Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter, October 2005 Introduction The Scourge of Nergal How KMW Can Help Us Special Look: Archetypes of the !Ventrue Introduction It is time again for me to take a small break from the dissertation and write another Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter. This week I make my plea to you for the !Ventrue in the Nergal storyline event. I'll also probe into KMW for a few choice cards and then look at some useful archetypes that work well with the clan. The Scourge of Nergal My friends, my enemies, the demon Nergal has been loosed into the world and we must put him down. Who better than us to do so? We are the templars of the Sabbat, its warriors, its salvation! Also, we could use a little love from the design team. :) So, yeah, it can be a little difficult working with our clan to achieve victory. We aren't very intimidating with our Auspex, Dominate, and Fortitude. We have virtually no stealth, and arguably the weakest combat among the Sabbat. What does the clan have going for it? -- Great vampires. Although our clan disciplines (outside of Dominate) are slightly less than spectacular, we have some of the greatest vampires in the game. Take the "classics:" Lazverinus and Quentin - both these guys are simply amazing at what they do - and the *stellar* !Ventrue mid-caps. You just can't go wrong with minions like Vincent Day, Marlene the Infernalist, or Gerard. We're one of the only Sabbat clans that can make a fantastic storyline legal Anarch deck due to the strength of our small and mid-capacity vampires. And the Group 3 vampires are no chumps either: Owain Evans is just a fantastic vampire (as are Edward Neally, Joseph O'Grady, Katherine Stoddard, and Blackhorse Tanner). The !Ventrue specials are some of the best around. --Easy access to excellent disciplines. Dominate and Fortitude come built in to virtually every vampire we put on the field. Want to bleed? We've got it in spades. Want to hurl minions into torpor? We've got Kiss of Ra and the good old standby of Trap/Undead Persistence. Sure Trap/UP is sort of twinkish, but it works! --Defense, defense, defense. Auspex, Dominate, Fortitude: these are our disciplines. Add to this defensive trifecta our profoundly annoying ability to make just about any vote that gets past our blocks fail, and it takes some amazing amount of power to oust us from a table. If any clan can endure Nergal's wrath and triumph, it is us! So if you could find it in your black hearts to help or clan gain back our rightful place among the Sabbat, play the !Ventrue and thrive! Send Nergal screaming back to Hell. How KMW Can Help Us Alas, our clan did not get much love from KMW: no new vampires (although Dylan ADV is diabolically hot when you merge him), and very few discipline specific cards that improve what we can do already. But do not despair, my brothers and sisters, there are several choice cards to assist our nightly Jyhad. The Beretta 9mm: Less pool than a .44, and with some easy presses from either Ecstatic Agony or Fortitude combat, two 9mm's are a very good deal. To get the Berettas, use Pier 13, Vast Wealth, or Concealed Weapon (whichever seems to work best for you: this author prefers a combination of Pier 13 and Vast Wealth). Jack of Both Sides can be useful here, as well, but it has the same combo disadvantage of Concealed Weapon (you must have two specific cards in your hand), and it's not that difficult to block a two stealth action. Learjet: Wow! This card is simply amazing for clans that burn a lot of cards when they take actions (and, boy, do we ever burn through a deck of cards). The Learjet can help to increase the probability you draw into a combo when you're acting or that you draw those crucial reactions you will need before you chose to end your turn. Once you have your combo or reactions in-hand, you can simply stop taking advantage of your Learjet's ability. This lets us have the Seductions and Kisses of Ra we need, or the Trap/Undead Persistence that will cripple our prey. Dr. Marisa Fletcher, CDC: Again, wow! We're one of the few clans who can set ourselves up to rarely (if ever) have to hunt while also being able to easily block hunt actions of whoever we like. And if you thought Owain was a good deal before, then throw this beautiful event down on the table and watch people *beg* you for that one blood. (There is a risk of invoking the wrath of the table, so do take care.) Shared Strength: This is simply an amazing and beautiful card. Several of our very, *very* good vampires suffer from a lack of superior Fortitude (*cough* Kyle-our-Cardinal *cough*). This card enables us to play those large-caps without superiors safe in the certainty they can be boosted up by a less-noble, though heartier, member of our clan. It also allows us to protect some more "squishy" vampires we may choose to pair ourselves with in the Storyline tournament. (Note that should you willingly choose to pair our hale and hearty !Ventrue with a small handful of pitiful squishy vampires, this author takes no responsibility for their being squished in spite of Shared Strength; unless you're using Fredrick the Weak, who with Shared Strength becomes an un-killable nightmare beast of legend.) Special Look: Archetypes of the !Ventrue There are many archetypes our clan can make good use of. Capitalist: Free blood for bleeding my prey. I'll take that deal any day. This archetype, sadly, isn't a trifle, but it also doesn't suffer from Perfectionist's reaction-card weakness. Of course, some will (perhaps rightly) argue that if someone is playing a reaction card when a !Ventrue is acting, it's likely going to be blocked or deflected, so you might as well run with Perfectionist, but I still like Capitalist quite a lot. Note: will not work with Anarchness. Conniver: Hrm, free blood for bouncing or making cross-table vote deals on someone else's turn. Again, I'll take that deal any day. Still, I wish it had been printed *slightly* differently, but then I suppose it would have been far too good. This is an excellent archetype for our clan since we react much, much better than we act. Curmudgeon: In the right deck, this is just FANTASTIC. It's a trifle, so it's even better. The strategy to maximize this card would be to put a Curmudgeon on each vampire. Each Curmudgeon declares the same vampire. If that vampire's blocked, every one of your Curmudgeons gain a blood! Since we do react much, much better than we act, this card is a decent way to either gain blood or force your prey's minion to either move forward with a D action or do nothing. Perfectionist: This archetype arguably corner-cases all others (Guru, Loner, Bravo, Sociopath, and Capitalist most of the time) due to its virtual guarantee of free blood on non-threatening actions (any action that no one cares to throw a reaction card at). Sadly, your action does need to be successful, and we have trouble in that regard. But Perfectionist is, well, perfect. What? No Deck of the Month??? I'm writing a dissertation. What do you want from me? Blood? On second thought, that's likely not a good question to ask around this group . . . Conclusion This ends the October issue of the Ventrue Antitribu Newsletter. I'll try not to make this the *only* one for the fall. Please do consider playing this remarkable clan in the storyline tournament. Also, if you'd like to try your hand at writing the !Ventrue's Newsletter-of-Indeterminate-Timeperiod, just let me know!