!Toreador Starter: Libertine Ball
Posted February 7th 2019 by Rahvin
The following article has been cross-posted from Information Highway.

Welcome, welcome, to the last article about the new starters! It’s been a joy to write them together, and your feedback has been very positive about it, thanks a lot!

For those of you who don’t know it yet, this last starter is basically a Palla Grande deck, using the 4/5 grouping. Palla Grande is a T1 swarm archetype, relying on its namesake card as well as some ways to swarm the board, namely The Embrace, to create a powerful and resilient oust power.

Palla Grande is free, impossible to remove (it stays in play 3 turns), and not limited to once per game (like Week of Nightmares for exemple). This means that you can just as well play another one as soon as it expires, and don’t have to be afraid of Sudden Reversal or Wash. This makes the archetype fairly consistent when it comes to lunging at its prey.

Most decks also use the powerful Foundation Exhibit as well as some number of Consanguineous Boon to gain high amounts of pool, with the added bonus of some much appreciated vote presence. Some versions also play Kine Resources Contested in order to have another angle of attack to oust.

Those decks usually use mostly Presence for some utility and Combat Ends, as well as Auspex, basically for Telepathic Misdirection. However, some Palla Grande decks choose to play no or close to no disciplines cards at all, as none of the important cards for the archetype require a particular discipline.

For this review, we’ll talk about the new crypt as well as the starter list and then I’ll give you an improved list, while still trying to stay close to the original.

Before we go into all that however, you should probably familiarize yourself with the starter list from Black Chantry Production, that can be found here.

I) The New Crypt

First, it should be noted that the vast majority of Palla Grandes use the 2/3 crypt. The main reason to use it is Jost, who has an extremely powerful text for a deck with otherwise close to no stealth. Other relevant vampires are Sheila and sometimes Greta, with also a handful of small vampire like Lolita or Remilliard.

The preconstructed deck however plays the 4/5 grouping, with two new vampires : Guggenheim and Conchita Morales. Let’s see what it has to offer, shall we?

The Crypt from the Starter :
2 Conchita Morales
2 Guggenheim
1 Jonathan Gursel
1 Justine Chen, Innocent
3 Klaus Konrecht
1 L’Epuisette
1 Loonar
1 Monique Kim

The New Kids :

Guggenheim :

Everything at superior for 6 is good. In fact, this new vampire is the only one of the grouping with everything at superior for 6, which makes him clearly worthwhile. Not much more to say here: sometimes good cheap vampires with relevant disciplines at superior is all you need.

Conchita Morales :

The comparison between Amber (which is surprisingly not present here) and Conchita is pretty obvious. I would however argue that having superior Auspex (allowing you to play telepathic misdirection) is better than having superior Celerity (allowing you to play Resist The Earth’s Grasp and Scalpel Tongue at superior). Still, both are pretty solid, and Conchita is a very welcome addition to the 4/5 crypt.

The Daddy :

Klaus Konrecht

Boasting 3 votes as well as all the in clan disciplines at superior, Klaus is a perfectly good Toreador Antitribu, if perhaps a little bit expensive for what the deck is trying to accomplish. It allows a slightly bigger vote presence, while also being a good candidate to Enchant Kindred his friends.

The weenies :

Jonathan Gursel
Justine Chen, Innocent
Monique Kim

Palla Grande being a swarm bleed deck, small cap vampires are very important here, and those small caps are, well, actually pretty good. They also all happen to share Presence, which is the most important discipline to have in this deck.

Now that the introductions are done, let’s compare this new crypt to the classic one, shall we? For reference, here is one crypt from that grouping :
1 Carter cel 2 Toreador Antitribu
1 Creamy Jade aus cel vic PRE5 Toreador Antitribu
1 Greta Kircher obf AUS CEL PRE7 Toreador Antitribu
3 Jost Werner ani AUS PRE 6 Toreador Antitribu
1 Lolita for pre 3 Toreador Antitribu
1 Mercy cel dom pre AUS5 Toreador Antitribu
1 Nicholas Chang aus 2 Toreador Antitribu
1 Remilliard pre AUS 4 Toreador Antitribu
1 Sabrina aus cel pre 4 Toreador Antitribu
1 Sheila Mezarin cel for AUS PRE6 Toreador Antitribu

As we said, Jost is obviously the star here, being very efficient for 6, with two disciplines at superior and a permanent +1 stealth. He is missing Celerity though, meaning he can’t play Scalpel tongue like Conchita Morales or Guggenheim. I would also argue that the weenies have slighty weaker disciplines distribution than the ones in group 4/5. Finally, while Sheila and Greta have great special text, Sheila is missing Cel at superior and Greta is slightly expensive for a vamp with no titles.

