Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for April, 2006

Even though there is a new expansion out this month (Nights of Reckoning!) which may or may not work well mixed in with out Nosferatu pals, as I haven't seen any of the new cards yet, I'm just gonna post a Nosferatu based deck. The deck that follows is not a good deck. Nor is it a fun deck. In fact, most of the time it gets played, my prey says "Man. I hate that deck..." and then proceeds to help in back ousting me, just to get me off the table. That being said, it is an interesting design exercise, and theoretically, a viable deck using a difficult fringe strategy that no one likes--deck destruction. My apologies to Pat Lusk, as he posted a fairly similar deck on the newsgroup recently, which inspired me to make mine work out, so here it is:

"Whatcha Mana Now--This is Sabotage!"

3x Jara Drory (7) ANI, OBF, aus
3x Petra (5) ANI, OBF, aus
3x Babalawo Alafin (7) AUS, NEC, ani
3x Zygodat (6) AUS, NEC

8x The Slaughterhouse
5x Blood Doll
2x Storage Annex
1x Dia De La Muerte
1x The Labyrinth
1x Insurance Scam

8x Feline Saboteur
4x Animal Magnetism
6x Lost in Crowds
6x Cloak the Gathering
5x Behind You!
4x Swallowed by the Night
4x Confusion of the Eye
2x Forgotten Labyrinth
10x Telepathic Counter
5x Read Intentions
2x Telepathic Vote Counting
3x Whispers from the Dead
2x Call of the Hungry Dead
4x Wake with Evening's Freshness
2x Brinksmanship
2x Political Flux
1x Victim of Habit
1x Erebus Mask
1x Changeling Skin Mask

This deck is all sorts of bad, and mostly just makes people mad at you. And as much as you argue that it isn't really a big deal that your prey's deck is being eroded away as you aren't actually making them lose pool, and until their deck is gone, it is kind of like having no predator at all, they still hate you and try to back oust you. And sometimes you just make someone else win the game. But sometimes, the deck can actually work, pulling off a VP or even a game win through library destruction. Which is crazy an unexpected. But still likely to get you hit in the head with a beer bottle.

In any case, the crypt is extremely focused because that way you get the disciplines you need, and most of the time, you really only need (and are likely to be able to afford) 2 vampires out at any particular moment. The Nosferatu sisters provide the necessary ANI, OBF to make the Feline Saboteurs work, and push the occasional vote through with Animal Magnetism, as well as both having Auspex to act as back up bleed defense. The two Harbingers of Skulls have AUS for bleed defense and use their NEC to pull a few cards back into your hand with Whispers of the Dead, and Zygodat's special ability to make your prey burn 2 cards off your prey's library when she bleeds them only helps the cause.

In the master selection, there are the obligatory 8 Slaughter Houses for destroying your prey's library quickly and 5 Blood Dolls to gain some pool in the long run. The Storage Annexes help to hold necessary cards till you need them, as this is a deck that has a lot of important parts that need to get played in order--if you draw a Brinksmanship or the Dia de los Muertes early, you can hide it in one of the Annexes till you need it, and if the Annex gets burned and the necessary cards hit the ash heap, you can always bring it back to your hand with Whispers of the Dead. The Dia de los Muertes is there for a clinch vote pass if you need it to get the Brinksmanship through, the Labyrinth for extra stealth, and the always sketchy Insurance Scam helps you survive the late game by burning extra Slaughterhouses for a refund if it'll help you survive just a bit longer to get that Brinksmanship oust. Late in the game, once you have 4 or 5 Slaughter Houses in play (which, really, is all you need), the Insurance Scam also lets you play an extra Slaughter House, use it, and immediately burn it down to get the pool back, so even if you didn't want to pay for the Slaughterhouse, as long as you have at least 2 pool, you can play it and use it once effectively for free.

The rest of the Library is pretty much a combination of deck destruction, stealth, light combat defense, bleed defense, and kooky deck infrastructure. 8 Feline Saboteur generally seems to be a sufficient number, especially as you can cycle a couple back with the Whispers of the Dead if needed, but that usually isn't necessary. There is a lot of stealth, as you really don't want to get blocked, and Feline Saboteur starts as zero stealth, which is a drag. In terms of bleed defense, there is a big pile of Telepathic Counters which, in this deck, are likely better than Telepathic Misdirections--you don't really care if your prey loses pool, you want to blood doll your vampires down to 1 blood so paying for the Misdirections could be a drag, and the Counters don't tap you when you use them, so potentially, you can foil a great deal of bleed coming your way. Combined with the inferior Auspex on the Nosferatu sisters, and back up bleed reduction on the Confusions of the Eye, this deck can slow down a bleed predator pretty significantly. The combat defense is a tad light, but if this deck is rushed significantly, it is going to get killed anyway. The Behind Yous are good utilitarian defensive maneuver/dodge, and the Read Intentions can dodge, save you from a press, and are playable by everyone in the crypt. The vote pushing angle is light--4 Animal Magnetisms and a couple Telepathic Vote Countings, just in case. If there are not many permanent votes on the table, you can probably pass a vote with the 5 or 6 votes you can muster (AM, +1 for the PA, Jara is a Primogen, the Edge), and if there are a lot of table votes, just hang on till it is La Dia De La Muerte. With 2 Brinksmanships, you should probably find one by the time you need it, and the wacky and little seen Political Flux is actually quite useful in this deck; if your prey is doing well despite the deck destruction, call a Political Flux for 1 pool. You'll probably get the table to help you pass it if you need it, and it'll likely slow the game down some (which only helps you), as no one will want to be the first person to oust someone for only a 1 pool reward. If your prey ignores the Political Flux, at least you slow him down some. And in the unlikely situation that you are about to oust your prey, call a Political Flux for 12 pool and go crazy. Erebus Mask and Changeling Skin Mask help make the deck go if you can get them in play--giving one of the Harbingers OBF is really handy. The Victim of Habit is an obvious inclusion that picks away at your prey some, and can keep him from withdrawing if needed. Throw in a few utilitarian Necromancy cards, as half your crypt has NEC, and the library is fully operational.

Again, this deck is not real good. And everyone hates seeing it. But again, it is so crazy, it just might work. It has limited vote defense (as it can't defend against *everything*, and if its predator is a significant vote presence, you are probably hosed anyway), although the Confusion of the Eyes can help out a bit. It can handle light combat, but persistent Rush is really going to shut the deck down, although in the worst situation, you just keep Slaughterhousing your prey, pull out a surprise minion in the end game, and hope you don't get vaporized before you can call the Brinksmanship. It is pretty good bleed defense, so a bleedy predator probably isn't that big of a deal, especially as you likely choke their hands on stealth due to not caring, not blocking them, and not bouncing them to your prey. The deck could probably benefit from having more Sabbat vampires in it, to make the Dia De La Muerte more likely to work, but currently, the discipline overlap seems so, uh, pleasing.

Overall, mostly an interesting deck design exercise more than anything else. But I keep playing it, and it is doing slightly worse than ok. And it gives me a fun excuse to use a lot of Petras in my deck, as I loooooooooove Petra.