Demo Deck Series – Clan Brujah

Greetings Methuselahs!

Today, I present my first deck in my demo series.  If you need to re-familiarize yourself with the guidelines I used when building these decks, you should check out the first article in this series.  This deck features the fast, brutal, and charismatic members of Clan Brujah.  It’s gone through a number of iterations, but what is presented here is the version that I currently carry with me.  As I run more demos and collect more feedback, the deck will undoubtedly change still more.  So without further ado, allow me to present Demo Deck – Brujah Bruise and Bleed:

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=2 max=9 avg=5.75)
2x Anvil 6 dom pre tha CEL POT Brujah:1
2x Bianca 6 pot pre CEL Brujah:1
1x Crusher 9 for CEL POT PRE Brujah:1
1x Hector Sosa 4 pre POT Brujah:1
1x Rake 6 aus cel pot PRE Brujah:1
2x Tura Vaughn 8 dom CEL POT PRE Brujah:1
1x Uma Hatch 3 cel pre Brujah:1
1x Vasilis, The Traitor of Don Cruez 2 pre Brujah:2
1x Volker, The Puppet Prince 5 pot CEL Brujah:2
Library (60 cards)
Master (10)
3x Blood Doll
1x Depravity
1x Fame
2x Haven Uncovered
1x KRCG News Radio
2x Potence
Action (14)
4x Bum’s Rush
9x Legal Manipulations
1x Rampage
Action Modifier (4)
2x Change of Target
2x Zephyr
Reaction (6)
2x Elder Intervention
1x Poison Pill
3x Wake with Evening’s Freshness
Combat (23)
1x Fast Hands
4x Immortal Grapple
3x Pursuit
3x Sideslip
3x Slam
4x Taste of Vitae
5x Torn Signpost
Combo (3)
3x Resist Earth’s Grasp

Piloting Instructions for New Players:

How does the deck win? While this might look like a combat deck, it’s actually a bleed deck. Where other decks use stealth to prevent their bleeds from being blocked, you use fear. After you kick the snot out of another vampire, players will think twice before blocking you. If one of your bleeds is redirected to another player (something that vampires with Dominate or Auspex might do to you), you can play Change of Target to help mitigate the damage you might accidentally do to your cross-table “ally.”

How does the deck survive? This deck mostly relies on an active defense: you don’t wait for trouble to come to you, you find trouble and stomp the crap out of it. Bum’s Rush will allow you to enter combat with any player’s troublesome vampires and potentially remove them. You also have a few ways of getting a small amount of intercept, but you shouldn’t rely on regularly blocking. In combat, your biggest fear is having the opposing minion dodge your strike or simply end combat with you. The only way you have to deal with this is to play Immortal Grapple (which forces both minions to punch each other for a turn), but you don’t have many of these cards, so be careful when you use them.

 

Play Test Notes:

I’ve only play tested this deck once, and it was really hard for me to judge its effectiveness because my prey kept putting Unleash Hell’s Fury into play, meaning that my bruise-and-bleed engine kept running head long into agg damage with no ability to strike back.  Even still, the deck performed reasonably well.  New players seem to love vampires with strength bonuses (so I’ve added a few more against my better judgement), and they disliked Black Cat (because they kept expecting equipment to show up).  Finally, they felt that their combat package was somewhat impotent if they didn’t have a Torn Signpost in hand.  While I would love to simply add more, I only have so many copies, so I’ve added a few more strike cards to help compensate for this.  Players also really wanted to focus on Potence combat, so I swapped one Presence discipline card for a second Potence discipline card.

How does it fit my demo deck rules?

Defense:  Well, Brujah aren’t really known for their ability to block, but I do want all these decks to be able to meaningfully interact with every aspect of the game, and that means that each deck should have some reaction cards to allow them to do stuff on their predator’s turn.  Consequently, the deck includes a few Wake with Evening’s Freshness, and Elder Intervention along with KRCG News Radio gives the deck a limited ability to block actions.  Given the options Brujah have for intercept (which include Rooftop Shadow and Legwork), I think this is as good as I’m going to get.

