Last week, I discussed outferior disciplines and my belief that the effects exist specifically to support crypts that mix bloodlines with so called “ally” clans. After all, if the outferior was simply a way to allow you to cycle the card out of your hand if you didn’t have any bloodline vampires out, they could simply be given a Burn Option. I went through the five clans that the VEKN are going to focus on during the upcoming set, and the unique discipline associated with those clans last week. Today, I’ll do the same with the remaining bloodlines and their unique disciplines.
To recap, I’ll be giving each discipline two grades – one to represent the choice of outferior disciplines (and how much these disciplines are useful to ally clans), and how powerful or useful those outferior effects are. The best cards will be those whose outferior discipline is held by an ally clan, and whose effect is at least somewhat desirable. I confess that I missed the power level on some outferior effects last week, but the commonality among these cards is that their outferior effect is situationally good enough to be included in decks without the bloodline discipline. While it’s great that outferior effects like Transfusion see play, I will be basing my review on the degree to which the outferior effect encourages mixed crypt decks. Alright, let’s get started!
With Animalism, Presence, and Spiritus, the Ahrimane find their natural ally in the Guruhi (ANI, POT, PRE). The Guruhi help to strengthen their ties to the Ahrimane through Sobayifa who is the only non-Ahrimane in the game with Spiritus. However, the game also includes a number of cards like Feral Spirit and Spirit Claws that attempt to link the Ahrimanes to the Gangrel / Gangrel Antitrubu. This link is also seen in the choice of out-of-clan disciplines that the Ahrimanes have: 4 have at least basic mastery of Protean, and there are 3 who have either Celerity, Fortitude, or Obfuscate. This access to Obfuscate also ties them a bit to the Nosferatu / Nosferatu Antitribu – there’s even one Ahrimane who has Potence!
Given these allies, I would assume to see a few outferior cards for Celerity, Fortitude, and Obfuscate, and a lot for Potence (to help out the Guruhi) and Protean (to solidify the link with the Gangrel). Below are the disciplines picked by White Wolf for Spiritus cards:
- Animalism (6)
- Auspex (1)
- Celerity (2)
- Fortitude (2)
- Obfuscate (2)
- Protean (1)
I’m a bit surprised to see so many Animalism cards (especially considering that there are no Presence cards), but I’ll let that slide. As expected, there are a few outferior cards for loosely connected disciplines (CEL, FOR, OBF), but the real shocker is that the two disciplines most closely aligned are either missing (POT), or represented by only 1 card (PRO). Admittedly, Bloodlines came out before the Guhuri existed, but why was no card with a Potence outferior effect published in Heirs to the Blood? The only real mystery discipline here is the lone Auspex card. I’d give the choice of disciplines a B. They hit a lot of the right points, but let me down on some crucial areas. I’d highly suggest any future Spritus cards focus on Potence and Protean for their outferior effects.
Then we come to effects. By my estimation, there are 5 cards that possess effects strictly inferior to what the outferior discipline provides, 5 cards that provide effects on par with the outferior discipline (although some of these are pretty weak – burn 1 blood for +1 intercept for PRO and ANI, both of which are given intercept with a downside, but these are steep downsides!), and 4 cards that provide totally new abilities (some like Nose of the Hound are handy, but others like Vulture’s Buffet are extremely situational). I’d give the outferior power level a C. Passing, but not exemplary.