After some months of testing the new expansion in our playgroups and on the tournament scene, we can now see how it has impacted the metagame.
Lost Kindred was supposed to boost the five – allegedly – worst Bloodlines and make them playable. We will examine each of them to see if that succeeded, and to which extent.
[caption id="attachment_4410" align="alignright" width="300"] I wonder where the idea for the B.B. came from...[/caption]
First I must say that I have seen exactly zero new Blood Brother deck in action since these cards came out. I think this speaks in volumes…
The new Budapest circle now bolsters Vicissitude instead of Potence. This does have some potential (pardon the pun), even if I still prefer the good old For/Pot crypts. The vamps have pretty good stats without being remarkable out of their lineage. I don’t feel the need to detail them here. Oh, and they have ridiculous names, especially in french. Don’t ask.
Now let’s see their new toys :
Achilles’ Heels is a Fame-like card, supposed to give them ousting power. Sadly, the fact that it can be burned makes it quite underwhelming.
Blood Buff is nice. Would be much better if you could just share a discipline another has at sup for example, like a Sanguine Instruction in Master card. As it is, maybe it will see some use, maybe not.
Camaraderiegives some much-needed defense against bleeds, and that’s obviously very good. If I want to play sole bleed reduction I want it to be at least for 3. But wait, am I reading that right? You need to have one unlocked BB on top of the one reacting! Damn… Wallpaper, much?
And… That’s it! In other words, that clan that has never worked well before… Still probably won’t.
I promise that the first player to put a BB deck including the new cards in the TWDA will be named in a future article. As of now, the Skinheads do the same in the game as in real life: they’re useless Bums… (see?…)
The very principle behind the slave Gargoyles makes them nigh unplayable when they’re not as broken as the Tupdogs.
In Lost Kindred we get three new Tremere slaves, one enslaved to their Sabbat counterpart, and an independent Anarch.
Handsome Dan is really good, and goes well with the recently released Alabastrom, but the only other non-slave in their grouping is Malachai, so you’ll find no easy path to victory there.
The Camarilla statues are good, and both Chalcedony and Verbruch have nifty specials. They are missing a good g5-6 Tremere crypt though, so maybe we’ll see interesting things when that gap will be filled.
As for Sheel Na Gig she fails to impress as of now but might fill a gap. And I really like the art…
As for their Library :
Alvusia looks nice on paper, but needs somewhat of a swarm to be optimized.
Children of Stone (hello Pierre…) is undoubtedly a good card. It’s obviously a great combo with Chalcedony. Thing is, at Vis you will have access only to Razor Bats or Stone Dogs. And you still have that damnable slave dynamic. It could work but it’s not gonna be easy.
Their Master’s Voice is pretty good as long as your Master is here. Unlocking as a reaction is never negligible.
Last, Unleash the Hounds. It seems nice, but is your goal to control more Tremere than Gargoyles? And if it is, why not use Dom instead and protect your Tremere with the unlocked Gargoyle?
All in all, this bloodline got good new cards, both in crypt and in library, but the slave mechanism still makes them pretty hard to play, and the Anarch option lacks minions. Maybe there’s something broken to be discovered soon here, who knows… But it might have to wait for some new Tremere to come out!
Harbingers of Skulls
Before Lost Kindred, the Harbingers couldn’t do anything that another clan couldn’t do way better. Playing with them was basically playing Basketball with one hand tied behind your back. And then came Lost Kindred, and one card changed it all. Spoilers : it isn’t Acheron Vortex. But before we get to it, let’s have a look at the new vamps:
In G3 we get Erlikand Erebus, who nicely complement the previous vamps (and good golly Miss Molly, did they need that!). Erlik allows you to get your vamps out faster and cheaper, and Erebus has it all for 7 and also pays all Wraiths (yes, even the new ones) one less, that’s pretty good.
in G5-6 we can be underwhelmed by Angelique, but Hecate is just tops for the cost, and Khurshid… Man, that guy is good ! As a matter of facts, him and Mordechai are the only reasons for choosing that group over the one with Erlik (not true, fear of contest might also be another reason)…
So now, what did those guys get ? Well, just 5 meager cards…
Acheron Vortex. Yeah. Well. One card for one stealth (same as). But it won’t work on other Necromancers, on Obtenebraters (or whatever they want to be called)… Fun fact, it doesn’t even work on Nocturns ! Yeah, that card is crap. Especially in those nights full of Harbingers…
Disciple of Lazarus isn’t great in and by itself, but being able to go fetch as an alternative to Scouting can be useful in the right decks.
