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THE SUN IS GONE - Imbued Newsletter, March 2007



"But I have a light.
The fire is coming for us all."
- Joshua "God45" Matthews, Wayward.


It's been nearly a year since the release of Nights of Reckoning, and
the wailing and gnashing of teeth seems to have barely begun. While
arguments fly back and forth about where the imbued fit (or don't) in
the larger scheme of V:tES, the newsletter will continue to push past
the philosophical discussions and focus on more practical concerns -
such as how to oust your prey.


While many complain that imbued decks are too slow, I find that they
are generally much better when played quickly. The imbued are quite
strong in the endgame, because their primary resource, Conviction, is
renewable. Ergo, play your turns out as quickly as possible, so that
the rest of the table has time to wear each other down, and you get to
your strongest point sooner.

It's to your advantage to have your convictions already separated out
and planned by the time the game rolls around to your untap phase -
not only will your fellow players thank you for playing quickly,
you'll be in a better position for it later. One of the best ways to
do this in my experience is to separate your minions between offense
and defense, and assign them each a preference order for Conviction:
offensive minions get React->Strike->Sight, and defensive minions get
React->Sight->Strike. Later in the game, when you're shifting more
minions back and forth between offense and defense, this can become
hairier, but you should be able to manage, especially if you've gotten
Edge Explosion into play. Even forgetting your convictions entirely
(sometimes two turns in a row) isn't necessarily catastrophic (I speak
from experience). If it happens to you, let it slide and move on.

One of the imbued's biggest weaknesses is the lack of untap ability.
For the extra-low price of one Out-of-Turn master, an imbued can untap
to block or otherwise react to somebody's action. Alternatively, you
can sacrifice your next untap in order to wake up now with On the Qui
Vive. Realistically, this means you need a way to leave your guys
untapped, either by swarming or playing with Vigilance (or some more
esoteric strategy). Keep in mind every turn how many blockers you'll
need - it'll save your unlife.


Anna "Dictatrix11" Suljic [NoR:U]
Cardtype: Imbued
Creed: Martyr
Group: 4
Life: 6
Virtue: mar red vsn
Anna may move 2 blood from the blood bank to any vampire as a +1
stealth action. During your untap phase you may look at the top three
cards of your library.

Anna Suljic is an underappreciated gal. She's a bit expensive to hang
out with the other imbued, but she makes a great pal for any vampires
lurking in your crypt. She also works wonders in making cross-table
friends dependent on you, propping them up until you can work your way
around and become their predator.


Being allies instead of vampires is a mixed blessing for the imbued.
Everyone knows how much Smiling Jack and Ancient Influence hose you.
Everyone also knows how much Millicent Smith, Society of Leopold, and
various Gehenna events help you. On this last one, the conventional
wisdom is mostly wrong. For one thing, Millicent tends to slow down
the gradual degradation of vampires and Gehenna events tend to make
the whole table think harder about each action (and whether or not to
take you out of the game). Also, adding too many masters and events to
your deck slows down your conviction gain, your power movement, and
your game generally. On the whole, there are better things to put in
your deck, such as:

Flash Grenade
Strike: combat ends. If the opposing minion is a vampire, he or she is
tapped and does not untap as normal on his or her next untap phase. If
the bearer is a vampire and the grenade is used at close range, the
bearer is also tapped and does not untap as normal on his or her next
untap phase. Burn this weapon after use.

Flash Grenade is in my experience the strongest card an imbued deck
can play. Conceal them out en masse and watch as your predator and
prey lock up. Tables tend to warp around it with your predator and
prey losing both actions and blocks each turn, while you and your
cross-table "allies" reap the benefit.


Here's an older version of the deck I've been brutalizing my playgroup
with recently.

