Like many people,
Haqim's Law: Retribution caught my eye during the Banu Haqim 5th edition preconstructed deck
previews. Turning all your combat cards into
+1 bleed modifiers when you do not need them is a powerful effect.
It removes a significant obstacle in playing combat cards together with other deck strategies: you need to get into
combat to play your cards. Otherwise, they get stuck in your hand, and you need to discard them. So traditionally, you
either needed ways to cycle cards your cards via discards, play rushes to reliably enter combats, or become a wall deck.
People jumped to try building the new Banu Haqim with Blood Sorcery, a pretty potent combat discipline on its own.
I always liked the Quietus combat, which can be super-punishing and unpredictable, but the problem is that it was always
tough to make such a deck able to oust.
Haqim's Law: Retribution, the obvious thing to try building is a bruise bleed. Quietus and Banu Haqim have
a reasonable bleed capability with
Khabar: Glory, and
Haqim's Law: Retribution supports that nicely.
Because of the new Banu Haqim master, the deck can play many combat cards without being afraid the cards will get stuck
in my hand, and we can use them to either punish blockers or make our bleeds more powerful. The quietus/celerity package
is very versatile and can exploit weak spots of other combat decks.
The legacy group 2/3 Banu Haqim can afford to run an efficient crypt of midcaps. I think the deck cannot afford to run
high-capacity vampires without good multi-act and limited defense or bloat capacity. The primary vampires are
5 and 6 capacities with both main disciplines on superior, helped by
Parnassus, a seven cap. Beyond these, the vampire
quality drops quite a lot: the deck could really use a
QUI cel four cap:
Parmenides makes a good impression,
but the punishment for a predator draining him of all blood with a
Villein is severe.
Deck Name: Banu Haqim Legacy Author: Petr Muller Crypt (12 cards, min=17 max=26 avg=5.5) ======================================= 3x Jalal Sayad 6 pot CEL QUI Banu Haqim:2 2x Parnassus 7 aus tha CEL QUI Banu Haqim:2 2x Enam 6 cel obf pre QUI prince Banu Haqim:3 2x Abd al-Rashid 5 obf CEL QUI Banu Haqim:2 2x Parmenides 4 qui CEL Banu Haqim:2 1x Anwar 4 cel obf qui Banu Haqim:2 Library (73 cards) ================== Master (15) ----------- 1x Archon Investigation 4x Haqim's Law: Retribution 1x Heartblood of the Clan 1x Priority Contract 1x Tension in the Ranks 1x Underworld Hunting Ground 4x Vessel 1x Wash 1x Wider View Action (15) ----------- 4x Haqim's Law: Leadership 4x Khabar: Glory 6x Loss 1x Retain the Quick Blood Retainer (2) ------------ 1x Nar-Sheptha 1x Omael Kuman Action Modifier (4) ------------------- 4x Zephyr Reaction (4) ------------ 4x Black Sunrise Combat (32) ----------- 2x Baal's Bloody Talons 2x Blur 4x Dam the Heart's River 2x Psyche! 2x Pursuit 2x Sanguine Entrapment 2x Selective Silence 2x Sideslip 4x Target Vitals 2x Taste of Death 2x Taste of Vitae 2x Thin Blood 4x Weighted Walking Stick Event (1) --------- 1x Dragonbound
I want to consistently bleed for 2+ with at least two vampires, ideally three or more. I can bleed for more when the
situation allows, but this needs reading the game well so that the precious dedicated bleed cards are not wasted
Deflection. When the prey attempts to block, I will punish him with combat and beat him down. I am not afraid
of completely crippling the prey even quite early: the deck should be able to oust a completely torporized player quite
fast with cards like
Haqim's Law: Retribution. I will try to manipulate the board state to hit the jackpot
Khabar: Glory, but I will not bend over backward to do so. The deck runs enough combat cards for me to not think
twice about discarding them into
Haqim's Law: Retribution, but I need to think about which ones to discard and which
ones to keep for possible future combats.
The deck does not defend that well. The medium capacity crypt does not pressure my pool too much, though, and a bit
of bloat with
Haqim's Law: Leadership and
Vessels helps survive. The deck is aggressive, so I want to ride the wave
of pool gained via ousting, boosted by
Khabar: Glory whenever possible.
Black Sunrise helps defend against decks that do not use much stealth. I am not afraid of crippling
or even burning my predator’s vampire when given the opportunity unless my grand predator is even more aggressive. I can
also threaten other players with combat to talk them out of actions that I dislike.
Preys that skate around the 10-12 pool without too much bloat. Slower predators. I should not mind running into most wall decks. The quietus combat versatility should exploit their weaknesses because most decks rely on a single combat defense strategy such as maneuvers or combat ends.
The deck is still hairy and needs more tuning: right now, it is essentially a Banu Haqim pile. The versatility of the combat package can also result in not having the right answers at the right time, especially if I made wrong decisions earlier and discarded combat cards that would have their use later in the game.
Large bleeds are vulnerable to deflections. I need to pay attention to potential targets’ pool health to avoid ousting the wrong player. Compared to stealth bleed decks, the bruise bleed keeps its support cards for future bleeds, which is a good thing.
The deck has a poor defense against aggressive and hard-hitting predators, which means in some games, the seating will be poor enough for me to be ousted quickly without any means to do something about it.
The deck’s offensive combat capabilities are good, but defense not so much. Meeting another combat can lead to a lose-lose situation where both sides cripple their vampires without gaining any advantage on either side.
I would expect the deck to behave and play similarly to the Animalism weenie but worse because of consistency. It will
be able to have better bleeds and better combat both but not all the time because of the card variance. The main
differentiator is the lack of recursion via
Ashur Tablets that
Nana Buruku gives to the animalism deck; if this deck
had that tech, it would potentially be much stronger.
I should be able to influence out a vampire in the second round pretty much all the time. I should avoid influencing out
Parmenides as a first or second vampire if possible; the risk of getting drained by
Villein is too high. I want
three vampires out:
Abd al-Rashid and
Jalal Sayad are the best: I want at least of them, but if I can have both,
that is even better.
Enam (in this order) can replace one of them. The four caps play a supporting
I do not want my prey to stop spending their pool too soon, so I try to observe the early signals for bloat (big caps,
The Unnamed) and start being aggressive as soon as I spot them. These decks rarely overextend, so
there is no point in waiting. If my prey does not seem to bloat too much, and I can afford it, I avoid putting too much
pressure early and focus on setting up (
Retain the Quick Blood,
Haqim's Law: Leadership and the retainers) instead.
The point is to not intimidate the prey from influencing their third vampire and getting into the 12-ish pool territory.
I do not have table-shaping capabilities, so I expect the deck play mostly as a Malkavian stealth-bleed, just with kicking down vampires instead of stealth. If possible, focus the resources on shutting down important minions first, but unfortunately the deck will not be able to choose that often.
- Find a way to recurse with
Ashur Tablets: maybe two
Parthenonsand three sets of
Ashurswould be enough? The deck does not need to play that many masters anyway.
- The combat package definitely needs to be fine-tuned. The initial version is mostly a pile of combat cards that felt good, but the size, cards and counts are very likely to be entirely different in an optimal build.
- The deck is missing some good cards because I did not have enough copies of them. I would like to play four
Retain the Quick Bloodcopies, and also add
Ghouls of Plaza Morería. The ally would make an excellent addition because it helps to soften vampires for combat, as well as give the deck some blood gaining capability. More ways to gain blood would definitely not hurt.