Monday, February 9, 2009

"Keepers of Tradition": Top Ten Crypt & Library Cards

In reference to the "Legacies of Blood Top Ten" list made by Greg Williams in January 2006, I would like to show you a similar list, namely the top ten of the "Keepers of Tradition" expansion, at least from my point of view:

Top Ten Library Cards
  1. "Enkil Cog" -- the card that produced the most hype in the Usenet Newsgroup (at least there). Because it makes playing big caps more worthwhile it definitely deserves its place among the Top Ten.

    Decks: Any high cap. deck, and especially those with vampires that can untap via special ability like "Eze", "Masika", etc.

  2. "Ashur Tablets" -- This card gives recursion/twister decks a new plaything, a good one one, too. It's nicely balanced, because if you're not the only one playing this card at a table, there will be a race for putting the first set into play. On the other hand it's like an improved "Ascendance", where you collect 3 pool for three "Ashur Tablets" played.

    Decks: Any Twister deck, Speed Shamblers.

  3. "Deep Song" -- this card makes a lot of Animalism decks more competitive. Although strictly speaking it's not a combo card, with the "+bleed" and the "enter combat" features it practically is. And it's a decent replacement or addition to "Tier of Souls" or "Taunt the Caged Beast".

    Decks: Weenie Animalism, other combatish decks that play Animalism combat like Animalism Bruise & Bleed.

  4. "Eyes of Argus" -- this is the new uber-card for all the wall decks based on Auspex. Untap or getting +2 intercept (ven though it's only against (D) actions) is just to sweet to comprehend.

    Decks: All decks featuring Auspex for intercept, Weenie Auspex being the most likely candidate.

  5. "Touch of Clarity" -- this card has a hot future in any Dementation Stealth Bleed deck. In tournaments you can assume that either your predator or prey (if not both) use bleed bounce based on Dominate. You now can easily overcome this by canceling "Deflection", etc.; either when you're acting or when a bleed is deflected to you.

    What I don't understand, why the development team didn't make this card an uncommon, since it is a card that one would pack into a deck 4 to 6 times. This creates an unhealthy high demand for this card.What I don't understand why this card is a rare card. If the development decides to unleash such a beast, it should do it in way that any player can acquire the card with reasonable means.

    Decks: Any Dementation bleed deck.

  6. "Villein" -- the card that will eventually remove "Minion Tap" from the tournament scene (as soon as the card has a wider circulation than today). In contrast to "Vessel" it has a lingering affect and even stacks when it comes down to paying costs of "Minion Tap".

    Decks: Any deck that now runs "Minion Tap", all decks that like to hose "Minion Tap" decks.

  7. "Perfect Paragon" -- a good card which gives the Ventrue the much needed stealth, e.g. for getting a crucial second stealth when performing political actions. Toreador and Brujah decks might use it, too, with "Resist the Earth Grasp" they can get even +3 stealth on political actions for "only" a cost of 2 blood. And even if the stealth is not needed that cards gets you +3 votes in a referendum, so "Bewitching Oration" is the most likely candidate for being replaced by "Perfect Paragon.

    Decks: Vote decks without proper access to stealth, maybe even Dominate/Presence bleed decks, which can get +2 stealth using "Perfect Paragon" and "Bonding".

  8. "Scourge of the Enochians" -- obviously a weenie killer card, which is kind of a silver bullet against the rampaging Breed & Boon decks, which won a fair share of tournaments in 2008. Also nicely balanced, since other players who control this event may choose to burn a vampire (of capacity 2 or below) or not, similar to the possibility of "Week of Nightmares" to put nightmare counters on Ravnos vampires or not.

    Decks: Due to the silver bullet nature of the deck, you'll find this card in a lot of decks, especially on tournament level.

  9. "Ponticulus" -- the new ally for clan Tremere is probably the best ally since "Carlton van Wyk", and he's very comparable to him. Like "Carlton" he has +1 intercept, though "Ponticulus" only has intercept against (D) actions. Both are somewhat hard to kill for a non-combat deck, and they both rock when an "Unmasking" is in play.

    Decks: Tremere decks of course. O.K. "Mata Hari" decks and the like are suited as well ..

  10. "Papillion" -- the new super hunting ground ("Gurchon Hall" is also cool, but requires more rare cardinals). With abundant vampires with city titles, you will see this card quite often in the near future. Although the card costs three pool, the first net benefit is gained in just two turns, whereas the regular hunting grounds need three rounds for that.

