Sunday, December 12, 2010

Treaty Tree (Weekend of Nightmares: Sunday)

Sunday saw 8 players for the Treaty Tree tournament. We were unable to use the Tokai Library as planned, due to an annoying scheduling issue resulting in no one being around to hand over the keys during the week, which hurt the turnout, so we opted to do several rounds of multi-deck play without a final.

In the first round, I played my "Not a Lutz deck" deck, bleeding Simon (!Salubri) bleeding Mike Streathfield (Ravnos Sense Dep and Bleed) bleeding Phillip (Settite S & B). I had a mixed start, with an good opening hand (1st turn Dreams and a Zillah's Valley), but no Lutz in my uncontrolled region. Fortunately, the Dreams and the Zillah's meant I was able to fish for Lutz successfully without losing too much time. Mike Sense Dep'ed Phillip's largest vampire, which slowed him down and gave me a bit of time as well. Once I had both Lutz and Alicia out, I managed to survive a couple of rushes from Simon, which allowed me to get a Secure haven on Lutz, and I was then able to get a sleep unseen on Alicia, which protected her from the threat of a cross table Sense Dep long enough to oust Simon. Mike then bled out Pillip, and did Sense Dep Alicia, which slowed me down, but the combination of A minion tap on Alicia, and Lutz's steady 3 bleeds meant I was able to oust Mike, although it was tight, as I wouldn't have survived another turn.

I feel the Lutz deck is somewhat vindicated, after a troubled debut at Dragonfire. It won despite having a not quite ideal library flow, and having a minion locked down with a Sense Dep, which did hurt. Like many decks relying on only a few minions, it is sensitive to card flow issues, and can lose momentum by not having the cards available, but the option of bleeding for 3 with Lutz is always a useful backup plan. The Sleep Unseen's were a good addition, as the extra defense is really worth it in this deck.

In the second round, I played my HoS wall deck, bleeding James (Assamites), bleeding Simon (!Salubri), bleeding Brendan (Tzimisce with Lambach). The table dynamics, with several nasty combat combo's running around, where a bit strange. I got two Slaughterhouses early, and was thus able to failry consistently bleed James with Trochomancy, although I did lost a minion to a early contract. Brendan was having some serious problems with the !Salubri, so I was never bled that heavily, and generally had the bounce in hand I needed. James did manage to whittle Simon's pool down quite effectively, and I had to Eagle Sight's what would have been an ousting bleed to keep James in lunge range. While this did allow to eventually oust James, it also gave time for Simon to bin all of Brendan's minions and oust him, although he did have one of his minions burnt in the process. The two player game was quite tight, and I came close to ousting Simon, but I couldn't quite deal with enough the !Salubri combat, so Simon ousted me. Unusually, both Simon and I had run out of library by the end of the game, which also contributed to how the end game played out.

The HoS deck is generally working OK, but I need to do something about blood management. It would also be nice to return to the original Black Hand angle, since unpreventable Psychic Assault is just so much better, but that requires further crypt tweaking.

In the third game, I played my Osebo wall, bleeding Brendan (weenie Auspex wall), bleeding Kevin (FoS corruption shennigans with Nakhthorheb) bleeding Richard (weenie Liabon vote). Kevin failed to draw Nakhthorheb, and generally seemed to struggle for stealth throughout the game, so didn't get that much forward momentum. Richard was largely shutdown by my deck, and I was able to prevent several key actions on Brendan's part which kept him under control, although he did return the favour several times. In general, it was a game where nobody's deck really quite took off. My combat package came up a bit oddly, Kevin didn't draw stealth, Richard was struggling to find votes and Brendan didn't see sniper rifles early enough to get one down. The combat package of the Osebo was able to keep putting down Brendan's minions, but, as he was able to bring more out, and recover blood with Lillith's blessing, I never had him down for the ousting bleed. Richard kept bringing out more minions, hoping to eventually be able to swarm past me, but I was generally able to block enough that it wasn't an issue until late in the game. There were a couple of turns of epic table talk, with resulted in Kevin blocking a couple of Richard's votes to help keep me alive, and Brendan Eagle Sighting Kevin when he looked likely to oust Richard, before I managed to eventually bleed Brendan out. At that point, being some way over the time limit, we called the game. I may have been able to take the table, as I probably had enough combat left to keep control of the table, but it wasn't completely clear cut, given the resources I'd expended by that point.

The Osebo deck is now pretty well tuned, and I'm not sure if there are any significant changes I need to make. A few more Eyes of Argus for the extra untap option may be useful, but that's a minor tweak. At some point, I do want to revisit the original ranged thrown junk version, especially given the new Laibon set range tech in EK.

I saw comparatively little of the other games played. One very notable moment was Simon using Santelous to cancel a Gangrel Conspiracy Mike had played, which resulted in Enkidu being burnt in a blood hunt.

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