Tales from the TWDA 1: So it begins

Hello and welcome to this new serie named « Tales from the TWDA ». In case you’re not familiar with the TWDA, well, first of all, this means you haven’t been reading our blog, which makes me sad. The TWDA (Tournament Winning Deck Archive), is the compilation of EVERY deck that won a competitive tournament of V:Tes, it’s awesome (you’ll see why in a bit) and you can find it here. Since it’s only winning decks, that means that all those decks are good and efficient, right? Right … ?

Well.. fortunately for me (and soon, for you), not exactly. In this series, I’ll talk about the most off the wall, creative, weird or just plain bad decks I can find on this ressource. When credit is due, I’ll also try to expand on them and talk about what I would do to improve them in case you want to play something truly unique.


The first deck I wanted to show you comes from a country well-known for having a VERY different vision of the game than we do in Europe : Brazil. It’s also from a very well-known and established archetype (Midcap Dem) but something is simply not right. I give you one minute to find it by yourself.

SAC 2016
São Paulo, Brazil
November 13th 2016
18 players
Elzo Benzaquen

— 3vp in final

Deck Name: Moon walk – Jackie e uma festa muito louca!

Crypt (12 cards, min=16, max=31, avg=5.83)
2x Jackie       3 DEM   Malkavian antitribu:4
1x Lazarus James        8 AUS DEM PRE obf tha   Malkavian:4
1x Persephone Tar-Anis  8 AUS DEM OBF cel pot   Malkavian antitribu:4
1x Rodolfo      8 AUS DEM OBF pro       bishop Malkavian antitribu:3
1x Quentin King III (ADV)       7 AUS DEM OBF cel pre   Malkavian:3
1x Morel        6 AUS DEM OBF   Malkavian:4
1x Ruth McGinley        6 DEM aus cel obf primogen Malkavian:3
1x Tony 6 AUS DEM dom obf Malkavian:3
1x Apache Jones 5 DEM aus for obf Malkavian antitribu:4
1x Persia, The Beautiful Statue 5 DEM aus obf   Malkavian:3
1x Uncle George 5 DEM aus dom obf Malkavian antitribu:3

Library (90 cards)
Master (18; 1 trifle)
1x Bleeding the Vine
1x Life in the City
16x Sudden Reversal

Action (24)
24x Kindred Spirits

Action Modifier (37)
2x Cloak the Gathering
18x Confusion
3x Elder Impersonation
2x Eyes of Chaos
4x Faceless Night
3x Lost in Crowds
2x Spying Mission
3x Veil the Legions

Action Modifier/Combat (6)
4x Deny
2x Swallowed by the Night

Reaction (1)
1x Telepathic Misdirection

Combat (2)
2x Coma

Event (2)
2x Narrow Minds

Ok, did you find it yet? If you guessed « Where is my boy Midget at? » then you would be right. If your reaction was « This is the single greatest Master module I’ve ever seen », you would also be right.

For some reason, the single Life In The City is the funniest thing in the list to me, with only one copy of Bleeding the Vine in order to make use of its Trifle effect. The rest of the list isn’t that surprising, although I quite like some Madman’s Quill in this archetype, and the single telepathic misdirection as the only line of defense is kinda … let’s say, ambitious. Coma is also basically a meme card, so I’m very happy to see it there.

So, does this guy just really hate masters? I mean, yeah. Does it make sense to play 16 Sudden in this kind of deck? Of course not. But, I do get the idea of playing a heavy anti-Master modules. First of all, Masters are probably the most powerful cards in the game, and are central to basically every single deck. Moreover, most decks rely on them to both accelerate their gameplan (Dreams, Zillah’s, Highway) as well as to regain pool (Villein, Vessel, Blood Doll, Golconda, etc). In a fast deck that aims to choke their preys and kill them as fast as possible like this one, it makes tons of sense to use Sudden Reversal on Zillah’s to prevent your prey from playing the game at all, as well as later on, using Sudden on their Villein to prevent them from, well, staying alive. Still, in a deck that cares about card flow, I would like to play some Barrens, Dreams or, you know, Pentex.


On the other hand, I have an Anu Diptinatpa deck for you. I really like this vampire and, like most Nagaraja, her design is both unique and interesting to build around (see also Sennadurek). Her discipline spread is simple but quite effective, having access to superior Dominate (which basically means Govern The Unaligned at superior) and a discipline that gives stealth, all for only 7 pool. The key part of her card text is “the acting minion”. Not, “one of your acting minions” and especially not “acting vampire”, which means you can turn any ally into a Bleed-for-1 machine. The beautiful thing about vampires from scarce clans like Anu is that you’re not tempted to just play her in-clan since, well, you can’t, so you have to be creative to find a crypt you want to play her in.

