OFFICIAL VEKN GANGREL ANTITRIBU NEWSLETTER VOLUME 5 NUMBER 1 JANUARY 2002 IN THIS ISSUE ...... ****GUEST COLUMN**** THE FAIRY FELLER'S MASTERSTROKE [Unofficial Kiasyd Newsletter] INTRODUCTION FICTION: THE FAIRY FELLER'S MASTERSTROKE DECK: St Bartholemew's Day Massacre ********************* DECK: Oh My, Omaya! [yet another tournament-quality gangrel-antitribu deck]. THE FAIRY FELLER'S MASTERSTROKE [Unofficial Kiasyd Newsletter] INTRODUCTION My first essays in Bloodlines deck-building have focussed on the Ahrimanes and Kiasyd, the Ahrimanes for obvious newslettery reasons, and the Kiasyd because Dave Hammond gave me a Kiasyd badge for getting to the Watford pre-release final [and also a Lasombra precon]. i've yet to make anything worth talking about out of the Ahrimanes, so this month i thought i would write about the Kiasyd deck which i threw together from my post-collection bloodlines cards, the aforementioned Lasombra precon, and the carcasses of some Ravnos and Giovanni precons which i'd picked up for various reasons here and there. This is becoming a bit of a pattern with me, too lazy/preoccupied to sort the piles of cards in my living room out properly. Maybe i should kidnap David Tatu and Robyn and hold them until they do it for me. But i digress. The Kiasyd are a Sabbat bloodline who Did A Naughty Thing with some Changelings they caught, so now they are tainted or gifted or both by Arcadian blood. They're thus one of three clans/bloodlines with connections to the faery world-of-darkness, the others being the !Gangrel [Shadow Court Satyr, who incidentally is now IMMENSELY more powerful in a deck that contains bloodlines multi-discipline cards] and the !Malkavians [Dauntain Black Magician, Walk through Arcadia]. Previous to seeing the set and getting the badge [thanks, Dave!] i thought the Kiasyd were a STUPID, SISSY idea, but we at Legbiter Hall were TOTALLY bowled over by a combination of the badge, Christopher Shy's portraits of them, and the special abilities of Bartholemew and Julia Prime. Plus, Marianne is NUTTY about Faeries and especially their Dark Side [as evidence of which she [a] has a deck not wholly dissimilar to the one i'm featuring further down this column, and [b] greatly enjoys Faery Meat, as do all right-thinking deviant children]. FICTION: THE FAIRY FELLER'S MASTERSTROKE It's bitterly cold as the slim dark-haired girl leaves work in the suburbs of London and drives south towards Hampshire, after another shift of DNA-profiling criminal suspects. The late afternoon sky is clear but ahead, rising up over the Downs, is a great bank of grey cloud, and she has to turn on her headlights at Petersfield. Her way home takes her through a dreary housing estate and she stops at the Pakistani place to pick up some groceries. The shopkeeper and a friendly beggar detain her for a few moments with pleasantries which she returns, and for hours afterwards they will be smiling to themselves at the memory of her strange, wistful smile, her oddly-slanted and somehow feral blue eyes, and the peculiar ethereal glow which she seems to leave in her wake. Back at her flat Juliana Priest parks her car and turns the key in her lock. As she climbs the stairs she becomes aware of a faint scent, a combination of menthol cigarettes, leather and death. "Hullo, Lord Legbiter", she says as she hangs up her coat, not even looking at the couch where he is sitting, reading the new book by Kazuo Ishigura. "Hullo, Juliana" he replies, rising politely. "i think you may already have met my friends?" Lucita and Julia Prime nod at the mortal, a little contemptuously perhaps, or maybe just cagily. There is something weird about this one, a sense of extension, as if the body were only a focus for something large and wild. "i can't offer you any refreshment appropriate to your kind, so perhaps you'ld be good enough to let me know why you are here." "Ah, practical as always. Isn't she a gem, my darlings? Well, Juliana, it's like this. We're having a spot of bother with my old enemies Keech and Number One. i expect you've noticed the upsurge of gang violence in the area? The police are blaming the Yardies, of course, but i'm afraid it's something much, MUCH worse than that." "Blood brothers and the Brujah. i know. Please get to the