Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for May, 2005.

Woot! It is the exciting Nosferatu Newsletter #50! Crazy stuff. I mean, like, yeah, they aren't all gold or anything, but getting to number 50 has to count for something.

So we recently got a really cool new expansion, Kindred Most Wanted, that contained a few excellent new Nosferatu vampires, and a handful of new cards for the Nosferatu's basic disciplines that I figure I'll examine, hopefully to inspire some cool ideas out there somewhere.

-Rabbat, The Sewer Goddess (7) OBF, FOR, ANI, pot. Independent. Red List. Group 4. Rabbat may send a vampire to torpor or burn an ally as a strike. If she hunts, you may move 1 of the blood she gains to your pool. She cannot take (D) actions or block actions that are not directed at her or at a card on her. **** (of 5)

Rabbat is pretty fantastic, and clearly a vampire to build a deck around. She has a very solid discipline spread: OBF to keep her from getting blocked, FOR to protect herself and Freak Drive, ANI for general defense, and pot just for backup. She can send a vampire to torpor as a strike, which is quite potent, reasonable disincentive to take advantage of her Red List status. When she hunts, you can take one of the blood gained into your pool, which is huge, considering her built in FOR--clearly, trick number one to take advantage of with Rabbat is to load as many Freak Drives into her deck as you can. As hunting isn't restricted to once per turn, whenever you have too many Freak Drives in your hand (or need a pool boost), hunt over and over again, gaining a pool each time. She can't take (D) actions or block much, which restricts her to mostly political actions as an offense (luckily, she has OBF/ANI, so she can utilize Animal Magnetism to help get votes through), and she probably needs some kind of back up for general pool defense, but as the core of some sort of multi action Political deck, she is probably pretty solid. I'll see what I can cook up in the future.

-Black Annis (9) POT, OBF, pro, ani. Sabbat. Group 4. Black Annis can enter combat with any minion controlled by your predator or prey as a (D) action. Other non-hunt actions cost her an additional blood. +1 strength. +1 stealth. ***

Another vampire that is pretty solid to build a deck around--in this case, some kind of multi rush deck. She has +1 strength and POT for significant killing power and pro for defense (Flesh of Marble) and aggro damage (so she can Grapple you and hit you for 7 points of aggrivated damage, which everyone always loves). She comes with a built in, +1 stealth rush action which is fantastic, but if she wants to make other rush actions, they'll cost her an extra blood--just be sure to use a lot of Taste of Vitae, especially as her most likely way to untap for multiple rush actions is going to be inferior Dual Form (which will cost her 3 blood per turn). Probably a little harder to make pay off than, say, Beast, but her built in protean might make all the difference.

We also got Echo, who is another pretty solid mid cap vampire, but I looked at her in issue 48.

In terms of Library cards, the Nosferatu's basic disciplines got:

-Pack Alpha. A vampire may only play one pack alpha each round. (ani): Employ an animal retainer from your hand before range is determined. Pay cost as normal. (ANI): Burn an animal retainer employed by this vampire and put this card on the vampire. The minion with this card gets +1 strength. A minion may have only 1 pack alpha.

A pretty interesting card for a deck that wants to use a lot of retainers. The inferior saves you an action to equip, and the superior lets you cycle extra retainers for bonus hand damage--decks that, say, use a lot of Raven Spies to get them early and often can probably get a lot of mileage out of this card as it is highly cycleable. Once you can block someone, you can stack on more Spies, and when you have enough of them, you can stack an extra and burn it off for permanent +1 hand damage, making the Raven Spies and the Pack Alphas very fluid in your deck. Granted, in a lot of situations, especially in a deck that wants to block a lot (and has good combat potential, so folks won't want to block your recruit actions), you might be better off with just Forced Awakenings instead (so you can recruit and then Forced to block instead of not recruiting, blocking, and then playing Pack Alpha for the retainer), but in the right deck, this card could potentially be very handy.

-Confusion of the Eye. (obf): Reduce a younger vampire's or an ally's bleed against you by 1. (OBF): Only usable during a referendum before votes are cast. Not usable on a referendum that is automatically passing. If the referendum requires a titled vampire, the referendum fails. Otherwise, the referendum continues, but the acting vampire cannot cast any votes in this referendum.

This is potentially a *very* strong card, especially in a high political action metagame. The inferior ability isn't huge in and of itself, but allows the card to be mainlined into any OBF heavy, large vampire deck for the superior version, yet still be very cycleable if you sit with a non political predator (as you are pretty much always going to be able to play a card to reduce a bleed, as long as you are a pretty large vampire). The superior version of the card is huge, in terms of political defense--it automatically cancels some of the most brutal votes in the game (Protect Thine Own and Parity Shift), and even against a non title requiring vote, it will likely cause that vote to fail, as unless the Methuselah has significant table votes on other vampires, the inability of the acting vampire to vote means no Bewitching Oration, Awe, or Iron Glare to help push the vote through. This card will, more than anything, give the Nosferatu (well, anyone with OBF, really) very powerful vote defense that will likely often have a huge impact on the game. And again, unlike most other powerful anti-vote technology, Confusion of the Eye is very cycleable if you don't need the vote defense. A strong card I expect to see a lot of in competitive play.

-Earthshock. 1 Blood. (pot): Strike: strength ranged damage. This strike cannot be dodged. Not usable against a minion with flight. (POT) as above, but for strength +1 ranged damage.

A reasonably useful card for Potence combat decks. A lot of potence, close range, Immortal Grapple based combat decks (like the Nosferatu like often like to live in...) like to include a small handful of, like, Thrown Sewer Lids or Stunt Bikes instead of maneuvers to punish folks who have guns or light maneuver based defense. Earthshock is a really good card to replace the Lids or Bikes as it allows you to utilize the extra strength from the ubiquitous Torn Signposts in such decks, *and* you can use it at close range in a pinch (unlike the Lids and Bikes). That it can't be dodged is pure (yet significant) gravy, as the rise of CEL based gun decks means that Earthshock will hinder and possibly trump the long range dodge/additional strike with the Assault Rifle action that seems to be so popular these days. In a deck that relies on being at long range, the Lids and Bikes are probably still better, due to the blood cost on Earthshock and the need for back up strength increasers, but as a side angle in an otherwise close range, IG based strategy, this card is pretty solid. Yeah, you can't Earthshock Gargoyles, but, ya know, that probably won't come up that much.

Well, that is Nosferatu Newsletter #50. Stay tuned for more exciting Nosferatu action in the future.