Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for September, 2002.
"So you want to be a Nosferatu, huh?"
Thank goodness that White Wolf finally got around to publishing all this new Camarilla stuff, so I can finally get off my malformed, scabrous arse and write some new Newsletters. For those of you just tuning in, I have a collection of about 30 some odd old Nosferatu newsletters full of strategy advice and deck designs archived at:
And hopefully, I'll write a bunch more, now that I have all this new fodder to work with.
So you have decided to become a Nosferatu. A fine choice. And the best way to start out is to pick up one of the cool, new Camarilla edition new Nosferatu starter decks. Thus, I figure that I might as well look at the pre-constructed deck, analyze strengths and weaknesses, and give some handy advice in playing it either as is or in a draft environment.
Lets start with the crypt:
Ellison Humbolt (9)
Nikolaus Vermeulen (7)
Calebros, The Martyr (5)
Laurent de Valois (4)
Regilio, The Seeker of Akhenaten (3)
Not a fantastic crypt, but not bad. You get 7 vampires with superior Potence, 6 with superior Obfuscate, and 4 with superior Animalism. You get a surprising number of voting vampires with an IC member, 3 Princes, and 4 Primogen, which combined with Ellison Humbolt's special ability to control the votes of other Princes, you can have quite the say in Camarilla politics. Pity that the deck only comes with a single questionable political action. Most of the vampires in the crypt are pretty solid, although Dalyiah, poor little Daliyah, is, like, totally useless in this crypt. I realize that they wanted to reprint all the old expansion vampires, but including Daliyah, who's main power is a superior discipline that isn't even included in the set is just sad. Oh well. At least she is only a 4. Over all, you have good voting power, good combat abilities, and good defenses with this crypt.
On to the Master cards:
1 Gird Minions
2 Blood Doll
1 Secret Horde
1 Spawning Pool, The
1 Slum Hunting Ground
Ok. Not such a good selection here, but not totally abysmal. 2 Blood Dolls and a Hunting Ground make for some reasonable pool management, Secret Horde can be rather effective when you only have 6 total Master cards. The Spawning Pool is a difficult to use card in general, but is probably going to be pretty effective in a sealed environment. The Gird Minions, cool new picture or not, is just a slap in the face. But, ok, not a devastating start for the deck, and certainly workable. On to the other cards:
3 Aid from Bats
1 Army of Rats
1 Canine Horde
2 Carrion Crows
3 Cats' Guidance
4 Guard Dogs
1 Owl Companion
1 Raven Spy
2 Scorpion Sting
1 Song of Serenity
1 Terror Frenzy
A good selection of Animalism here, giving you good untap abilities (always good), some light intercept, and good combat support.
3 Increased Strength
3 Pushing the Limit
2 Shattering Blow
5 Undead Strength
Not a super strong (ahem...) selection of Potence to use, especially
considering how you have more vampires with POT than any other
discipline, but certainly utilitarian when backed up by the Animalism
support. The Shattering Blows (and Canine Horde) are certainly
useful in a limited environment, as weapons are very good in such
a game, and are rather common. The Increased Strengths would have
been much better as Torn Signposts, as they combine with Scorpion
Sting better, and back up as just better hand strike damage without
combo cards, but with 8 Potence strike cards, they'll still be
pretty good. No Immortal Grapple, significantly, but in a limited
environment, it probably wont make that much difference.
1 Behind You!
1 Forgotten Labyrinth
4 Lost in Crowds
3 Night Moves
1 Sacrificial Lamb
3 Spying Mission
3 Swallowed by the Night
A pretty good selection of Obfuscate cards, especially as many of them are "combo" obfuscate cards that double as something other than stealth, so they are less likely to jam up your hand if no one tries to block you. The 3 Spying Missions add some much needed bleeding help and the Swalloweds are great for combat. The 3 Night Moves aren't great, but certainly can help if you can make a Political go with the deck (i.e. use Night Moves just to get the Edge). You should have enough stealth to do anything you really need to, and you have other useful, non stealth related cards to back up your other strategy angles.
