Sunday, August 12, 2007

Deck Archetypes: Weenie Auspex

When you check on Lasombra's Tournament Winner's Deck Archive you see quite a lot of Weenie Auspex (WA) deck variations. Weenie Auspex is a deck archtype which features small cap vampires having the Auspex discipline (perferable at superior). The deck wins since it controls (at least) its prey and predator by blocking their key actions, and eventually ousting its prey either by the number of vampires out, permanent bleed modifier cards or by cards like "Smiling Jack".
Over the Hedge (c)2006 by DreamWorks
How does it win
Weenie Auspex wins by controlling the table and usually (more or less slow) attrition. WA's first objective is to remain the last player standing, and its second objective is to oust its prey before it gets any VPs. By reaching these objectives it has 2-3 VPs at most tables and therefore often a GW. What helps in this task is that WA looks inconspicuously at the beginning, especially for the novice player.

WA does not need to block anything (and it shouldn't), but only key actions of its predator and prey, as well as actions that will bring down the minions of its prey. The offense of these decks differs considerably. Some WA decks equip with bleed modifier retainer and equipment, and will try to bleed you more or less fast to death. "Heidelburg Castle" is a common addition here; it also helps to swap weapon/intercept equipment around. Another method is using a mid- to late-game "Smiling Jack", preferably when only one or two other players are around, so the WA deck is able to block all remove attempts.

How to beat it
This is a difficult task, as with all wall decks. If you play S&B or Powerbleed(tm) and are the predator of WA you are doomed, since the wall deck usually is able to either block you, or just bounce your bleed to your grandprey. You may succeed if you are persistent, but this is not an easy task to accomplish, usually you end upkilling your grandprey. If you play S&B or Power Bleed and you are the prey of WA, you are somewhat likely to make a VP or maybe two. Make sure you do not take unnecessary undirected actions, since WA will block them. On the other hand the WA deck will try to block directed bleed actions at crucial times (or when it thinks you are low on stealth) by using Eagle Sight. So in general you have to be aware that WA has the ability to block directed actions against your prey.

Vote decks that are either prey or predator of a WA deck are usually f...ouled up. Usually only the combo "Forgotten Labyrinth" and "Elder Impersonation" combo will work to bring your votes through. "Creepshow Casino" and other permanent stealth helps greatly, but the WA deck usually also plays permacept locations/equipment as well. In addition these decks usual have a second layer of defense by playing "Delaying Tactics" if for whatever reasons the block attempts didn't succeed.

Best of are the rush combat decks against WA since they can usually take down the WA deck's minions. But for that to succeed the rush combat deck has to find out how the combat of the WA works, and if he can trump that combat.

If you know you can't oust them if you become the predator or prey of the WA deck, try to kill it (or help kill it) cross-table.

Key Cards
  • "Bowl of Convergence" -- simply the best permacept equipment money, err... pool can buy.
  • "Heidelburg Castle" -- used to move around the permacept equipment and weapons or to move bleed retainer/equipment.
  • "The Rack" -- the classic pool gain for WA
  • "Pentex Subversion" -- removes the key/star vampire of your prey (or your predator if he becomes an annoyance).
  • "Smiling Jack" -- the one-card finisher

Notable Examples & Variations
  • "Little brother is watching you" (by Stefan Ferenci)
  • "Sabbatspex" (by Jay Kristoff)
  • "Chicken Eyes" (by Francois Morand) -- uses cheap "Saturday Night Specials" as weapons, and the occasional "Dragon's Breath Round" to kill a obnoxious opponent vampire.
  • "Princespex (by Martin Weinmeyer) -- uses "2nd Tradition: Domain" in addition/replacement of Auspex intercept. This requires larger vampires like "Ira Rivers" or "Anson", but combines the untapping effect w/ the intercept. This leaves room for additional cards like the strong "Parity Shift".
Sample Decklist

Deck Name: Jay's Weenie Auspex
Created By: Jay Kristoff

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 8, Max: 16, Avg: 3.00)
1 Franciscus aus 1, Caitiff
1 Brazil aus 2, Malkavian
1 Dieter Kleist aus 2, Toreador
1 Regilio aus obf 3, Nosferatu
1 Dan Murdock aus obf 3, Caitiff
1 Isabel de Leon AUS 3, Toreador
1 Zoe AUS cel obf 3, Malkavian
1 Dollface aus obf 3, Malkavian
1 Dorian Strack AUS cel 4, Toreador
1 Aleph AUS dom 4, Malkavian
1 Remilliard AUS pre 4, Toreador Antitribu
1 Idalia AUS dem 4, Malkavian Antitribu

Library: (90 cards)

Master (15 cards)
1 Barrens, The
1 Club Zombie
2 Effective Management
1 Fame
1 Humanitas
2 Information Highway
1 Pentex Subversion
1 Powerbase: Mexico City
1 Powerbase: Montreal
1 Society of Leopold
2 Sudden Reversal
1 Tribute to the Master

Action (7 cards)
2 Arson
2 Atonement
3 Revelations

Reaction (51 cards)
7 Eagle's Sight
5 Enhanced Senses
7 Forced Awakening
3 Melange
4 My Enemy's Enemy
4 Precognition
4 Spirit's Touch
3 Telepathic Counter
8 Telepathic Misdirection
6 Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (11 cards)
2 Concealed Weapon
1 Disguised Weapon
4 Fake Out
4 Read Intentions

Equipment (6 cards)
2 Ivory Bow
4 Sniper Rifle

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