Official VEKN Nosferatu Newsletter for October, 2005.
So inspired by a recent thread with Oderich Wendergass regarding the use of Nosferatu with Dominate, and what with the upcoming Infernal Plague Storyline tournament, this month I decided to get the band back together, if you will. Waaaayyyy back in the day, I was a pioneer in the realm of the "Superstar" deck (without even realizing it at the time), by spending an awful lot of time trying to make competitive decks that only worked if I got Marty Lechtansi out. These decks came with varying levels of success--one got into the finals of a tournament but then I think I was ousted by Josh Duffin anyway; a couple of them could put up a fight. Most of them were dubious, at best. This month I present the newest version of the old standby, just in time for Nosferatu Storyline, ahem, Dominance.
So Marty Lechtansi was one of the original wrecking machines of a superstar vampire. Yeah, ok, he is currently kind of underpowered in relation to other 9 point vampires, but he comes with POT, OBF, and DOM backed up by ani and for, giving him a good spread of combat abilities, potential for multi action with Freak Drive, and you simply can't go wrong with superior Dominate. And still, he is wearing a Mickey Mouse watch and coming to eat you. Mix him up with another generally under appreciated vampire, Judah, and you form the core of a deck with strong combat and bleed offense, and good bleed defense that comes from the combination of Rat's Warning and Deflection. Mix in pretty boy Shane Grimald, and the deck kind of builds itself. Thus, I present to you:
"The Deck That Only Works If I Get Out Marty Lechtansi!", Mk. IX
5x Marty Lechtansi (9) POT, OBF, DOM, ani, for
2x Judah (6) POT, dom, ani
1x Lisette Vizquel (6) POT, DOM
2x Shane Grimald (4) pot, dom, ani
1x Laurent Valois (4) obf, dom, ani
1x Sammy (4) pot, obf, ani
4x Blood Doll
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant's Blood
1x Minion Tap
1x Storm Sewers
1x Slum Hunting Ground
1x The Labyrinth
8x Govern the Unaligned
8x Torn Signpost
6x Undead Strength
4x Earth Shock
6x Spying Mission
4x Cloak the Gathering
8x Rat's Warning
8x Superior Mettle
4x Taste of Vitae
1x Ancient Influence
1x Reins of Power
Again, the crypt kind of builds itself--5x Marty Lechtansi for the, what, 93% some odd chance of having at least one in your opening draw; 2 each of Judah and Shane; and then 3 back up vampires in Lisette with POT and DOM, Laurent for a mini bleed bounce machine, and oddly enough, Sammy is actually worth using due to the large discipline spread in the deck. As my intention is to use this deck in the Infernal Plague storyline event, I have restricted myself to a 75% Nosferatu crypt (9 of 12), so while it might be handy to have a couple other non Nosferatu in the crypt (Anvil is certainly a reasonable possibility), this is probably the best crypt I can put together.
The Master selection is nothing surprising--there is some pool/blood management; a couple Dreams of the Sphinx for influence acceleration first and hand cycling second; some skill cards; a Fame; some useful Nosferatu locations in the Labyrinth for permanent stealth and the Storm Sewers, making it seem very unattractive to block Marty when he comes to bleed.
In the minion card selection, there are the obvious strong Dominate cards in the Govern for influence acceleration and bleed, Deflection to avoid getting bled to death, and Threats for some free bleed punch--one could argue that Threats is a sub-optimal choice (and I, for one, usually would), but as I'll generally have Marty with DOM in play, the free, un-Archon Investigatable bleed of 3 seems an attractive option. Next is a significant, but not overwhelming combat chunk with Torn Signpost, Undead Strength, Superior Mettle, and Taste, and then some Earth Shocks to take down maneuver monkeys. A sideline of Obfuscate allows you to get necessary actions through and the Spying Missions double as extra bleed action and allows for responsible bleeding if Marty gets bounced somewhere. 8 Rat's Warning mix very well with the Deflections for significant bleed defense (and let Marty untap and Deflect multiple bleeds by himself). The two vote cards are a minior fringe element thrown in due to the crypt having a not insignificant vote presence (8 of the vampires come with 1 vote)--there isn't a great deal of vote power in the deck, but with the Edge and a couple votes on the table, you might be able to push one or both of them through, especially as Ancient Influence and Reins of Power tend to be votes that usually will benefit someone else on the table (as well as benefiting you for playing with a 9 point vampire) who will often help you pass them. A few Harass Rush actions to takeout vital or vulnerable minions finish off the deck. The obvious missing element in the deck are some Freak Drives, but really, with limited actions possible (bleed, Govern at superior, a few Rushes, and few votes), most of the time, a Freak would tend to just get played to cycle the card, and with the defensive untaps, the deck will usually be ok anyway.
The deck plays pretty much as a (much maligned, at least by me :-) Bruise Bleed deck--get out Marty as quickly as possible, Govern at superior a couple times to get out help on the cheap, bleed significantly and mangle folks who block you. The combat and Rush element isn't overwhelming, but should dissuade most folks from blocking or Rushing you, and in a pinch can take out a necessary vampire (like your predator's biggest vampire right before you call Reins of Power or the Famous vampire your prey controls). A bleeding predator shouldn't be much of a worry with consistent untap and Deflection capability.
The biggest flaw of the deck is that it has virtually zero defense against a vote heavy predator, with no intercept, few votes, and limited Rush. Sometimes you just get hosed, but even then, you might be able to bleed out your prey before you get whacked by a serious vote predator. There isn't much that can be done about this flaw, so the best thing to do is just not to worry about it (i.e. the Hope They Don't Have Blasters defense), and accept that once and a while you'll just be tooled. The rest of the time, however, the deck should do pretty well.