In this article, I’ll be talking about the deck that I used in the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle tournament „Atlantic Cup XXI“. It is a translation, of my first German article.
The tournament took place online via LackeyCCG and Discord.
I managed to score one game win, and two „not lost“ games, which netted the place 13 of 101 players, and the second best place among the German players participating.
Which is the reason why I decided to explain my deck:
Deck Name: Guillaumes Aggro & Bleed Toolbox (alternative: Moustache Daddies Toolbox)
Deck Focus: Toolbox with a focus on shambler and bleed
Deck: Text File
The deck is a star deck based on Guillaumes ability to bloat my hand size to kingdom come, offering a broad variety of tools. Mostly tooles for dominate bleeds, and the Giovanni favorite ally, the Shambling Hordes.
It sports some smaller nice features, for certain opportunities, like „Graverobbing“ or „Slaughtering the Herd“, yet I kept those aspects at a rather minimal approach.
Graverobbing won’t do me any good, if there aren’t any minions to free from other players torpor region, while Slaughtering the Herd requires an active minion from my predator. Otherwise it’s just a to expensive bleed.
Crypt – 17 Cards:
6 Guillaume Giovanni
2 Raphaela Giovanni
1 Lia Milliner
1 Gualtiero Ghiberti
1 Primo Giovanni
4 Anarch Convert
Guillaume (Cap 9, DOM, NEC, I included him 6 times, thus ensuring he will be in my start crypt of 4 vampires. It might seem a lot, but it works well with LackeyCCGs strange randomizer.
Considering the deck is built on bloating the handsize to offer a variety of options, Guillaume is quite an elementary vampire for the deck. Though if he gets torpored or emptied & banished, it isn’t as bad as playing an Unnamed stealth bleed deck, while having the Unnamed nuked away.
Nicomedes (Cap 5, nec), is a Harbinger of Skulls and hence the only Not-A-Giovanni vampire, that is meant to be actually played. The Anarch Converts are there for converting, not doing stuff.
He is included because of his mulligan ability, which can refresh a subpar hand and offers the opportunity to draw something nicer. I do like his ability, and I actually used it a lot, when I could bring him out.
Raphaela Giovanni (Cap 6, DOM, NEC), is the only Giovanni with both DOM and NEC at superior and a capacity of just 6 withing the Giovanni group 3 to 5. Thus I included her twice.
Lia Milliner (Cap 3, dom, nec), offers both disciplines the deck focuses on, for a rather cheap capacity 3 minion. The fact that most Giovanni decks are based on dominate and/or necromancy saw her included in 6 of 8 Giovanni decks in the tournament.
Gualtiero Ghiberti (Cap 7, DOM, NEC), offers essentially the same as Raphaela does, just at a slightly higher capacity. His ability to throw a stealth to Giovanni is nice, but it isn’t nice that he has to grant it as the action is announced.
Primo Giovanni (Cap 4, dom, nec), is the less talented cousine of Lia Milliner. Yet, he the only other Giovanni in group 3 to 4 which has both dominate and necromancy and just a capacity of 4, save from Lia.
Anarch Convert (Cap 1), are a cheap and bullet proof way to make ones independent minions Anarchs. I did expect that the tournament might have had a strong „Anarch Revolt“ meta, and I was proven right.
„Nicomedes“ got the serious drawback that he has no dominate.
Thus, save from his ability, he only can spawn small Shambling Hordes. Thus, if I’ll include him in future variants, I will invest in methods to grant him the discipline.
Having him only in twice, led to me not seeing him in my crypt in any of the three games but one. Thus, if he stays, I will include 3 to 4 copies.
If I include the „Shaal Fragment“, he might work a bit as a „Guillaume replacement“. Yet, if Guillaume is still in, there might be a point, that sees a „to big“ in regards of handsize.
Using only 4 „Anarch Converts“ was a bit risque, yet it worked.
Library – 90 Cards:
There are decks that are fine with 60 cards, yet a Guillaume „hand bloat deck“ isn’t one.
Especially if Guillaume sees torpor once or twice, one can reach the end of being able to draw fresh cards fast.
Master – 23 Cards
There are a lot of master cards, because they are the best locations and thus jive well with Guillaume.
1 Archon Investigation
1 Direct Intervention
Two standard masters for defense.
Though I do consider removing „Archon Investigation“ as well as „Direct Intervention“.
The „Archon Investigation“ maybe more so than the „Direct Intervention“.
Very much standard to move some blood from and to vampires.
Maybe one could be replaced by a „Vessel“ or a „Wider View“.
1 Information Highway
2 Parthenon, The
1 Therbold Realty
1 The Line
1 Secure Haven
1 Dummy Corporation
1 Monastery of Shadows
1 KRCG News Radio
1 WMRH Talk Radio
1 Metro Underground
1 Morgue Hunting Ground
1 Powerbase: Cape Verde
1 Powerbase: Savannah
1 Tower of London
Locations are at the core of the deck. Though I tried to limit myself to useful ones. Something that ain’t easy with the big variety of locations within V:TES. Somehow it totally escaped me, to plopp in some Anarch masters.