Here we can see that the new crypt is better at having presence on small vampires, as well as having superior Celerity, which make playing Scalpel Tongue and Resist Earth’s Grasp that much easier. Those two cards are definitely includes to be considered if you opt for this grouping.

II) The List

Master [16]
1 Creepshow Casino
1 Día de los Muertos
3 Foundation Exhibit
1 The Hungry Coyote
3 Palla Grande
2 Perfectionist
1 Wash
4 Vessel
Action [22]

4 Art Scam
9 Embrace, The
6 Enchant Kindred (NEW ART)
3 Entrancement
Political Action [13]
7 Consanguineous Boon
6 Kine Resources Contested
Action Modifier [7]
4 Change of Target
3 Perfect Paragon
Combo [5]
3 Resist Earth’s Grasp
2 Scalpel Tongue
Combat [4]
4 Majesty
Reaction [10]
2 Delaying Tactics
4 On the Qui Vive
4 Telepathic Misdirection

Crypt aside, I believe this starter is actually the closest of all the starters from being a completely competitive list, and, as such we won’t change many cards. Actually, I don’t even think it would make much sense to simply improve it by adding another one (like we did for the other starters), so I will simply add cards that I think are good for the archetype, regardless of their presence in other decks.

I’m not too fond of Enchant Kindred here. I find it a little bit clunky, even though the bigger cap of the crypt can make it work. We’ll have to cut some numbers of them.

I’m also not a huge fan of some of the master choices, especially the glaring lack of Pentex (just like with every other precos btw, is this a sign ?). Dia de los Muertos is a cute card but that’s about it. I would much rather play more Foundation Exhibit if I want vote presence.

I would also cut Perfectionist for other way to gain bloods, namely Fetish Club Hunting GroundThe Coven and Jake Washington.

As meta choices, two cards are very important to keep in mind in this kind of deck, and you need to consider them if you intend to bring this archetype to a tournament.

The most prevalent one is Scourge of the Enochians, which is rightfully a pretty hard counter to weenies deck, as well as being decently popular. In any kind of weenie deck, I would play at least one Uncoiling for this exact reason, with the added bonus of being able to burn other problematic events, Unmasking being the most popular by far.

The other consideration is Aranthebes, which makes most of our swarm bleed strategy that much less efficient. Since it’s unique and the deck can afford to pay contests with the large amount of pool it gains, I would play one, if only for the contest.

Finally, I would play one Hearth of Nizchetus (that you might have spare copies if you brought several numbers of Den of Fiends) as it’s just a wonderful card on its own, that’s even better with small or midcap vampires that can afford to take the action to equip it.

III) Let’s improve it!

So, here is the list I would play :

Crypt: (12 cards)
1 Amber
1 Conchita Morales
2 Guggenheim
1 Jonathan Gursel
1 Justine Chen, Innocent
3 Klaus Konrecht
1 L’Epuisette
1 Loonar
1 Monique Kim

Library: (78 cards)
Master (16 cards)
1 Creepshow Casino
1 Coven, The
1 Fetish Club Hunting Ground
5 Foundation Exhibit
1 Hungry Coyote, The
1 Jake Washington (Hunter)
3 Palla Grande
1 Pentex(TM) Subversion
2 Vessel

Action (20 cards)
4 Art Scam
9 Embrace, The
3 Entrancement
3 Enchant Kindred
1 Aranthebes, The Immortal

Action Modifier (6 cards)
3 Change of Target
3 Perfect Paragon

Political Action (13 cards)
7 Consanguineous Boon
6 Kine Resources Contested

Reaction (11 cards)
2 Delaying Tactics
4 On the Qui Vive
5 Telepathic Misdirection

Combat (5 cards)
5 Majesty

Combo (5 cards)
3 Resist Earth’s Grasp
2 Scalpel Tongue

Equipment (1 cards)
1 Heart of Nizchetus

Event (1 cards)
1 Uncoiling, The

I tried to put together a list as close as possible to the starter’s list, while still making it more competitive by adding mostly staples cards.

I chose to keep the 4/5 grouping, as it’s easier to have for a beginner. I did however take the liberty of adding an Amber, which would be a shame not to play here.

We changed the master’s module juste like I said, but kept most of the library intact, as I find it’s already pretty good.

I feel those choices keep the overall feel of the starter intact, while making it slightly more powerful and close to what a Palla Grande would look in a tournament. Hope you like it!

And … that’s it! This concludes our series of articles on the new wonderful starters from BCP (no, we are not paid by them, they truly are that good). We also had a ton of requests for an example of fifth deck to play along those four and, well … you might want to keep your eyes peeled on this blog in the next few days …