Tzimisce Starter : Den of Fiends

Welcome to our third in-depth article about the new starter decks, with this time the mighty (and frankly disgusting) Tzimisce !

Like most of the Tzimisce decks it’s an intercept/fight deck, using Auspex & Animalism cards to block, and Animalism & Vicissitude to fight (and torporize).

I) The Crypt

2 America Johnson (NEW)
1 Dr. Morrow, The Skindoctor
1 Duality
1 Ilias cel Frumos
2 Lady Vadislava (NEW)
2 Ludmijla Rakoczy
2 Rurik Rakoczy (NEW)
1 Yuri Kerezenski

Just like the Lasombra starter this deck’s grouping is 4-5, with 3 new vampires.

First, the big new one :

Lady Vadislava
Cap 9
Group 5
Sabbat priscus: Once each round, Lady Vadislava can burn 1 blood to make the damage from her hand strikes aggravated that round.

Big vampire with all the clan disciplines at superior and dominate at superior, can strike for aggravated damage for one blood and 3 votes. Nice ?
Maybe not that much.
Unlike Lambach, she has only one strength. So any minion with kevlar vest/guardian angel or any card that can prevent 1 aggravated damage won’t go to torpor.
The Priscus title is also disappointing, making her not so good in a deck with Malgorzata.
You could try a big cap AUS ANI VIC DOM, with Lord Tremere and Count Vladimir Rustovich, but I don’t know if it’s worth it.
It’s still a very good vampire in this deck, but I’m not sure that we are going to see her played in tournaments.

card preview rurik rakoczy

Rurik Rakoczy
Cap 6
Group 5
Sabbat: Rurik gets 1 optional press each combat. While Ludmijla Rakoczy is ready, Rurik gets +1 bleed.

This one is interesting. First of all it’s one of the few vampires to have a text that works with another ready vampire (like Enid & Edith Blount, Francis & Margaret Milliner, Ganhuru & Ubende, Viri & Zizi).
With Animalism and Vicissitude at superior, he can play all the combat cards at superior, except Telepathic Tracking. He can also bleed for 3 with Deep Song + Changeling or even 4 with Ludmijla, which is pretty impressive for a 6 cap Tzimisce!
He would probably work best in a bruise’n’bleed Tzmisce deck, with Ludmijla and him as main vampires, using cards like Fiendish Tongue and Plasmic Form.

America Johnson
Cap 4
Group 5
vic AUS

A nice weenie for the deck, AUS vic is very nice for a 4-cap vampire. She can play all the reaction cards in the deck, except Read the Winds. Combat will be more complicated, but it’s a great vampire in this deck.

II) The Library

LIBRARY CARDS [77 cards]
Master [11]
1 Channel 10
1 Fame
1 Library Hunting Ground
1 The Rack
1 Smiling Jack, The Anarch
1 Sudden Reversal
2 Vessel
3 Villein

Nothing fancy here, but most of the classic cards that you usually find in an intercept/fight deck are here :

  • Vessel and Villein give you a good amount of pool gain, with the Hunting Ground and The Rack to give blood back to your vampires.
  • Fame and Smiling Jack are 2 very important cards for intercept/fight decks
  • and your main ousting mechanism :

Event [1]
1 Dragonbound

It’s not always included in wall decks, mostly because it’s useless if you don’t have a way to rush vampires in your deck. But I think it’s a good card in this one.

under siege

Action [5]

4 Deep Song
1 Under Siege

Very simple. Deep Song is always a good card to have in your hand because of its versatility. Use it with Dragonbound and Fame to get your surprise VP!
Under Siege is also a great card that you see in a lot of Sabbat decks.

Retainer [2]
2 Raven Spy

Also very classic. Raven Spy is one of the best retainers of the game, and it works great with Tzimisce.

heart of nizchetus

Equipment [3]
1 Bowl of Convergence
1 Heart of Nizchetus
1 Living Manse

Heart Of Nizchetus is one of the best cards in all VTES and a very rare card, so I’m always happy to see it included in any product.
Bowl Of Convergence is a must-have in any deck that blocks with Auspex, very important again Obfuscate or Obtenebration decks that can get a lot of stealth.

Action Modifier [4]
4 Changeling

Most of the Tzimisce decks don’t use Changeling, but in this one with Rurik and Deep Song, that can be very useful.

horrid form

Combat [25]
3 Breath of the Dragon
5 Carrion Crows
6 Chiropteran Marauder
4 Horrid Form
4 Inner Essence
3 Telepathic Tracking

I’m not sure what to think about this module. When I play Tzimisce, I usually only use Chiropteran Marauder and Breath of the Dragon, with maybe some Carrion Crows to help again allies. I really don’t like Horrid Form or Telepathic Tracking.

Reaction [26]
4 Enhanced Senses
4 Eyes of Argus
4 On the Qui Vive
4 Precognition
4 Read the Winds
4 Spirit’s Touch
2 Telepathic Misdirection

This one is also very classical for a deck that uses Auspex and Animalism intercept.
The only two cards that are really missing are Eagle sight, but I can understand why BCP doesn’t want this card in a preconstructed deck, and My Enemy’s Enemy.
2 Telepathic Misdirection isn’t a lot, I would have liked 2 more, or 2 My Enemy’s Enemy.

Overall this is a nice Tzimisce deck, more toolbox than your usual Tzimisce Wall deck but perfect to discover the game.

III) The Tweaks

So, if we had 2 of those starters, what should we change to make the deck a bit better?

3x Lady Vadislava
1x America Johnson
1x Rurik Rakoczy
1x Dr. Morrow, The Skindoctor
1x Duality
1x Ilias cel Frumos
3x Ludmijla Rakoczy
1x Yuri Kerezenski

Library (90 cards)
Master (16)
1x Channel 10
2x Fame
1x Library Hunting Ground
2x Rack, The
2x Smiling Jack, The Anarch
1x Sudden Reversal
4x Vessel
3x Villein

Event (1)
1x Dragonbound

Action (7)
5x Deep Song
2x Under Siege

Equipment (4)
1x Bowl of Convergence
2x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Living Manse

Retainer (4)
4x Raven Spy

Reaction (34)
4x Enhanced Senses
7x Eyes of Argus
7x On the Qui Vive
6x Precognition
2x Read the Winds
4x Spirit’s Touch
4x Telepathic Misdirection

Combat (24)
6x Breath of the Dragon
6x Carrion Crows
12x Chiropteran Marauder

I chose to go full Tzimisce wall. But as I said earlier you could go more “bruise’n’bleed” with the 2 Rakoczy, Deep Song and Changeling.

Tzimisce is a very interesting (and yeah, disgusting) clan to play. For a new player, learning which action to block and not to block is a big step toward becoming a good player. Playing and winning with wall decks is always a big challenge, but also very rewarding !
Good luck !

2 thoughts on “Tzimisce Starter : Den of Fiends

Add yours

  1. I agree that the use of Horrid Form here seems like an odd choice, but it is really good for Lady Vadislava, turning her app-poke into something more powerful. HF teams up well with Inner Essence, but that small quantities of both mean that you’re unlikely to be holding both cards at the same time.

    From an attrition perspective, one that supports Smiling Jack, I prefer more reliable regular damage than aggravated damage, which is why this combat package strikes me as odd. It’s a all-over-the-place without having a clear sense of how it want to win combats. There are a not a lot of good short-chain combat chains here and nothing complimentary about the combat chains that do exist.

    Carlton Van Wyk and Target Vitals seem like the most obvious oversights. Given the deck’s little-bit-of-everything approach, both would have worked well here.


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