White Wolf
The Imbued Principle
Darby Keeney

2011 Tournament Rules

Originally appeared on the web, here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Imbued Principle

I need a new Imbued deck since my last decent one took a tournament at 
the NAC (so I'm retiring it).  And the guys in L.A. hate the Imbued so 
much that I almost feel obliged to keep throwing Hunter decks at them. 

What you folks get from all this is a first-hand insight into how I 
approach deck building in general, with a specific twist on what makes 
Imbued work.

In looking for a new angle to play, I want to leverage a long-standing 
maxim about the Imbued. 

The Imbued really aren't about having Powers based on their Virtues. 
Their real functionality is derived from the Convictions they have 

Since I want to re-test the validity of this maxim, I need to find ways 
to accumulate convictions at an unusually rapid pace.  I think the best 
way to do that is accessing them from ash heap during my untap phase.  
If I use minions that can further leverage cards from the ash heap, 
I get even more mileage from the mechanism.

Step 1.  Select the lead imbued.  There are 3 imbued that get extra 
convictions from the ash heap. 

    Erick "Shophet125" Franco - a rushing minion
    Xian "DziDzat155" Quan - a blocking minion
    Leaf "Potter116" Pankowski - a passive minion

All 3 of these minions share the Innocence virtue, though they share 
no other virtues. 

Perhaps the most pivotal hunter for long-term staying power, Jennie 
"Cassie247" Orne, also has INN.  Since 2 of the lead minions have 
combat-driven specials, having Jennie's special card text seems like 
a no brainer.

Innocence is looking key here.  Inez "Nurse216" Villagrande's special 
text allows her to getting an Inspire (INN) from the library when she 
enters play.  I'll plan on Inspire being a key part of the deck's 
bloat engine. 

In addition to that function of the deck, there is a little used clause 
that allows transfer of convictions with Inspire - it's a nice extra 
utility for a deck that loads convictions or might require a lot of 
movement from the incapitated region.

Step 2. Plan for conviction. It looks like there will be 5 Hunters in 
play at peak performance, which means that I'll want 3-5 convictions 
per minion, or 15-25 convictions total.   If I try to construct this 
deck at 60 cards, I would be running 35-45 non-conviction cards.  

Because the deck will be churning to find conviction, I can actually 
plan more for optimal conviction placement.  This is in direct contrast 
with normal Imbued decks that just want to acculumate ANY conviction 
in the first 5-7 turns.

For the first cut, I will paradoxically plan to run fewer convictions 
than normal, but end up with more relevent placements. 

Here is another foible of the deck - I'm building it to this point without 
specifically knowing what it will do besides gain conviction.  The minions' 
card text suggests that permanent-based combat will be involved.

Step 3.  Get convictions in the ash heap.  Seems like there are two 
straightforward ways to achieve this objective: Liquidation and 
Scrounging.  Both have issues for this particular deck design.

I won't have a deep enough library, nor enough Master Phase Actions (MPA) 
to build a full Liquidation/Ashurs recursion design.  I'll have to be 
careful about how I plan for losing non-conviction cards.  Jenny being 
a Visionary allows me to play Unity to layer some permanent recursion 
into the library design, but it will only drive Imbued-related recursion. 

At the same time, I won't have board access to Viligence for untap/block 
so the opportunity cost of Scrounging is high and the failure risk 
(blocking) is also higher than that of Liquidation. 

Since I'll be tossing cards into the ash heap, Gramle seems like a great 
way to get the backup copy before it gets Liquidated too.  It has 
a hidden advantage of flushing one more conviction from my hand after 
the search function, just like Scrounging would - but it's more targeted.

Step 4.  Build basic Library-based function.  Inspire was a clear choice, 
as was Unity.   Church of Vindicated Faith goes in every Imbued deck.  
So does Ivory Bow, Crusader's Sword, the Unmasking and a few Angels of 
Berlin.  This is looking very heavy on Master cards so the Parthenon may 
be in order.  

A few of these cards (Unmasking, Unity) will have to show up in multiples 
so that I don't lose deck function by Liquidating important cards.

Step 5.  Develop offense.  Normally, I'm looking to do this MUCH earlier 
than step 5, but this deck's design plan has been different and I'm clearly
planning on midgame swarm-bleed as a primary offense strategy. 

From here, I think the following is the deck's supplemental plan.

    Agg damage and some prevention on Erick to clear the way for bleeding 
offense.  How those rushes occur remains uncertain, but I would sure like 
them to either be permanent or to recur through Unity.  I'm done Chainsaw 
rush with Imbued so that is not an option.
    Get a defensive weapon (Sniper Rifle) on the Xian and find something 
for him to do with all that conviction he may accumulate by blocking 1-3 
times per turn.

Step 6.  Add situtational cards.  Hmmmm.....already getting to 60 cards, 
but there are a few more things to add.  The most promising is Determine, 
often not included because of the Conviction cost.  But we should be 
absolutely loaded with available Conviction, so the potential for 
repetitive bounce or action cancellation seems too good to ignore. 

Every minion who has Judgment gets access to Viligence and Discern.  
Every Imbued with Defense gets access to Champion.  Maybe I can add 
one Project for block denial, if I have a bleeding minion with Martyrdom.  

At this point, I can construct the rough draft of the deck to see how 
well the ratios work for cardflow.

Deck Name : The Imbued Principle
Author : Darby Keeney
Description :

Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 3 max: 5 average: 4
2x Jennie "Cassie247" Orne	5  inn jud vis  Visionary:4
2x Erick "Shophet125" Franco	4  inn jud      Judge:4
2x Leaf "Potter124" Pankowski	4  inn red vis  Redeemer:4
2x Maman Boumba           	4  inn mar      Martyr:4
2x Xian "Dzidzat155" Quan	4  def inn      Defender:4
2x Inez "Nurse224" Villagrande	3  inn          Innocent:4

Library [63 cards]
Action [4]
  1x Augur
  3x Gramle

Ally [1]
  1x Moise Kasavubu  *// might be replaced by Carlton Van Wyk
  1x Vagabond Mystic

Conviction [20]
  6x React with Conviction
  7x Second Sight
  7x Strike with Conviction

Equipment [7]
  1x Crusader Sword, The
  2x Eye of Hazimel
  1x Ivory Bow
  1x Sengir Dagger
  2x Sniper Rifle

Event [2]
  2x Unmasking, The

Master [13]
  3x Angel of Berlin
  2x Church of Vindicated Faith, The
  4x Liquidation
  2x Unity
  2x Wider View

Power [13]
  2x Discern
  3x Hide
  5x Inspire
  1x Rejuvenate
  2x Vigilance

Reaction [2]
  2x Determine

Crafted with : Anarch Revolt Deck Builder. [Tue Aug 30 11:14:39 2011]

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