Nosferatu V5

You’ve been waiting for it in many ways: this is both our “get out of torpor” article, and the preview for the new Nosferatu pre-constructed deck (“Nosfe precon” for the friends).

You will love it, hate it, or anything in-between. But I don’t think it will leave you unaffected: for this deck Black Chantry chose to take a stance on a new angle for that clan, to try and give them some useful tools.

Before we go on, let’s look back at what this clan had to offer up to this point:

  • The mix of disciplines Ani/Obf/Pot is, as the appearance of the Nosferatu, not the sexyest one you can get. Ani and Pot don’t combo very well in combat (Ani being better at long range, Pot at close), and Obf doesn’t help much for fighting (apart from Swallowed by the Night and the latter addition of Shadow Boxing). There isn’t much point in obfuscating when you want to confront your opponents except the odd “don’t block me you puny ally I’m rushing the big guy”, and it’s not like you’re gonna bleed for lots.
  • So we never really had a proper working Nosferatu deck; by this I mean a deck relying on the disciplines on the clan and maybe some good clan cards, as the Ventrue, Giovanni and co can do.
  • There is ONE really good Nosferatu archetype out there, rather, there was. I’m of course talking about the G1-2 Nosfe Prince deck. It relies solely on the following things :
    • The cheap votes (helped by some Legendary Vampire)
    • Obfuscate
    • Parity Shift (which has been downgraded, making this deck currently way too slow, effectively killing it)
    • The Fortitude splash of many of those vamps, allowing for multi-acting with Freak Drive

All this, as we can see, has little to do with the Nosferatu clan, despite the help of a few good clan cards, like the recent (from a Methuselah’s viewpoint) addition of Warsaw Station.

Sure, there are a few other concepts that might work, centered around main vampires like Baba Yaga or Cock Robin, but on the whole let’s be frank: Nosferatu don’t have any viable strategy. And of course, they suffer of the “bleed sink” syndrome.

Will the few new cards we get in V5 change that? We can only speculate, but it’s obviously the intent behind their design.

But first, let’s have a look at :

The crypt cards!

As announced, they are designed for easy integration of new players, and therefore are quite “vanilla” (very little special text).

First we get the small classical vamps that you find more or less in any group:

Baixinho is such a usual Weenie Ani drone that he thought he’d get noticed more by winning the in-clan Ugly Contest…

Ryan is the usual 4-Cap with 3 inferiors, nothing to add.

Aunt Linda is of course an Agatha clone. She will be a good addition in any weenie Pot deck. Not sure she’ll be in many Nosferatu decks though.

Waukena is okay. Sadly, Auspex at inferior offers very little, so even as an ally for Federico di Padua and Sergei Voshkov, that discipline will be a hard pass for me as a Nosfie splash.

Horace Radcliffe is obviously a solid vamp for the points, everything where we need it to be! We used to call him Nigel the Shunned, when we were younger… And great art BTW!

The Dowager : ok, now we’re talking! +1 Intercept isn’t a negligible asset. It’s only against D actions, which as we will see is the global orientation of this deck. To gain this, sadly, and still make space for her Primogen title, the Dowager had to give up POT. She’ll obviously work much better with a deck relying solely on Ani for combat. Oh and yeah, that inferior Aus again… Pretty good vamp for 6 in any case!

Lenny Burkhead bleeds like a pro, and that’s a welcome addition for this Dominateless clan! Too bad he can’t become Anarch to use all those inferior disciplines… Once more we’ll see him using mostly Ani.

Larissa Moreira: yummy! Good discipline spread, small title, and a special that allows a conditional bleed boost while at the same time discarding excess Ani cards. No doubt, she’s a good one!

A Prince with OBF, that’s good! But Belinde is quite lonely in this deck. I guess you could put her with Jacques Rouge and Benedito, a lanterna, which would make 3 Nosferatu 6-Caps with 2 votes. Would that work, though? Not sure…

So, to sum up: on one hand I like that crypt very much for an ANI-oriented deck. Horace, The Dowager, Lenny Burkhead and Larissa Moreira make an excellent basis for a deck to which we can add either Baixinho and Ryan, or some non-Nosfies weenies.

But that’s also what I can reproach here: the best 3 vamps have inferior Pot, and Larissa gives us extra incentive to play mass Ani. So I fear that this clan will still make very little use of their Potence, until we get some good cards that fit in here, or possibly new Ani/Pot or Obf/Pot combo cards?

Still, on the whole, I can’t complain about such a nice and unexpensive crypt.
But, I hear you say, what does it have over a weenie Ani deck? Wait for it…

The Library cards!

You’ve all seen Roundhouse by now, and probably also more than a few memes about it!
A welcome update to the now wallpaperized Undead Strength (that didn’t see much use before anyway). At least until we get some good melee weapons useable under Immortal Grapple, so I guess that’s gonna stick a long time! Still, I’ll prefer to play Torn Signpost anytime, and seldom will include both. This has a place in Weenie Pot I guess.

