The Persistent Echo was a second-day, more casual tournament held after the Grand Prix tournament in Aix-en-Provence. I did not have much fun in the Grand Prix because of the French deal-making style, so I hesitated whether to attend the Sunday tournament. Ultimately, I chose to participate because the threshold was so low (50m walking distance and complimentary food do that). I only brought the Banu Haqim Legacy deck with the intent to play it in the second tournament. Unfortunately, I kept being seated on tables next to other Banu Haqim decks, leading to some pretty spectacular combat and a lot of fun lose-lose situations, but also a disappointing result of 0VP.
Despite the poor results, I had much more fun in this tournament than the previous day. I found the games more pleasant, and the people I played with were happy to speak English, so I felt less excluded. The deal-making style did not change, but the outright table split only happened in one of the games.
Deck: Banu Haqim Legacy
Although it is pretty clear the deck is not competitive, I still have fun playing it in the lower-tier tournaments. It needs metagame to turn out right and some luck in seating. That was unfortunately not the case in this tournament: I was basically meeting just other combats, and to add insult to injury, I was running into other Banu Haqim all the time. The deck can punish even heavy combat decks when needed, but it is, in fact, built to prey on different targets. It needs to spend too many resources to do so, and doing too many combats usually results in a draw in the long term: both sides spend a lot of resources just to keep up, and someone else usually takes advantage of that.
You can find old notes on a previous version of this deck here, although I should probably write an update on the current version of the deck.
Game 1: 0VP
Malkavian Madness Network →️ 5ed Banu Haqim Bruise Bleed →️ me →️ Enkidu + André →️ Brujah Vote
Very unlucky game, being seated just in front of another Banu Haqim deck
Enkidu, the Noah. My crypt was
Parnassus immediately got a
Priority Contract. On the first rush, I sent
the minion to torpor without blood. Still, the combat against
Hunger of Marduk
is very costly — not having a
Taste of Vitae in this combat hurt me greatly
in the remaining game. The second rush unfortunately succeeded; I went down in
additionals after not having the blood to pay for a
Blur to at least make it
a draw. The predator then even blocked my rescue, but the Malkavian rescued me.
The Malkavian was playing
Madness Network with
NRA PACso he had a ton
of equipment and was always untapped. Other than that, he, unfortunately, did
very little in the game, except for an occasional block. Just once, he managed
to send a vampire to torpor with an
Improvised Flamethrower but left him
enough blood, so it slowed my predator only a bit. Enkidu was not doing much
overall, and the Brujah Vote was slowly building strength.
My pool was on 10 after being reduced by two bleeds for 4 (my predator had 3
Haqim's Law: Retribution). My predator just discarded six cards to
the Retribution and was involved in several combats, so thinking that 10 should
be enough to survive, I tried to rush Enkidu via a contract to get more pool.
I set the range to long with
Selective Silence and denied combat ends with
Sanguine Entrapment because I expected protean S:CEs. I stroke with
Taste of Death with
Target Vitals, but Enkidu simply dodged. Afterward, my
predator really had the nine more combat cards to discard (with an additional
Swallowed by the Night played as stealth), so the 10 pool was not enough,
and I died. If I recall correctly, the Brujah Vote player took the GW from this
table in the end.
Game 2: 0VP
me →️ 5ed Banu Haqim Combat →️ 5ed Banu Haqim Bruise Bleed →️ Shamblings →️ Ravnos Breed & Boon (Alain)
With three Banu on the table, there was a lot of fear of contesting, but it
mostly hurt the two other decks; I played a different crypt. Prey was really slow
in getting minions out on the table and eventually brought up
Kasim Bayar. I
had a good master start, and Ravnos were quite slow too, so I tried going
forward as fast as possible.
Shambling Hordes player tried to negotiate with his predator, meaning to stop
Alain while possible, but his predator felt well without pressure, refused any
deals, and heavily bled him instead. The Shambling player then made a deal with
Alain, and they started to play as a team from that moment. He concentrated
on defense, bounced bleeds to me, and Alain helped keep him alive
I tried to talk to my prey about options to avoid giving the game to Ravnos that easily, but he refused to even speak to me and started rushing backward; the guy literally did nothing else in the whole game except for rushing backward. This led to some really over-the-top combats and several torporized vampires on both sides. This kills me backward, of course, but I would not have a chance anyway; Alain already had a horde of vampires without any opposition.
Game 3: 0VP
Nosferatu POT Combat(?) → 5ed Banu Haqim Combat → Ventrue Whining → Brujah Vote → me
I met the Banu Haqim rush from the previous table in this game again; this time, he was at least on the other side of the table. This was a bizarre game; two players gave up winning right from the start. My prey complained about not having a Baron, and my grandpredator started full-scale whining basically from round two because the Banu Haqim did not allow him to do pretty much anything.
The game ended rather quickly for me because both my crosstable “allies” supported my predator’s political actions to promptly kill me. My grandpredator did it because (yet another) table split deal with my predator. That part at least made sense. I have no idea what my crosstable Banu Haqim player’s plan was.
In the end, I was happy I attended. Despite yet another disappointing result, at least I had fun. I am unhappy about the streak of bad results; not getting into the finals is one thing, but not getting a single Victory Point is another. Part of that is variance, and a part is deck selection, but it is getting a little disheartening. I do not expect to win every tournament I attend, but it would be nice to have at least some success once in a while.