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Registered: 07-2010
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Evaluating a limited card pool for optimal selection


Atom Weaver's Deck Bashing Challenge

http://www.thelasombra.com/dbc/dbc.htm

Here is a short article that appeared on the White Wolf forum
explaining how to approach the subject of making the most effective
deck possible from two starters. Read it there for optimal
formatting.

http://forums.white-wolf.com/cs/forums/t/33873.aspx

This short article is intended to be a primer on how to review a pair
of starter decks to see if you can, and how you should, combine them
to make the best deck that you can from them. (See also: Atomweaver's
Deck Mashup Challenge)

In this example, we will consider the Toreador and Brujah starters
from Keepers of Tradition.

http://www.thelasombra.com/decks/toreador_precon_kot.htm
http://www.thelasombra.com/decks/brujah_precon_kot.htm

This is the complete list of cards that we can choose from, after
which we'll review each section and type of cards.

    The Two Decks Together:

Crypt [24 vampires] Capacity min: 2 max: 11 average: 6.58333
------------------------------------------------------------
2x Adana de Sforza 11 CEL OBF POT PRE PRO aus inner circle Brujah:4
2x Rafael de Corazon 11 AUS CEL DOM OBF PRE inner circle Toreador:4
2x Jann Berger 10 CEL POT PRE dem for prince Brujah:4
2x Epikasta Rigatos 8 AUS DOM PRE cel prince Toreador:4
2x Eugene 8 AUS CEL FOR PRE primogen Toreador:4
2x Kateline Nadasdy 7 AUS CEL PRE Toreador:4
2x Tomaine 6 CEL POT PRE primogen Brujah:4
2x Herbert Westin 5 OBF PRE pot Brujah:4
2x Reginald Moore 4 PRE primogen Brujah:4
2x Thomas De Lutrius 4 aus cel pre primogen Toreador:4
2x Garret 3 pot pre Brujah:4
2x Sean Andrews 2 cel Toreador:4

Library [154 cards]
------------------------------------------------------------
Action [21]
 4x Enrage
 1x Entrancement
 2x Entrenching
 5x Harass
 9x Public Trust

Action Modifier [11]
 4x Approximation of Loyalty
 4x Crocodile's Tongue
 3x Suppressing Fire

Action Modifier/Combat [5]
 5x Resist Earth's Grasp

Combat [46]
 6x Brute Force
 2x Concealed Weapon
 3x Immortal Grapple
 6x Psyche!
 6x Pursuit
 3x Relentless Pursuit
 4x Slam
 4x Stutter-Step
 6x Taste of Vitae
 3x Torn Signpost
 3x Weighted Walking Stick

Equipment [25]
 4x Bang Nakh -- Tiger's Claws
 5x Beretta 9mm
 1x Bowl of Convergence
 2x Bundi
 3x Desert Eagle
 1x Drum of Xipe Totec
 2x IR Goggles
 1x Ivory Bow
 1x Mark V
 1x Phased Motion Detector
 1x Sengir Dagger
 3x Sniper Rifle

Master [20]
 1x Auspex
 2x Celerity
 2x Contingency Planning
 2x Fame
 1x KRCG News Radio
 2x Major Boon
 1x Nod
 1x Potence
 2x Presence
 1x Rack, The
 1x Tension in the Ranks
 4x Vessel

Political Action [10]
 2x Finding the Path
 4x Kine Resources Contested
 1x Praxis Seizure: Houston
 1x Praxis Seizure: Washington, D.C.
 2x Year of Fortune

Reaction [16]
 3x Eagle's Sight
 4x Minor Irritation
 5x On the Qui Vive
 4x Telepathic Misdirection

------------------
8/14/2010, 11:07 am Link to this post Send Email to NergalMadeMeDoIt   Send PM to NergalMadeMeDoIt Blog
 
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Re: Evaluating a limited card pool for optimal selection


