Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for November, 2006.
It's been a while since my last Nosferatu Newsletter (about 3 months), so as I am sitting at home sick as a sick dog, I figured I'd get off my ass and write a new one. Luckily, 3rd Edition came out recently and is packed to the brim with new, awesome Nosferatu vampires to look at! Yeah, yeah, they are actually Nosferatu Antitribu, but for my money, I have always considered them one clan, used them interchangeably, and only rarely does it actually matter that they are a different clan. But in any case, here is an overview of the awesome new 3rd Edition Nosferatu Antitribu vampires:
-Old Neddacka (2) obf. G4. Old Neddacka is a nice, basic building block vampire, like, ya know, Dimple. He'll show up in a lot of Nosferatu decks. He'll show up in a lot of pretty much any kind of deck that uses Obfuscate. He does, however, help build up a very good selection of weenie Obfuscate vampires in the G3-4 department. ***
-Blister (3) obf, pot. G4. Blister and Old Neddacka feel like a comfortable old pair of buddies, like Duck and Dimple. They'll show up a lot together. Blister has been long time coming as a Duck clone, making a G3-4 POT/obf deck a solid option finally. ***
-Stick (3) ANI. G4. Yaa! Finally a 3 cap with ANI, and in the cool clan at that! Weenie Animalism has always been a pretty solid archetype (see: Bats with Birds in Their Mouths in a previous Nosferatu Newsletter), and such decks have received a solid upgrade in the G3-4 zone with Bobby Lemon (a 4 cap with ANI) and now Stick, which were two vampires that G1-2 never had access too. Very solid. ****
-Aaron Bathurst (4) for, obf, pot. G4. An identical clone of Wolfgang, which is good for all those Obfuscate/Fortitude decks that have been floating around. Well, ok, there is probably a good way to make such a deck, but I haven't seen one yet. But at least there are now two good basic vampires for such a deck. That being said, Aaron is a shoo in for any Nosferatu Pot/For/Obf type deck that is likely to be developed in the near future, now that there are so gosh darn many Nosferatu with Fortitude. It is really easy to sideline in Freak Drives and some extra combat defense into any Nosferatu strategy now, and I'd expect to see Aaron show up in any deck like that. ***
-Frank Litzpar (5) OBF, ani, for, pot. G4. A nice solid mid cap with OBF, and another Nosferatu with Fortitude. A good handful of Freak Drives should be common in many future Nosferatu/!Nosferatu decks, and as they all have Obfuscate, that most of the Fortitude is inferior isn't really an issue, as you have the stealth to get the actions through, so inferior Freak Drive is probably sufficient. All the Fortitude also sets up the Nosferatu for a solid prevent/Disarm combat package either defensively or offensively. ****
-Raphael Catarari (5) OBF, PRE, aus, pot, tha. G4. If Raphael's blood total is odd, he does not untap as normal. You may use a master phase action to add a blood to him from your pool or to burn a blood from him. +1 bleed. Right. Raphael is kind of crazy with all the text and all, but chock full of fantastic possibilities. He is the smallest vampire in the game with OBF/PRE for a significant bleed offense (which can be backed up by, inappropriately, True Love's Face). His +1 bleed makes using him for a bleed offense even more attractive. His disadvantage is complicated and strange, and likely to result in him being tapped a lot of the time, so if you are using him, you should have a lot of clever ways to manage his blood or untap him--consider all the standard blood management options like Hunting Grounds, Blood Dolls, Life in the City, perhaps a Capitalist Archetype, but also consider some fringier ways to untap him when needed, such as giving him Rutor's Hand (he has tha!), or teaming him with other Auspex vampires (he has aus!) and packing some Precognizant Mobilities. Or even Metro Underground, allowing you to untap him at the end of the turn if he looks likely to not untap at the start of your next turn. Between Raphael, Isouda (new 7 cap with OBF, PRE) and Stavros (yet another new 7 cap with OBF, PRE), there is clearly a True Love's Face bleed deck to be built, and as all three of them come with Auspex (Stavros even has AUS!), there are reasonable bleed bounce possibilities built right in. Clearly, my next newsletter will be this deck. ****
-Joseph Cambridge (6) POT, ani, dom, obf. G4. Bishop. Joseph gets an additional +1 stealth on political actions. Joseph is the fantastic vampire that Judah (poor Judah) always should have been. Yeah, only a single superior discipline, but it is Potence, and with his Dominate, he easily fits into a POT/dom combat bleed strategy. His +1 stealth on Political Actions is simply a nice conditional bonus. While Joseph is great in constructed play, where he really tends to shine, however, is in a 3rd Edition draft game. Go in planning on playing Potence combat (which is usually a safe bet, as everyone else is drafting Dominate...) and then score all the Pot, Rush, Pot draftferior cards (like Rooftop Shadow for Potence based Intercept and Pursuit for Potence based maneuvers) and Perpetual Care for a killing blow. Joseph's additional +1 stealth for calling the Perpetual Care is huge in the generally low intercept draft environment, and he is even a Bishop to help pass the vote. Pure draft gold. *****
