Demo Deck Series – Clan Toreador

Greetings Methuselahs!

Last time I focused on the Nosferatu, so it seems only appropriate that I would turn to the Toreador today.  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 has 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, and I’ll update this post as the deck changes.  So without further ado, allow me to present Demo Deck – Toreador Block, Bleed, and Shoot:

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=3 max=10 avg=6)
1x Demetrius Slater 4 aus cel pre Toreador:1
1x Dorian Strack 4 cel AUS Toreador:1
2x Felicia Mostrom 5 pre AUS CEL Toreador:1
1x Isabel de Leon 3 AUS Toreador:2
2x Kallista, Master Sculptor 6 pre pro AUS CEL Toreador:1
2x Masika 10 AUS CEL PRE Toreador:1
1x Ramiel DuPre 5 aus cel dom PRE Toreador:1
2x Tatiana Romanov 7 cel pre AUS Toreador:1
Library (60 cards)
Master (10)
1x Aching Beauty
1x Antediluvian Awakening
3x Blood Doll
1x Celerity
1x Metro Underground
1x Powerbase: Chicago
1x Powerbase: Montreal
1x Society Hunting Ground
Action (6)
1x Arson
5x Flurry of Action
Equipment (5)
5x .44 Magnum
Action Modifier (7)
5x Aire of Elation
2x Suppressing Fire
Reaction (15)
2x Enhanced Senses
4x Forced Awakening
3x Precognition
2x Quicken Sight
4x Telepathic Misdirection
Combat (14)
3x Blur
4x Concealed Weapon
1x Fast Hands
3x Psyche!
3x Pursuit
Combo (3)
3x Resist Earth’s Grasp

Piloting Instructions for New Players:

How does the deck win? While this deck is incredibly flexible and can readily adapt to whatever your opponents throw your way, it is not an aggressive deck.  You will commonly want to end your turn with 1 or more minions untapped, ready to block.  This can be accomplished in a number of ways including not acting, taking a successful Flurry of Action bleed (which lets you untap), untapping at the end of the turn via Metro Underground, or having Masika in play (he untaps at the end of each player’s turn).  This deck has a lot of intercept, and it should be able to block even stealth decks.  Once you block a vampire, you have .44 Magnums to teach them a lesson about not messing with you.  You can equip these guns as an action, or if you have both the gun and Concealed Weapon in your hand, you can play them during combat, thereby saving you an action.  Your primary means of ousting will be small bleeds, which can be increased by using Aire of Elation (which is best kept as a surprise until your prey is quite low on pool).

How does the deck survive? Your basic survival tool is to block actions that will harm you.  The combination of your guns with Celerity combat cards like Blur and Pursuit makes for a very efficient and deadly combination.  If you fight vampires that attempt to end combat as a strike, you can play Psyche! to start a new combat with the same participants.  You also have Telepathic Misdirection, which is a reaction card that allows you to redirect an incoming bleed to a different player. You will want to play these to maximum effect: first try to block their bleed, wait to see if your opponents adds stealth to their action, then declare you have no block and see if your opponent increases the bleed. Finally, redirect the now enhanced bleed to your prey.

 

Play Test Notes:

This is not a quick deck, but it can often appear harmless: most of the time, you are just bleeding for 1 or 2 while staying untapped.  It looks like a very defensive deck and that can encourage your prey to let down their guard.  The real problem is what to do if you can’t find your .44 Magnums.  It’s a problem faced by all gun decks, but I do wonder if this deck has the right number of guns.  The new player who played this really enjoyed it, and it seemed to nicely fit her playing style, although she was also a bit frustrated by the deck until the first gun made its appearance.

 

How does it fit my demo deck rules?

Defense:  This is certainly the first blocking-oriented deck that I’ve shown.  It has more wakes and ways of uptapping than any other deck, and it has a decent amount of intercept to back that up.  And, of course, Telepathic Misdirection is one of the best bleed defenses in the game.

Voting: The only defense this deck has to voting is to try to block the political action.  A problem arises if the player calling the vote isn’t your predator or prey.  However, I don’t think that this situation will arise often enough to warrant cards like Poison Pill or Delaying Tactics.  Plus this deck has a few titled vampires, so it might be able to get favorable terms on votes called by cross table allies.

Combat: The .44 Magnums may not seem flashy, but they are one of the most efficient combat strategies in the game, especially when you back them up with a decent number of maneuvers (provided by Pursuit, Resist Earth’s Grasp, and Quicken Sight when blocking), and additional strikes (provided by Pursuit and Blur).  Really, the only thing that this deck is worried about is not having enough maneuvers against Potence combat or the aggravated damage caused by Gangrel.  The only way to deal with the later is by using maneuvers, or the damage prevention afforded to you by Precognition.

Pool / Blood Management: This deck has several Powerbases that will slowly help generate pool, but each of them can be stolen or interacted with by other players, meaning that they have to be defended in order to be useful.  But you can also use these to help other players – does your cross-table ally need some help?  Maybe you could offer them the pool on Powerbase: Chicago, or lend them Powerbase: Montreal for a turn.   Other than this, the deck features Blood Dolls to help recoup the pool that you invest into your minions.  Blood gain is limited to just the Society Hunting Ground.

Equipment / Location: The deck features Arson to deal with locations, and Fast Hands to deal with weapons.  The later is mostly included so that you can steal back a stolen .44 Magnum.

 

How could it be changed by a new player?

