Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for January, 2002
So now that we have the Bloodlines expansion, how does this help out the Nosferatu? Not a great deal at first look, but with a bit of examination, there are a good selection of cards that can certainly help the Nosferatu fill in holes in previously useful strategies, as well as a whole new clan of allies that were essentially custom built to fit into a Nosferatu deck.
As everyone is already aware, a large part of the Bloodlines expansion consists of multidiscipline cards; cards that have a sub-inferior function of one, common discipline as well as a standard two tiered function of a Bloodlines specific discipline. While some of these multidiscipline cards provide totally new abilities to a discipline (such as the unprecedented dodge provided to Dominate by Absorb the Mind), most of the sub-inferior (has someone come up with a good name for these yet?) functions of the multidiscipline cards are simply slightly worse versions of already existing cards for that discipline. This being said, some of these cards are very useful in the appropriate deck, and they certainly make combining a Bloodlines clan into a given deck far more viable.
Of the new multidiscipline cards, the ones I'll look at first are the cards with an Animalism function, if for no other reason that Animalism starts with an "A". For these purposes, I'm only looking at the sub-inferior function of a given card, completely ignoring how these are useful in a multi-clan deck, just to see how they work as Animalism cards for the Nosferatu.
-Blissful Agony (ani, costs 1 blood): Strike: strength +1 damage. *
This card doesn't have much to recommend it to the Nosferatu. You can pay a blood for an inferior Undead Strength. It might be useful as a lark strike in an all Animalism deck, but I'd rather have just another Aid from Bats or something.
-Chameleon's Colors (ani, costs 1 blood): Maneuver. **
This one isn't that bad, actually. The blood cost is expensive, but an unrestricted maneuver for an Animalism heavy deck can save you in many situations, as often the maneuver provided by Aid from Bats is overcome. If you are playing such a deck in a heavy combat environment, you might consider this card. Sure, the 1 blood is expensive, but it is a trade off for the lack of hand size you get from using a Fake Out for the same purposes. You could also be using an Obfuscate maneuver card, sure, but all in all, this isn't that bad of an option.
-Falcon's Eye (ani): This vampire burns 1 blood to get +1 intercept. ***
Here is a card that gives the Nosferatu reliable transient intercept at inferior Animalism, which is something that didn't exist till Bloodlines. The one blood is expensive, sure, but the +1 intercept can be very useful for an Animalism intercept deck that doesn't have a ton of ANI vampires. With Falcon's Eye, Dani can block a stealthy action without having to recruit a Raven and without having ANI to use Cat's Guidance. I certainly wouldn't take out all my Cat's Guidance and replace them with these, but a few in an Ani based intercept deck could certainly be useful.
-Murica's Call (ani): Search your library for a retainer that requires Animalism. This vampire employs that retainer (pay cost as normal). Shuffle your library afterward. **
Certainly could be handy in an Animalism retainer heavy deck, but in most cases, I'd probably just put in another Raven Spy. Sure, you could have a combo of Ravens, Owls, and Crows, and you might want to dial up just the right one for the occasion, but much like all "use this card to go get another card of type X" type cards, you are often just better off with another good card of type X.
-Rayzeel's Song (ani): Burn 1 blood to untap an ally. **
The Nosferatu don't have many good allies at their disposal, but this card might have applications in a Courier deck.
-Speak with Spirits (ani): +1 intercept. Only usable during a bleed action. **
Just like Falcon's Eye, this gives the new ability of transient intercept to vampires with just ani, rather than needing ANI and Cat's Guidance. The restriction (only on bleed actions) makes this card less generically useful than Falcon's Eye, sure, but a few in an Ani intercept deck can certainly help.
-Strength of the Bear (ani, costs 1 blood): This vampire gets +1 strength for the current round. *
This card is very similar to Blissful Agony and just as mostly useless as a pure ani card for the Nosferatu. Sure, you could have a few as a lark in an all Animalism deck, but in general, you are better off just using either Potence or planning on being at long range (where the bats and crows help you out).
-Sword of the Righteous (ani, costs 1 blood): Choose a melee weapon on this vampire. This vampire inflicts an additional point of damage each strike with that weapons for the remainder of the combat. A vampire can play only one Sword of the Righteous each combat. *
And again, not a real useful card for the Nosferatu, as they have access to Potence cards that do the same thing, cheaper and more effectively. Not real useful.
-Unburdening of the Bestial Soul (ani): +1 stealth action. Move 1 or more blood from this vampire to any other vampire. **
Another card that gives Animalism a new ability type it didn't have before, and as such, it is bound to be useful somewhere. Maybe some sort of pool gain engine involving a Nosferatu Prince in a Secure Haven 5th Traditioning, Freak Driving, and giving blood away to his pals. Or something.
-Vitae Block (ani): Gain 1 optional press this round. ***
I like this card, as it is playable at the beginning of combat, and as such, very cyclable. Kind of like a Trap, but not so dangerous. Certainly useful to support an Aid from Bats based defense (or humiliating offense!), just like Chamelon's Colors.
-Withering (ani): Strike: 1R damage. *
As an Animalism card alone, this card is in all ways inferior to Aid from Bats or even Canine Horde.
Moving on, as I mentioned above somewhere, another thing the Nosferatu have going for them in Bloodlines is a custom built clan of allies, the Samedi. I could use this as a whole newsletter, but I'll mention it briefly here, so when I come back with a Nosferatu/Samedi deck in a month or so, I'll be able to refer back to this bit here.
The Samedi come with Obfuscate (obviously a Nosferatu discipline),
Fortitude (a discipline common to many larger Nosferatu), and
Thanatosis, a discipline that meshes very well into a Nosferatu
deck, as most of the sub-inferior functions of Thanatosis cards
use Obfuscate, Potence, Animalism, or Fortitude. As a result,
meshing a few Samedi into a Nosferatu Potence/Animalism/Obfuscate/Fortitude
deck (I smell Marty Lechtansi somewhere around here!) gives the
Nosferatu some entertaining options. I'll see what I can pull