Official Nosferatu Antitribu Newsletter
Volume 2 Issue 1

Official Nosferatu Antitribu Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 1
October 2003

Introduction:

It's been a long, long time since the last Nosferatu Antitribu
newsletter. Two years, even. That's really long. (Unless you're
actually a Nosferatu Antitribu, of course.) With the Black Hand
edition !Nos starter deck due to debut in three weeks, it's high time
to start talking about this clan again. So with thanks to Peter Bakija
for consistently including crossover info about the Nosferatu
Antitribu in his goody two-shoes half of the clan newsletter, on with
the freakshow!

I'm going to save analysis of cards rumored to be in the upcoming
Black Hand set (like the ani+obf/ANI+OBF vote-granting combo card) for
when we have definitive card text. In the meantime, one of the three
confirmed Black Hand preview cards is a new vampire for our clan –
plus we have one new one from each of the Anarch and Camarilla sets to
look at. After that, we'll take a look at a seldom-used combat
strategy that one of these vamps helps open up, and then take a look
at two decks making good use of the new vampires. (Unfortunately, I
don't have decklists for the pair of Nosferatu Antitribu decks that
won Storyline tournaments in Sweden – one for Hazimel, one for
Legion.) So, without further ado:

Vampire(s) of the Month:

Julio Martinez
Group: 3
Capacity: 9
Discipline: nec ANI DOM OBF POT
Sabbat bishop: +1 strength. Julio may burn a blood to get +1 intercept
when attempting to block a Camarilla vampire.

Smallpox Griet
Group: 3
Capacity: 9
Discipline: thn ANI CEL OBF POT
Sabbat: If Smallpox successfully inflicts hand damage in consecutive
rounds of a combat, the opponent gets a pox counter. A minion with any
pox counters takes 1 damage during his or her untap phase. Burn all
pox counters when Smallpox leaves the ready region.

Teresita, The Godmother
Group: 3
Capacity: 7
Discipline: for ANI OBF POT
Sabbat. Black Hand Seraph: Teresita gets +1 intercept against
Camarilla vampires.

Hoo boy. Three quality vampires to add to our clan, all with useful
out-of-clan disciplines and very nice specials. We don't know much
about Teresita's Black Hand or Seraph abilities, but there's a lot of
promise there just based on rumors and the text for Ministry (a huge
bonus to intercept for Black Hand vampires.) All three are a little on
the large side, but with our access to the Nosferatu Kingdom, those
9-caps aren't as bad as they could be.

Julio's got inferior Necromancy and superior Dominate. Unfortunately,
he's the only !Nos with any Necromancy at all, and only Cailean shares
dominate. However, his +1 strength is a bonus, as is his ability to
intercept the increasingly-present Cam vampires. If you're packing a
lot of copies of Julio, it's probably worth it to toss a few useful
inferior-Necromancy cards in. Like say a Demonic Possession, since you
should have both the stealth to get it off and the potential ability
to dish out the combat to burn people. Or perhaps a few Whispers from
the Dead to recycle cards, and just plan to use Obfuscate stealth. Or
even bring a few Shambling Hordes along for fun. Necromancy actually
has quite a few useful inferior cards, and a sprinkling of discipline
Masters and/or a Sargon Fragment could make for an interesting !Nos w/
necromancy deck. Also, Julio's spread of nec/DOM/POT with +1 strength
fits nicely into a lot of Giovanni decks, and his +1 is now the third
clan member to have it – a +1 strength Julio/Calebos/Beast deck could
be the basis of a formidable rush deck.

Teresita's only a 7-cap, with all in-clans at superior, a useful
special and both Seraph and Black Hand status – potentially a huge
addition to the clan, and we've only seen one Black Hand-required card
so far. She slots nicely into the clan as the only 7-cap with all
three superior – Beast has inferior Animalism, and Kendrick lacks a
level of Obfuscate. Potentially best of all, she's got inferior
Fortitude, something the Camarilla Nosferatu have been lording over us
(and using effectively) for some time now. Nobody else in the clan has
any Fortitude at all, so decks that want to use a lot of it will
likely be borrowing from the Cam half of the clan. That's okay, we
don't mind that much. It's not like we're some Ventrue Antitribu
blathering about what prigs our brethren really are. Seraph is rumored
to be a title worth some form of votes, which would be extra gravy on
top of Teresita's ability. We already have two of the three
lowest-capacity Bishops, and one of the lowest Prisci; more votes on
medium-cap Vampires gives us another edge on the fellow Sabbat clans.

