VTES Set Information

There have been a lot of sets released for VTES, and the fact that there is no set rotation and all sets are legal for play means that it can be difficult to figure out which sets you should actually try to acquire.  Below, I’ve outlined each set, and commented on how good I think it would be for a beginner.  I’ve also provided links for retailers who still have each set available for purchasing.  I’ve also included a TL:DR section at the end with my own recommendation on how to get started.

Before you dive in, though, there is one more important thing to consider when selecting sets to buy.  Each set contains vampires from a specific crypt group (numbered 1-6).  A single deck can only include crypt cards from two sequential crypt groups, meaning that a deck could include crypt cards from group 1+2 or 2+3 but not 1+3.  Especially when you first start buying cards, you should try to pick sets from two or three connecting crypt groups.  Also note that the VEKN has released several sets which are completely free – these mostly focus on groups 5 and 6, so if you want to take full advantage of those sets, you’ll want to look for sets from similar groups.


Jyhad (1994) and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (1995)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla, Gangrel
  • Crypt Groups: 1
  • Cards per Booster: 11C, 4V, 3U, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Randomized (45C, 16V, 13U, 2R)
  • Beginner Rating: High.  These sets include nearly identical cards, the difference mostly being the card back (more info here).  Both sets include a lot of staple library and crypt cards.  It’s also the only easy way to get a hold of library cards specific to the Camarilla.
  • Where can I buy? Potomac Distribution and Universal Cards are the only retailers I know of with them in stock, but it’s also relatively easy to find boxes of them on ebay.  You may just have to wait a bit.  But these sets are some of the most affordable when you find them.
  • Notes: The Jyhad cards have a different design on the back of the cards, but they are still legal for play.  Also, a few cards from these old sets have had their text updated (for instance Majesty always costs a blood, you can only burn 1 pool to Army of Rats each turn, etc).  If you get these cards, make sure you go to the Secret Library to see the current text for these cards.

Dark Sovereigns (1995)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla and Independent
  • Crypt Groups: 2
  • Cards per Booster: 8C, 4V, 3U
  • Starter Decks: None
  • Beginner Rating: Medium.  This set includes some great vampires (including the set of 11 capacity vampires), and some very useful library cards.  But many of these are somewhat niche.  If you can find one cheaply, it might not be bad to pick a box up, but it wouldn’t be high on my list.
  • Where can I buy? No retailer has these in stock anymore, but they can occasionally be found on Ebay.

Ancient Hearts (1996)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla and Independent
  • Crypt Groups: 2
  • Cards per Booster: 6C, 4V, 2U/R
  • Starter Decks: None
  • Beginner Rating: Low.  This set includes a few good vampires, and a few good library cards, but mostly really bad stuff that never gets played.
  • Where can I buy? Potomac Distribution and Universal Cards both have them, but they are very expensive.

Sabbat (1996) and Sabbat War (2000)

  • Supported Clans: Sabbat
  • Crypt Groups: 2
  • Cards per Booster: 16C, 5V, 5U, 2R (Sabbat), 5C, 3V, 2U, 1R (Sabbat War)
  • Starter Decks: Brujah antitribu, Lasombra, Tzimisce, Ventrue antitribu
  • Beginner Rating: High.  These sets were nearly identical, and can be considered as “base” sets, meaning that they included a lot of great staple cards.  They also include a lot of very good crypt cards still in use today.
  • Where can I buy? These are exceedingly rare sets – no retailers I know of have them, and I’ve never seen a box of them being sold.  You can still buy individual starter decks, but I’m not sure how worthwhile it is, given their high cost.

Final Nights (2001)

  • Supported Clans: Independent, no Gangrel
  • Crypt Groups: 2
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Assamite, Followers of Set, Giovanni, Ravnos
  • Beginner Rating: Medium.  This set has plenty of good crypt cards, but most of the library cards are very corner case and aren’t used very much.
  • Where can I buy? No retailers I know of have them, and I’ve never seen a box of them being sold.

Bloodlines (2001)

  • Supported Clans: Bloodlines
  • Crypt Groups: 2
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: None
  • Beginner Rating: Low.  This set includes cards that are mostly only useful the bloodlines clans which have very little support.  I would not recommend any of these clans for new players.
  • Where can I buy? No retailers I know of have them, and I’ve never seen a box of them being sold.

