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Crypt Construction: Help from the Library

A companion to our previous post Crypt Construction: Improving the Draw, which focused on crypt cards that help you improve draws.  Here, we'll discuss the various library options that help you formulate the crypt you need.  Sometimes that's bypassing duplicate vampires; other times that's just getting another vampire.

Master Cards

Master cards are good options for helping with crypt manipulation.  Master cancelation is rare and crypt manipulation is low on the list of targets for canceling.  This means that you can almost assuredly play these cards with little interference (exceptions noted).  These cards also leave your minions free to do other actions, like advancing your game strategy.

Effective Management

Effective Management is a classic, originating in the Jyhad set, and has been reprinted many times.
  • Saves you 1 pool and 4 transfers.
This card appears in 201 tournament-winning decks.  More than 2/3 of those decks have an average capacity less than 6, and a more than 1/2 have an average capacity less than 4.  Effective Management can help with duplicated vampires in your crypt, but it's most effective (no pun intended) when running Highlander style crypts with small vampires.  This helps flood the play space with more vampires for more actions to get more done.

On the other hand, Effective Management can help play into high-capacity strategies.  Of the 14 decks with an average over 8, eight of them feature MalgorzataEffective Management works in concert with her special quite nicely.

Information Highway

Another Jyahd-era Master card that still sees high use today.  Appearing in almost 800 tournament-winning decks, Information Highway serves one of two purposes in most decks.  First, it serves as acceleration, a topic that we'll discuss another time.  Second, the additional transfers means that you can use the the built-in ability to decrypt and still be able to put more transfers on the newly-drawn vampire.  Information Highway is the influence phase on steroids.

Of the Master cards listed here, this is the one most likely to be canceled.

Wider View

Wider View is the most significant improvement for crypt specialization the game has ever seen.
  • One transfer and the removal of one crypt card (after the draw), allows you to draw a new crypt card
  • Has a secondary pool gain function
  • Is a trifle
Quite simply any deck that involves multiple copies of vampires should include 1-3 copies of Wider View.

Some things to note.  The draw happens before you choose to remove a crypt card.  This means you can see what the new crypt card is before deciding which card to remove.  Usually, you'll have a duplicate that you want to convert into a shiny, new vampire.  Nothing stops you from using it when your remaining vampires are unique and not copies of your controlled vampires; perhaps you want to find a better support vampire or a situational special that is useful given the table state.


Recruitment allows you to search for a specific crypt card.
  • Costs 1 pool more than the default draw
  • Allows you to search, finding the exact vampire you want
  • Leaves all transfers available
Honestly, is there anything better than being able to pick the exact card that you want?

There are a few variants of Recruitment that have restrictions and benefits, but essentially allow you to search for a crypt card.  We won't go over these in detail because they perform similar functions.

Search Masters
Coroner's Contact
Great Symposium
The Stranger Among Us

Are Master cards worth it?

Master slots are precious.  So, you need to ask yourself what does your deck do?  Do these Masters help you accomplish your goals?  What Master are you giving up?  Most players recoup pool expenditures via Master card, playing Villein, Blood Doll, and the like.  Is another vampire better?  Is ensuring that you can pick the right vampire better?

Action Cards

Action cards fall into two camps: draw from your crypt (Effective Management) or search your crypt (Recruitment).

Decrypt Actions Search Actions
Kindred Intelligence Summon the Serpent
Clotho's Gift (o) Disciple of Lazarus
Mesu Bedshet Soul Scan
Mozambique Allure
Recruitment Exercise

Are actions worth it?

Using an action to draw or search for a vampire reduces the forward pressure you can generate for the turn.  The question you have to ask is will getting a new vampire allow you to increase your actions for the rest of the game?  If you can get the new vampire one turn sooner, then you haven't lost any forward pressure, you've delayed it.  Exchanging an action now for a different action later.

Honestly, this is a topic made for much deeper exploration than a sub-bullet in a this post; it's a topic deserving of its own blog post.  So, we'll leave those questions lie for now.  You can think about them, answer them for each of your designs, etc.


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