Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for Nov 1st, 1998.


Of the Nosferatu's three clan disciplines (Potence, Animalism, Obfuscate), Potence is the one that is most useable to build an effective and cohesive deck out of. Not to say that Obfuscate and Animalism aren't very useful disciplines, but as they both are mainly support disciplines, they can be difficult to use as the bulk of an effective deck. Granted, Potence is a one direction discipline--it is good for beating stuff up--so building a deck out of Potence is building a combat deck, and here is a look at the weapons in the arsenal of the Nosferatu close range Potence combat deck.

Immortal Grapple: As I have pointed out before, IG is what makes Potence combat viable. Without IG, combat is easily foiled by Strike:Combat Ends, Dodge, and any number of other strikes. With IG, Potence combat is dominant enough to be a viable deck strategy. There are a few other cards that have a similar effect (Psyche, Hidden Lurker, Fast Reaction), but of those, Psyche is really the only acceptable replacement, and the Nosferatu can't use this. As a result, effective Nosferatu Potence decks are going to need to be close range decks. To insure close range, the Nosferatu need to fall back on either Drawing out the Beast or the few Obfuscate manuvers to make this work. Now the IG only works for one round, and the Nosferatu don't have access to multiple strikes like their Brujah peers, the Nosferatu need to make their first hit count, and failing that, have a lot of Immortal Grapples in their deck. IG is a card that you want to have as many as you can get your hands of on in your deck.

Torn Signpost: Currently the mainstay of the close range Potence deck. TS, combined with Undead Strength and Fists of Death will be how the Nosferatu kill their opponents most effectively. This, along with IG, is another card that there should be many of in the Nosferau Potence deck.

Undead Strength: A good 50%-50% mix of TS and Undead Strength will insure a reliable amount strong strikes. Torn Signpost augmented by Undead Strength will cause 5 points of damage (assuming POT), which is usually enough to torporize most opponents in one or two hits.

Fists of Death: A strong card, as it is completely stackable, and allows the Nosferatu to compete toe to toe with the Brujah in terms of total damage per round. A Nosferatu with POT who plays TS, FoD, and US will strike for 7 damage, using 3 cards and 1 blood. A Brujah with POT and cel using TS, US, and then a Blur will strike for 8 damage using 3 cards and spending one blood. If the Brujah has CEL, this will jump to 11 damage for the same expenditure of resources, but it is harder (and more expensive) to get a vampire with POT, CEL than just a vampire with POT. You don't want to have nothing but FoD in your deck, as you generally want to play a TS first, but the Nosferatu need to have at least some of these in their arsenal.

Increased Strength: This is usually a card that is better for backing long range potence combat than close range potence combat, as you _need_ to have a strike card for it to be worth playing (rather than just relying on Torn Signpost and Fists of Death), but with a good supply of Undead Strength in the deck, it could be very effective. What it loses in conditionality, it makes up for in playability. IS is completely stackable and always playable, even if it won't actually do anything, making it pretty safe to include in a close range Potence deck if you don't have enough TS or FoD. Again, it can help the Nosferatu make up for their lack of Celerity by helping build up truly massive first strikes.

Pushing the Limit: The extra point of damage can help in competing with the Brujah again, but the extra blood cost is steep if using smaller vampires. Use sparingly, unless playing with large vampires and a lot of Taste of Vitae.

Burning Wrath: Theoretically, this should be a really good card, as it should allow a strong Potence deck to burn vampires left and right. It's 3 blood cost is very steep, and often makes it very difficult to play, especially as you need to play it _before_ you know if they can prevent the damage. Again, use sparingly.

Disarm: The card that Pulled Fangs should have been all along. Disarm is incredibly poweful as its effect can't be prevented by Fortitude and it works even if the vampire playing it is going to Torpor. Once your opponent is on the way to torpor, you have done what you needed to do, and can then use...

Decapitate: Again, a very powerful card, as it allows you to burn an opponent without fear of a Blood Hunt. A good Potence deck with Disarms, Decapitates, and Tastes to pay for it all should be pretty scary.