Skip to main content

Crypt Construction: Putting It All Together

This is a capstone of our series on crypt construction.  We'll talk about how these ideas work together and we'll discuss a few tournament-winning deck examples.

Crypt Construction Blog Entries

In Understanding Basic Crypt Construction, we cover simple crypt types,  This is the basic foundation for understanding how to build crypts.  Advanced Crypt Construction (and Math!) delves into decks that have star vampires.  We discuss why keeping the crypt size small is more beneficial and why most crypts should use 12 or 13 vampires.

Even knowing the best ways to build crypts is no guarantee of success.  We cover ways to use crypt cards to help us get to the vampires we want in Crypt Construction: Improving the Draw.  We also discuss our library options in Crypt Construction: Help from the Library.

We also had a quick update about having a plan B in Crypt Construction: Accidents Happen.

Putting This All Together

We'll go over some of my tournament-winning decks and discuss what my thought process was when building the crypt and why I used (or didn't use) any of the crypt-related library cards.  As you'll see I don't always get it right.  Some of these decks were just lucky.

Lions and Tigers and Legionnaires, Oh My!

This is one of my worst crypts and the library offers very little help should I get in trouble.  This deck uses the 5/13 star vampire format.  The design attempts to ensure an opening crypt Erebus that would make recruiting Legionnaires free.
5x Erebus
2x Neighbor John
2x Solomon Batanea
1x Sennadurek
1x Zygodat
1x Nicomedes
1x Maldavis (ADV)
Babalawo Alafin has all of the same (relevant) disciplines and a different, but equally good special.  There's no reason to favor Erebus over Babalawo.  In fact, using both is better.  It creates a more varied crypt.  Playing this again, I'd drop Nicomedes and change two Erebus to BabalawoNicomedes special does not make up for his lack of superior disciplines.

The library is equally confusing in this deck.  (What was I thinking?). With the original crypt there are 6 dead draws when decrypting: 4x Erebus, 1x Neighbor John, and 1x Solomon Batanea.  This screams for Wider View to make those duplicates work for you and not against you.  At 90 cards, you'd want to include 2-3 copies of Wider View to ensure that you get it in a timely fashion.  This is a master heavy deck, so we might only be able to find room for 1-2 copies.  There are some action options available: Disciple of Lazarus and Soul Scan.  The latter is usable by every vampire in the crypt.  Working in two copies in addition to the Wider View changes would definitely smooth out any rough edges that a bad draw might cause.  Soul Scan is also preferable to Disciple of Lazarus in this deck because the Harbingers will have better actions to take (Legionnaires).

Propaganda Moves

This is a weenie Obfuscate vote deck.  The goal is to flood the table with as many different vampires as possible.  Ideally, this deck will have 6-8 vampires in play and most of them will be Anarchs.  The non-Anarchs can call Kine Resources Contested and Diversity, so there are plenty of actions for them.  Bleeds (regular or Night Moves) are also fine, but there's no opportunity to cycle Propaganda of the Deed in that case.
6x Anarch Convert
1x Ali Kar
1x Milo, The Invisible Horror
1x Bloodfeud
1x Denette Stensen
1x Hanna Redmonds
1x Krid
1x Old Neddacka
In an ideal start where the crypt alternates between an o weenie and an Anarch Convert, you can get 4 vampires in play, with three of them being Anarch.  After that you slow down as you need to pay for more crypt cards.  As a deck that wants to bring a bunch of weenies into play, you should have a reasonably reliable way to accelerate beginning in turn 4.

The library offers some help in 2x Information Highway, but that's not very reliable.  If the deck runs smoothly, you should play 8-14 cards by the end of turn three.  In the best case, you've got a 53% chance to see Information Highway in time to start turn four.  If you churn fewer cards that number drops quickly.  Adding additional forms of acceleration, like Effective Management, can bolster you ability to keep the pressure up with additional vampires in turns 4+.  Simply dropping 2x Ashur Tablets (this deck should only need one Ashur cycle at most), and replacing them with 2x Effective Management, increases the odds of obtaining help to 66% in a the low-cycling case and 81% in an optimal case.  Those are much better numbers.

Also knowing that you need to get some acceleration, you should be discarding every turn until you have it.  The other cards are less useful.  Note that discards were figured into the played card ranges above.

Dream a Little Dream and the Cup Edition

These two decks are very similar, the latter being minor tweaks of the former.  The crypt changed slightly between the two versions and the deck saw small changes, but nothing significant.  We can easily talk about these two decks at the same time.

Original Version Cup Edition
3x Alicia Barrows
2x Stavros
2x Fabrizia Contreraz
1x General Perfidio Díos
1x Blister
1x Bloodfeud
1x Denette Stensen
1x Old Neddacka
3x Stavros
2x Alicia Barrows
2x Fabrizia Contreraz
1x General Perfidio Díos
1x Blister
1x Bloodfeud
1x Denette Stensen
1x Old Neddacka

The crypts only differ by flip-flopping the quantities of Alicia Burrows and Stavros.  This crypt construction is similar to the Focus and Support designs that we talked about previously.  Ideally, this deck will not only create vampires via Creation Rites, but it will also put a few into play from the uncontrolled region.  As such, this crypt design for that is fine, but the library is lacking.

