Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for Dec, 2005
So now that we all have had some time to digest the crazy new Legacies of Blood set, I figure it is time to look at what it has to offer out favorite clan, the charming Nosferatu. True, there is nothing specifically Nosferatu related in the set, but that doesn't mean that the set is dead weight to our sewer dwelling pals--far from it. LoB comes with plenty of Nosferatu friendly ally vampires, such as the Gurhui who come equipped with Potence, Animalism, and Presence, and will mesh nicely with various Nosferatu strategies and a whole chunk of new Samedi who have always mixed in well with the Nosferatu. There are also a handful of new Bloodlines discipline cards with Nosferatu friendly outferior abilities, which is what I'm looking at this month.
While the main strength of Bloodlines discipline cards generally lie with the Bloodline discipline levels, the outferior ability of the card can sometimes stand up on its own as a new and unusual ability for that discipline. As many of the new LoB Bloodlines discipline cards provide interesting new abilities for each appropriate discipline, I figure I'll examine these outferior abilities in light of how they can work in Nosferatu decks, either to allow you to mix a few Bloodline vampires into your crypt, or simply as interesting new cards for the Nosferatu themselves.
-Sense Death: Action. +1 stealth. (ani) Enter combat with a younger vampire.
Not a bad card in and of itself, ignoring the Valeren abilities of the card, in the appropriate Nosferatu deck. A worthwhile alternative to Bum's Rush or Harass in a large vampire multi rush deck revolving around someone like Marty Lechtansi or Cock Robin. It doesn't provide a maneuver or press, but it has limited opportunity cost (assuming a large vampire using it), replaces immediately, and comes with +1 stealth so you can often avoid a chump blocker. I wouldn't rely solely on Sense Death as a rush option, but a health mix of Bum's Rush, Harass, and Sense Death in the right deck seems like a very reasonable idea.
-Summon Spirit Beast: Combat. (ani) Discard X cards.
An interesting new ability for Animalism, that theoretically could come in handy in a fight and get you out of a hand jam situation, but assuming the X costs X blood (the Monger database doesn't include a cost in the description, but I'm assuming it costs X blood), that is a pretty expensive hand cycling ability, and even as a unique ability, likely too expensive to be worth using just for this ability.
-Leapfrog: Combat. (obf) Maneuver, only usable to go to long range.
Not a bad card in the right Nosferatu deck. Assuming something focusing on Potence or Animalism with a good streak of obfuscate as a sideline discipline, a handful of Leapfrogs could certainly be handy as back up for Thrown Sewer Lids or Aid from Bats. Strictly better than High Ground and Back Step for a maneuver, only to long (assuming all of your vampires have Obfuscate), and possibly better than inferior Behind You if you plan on pressing a lot (with Aid from Bats or Sewer Lids) and can't rely on the superior ability. Not likely to replace Behind You in a mass sense, but likely to show up in the right deck.
-Vulture's Buffet: Action. +1 stealth hunt action. If action is successful, untap the acting vampire. (obf) Remove a minion or retainer in any methuselah's ash heap from the game to move 1 blood to this vampire.
Another interesting new ability shows up, allowing you to effectively hunt for free (as you untap). A reasonably high opportunity cost prevents you from using many of them, but one or two in a deck that hunts a lot anyway isn't out of the realm of useful. If you are using Yong Sun in your deck, who can burn vampires from your prey's crypt, outferior Vulture's Buffet looks quite inviting.
-Goblinism: Action. (pot) (D) Burn a Location.
Sadly, the outferior is strictly inferior to Rampage, but as the strict inferiority comes at the cost of the +1 stealth when you burn your own location, it isn't a really noticeable kind of strictly inferior. Goblinism is highly unlikely to show up in a deck specifically for its outferior ability, and as the Kisayid are hard pressed to fit into a Nosferatu deck, it is unlikely that the Nosferatu will see much use of Goblinism. But if you run out of Rampages, Goblinism is gold!
-Hourglass of the Mind: Action. (pot) Draw 3 cards. Discard afterward.
Another interesting new ability for a discipline, and one that you might actually consider using in and of itself. That ability to cycle your hand is well regarded as a useful ability, especially in a combat deck. Hourglass of the Mind gives your Potence wielding vampires the ability to take a +1 stealth action to rebuild your hand to fit you needs--draw into important combat cards or Rush actions or flush out a master clogged hand. Yeah, most Potence heavy combat decks have Dreams of the Sphinx for solid hand cycling, but a couple Hourglass of the Mind mixed into a Nosferatu combat deck are likely to pay off. That, and Al-Muntaquin the Avenger mixes in nicely with vampires like Tock and Sundown, what with his POT, pre, obf.
So in terms of outferior abilities providing new potential for Nosferatu decks, Sense Death, Hourglass of the Mind, and maybe Leapfrog and/or Vulture's Buffet seem like potentially useful cards that have a reasonable chance of showing up in decks without the appropriate Bloodlines back up. Which isn't a bad deal for an expansion that is completely Nosferatu free.