-Humo (6) ANI, POT, obf, obt. G4. If you also control Greensleeves and he is ready, Humo may burn a blood to give Greensleeves +1 stealth once each action. Humo is a nice solid fighting midcap with his ANI, POT, and he has a built in team up ability with the very good Greensleeves. They don't really mesh, discipline wise, but their matching specials is likely enough to justify using them together a lot of the time. And if you can score the both of them in a draft game, that is pure gold. ****
-Greensleeves (7) ANI, OBF, for, pot. G4. Priscus. If you also control Humo, Greensleeves may burn a blood to give Humo +1 bleed once each action. A very solid political vampire for the Nosferatu, in that she is a mid cap Priscus who starts with ANI, OBF, enabling maximum Animal Magnetism from the get go. Again, she has Fortitude for some Freak Drives and combat defense. And then she has a team up ability with Humo. Greensleeves is likely a lot more individually useful than Humo due to her political abilities (and Freak Driving abilities on top of that). She is also gold in draft play, especially as if you team her with Joseph, you can pretty much ensure the passing of the Perpetual Care, and if you team her with Humo, you have a pretty solid bleed offense. An all around great vampire. *****
-Icarus, The Manchurian (7) OBF, POT, ani, for, pro. G4. When Icarus bleeds a Methuselah successfully, you may look at that Methuselah's hand. Around these parts, we are all awfully confused as to why Icarus doesn't have Celerity, what with the hat and all, but at least with Protean, he is more grist for the newly effective POT/pro "Burn'em All!" combat strategy mill. Icarus is, yet again, a solid midcap Nosferatu with Fortitude, so he'll likely see a lot of play in combat decks or general sneak based Nosferatu decks. His special ability is quite handy, as permanent info on your prey's hand is very useful. Granted, he can probably be better employed than simply bleeding for 1 at stealth to see your prey's hand every turn, but with the Freak Drive potential, he becomes a great scout before a Rush. ****
-Lukas (8) ANI, OBF, POT, pre, ser. G4. Archbishop of Toronto. Lukas is the strangely handsome Nosferatu Antitribu (clearly, he was hit by an Unacceptable Appearance at some point...), who is a nice member of a Nosferatu political deck along with Greensleeves, what with the title and ANI, OBF. His Serpentis mixes well with Tarbaby Jack for some sort of deck involving the Nosferatu and maybe Truth of 1K Lies for bleed and/or untap. His Presence mixes with Raphael and a couple other Nosferatu types for added punch in a Stealth/Vote deck. A pretty solid vampire. But man, does he look weird. ****
-Servius Marius Pustula (10) ANI, CHI, DOM, OBT, POT, obf. G4. Each Methuselah gets +X hand size, where X is the number of ready vampires with capacity above 7 he or she controls. This guy is deeply weird--he fits better in a Lasombra deck than a Nosferatu deck (a 10 cap Nosferatu with inferior obfuscate?). His special ability is interesting, especially if you build your deck to maximize the ability, but I'm unconvinced that he is worth building a deck around just for this. Yeah, superior Dominate is always good, but his lack of a title for a such a huge investment seems debilitating. There are probably better ways to increase your hand size. **
-Ysador the Foul (10) ANI, DEM, FOR, OBF, POT, obt. Cardinal. Non-infernal, non demon minions opposing Ysador in combat cannot use maneuvers to maneuver to close range. An interesting variation on the very similar Cailean, although with an extra vote and trades Dominate for superior Fortitude, allowing for even more Freak Driving. A great potential for some sort of Eternal Vigilance intercept/multi action combat deck. Equip her (?) with maybe an Assault Rifle for some good range combat and a constant maneuver, have her rush and kill and block and kill, Freaking and avoiding getting killed with her FOR. Use some Dementation for bleed offense. Probably a pretty good deck. ****
Overall, 3rd Edition provided the Nosferatu with a really good selection of interesting new vampires, notably with a lot of Fortitude--the old school G1/2 Nosferatu Royalty deck is *still* good 'cause of all the Fortitude (Sheldon, Selma, Nikolaus), so it is a good bet that new G3-4 Nosferatu Fortitude decks (based on, say, Greensleeves and Ysador) will be likely as effective.