O Torchon Brûlant
This is an entry in the Bibliodèque project.
The archetype has consistently won tournaments: here is the analysis of a tournament-winning decklist of the archetype instead.
This is an swarm deck using multiple unique allies. The idea is to put Khazar's Diary into play, breed a bit with The Embrace, defend by putting some allies into play and wait until Khazar's Diary triggers. At this point, the dead allies come back into play as wraith to stealth & bleed the successive preys out of the game.
The high recursion using Sudario Refraction is a strong point of the deck, allowing it to adapt its defence to the table context. It is very passive in the game beginning and uses Deflection and Delaying Tactics to defend a much as possible.
The deck is focused on bringing as many minions into play as possible, and relies a lot on the allies and their capacities. As such, it does have only limited combat, bleed or stealth modules. However, it hopes to quickly bring into play good rush or intercept allies like Carlton Van Wyk, Ossian and Shambling Hordes to improve its defence.
Shambling Hordes is a particularily strong rush minion: it is not Unique (and as such does not add a counter to Khazar's Diary when it burns), but it is strong enough a defence to be included nonetheless. And given the rest of the deck mechanics and the numerous Liquidation, it will easily find an ally in the ash heap.
The Unmasking and FBI Special Affairs Division help making all these allies stronger defenders when they come into play.
Tips & Tricks
Jake Washington is an excellent device in this deck as burning him in any way will add one counter on Khazar's Diary easily.
This variant uses The Parthenon to get to play more masters and improve its bloat with Liquidation and Vessel. Destroying some Blood Doll using Vessel has a bit of value in this deck, as Gregory Winter and Young Bloods can stack over the rush allies to bring a strong blood attrition to the table.
Repo Man is a cheap unique ally, and, with his 1 life, dies pretty quickly if he blocks. Which is the point when one uses Khazar's Diary.
Minor variations exist, for example Iñaki Puigdollers's deck from 2009 uses Change of Target to help protect the minions — even the allies — from unforseen blocks. He also included some Tupdogs in the crypt: they can not undertake directed actions but they avoid repeating minions in the crypt, they can still block, recruit an ally like the Repo Man, and provide one more minion to bring back as a wraith once Khazar's Diary kicks in.
The Anarch variant, as seen in Roberto Venturi's deck from 2011, uses Anarch Convert for a better rotation and to make all these Giovanni Anarch, so they can use Cry Wolf, an exceptionnaly well suited ally for the Khazar's Diary: it is unique and burns automatically. It provides the same kind of rush defence Ossian and Shambling Hordes do in the example deck.
The Faeries variant was played in Enrico De Stefano's deck from 2018. It uses a dozen Draeven Softfoot and their burn option to quickly bring more allies into the ash heap, making it easier to get Shambling Hordes into play. It also uses more copies of The Embrace and Khazar's Diary as the idea is to trigger the Diary sooner, and bring all these Draeven Softfoot back as wraith with the new born vampires, for a faster, more aggressive version of the archetype.
Pentex™ Subversion has been modified by an errata in September 2019. It does not prevent a vampire to act anymore, so it is less powerful . Its ability to disable a strong blocker is still an important aspect so it can have its place here.
Anthelios, The Red Star has been banned in 2016. Its removal may have a bit of impact on the Master module.