Okay, now THIS is the main card of the new deck. In one card, BCP proposes a new core strategy for this clan. Introducing Creeping Sabotage!

But we already had Army of Rats you say? Yeah, but it’s non-stackable (although it can stack with Creeping Sabotage, so I’d always include one in such a deck; maybe two if you play 3 Larissa).

So, if your deck is able to put enough Creeping Sabotage in play and defend them, you can kill your prey without bleeding, and even get ready to kill the next one the same way! Of course, if you plan not to bleed at all (except maybe to finish your last prey) you can use Protected Resources to survive big bleeders in the meantime (or give you the time to back-destroy them). And obviously, 2 Warsaw Stations would allow you to get the Creeping and unlock, either for blocking or to equip with a Raven Spy.

Surely such a deck would need trial and errors to make it work, but on paper at least it seems like a new concept just emerged. So: me likesey mucho!

I’m a bit mitigated about The Warrens. On one hand, +3 Intercept for a mere Primogen is great, and 4 vampires in this deck can use it for maximal effect. On the other one, the blood cost is a bummer, and the D action clause means that voter decks will run us over. Ok, votes are not really meta right now, but there are lots of other non-D actions that we will regret not being able to block. Of course, the synergy with Creeping Sabotage is obvious. I’d include a few of these in such a deck, maybe in all Nosfie decks, but definitely wouldn’t rely on this card alone for my survival strategy.

Protected District is a great card, with the obvious goal to make the Primogen title a bit more rewarding. 3 is the bare minimum for a bleed reducer to be interesting, and 3 votes might make quite a big difference sometimes, especially if you have some titles on the board. The 3 Primogen in this deck make it appealing to include at least a few, and some other clans will also benefit nicely from it. I would have preferred to also have an effect with Princes, even a lesser one, to encourage mixing the two. We’ll see where you will choose to put this card (no, not there, you pervert!).

And now let’s have a look at:

The full decklist!

Crypt: (12 cards)
1 Baixinho
1 Ryan
1 Aunt Linda
1 Wauneka
1 Horace Radcliffe
1 The Dowager
2 Lenny Burkhead
2 Larissa Moreira
2 Belinde

I would have liked 2x The Dowager too, but I guess you can’t have them all in one pack…

Library: (77 cards)
Master (12 cards)
4 Vessel
1 Slum Hunting Ground
1 The Labyrinth
1 Warsaw Station
1 Haven Uncovered
1 Fame
1 Rebel
1 Smiling Jack, the Anarch
1 Guardian Angel

Pretty good Master module, with all the important reprints. I’d drop Rebel, which goes absolutely in the wrong direction here, and would think about dropping Guardian Angel and Smiling Jack, depending on your exact build.

Action (12 cards)
4 Creeping Sabotage

Damn, we’ll have to buy this deck twice if we want enough of those…

6 Deep Song
2 Preternatural Strength

Yup, nice.

Action Modifier (4 cards)
4 Lost in Crowds

Would have liked a few Swallowed by the Night, but we can get them easily elsewhere, and few of our vamps can use it at superior, so… Okay!

Reaction (25 cards)
4 Cat’s Guidance
4 Instinctive Reaction
4 Guard Dogs
4 Protected District
4 The Warrens
5 On the Qui Vive

That’s quite a lot of reactions ain’t it?! I’m not a big fan of Guard Dogs because they’re limited to bleeds (so it wouldn’t work for defending your Creeping Sabotage), I’d absolutely drop them. And if you go for the Sabotage way, get rid of the Instinctive Reaction too and add 1 or 2 OTQV.

Combat (18 cards)
8 Roundhouse

Lots of those, ok they’re new but I plan on playing exactly zero in most of my decks, so… I think they’ll soon end up in the Common boxes of your favourite stores.

4 Immortal Grapple
2 Carrion Crows

Would have liked more Crows.

4 Taste of Vitae

On the whole, the idea here being close range with crows. Of course I’d rather go the Aid/Crows way.

Ally (2 cards)
2 Underbridge Stray

Nice little guy to go fetch under Warsaw.

Retainer (4 cards)
2 Murder of Crows
2 Raven Spy

Never played Murder of Crows, won’t start now. Obviously need more Raven Spy if you want to block efficiently (the 4 you get with 2 decks could suffice in addition to the transient intercept).

So, in conclusion,

we might, I said “MIGHT”, have the basis of a pretty good new Nosferatu archetype here! I’m gonna take a risk and predict that we’ll soon see some in the TWDA. But don’t get any illusions: it will take time and work. Still, it’s nice to get some cards that make you want to (underbridge) stray from the weenie Ani crypt and really try to play Nosferatu, for a change!!

And on a global note, I just have to add that the art on all those cards, Library and Crypt alike, is great! You might notice some changes in text formatting too, there is some good work on that subject coming from BCP and the testing teams, so kudos to them all.

That’s all for now folks, next time we’ll talk about the best way to pad your coffins and still have enough space for you and your favourite Blood Doll.

Or maybe something else, you’ll see…


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