Emerald Legionnaire. Now, if you have been sleeping in a cave or in a transylvanian castle (or in both, like my friend Batcula), you don’t know how many of those guys hit the tables thoses days. Hint: that’s a lot. This card is so good it’s borderline broken, it’s so good it drew Harbingers from the Void where they were waiting eagerly, it’s so good that I’ve made a whole article about them! Nuff said…
Inevitability of the Void is a good bleed card, and is combo with the Slaughterhouses. Trochomancy will be favored over it most of the time though, because it is so meta against Legionnaires and Ashur Tablets.
Vengeful Spirit received mixed reviews. I personaly quite like it, especially with Erebus of course. Now, it might not be included in the same decks as the Legionnaires, and right now those are so powerful that any other option is eclipsed. But I think they might shine with time.
The 3-eyes freaks were already playable before, they just lacked some ways to fight Immortal Grapple or Long (not Lone) Rangers. When I tested the expansion I knew that they would shine. They just got upstaged by the Emerald frenzy, and yes fight is hard to play, but for me they’re at least a big Tier2 right now. Why? Let’s see!
[caption id="attachment_4413" align="alignright" width="189"] Yeah I'm a 3-eyed cat, so what?![/caption]
Castiel is a great addition to the G3-G4 rush-oriented crypt. A 6-Cap with Two superior disciplines, one inferior and an integrated Concealed Weapon? YES, PLEASE !
But for me THE star,the one I put 4 of in my deck, is Nuriel. With a Blade of Bellona or a Stick or, well, anything, he’ll hit you for 6 ! And with no weapon it’s still 2… Seriously, that guy is a beast !
Of course Michaela is great, and will help sparing the Death Seeker of the Blessed Blade you need for something else when faced with Immortal Grapple (or even Target Vitals…).
And Lailah, well, she’s good enough for the points, we’ve seen better.
All this to complete a 5-6 crypt with other great vamps like Ariel and Azrael (and also Silas, hum…).
Buuut they also got 3 cards. Yes, just 3. But none of them is less than 5 stars!
Blade of Bellona is THE weapon they’ve always needed. Hit for 2 (3 + 3 for Nuriel) and go to close with those pesky bats (Batcula, you again!) without playing another card ? My stars and garters! Where do I sign?!
Blessed Blade gives you that extra edge, and hits for 5 with the Blade (6 + 6 for Nuriel, yeah, see what I mean…). And if someone trie to Grapple you… What Grapple? There is no Grapple! Just be careful, you can’t use it without a weapon, unlike Vengeance of Samiel… But it’s so much better!
Righteous Aura : yeah, because sending people to torpor is seldom a way to make VPs. So let’s do that and then bleed for 3, shall we? Well sure, go ahead, we’re not gonna stop you…
Last but not least, the dreaded…
No. Not Sundae. Not even Sunday. Samedi. I know, this joke doesn’t even work outside of the french language. But do I look like I give a fudge?
The Samedi, donc, mes amis.
You know, the bloodline with maybe the worst crypt of the whole game? Have you tried the G2-3 crypt, like, ever? Well I have and I don’t recommend it. It’s so bad that I can’t even play my beloved Lisandro with them…
Now the G5-6 crypt is waaaaaay better!
Mambo Jeanne has that atrocious 9-Cap, but man, does she kick ass! I’m willing to pay that for all disciplines at superior and an Incorporated Carrion Crows at close!
Jean Lisle is pretty good too. My only complaint is that he’s in direct competition with Josette and that it makes for a tough choice or a pretty high-cap crypt…
So that makes for a pretty solid, if expensive, crypt.
Now their new library cards are about as good as the ones their 3-eyed friend got, and some look pretty similar.
Blessings of the Loa is the card they needed for the kill. The Samedi don’t burn vampires, and they leave Graverobbing to the Giovanni : they really prefer their prey’s minions in torpor, deep in their grave… Great card. Don’t forget that Angel Chavarria can’t use it.
Necrosis is as good as Blessed Blade (better against damage reducers), and doesn’t require a weapon. Yes, that’s what Undead Strength should have looked like!
And of course… Relentless Reaper! You want to prevent? Check! Press? Check! Counter a Combat Ends? Check! This card does it all, really!
[caption id="attachment_4416" align="alignright" width="241"] Soap. Every Samedi needs more.[/caption]
Of course the Samedi are very combat-oriented, and that is their weakness. I’ve been playing a deck for a while now, and I don’t get many Game Wins. But man, I must have the record of torporized vampires on our tables, and that’s saying something in our Tuesday “Fight Club” meta!
So to summarize :
The Harbingers of Skulls come on top of this podium, mostly because of ONE card
The Salubri Antitribu come as close seconds
The Samedi got many good cards, but pure fight is still the hardest to win with
The Gargoyles might shine soon but for now they still have issues
As for the local skinheads… Well, who likes fascists anyway?
That’s it, hope you liked this video, remember to subscribe and feel free to comment. Next time we’ll talk about cute little cats because we need more views. Ciao!
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