Ah, Smallpox. I've been itching to write about Smallpox for a while,
pardon the expression. As Peter has noted in the Nosferatu newsletter,
the special is a bit tricky but potentially extremely powerful.
There's certainly enough access to presses in our discipline spread.
Take a vampire to round two of a combat, empty them of blood, and
they're stuck in a hunt-take pox damage-hunt cycle as long as Smallpox
stays ready. Unfortunately, Smallpox has to get to the end of round 2
without going to torpor from (for instance) a Protean agg-poke strike,
but her CEL will let her Sideslip damage now and then. Smallpox also
has inferior Thanatosis, which is not actually all that bad for her.
Sure, you can spend 2 blood to do 2 agg with a Compress, but for one
more blood you're doing an extra aggravated with Burning Wrath, and
Compress can't be used in an Immortal Grapple. Dust to Dust has some
use for Smallpox blocking – dodge an annoying incoming strike and
press to see if they can do it again; but that might interrupt your
hand strikes, and you need consecutive ones for Pox. Of course, with
CEL, you can always generate an additional strike (or two or three) on
that dodge round. Rigor Mortis also can combine very nicely – prevent
your foe from using any additional strikes, get some yourself with
CEL, then use the Rigor Mortis press to get to the next round.

However, the biggest allure (for me) in Smallpox is that superior
Celerity. Smallpox is now the third !Nos to have Celerity, and the
other two are Beast and Calebos, both of whom have +1 strength. This
opens up a little-used combat ability to us that is both surprisingly
effective and just plain surprising: First Strike.

Strategy of the Month: First Striking !Nos

Let's face facts. First Strike has been the red-headed stepchild of
combat decks for some time now. Yeah, it does damage before the other
strike – but doesn't beat S:CE, doesn't bring environmental damage up
to superspeed with it, and at low damage isn't that much better than a
normal strike. About the only common uses for First Strike in most
game environments is using Canine Horde/Fast Hands/Shattering Blow to
remove equipment (i.e. weapons and Jackets) before they can be used,
Muddled Vampire Hunters for the Malks, and Anesthetic Touch for the
peacenik Salubri. Once in a blue moon you'll see a First Strike
Assamite deck, but not too often. However, it's a surprisingly viable
option for the !Nos now.

One of the biggest problems !Nos decks have with playing close-range
combat decks is the lack of any ability to take a counter-punch.
Potence/Animalism/Obfuscate provide no damage prevention options
whatsoever, so even when we Increase Strength/Signpost/Grapple/Push
the Limit, a single aggravated damage throws us into torpor and
prevents us from Tasting their yummy, yummy Vitae. As a result, most
!Nos combat decks you'll see are the Cailean-sets-range-to-long
Crows/Aid from Bats or Gate or Sewer Lid decks. Which is fine, but
sometimes you want that hands-on touch.

Shadow Feint
Cardtype: Combat
Cost: 1 blood
Discipline: Celerity & Obfuscate
Only usable before range is determined.
[cel][obf] This vampire gets First Strike this round.
[CEL][OBF] As [cel][obf] above, and this vampire's strikes cannot be
dodged this round.

With the printing of Smallpox, we now have three vampires who can play
this card at inferior, Smallpox can play it at advanced, and the rest
of the clan save Dani and Tommy are a single Celerity master shy of
using the inferior. We don't actually need the superior that much,
since we already have ready access to Immortal Grapple and/or Scorpion
Sting to eliminate the ability to dodge. Combine this with any of the
many ways to increase damage and/or strength with Potence, and
suddenly you're looking at a deck capable of consistently tossing out
3 or 4 damage on the first strike, and occasionally quite a bit more.
The Celerity also gives us access to all the maneuvers we might ever
need to keep the range at close for the Grapples. If the opposing
vampire can't prevent it, we should be able with a little selective
targeting to send the foe to torpor before they ever get to strike –
which is another form of damage prevention. And even if they can
prevent it, after the first time you slap a vampire for 6 damage
before he gets to respond, you'll find your opponents suddenly start
getting very nervous about being rushed or letting their vampires get
low on blood. Even better, Beast's built-in rush gives you the ability
to blackmail opponents every turn (Do this thing for me, or Beast will
rush your low-blood elder and slap him into torpor. Your choice!)

