Roll Your Own V:TES Draft Tournament

by Josh Duffin
V:EKN Prince of Washington, D.C.
and incorrigible draft maniac

Thirteen fearless Methuselahs turned up last Saturday at Dream Wizards in Rockville MD to draft in a whole new way. The "roll your own" format allowed each player to select his or her own mix of nine boosters from any or all of the White Wolf sets (Sabbat War, Final Nights, Bloodlines, Camarilla Edition, and Anarchs). The catch, of course, was that your drafting pod-mates would also have picked *their* own boosters, so you didn't have total control over what you would draft from.

When everyone had made their selections, the overall mix of packs was:

34 Sabbat War
15 Final Nights
26 Bloodlines
38 Camarilla Edition
4 Anarchs

Somewhat amusingly, the only Anarchs packs used were the 4 chosen by Trey Morita.

For further "look at this goofiness" value, here's the lineup of packs at the three draft tables:

Dan Coleman 9 SW
Kevin Karpinski 4 SW 5 CE
Peter Oh 4 BL 5 CE
Mark Stoholski 3 SW 1 FN 5 CE
Joshua Duffin 2 SW 7 BL
18 SW 1 FN 11 BL 15 CE =45 total

Nick Coelius 3 SW 4 FN 2 CE
Trey Morita 5 BL 4 AN
Heather Fogg 3 SW 6 CE
Forrest Nielsen 4 SW 5 CE
10 SW 4 FN 5 BL 13 CE 4 AN =36 total

Dan Keller 3 SW 2 BL 4 CE
Shawn Stutzel 7 FN 2 BL
Sarah Anthony 3 SW 3 FN 3 BL
Martin Henley 3 BL 6 CE
6 SW 10 FN 10 BL 10 CE =36 total

There was some whining about the excessive number of Bloodlines and Final Nights packs being drafted, but I have to wonder... if people didn't want to see plenty of Bloodlines, why did 7 of 13 players choose it? I'm biased of course as a confirmed Bloodlines slut, but I do think it's at least quite a bit easier to draft than Final Nights (since FN's cards don't have any "outferior" levels and are heavily geared toward the 4 clan-specialty disciplines that aren't much available on vampires outside their clans).

My going-in idea of drafting Blood Brothers, though, was a total failure: I got 2 (!!) Coagulated Entities in my packs, but only managed to draft 2 Blood Brother vampires (and from different circles - Coagulated for 0! Strong!) and a few Sanguinus cards. The problem, I think, is that although I went heavily into Bloodlines myself, not everyone at my table did, so there were not nearly enough picks from Bloodlines packs for me to be able to get a real crypt going - especially since other players seemed to also be taking Blood Bros for their non-Sanguinus disciplines (Pot/For being fairly useful in a number of sets).

So I ended up drafting a lot of stuff that didn't require disciplines at all - almost all my good cards turned out to be disciplineless (at least, the ones I could actually play, heh). I came across a Matthias about halfway through the draft, which I took, and promptly started kicking myself for not having taken any of the Obeah cards that had been going around. I kicked myself even harder when I even later got a Blanche Hill to go with him, giving me an actually reasonable chance of drawing a Salubri. Ended up with one Renewed Vigor and I don't think any other Obeah cards, although that one by itself was pretty damn good. Also notable is that that was my only good Bloodlines card (out of 7 besides vampires, 4 of which I was never even able to play since they required Flight and I never got out a Gargoyle) in the deck. Virtually everything good I got came from other people's packs (or my own 2 SW packs).

