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Ahrimanes Newsletter #29 10.10.07

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  • The Lasombra
    Ahrimanes Newsletter #29 10.10.07 ==================================================== [ AHRIMANES NEWSLETTER ]
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 10, 2007
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      Ahrimanes Newsletter #29 10.10.07
      ====================================================
      [ AHRIMANES NEWSLETTER ]
      ====================================================

      1.0 - Editorial

      1.1 Word From the Editor
      1.2 Next Issue

      2.0 - Concepts

      2.1 Crypt Card Focus
      2.2 Library Card Focus

      2.3 Sign Off

      --[1.1 - Word from the Editor]-----------------------

      There have been some delays on this NL, but it is here now, so
      hopefully it will sate those waiting for an Ahrimane update. I
      apologise for that, but stuff happens - I am still on track to deliver
      the October NL at the end of the month.
      So Lords of the Night has arrived, and arrived in style. I haven't
      heard anyone complaining about this set, in fact mostly the opposite
      with praise for most of the cards. There are of course some lesser
      cards, but I am sure someone will find a use for even them.

      --[1.2 -Next Issue]------------------------------------

      I will ponder the missing Ahrimane minion. I will look at the gap in
      group 4 Ahrimanes, and what might be a good addition to the clan in
      that group. Plus there will be another tournament winning Ahrimane
      deck.

      --[2.1 - Crypt Card Focus]--------------------------

      I haven't included any of the new Lords of the Night crypt cards, as
      none particularly stand out as good adds to the Ahrimanes in general.
      I am sure I will go back to them in due course, just not in this
      issue.

      --[2.2 - Library Card Focus]------------------------

      This issue I will give an overview of the new Lords of the Night
      library cards, starting with:

      Bestow Vigor
      Type: Action
      Requires: Fortitude
      Cost: 1 blood
      +1 stealth action.
      [for] Play on a vampire you control and untap this acting vampire. The
      minion with this card may play combat cards that require Fortitude as
      a vampire with basic Fortitude. Burn this card at the end of your next
      turn.
      [FOR] As above, but play on an ally you control.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      With this you can have Cynthia Ingold or Maria Stone (earning her keep
      at last) handing out FOR to your other minions. Imagine Howler, or
      Ossian with FOR! Unleash that inner beast! I notice that it only
      allows the use of FOR combat cards, probably due to the fact that you
      could manage some nasty abuse of cards like Dawn Operation. Still it
      does give the choice of damage prevention, and the new Armour of
      Vitality seems most useful as it has no restrictions on the damage it
      prevents, so can prevent environmental damage as well as strikes.

      Next up is a card that has some similarities to Enrage, in that it is
      a Presence Frenzy card. I wonder if we will see more?

      Bloodlust
      Type: Action
      Requires: Presence
      Cost: X blood
      +1 stealth action. Frenzy.
      [pre] Choose X minions and put this card in play. Each chosen minion
      gets an optional press each combat and may enter combat with any
      minion as a (D) action. Burn this card at the end of the turn.
      [PRE] As above, but choose X+1 minions.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      Anyway, Bloodlust can be used to hand out rushes complete with
      presses, which is good for the usual run of Ahrimane decks. However
      you are unlikely to have lots of minions to really overwhelm someone,
      unless you have added some allies, and so aren't going to get the full
      benefit of this. It is something that might be able to be abused with
      some work though.

      Now we have a pair of cards to watch out for, rather that use. First
      is:

      Burden the Mind
      Type: Master
      Cost: 1 pool
      Master.
      Put this card on any minion. While it is not this minion's turn, using
      an effect to untap this minion or to allow this minion to block as if
      untapped costs an additional pool. This minion may burn this card and
      untap as a (D) action.

      Rarity: LotN:C

      The killer of a wall deck, in particular Superstar wall decks. This
      will make the defending the Ousting cards like Smiling Jack a lot more
      difficult. Yes it can be burnt, and yes it can be Suddened, but it
      could prove very painful - be aware of it.
      Although Burden the Mind is painful, it won't kill you, unlike:

      Can't Take it with You
      Type: Political Action
      Successful referendum means each Methuselah gains 1 pool. Each
      Methuselah then burns 1 pool for each equipment, location or retainer
      card he or she controls.

      Rarity: LotN:C

      Which could very easily kill you! A lot of Ahrimane decks run a
      couple of locations for permanent intercept and bloat, and normally
      have quite a few retainers, although equipment is less often used.
      Either way this card could cost a lot of Pool. I do wonder how much
      play it will see because of the danger of cross table Ousting, but
      there is bound to be some trick deck out there that abuses it. So
      watch out!