The deck below is a toolbox example of how to use this strategy. In
addition to the Torn Signpost/First Strike angle to throw 4 points of
First Strike at people, it uses Owl Companions to let you see if your
opponent has any combat cards in their hand that you need to worry
about. Aggravated damage and damage prevention is so much easier to
handle when you can see just what your opponent is holding. And enough
of the vampires have +1 strength that you can keep pounding prevention
cards out of fortitude-heavy decks. Comments are welcome.

Decks of the Month: 

Deck Name: Superior Muddle
Created By: John Flournoy

Crypt (12):
2  Smallpox Griet thn CEL ANI OBF POT   9, !Nos, pox special
2  Calebos        cel ANI OBF POT   8, !Nos Bishop, +1 Strength
3  Beast      ani cel OBF POT   7, !Nos, +1 Strength, built-in rush
1  Blaise         cel vic ANI OBF   7, !Gangrel, +1 Strength
1  Cicatriz       ani obf pot   5, !Nos Bishop, discard special
1  Olivia         vic OBF POT   5, !Nos Bishop
1  Agatha         obf POT   4, !Nos
1  Jimmy Dunn     for CEL POT   4, Pander

Library (90):

Masters (17):

4 Blood Doll
1 Pentex Loves You!
1 Depravity
1 Nosferatu Kingdom
1 Tension in the Ranks
1 Hungry Coyote
3 Minion Tap
2 Celerity
1 Rumor Mill
2 Fame

Combat (42):
6 Taste of Vitae
6 Shadow Feint
4 Immortal Grapple
3 Psyche!
2 Sideslip
3 Pursuit
1 Drawing Out The Beast
1 Fast Hands
9 Torn Signpost
4 Flash
3 Scorpion Sting

Equipment/Retainers (7):
2 Raven Spy
1 Drum of Xipe Totec
3 Owl Companion
1 Jackie Therman

Actions (8): 
4 Ambush
4 Bum's Rush

Reactions (10):
4 Forced Awakening
2 Falcon's Eye
4 Guard Dogs

Action Modifiers (6):
2 Forgotten Labyrinth
2 Cloak the Gathering
2 Mask of 1,000 Faces

-------------------

Here's /Mathias' Julio/Potchli Courier-based deck posted recently to
the newsgroup:

Courierdeck with Julio and Pochtli. 60 cards to use Pochtli΄s abilty
at the end of the game. Played it twice and it swept (in a casual-play
enviroment) the second time. Before you start complaining remember
that everything is recycable.

/Mathias

Deck Name: Message for you, sir!
Created By: PMO 

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 16, Max: 35, Avg: 6,50)
----------------------------------------------
3  Pochtli             cel dom NEC OBF POT  8,  Giovanni
3  Julio Martinez ANI DOM nec OBF POT  9,  Nosferatu antitribu, Bishop
1  Shannon Price       ani obf              3,  Nosferatu Antitribu
1  Olivia        OBF POT vic          5,  Nosferatu Antitribu, Bishop
1  Cicatriz      ani obf pot          5,  Nosferatu Antitribu, Bishop
1  Christanius Lionel  ANI OBF pot          6,  Nosferatu Antitribu
1  Josef               ani obf obt          4,  Nosferatu Antitribu
1  Agatha              obf POT              4,  Nosferatu Antitribu

Library: (60 cards)
-------------------
Master (13 cards)
2  Blood Doll
1  Charisma
1  Dreams of the Sphinx
2  Life in the City
2  Memories of Mortality
1  Morgue Hunting Ground
1  Nosferatu Kingdom
1  Shanty Town Hunting Ground
1  Sudden Reversal
1  Sunset Strip, Hollywood

Action (4 cards)
1  Blackmail
1  Daemonic Possession
1  Govern the Unaligned
1  Scouting Mission

Action Modifier (13 cards)
3  Change of Target
2  Cloak the Gathering
2  Elder Impersonation
2  Faceless Night
2  Lost in Crowds
1  Spying Mission
1  Threats

Reaction (7 cards)
2  Cats' Guidance
2  Deflection
1  Delaying Tactics
2  Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (11 cards)
1  Canine Horde
2  Carrion Crows
2  Immortal Grapple
2  Thrown Gate
2  Torn Signpost
2  Undead Strength

Ally (9 cards)
8  Courier
1  Leonardo, Mortician

Retainer (1 cards)
1  Raven Spy

Combo (2 cards)
2  Swallowed by the Night

------------------------

That's all for this month. Next month: The Black Hand and our clan
starter!

-John Flournoy