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Crypt Construction: Improving the Draw

In previous installments, we've talked about how to construct crypts to minimize bad draws, but we can only minimize bad draws so far.  We're always going to have bad crypt draws if we play enough games, so we need a plan B.  So, let's discuss ways to improve the crypt draw.

What the Rulebook Gives You

There is always a plan B.  The rulebook gives you an out for bad crypt draws, which is to decrypt (draw another crypt card).

Spend 4 transfers and burn 1 pool to move a vampire from your crypt to your uncontrolled region.

The game, however, provides alternatives to this basic plan B.  There are both crypt and library options for improving decrypting and improving on bad crypt draws.

Crypt Cards That Help Decrypt

We have a few options for adding cards to our crypt that help get more crypt draws.  Remember that unless these cards fit into your overall strategy that you might be diluting you crypt too much resulting in more frequent bad draws.  It's a careful balance.

Tupdog

Let's compare Tupdogs to what the rulebook offers.

Pros:

  • One pool and one transfer equals a decrypt.  This is a 3 transfer savings.
  • You can influence Tupdog on your first turn regardless of seating.
  • Creates a disposable vampire that can block or act for one turn.

Cons:
  • Tupdog must still be in play at the end of your minion phase to activate the decrypt.
  • The decrypt is delayed by one turn.
  • Only usable with groups 2, 3, and 4.
Tupdogs have their own deck archetype, but we're just concerned about how to use them for thinning the crypt and enabling better draws.  So, let's see how they're used in the TWDA.

Khazar's Diary decks

Five Khazar's Diary decks using Tupdogs have made it into the TWDA.  While Tupdogs themselves are not unique (and do not add counters to the Diary), they do flow into the ash heap.  Each one can later be recycled as a Khazar's wraith.  Each of these decks also has actions that the Tupdogs can take to get more use out of them: Aranthebes, the Immortal; Carlton Van Wyk; Ossian; Vagabond Mystic, Repo Man, etc.

Honestly, it's quite surprising that there aren't more of these decks in the TWDA, but as we'll see in a bit, Anarch Convert shows up instead.

Anarch Convert

Let's compare Anarch Converts to what the rulebook offers.

Pros:
  • One pool and one transfer equals a decrypt.  This is a 3 transfer savings.
  • Makes the target vampire Anarch. (This may only be a positive if you need an Anarch.). There are popular deck types that use Anarch Revolt and Anarch Convert will inoculate the deck from Anarch Revolt damage.
  • Anarch Convert is a no-drawback 1-capacity vampire.
  • Usable with any vampire grouping.
Cons:
  • Requires another vampire in play to use its decrypt special.  So, you need at least 2 transfers to make use of it.  One transfer to bring a vampire into play (possibly a copy of Anarch Convert) and another transfer to bring Anarch Convert into play and use its special.
  • Can only be used on vampires without a title.  This restricts the types of decks that Anarch Convert can help accelerate.
  • Copies used to accelerate decrypting your vampires are removed from the game.  This makes Anarch Convert less useful with strategies that want to remove crypt cards (Legionnaires) or recycle minions (Khazar's Diary).
There are quite a few decks (over 35 in fact) that only use one copy of Anarch Convert.  Just over 25 decks use only two copies of Anarch Convert.  After reviewing them, most of those decks appear to use the Anarch Convert for its decrypt special or possibly as a cheap weenie.  Let's take a look at some of the more interesting examples.

The unnamed decks

There are five decks featuring the unnamed as a star vampire.  They also feature one or two copies of Anarch Convert to make it easier to cycle through the vampires in the crypt.  Given the high amount of Anarch Revolts in certain metagames, this can also be protection against Revolt damage.

New Blood

Let's compare New Blood to what the rulebook offers.

Pros:
  • Two pool and two transfers equals a decrypt.  This costs an extra pool, but saves two transfers.
  • New Blood is large enough to be able to rescue a vampire from torpor, a significant difference between this vampire and the other decrypting options.
Cons:
  • New Blood is effectively disciplineless for any deck using the vampire for the decrypting special.
  • Extra copies of New Blood are not worthwhile.  Only one copy will usefully decrypt and thin the crypt.
Out of the 13 decks in the TWDA only two of them are actually Blood Bothers decks.  The rest of the decks simply use New Blood as a way to decrypt and gain a vampire.  There really is no pattern with these decks.  They include everything from a !Ventrue Sticks to a !Brujah toolbox.

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