The locations are sorted by usability (more or less):
Information Highway, is a brilliant card, if one has within the starting hand. It enabled me to bring out Guillaume and Lia in just two rounds. Which was so great, that I do consider adding another copy or a „Dream of the Sphinx“.
The only downer, for both cards, is that they are very popular and may get contested a to.
Parthenon, is in, because this girl for sure like multiple master phase actions. I included only twice, to not end up with Partheons clocking up my hand.
Therbold Realty, is not only a location, but lowers the cost of master and equipment location cards. Something quite handy, especially for the expensive stuff. The Line is included for similar blood saving purposes. While Tower of London offers pool for bringing out Shambling hordes, the aspect that I don’t have any other necromancy cards in the deck makes it quite a bit „meh“. Thus either the card will go, or I’ll have to include more necromancy action cards.
Secure Haven provides a save home for my Guillaume. It is best played after making him charismatic via „Charisma“.
Monastery of Shadows is included for the stealth for Guillaume. The hand sizing aspect is nice, yet really not needed in the deck, and quite expensive. One might increase their table popularity by granting others stealth, but that’s rather a fringe case. Usually they want intercept.
KRCG Radio and WMRH Talk Radio are both intercept buff locations. Because sometimes one just wants to harass their prey or predator. They are as well something that makes you popular at the table.
Maabara is a nifty to retrieve cards from the Ash Heap. Especially if you don’t got a Sudario, don’t want to have your Sudario blocked or don’t want to announce the card. Sadly, its a card that requires Nicodemus.
Yet, the one time I used it, was rather nice.
Metro Underground will unlock Guillaume or another „Deflection“ minion if I got no wakes. It could maybe be replaced with a „Barrens“
Morge Hunting Ground is a standard hunting ground, and Powerbase: Cape Verde is essentially a „communal Giovanni Blood Doll“ that can’t be burned.
Powerbase: Savannah is nice for defense, yet it gets stolen a ton. Which is the reason why I haven’t got a Powerbase Montreal in.
1 Path of Bone, The
Charisma is a „no brainer“ for cheap allies.
Alternative I might go for „Cavalier“, yet the deck doesn’t have like tons of multi actions.
The Path of Bone, lessens the necromancy cost for Giovanni. All the Giovanni at the table. It effects my „Shambling Hordes“ and „Spiritual Divination“. Nice.
Equipment – 2 Cards:
1 Gran Madre di Dio, Italy
1 Palatial Estate
Gran Madre di Dio, Italy, is a great location equipment to rain into the parade of both your prey and predator who want to get minions out. Especially with Guillaume.
It will as well, single handedly, kill any Tupdog deck by your prey or predator – even if you put it on Lia.
Palatial Estate is a brilliant card to refresh blood on ones minion. It even works great on Lia Milliner, who thanks to the Estate has had to mass produce „Shambling Hordes“ in one of my games.
Action – 17 Cards:
10 Govern the Unaligned
3 Sudario Refraction
1 Slaughtering the Herd
1 Aranthebes, The Immortal
My approach to actions can be summarized with: GOVEEEEEERN! (Govern the Unaligned)
A good bleed, and a nice pool generator.
Sudario Refraction, gets Giovanni to get stuff back from the Ash Heap. With the big fat draw back, that one has to announce their cards. If you go like „I want a Govern, Conditioning and Spectral Divination“ people will intercept you, like there is no tomorrow.
Slaugthering the Herd, is great if you get it onto one of the (core) minions of your predator.
In one game Raphaela couldn’t use as much blood as she drained from the poor minion. Well, and the cost of 4 blood to remove it, pretty much makes it sure that it will stay.
Graverobbing, sees my black soul rejoice, when I watch a vampire being torpored. While you may not make friends with your stolen minion, … you have a new friend in the stolen minion XD (Even if you only use it to block)
Aranthebes is a nice „almost Ally“. He can spit into ones predators stealth, and reduce the bleed of Weenies. Yet, I am not sure whether to keep him.
Action Modifier – 15 Cards:
4 Call of the Hungry Dead
4 Spectral Divination
The theme of the Action Modifier is „Bleed“ with Conditioning and Bonding.
With a little bit of stealth from Bonding or Spectral Divination, and necromantic „nah, u don’t block“ help by Call of the Hungry Dead.
I am considering to add more bleed modifiers, maybe a „Mouthpiece“ or two.
Ally – 16 Cards:
10 Shambling Hordes
2 Gianna di Canneto
1 Leonardo, Mortician
1 Carlton Van Wyk
1 Mylan Horseed
As you can see, it is about half of a Shambling Hordes deck.
In which I would 15 to 20 of the Giovannis favorite ally. For this deck, having 8 Shambling Hordes might have sufficed.
The Shambling Hordes need minions in the ash heap, and thus they gotta eat:
Gianna di Canneto, the nice wraith next door, who can add some „oomph“ to a fight or burn down equipment.
Leonardo, Mortician, is a Giovanni minion for blood retrieval. He costs 1 pool opposed to the 2 blood of the Procurer. Leonardo got a bit more life, yet a bit less stealth. I am not sure whether to keep him or not.
