (as well as The Labyrinth), this card, while certainly handy, isn't likely to see much use for the Nosferatu.

-Orb of Ulain: Again, not a huge amount of Nosferatu specific gain here, although certainly worth including in something like a deck built around Ghouled Couriers or something.

-Liquidation: A card that is good for anyone in a pinch, but certainly for the Nosferatu who lack bleed bounce--if you need 3 more pool in a pinch and it stands between living and dying? Boom--3 more pool. Yeah, you lose cards, but having 7 fewer cards in your deck is always going to be better than being, ya know, dead.

-Insurance Scam: An interesting card with a lot of possibilities for a clan with Obfuscate. By building a deck around free Master locations and free/cheap "loquipment" cards, you can generate a lot of pool in a pinch without significantly depleting your minions (using Obfuscate to make sure that you don't get blocked buying the locations). Throw in some location stealing votes with a bunch of Nosferatu Princes, and you might have a solid angle going.

-Channel 10: A handy intercept location, but as the Nosferatu have Animalism already (allowing them to quickly and cheaply stack Raven Spies), probably not that useful overall. In terms of being an Obfuscate heavy clan having to possibly face this card, you have 2 good options--make them not want to block you in the first place (which the Nosferatu are really good at) or ooze with Obfuscate (which the Nosferatu are also really good at) and have plenty of Forgotten Labyrinths and Elder Impersonations. Both of these are already good ideas for the Nosferatu. Channel 10 just cements this idea.

-Charlton Van Wyk (Hunter): A reasonably good ally including light permanent intercept, but as the Nosferatu have access to the Bestial (who can swarm with Spies and doesn't die quickly), probably not necessary.

-Caiaphas Smith: Certainly an interesting card, but unlikely to provide the Nosferatu much in the way of possibilities.

-Bowl of Convergence: In terms of the Nosferatu using this, well, they don't have much Auspex (although Sheldon and Sebastian who come with the bowl are packing...) and it isn't really going to be better than more Ravens in any case. In terms of dealing with the Bowl, the Nosferatu have lots of stealth, Elder Impersonation, and Canine Hordes (or Shattering Blow). It shouldn't be a significant problem, and if it becomes one, they have plenty of ways to deal with it.


Overall, the two new Anniversary Sets don't have a ton of super cool stuff for the Nosferatu to go crazy with, as a clan, but certainly the reprinting of all the Group 1 vampires and a few old cards certainly help out newer players in terms of deck possibilities and Rastacourere promises to be incredibly handy for Nosferatu Political decks that historically have trouble competing with Presence wielding clans but can always get actions through.

Maybe next month, I'll have some ideas for a crazy new deck based on Insurance Scam...