April 20th, 2024 Grand Prix in Paris.
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t Aching Beauty


This is a multi-action vote & bleed deck using Aching Beauty. The idea is to do multiple actions, baiting the opponents to block, only to have them pay pool for Aching Beauty and avoid combat with Change of Target or Majesty.

The new Toreador t have an interesting widespread access to Fortitude f, and that let them play unlock modifiers like Forced March and Freak Drive. This is interesting in an Aching Beauty deck, because it makes the opponents conendrum even more tricky: do they block and pay for Aching Beauty, maybe for nothing if Majesty is used to unlock, or do they let it through, letting the action having its effect but, even then, there's a chance for unlock because of these modifiers.

The whole point of the deck is to confuse the opponents as much as possible. Because of Aching Beauty and its support cards Majesty and Change of Target, a blocked action might be as good as a successful action, and sometimes even better. But as the deck also plays a lot of other modifiers, the goal is to make it near impossible for the opponents to discernate what's worth blocking and what's not.

Low bleeds, if unblocked, can be improved with Aire of Elation. An innocuous action like a superior Enchant Kindred might end up being just free blood because of a subsequent Forced March. A seemingly non-passing vote can benefit from modifiers to finally get through.

The cost of playing Aching Beauty needs to be recouped and the deck includes excellent bloat devices: the highest capacity vampire should be influenced first, to play superior Enchant Kindred. Then, after paying for an Aching Beauty or two, using Parity Shift on the prey should be possible to get some pool back. Villein and Voter Captivation should also be used to generate pool as much as possible, but one needs to be precise with the amounts there to avoid having too much pool to play Parity Shift.

Tweaks and variants

This is a tournament winning decklist, where we just substituted one Archon Investigation for an additional Scalpel Tongue. Do not hesitate to switch back if you have the card.

Aching Beauty is a long-time standing archetype in the game. Ferenc Vasadi won the 2007 EC with an Aching Beauty deck. More modern versions tend to favor Villein over Minion Tap and the typical AAA vampires Alexandra, Anneke and Anson in crypt like in László Walter's deck.

The V5 Toreador and their access to Fortitude f open a new field for this archetype: their ability to multi-act makes Aching Beauty more of a threat, since not blocking becomes less attractive. As one can see in the variants, proportions can be altered to include more Majesty and Aching Beauty. Crocodiles Tongue is a common inclusion, but debatable because of the lower capacity of the V5 crypt. Finally, multiple cards can be considered, like Papillon, Secure Haven, Charismatic Aura or Judgment: Camarilla Segregation. There is room to adapt to the metagame.

What to buy

You will need two First Blood: Toreador for the Aching Beauty, both V5 Toreador and New Blood: Toreador for most of the cards, alongside a V5 Ventrue. Then you will have to ask your local prince for Leumeah as it is a promo card (or wait for the reprint, or replace her with one of the Toreador princes). 25th Anniversary and New Blood: Ventrue will provide the Forced March and Mind Numb. You will miss a couple of cards you can trade (the additional Forced March), replace or get from Anthology 1 (Anne‑Marie Bourgeois) and Keepers of Tradition 2 (Torrent).