Carlton Van Wyk, is a nice blocker of vampires. A really nice one. Thus he might get contested, or one can use him to contest.
Mylan Horseed, is basically Guillaumes personal unlock minion. He can bleed (built in), which is nice, yet he sucks at blocking.
Procurer, is a minion for blood retrieval. He is a bit more expensive than Leonardo, yet got more stealth.
Reaction – 9 Cards:
4 On the Qui Vive
1 Funeral Wake
1 Delaying Tactics
The protection racket.
On The Qui Vive is mostly for waking up and redirect. Maybe to many.
Deflection, is about throwing bleeds towards other players.
Funeral Wake, is meanth to raise the zombies for blocks. With only one copy, because this deck ain’t made for fighting.
Delaying Tactics, delays an inevitable political action. Yet, one copy is janky to get rid of an occasional political card, and way to less for political decks. Thus, it might go.
Combat – 5 Cards:
2 Fake Out
3 Spiritual Intervention
The combat modul is focused on running away with Fake Out. Which might as well be used to bring Shambling Hordes close up to escapees.
Spiritual Intervention is the necromantic „Peace Out“. Whether with Dodge or Combat Ends.
Event – 1 Cards:
1 Unmasking, The
One can play an ally deck without Unmasking, but that’s kinda stupid.
Plus, the hand size cost are not relevant if you got Guillaume in action.
Retainer – 2 Cards:
2 Charigger, The Axe
Charigger, The Axe, sounds way better than he is.
First you got him onto a minion of your own, than you gotta hope minions of your prey die.
Which didn’t come to use. Not even in a situation in the tournament, where I was in the rare position to steamroll rush & bleed my prey. He’ll be out.
Small Deck Conclusion:
The deck was very fun to play, and suprisingly strong.
Especially considering that, when I played it in the QQL2 league, it went down in record time.
From the category of „would have, could have, should have“:
I could have won the two games I lost (didn’t win), haven’t had I made mistakes.
In general I consider options to gear up Nicodemus with dominate („Seal of Veddartha“ + „Vast Wealth“, „Field Training“), and making my Shambling Hordes and Nicodemus bleeder via „Mouthpiece“.
Maybe I’ll add in some sexy necromancy cards like „Gear Up“ or „Ex Nihlio“ for Moustache Daddy.
Maybe I’ll add in some enticing dominate actions like „Dominate Kine“, „Far Mastery“ or modifiers like „Command the Beast“, „Empowering of the Puppet King“ and „Foreshadowing Destruction“.
I will fore sure look into anarch locations like „Anarch Railroad“.
Ce sera, ser.
Questions, Comments, Suggestions are quite welcome.
Especially as it is the first deck, that I build and saw worthy enough to write an article about it.
2 Gedanken zu „V:TES Atlantic Cup: Deck Feature (My Giovanni Toolbox)“
In low stealth decks I prefer to nuke Unmasking, rather than play it. Unmasking could be uncoiling and intercept locations could give + hand size and „short-chain bleed.“ Give intercept to grand prey if bounced. The locations can also help the shamblers defend, which you would need if against rush combat or nasty D actions.
There is an obvious omission in your masters: Giant’s Blood. You have a big star vamp who could unwittingly make some Finnish friends. Better that he can stay out of torpor or get out more easily. The Barrens should also be in there. Location that gives you + discard to make shamblers? Yes please!
Other notes: Gianna is cool, but maybe not cool enough for x2. You are right about Charigger, he sucks. I also think you need more deflection or maybe Murmur of the False Will. The modifier package looks rather light in general. I can see that the large hand size and Sudario can help get the needed cards back, but what about more consistent blocking? lastly, I think you can drop all the Vessels. They can be nice, but the game should be over before they really pay off. Cheers!
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Without Unmasking, I only got two locations that give intercept, one at the risk of costing (more) pool.
The locations do as well only work on one shambler or ally, and not on all.
Usually there are no events I overly dislike to include an „Uncoiling“. I do consider a „Narrow Minds“ or a „Scourge of the Enochians“.
I did consider Giant’s Blood, yet I haven’t had problems of Guillaume running low on blood. Plus, usually someone throws it out as soon as its in their hand, maybe even on an „Anarch Convert“, and then it’s kinda junk.
I am thinking about switiching Barrens for Metro Underground, to get Shamblers in.
Following the Atlantic Cup, I ponder including a „Insurance Scam“ instead. Burn a location, drop a shambler, fish the location from the Ash Heap 🙂
Ideally I could use Insurance Scam in my Unlock phase, drop a Shambler and location, lock Maabara to select the dropped location, and get it on top of the libary within the master phase – hopefully with a Barren and a Pantheon to play the Ash Heaped Master again.
I do agree on Gianna 🙂
In regards to consistent blocking, the challenge is, that my deck is light on combat cards, and that the discipline spread doesn’t really lend itself to make a good wall.
I will consider whether to keep the Vessels in or not.
Thank you for your feedback 🙂