Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for February, 2005
Teetering on the verge of a new expansion, Kindred's Most Wanted, which comes out in a couple of weeks, I figure I'd look at a Nosferatu deck type that is based on an old expansion, and one that has never been explored in these Nosferatu newsletters. But first, we got a cheery surprise a few weeks ago in the recent issue of Game Trade Magazine (actually, a catalog that is called a magazine, and theoretically costs money, but my local game store gives them out for free if you buy something), Echo, a Nosferatu preview vampire from KMW!
Echo (7) POT, OBF, CEL, dom, aus. Camarilla. Gets +1 strength in combat with a Red List minion. **** (out of 5). Group 4.
Echo is a very solid new vampire for the Nosferatu, and follows the current model of being designed as a good cross clan vampire. Her POT, OBF means that she's going to fit in with a lot of various Nosferatu type combat strategies. Her out of clan CEL means she can fit in with the Brujah quite nicely. Her out of clan dom is always welcome (team her up with Tar Baby Jack for a Nosferatu Dominate conspiracy--two of each of them in a deck allows you to sideline 6-8 Deflections safely into pretty much any Nosferatu deck), and her out of clan aus matches her nicely with Jara Drory, Petra, and Ingram Frizer for a deck using fringe intercept or something. Her special remains to be seen as useful, but as we already know that you can forcibly make opponent's minion Red List, if you want it to pay off, you have complete control of that--clearly, there will be an opportunity to build decks around making minions Red List (replacing Rush actions with Red List branding actions, saving you some effort in the long run), and Echo, what with her CEL and all, is likely to be a staple in such a deck. All in all, a nice package in a nicely sized 7 point vampire. And a cool portrait, to boot (for some reason, she kind of reminds me of the VU's Nico...)
So anyway, with Echo available, and me accidentally picking up an Anarchs Barons deck, I figured I'd try mixing together a Nosferatu based Anarchs deck, as I haven't even done so before, and see how it goes.
1x Gemini (5) OBF, obt, pot, ani
2x Petra (5) OBF, ANI, aus
1x Skidmark (5) OBF, FOR, pot, aus
1x Gerard Rafin (6) POT, OBF, for, ani
1x Alonzo Guillen (6) OBF, pot, for, ani
1x Juggler (7) DOM, CEL, pot, obf
1x Teresita, The Godmother (7) POT, OBF, ANI, for
2x Echo (7) POT, OBF, CEL, dom, aus
2x Tarbaby Jack (8) POT, OBF, ANI, ser, dom
6x Blood Doll
4x Galaric's Legacy
2x Powerbase: Los Angeles
1x Anarch Free Press
1x Hospital Food
6x Go Anarch
8x Gemini's Mirror
6x Swallowed by the Night
6x Lost in Crowds
4x Animal Magnetism
8x The Mole
2x Smash and Grab
2x Principia Discordia
3x Fee Stake (NY, Seattle, Boston)
8x Anarch Salon
4x Kine Resources Contested
2x Free States Rant
4x Car Bomb
Granted, this isn't, like, the best deck ever, and probably not something I'd play in competition, but it does pretty well in casual play.
The crypt focused on OBF, and then mixing in as many useful backup Anarch disciplines as possible. With 8x The Mole, there is a lot of untap and bleed canceling possible from the Animalism and Dominate and some extra light intercept from the smattering of Celerity. Reformation lets you steal a hunting ground or two, or use Tarbaby to corrupt a weenie vampire (which no one will expect). The fringe Auspex lets you burn equipment cards with Principia Discordia (handy in the current "Everyone has an Assault Rifle" environment). It is likely that there are some more maximized vampires for the crypt, discipline wise, but as it stands, the crypt has mostly OBF (which makes the most out of the standard discipline based cards in the deck) and the Nosferatu used have a lot of funny special abilities that actually are useful. The only glaring inefficiency in the crypt is Skidmark, who could easily be, like, Roger Farnsworth or someone, but I like Skidmark's picture. And he needs a home somewhere.
In the master selection, there are a lot of Blood Dolls for pool management, which works very well with the Anarch Salons. 4 Galaric's Legacy play virtually for free (being Trifles) and cycle out nicely with the Powerbase: LA late in the game. A bit of Anarch support from the Hospital Food and Free Press is always helpful, and a fringe Dominate master to back up the Mole based defense the deck packs.
In the bulk of the deck, there is mostly a political angle, which sadly will have trouble in the face of a lot of table votes. It could use a few more Fee Stakes (I only own the 3 currently, but, ya know, it's doing ok anyway), but in general, make someone an Anarch, get some Fire Brands in play, and there is a lot of good synergy--Blood Doll off some blood, call a Salon, use the newly gained blood to pay to untap someone with Firebrand, then go and Skullduggery someone or something. With the extra untaps from the Firebrands and Go Anarchs, this deck often seems to take way too many actions a turn. The biggest problem that most Anarch decks face is getting prevented from going Anarch, but as the Nosferatu are oozing Obfuscate, that isn't so much a problem here. The Obfuscate available to the deck provides stealth, manuvers, and dodges, all of which are handy. The 8 Gemini's Mirror exist 'cause this deck is played in a fairly high combat environment, but they could easily be pared down to a smaller number. For defense, as mentioned earlier, there are 8x The Mole, which let you untap, cancel a bleed, or occasionally pick up some extra light intercept, all of which are very handy (especially the cancel a bleed aspect of the card). Sadly, you can't use The Mole twice on the same action to untap *and* cancel the bleed, but by cycling out extra Go Anarch or Galaric's Legacy with Powerbase: LA, you often have an untapped minion at the end of the turn anyway.
The deck has problems with really persistent Rush combat, but has enough manuvers and dodges to often survive a half hearted attempt to Rush and kill your minions. Really stiff table votes (like a big pile of Justicars and IC members across the table or something) could be a problem, but an early Fee Stake followed by a Firebrand will usually give you most of the votes you need to operate, with a few Animal Magnetisms for back up when needed. While it doesn't have a ton of stealth, it has enough to get through important actions, and playing some early combined with all the OBF will likely convince folks to not bother trying to block you anyway, as they figure you have a lot of stealth, so why let you cycle?
All in all, a reasonably handy Anarch based Nosferatu deck with strong defense and pool gain, and a reasonable if not incredibly speedy offense.