I’ll be honest – this sort of intercept-combat deck isn’t what I usually play, so I’m likely not the most qualified person to be commenting on how to make it better.  That having been said, any deck that has Auspex and is dedicated to blocking will benefit from having Eagle’s Sight, which allows your vampire to attempt to block any action.  If your prey is bleeding his prey, you normally can’t block that action, but with Eagle’s Sight, you can!  These should be spent very carefully, and they should almost always be used to block and hurt your prey rather than to protect yourself from cross-table threats.

The other element that these defensive decks really benefit from are master cards that passively do pool damage to other players (like the Antediluvian Awakening in this deck).  Your options for this sort of card pretty much boil down to Anarch Revolt, more Antediluvian Awakening, and Smiling Jack, The Anarch.  These allow you to be doing damage to your prey while also staying untapped to block.  However, these cards are also dangerous – they do damage to all other players (usually including you), and other players can destroy them by taking actions, meaning that all four other players at the table might be coming at you!  To mitigate the pool damage these cards will be doing to you, you’ll need some strong form of pool gain.  More Blood Dolls and a way to get blood on your vampires are a good place to start.

If you really wanted to take the idea of pool damaging master cards to an extreme, you could focus on stacking Anarch Revolt (the only one of the three above that isn’t unique).  In this case, you would want to have at least one of your minions be an anarch to prevent you from being hurt by your own cards.  Your vampires may take an action to become an anarch, and there are action cards that accomplish the same thing.  In this situation, you’ll want to be able to play multiple Anarch Revolts in a single turn which will require you to gain additional master phase actions.  This can  be accomplished by adding Anson to your crypt, and The Parthenon to your library.

 


Well, what do you think about this 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

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7 thoughts on “Demo Deck Series – Clan Toreador

  1. I agree that this type of deck is very difficult to play.

    The trick to getting the gun is to play infernal pursuit. It smoothens combat and alleviates hand jams.
    For the rest this deck looks pretty good. It’s clearly missing eagle sight to really have some control over the table.
    In a further expansion of the deck anson and ashur tablets come popping up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Anson and his Tablets are a good combination for this deck. I hesitated in suggesting them for a couple of reasons including their expense, and the fact that I would love to see them banned (due to timing issues rather than pure power). But it certainly is a solid deck! Infernal pursuit is also a great suggestion – I’ll check to see if I have any extra to add. Thanks!

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  2. Hi Brett!

    Nice, straightforward Tor deck. I appreciate that you consistently put a fair number of pool-damaging cards in your demo decks, as this is too often overlooked by new players, especially in decks that block.

    The first thing I thought after getting to the bottom was that you needed to make room for at least one more .44 in the deck — and then I saw that thought echoed in your notes. Bearing in mind that typical 90-card versions of this deck pack around 8 guns to ensure an early draw, a straight down-scaling puts us between 5 and 6. Of course, drawing to a 7-card hand is just generally/mathematically better in a 60-card deck than in a 90, thus scaling is not perfectly linear (to our advantage), and so 5 is probably plenty.

    Flurry of Action is a cool card, but since it doesn’t pack any extra pool damage, 6 in a 60-card deck seems like a lot. I’d switch at least one out for another Aire, but that’s just my style and it’s a minor tweak.

    Thematically, an Aching Beauty would be fun here, but I won’t say that it would necessarily make the deck any more effective.

    Thanks for another solid offering!

    Cheers,
    -Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the feedback, Bill – your comments are always welcome and they make these decks better. Aching Beauty was a perfect suggestion – I’ve been trying to slip 1-2 semi valuable cards into each deck, and that’s exactly what I’ll add here. A fifth gun also seems worthwhile – especially since I took a risk and included Suppressing Fire in the deck. I’ve made both changes – thanks again!

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  3. How about replacing the guns altogether with 8 (more?) Mercury’s Arrow, 1-2 more Tastes, and a couple Projectiles? OK you need CEL to fight but this is now threatening out of the gate. saving pool is the main benefit.

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    • I’d love to play around with Mercury’s Arrow myself, as little used cards speak to me. But it’s hard to see a lot of merits here. 1R with an optional maneuver (inferior thrown gate) for a blood? Ouch. And the superior doesn’t provide a maneuver anymore! I guess you can use the 3R when you blur to do extra damage, but in the end, you’ve used 3 of them to do 7 damage (first strike = 1+maneuver, second + third strike = 3R), and that costs you 3 blood. But that is incredibly card intensive. Point is: I would need to seriously playtest a deck based around Mercury’s Arrow before I would hand it off to a new player. Guns have proven themselves effective. But like I said, neat idea, I’m just not convinced 🙂

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  4. I feel that this deck needs some more permanent bleed capacity. 5x Aire of Elation should be quite enough for first prey, but what then? I would add some camera phones and/or single Pulse of the Canaille. Also consider finding space for Adrianne in Crypt, perhaps removing either Demetrius or one Kallista. Adrianne only has inferior disciplines, but +1 bleed on six cap is quite nice.

    This may be a personal preference, but I think a block heavy deck should have (even) more wake like cards/effects. I usually start with baseline of six wake card in any deck and work up or down from there depending on style of the deck and available disciplines.

    Considering number of guns, I usually follow advice of having 3 guns to 2 concealed weapons. Original deck building advice picked from late Path of Blood forums was that in any combo where ability to play card A depend on having copy of card B in hand, you should have two of B for each A in deck. As I still have trouble using my discards efficiently, I have noticed a ratio of 3 to 2 and smaller total number of cards to work better for my playing style.

    Cheers,
    Mikko

    Liked by 1 person

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