Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for October 2001
First off, a cheap plug for the 4th Annual Jyhad Orgy of Mystery!
This, the premier Central New York VTES event of the season, takes place Friday, Oct 25th at 7:00pm in Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. For the 4th year running, we will all duke it out to gain control of the coveted Evil Vampire Barbie statue. What is the format? That is the mystery! Just bring lots of decks that work under the standard VTES tournament rules, and you'll do just fine. There might be a small entry fee if I can get some boosters for a round of draft or something. If you live anywhere near Ithaca, this is a worthwhile gathering to make it to.
So anyway, on to our show.
With the new Camarilla expansion, the Nosferatu have good selection of cool new vampires to work with. They aren't all strictly just better than previous Nosferatu, although some are (certainly in the 5-7 point range, where most of our previous minions kind of blew chunks), and as a whole, there is a good selection of solid new vampires to work with.
Mouse (2) ani: **** Mouse is a perfectly standard 2 point vampire with a single in clan discipline. Nothing real exciting. The Neo-Nosferatu seem to have a good selection of animalism vampires available to them, meaning that animalism based decks are certainly a possibility. Mouse is just fine, but he is no KoKo.
Krid (2) obf: **** Krid is simply Dimple. Just as useful. Just as small.
Darva Felispa (3) ani, pot: *** She's no Duck. Combined with Raziya and Tommy, however, she can form the backbone of the Pot/Ani rush deck (using Drawing out the Beast to nullify maneuvers and Song of Serenity to avoid some damage), but I still think the vampire selection for a Pot/Ani deck is generally less effective than for a Pot/Obf deck (due, primarily, to Agatha and Olivia who are fantastic for the Pot/Obf deck, and the Pot/Ani deck doesn't really have comparable vampires). But not completely a bad idea.
Wolfgang (4) pot, obf, for: ** (for general utility) or **** (for being a small vampire with a common and possibly useful discipline combo). For sheer utility in a generic Nosferatu deck, he is less effective than either Sammy or Agripina, but for a Pot/Obf/For deck, he is clearly the man. Combine him with the many Neo-Nosferatu with Fortitude and do something cool. Maybe a Pot/For/Obf stealth rush deck, or something using Freak Drives, and he'll rock.
Amelia, The Blood Red Tears (5) POT, obf, ani. After combat with Amelia, the opposing minion burns one blood or life. ***** Amelia is the vampire that the Nosferatu always needed, and the one that makes me sad that it isn't really worth it to turn my Rush deck into a Tier 2/3 deck. A 5 pointer with POT is huge, and then she has both useful back up disciplines. She'll go in a Neo Pot/Obf Rush deck. She'll go in a Neo Pot/Ani deck (with Darva, Raziya, Tommy, and Nigel). She is very solid. Sure, her special ability isn't fantastic (it seems likely that anyone facing her in combat is going to be at zero blood at the end of combat anyway), but in a pinch, certainly not bad.
Gemini (5) OBF, pot, ani, obt. During your untap phase, if Gemini is ready, you may move a blood from a vampire in your prey's uncontrolled region to his or her pool. *** Gemini is perfectly solid with a goofy, if not totally useful special ability. She blows a point of skills on inferior obtenebration (team her up with Josep for the Obf/Obt deck!), but she really isn't any worse than Grendel, although not necessarily better either.
Gerard Rafin (6) POT, OBF, ani, for. During your untap phase, if Gerard is ready, you may look at one card at random from your prey's hand. ***** Gerard is a very solid mid range vampire for the Neo-Nosferatu (that our old minions lacked mostly), fitting in nicely with any Pot/For type combat deck. POT/OBF means he'll add to a Pot/Obf type deck. Team him up with Wolfgang and Nikolaus, throw in some Fortitude cards, and go to town. Barring this particular plan, being a 6 with two in clan superiors is always going to be useful somewhere. His special ability is handy, but hardly something to write home about.
Alonzo Guillen (6) OBF, pot, for, ani. During your untap phase and your discard phase, if Alonzo is ready, you may burn the edge to look at another Methuselah's hand. *** Being a 6 with only one in clan superior isn't real solid, so you'll really be using Alonzo specifically for his special ability or because he has Pot/Obf/For. Barring these situations, I can't really see him being that useful. This being said, however, he isn't wasting any points (5 in disciplines and a moderately useful special ability) and is probably the key to a good combination of looking at your opponent's hand and then making them discard stuff.