point." "We need your protection. More precisely, she, Lucita, needs one of your charms. You know the ones i mean. i'll pay you well, of course." "You'll do nothing of the kind. i already knew you were coming. i have it, here. Now please go." Juliana gives the old vampire a brown paper parcel, flat and rectangular. He bows, and the vampires leave the flat and vanish into the night. Juliana tries to make coffee but her hands are shaking so much that she drops and breaks the pot, so instead she sits in silence for a few hours and then falls asleep, fully clothed. As she dreams her hands flutter and scrabble and she makes little panicky sounds, as if she were trying to escape from a premature burial. Later that night, Jacko approaches Lucita's haven and prepares to attack. His fighter's instincts, always alert to the unusual, are held by a Richard Dadd print in the hall. As he watches, the Fairy Feller's eyes flicker in his direction, and the mallet descends, striking the enchanted nut precisely at its weakest spot. Instantly the captives are freed and they seem to boil out of the painting, laughing, shrieking, turning the astonished vampire this way and that in a wild bacchanalian frenzy of rejoicing at their liberation. Much later, Jacko awakens on the Downs, moments before he would have been destroyed by the merciless Eye of Phoebus. Juliana is already on her way to work by now, and when she returns she buys a new coffee pot at the Pakistani shop, and makes her way back to the flat. Two large men are waiting for her with a packing-case. "Sign here, please, miss." They carry it into her house, and then leave, nervous chaps for such big men, she thinks. Opened, the case contains a weird clockwork-and-valves apparatus, a single black rose and a card "To J from L, in thanks, in memory, and in anticipation". She finishes unpacking the object, which turns out to have the word "Fairyvision set" over what looks like a screen. There's a button on the front, which she presses. The Fairyvision set begins to hum and a bright dot appears in the middle of the screen, growing as she watches into a little picture, and then a big picture that fills the whole screen .... and then .... the picture continues to grow, expanding out of the apparatus, eating up its surroundings and subtly transmuting them into a new and intensely-vivid surreality. Juliana draws back but she can't, she's now part of the picture too, and she realises that this is a world into which, for the first time, she actually FITS. She asks directions of a friendly tree, and helpful birds take her to the place it specifies, a green hill with a gay hall set thereon, where many goodly folk are feasting. They all greet her kindly and the Lord of the Hall kisses her warmly and leads her to her place at his side. Dimly she is aware that this is Legbiter, but it is hard to associate the twisted monster of Wessex to the being who is now laughing with her, toasting her and squeezing her hand. After the feast the dancing begins and as they twist and turn and pirouette to the sound of the pipe and violin he suddenly draws her close and kisses her on her beautiful brow. "i live for these moments, you know. Can you stay long?" "Me too. i don't know. Perhaps. i hope so." She kisses him back, and the dance goes on. DECK: St Bartholemew's Day Massacre Kiasyd/Lasombra sneak-bleed toolbox deck, created by Legbiter, 6CL legal though designed for standard NCl environment, not legal for tournament play JUST yet so keep your panties on until January 3rd! CRYPT: 7 Kiasyd cards [5 vampires]: Bartholemew x 2 Beatrice L'Anjou Julia Prime x 2 Kassiym Malikhair Marconius 5 Lasombra cards [5 vampires]: Aurora Van Brande Gratiano Ignacio, The Black Priest Lucita Ramiro LIBRARY [83 cards]: 17 MASTERS [bit too many - probably should drop Festivo and Misdirection]: Auspex The Barrens Blood Doll x 2 Chanjelin Ward x 2 Direct intervention Dominate Dreams of the Sphinx Elder Library Festivo Dello Estinto Heidelberg Castle, Germany Misdirection Obtenebration Political Hunting Ground The Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper Tribute to the Master 18 DISCIPLINELESS: Deer Rifle Delaying Tactics x 2 Flak Jacket The Grandest Trick x 2 Leather jacket Palatial Estate Riddle Phantastique