Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for January, 2007.
Ahh, Raphael Catarari. What a weird vampire. Lots of good abilities. A difficult disadvantage. A reasonable size. Clearly, a vampire to build a deck around. So I did.
To refresh everyone's memory for the purposes of discussion, here is Raphael:
Raphael Catarari (5) OBF, PRE, aus, pot, tha. G4. Sabbat. 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 burn a blood from him. +1 bleed.
Raphael is a pretty crazy vampire. A 5 cap with OBF, PRE and +1 bleed is nothing to sneeze at, in terms of bleed offense. His disadvantage, while not totally debilitating, can be kind of a problem if you aren't planning for it. His Aus, Pre, Obf discipline spread matches up nicely with a handful of pretty solid mid-cap vampires to form the core of a good, weird, stealth and bleed strategy. To this end, I built this deck:
"I'm Too Sexy For My Lips"
2x Stavros (7) AUS, OBF, PRE
2x Isouda de Blaise (7) OBF, PRE, aus
2x Antoinette, She Who Watches (6) AUS, PRE, obf
4x Raphael Catarari (5) OBF, PRE, aus, tha
1x Tock (4) obf, pre
1x Maldavis (4) AUS, pre
6x Blood Doll
1x Shanty Town Hunting Ground
1x Archon Investigation
16x Social Charm
16x True Love's Face
8x Lost in Crowds
8x Swallowed by the Night
4x Spying Mission
6x Telepathic Misdirection
1x Precognizant Mobility
1x Rutor's Hand
4x Change of Target
A very focused Stealth and Bleed deck with reasonable pool generation abilities, light combat defense, and some bleed bounce. The core of the deck is clearly the True Love's Face tricksiness, where you go to bleed with a Social Charm. If they try to block, you deny their block with the True Love's Face, unless they pay a pool. After they pay a pool, you increase your stealth and bleed them anyway. If they don't bother trying to block, you just play the True Love's Face for +1 bleed anyway. If they manage to block you, you might squeak out on a Change of Target (costing them a pool anyway, like with Aching Beauty technology), or get out on a Majesty. You can reliably bleed for 3 at stealth and generate a pool on each successful bleed. The Disengage and Majesty (with a bit of maneuver support) can help against dedicated Rush combat. A few Spying Missions can cancel some bounced bleeds. A few Telepathic Misdirections can save you from some heavy bleeds when necessary.
Raphael works pretty well in this deck--there are plenty of Blood Dolls, allowing you to tailor adjust his pool level when needed; Perfectionist for added blood flexibility; a Rutor's Hand to give him an additional untap each turn; a Precognizant Mobility just in case he gets totally stuck. If he gets blocked or rushed, he can play Majesty and untap (even if he is untapped with an odd blood total, if he is untapped at the start of your turn, you can adjust his blood as necessary). When he goes to bleed with a Social Charm, if someone tries to block, he can True Love's Face for block denial, potentially cost your prey a pool, and then hit for a 3 bleed anyway (costing your prey 4 pool, but without the danger of being Archon Investigated). I considered including a Helicopter and/or a Metro Underground, both of which might still be worth including.
The bleed defense of this deck is a tad light; just a handful of Telepathic Misdirections and no untap/wake potential in the deck, but if nothing else, Isouda can untap at the end of the turn by discarding the Edge.
Likely not the best deck ever constructed, but a pretty consistent and sneaky bleeder that can survive pretty well and uses Raphael quite effectively.