We will start with the crypt. If you are combining two crypts, you
want to be able to ensure that you get the best vampires in your
opening crypt in as many games as possible. With the Keepers of
Tradition starters, this is eased by having all of the vampires
duplicated. If we wanted to be able to do some voting, we would keep
duplicate copies of Princes/Justicars and might even consider
including an Inner Circle member, if the pool regaining abilities of
the starters will support it. Unfortunately, these two starters
cannot support 11 capacity vampires, so we will drop all of the
vampires that are above 8 capacity. We'll duplicate the 3 vampires
that can play bleed bounce (Telepathic Misdirection) to ensure that we
have some effective defense against large bleeds sent towards us at
stealth. This leaves us room for 6 more minions, and we'll choose the
6 that are best able to help us overload our prey after a bounced
bleed (i.e. the cheapest ones with Presence).

These are the 12 vampires we'll use for this deck.

    Crypt:

    Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 3 max: 8 average: 6.08333
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    2x Epikasta Rigatos 8 AUS DOM PRE cel prince Toreador:4
    2x Eugene 8 AUS CEL FOR PRE primogen Toreador:4
    2x Kateline Nadasdy 7 AUS CEL PRE Toreador:4
    2x Herbert Westin 5 OBF PRE pot Brujah:4
    1x Tomaine 6 CEL POT PRE primogen Brujah:4
    1x Reginald Moore 4 PRE primogen Brujah:4
    1x Thomas De Lutrius 4 aus cel pre primogen Toreador:4
    1x Garret 3 pot pre Brujah:4


Having decided our crypt, our next simplest choice is the master cards
selection. In most 5 player games, there are ~8 turns before the
first player is ousted and rarely more than 14 turns in the entire
game. With that in mind, we will want to keep our master selection to
12-18 cards, as we aren't likely to see the entire deck but we would
like to be able to play a master card on every turn. Ones that gain
us pool or that recover pool spent on our vampires are our top
priority. The second priority is to use our master phase to protect
our pool or our minions, so anything that can help with that is next.
Cards which are situational or require too much cooperation from the
rest of the table will be bypassed. We are not likely to have more
than three vampires in play, so the actions we choose later will be
critical to ensure that we get the most bang for our buck.

------------------

    Master Cards:

    Master [13]
      1x Auspex
      2x Fame
      1x KRCG News Radio
      2x Major Boon
      1x Nod
      1x Rack, The
      1x Tension in the Ranks
      4x Vessel


Normally we would not expect to have enough untap in two starters to
be able to defend The Rack, but our opponents don't have to know that
this is what we are playing, so careful play can keep them from
attempting the steal action to begin with. If our predator does take
an action to steal The Rack, we aren't out any pool, and that was an
action that could have been an attempt to bleed us or remove our pool
with a vote. The Rack will be our Red Herring to distract our
opponents from the non-wall nature of our deck whose offense will be
strong bleeds. The Major Boons will allow us to pre-emptively take a
bleed that will be for 1 so that we have defense against larger bleeds
from our predator. Getting a Major Boon on your predator is a very
strong defense, particularly as they get to be closer to being ousted
themselves. The Auspex master will allow us to upgrade Thomas de
Lutria into a bleed bounce defender, so we will keep it. If we had a
wider selection of vampires, we'd choose a better minion that already
had superior Auspex and play another pool gaining master instead.

------------------

Now that we know what our minions will look like and the options we
have to regain pool, we will next consider how best to defend our
pool. We will take as much untap as we can as well as all of the
bleed bounce. As there are some pieces of equipment that will help us
a lot when blocking, we can safely splurge here on reaction cards.
We'll actually take all of them, from both decks.

    Reaction Cards:

    Reaction [16]
      3x Eagle's Sight
      4x Minor Irritation
      5x On the Qui Vive
      4x Telepathic Misdirection

The Minor Irritations are only useful to us when we start defending
against the action while we are untapped and are only useful to us
against younger vampires, so we know that we'll need to equip Epikasta
or Eugene with a defensive weapon and plan for them to stay untapped
when we have Minor Irritations in hand. If we don't have opponents
minions that are less than 8 cap coming against us, we'll discard
these as soon as we can.

