Monday, April 11, 2011

Bound By The Dragon

I am really in a love-and-hate relationship with the VtES card Dragonbound since it was first published in the Gehenna expansion back in 2004.

First, I really liked the card. It was the third in the trio of cards that are canon for combat decks, namely Fame, Tension in the Ranks, and then Dragonbound. All three cards deliver pool damage to your opponents as consequence of your combat activities. And timed properly they can guarantee, that you can oust your prey or even make the game win then.

Afterwards my love for the card really cooled down, initially because of the handsize reduction when playing the card. You don't want to play Dragonbound early on, but if you keep the card then your handsize is effectively reduced by one, too. When you finally play the card your handsize is permanently reduced by one. And most combat decks, intercept and even more so rush combat, need a decent handsize.

But the timing issues irritated me more and more. You have to draw the card at the right time and play it at the right time, whereas a card like Fame you can play and decide to torporize the vampire later on.

Finally the damage of Dragonbound is rather harsh, but in contrast to Fame the damage is not primarily directed at the prey, and therefore can do more harm than good if playing the card not timed properly.

In the end, for me the timing issue is the final nail in the coffin for not playing the card on a regular basis in combat decks anymore. At least until somebody convinces me of the contrary. Maybe (only maybe) it is an idea to use either recursion (via Ashur Tablets or Sudario Refraction) or use a card like Storage Annex to handle the timing issue ..

P.S.: The picture on the top right shows the front of the t-shirt issued by the Boston playgroup in Boston. Coincidentally I saw a German VtES player wearing said t-short during the last tournament I attended in Germany.


Mephistopheles said...

I agree with you. You know I love to play combat decks. Dragonbound became one of my favorite cards in the game. I also find the hand size reduction disturbing that is why I played this card in my Nana Buruku and Dmitra Alastor decks only. Nana has it both: +1 hand size and Ashurs. My Dmitra deck had Monastery of Shadows and Heart of Cheating.

Maybe we should appreciate other cards in combat decks like Elder Library or Storage Annex (I know you mentioned this). Dragonbound won me so many games which I surely couldn't have won without that card. It's really a card worth playing!!!

John Eno said...

Which German player was it?

Also, it's worth posting the image of the back of the shirt if you've got it. :)

M@rc00_L said...

I used to compensate the loss of handsize with an Elder Library and 2 Dreams of the Sphinx, as you can see in my TWD from April 2009.
Dragonbound's ousting power is really great for any rush combat deck, you just have to find a way around the downside.

Joscha said...

I think this was me. I fell in love with that shirt in the instance I saw it in the net. Fortunately Matt had some spare and could sent them to me. I gave one each to my buddies Robert and Frank.

I like Dragonbound very much. It has a big drawback, that's right. But after all the card is very strong.

Wanderer's Counsel said...

The front and back of the shirt are here:

Dr.Mafrune said...

Totally agree!!