Pact with Naphandi
This is a Tremere Allies Toolbox deck. The setup is to get Antonio d’Erlette out first, then put some Nephandus in play using his ability. Some sidekicks can be brought into play if the pool allows it.
The high number of minions is a strong point of the deck.
Pool damage is done with naked bleed or Computer Hacking (which can be used by Nephandus), but also with well timed Conditioning from the vampires to finish one’s prey. Fame can also help if it is drawn, as Harass and Frontal Assault provide good options to rush enemy minions.
The combat module is strong and tailored for the Nephandus, with the deadly Trap, Target: Vitals to improve damage, Glancing Blow to prevent even more and Molotov Cocktail to take advantage of the Press Nephandus has. Tremere with t have access to additional options with Theft of Vitae and Rego Motus.
Bloat is low: Vessel is used to get some pool back from the vampires, and it is crucial to get some pool to recruit more Nephandus.
Block is good, with a reactions to enhance intercept and On the Qui Vive to wake, plus Deflection for bounces and Delaying Tactics against votes. On this note, getting a second vampire out to handle blocks, with at, is great in this deck, as risking Antonio d’Erlette on a block is a bold move.
Moreover, KRCG News Radio, The Unmasking and Carlton Van Wyk add permanent intercept to the mix.
Antonio d’Erlette and his ability are key. Protect him, do not risk him on actions that could be blocked if you do not have the necessary T combat tricks in hand.
You can get some Nephandus in play by recruiting them, too. Better not be blocked, though, so you can use Mirror Walk for additional stealth.
Do not waste Target: Vitals and Molotov Cocktail if you think the opponent can play a « Strike: Combat Ends » using for example r or $.
Balance offence and defence
The « toolbox » nature of the deck means it can adapt to the context. You can bleed with all your minions and apply a maximum pressure to you prey, or keep most of them unlocked for defence.
The balance between offensive actions and keeping minions for defence is essential. Try to play a maximum of cards but at the same time keep them in hand if you have to wait for the right moment or another card to complement it.
For example, wait until you have a good combat card before using Harass on an enemy minion. Or wait until you have a Mirror Walk before trying to get a Conditioning through.
Check the Information Highway article for a deck review and ideas on how to improve it.