      Dream World
      Type: Action
      Requires: Presence
      [pre] (D) Bleed at +1 bleed.
      [PRE] +1 stealth action. Each of your minions gets +1 bleed for the
      remainder of the turn or until a bleed action is blocked. Only one
      Dream World can be played at superior each turn.

      Rarity: LotN:C/PS4

      Similarly to Bloodlust, you probably won't have the minions to abuse
      this, also you might struggle to keep it going, as once a bleed action
      is blocked then it ends. However it might be useful as an end game
      surge card, so long as you have managed to grind everyone else's
      minions down.
      The next card came as a bit of a surprise after the recent On the Qui
      Vive:

      Eluding the Arms of Morpheus
      Type: Reaction
      Cost: 1 blood
      Only usable by a tapped vampire.
      This vampire untaps and attempts to block.

      Rarity: LotN:C/PG2/PS2

      It is perhaps not the most useful card for the Ahrimanes, as they have
      lots of ways of untapping to block already. But the fact that it
      untaps the blocking vampire means that it will see quite a bit of play
      - particularly in DOM bounce decks, although the vampire needs to
      attempt to block first.

      Flesh Bond
      Type: Combat
      Requires: Animalism
      Cost: 1 blood
      [ani] Strike: 2R damage.
      [ANI] Strike: combat ends.

      Rarity: LotN:C
      2R damage, or S:CE? In one card? That is very nice, as it fits right
      into the toolbox nature of the Ahrimanes. Sure it doesn't have the
      extra options of cards such as Aid from Bats or Majesty, but for a
      deck that is running light combat it could prove very useful.
      Another card that could be useful for toolbox decks is:

      Gramle
      Type: Action
      Cost: 1 pool
      +1 stealth action. Do not replace until the end of the action.
      Choose a card in play or in any ash heap by name. Search your library
      or crypt for the chosen card, show it to all Methuselahs, and move it
      to your hand (discard afterward) or uncontrolled region.

      Rarity: LotN:C

      As this allows you to search for cards that you need now. It will
      tend to be the more commonly played cards because of the checking
      requirement, but you can use it to bring out that second copy of
      things like Dreams, or Smiling Jack. However it is no good fishing
      for those prayer cards, as they won't fill the requirement. The pool
      cost is something to be aware of, but not extortionate.
      Now we look at another in the Master Boons:

      Lesser Boon
      Type: Master
      Master: out-of-turn. Boon.
      Only usable when a minion you control successfully blocks. The action
      resolves as if unblocked. Put this card on the acting minion. This
      minion cannot block your minions. Burn this card if you block this
      minion again, or when this minion's controller has less than 6 pool.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      This is somewhat of a double-edged sword, as you are likely, using
      Ahrimanes, to be able to block minions, so you will be able to use
      this card. However, although the fact that they cannot block your
      minion, you cannot block their minion either, unless you burn the
      card. So you will have to be selective about who you use it on, or
      perhaps use another card altogether.
      With the next card we all have bounce:

      Lost in Translation
      Type: Reaction
      Cost: 2 blood
      Only usable when an ally or younger vampire is bleeding you, after
      blocks are declined.
      Tap this reacting vampire. Choose another Methuselah other than the
      acting minion's controller. The acting minion is now bleeding the
      chosen Methuselah. Only one Lost in Translation may be played each
      action.

      Rarity: LotN:C/PA

      I think for the Ahrimanes I would use it as more of a surprise card
      rather than a major component of my defence, as the Ahrimanes are
      quite strong blocking. It is quite costly to use in great numbers, at
      least it is without some way of mitigating that cost. Also watch out
      for the last sentence there - only one may be played each action, it
      could be painful if someone has beaten you to the punch.

      Malajit Chandramouli
      Type: Retainer
      Requires: non-camarilla
      Cost: 1 pool
      Requires a non-Camarilla vampire. Unique mortal with 1 life.
      Malajit's employer may tap him to get +1 stealth for the current
      action. If that action is blocked, burn Malajit.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      Heh, I just love this paired up with Unlicensed Taxicab. It is very
      thematic, but also pretty powerful. Lot players overlook the amount
      of stealth that an Ahrimane deck can generate, with Squirrel Balance,
      Swiftness of the Stag, and perhaps Creepshow Casino, Unlicensed
      Taxicab, or Malajit you could get +4 stealth/-2 intercept. Very nice,
      plus Malajit can be pulled out of your Library with The Summoning.