French LCQ
Soissons, France
July 4th 2015
31 players
Bram van Stappen

Deck Name: NAG Anu gets a blood

Crypt (12 cards, min=8, max=28, avg=4.17)
5x Anu Diptinatpa 7     DOM NEC aus vic Nagaraja:6
1x Andre LeRoux 3       aus     Toreador:5
1x Alu  2       obf     Assamite:5
1x Dr. Solomon Grey 2   dom pre Caitiff:5
1x Eric Milliner 2      pot     Giovanni:5
1x Honest Abe   2       pre     Brujah:5
1x New Blood    2       san     Blood Brother:ANY
1x Nichodemus   2       pot     Nosferatu:5

Library (73)
Master (23)
1x Anarch Troublemaker
6x Ashur Tablets
3x Blood Doll
1x Coven, The
1x Direct Intervention
2x Dreams of the Sphinx
1x Giant’s Blood
1x Jake Washington (Hunter)
4x Life in the City
2x Parthenon, The
1x Wider View

Event (3)
1x FBI Special Affairs Division
2x Unmasking, The

Equipment (12)
1x Camera Phone
1x Codex of the Edenic Groundskeepers
7x Flash Grenade
3x Saturday-Night Special

Ally (11)
1x Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
10x Procurer

Action Modifier (1)
1x Change of Target

Reaction (10)
6x Deflection
1x Delaying Tactics
2x On the Qui Vive
1x Redirection

Combat (13)
2x Backstep
9x Concealed Weapon
2x Dragon’s Breath Rounds

So this is an Anu Procurer deck, with a big surprise package in combat, as well as tons of blood gain to fuel Anu. Is it gimmicky? Of course. Is the concept interesting? Clearly.

Here, you use the blood generation of the deck to put Procurers into play, bleed for one (thanks to Anu) with them and punish blockers with Flash Grenade and sometimes a DBR. Can’t bleed with them? Not a problem! They also double up as blood gain. I have to say that, with this combat module, I’m surprised by the absence of two or three bum’s rush here, especially with Andre Leroux !

This is also mostly a disciplineless deck (barring the Deflections), so I wonder if a small Gehenna event module, with cards like Blood Weakens, The Slow Withering or even Veil Of Darkness, makes sense here. While I’m not exactly usually a huge fan of this module as I think that it mostly just slows down the table without huge benefit, I think it can help the deck to grind, with minimal setup required.

Blog contributor Orpheus/Serge, brought the following archetype to France NC 2018, making final with it after being top seed of preliminary rounds (the version presented here has been slightly updated).


Deck Name: In your Anu 80 cards
Author: Serge Ciri
Description: Anu version CE

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=4 max=7 avg=5.6)
1x Kay Polerno 4 dom nec pro Giovanni:5
4x Anu Diptinatpa 7 aus vic DOM NEC Nagaraja:6
2x Lupo Giovanni 6 dom pot pre NEC Giovanni:6
2x Salvatore Giovanni 5 dom NEC POT Giovanni:6
3x Dr. Oliver Genet 6 pot DOM NEC Giovanni:6

Library: 80 cards

Master (15 cards)
1x Anarch Troublemaker
1x Giant’s Blood
2x Jake Washington
1x Archon Investigation
1x Morgue Hunting Ground
2x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Powerbase: Cape Verde
3x Vessel
1x Coven, The
1x Direct Intervention
1x Dis Pater

Action (12 cards)
2x Far Mastery
7x Govern the Unaligned
3x Sudario Refraction

Action Modifier (21 cards)
1x Foreshadowing Destruction
6x Shroud Mastery
1x Trochomancy
2x Bonding
7x Call of the Hungry Dead
4x Conditioning

Action Modifier/Reaction (6 cards)
6x Spectral Divination

Ally (10 cards)
1x Gianna di Canneto
1x Leonardo, Mortician
5x Puppeteer
1x Tye Cooper
1x Brigitte Gebauer
1x Carlton Van Wyk

Reaction (13 cards)
4x On the Qui Vive
7x Deflection
2x Delaying Tactics

Event (3 cards)
1x FBI Special Affairs Division
2x Unmasking, The

Here, we can see a different take on Anu, with a gameplan that’s much closer to that of a Giovanni Puppeteer deck, looking to abuse the combo of Shroud Mastery + Puppeteer to act as a Tap And Bleed deck. This combo is very good, but if you have no one to steal with Puppeteer, it loses a lot of its utility, as it bleeds for 0. Enter Anu: just bleed with all of them! Do they get blocked? No problem, they hit for one. Does your opponent let them go unblocked? I guess it’s a bleed for 1 then.

There are also several Emerald Legionaire Anu decks floating on the TWDA and I do believe it’s an interesting archetype that I might try at some point.


And that’s it! I hope this first article was effective at showcasing the beautiful thing about the TWDA. It’s an endless source of creativity and ideas, some of them brilliant, some of them poorly executed, some of them making you wonder how someone managed to win with them. I look forward to sharing more of those with you!

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