First of all thank you all for the super useful feedback you gave me. I didn’t count on this activity and it feels really great. Since you guys brought up so many good points and I also found some interesting stuff to talk about, it was clear that I had to write this follow up article. In this article I will write about loosing titles and the Black Hand. Originally I wanted to write about cards that provide votes without being or adding a title, like Legendary Vampire or Kduva’s Mask, but I decided against that. I will leave that to the future together with all sort of action modifiers and other stuff that has to do with political actions.
Well if vampires can gain titles, there should be a way they can loose them. The obvious way is to yield contest, but there are some more. The first I want to talk about is the card Blood Siege. I love this card for its flavor. Instead of quoting what the card does let me just say it will make a Prince loose his/her title and will make a chosen Sabbat vampire an Archbishop.
The anarchs have the card Patsy, which requires a Baron and will strip a non-Anarch vampire of his/her title and make his/her controller loose 2 pool. Cards like these seem extremely fun to play, but you will rarely see these in competitive play as they are too situational to justify the slot.
Excommunication will strip an Archbishop of his/her title, similar to this Command of the Harpies will do the same to a Prince. Wrath of the Inner Circle will make a Justicar loose his/her title as well as reducing his/her capacaity by 1. Inquisition will strip one or more bishops of their title and deal 2 unpreventable damage to them. No Confidence is a funny card, being an action modifier you can play after a successful action requiring an anarch. Two copies of these will make a vampire loose benefit of his/her title.
Framing an Ancient Grudge could actually be interesting in some hipster Ventrue antitribu vote/bleed deck. It is a mastercard that strips a primogen, Prince, or for 3 pool a Justicar of his/her title. I hardly remember to have played on any tournament without at least one deck /table utilizing Second Tradition and/or Parity Shift. Gustav Mallenhous can remove a bishop’s or archbishop’s title as a D action (interesting that it reads „archbishop’s” instead of „Archbishop’s”).
Black Hand tech
The Black Hand has its own cool cards that need to get mentioned. Remember when I said „Anarchs are the only ones getting their titles through an action and that sets them apart.” Praetorian Backer is an exception to that. Requiring a Seraph is a very strong limitation, but the ability to make a vampire a Cardinal through an action is pretty strong. So strong that the card was made unique. Another action card requiring a Seraph is Emergency Powers. The card is put on the acting Seraph and provides +1 vote for each Gehenna card in play. The third one that needs to get mentioned is Black Hand Emissary. It also requires a Seraph. The card will be put on a ready Black Hand vampire and will provide him/her +1 vote for each ready Black Hand Vampire you control. Census Taker is a really powerful master card than can either give +1 bleed, +2 votes or +1 intercept when locked, making it a must have addition in any Black Hand themed deck.
Let us assume that you have a Seraph, 2 other Black Hand vampires, one non-Black Hand Sabbat vampire with capacity above 6, a Census Taker, as well as 3 Gehenna cards in play. These three cards will add up to 3 (a cardinal) + 3 (for 3x times Black Hand) + 2 (Census Taker) + 3 (for the 3 Gehenna cards) = 11 votes. As there are many weenie Black Hand vampires and plenty of 7 cap Seraph’s (or even a 5 cap) this is not hard to achieve. While this concept is certainly not „Tier 1” it is definitely worth giving it some thought and play. Should you ever find yourself in the situation where you don't know what to play that night, do me the favor and build a Black Hand vote deck. Feedback on results would be appreciated.
This vampire deserves to be mentioned as he is very unique in vtes. Gratiano gets one additional ballot. As it works currently is that if Gratiano becomes a cardinal for example, through Cardinal Benediction he will still have one ballot. Should there be no priscus on the table, he basically has a guaranteed 6 votes as he can still call the prisci sub refrerendum. I personally strongly dislike this ruling. I would prefer and lobby for a change of the rules requiring a priscus to call the prisci sub referendum at all. This would mean that a cardinal Gratiano would still have one ballot if a priscus on the table (or prisci) call their sub referendum, but would not be able to do that himself leaving him with his 3 votes from cardinal. That’s just my 2 cents though. I hope I am not wrong on this...
This card gets an honorable mention. I chatted with Orpheus and he mentioned this card. I remember that I spent quite some time trying to build a deck around this, but always gave up when I realized I can't fit all I want into 90 cards. Maybe one day I'll get something done with this. It requires you to successfully place this card on a ready vampire as a +1 stealth D action, then you need to attack it with another action and if you manage to burn or send the vampire to torpor you finally get x votes, where x is equal to that vampires votes. Unreliable, but so tempting.
Thank you for reading and as always comments and feedback is much appreciated. I don't have anything carved in stone yet for my next article, but I would like to explore the world of the anarchs a bit, so don't be surprised to read something about them in the future. Although the next post might be of something entirely else.