On January 2nd, I got to play in two fantastic tournaments hosted by Brandon. We had 12 players from the greater San Francisco Bay Area attend, and several more who sent their regrets that they couldn’t make it. It’s nice to know that we still have ~15 or so active players in the area, and it was great to have a chance to play with those who can’t regularly attend games (like me!). It was just too bad that we didn’t get some of the regular players from LA, but there is always next year!
For the first event, I took a variant of the Bane Mummy deck that I posted about previously. I took a few steps to improve it, some of which were suggested in the comments of that previous article – so thank you all for your help! I’ll start off by talking a little about the deck itself, and then I’ll move on the the tournament report. So without further adieu, allow me to introduce Stop Calling My Mummy!
How does the deck win?
The ousting strategy mostly remains the same – stealth bleed with the Mummy allies. The bleed is coming from the inherent bleed of the Mummies paired with the Camera Phones and In Memory of the Two Lands. The stealth comes from Halim Bey, Veil the Legions and Cloak the Gathering. Anarch Troublemaker and Revelation of Ecstasy help set up the lunge, particularly once somebody sees just how much bleed these mummies can dish out. Although Govern the Unaligned is better used to bloat or to influence out another vampire, it can also be used by 8 of the 12 vampires in the crypt for bleeding.
How does the deck survive?
The addition of Deflection and Redirection mean that the deck has a strong core of bleed defense, which is very nicely supplemented by the blocking that can be accomplished by The Unmasking. Tutu makes a shockingly good blocker – he can bleed, untap, block with 1 intercept, and then dodge as a strike. Carlton Van Wyk is as good as this deck is going to get: 2 whole intercept. The deck should also be able to bloat using Govern the Unaligned and Mesu Bedshet. Combat is mostly about hitting hard using Target Vitals and (if necessary) In Memory of the Two Lands. Given how important Halim Bey is, he should always get the Secure Haven, and should almost never block. Finally, if allies are stolen, they can either be retaken using Far Mastery or turned into a horrible snake monster using Set’s Curse.
What changes would I make?
Well, having played this deck a few times, I can say that it really needs a few Leverage for surprise bleeding power. I can’t believe that I didn’t think to include it. I also really wish that I had 1-2 Dodges in there to help those mummies who don’t have a built-in dodge option. It could also be used to save my vampires in a pinch. I think it would be wise to throw 1x Conditioning in there as well to really help my vampires lunge along with the Mummies. I also hate Heart of Nizchetus with a passion, but it could really help you dig for just the right allies. On the other hand, Revelation of Ecstasy seemed like a good idea, but in practice, I just discarded it, so I think those should both come out. I never saw Anarch Troublemaker so I’m unsure how good it is in this deck, but for now I’d leave it in. Finally, I was always disappointed when Amam the Devourer (Bane Mummy) showed up – 0 bleed and only 2 strength, he just isn’t that good for this deck. I’m tempted to replace or remove him.
This was my first time playing the current iteration of my Mummies deck, and it got a fair amount of attention – partially because of the insanity of basing a deck off Bane Mummies, and partially because I would loudly announce that Tutu the Doubly Evil One one was calling my prey on his new Camera Phone. Once when a bleed was blocked, I lamented that he hadn’t figured out how to turn the phone on yet. The joke quickly escalated to where Tutu was sending naked pictures to various people. Everybody seemed to enjoy the deck, which made me very happy. I also got quite a kick every time somebody accused me of being the table threat.
Game 1: David CK (group 1+2 Gangrel Toolbox) -> Brett (Stop Calling My Mummy!) -> Brandon (group 1+2 OBF bleed) -> Andy (AAA toolbox)
This entire table got a very quick start – when I influenced out Halim Bey on turn 2, he was the fourth vampire on the table. The early game mostly involved Brandon doing some small but very stealthy bleeds, Andy and David CK tooling up and calling a few votes (one of which failed only because two other vote cards and the edge were thrown in opposition!), and I grew my mummy army. Tutu was the first, quickly followed by Carlton, Kherebutu, and the Vagabond Mystic. I also was fortunate enough to get The Unmasking into play fairly quickly, which really seemed to stall David CK’s early efforts to bleed me. Andy managed to play his third Ashur Tablets on turn 3, and followed this up by bringing out Alexandra and making her an Alastor. After Brandon equipped the Heart of Nizchetus, I tried to Conceal it away, which is thwarted by a DI. Almost immediately thereafter, I’m forced to use my own DI to stop David CK from killing pool Carlton with Carrion Crows. I place the curse of Set on one of David CK’s new 1 cap vampires, adding to my little ally army.