x 3 [i've yet to pull one of these off so arguably they should be dropped] Saturday night Special Wake with Evening's Freshness x 6 6 AUSPEX: Aura Reading Pulse of the Canaille [once your vamp has one of these, THAT'S what The Grandest Trick is good for! i should add that this card is also under scrutiny, since i've yet to play it. If it goes another aura reading will replace it] Telepathic Counter x 4 16 DOMINATE: Bonding Command of the Beast x 3 Conditioning x 2 Deflection x 4 Govern the Unaligned x 2 Scouting Mission Threats x 3 13 MYTHERCERIA: Absorb the Mind [also dom] x 4 Aura Absorption [also aus] x 2 Basilisk's Touch [also pot] x 2 Stone Travel [also obt] x 5 13 OBTENEBRATION: Arms of the Abyss x 3 Entombment Oubliette Shadow body Shadow Play x 4 Shadow Strike x 2 Shroud of Night i've played this deck twice and both times i have won. In its first outing it swept against Michael's !Brujah and Sarah's Tzimisce, a tough game which resulted in a fairly major tweak. On Wednesday the 19th of December i chose it for our regular pub game in the Northcote hotel, when we were, in order of play: Rob Treasure, playing a very fine Blood Brothers rush deck, who was bleeding; Garry Scarlett, playing a Ravnos-with-dominate deck, who was bleeding; John Keech, playing a !Brujah rush deck with added Beasty goodness, who was bleeding Me. Not the best crypt or seating order here, so i was resigned to a fairly mediocre performance. Thoroughly-predictably, Ignacio was my first vampire out, he got superior dominate, he got slotted by Rob. Time to consolidate, so i spent the nest few turns keeping my head down except for Lucita torporising and then stealth-diablerising Beast. Julia Prime was my third vampire out and her first major contribution was to allow me to play a Chanjelin Ward on Lucita. i was getting bled for rather a lot and i didn't dare to block most of it, so the pool level was getting dangerously low. On the plus side, Lucita was bleeding at effectively innate +1 stealth and Rob was also going down like a tart's drawers in consequence. Helpfully for me he wasn't drawing into rushes much and when he did i had a timely DI [i also had to burn a Chanjelin Ward to stop one of John's, quickly replaced as it turned out]. Alas, no bleed modifiers when it mattered so Rob got Garry and 6 pool. John made a last-ditch effort to get me but by this time i had drawn into a clump of telepathic counters and a deflection, so after he'd shot his bolt i was on one pool and HAD to get Rob that turn, which i duly did. John was a much less frightening fighty prospect by now, but i still had to play it tight, eventually suckering him into seeing Lucita as the major threat, letting him beat her into torpor and then stealth-bleeding him out with a GtU from Aurora. Exciting game and great table talk as always with Rob - we both reckon the new set is going to topple the Malkavians from the stealth-bleed masters podium, to be replaced by [roll of kettledrums] the Lasombra and their ickle faiwy fweinds. After that i switched to my all-Jyhad weenie presence deck and got TOTALLY stomped by Rob and John who stuck with their combat monsters [Rob swept] - also a thoroughly-good game, i might add, in which i NEARLY got John. ************************* DECK: Oh My, Omaya! [yet another tournament-quality gangrel-antitribu deck]. Deck Name: Oh My, Omaya! Created by: Khervin Cheng Chua Description: Inspired by Derek Ray's Omaya Wall deck, this deck tools up a Country !Gangrel with Auspex (ideally Omaya) with raven spies and wall up to protect blood/pool-gainers while other vamps bleed or bounce bleeds... [Khervin used this deck to win the San Juan tournament in the Philippines recently. and i congratulate him and thank him for permission to include the deck and his comments on it in this newsletter]. Crypt: 2 Caitlin (ANI aus dom PRO, Gangrel Antitribu, 6, Bishop) 1 Genevieve (ANI aus dom FOR PRO, Gangrel Antitribu, 10, Priscus) 1 Haakon Mortensen (ANI FOR PRO, Gangrel Antitribu, 8) 1 Leon (ani for, Gangrel Antitribu, 3) 1 Luther (ANI for obt pro, Gangrel Antitribu, 6) 2 Monique (ani aus for pro, Gangrel Antitribu, 5) 4 Omaya (ANI AUS FOR pro, Gangrel Antitribu, 7) Library: (80 cards) Master (15 cards) 2 Auspex 4 Blood Doll 1 Club Zombie 1 