Voting: This deck actually includes a lot of titled vampires.  Admittedly, most of them (5) are Primogen, but there are a few (2) Princes as well – it’s such a shame that none of the group 2 Brujah Princes have presence.  This gives the deck some slight ability to interact with votes.  If those prove to be insufficient to garner favorable terms, then the deck has a Poison Pill waiting.

Combat: As one might expect from the Brujah, they have a strong and card-intensive combat package based around increasing your strength, and beating the enemy into submission.  The trick here is figuring out how many maneuvers to put in to keep it competitive with ranged combat packages.  It’s been pretty tricky for me to figure out, because you want both close and ranged combat to stand a fighting chance.  Give one or the other too many maneuvers, and the other becomes helpless.  Right now, I’m happy with how many this deck has.  Finally, this deck desperately needs some damage prevention when it goes up against the Gangrel’s aggravated damage, which is why the deck includes a few Sideslips.

Pool / Blood Management: Pool gain is pretty much limited to successful Legal Manipulations and Blood Doll (which helps players learn about the importance of returning blood back to your pool).  Blood gain is very much centered on Taste of Vitae, meaning that the deck might need a hunting ground or other way to refill on blood.

Equipment / Location: This deck only features a single card to deal with each of these card types, but they are pretty effective.  Fast Hands helps keep gun decks in check, and Rampage should help deal with pesky locations.

 

How could it be changed by a new player?

This deck should probably be taken in one of two different directions.  Both of these work off the same theme (bleed heavily with Presence, and do major damage to any blockers) but they differ in how they approach combat. The first is to basically ditch all of the Potence cards and focus on Celerity for combat and Presence for bleed.  A deck like this would include vampires like Black Cat, Brachah, and Volker, The Puppet Prince, all of whom are cheap vampires with superior Celerity.  You could also look to include some of the group 2 Sabbat Brujah (called Brujah Antitribu) like Sarah BrandoRigby, Crusade Vanguard, and Julian Sanders.  There are a lot of Toreador with the same discipline combination that would be excellent in a deck like this as well.  In this case, the combat package would be replaced with concealed .44 Magnums, along with Celerity combat cards like Pursuit, Blur, and Psyche!.

The second option leaves the Potence combat alone, and instead changes the crypt to include some of the fantastic Brujah Antitribu like Hugo, Sela (who has +1 bleed), and Jacko (who gets a free additional strike). Another strong vampire to consider is Theo Bell, who comes with a built-in ability to enter combat with enemy minions.  His presence means that you will never have too many combat cards in hand.  But he’s a little bit difficult to acquire (and he’ll cost more than most VTES cards), so I’d advise printing him out and playing with him a little before putting down money to purchase him.  Putting the focus on Potence and Presence also allows you to include some dual-discipline cards like Iron Glare, and the print-and-play cards Show of Force and Esprit de Corps.

Once you figure out which deck you want to build, the library will certainly need to change – if you focus on Celerity (for example), most of the Potence cards should be removed.  In addition, Elder Intervention should just be removed: the deck defends itself much better by entering combat with your predator’s minions than by blocking them.  If you really want to continue to have the option to block, you may want to consider Guardian Angel which gives you intercept against bleed actions and allows you to prevent 1 damage each combat.  Another good defensive card to consider is Archon Investigation, which is an out-of-turn master card that you can only play if somebody is bleeding you for 4 or more.  It instantly destroys the vampire who is bleeding you, but it costs you 3 pool.  It is an extremely potent weapon against decks that want to bleed you heavily.   And finally, I think all decks should include one Sudden Reversal, which allows you to cancel a master card as it is played.


Well, what do you think about this first demo deck?  How would you change the deck to make it stronger?  Post your comments below – I’d love to get your feedback!

