w Parliament of Shadows
This is a Lasombra Stealth, Bleed & Vote deck. The setup is to get a the oldest vampire out first, then play Govern the Unaligned at superior to get more Lasombra in play. Each vampire can undertake strong bleed and strong votes, and the high level of stealth make them hard to block.
Pool damage is very high, using Kine Resources Contested and Govern the Unaligned, modified by Conditioning.
This strong offence is supported by a strong stealth module of 20 action modifiers. Shadow Play, Shroud of Absence and Shroud of Night improve stealth, Tenebrous Form can even be used at superior to deny block from an ally (as they have no blood to spend). Finally, Blanket of Night and Seduction are excellent block denials in case the prey stacks too much intercept to get the actions through.
Finally, along damage dealing votes, Banishment makes for an excellent vampire remover since the capacity of the deck vampires is high. Played on a vampire with low blood, it forces the Methusalah to pay pool again to get her back into play.
The bloat module is strong, using Villein to get blood back from the big capacity vampires, as well as two strong bloating votes: Ancient Influence and Political Stranglehold.
Intercept is low, with Under Siege being the only intercept tool (although a very good one).
The combat module is strictly defensive, with Oubliette and Shadow Body for « Strike: Combat Ends » and Obedience to avoid the combat altogether.
The deck should be careful about what to intercept as it needs to avoid difficult combats. Wakes are available with On the Qui Vive and Wake with Evening’s Freshness, to be able to play Deflection while locked.
Beware that some decks include Archon Investigation: bleeding over 3 is a risk for the vampire, only the most disposable should be risked this way.
Early game, use Govern the Unaligned at superior two to four times: stay modest and hidden during this build-up and avoid putting too much pressure on your prey too soon.
Avoid combat, try to block only if you have an Obedience ready.
Do not waste stealth if you are not confident you can get the action through. Better to use a « Strike: Combat Ends » or hope the combat does not go too bad, than to play an insufficient stealth modifier and hope to draw another one.
The deck has great forward power, but using it well is tricky. Too much pressure too soon and the prey will keep most of its pool for defence, you will advantage your grand-prey too much and attract the table attention. Too little, and you will not go as fast as you could.
The usual strategy to optimize this pressure is to try to build a lunge hand. The idea is to gather a good aggressive combination in hand to oust your prey in a single turn.
For example, if you have three vampires out, try to keep one or two Kine Resources Contested, a Govern the Unaligned, a Conditioning and some stealth, for a maximum total damage of 12 pool. Until you get there, keep doing 3-5 damage per turn and deflecting your predator bleed, slowly grinding your prey's pool and letting her believe 12 pool is a comfortable cushion.
Check the Information Highway article for a deck review and ideas on how to improve it.