3 Boxed In
5 Bum's Rush
4 Computer Hacking
1 Delaying Tactics
3 Fake Out
1 Nosferatu Performance Art
1 Taste of Vitae
Certainly good non discipline cards here. 5 Bum's Rush is a strong inclusion in the deck, as combat is probably your best way to deal with a dangerous predator (like a Malkavian or Ventrue). The Fake Outs, Boxed Ins, and Taste make for reasonable combat support. The 4 Computer Hackings are a fantastic and necessary bleeding support. The Nosferatu Performance Art (always a personal favorite card of mine) can be very powerful in a limited environment when you are fairly likely to see some Toreador. The Arson probably could have been a Rampage, as most of your vampires have Potence, but the Arson certainly doesn't hurt. The Delaying Tactics is always a good card, but considering the vote power this deck comes with, it seems kind of superfluous.
1 Disputed Territory
Again, considering how much vote power this deck starts with, it strikes me as kind of odd that it comes with only one vote card, and a questionable one at that, but, well, it's what you have, and is certainly worth using if you can pull it off.
1 Sport Bike
As equipment goes, the Sport Bike is certainly solid, but the Bomb seems kind of redundant (what with the Arson and Disputed Territory and all). I guess this is more evidence to support the widely believed notion that the NOSFERATU HATE LOCATIONS!!!!!
So now that we know what cards we have at out disposal, what do we do with them? Well, assuming you are playing straight out of the box (i.e. no additional cards from boosters or drafting) and you can strip some cards out, I'd probably remove a few of the more questionable cards (The Bomb, Delaying Tactics, the 3 Night Moves, the Gird Minions) and just have at it. You have good combat capabilities for an overall offense and defense, light intercept and untap, stealth to get through important actions, and some light but reasonable bleed offense. You are not really better at any one thing than any of the other clans, but you do most things pretty well.
Assuming you have extra cards from extra packs or a draft format, you have a lot more room to move.
The first thing to do is try and fix the crypt. Daliyah, poor little Daliyah, really has to go. After she gets whacked, Regilio and Laurent are the next weak links--yeah, they are cheap, but they lack important in clan disciplines. I wouldn't replace any of these three with huge vampires, just to keep the crypt size manageable, but any other good small vampires with appropriate skills (like Darva, Mouse, Krid), or any of the very solid mid sized Nosferatu (Amelia, another Gemini, Gerard) would certainly help the crypt. I'd also be inclined to cut out a few of the huge vampires (like Harrod and/or Khalid) just to keep your crypt size more reasonable.
If you can get more Master cards, that is always going to be good for this deck. A few skill cards, maybe some extra pool management, something. 6 total Master cards (especially when one of them is Gird Minions :-) leaves you with very limited access to a very powerful resource at your disposal--your Master phase. Sure, Khalid kind of makes up for having few Master cards, but as you are probably taking him out anyway, get more Master cards.
As to your main deck strategy, you can take one of two basic roads:
A) Keep the deck like it already is, just make it better. This means that you are going to want to maximize your combat angle and bolster your bleeding capabilities. In a draft format, it should be really easy to get Animalism cards (as you are the only clan with Animalism), so you can probably skip over them in the first few pack passes to get important Potence or Master cards, and then get the passed over Animalism cards later. Adding a few extra untap cards (Dogs, Rats, Cats, Wakes) would be handy, and a few extra points of intercept (from Ravens or equipment) will be helpful. You aren't going to be better at combat than the Brujah (and the Tremere are generally going to give you as good as they get), but you'll be very good at killing off the softy Malkavians, Toreador, and Ventrue if they go light on Fortitude.
B) Go for the crazy Hail Mary, and try to turn your deck into a heavy political deck. The Nosferatu deck has, as already mentioned, a surprising amount of political clout, but right out of the box, the deck lacks the ability to capitalize upon this strength. Draft as many Political Actions as you can, which means giving up a good rare draft for a Kine Resources Contested or something. If you can get a hold of some strong vote cards, you can gain a much needed offensive boost, and you'll also be undermining the Ventrue player, which is always a good plan. Use Rush actions to "rig" the voting situation, and liberally threaten your opponents. Hey--it's a risky plan, but it just might pay off.
Hopefully, this will help out any new player picking up a Nosferatu starter, or anyone in a limited/draft situation. Now lets go out there an mess some folks up!