Q The Capuchin
This is a toolbox deck using The Capuchin as star vampire and Gerald Windham as a sidekick.
The idea is similar to a !Ventrue Grinder: use Magic of the Smith to fetch useful equipments quickly, a bit of additional stealth with Mirror Walk and one of the best strikes of the game with Theft of Vitae.for a solid grinder defence, with for bleed and additional bounces. In this deck, vampires are more expensive but they got for additional useful tricks:
The deck has a slow start but grinds the rest of the table strong enough to secure a win in the late game. Key actions should be blocked and bleed actions from the predator bounced once they get enough stealth on them. Thanks to Theft of Vitae that can not be prevented and brings back a bit of blood on the vampires, the blood balance on the table should tip in favor of the deck as the game advances.
The strategy is all about using the pressure of the slow grind and the good defence to survive and build up to a great lunge. Taking the time to craft the perfect hand to oust the prey in a single swift move is particularily important here. Luckily, The Capuchin's ability gives you a good hand size so you can seat on good cards you want to keep.
Tweaks and variants
A number of tweaks can be done depending on the meta: Seduction and Bonding can provide more stealth, Soul Burn or Blood Rage are great against weapons and prevention, and Apportation can help with mobility. Allies like Mylan Horseed, Carlton Van Wyk and Ponticulus are also worth considering. Enkil Cog might be worth doubling and one or two Direct Intervention can't hurt. More permanent intercept is not desirable: you still want bleeds to get through so you can bounce them. The Rack and Heart of Nizchetus are worthy additions, but not really necessary. Finally, you might want to dial down on the Conditioning in favor of more Murmur of the False Will if you are in a bleed intensive environment rich in Archon Investigation.
Saulot, The Wanderer is another possible partner for The Capuchin, as in Danilo Torrisi's deck from the 2017 EC. becomes less relevant, but is not required, since Saulot cannot be brought out by Govern the Unaligned anyway. Saulot's ability might well be worth the loss, especially when combined with The Rack.
A few legacy cards are great additions: Erebus Mask and Eagle's Sight should be added if available. Depravity, Metro Underground, Sniper Rifle and My Enemy's Enemy are worth considering. Karl Schrekt might also fit here.
Making more use of Anarch tech is possible: bumping up the number of Anarch Convert might open the possibility of Anarch Revolt for offense, combined with a number of Guardian Vigil for defence. Anarchs also have access to The Anarch Free Press. All in all, this leads up to a whole different deck, closer to a wall. In this case, using Angelique instead of Gerald Windham, coupled with some Vengeful Spirit and Emerald Legionnaire, might be a better bet than using . can also provide additional stealth and combat options.
What to buy
A Promo Pack 1 for The Capuchin, Keepers of Tradition 2 and Anthology 1 to complete the crypt, two 25th Anniversary plus V5 Tremere, V5 Ventrue and First Blood: Ventrue for the library. An optional V5 Banu Haqim if you want to use Blood Rage or Soul Burn, and a few cards from First Blood: Nosferatu and Den of Fiends that can be traded instead. A tricky point will be to get enough Dreams of the Sphinx, but you can adjust the decklist with less of them.