The library used in both versions offers no support for getting extra vampires into play from the uncontrolled region and no way to speed up decrypting of vampires either.  This is an oversight.  There are four dead draws, which is one-third of the crypt.  That's a lot of bad odds when looking to get one more vampire into play.  A few Wider View would solve the dead draw problem, turning the duplicates into something useful.  It's possible that Clotho's Gift would make an appearance as well, but the weenies are usually getting Procurers or farming.  So, making space for Wider View seems like the best choice.  The Master package is tight, so serious cuts will be required.  You can decide what makes sense for your local meta.

Jack's Vigil and Revolution v3

This crypt design pre-dates my philosophical shift on Anarch Converts.  I was still treating Anarch Convert as a "star" vampire and choosing 5/13 crypt designs instead of focusing on it as an enabler and using 5/12 designs instead.
5x Anarch Convert
2x Owain Evans, The Wanderer
2x Joseph O'Grady
2x Neighbor John
1x Jephta Hester
1x Kyoko Shinsegawa
The easiest thing to do with this crypt is drop Jephta Hester.  She doesn't have Celerity and Kyoko's special is really solid.  We've got enough other vampires with superior Auspex and superior Dominate that the drop matters very little to the overall flow of the deck.  This deck would like to get three vampires into play.  Given the reliance on playing Guardian Vigil at all three disciplines, there's little choice but to run duplicates.  So, the crypt (after dropping Jephta) is probably fine.  We still have 

Unfortunately, we're looking at 3 dead draws, which isn't bad, but is still 25% of the crypt.  The deck can probably survive two manual decrypts, allowing you to get to that precious third vampire.  With the heavy master package, it's hard to take the easy way out and suggest Wider View.

I haven't played this in a long time, but I'd probably leave the library as is (at least in terms of crypt acceleration and support).

Zurich Fellowship

We'll finish off by looking at what I think is the best crypt and library design that I've put together for the purpose of making more vampires.  We'll talk about the synergies between the deck design, crypt, and crypt acceleration a bit too.
5x Luke Fellows
1x Morrow the Sage
1x Alex Camille
1x Synner-G
1x Jeffrey Mullins
1x Skulk
1x Lubomira Hradok
1x Denette Stensen
1x Old Neddacka
This deck wants to get a lot of vampires into play, quickly and cheaply.  To that end, the crypt uses on the 5/13 star model, allowing as many possible unique vampires balanced against solid odds on getting Luke Fellows.  The crypt is also stacked in a hierarchical fashion as you might see in a deck featuring a "Govern Chain."  We'll be using Powerbase: Zurich for the same purpose and the staggered capacities allow us to spend multiple actions to Zurich to smaller vampires.  Free 4-caps are quite possible with this crypt construction.

We do have 4 dead draws and we need to have something useful to do with Powerbase: Zurich, meaning we need to have smaller vampires in the uncontrolled region than we have controlled to keep making free vampires.  The library has 1x Wider View to help make those dead draws more useful.  There is also Ennoia's Theatre, allowing an extra transfer (or an important card cycle).  However, since we're making smaller vampires, we can use those to help ensure that the uncontrolled region is useful.  5x Clotho's Gift helps decrypt additional vampires.  Between those library cards, we can expect to be bleeding and using Zurich every turn.  Each effect here reinforces the basic concept of the deck.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, even winning decks could be better.  It's always worth the time to evaluate your deck design and determine if your crypt and library are working for you as you intended.  Hopefully, the analysis we did of my winning decks will help you in evaluating your own decks.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Understanding Basic Crypt Construction

I wanted no land – I didn’t like that Magic had about 40% boring resource cards in the deck. -- Richard Garfield   And so, VTES players have a different problem, we have two decks to optimize.  So, let's tackle common crypt construction issues and ideas. 

My Favorite Feature in Amaranth

If you haven't used it,  Amaranth  is a deck builder and card search utility.  You can find cards, build and save decks, and export them in a variety of formats.  And if you've ever played a deck and tweaked it, then you need to know about Amaranth's Versions ability. We'll take a look at a deck that I have played for many years: a !Toreador Undue Influence bleed deck.  It's gone through many iterations.  I recently added two cards to bring it to 72 for Rudolf Scholz's  V5 for Vendetta  event.  The Archon Investigation proved very useful in round one of that event.  It's always useful to look at a deck's history.  You can recognize changes in your playstyle, the meta, and other effects that have altered your concept. So what is the Version ability?  Quite simply versioning a deck allows you to keep a single copy of the deck saved on the server.  There's no need to title your decks v1, v2, etc. any longer.  That single deck can have many versions and