Road to Pulled Fang is a Czech series of local tournaments that seed a special final game to be played during the Pulled Fang tournament. The fourth tournament of the series was held in Hradec Králové.
I needed to get up super soon (Forced Awakening!), but at least Karel was able to pick me up near my place together with Tom. After a two-hour noneventful drive, we arrived at the venue. The venue was a school gymnasium which meant plenty of space and air. We shared it with a W40k tourney, so I admired some minis in the pauses. Beer, coffee, and toasts were also available, which was pretty cool.
I delayed the decision of what to play to the last moment, so I spent the time perusing Pavel’s boxes of cards for sale. I bought a ton of old layout vampires for my collection.
Deck: Enkidu Block
I was not really sure what deck to play. Lately, I have enjoyed playing the Banu Haqim bruise bleed, but I played that deck in the last tournament, and I do not like playing one deck twice in a row. So I packed this deck and an Enkidu Block deck with me and rolled a die to select which one to play. The die selected the Enkidu one, so I went with it.
I did not have time to write about that deck yet, but it is basically a copy of one of Bram van Stappen’s lists from TWDA. It is an attrition deck that wants to get into a three-player game and then beat down everything still standing. It usually blocks more than it rushes. I like that it is pretty hard to oust, so you have a game most often, but its offensive capabilities are limited.
Game 1: 0VP
Alexandra →️ Lasombra power bleed (Simi) 1VP →️ me →️ Kiev circle (Čík) 0.5VP →️ Giovanni DOM POT 2VP GW
Crypt was good with
Matasuntha, and two
Anarch Converts. I slowly
started influencing out Enkidu, but Simi bled me hard, and my defense was
not enough, even with a
Raven Spy. I also made several mistakes, like rushing
Nocturn and wrong action sequencing. Čík was breeding, and I had no other
ambition than to survive. Grandprey was super slow and influenced out
from the first seat with no acceleration. I rushed backward, but Čík rescued
the vampire, which in hindsight was IMO a mistake, but it did not feel
outrageously wrong in the context of the table. Grandprey died after being bled
for thirteen in a single round, then I died too. The offense was simply
too much, and I did not have wakes. I managed to cycle some cards during
the defense but drew just masters.
At this point, I was happy that I did not play the Banu Haqim; they would be completely fucked. With Enkidu, I would be fine in any other seat at this table, so I took it like a man and did not stop whining about seating in the pause.
Game 2: 0VP
Ministry Multi-Act (Dan) 3VP GW →️ Kiev Circle (Čík) 1VP →️ DOM OBF S/B (Peťko) →️ me
Another stealth bleed as a predator, so I was pretty pissed off. But at least I
had a game in this one. I had an Enkidu with two Raven Spies fairly fast, and I
had more reactions than in the last game, so at least I was able to keep at the
table. I played on the edge, keeping six pool on Matasuntha in the uncontrolled
region, hoping to eventually bring her out when I would have got a
beat some vampires on both sides, and the state felt quite manageable.
On the other side of the table, Čík was slowly being ground down. He went
for a lunge, and Peťko deflected the last ousting bleed for three. I had
Direct Intervention and canceled the
Deflection, killing Peťko (who was very
likely to kill me in his turn). The table state looked manageable, both players
had vampires just with little blood, but Dan killed Čík fast, using a
Reckless Agitation that went 1 to Čík and 5 to me. I was not able to block that despite
the two Ravens. He then had enough stealth to kill me, too, unfortunately.
This game was a bit unfortunate. The stealth-bleeding predator did enough damage to me that I could not properly set up and buffer my pool with Villeins. With more pool and a second vampire, I think I would have a chance to eventually wear the Ministry down relatively fast. Still, with that much damage, it only took two actions to kill me.
Game 3: 0VP
Ministry Nakthorheb S/B (Maťo) →️️ me →️️ Alexandra →️ Ivan Krenyenko DOM (Karel)
Third round, third stealth bleed as a predator. This time a one with block
denial by corruption counters. I had a nice crypt, and this time
up, so I thought I had a chance. I had a reasonably equipped Enkidu with two
spies and a lot of pool because my prey played an
Ancient Influence. I fucked
around a bit and started to feel quite good. My predator was bled for a lot,
and I was even beginning to plan how I should navigate the resulting three-player
I had fourteen pool, untapped Aksinya, one untap, and a combat-heavy hand
Infernal Pursuit. Prey played
Parity Shift after draining himself with
Zillah’s Valley, so I decided to spend the untap and pay two pool for
Aching Beauties. I relied on seeing seven cards in the combat that I expected
to give me more defense, and at worst, I have the Aksinya. I managed to stop
the Parity Shift but drew no further defense. Instead, I finally got a
and a third
Ashur Tablet, so I thought I should be fine in my round. But then
the Ministry tapped my Aksinya, and I knew I was in trouble. First, I got bled
for seven, then two more, and finally, I got hit by
Enticement. GGs. Maybe if I
had not blocked the Parity Shift, I would survive, but who knows.
Of course, I’m pretty disappointed about the result. It is easy to dismiss it as a result of poor seating and bad luck, but that is how it felt; basically, nothing went right, and the deck felt unusually clunky. Three times, being seated in front of an aggressive stealth bleed deck definitely does not help. I often missed cards that I needed to play smoothly, such as Villeins and wakes or untaps.
It is somehow challenging for me to predict the metagame in Czech tournaments; it seems to change a lot between the events. In the last tournament, everybody played heavy combat, this time, the meta was fast and aggressive. And I somehow manage to bring a “wrong” deck everywhere.