Jara Drory (7) OBF, ANI, pot, aus. Primogen. During your untap phase, you may look at a card at random from your predator's hand, and Jara may burn 1 blood to exchange that card with a from your predator's ash heap. **** Jara is very solid for an Ani/Obf type deck, and is perfectly solid, design wise. Her special ability is funny, although will more often than not only be useful in the rare situations where you are working *with* your predator--say, look at their hand and swap the card for some bleed bounce, providing they promise to not bounce to you, assuming you are trying to keep them alive. As a purely defensive measure, her special ability is mostly a crap shoot. Occasionally you'll pick a card you really want them to lose (like, say, a Temptation of Greater Power or a parity Shift) and be able to swap for something useless, but most often, you probably won't be able to do anything good.
Tammy Walenski (8) POT, OBF, ANI, tha, nec. Tammy gets one optional maneuver each combat. **** Tammy is the firs vampire we look at that really benefits from the "new" costing scheme for 8+ point vampires (they all get 1 point more of stuff than they used to). She has all three in clans at superior and a good special ability. Granted, her two out of clans aren't *real* useful (although her tha makes her key for the newly effective Pot/Tha Immortal Grapple backed Blood Rage killing deck), and she could use a title of some type, but all in all, she is quite solid.
Kurt Densch (8) POT, OBF, cel, aus, ani. During your untap phase, you may look at the top card of your library, and Kurt may burn one blood to move that card to the bottom of your library. +1 intercept. **** I'm not real fond of Kurt (mostly 'cause I don't like his picture), but as he comes with +1 intercept built right it, he is automatically useful. His disciplines aren't real spectacular for a 8 pointer, and his special, while certainly useful, also isn't real spectacular (sure, being able to filter your deck some is good, but 1 blood is an expensive cost for this ability and it is a crap shoot). But then he does come with built in +1 intercept, which makes him solid by definition.
Khalid (9) POT, OBF, ANI, AUS, tha. Primogen. During your master phase, if Khalid is ready, you may use a master phase action and discard a card that requires Obfuscate from your hand to gain a pool. **** As big vampires go, Khalid is very solid. Good discipline spread and a very useful special ability (clear up stealth hand jam *and* gain pool. Right on!), his only negative point is being a 9 point vampire who is only a primogen. If he were a prince, he'd rock the world.
Casino Reeds (9) POT, OBF, ANI, dem, cel. Prince of Seattle. Casino may move up to 3 blood from himself to a younger Nosferatu in your uncontrolled region as an action. Casino inflicts +1 damage with ranged strikes (even at close range). ***** Casino is a very solid huge vampire. He is a Prince, so he can benefit from the useful Tradition cards, he comes with, effectively, a built in Minion Tap, and he does +1 damage with ranged strikes, which the Nosferatu have access to many of. I'd like him even more if he didn't look like a hippie guy I went to college with, but in terms of pure utility in a huge vampire, he is very good.
Ellison Humboldt (9) POT, OBF, ANI, PRE, pro. Primogen. Princes cannot block Ellison. During a referendum, Ellison may burn a blood to force a ready prince to vote as Ellison's controller wishes. This can change the prince's votes.***** Ellison is fantastic in a political deck, as he generally nets you 4 votes (your opposition loses 2, you gain 2), plus one for being a primogen. His disciplines mesh well with Harrod and Amadeo (the pretty Nosferatu brigade). That he can't be blocked by princes is only gravy. Again, a very good huge vampire.
Cock Robin (10) POT, OBF, ANI, for, aus. Justicar. Once per turn, when Cock Robin successfully performs an action that requires Animalism, he untaps at the end of the action. +1 strength. **** Cock Robin (am I the only one who finds his name unfortunate?) is pretty solid, with a good discipline spread and a moderately useful special ability. He can get Raven Spies and then do something else, which is always good. +1 strength is handy. Why does he not get 5 stars? 'Cause he isn't a 9 point Justicar, like Sheldon, Lord of the Clog Dance.
So there we go: the Neo-Nosferatu at a glance. Overall, not a stinker in the bunch. Everyone is, at the very least, useful, and many of them are superb. No one who is sucktackular like Tiberius, Tusk, or Sebastian. Or poor old Judah (although he is reprinted in the Nosferatu starter. Cummon. They couldn't have reprinted him with inferior obfuscate added on?)