Until next time, may your bleeds never be bounced, and your votes always pass,

Brett

 

EDIT: This deck was edited on 11/02/15 based on comments.  A few more rush cards were added, the combat module was simplified, the vote defense was changed, and Zephyr was added to provide some slight multi-acting or to increase defense.

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6 thoughts on “Demo Deck Series – Clan Brujah

  1. Hey,

    I think the deck has options with the vekn expansions. That’s something for the player to check out by themselve.

    I don’t know how strict you are with jyhad cards. There’s options I flurry of action + zephyr. This deck also has potential to play iron glare + politics and allowing surprise bleeds of 5.

    Mainly: more wakes. If you have more wakes you can go tap out, wake and try to block with the krcg. If you don’t need them you can cycle them away on hunts or a crosstable action.
    I would drop 3 combat cards and add 3 wakes.

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    • Unlike the Barbed Wire Project, I’m not limiting myself to Jyhad cards. I’m just making decks with the cards I’ve set aside to give to new players. I thought about Flurry of Action (in fact it’s in my Toreador demo deck), but I don’t think it’s very good here. In the Toreador deck, you want to bleed a little (or a lot Aire of Elation) and then ready so you can block and shoot your predator. Here, you want your bleeds to be big – force your prey to decide if 3 pool is worth more than having a minion get beat up. Zephyr might be an interesting addition, though – I’ve never played with it. I’m not sure how I feel about a card that can only be played if my action failed…. But maybe I’ll throw 1-2 in and playtest. Iron Glare is another good card (which I originally wanted to base the deck off of!), but the Brujah group 1/2 crypt really doesn’t support it: the youngest vampire who has PRE + POT is Tara, who is capacity 8 and is only a primogen. There are no princes with PRE + POT, and only Rake has presence at all! So any vote component is really going to be replying on Don Cruez (Justicar) as a star vampire. If you want Iron Glare to work, I think you either have to move into different crypt groups (like 3/4 or 4/5) or rope in some of the Brujah Antitribu. As for more wakes… well, I only have so many to go around! Every deck needs them. Maybe the Zephyrs can make up for the shortage of wakes…. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  2. Hey Brett, thanks for your continued contributions to the V:TES community! Good quality stuff, too. For a deck like this, I would drop Crusher and Tura Vaughn, replace them with 3x Theo Bell, and up the deck size to 70. With more than 40 percent of the deck being combat, it will be easy for a player to get hand-jammed on combat, provided his prey is smart enough not to block — and that will significantly slow the deck’s bleed potential. 3 Bum’s Rushes help, but are not enough to count on, even in a 60-card deck (esp. if you have to deal with cards like Obedience or Unleash Hell’s Fury). Theo’s presence nearly guarantees combat flow. I sometimes even add one copy of Beast: Leatherface in such decks, but since he cannot play Legal Manipulations, he’s probably not for this deck. At the same time, assuming combat /does/ flow well, a deck like this can run itself out fairly quickly, assuming an average of 2.5 combat cards being played per combat, hence my recommendation to increase the deck size slightly. I would second the suggestion above for more WWEF, since this deck will perform best when regularly tapping itself out to bleed and rush.

    Cheers,
    -Bill Troxel

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    • Having thought about it a little – I think I agree with you, but I won’t be able to slot in 3x Theo Bell – making one demo deck would wipe out all my copies! I’ll try to make up for it by throwing in a few more Bum’s Rush. I’ll also look at bumping the deck up to 65-70 cards and include a few additional wakes, maybe a Zephyr or 2. I’ll edit this article once that’s all ready. Thanks again for your suggestions!

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  3. Hi there,

    I noticed a minor mistake in this article: You’re writing that Guardian Angel gives you 1 intercept against directed actions like bleeds. Instead, it gives you the 1 intercept only against bleeds, not against other directed actions. You might want to correct it 😉

    Greetings,
    Yomyael

    Like

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