Today I’m sharing with you a couple of my most braindead combos … And believe me when I say that i have more combos of that style. These two in particular are based on stealing the vampire of another metuselah.
It’s based in steal a vampire with spirit marionnete during the turn of another player, (Saulot or Nahum Enosh with Enkil Cog). At the end of the hunting or bleed action, when you have to return the stolen vampire to its rightful owner, you have to play a diamond thunderbold and check the faces of the other players at the table.
|Diamond Tunderbolt, The|
Only when control of a vampire you control is about to change or when a vampire control is about to enter combat. Control of that vampire does not change, and that vampire gains 1 blood.
This was one of my obsessions in 2016. It’s about blocking a vampire (it does not work if you’re acting), play a illusions of the kindred and get luck on Lorenzo Detuono coming out, who will kindly send torpor to the vampire we’ve locked (burning wrath, or whatever). At that time we use Lorenzo’s special ability to steal the enemy vampire forever (we can amaranth to win blood and pay for the ability, the vampire acting will still be stolen).
|Illusions of the Kindred|
|(chi) Combat ends. Move the bottom card of your crypt to your ready region. He or she does not answer any other minions or titles in play. The vampire has an amount of blood equal to half of his or her capacity (round down). Combat begins between the vampire and the opposing minion. Remove the crypt card from the game at the end of combat.|
(CHI) As above, but the vampire has an amount of blood equal to his or her capacity.
|aus dem DOM NEC POT|
Independent. Red List: If Lorenzo is ready at the end of combat and the opposing minion is not, Lorenzo may burn 5 blood to move the opposing minion to your ready region (with 1 life for an ally with no life) instead.
I hope you have enjoyed this two evil combos and let me know if you want more crazy braindead combos!
What can be said about Richard Garfield that hasn’t been said before? There’s not much we don’t know about him, creator of games like Magic: The gathering, Netrunner and of course Jyhad (aka V:tES), but in 1995 when I discover jihad it was a total stranger to me. And so the games start to pop up around, the CCG (Collectible Card Games).
I remember that what they were, and discover them through the rpg Vampire:The Masquerade. You may wonder how the curiosity about this world of darkness came up? At that time, around 1995, they premiered the movie Interview with the vampire and the world of Anna Rice, and other worlds like the Necromantic Chronicles from Briam Lumley, and so many more titles where the main focus was the vampirism ( Night Hunters, Music of the vampires, the dream of Fevre, The year of Dracula, the stake, Dracula, etc…) so the next logical step was to get to that world I began to discover on those manuals, and the more I read the more interesting and captivating it was, and at least for me unrepeatable.
It was at my local shop, where I used to buy manuals that they talked me about the card games based on world of darknes.. and so the first boosters and decks felt into my hands… and the surprise on my face cause I couldn’t understand how to combine them, my firsts games, the apprenticeship, the decks impossible to imagine nowadays (just to mention, my first deck was a gangrel-malkavian, with Basilia and the two allies more interesting of both clans, Muddle Vampire Hunter and Renegade Garou).
An so, step by step, I began to discover the game, but more than the rules I got the chance to meet new people and share a common passion.
It’s hard to describe now, the feelings I got when I was discovering new cards, those drawings, that now may seem vintage but that at that moment fit perfectly with the world I have been discovering. And when new collection list came out, wondering what the new cards would do and how would they be. For example it took me quite a long to have a Praxus Seizure, nowadays everyone has some now. At those days it was hard to get information on the cards.
And when you visit the local shop you were the odd one, while everyone was playing Magic.
And the first year at collage went by, when I found what nowadays it Hill be VTES, and the change was not only on the name, it also CAME with new cards, others that did not re-editated and with a new design, but the best was yet to come, and it was the first 2 expansions, Dark Sovereigns and Ancient Hearts, new clans, new disciplines, new vampires for the camarilla clans. I remember wandering around the shops searching for boosters to buy. Buying boxes will come later.
VTES was still my favourite game, the one I share with friends and the one that I teach to others.
And in 1996 it came out a big expansion that leaves all of us with hunger for more, because it showed things that we haven’t seen before… SABBAT.
That feeling hasn’t come back, of having a box of boosters in my hands. The design of the booster, black and red, and the content that had more cards in it that any other game. As said, unrepeatable.
But not everything could be perfect, the three following expansions had the same problem, the difficulty of creating competitive decks from the new clans: Giovanni, Ravnos, Assamite, Followers of Seth, Lasombra, tzimische, Malkavian antitribe… And the majority of antitribe played only as a suport, almost non was the principal vampire, I recall that Jacko or Richter becoming part of the brujah decks…but at that moment you could only think at the thrill of discovering new things and the new expansions that will complete the clans that had just came out… but then silence came.
V:TES disappeared from the shops, if you were lucky you could find some basic edition or some booster, but I was looking for SABBAT, and it became impossible.
At that point of the story, I was also a collector, so I had the urge to collect apart from improving the decks we made. Time passed by, and my love for V:TES was a constant al along, I find new playgroups and stores, even exchange some card at a rake in Madrid.
