Sunday, 11 December 2011

Tournament Report: HNC Final + Eze Deck explained

Hi folks!

Here is brief report on the HNC Final. I played my Eze deck again.

1st round:

Zsóka (Gerald + Gargoyle)- Szilver (Anson tap and bleed) - Me - Robert (Asguresh rush) - Csaba (Lutz and friends)

Long story short: I got Pentexed again before I could draw a Sudden Reversal. 0 VP

2nd round:

Me - Colos (Enkidu + Muricia block/rush) - Dio (Tzimi Wall) - Denes Kocis (Cailean Raptor Wall) - Ádám "Törpecápa" Honur (Omaya Wall)

Long story short: 2 hours that seemed like 2 days. 0,5 VP's for everybody. Yay!

3rd round:

Me - Márk (Ariadne rush) - Slaven Karakas (Kyasid bleed) - Péter Botos (Rock Cat) - FlekkAttakk (Howler bleed with modest intercept)

Finally something to report here. I had good luck because Flekk didn't drew his bleed modifiers so I could stall along and bring out a second vampire. Meanwhile Slaven earned the table threat status since he managed to steal the only Rock Cat and ousted Péter pretty fast. Flekk was afraid of Slaven, I didn't want to risk getting rushed so I didn't go forward. Instead I gathered all kind of stuff on Eze: Secure Haven, Well-marked, Preternatural Strength, Heart of Cheating, Kduva's Mask, Enkil Cog and whatever I forgot. So there was some strong pressure on Slaven. By the time I was set up Márk asked me if I want to come forward since he has a Pentex Subversion. Stupid Pentex again. Of course I had to say that I won't go forward since a Pentex would automatically kill me. I counted on him playing the Pentex on the Kyasid then because he was low on pool and blood so he could have gone for the oust. Instead he kept the Pentex in his hand. When I asked Márk if he will ask the same question every turn he said yes, that was his plan. Basically this meant I either play along and therefore just give up on the game or I break the deal so I have a real chance for the game win. I chose the ethically or morally bad solution and decided to not give up on this game and bled with Enkil Cog.

I didn't oust Márk right away, but I could do some hard pressure on him. I cycled a lot of cards and drew both a Sudden and a Strange Day. Márk played his Pentex on Eze for 3 pool (because of the Secure Haven). I didn't Sudden it. In my turn I removed the Pentex with the Strange Day and ousted Márk. A turn later I ousted Slaven with a Reins of Power. In the heads-up with Flekk I drew my own copy of Pentex and played it on the Siamese, because it was the one with a Raven Spy. After a Banishment on Howler with a Call of the Hungry Dead on her block attempt we shook hands. 1 GW 4 VP's for me. Too bad it took a deal break to achieve this.

Conclusion:

The first thing I did after this tournament was to add a 3rd copy of Sudden to the deck. This Eze deck is really a very strong one and works wonderfully, but it is just so annoying that a single master card can ruin your entire game. The only defense you have against the Pentex is Sudden Reversal or as you could read above deal - deal break your way out of it. I don't want to do the deal break part, but I don't want to give up a game just because this single card. Now with 3 Suddens in the deck I might be able to draw a Sudden before somebody else draws the Pentex. As I wrote here on my blog earlier: once I have a Sudden in my hand I keep it for the Pentex. I don't mind my prey playing a Villein for 10. I won't Sudden that. Just wait for the Pentex...

The Deck as I played it in this tournament with comments:

Deck Name:   Eze will slow roll you
Created By:  Martin "Mephistopheles" Major with help from Frankie

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 32, Max: 44, Avg: 9,58)
----------------------------------------------
  5  Eze                                aus ANI NEC POT PRE THA11 Guruhi
  3  Nana Buruku                        ANI POT PRE    8  Guruhi
  2  Sobayifa                           ANI aus pot PRE pro spi8  Guruhi
  2  Ugadja                             ABO ANI dom for POT PRE10 Guruhi

Even though Nana has no votes she is stall my first pick to bring out next to Eze. Once this deck starts rolling it consumes a crazy lot of cards and even though 19 master cards / 7 trifle in a 90 card deck doesn't seem too much I almost always master jam at least once during a game. Nana helps you a lot with that. Also the Sudden I have to keep in my hand is basically a -1 hand size and Nana compensates that.