Anyway, here are the 2+F final standings:
rank name................prelim prelim final prelim
1 Joshua Duffin-----2-------7-------3------120
2 Trey Morita-------1-------4.5-----1------96
3 Nick Coelius------1-------4-------1------78
4 Peter Oh----------0-------2.5-----0------108
5 Sarah Anthony-----0-------1.5-----0------82
6 Martin Henley-----0-------1.5------------72
7 Heather Fogg------0-------1--------------76
8 Dan Coleman-------0-------0.5------------64
9 Mark Stoholski----0-------0.5------------60
10 Kevin Karpinski---0-------0--------------56
11 Dan Keller--------0-------0--------------52
12 Forrest Nielsen---0-------0--------------36
12 Shawn Stutzel-----0-------0--------------36

I attribute my success to (a) having two Tribute to the Master (one of them passed to me!), (b) having a Forced Awakening (passed as well! though it was passed up for a good rare, which makes me consider again whether it might be a good idea to do the "forced rare draft" to start each pack - ie when opening your own pack, first take the rare, then take another card), (c) having some decent weapons, and (d) getting to Renew the Vigor of Menele in one game (ultra combo!).

Also, of course, (e), getting lucky.

Here's my decklist, in case anyone is curious...

"Pile of Junk.dec"

crypt (12):

2 Omaya ANI AUS FOR pro 7 (prevent 1)
1 Valois Sang AUS DOM nec tha 6
1 Cohn Rose aus dom pre THA 5
1 Ferox ani FOR POT VIS 7 (flight)
1 Saxum FOR pot pre VIS 6 (flight)
1 Greta Kircher AUS CEL obf PRE 7 (bleed reduce)
1 Lana Butcher dom for 3
1 Blanche Hill aus FOR OBE 6 (untap-hunt)
1 Matthias AUS FOR OBE nec 7 (+1 intercept)
1 Menele aus CEL dom POT PRE THA 10 (influence)
1 Wendy Wade ani aus 3

library (50):

1 Haven Uncovered
1 KRCG News Radio
1 Fortitude
1 Major Boon
1 Powerbase: Washington DC (surprisingly good here)
2 Tribute to the Master (sweet)
1 Tension in the Ranks (very good to me)

1 Regeneration
1 Media Influence
1 Social Charm
1 Renewed Vigor
1 Raven Spy

1 Kine Resources Contested
1 Anarchist Uprising

1 Leather Jacket
1 Combat Shotgun
2 Brass Knuckles
2 Gas-Powered Chainsaw

1 Bribes
1 Threats
1 Conditioning
1 Seduction
1 Call of the Hungry Dead
1 Day Operation
1 Soar

3 Spirit's Touch (!)
2 Cat's Guidance (!)
1 Forced Awakening (!)
1 Aura Absorption
1 Patrol
1 Boxed In
1 Concealed Weapon (!)
1 Theft of Vitae
1 Apportation
1 Weather Control
1 Undead Strength
1 Catatonic Fear
1 Staredown
1 Resilience
1 Indomitability
1 Superior Mettle
1 Stone Quills
1 Circle
1 Pounce

Highlights: First round, getting to Renew the Vigor of Menele after reducing him to 1 blood with the influence- bonus thing. Second round, getting Matthias and Menele in my opening crypt draw *again* (although I don't think I got to do the Renewed Vigor that game, just getting Menele is pretty huge in draft since it pretty much let me get out 1 more vampire than I'd otherwise be able to afford).

In the finals, of course, I drew neither Matthias nor Menele and figured I would totally suck, but I was eventually able to wear my prey (Pete) down over many many turns. The first oust there went to Nick, killing Sarah with his Malk/!Malk stealthy bleedy deck. Second oust went to Trey, killing Nick. Then I managed to wear Pete down gradually, although it took until like four minutes to time, since he had a guy with a Blow Torch and only one (later two) of my three vampires would have been able to avoid torpor if he blocked. Luckily I had also been working on Trey in the three-player game by blocking his hunts and stuff (and Tension in the Ranks was out) so I was just barely able to oust Trey in the two or three remaining minutes. Thanks to him for not playing slower to deny me the game win. :-)

The slightly funny thing was that this result (Josh 3, Trey 1, Nick 1, Pete/Sarah 0) exactly matched the rankings before the final game.

Thanks to everyone for coming out to play! See y'all in a few weeks at the DC storyline tournament (September 6, 2003, and then a few weeks after that at the Baltimore storyline (September 27, 2003).

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