And in 1999, two big changes came to my live, I got ADSL at home and a computer that let me install and work, hours and hours on a program that enjoy me… Photoshop, and don’t forget the scanner, that I bought with just one purpose, to scan the original cards and create my own.
We didn’t know if new expansions will come, I start checking manuals searching for new abilities and disciplines and I create my own cards, print them and glue them on top of regular cards. I still keep them, and nostalgia brings back good memories of all the time I spend creating those cards… A total of 87 new cards, everyone with it’s illustration from other games like kult or heresy, cause when I played those games I always imagine it in the WoD universe.
And the things keep going, until 2000, when I consider that the golden age of V:TES started (2000-2010) and the time I was totally involve (2000-2005), not only as player also as Prince, tournament organizer, judge, an active member of the community. I had the luck to meet great players, I played 3 European Championship,3 Conclave, and visiting cities like Salamanca, Valladolid, Bilbao, Barcelona, Palma, Vienna, Paris, Lisbon… and organizing the Iberian Championship 2003.
Not much can be said about all the expansions that came out during that time, only that it turned the game to what it’s today, gave them depth, there is not any part of WoD that it hasn’t been reflected, blood lines, Black Hand, the Red list, African vampires, imbued…. Also the novels came out, and we could control the vamps which we read about.
My live change during that days, you get independent, build up a family… and you don’t have so much time to spend on V:TES, and slowly your friends turn the same way, it gets harder to meet to play, until when you realise that your last game was 1 or 2 years ago.
All that I was as a player and collector….I couldn’t play, but I expected new cards and imagine deck with it, and the cards I will need for everything when I got time to get back to the game.
In 2010 two big things happened, my daughter was born and Heirs to the Blood CAME out, and what it seems to be the end…
It was very hard to get the boosters and starters to build the decks, the rumour that the license was ending spread like wild fire, and that CCP will not make any more reprints, there was only left what was in the market and nothing else.
At that point I really went to torpor and all my collection stood in the shelves at home, the only thing left was to watch them from time to time and remember the good moments I had.
But 7 years after, the EC at Berlin popped up, and a reprint was announced! My life had made another twist, I was divorce, and despite being odd, you have free time again, and I didn’t doubt it for a moment, I had to go!
I showed the game to my regular play group in Vigo, where I live since 2008, and even one of them had a Jyhad starter, I could only smile seeing the mix of cards that it had…and the good feelings came back and started to search for the cards I needed…
And then May came up, and I had the luck to met great people, to meeting old friends again, and recovering the feelings from playing the game, quite rusty I have to admit. My decks were full of groups 1,2 and 3 vampires and I kept seeing vampires from 4,5 and 6… cards I had forgot what they do or that I never had the chance to discover, finding a meta-game what I know nothing about, and talking about decks lost in the depths of a web and that are no longer played, summarizing…WONDERFULL.
And now in 2018 we find with the notice that a group of players have had the courage to start a company, that White Wolf take s a brave decision and that V:TES is back on print, and that new cards will come; I see that every day more players came back from torpor and that new tournaments appear. For the second time the game came back to live, and this time from the hand of the players that for so long have kept it alive. My most heart full thanks to them for not letting that this great game went to waste.
I hope that the journey I had explain wasn’t to long for you, from the beginning, from 1995 until today, my life has gone hand to hand with this game, and how 23 years after, with all the twists and plot changes, I still find thrilled, with hunger for collecting moments, memories like the ones that make me so happy in first place.
We have the pleasure of speaking with Javier Belmonte, a ‘newbie’ player from Valencia, who showed us that you can win a national without having 20 years of vtes experience. Javi arrived to the national after driveing more than 800 kilometers and having slept less than 4 hours.
- Javi, how long have you been playing Vtes and how did you discover the game?
Four years ago an old Methuselah in torpor took his modest collection and show to me and my friends what vtes actually is. We were ,and still are, admirers of Richard Garfield, we specially love the theme and the illustrations. Since we discovered the game, we are more addicted to blood every day. Thank you Ponset, eternally grateful.
- How have you managed to win the Spanish national 2018?
How I managed to win is an unknown to me, I knew the potential of my deck and I also knew what I could do with it, so I kept waiting expectant, studying the rest of the table and holding the my predator pressure until I found my moment. Being able to choose where I was going to sit on the table helped me a lot and I think I chosed correctly. It has been my third Vtes tournament. In the Grand Prix I left the tables too fast and for this national it was clear to me that I wanted to remain more on the table and Anneke was a good option for this purpose.
- Tell us about your usual playgroup.
In Valencia we have a group of players / friends, something around 7 players. Any reason is good for playing a few cards on a Wednesday and most of the weekends. There is always someone with some new idea wanting to try and since we also play other card games, we have some good experience and deckbuilding and some tactic vision when it is time to play.
A playgroup friend also reached the final this weekend (Manu) and another one was tied in points and did not enter by the algorithm (Jose). Luis reached the final of the national of Alicante 2017 and i am sure that (Caja), the one remaining is going to gather some good results sooner than later since he is a great player.
- Which one is your best deck?