Camarilla Edition (2002)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla
  • Crypt Groups: 3
  • Cards per Booster: 5C, 3V, 2U, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Brujah, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere,Ventrue
  • Beginner Rating: High.  This is the official second base set for the game, and the card front changed to something very close to it’s present form.
  • Where can I buy? No retailers I know of have them, and I’ve never seen a box of them being sold.  However, all 100 vampires from this set are sold as Blood Shadow Court, and is cheaply available.  Try Rose Tatu Productions or Fantasiapelit (Europe Only) for the best prices.

Anarchs (2003)

  • Supported Clans: Anarchs
  • Crypt Groups: 3
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Barons, Gangs, Gangrel
  • Beginner Rating: Low.  This set introduced a new mechanic (Anarchs), which has been supported by two official sets and one VEKN set, but the cards are relatively difficult to find, and the mechanic isn’t suggested for new players.
  • Where can I buy? If you live in Europe, you can still buy them from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only), but otherwise, they really available any longer.

Black Hand (2003)

  • Supported Clans: Sabbat
  • Crypt Groups: 3
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Malkavian Antitribu, Nosferatu Antitribu, Toreador Antitribu, Tremere Antitribu
  • Beginner Rating: Medium.  This set introduced the new Black Hand mechanic for the Sabbat, and is important if you are interested in that.  However, the starters are extremely easy to find, and they may well form the foundation of many player’s collections.  They include some very excellent staple cards.
  • Where can I buy? If you live in Europe, you can still buy them from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only), but otherwise boosters aren’t really available any longer.  However, starter boxes can be purchased quite cheaply world-wide.  Try Rose Tatu Productions for the best prices.

Gehenna (2004)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla, Independent, Sabbat
  • Crypt Groups: 3 & mostly 4
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: None
  • Beginner Rating: Medium.  This set includes a smattering of good cards, but the best ones were reprinted in later sets.
  • Where can I buy? If you live in Europe, you can still buy them from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only), but otherwise boosters aren’t really available any longer.  You can also sometimes get lucky on Ebay, but I don’t know if they’re worth the high price being asked for.

Tenth Anniversary Tins (2004)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla, Independent, Sabbat
  • Crypt Groups: 1 & 2
  • Beginner Rating: Medium.  This set is actually just two tins which include a single copy of a variety of crypt and library cards which were published in the first few sets, along with a small number of new and very powerful cards.  This would be great for new players if they weren’t so rare.
  • Where can I buy? Occasionally you’ll see one pop up on Ebay, but they are quite expensive.

Kindred Most Wanted (2005)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla, Independent, Sabbat, Baali
  • Crypt Groups: 4
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Alastors, Anethema, Baali, Gangrel Antitribu
  • Beginner Rating: Low.  This set introduces the new Red List mechanic, which is very rarely used and is supported only by this set.  There are some good cards, but most of them are reprinted in later sets.
  • Where can I buy? If you live in Europe, you can still buy them from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only).  You can also find individual starters on Ebay and elsewhere, but I’m not sure if they are worth the high price being asked.

Legacies of Blood (2005)

  • Supported Clans: Laibon and Bloodlines
  • Crypt Groups: 3 & mostly 4
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Akunase, Guruhi, Ishtarri, Osebo
  • Beginner Rating: Low.  This set provides some support for the Bloodlines (which are not recommended), and introduces the Laibon, who are somewhat interested, but not widely played.
  • Where can I buy? While boosters boxes aren’t really available anymore, you can still find starters are decent prices on ebay, and if you live in Europe, you can purchase the starters from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only).

Nights of Reckoning (2006)

  • Supported Clans: Imbued
  • Cards per Booster: 6C, 3V, 1R, 1 rules card
  • Starter Decks: None
  • Beginner Rating: Very Low.  This set has no cards that are of any use to any clan.  It instead introduces hunters to the game as controllable minions that function like vampires.  Think of this set as a mini-game contained inside VTES.  This set is very cheap, but I highly suggest that you stay away from it.
  • Where can I buy? If you really want to experiences hunters, booster boxes can be purchased extremely cheaply from Rose Tatu Productions.

Third Edition (2006)

  • Supported Clans: Sabbat
  • Crypt Groups: 4
  • Cards per Booster: 5C, 3V, 2U, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Brujah Antitribu, Malkavian Antitribu, Tremere Antitribu, Tzimisce
  • Beginner Rating: High.  This is the game’s third official base set, meaning that it includes most of the core staple cards that you would need.  It also has some really nifty cards for the Sabbat clans, and includes some new cards that are very nice.
  • Where can I buy? The starters are readily and cheaply available – try Rose Tatu Productions for the best prices.  If you live in Europe, you can still buy booster boxes from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only).
  • Notes: Due to a printing error, the image on the back of all the cards in this set is upside down.  It doesn’t impact the legality of the cards in any way, but you should be aware before you buy.