Heidelburg Castle, Germany 1 Hungry Coyote, The 1 Path of the Feral Heart, The 1 Powerbase: Chicago 1 Powerbase: Montreal 1 Protean 1 Rack, The 1 Smiling Jack, The Anarch Minion (65 cards) 2 Army of Rats 1 Body Flare 2 Carrion Crows 8 Cats' Guidance 4 Claws of the Dead 4 Drawing Out the Beast 4 Earth Meld 6 Forced Awakening 2 Form of Mist 3 Freak Drive 4 Guard Dogs 2 Homunculus 1 J. S. Simmons, Esq. 1 Mr. Winthrop 1 Owl Companion 2 Precognition 2 Quick Meld 3 Raven Spy 1 Revelations 1 Sniper Rifle 1 Tasha Morgan 4 Telepathic Misdirection 2 Telepathic Tracking 4 Wolf Claws Creator's Comments: I have always wanted to play Tzimisce Intercept but I have yet to get enough Tzimisce/Vicissitude cards to actually pull off one. A few months ago, I realized that the Country Gangrel Antitribu has Auspex as their "fourth" discipline... since then, I've always wanted to create an ANI/AUS/PRO Country Gangrel Intercept Deck -- this actually seems more superior to the Tzimisce version because of several facts: most Country Gangrel have Fortitude which protects them from the bane of intercept decks, the Kiss of Ra; Protean has Homunculi for untapping goodness; Protean combat seems cheaper than Vicissitude combat and less card intensive (strike for hand, if opponent does not dodge or end combat, aggravate the damage); Protean has Quick Meld; Protean has Flesh of Marble, although I wasn't able to use them in this deck cuz they were all in my City Gangrel deck... having read about Derek Ray's infamous Omaya Wall deck on the newsgroup, I took it upon myself to find out what made his deck work. Derek was gracious enough to give me his decklist as well as a few notes and suggestions... this deck is the result of liberal tweaking of Derek's deck. The concept is relatively similar: tool up a Country !Gangrel with Auspex (ideally Omaya) with raven spies and wall up to protect blood/pool-gainers while other vamps bleed or bounce bleeds... I've always used mono-clan crypts as much as possible... I just feel uncomfortable otherwise... Gunther would definitely fit into this crypt of course... Haakon was actually surprisingly helpful -- his hunt-for-another-vamp ability keeps your interceptor untapped and his move-a-blood-to-an-uncontrolled- vamp gives you additional pool gain... very useful with a Hungry Cayote or the Rack... I really wanted to bounce bleeds with Telepathic Misdirections hence the two Auspex discipline cards... Club Zombie was actually very good -- most of the time, it acted as a Hunting Ground since I rarely tap it for intercept and with it untapped, people are leery of doing any actions against me... I've learned to love PB: Chicago -- I've used it both for pool gain and for deals with other methuselahs (Derek's idea)... Smiling Jack was there as a prayer card (I only have two in my collection), big surprise that it won me the tourny! Drawing Out the Beast saved me from Ravnos Horrid Realities... the Sniper Rifle was very useful against nasty closed-ranged combat (i.e. Shambling Hordes), perhaps should have another one in the deck... Always remember that Omaya has INFERIOR protean! I forgot this little tidbit a number of times in the tourny when I tried to use the superior of Earth Meld and Form of Mist! The 2 Telepathic Tracking should be taken out IMHO, it was usually enough to have had blocked an action... I'm very excited with "Read the Winds" from Bloodlines for this deck! More untap, more intercept! Editor's Comments: Khervin has asked for feedback about this deck, and i'll start the ball rolling by suggesting that the Telepathic trackings maybe ought to be aura readings, useful either for unblocking hand-jam or for deciding when to play that aggravated damage when YOU'RE the acting minion, or whether to cat's guidance afterwards or save it for the intercept. Additionally it's an extra disincentive to getting into combat with a minion if you suspect you are going to have to show your hand to everybody as a result, i find. Anybody else care to chip in? **************** And that's it for January. A bit early i know, but as usual i will be frightfully busy AND frightfully drunk when the Right Time comes around. Don't forget the next Portsmouth tourney is on the 13th and thanks, Scott, for the sanctioning. See y'all soon!