The one who carried me to the final round is the only one which can be competitive in tournaments for now: Anneke’s deck. My other decks I have are mostly for casual gaming. Although I am also thinking about some evil ideas for the near future.
- Which is your favorite clan? Why? Which is your prefered play style?
My favorite clan is Lasombra because I think they are quite versatile to create any type of deck, I love the obtenebration despite the fact you can run out of blood really fast. I also love the arts in obtenebration cards. I think I am a toolbox player for now but i think that speciallize in a single style can be very effective in a crucial situation. I am sure that i don’t like the Stealth&Bleed decks.
- Can you show us your TWD? Tell us how it works.
Anneke is never asleep
2 Tatiana Romanov
1 Felicia Nostrom
1 Dorian Strack
2 Art Museum
1 Direct Intervention
2 Haven unconvered
1 PB Montreal
1 Rack, The
2 Smiling Jack
1 WMRH talk radio
8 Concealed weapon
3 aura reading
6 taste of vitae
2 charismatic aura
10 second tradition
6 eyes of Argus
5 telepathic misdirection
2 quicken sight
1 sniper riffle
1 ivory bow
1 bowl of convergence
Political Action (2)
2 parity shift
1 Tasha Morgan
Most of the crypt vampires have +1 bleed and the option to play a Second Tradition, which is a strong cards in terms of efficiency. Parity Shift can also be played in some cases. Anneke’s special is pretty strong specially for negotiate and get deals. The main weakness of this deck is play against hard combat decks or steal/destroy weapon. I can usually get Pentexed but i will get help on that most of the times if i offer Anneke’s help. The deck can survive without Anneke but it is a clear handicap.
- Are you enjoying the tournament this year?
I’m sure you all know a guy who is constantly trying to create decks with totally unual cards, Usually, the following comment follows like: “If nobody plays this cards is because it won’t work”.
If you don’t know anybody like this, here I am for you. Some of my best friends recommend me to buy a funnel, that’s what i need to join all my mad (bad) ideas into a single deck.
Si sois de los pocos que aún no conocéis a nadie así, me presento ante vosotros. Mis mejores amigos dentro del juego me recomiendan que me compre un embudo; bien para que acompañe a la locura que me fluye cuando creo mazos con cartas infumables; bien para que haga de filtro porque, tal vez (y sólo tal vez) de cada cien ideas estúpidas una pueda tener algún sentido.
So I have encouraged myself to write this section with the sole intention of:
- Just for laughts among the readers.
- Give support to those who, like me, have absurd ideas, share them or not.
- Maybe someone will find the hidden factor in my equations and end up developing a really competitive deck.
First, I think you’ll have to try to discover how my head works when developing these aberrations. Everything starts by reviewing cards in my collection or in some software to manage decks. Suddenly, I find a rare card and I think: “Holy shit, this is awesome!”. In that point starts the “aberration deck”. That was what happened when I discovered the Redline:
Only usable when a blood hunt referendum passes and would burn a vampire controlled by another Methuselah. That vampire is not burned. Put this card on that vampire and take control of him or her. This vampire is independent. This vampire gets one optional press when in combat with a Camarilla vampire and can enter combat with any Camarilla vampire as a +1 stealth (D) action. Burn this card if the vampire changes sects.
Hmm… strong card if you can use it in a controled way…
The problem was simple: How to trigger a blood hunt out of my turn in and secure that the vampire in question was going to go? So I started thinking about it, as a good defender of the Gangrel, the most logical option was to play the only “blood hunt” card that exists in the game: Veles’ Hunt. With Stanislava + Enkil Cog… could work, although the Veles’ Hunt has too many restrictions. So I went for the most complicated. I presented to you one of the very absurd decks that i’ve created. This is from January 2014, when the Anthelios was not banned:
Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 10 max: 11
5x Huitzilopochtli 10 AUS DAI DOM OBF POT PRE Baali:2
3x Arika 11 DOM FOR OBF PRE aus cel inner circle Ventrue:2
2x Etrius 11 AUS DOM OBF THA pro inner circle Tremere:2
2x Leandro 11 AUS OBF PRE cel dom inner circle Malkavian:2
Library [89 cards]
4x Baltimore Purge
3x Mind Rape
1x Unleash Hell’s Fury
Action Modifier 
1x Cloak the Gathering
1x Elder Impersonation
1x Enkil Cog
1x Faceless Night
2x Forgotten Labyrinth
4x Freak Drive
1x Lost in Crowds
1x Voter Captivation
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1x Bowl of Convergence
1x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Anthelios, The Red Star
6x Ashur Tablets
1x Creepshow Casino
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant’s Blood
1x Golconda: Inner Peace
1x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1x Information Highway
1x Monastery of Shadows
1x Parthenon, The
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
2x Wider View
4x Zillah’s Valley
Political Action 
1x Ancient Influence
1x Ancilla Empowerment
1x Kine Resources Contested
1x Reckless Agitation
2x Eagle’s Sight
4x Eyes of Argus
2x On the Qui Vive
5x Undying Thirst
If you want to build this deck, i recommend you not to expect any good result. Maybe some laughts.
Luis ‘Txiqui’ Fonseca, Prince of Mataró