Sword of Caine (2007)

  • Supported Clans: Sabbat
  • Crypt Groups: 5
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: None
  • Beginner Rating: Medium.  This set continues the Black Hand mechanic first introduced in the Black Hand set, so many of it’s library cards are best paired with that set.  But the crypt cards only fit with those from Third Edition.
  • Where can I buy? If you live in Europe, you can buy them from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only), otherwise boosters are still available from time to time on ebay, usually at a good price.

Lords of the Night (2007)

  • Supported Clans: Independent
  • Crypt Groups: 4 & mostly 5
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Assamite, Followers of Set, Giovanni, Ravnos
  • Beginner Rating: High.  If you are interested in independent clans (other than Gangrel), this is the set for you.  It has a great number of reprinted cards, along with some really nice cards that really jazz up the indepenednet clans.
  • Where can I buy? Again, if you live in Europe, you can buy them from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only), but otherwise boosters aren’t really available any longer.  Starters can still be found on ebay and other sources at decent prices.

Blood Shadow Court (2008)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla
  • Crypt Groups: 3
  • Beginner Rating: High.  As mentioned above, this is just a set of all 100 vampires from Camarilla Edition.  Buying 2 or 3 of them is a fantastic way to increase the number of vampires you have.  Highly recommended.
  • Where can I buy? These are easy to find, and cheap.  Try Rose Tatu Productions for the best prices.

Twilight Rebellion (2008)

  • Supported Clans: Anarchs
  • Crypt Groups: 5
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: None
  • Beginner Rating: Low.  This set continues support for the Anarch theme.  While the crypt cards can work in any deck, the vast majority of the library cards only work for Anarch decks, and so this set isn’t recommended.
  • Where can I buy? Well, Fantasiapelit (Europe Only) has them, and sometimes you see them on ebay, but they are very difficult to find.

Keepers of Tradition (2008)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla
  • Crypt Groups: 4 & mostly 5
  • Cards per Booster: 5C, 3V, 2U, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Brujah, Malkavian, Toreador, Ventrue
  • Beginner Rating: High.  This is another base set, and it includes a lot of new powerful cards that are quite difficult to get, despite being commons.  Although most of these aren’t included in the starter decks, they are quite nice and are excellent places to begin.
  • Where can I buy? Europe still has access to boxes of starter decks from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only), but elsewhere they can only be found for very high prices on ebay.  I’d steer clear unless you find a good deal just because of the expense.  Booster boxes have long been impossible to find.

Ebony Kingdom (2009)

  • Supported Clans: Laibon
  • Crypt Groups: most 4 & 5
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: None
  • Beginner Rating: Low.  This set continues support for the Laibon clans, and unless you want to play with them, it offers very little for other clans.
  • Where can I buy? Booster boxes are still available in Europe from Fantasiapelit (Europe Only), but otherwise this is a pretty rare set.

Heirs to the Blood (2010)

  • Supported Clans: Bloodlines
  • Crypt Groups: 4 & 5 & 6
  • Cards per Booster: 7C, 3V, 1R
  • Starter Decks: Tremere/Gargoyle, Lasombra/Kiasyd, Ventrue/Salubri Antitibu, Nosferatu/Samedi
  • Beginner Rating: Medium. Heirs to the Blood continues to offer support for Bloodlines, so unless you already own bloodlines cards, you won’t find them all that useful.  That having been said, the starters have some excellent cards, and are nice ways to dip your toe into the realm of bloodline decks.
  • Where can I buy? No retailers I know of have them, sometimes a single starter will appear on ebay, but they are often very expensive.

Danse Macabre (2013)

  • Supported Clans: Sabbat
  • Crypt Groups: 5
  • Beginner Rating: High.  If you have cards from Third Edition and Sword of Caine, this set is particularly handy.
  • Where can I buy? No need!  This is a print and play set produced by VEKN, meaning that it is completely free.  You can find instructions on how to play with these cards here.

The Unaligned (2014)

  • Supported Clans: Independent
  • Crypt Groups: 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & mostly 6
  • Beginner Rating: High.  This set includes a lot of very interesting library cards for all Independent clans (including Gangrel).  Furthermore, the set includes a lot of crypt cards, and they compliment every crypt grouping, so if you have any Independent clan cards, this set provides something for you to enjoy.
  • Where can I buy? No need!  This is a print and play set produced by VEKN, meaning that it is completely free.  You can find instructions on how to play with these cards here.