At this point, Brandon had three vampires (two of which had built-in bleed modifiers) but was pretty low on pool. He temporarily rectified this by making Watenda the Malkavian Justicar, who suggested that there needed to be a Parity Shift (which ended up stealing 4 pool from Andy). David CK tried to follow suit with a Gangrel Justicar, but my twisted snake monster (Set’s Curse) blocked him, but is killed in the ensuing combat. My bleeds continued to chip away at Brandon’s pool, but the next turn he was able to oust Andy with a flurry of fierce bleeds. For the first time in the game, David CK had some real pressure on him, but he stabilized with a well timed Minion Tap.
David tried to make a deal with Brandon where David would be allowed to oust me before being ousted himself. Brandon agreed, but started to look a lot less sure when David CK’s next two bleed actions were blocked by Tutu and Carlton, both of whom elected to strike back (rather than dodge) with Target Vitals, which resulted in two torporized Gangrel. David CK was left with only 1 ready vampire (who didn’t have enough blood to rescue, if I recall correctly). Given his deal with Brandon, David CK felt safe enough to influence out another vampire, which left him with only ~4 pool. I bled Brandon hard, but I hadn’t seen a In Memory of the Two Lands all game, so I’m not able to oust. Brandon was now in a precarious position: it was likely that I could oust him on my next turn, and with only two minions it was pretty unlikely that David CK could oust me on his turn. On the other hand, by influencing out another vampire, David CK had brought himself into easy striking range. Brandon lamented his choice, but he ultimately lunged for the oust. After two more turns of fierce Mummy bleeding and blocking by Carlton and Tutu , I managed to finally oust Brandon. Result: Brandon 2VP, Brett 2VP.
Game 2: Eric S (Tunnel Runners) -> Brett (Stop Calling My Mummy!) -> Andy (AAA toolbox) -> David A (Shattering Crescendo)
I was a little nervous as I sat down – I knew that Andy’s deck had intercept and guns. Mummies do not like guns. Even Tutu doesn’t like them if additional strikes are involved. I predicted that many Mummies would die this game, and I was not disappointed despite the fact that no guns ever hit the table! I got a pretty nice start and immediately put The Unmasking into play, which was quickly followed up by Halim Bey and Tutu. Andy brought out Dorian Strack and Anson while David A began influencing out his hoard of Daughters of Cacophony and bleeding quite heavily with them. Eric S brought out Unchenna and Jacob Fermor, who quickly became targets for David A’s Shattering Crescendos. Tutu proved to be a bother to the entire table, he blocked Eric S’ Tunnel Runner, and then Andy’s Bowl of Convergence and Banishment. He was finally killed by being punched to death over three rounds of combat. Amenophobis recruited Qetu the Evil Doer and Kherebutu to fill the Mummy void, but Qetu was immediately blocked and punched to death over multiple rounds of combat.
Meanwhile, David A had played Fame on Unchenna, who was promptly knocked into torpor along with Jacob Fermor by another Shattering Crescendo. This was unfortunately the end of the game for Eric S. With no minions in play, he fell to the ravenous Daughters and their bad music. I bled Andy down to 1, but wasn’t looking that stable myself. Andy spent his turn desperately trying to gain pool: he played his third Ashur Tablets (which I Wash away), he called a referendum to make Halim Bey an Anathema (and gains 2 pool through Voter Captivation), and finally he popped his Wider View, getting him back up to 5. David A bled me heavily, and I made the mistake of blocking rather than Redirecting, which almost certainly costs me a VP. I lunged the next turn, but came up 1 pool short. Andy lunged, but Anson got caught up in an Archon Investigation. David A played yet another Shattering Crescendo, knocking Halim Bey into torpor and killing Kherebutu. Amenophobis blocked the bleed that would oust me, but was stripped down to 0 blood by the Kiss of Ra. All I could do on my turn was hunt and look at the Govern the Unaligned and stealth cards in my hand. Andy couldn’t oust with his one minion, and David A swept us both up in a single turn. Result: David A 4VP + GW.
Not surprisingly, zero game wins and 2VP was not enough to get me to the finals, so my Mummies finally returned to their endless slumber, content with their new cell phones and unlimited data plans. The tournament was ultimately won by Eric H, who was playing a Lasombra toolbox deck featuring Under Siege and Improvised Flamethrowers.
I think I’ll end this article here, and save the second tournament report for a separate article. ICLee has also written a great report for both events, and I highly suggest that you check it out. Sadly, we never played a game together all day, but he did make some interested predictions about the finals table of the second event. Spoiler alert – they all turn out to be true!
Until next time, may your bleeds never be bounced, and your Bane Mummies never be punched to death,