      Next is:

      Monster
      Type: Master
      Master: archetype.
      Put this card on a ready vampire you control. Once each turn when
      combat involving this vampire ends and the opposing minion is not
      ready, this vampire may burn a blood to untap. A vampire may have only
      one archetype.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      Which is an awesome card, and it goes quite some way to replacing
      Perfectionist as the usual archetype of choice. Monster gives an
      untap for the cost of one blood if the opposing minion is not ready in
      each and every turn. Block someone, bash him or her into torpor, and
      then untap ready for the next one. Simply amazing! I expect to see
      this in lots of decks, Tzimisce Block, Anneke maybe Madness Networks?
      Be afraid, here be Monsters.
      Now we look at:

      Narrow Minds
      Type: Event
      Inconnu. Do not replace until your untap phase.
      Cards that change the target of a bleed cost an additional blood or
      life.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      Which will appear in most decks that don't use bounce, as it severely
      hampers bouncing cards. I imagine that this card will force a rise in
      the use of Event burning/countering cards, and probably a rise in the
      use of Bleed Reduction cards such as Telepathic Counter. Change is
      good, especially on this scale.

      The next card should feature in a few Ahrimane decks:

      Public Trust
      Type: Action
      Requires: Presence
      Cost: 1 blood
      [pre] (D) Bleed at +2 bleed.
      [PRE] As above, and if the bleed is successful (for 1 or more), add 1
      counter to a vampire in your uncontrolled region from the blood bank.

      First it gives you a big bleed boost, helping to apply the pressure.
      Second it also helps bring out those uncontrolled vampires - also
      there is no age restriction on it, so some of the smaller PRE vampires
      that I have mentioned in previous NLs can move forward and help bring
      out the big hitters.
      More untap with:

      Sense the Savage Way
      Type: Reaction
      Requires: capacity above 6 Animalism
      Requires a vampire with capacity above 6.
      [ani] +1 intercept.
      [ANI] Usable only by a tapped vampire. This vampire untaps and
      attempts to block.

      Rarity: LotN:C

      Here the problem will be the above 6 capacity requirement as it will
      force the use of superstar blockers even more (in Ahrimane decks).
      This was a problem for me at the UK NC as Howler had to fend off
      Seduction and Pentex Subversion. It has its uses, but probably in
      decks with the option of more than one high capacity vampire.

      Sheepdog
      Type: Action
      This vampire gains 4 blood. Put this card on this vampire. This
      vampire does not untap as normal. Burn this card during your untap
      phase.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      Sheepdog is a tricky one as far as the Ahrimanes are concerned, as it
      gets compared with Engling Fury and Vultures Buffet which have their
      own advantages, however the Ahrimanes can use it and get around the do
      not untap clause with the use of Speak with Spirits, so if you need a
      surge of blood it might be a worthwhile addition.
      Now we look at the new Aim card for combat, starting with:

      Target Hand
      Type: Combat
      Aim. Play when choosing a strike.
      The opposing minion may discard two combat cards [COMBAT] to cancel
      this card. If any damage from this strike is successfully inflicted on
      the opposing minion, he or she gets -1 strength this action, and you
      may destroy a weapon he or she has. A minion may play only one aim
      each strike.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      This has its uses, although Ahrimanes tend to stay away from close
      combat. It does have the secondary use of destroying a weapon, for
      which I currently use Canine Horde. Perhaps a few Target Hands could
      work, as it might help flush out other combat cards.

      Target Head
      Type: Combat
      Aim. Play when choosing a strike.
      The strike does +2 damage. The opposing minion may discard a combat
      card [COMBAT] to cancel this card. If any damage from this strike is
      successfully inflicted on the opposing minion, he or she cannot use
      any additional strikes or presses this round, and you may set the
      range for the next round. A minion may play only one aim each strike.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      Certainly powerful if it hits, as it prevents additional Strikes,
      which are often a killer for the Ahrimanes as they tend to be backed
      up with Guns or POT. Also prevents presses if the combat is going
      badly, and allows you to set range. All this is before we consider
      the +2 damage that it causes. However before we get too excited, all
      of this can, and most likely will be, cancelled by the discard of a
      single combat card. Still all is not lost, as Target Vitals can still
      be used and abused.

      Target Leg
      Type: Combat
      Aim. Play when choosing a strike.
      The opposing minion may discard two combat cards [COMBAT] to cancel
      this card. If any damage from this strike is successfully inflicted on
      the opposing minion, he or she may use maneuvers or presses only if
      they require Obfuscate [obf], Thaumaturgy [tha] or Flight [FLIGHT]
      this action. A minion may play only one aim each strike.