    Decks: Any deck with a sufficient number of vampires with a city title.
Runners up:
Disappointments:
But where's light there's also darkness (or was it the other way around in the "World of Darkness"). Some cards when shown in the preview or spoiled on the Usenet Newsgroup wasn't as promising as it looked in the first place.
  • Dark Influences -- just a tad too expensive. Yes, it's a trifle, yes, cancels the next minion card canceling card, but still .. I'd rather put two "Direct Intervention" in my deck.
  • Torrent -- a tad too weak to be useful. Nobody wants to play an additional strike for two blood, and the continue action is not so good, since it lacks the additional stealth (compare "Form of Mist") and the fact that the "continue action" clause is required to be used if your vampire is the acting minion.
  • Mouthpiece -- as good as it looks in the first place, it is not. The only card worth playing is "Conditioning".

Top Ten Crypt Cards
  1. "Lutz von Hohenzollern" (Malkavian) -- He is clearly the strongest vampire in KoT, Of course he has the basic attributes of an Inner Circle member (4 votes and +2 bleed), but in addition, he has a suitable combination of disciplines (AUS, PRE, OBF, ..) he also has this great special, where you do not even have to play political actions yourself or target your prey to make your prey loose a pool.In the near future he will share the same affection by players as Arika has now.

  2. "Dmitra Ilyanova" (Brujah) -- Fortitude, Obfuscate, three votes and a very reasonable special ability make up the formula for success of this vampire. If you have vote lock, this can result in massive blood/pool gain, especially with a couple of "Blood Dolls" on the table.

  3. "Mary Ann Blaire" (Ventrue) -- nearly as good as "Dmitra Ilyanova". Their special abilities are quite comparable, but "Mary Ann Blaire" lacks Obfuscate, "Dimitra" on the other hand has no discipline bounce discipline (Auspex/Dominate).

  4. "Vidal Jarbeaux (Toreador) -- his special ability is similar to that of "Mata Hari", and he (like "Mata Hari") is a vampire you want to build a deck around to use all those different cards that normally doesn't fit together because of the different requirements.

  5. "Mistress Fanchon" (Tremere) -- her card fetching ability is quite unique, other cards able to search your library for a card are limited to specific types of cards.

  6. "Gerald Windham" (Tremere) -- use "Magic of the Smith", grap a "Ankara Citadel" and let the "Freak Drive" show begin. Or you built a Tremere Vote deck based on his special.

  7. "Baron Diudonne" (Nosferatu) -- vampires with a built-in untap are always welcome, and this on this no exception. Although the untap is conditional (it must be a sucessful action), Use him together with "Warsaw Station" and he can potentially take three actions per turn. "Parity Shift", "Judgement: Camarilla Segregation" and Bleed anyone?

  8. "The Ankou" (Malkavian) -- after "Nakhthorheb" another 10 cap vampire with "just" the in-clan disciplines, but a spectecular special, that makes you build a deck around him. The only setup you probably need is a possibility to untap "The Ankou" like "Metro Underground" or a "Helicopter". "Enkil Cog" also helps, if nobody bothers or dares to hunt.

  9. "Randall" (Gangrel) -- the special ability to prevent damage on another minion gives ample opportunities for using "Randall", e.g. preventing damage for allies who cannot prevent themselves like the "Renegade Garou" or "Carlton van Wyk".

  10. "Carlak" (Brujah) -- little brother of the group 2 Euro-Brujah, he's one generation younger than the "old" Euro Brujah. A very solid vampire you may also see in Ventrue or Toreador vote decks.

Runners up:
Disappointments:
  • "Miguel Cordovera", "Andrew Stuart" -- two Tremere with crappy disadvantages, in fact so crappy that they are nearly unplayable similar to Sonja Blue or "Jakob the Glitch".
  • "Josef van Bauren" -- sadly this is another weak Nosferatu Inner Circle member, he lacks any of the three discipline that are needed for good IC member, that is Dominate, Auspex or Presence.

2 comments:

Alexandre MCZ said...

Dark influences is a good card.

By example, it can cancel a majesty from being played, and no more majestys can be played until end of turn.

this is the better of it, but I must confirm, it is really expensive.

Anonymous said...

dark influences is not by any way trifle.