Storyline Rewards (2015)

  • Supported Clans: Camarilla and Bloodlines
  • Crypt Groups: 1 & 3 & 5 & 6
  • Beginner Rating: Medium.  This is a very small set of 12 crypt cards, which were based on global story events that have occurred in the last several years.  They include some interested 11 capacity vampires, but in general these are niche cards that new players will eventually want to try out, but may not want to start with.
  • Where can I buy? No need!  This is a print and play set produced by VEKN, meaning that it is completely free.  You can find instructions on how to play with these cards here.

Anarchs Unbound (2016)

  • Supported Clans: Anarchs
  • Crypt Groups: 1-6
  • Beginner Rating: Medium.  The vampires in this set are fantastic for new players, and because there are vampires from all groups in this set, you can always find a vampire that will work with the cards you own.  The library cards are going to be hit or miss since many of them require anarch cards (found in the Anarchs and Twilight Rebellion sets), but there are some that will certainly be useful for any player.  Make  sure to check it out!
  • Where can I buy? No need!  This is a print and play set produced by VEKN, meaning that it is completely free.  You can find instructions on how to play with these cards here.

 

TL:DR – What’s the bottom line?

Wow, that was a lot of information, but how do you actually get started?  And given how many sets are difficult to get a hold of, how can you get started cheaply?  My suggestion is that you head to Rose Tatu Productions.  His prices are the cheapest you are likely to find.  Now, his inventory is pretty small at this point, but he offers starter boxes of Black Hand and Third Edition.  I would look at which clans you like best (both sets feature Malkavian Antitribu and Tremere Antitribu; Black Hand also includes Nosferatu Antitribu and Toreador Antitribu, while Third Edition adds Brujah Antitribu and Tzimisce), and either buy a box of starters of the appropriate set, or look at his Play Group Support Kit.  It costs a few dollars more, and only includes 1 set of all four starters (as opposed to two of each that come in the box), but it comes with 400 support cards that you won’t find in the starter deck.  Either option will cost you $60 or less.

If you want to spend a little more money, you could also purchase Blood Shadow Court, which is a single pack of 100 unique Camarilla vampires from group 3 (which will pair nicely with either Black Hand or Third Edition).  If you really wanted to go all out, you could get a support kit for both Black Hand and Third Edition along with a 2-ish Blood Shadow Court.  This would provide you with a really nice base of vampires from group 2, 3, and 4 and a lot of library cards that would go together nicely.  That’s a very nice way to start your collection, and it will run you less than $150.

 


Camarilla:

  • Clans: Brujah, Caitiff, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, Ventrue
  • Sets: Jyhad, Vampire: the Eternal Struggle, Dark Sovereigns, Ancient Hearts, Camarilla Edition, Anarchs, Gehenna, Tenth Anniversary, Kindred Most Wanted, Blood Shadowed Court, Twilight Rebellion, Keepers of Tradition.

Independent Clans:

  • Clans: Assamite, Followers of Set, Gangrel, Giovanni, Ravnos
  • Sets: Dark Sovereigns, Ancient Hearts, Final Nights, Gehenna, Tenth Anniversary, Kindred Most Wanted, Lords of the Night, The Unaligned.

Sabbat Clans:

  • Clans: Brujah Antitribu, Gangrel Antitribu, Lasombra, Malkavian Antitribu, Nosferatu Antitribu, Pander, Toreador Antitribu, Tremere Antitribu, Tzimisce, Ventrue Antitribu
  • Sets: Sabbat, Sabbat War, Black Hand, Gehenna, Tenth Anniversary, Kindred Most Wanted, Third Edition, Sword of Caine, Danse Macabre.

Bloodlines:

  • Clans: Abomination, Ahrimane, Baali, Blood Brothers, Daughters of Cacophony, Gargoyle, Harbingers of Skulls, Kiasyd, Nagaraja, Salubri, Salubri Antitribu, Samedi, True Brujah
  • Sets: Bloodlines, Legacies of Blood, Heirs to the Blood.

Laibon:

  • Clans: Akunase, Guruhi, Ishtarri, Osebo
  • Sets: Legacies of Blood, Ebony Kingdom.

Anarchs:

  • Sets: Anarchs, Twilight Rebellion, Anarchs Unbound.

Imbued:

  • Sets: Nights of Reckoning.
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