------------------

Now that we know a bit of our plan for defense (large minion with
superior Auspex untapped at the end of our turn with a weapon), we can
consider how we will oust our prey. Suppressing Fire and Resist
Earth's Grap are our only options for stealth (but they do mesh well
with our plan to have a gun and with the amount of superior Celerity
we plan to have in play), and our minions won't reliably be old enough
to play the others, so we will keep all of the Suppressing Fire and
Resist Earth's Grasp cards.

    Action Modifiers:

    Action Modifier [3]
      3x Suppressing Fire

    Action Modifier/Combat [5]
      5x Resist Earth's Grasp

------------------

We have 25 pieces of equipment to choose from to optimize our
defensive and offensive combat abilities. As we know we will need to
be defensive, we'll keep the Sniper Rifles and Desert Eagles as they
are our cheapest options. We'll throw in the Bowl of Convergence and
Ivory Bow as they are simply too good to leave out.

    Equipment:

    Equipment [8]
      1x Bowl of Convergence
      3x Desert Eagle
      1x Ivory Bow
      3x Sniper Rifle

------------------

As we now know our defense and our ability to force our actions to
succeed, the next thing to decide with what other actions we should
include. The strongest actions that we can take are those that do 3
points of damage to our prey. We'll include the Kine Resources
Contested and the Public Trusts. The Entrancement is also very
strong, so we'll include it as well. Harass will be good for us once
a copy of Fame is in play, so a few copies of it will go in.

    Actions:

    Action [14]
      1x Entrancement
      4x Harass
      9x Public Trust

    Political Action [4]
      4x Kine Resources Contested

------------------

With the amount of stealth available to us, and the amount of blocking
we know that we will have to do, the choices for combat are made last,
but they are not the least important. Only 3 of our final minions
have Potence, so all of those cards will be removed. We'll keep all
of the Celerity and disciplineless cards to ensure that our combats
are as effective as they can be.

    Combat:

    Combat [27]
      2x Concealed Weapon
      6x Psyche!
      6x Pursuit
      4x Stutter-Step
      6x Taste of Vitae
      3x Weighted Walking Stick

------------------

Now we have our finished deck, made only from the contents of two
starters.

    Final Deck Mashup:

    Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 3 max: 8 average: 6.08333
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    2x Epikasta Rigatos 8 AUS DOM PRE cel prince Toreador:4
    2x Eugene 8 AUS CEL FOR PRE primogen Toreador:4
    2x Kateline Nadasdy 7 AUS CEL PRE Toreador:4
    2x Herbert Westin 5 OBF PRE pot Brujah:4
    1x Tomaine 6 CEL POT PRE primogen Brujah:4
    1x Reginald Moore 4 PRE primogen Brujah:4
    1x Thomas De Lutrius 4 aus cel pre primogen Toreador:4
    1x Garret 3 pot pre Brujah:4

    Library [90 cards]
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Action [14]
      1x Entrancement
      4x Harass
      9x Public Trust

    Action Modifier [3]
      3x Suppressing Fire

    Action Modifier/Combat [5]
      5x Resist Earth's Grasp

    Combat [27]
      2x Concealed Weapon
      6x Psyche!
      6x Pursuit
      4x Stutter-Step
      6x Taste of Vitae
      3x Weighted Walking Stick

    Equipment [8]
      1x Bowl of Convergence
      3x Desert Eagle
      1x Ivory Bow
      3x Sniper Rifle

    Master [13]
      1x Auspex
      2x Fame
      1x KRCG News Radio
      2x Major Boon
      1x Nod
      1x Rack, The
      1x Tension in the Ranks
      4x Vessel

    Political Action [4]
      4x Kine Resources Contested

    Reaction [16]
      3x Eagle's Sight
      4x Minor Irritation
      5x On the Qui Vive
      4x Telepathic Misdirection

------------------

What thoughts and feedback do you have on this process?
8/14/2010, 11:08 am Link to this post Send Email to NergalMadeMeDoIt   Send PM to NergalMadeMeDoIt Blog
 


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