Paralyze This - An exercise in deck focus:

2x Jennie "Cassie247" Orne
2x Travis "Traveler72" Miller
2x Maman Boumba
1x Jennifer "Flame61" Vidisania
1x Jack "Hannibal137" Harmon
1x John "Cop90" O'Malley
1x Pedro Cortez
1x Marion "Teacher193" Perks
1x Peter "Outback295" Rophail

4x Angel of Berlin
2x Direct Intervention
1x The Rose Foundation
2x The Church of Vindicated Faith
2x Specialization
1x Dummy Corporation
1x Filchware's Pawn Shop

2x The Unmasking
1x Edge Explosion

1x Orb of Ulain
12x Flash Grenade
8x Wooden Stake
2x Leather Jacket
1x Ivory Bow
1x Crusader Sword
1x Rowan Ring

20x Concealed Weapon

1x Carlton Van Wyk
1x Mylan Horseed
1x Vagabond Mystic
1x Ossian
1x Gregory Winter

7x React With Conviction
7x Strike With Conviction
7x Second Sight

David Tatu recently won the Louisiana Qualifier with his own version
of this deck, which can be viewed here:

This deck tends to warp the table pretty heavily in your favor. Lock
down your predator and prey both with the Flash Grenades, popping
targets of opportunity with the Stakes and other weapons. Bring out
extra minions with Travis, Church, and Specialization, plus recruit
some other allies. Cycle the deck as quickly as needed (it's okay if
Carlton Van Wyk ends up with a Wooden Stake on occasion, you're
unlikely to need all of them). Bleed steadily and generally irritate
your predator and prey, which is eventually everyone. Make sure to
leave enough guys untapped to defend yourself. You can be somewhat
lenient on turns when you oust a prey, but even a relatively small
lapse in your defense can be swiftly punished. Don't be afraid to
cycle out multiple grenades and stakes to move through your deck if
needed. In a metagame that's less afraid of the stakes remove 2-4 of
them and replace with more Flash Grenades.

In play, this deck has performed better than any other imbued deck
I've played. The cards flow like blood. Your predator and prey weep,
while your grandprey feels a great deal of relief. Even your
grandpredator probably likes the fact that you're keeping his prey
locked up.

Also, here's a recent version of the deck Danielle Newquist turned
some heads with at the NAC:

Time Enough For Snakes

5x Nehemiah
3x Anna "Dictatrix11" Suljic
2x Bupe Kuila
1x Ezekiel, Lord of Montreal
1x Reverend Djoser Jones

3x Blood Doll
3x Dummy Corporation
2x Perfectionist
2x Tabriz Assembly
1x Minion Tap
1x Momentum's Edge
1x Feraille
1x Presence
1x The Rose Foundation
1x Opium Den
1x Giant's Blood

1x Ancient Influence
1x Banishment
1x Disputed Territory

4x Enchant Kindred
3x Clotho's Gift
2x Hourglass of the Mind
2x Heart of the City
2x Form of Corruption
2x Kiss of Lachesis
1x Temptation
1x Entrancement
1x Bum's Rush
1x Path of the Scorched Heart
1x Aranthebes

1x Heart of Nizchetus
1x Flaming Candle
1x Assault Rifle

6x Domain of Evernight
4x Truth of a Thousand Lies
4x Iron Glare
3x Tangle Atropos' Hand
2x Recurring Contemplation
1x Inspire Greatness

3x Form of the Serpent

5x Typhonic Beast
4x Taste of Vitae
1x Lapse
1x Earthshock

3x Determine
2x Rewind Time
2x On the Que Vive

2x Second Sight
2x React With Conviction
1x Strike With Conviction

1x Inconnu Tutelage

Pre-NOR versions of this deck had blood-shortage issues. Anna Suljic
fixed that. Danielle tends to spend a good chunk of the game tooling
up and making nice, before piledriving her prey off the table. The
Reverend Jones often makes an oust with a "surprise" Truth of a
Thousand Lies. Recurring Contemplation knocks out permanent intercept,
Tangle Atropos' Hand counters wakes and minor transient intercept,
with the occasional Form of the Serpent for an extra +1 stealth. The
huge amount of card cycling and occasional reshuffle, combined with
Anna's library-peeking ability and inferior Hourglass of the Mind
allow you to customize your hand each turn and choose the perfect
moment to lunge.

Thanks for listening!
Feedback appreciated,
-paralyze that

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