Library: (90 cards)
-------------------
Master (19 cards)
  1  Ancestor Spirit
  1  Archon Investigation
  2  Dreams of the Sphinx
  1  Giant`s Blood
  1  Monastery of Shadows
  1  Palace Hunting Ground
  1  Pentex Subversion
  1  Perfectionist
  1  Secure Haven
  2  Sudden Reversal
  6  Villein
  1  Wider View

All of these cards proved extremely useful. NOTE: never ever play Ancestor Spirit on Eze! Eze will get a +2 bleed from the Kduva's mask and Enkil Cog so if you would play Ancestor Spirit on Eze you would risk loosing him to an Archon Investigation! I think all the other cards are self explanatory.

Action (13 cards)
  2  Entrancement
  5  Founders of the Ebony Kingdom
  3  Magic of the Smith
  1  Preternatural Strength
  2  Well-Marked

After 10+ games now played with this deck I think that this action package is good as it is. People ask why I play no No Secrets of the Magaji. No Secrets would be bad on Eze, since you don't want to block with him. You just want to get him utapped. The 8 Majesty are not enough to support Eze blocking. No Secrets on a secondary vampire could be good theoretically, but I think most of the time it would show up just the wrong time. I never felt during any game that I could need it. 

Action Modifier (24 cards)
  4  Call of the Hungry Dead
  1  Edge of the World
  3  Enkil Cog
  4  Iron Glare
  2  Mirror Walk
  6  Perfect Paragon
  1  Strange Day
  3  Voter Captivation

Sometimes I wish I would find the space for some more Mirror Walks (1-2), but I don't. Edge of the World isn't necessary at all, but it is just so fun to play it once in a while that I afford this luxury to play a copy of it. 

Political Action (8 cards)
  1  Ancient Influence
  1  Ancilla Empowerment
  3  Banishment
  1  Neonate Breach
  1  Political Stranglehold
  1  Reins of Power

The 3 Banishment and the Reins, Ancient, Political trio are the key to victory. Banishment is just ridiculously strong in this deck. Funny thing: I never played Ancilla so far! However I will keep it for a while but I seriously consider to swap it for a 4th Banishment. 

Reaction (10 cards)
  10 Sense the Savage Way

This is a card you can never enough in your deck. I could use some more copies some time. It is the key that makes Enkil Cog shine!

Combat (8 cards)
  8  Majesty

I am sure that I need no more. Currently I am thinking of making this 6x Majesty 2x Force of Personality. FoP has the advantage that you can cycle it when the action is announced and its effect is another synergy with Kduva's Mask and Banishment.

Equipment (5 cards)
  1  Blade of Enoch
  1  Heart of Nizchetus
  1  Ivory Bow
  1  Kduva`s Mask
  1  Signet of King Saul, The

HoN, Kduva's and Signet are the killer equipment here. Blade of Enoch protects you from Rotschreck and Deep Songs, but didn't prove itself useful yet. The Ivory Bow is in there mainly for contest, but I could use it once to prevent my neighbors to block actions like Founders, some votes and bleeds for 1-2.   

Event (2 cards)
  1  Narrow Minds
  1  Scourge of the Enochians

Narrow Minds is pure gold. Awesome synergy with Kduva's Mask and Banishment. Scourge had to go. I love that card, but it had to make room for a 3rd Sudden.

Combo (1 cards)
  1  Guruhi Kholo

Good on Nana. 'nough said.


Gameplay:


Start with Eze and tool up. In the early stage of the game you should just bloat as much as you can and make your equips and get all the stuff you can on Eze. The first Banishment should almost always go on your predator. Let your prey play and let him go forward. All you should do is to get your Enkil Cog asap and grind your prey with occasional bleeds for 1-3. Once his vampires run low on blood and you are set up you can start pushing more seriously. Never bleed for more than 3 with Eze except when it is your prey's turn.

Don't mind if somebody gets ousted. It is easier for you to control the table if a player is gone. Once you are down to 3 players you should have good control. Never forget that even though this deck does not seem to be that threatening it can cause big damage in a single turn and can keep the pressure up consistently.

by: Mephistopheles


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