      Rarity: LotN:R

      Target Leg is probably of less use to the Ahrimanes as it limits the
      opposing minions maneuvers and presses, but the Ahrimanes tend to have
      plenty of both. However in a more defensive deck it could prove of
      use for keeping your minions out of combat.

      Target Vitals
      Type: Combat
      Aim. Play when choosing a strike.
      If any damage from this strike is successfully inflicted on the
      opposing minion, he or she takes an additional 2 damage from this
      strike, and he or she cannot press this round. The opposing minion may
      discard two combat cards [COMBAT] to cancel this card. A minion may
      play only one aim each strike.

      Rarity: LotN:U

      This gives you some of the options of Target Head, with the additional
      damage, and the no press penalty. Also it is more likely to be
      successfully played, as this requires two combat cards to be
      discarded. The main problem will be S:CE, as that will still foil ANI
      combat most of the time.

      Underbridge Stray
      Type: Ally
      Requires: Animalism
      Cost: 1 blood
      Animal with 1 life. 0 strength, 0 bleed.
      [ani] The Stray may burn 1 life to give a minion you control a press.
      During a (D) action directed at you, you may burn the Stray to untap a
      ready minion you control (not usable if the Stray is blocking).
      [ANI] As above, but the Stray has 2 life and 1 strength.

      Rarity: LotN:U

      Here is another thematic pairing that works, Vagabond Mystic and
      Underbridge Stray. The Stray gives some very nice options, for a low
      cost of 1 blood. To start with there is the press option, which helps
      with the usual Ahrimane combat package of Carrion Crows and Aid from
      Bats. Also you can burn him to give an additional untap - very useful
      in a block deck, perhaps with an Ahrimane Protectorate as well for
      Imbued style 'its on the table' card play. Finally the Stray can
      block - which could be very handy when pushed.
      I often use a couple of Majesty's in my Ahrimane decks because there
      can be occasions when you don't want combat, but now there is a
      further option:

      Unholy Penance
      Type: Combat
      Requires: Presence
      Cost: 1 blood
      [pre] Strike: combat ends.
      [PRE] As above, and put this card on the opposing minion (ranged). The
      striking vampire gets +1 bleed against this minion's controller. This
      minion may burn this card as a +1 stealth action. A minion can have
      only one Unholy Penance.

      This give S:CE for the cost of 1 blood at pre, which is the same as
      Majesty, but the superior could prove very useful. Simply block your
      preys minions - which Ahrimanes tend to do, then S:CE and gain +1
      bleed against that minions controller. More ousting power to you! Of
      course there is the action to burn the card as an action, but you are
      playing Ahrimanes right? Well not a problem then.

      Finally we have Vessel:

      Vessel
      Type: Master
      Cost: 1 pool
      Master: trifle.
      Put this card on a vampire, and you may burn a Blood Doll in play (if
      any). During this vampire's controller's untap phase, he or she may
      move 1 blood from this vampire to his or her pool or from his or her
      pool to this vampire.

      Rarity: LotN:PA2/PG2/PR2/PS2

      Which some people have claimed means the end of Blood Doll. I
      personally don't see it as that, but it is certainly potent. It is
      costly, in comparison with BD, but gives you the option to destroy
      your opponents bloat options, and also the ability to reclaim blood in
      your untap. This ability is very powerful, as there are a lot of
      cards that do damage in the untap and you can now have a chance of
      saving yourself from some of that pain. I would suggest a mix of
      Vessel and other bloat cards, such as Grooming the Protégé for future
      decks.

      --[2.3 - Sign Off]-------------------------------------

      Last Saturday was the UK National Cup, which I attended. There was a
      good turn out, with 43 players turning up - and there could have been
      3 more, but they couldn't make it for various reasons. Also the
      Swansea group has now disappeared, so the above number doesn't include
      them. As you may have read else where there has been lengthy
      discussions on the outcome of the final, which I did not see as I left
      when Graham was ousted, but basically the table was split between two
      players, leaving the then leader out in the cold. I thought that the
      situation shouldn't have come about, as everyone should have been
      playing to win, and such deals were prohibited. I am not sure what
      the fallout from all this will be, but certainly something needs to be
      tweaked.
      I am happy with my final placing, joint 8th place with Hugh
      Angseesing. The Ahrimanes 2007 deck has stood me in good stead all
      year, with a 6th, 7th and 8th placing at the Swansea ECQ, Burton ECQ
      and the UK National Cup respectively. I now have to decide what to
      work on for next year.

      Sam

      *
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