Grand Prix: Malmö

The last Grand Prix in the Covid-prolonged 2019-2022 season was held in Malmö, Sweden. I had never been to Malmö before, but the trip there was effortless. There is a fast and comfortable train going to Malmö right from Copenhagen airport, and CPH is an enjoyable airport to travel from Prague and Vienna. The train ride from Denmark to Sweden goes via the Øresund bridge. The bridge is stunning; during the ride, I wondered how long it would take to build something like that in Czechia. I probably do not want to know the answer.

The tournament was held in a convention center in a shopping mall/arena compound that had its own train station on the route from the airport. I was accommodated in a hotel in the same area, so the entire trip was pleasantly short: it took me three hours to get to Prague, one more hour to get to its airport, a little over one hour on the actual flight, and then around 20 minutes to my hotel in Sweden. The convention center was across the street from the hotel, and across another street was a shopping center with a large food court, allowing me to stay in the immediate area the whole weekend. I have not therefore seen anything from Malmö proper, which is a bit sad. All-in-all, this trip was the most “efficient” of all my tournament trips this summer: I went there on Friday, spent Saturday playing the game, and got back early Sunday. I guess I will need to see Malmö itself next time.

The tournament was a part of the Malmö Game Week, so there was plenty to do in the venue between rounds: I paid some attention to the coverage of the Magic modern tournament and checked out some vendors. The venue was a convention center, but the VtES tournament was held in a smaller “niche”, stylishly decorated by the organizers. The light and noise from the main venue were dampened by some soft movable walls, there was a carpet, the tables had dark tablecloths, and there were some candlesticks with candles. Pretty cool and stylish.

Deck: Dabblesnakes

Even after the disappointing result on Grand Prix: Aix-en-Provence, I gave my build of V5 Ministry called Dabblesnakes another shot because I enjoyed playing the deck. I played an identical version like earlier in France.


Game 1: 0VP

Presence Weenies 4VP GW →️ Toreador Starter →️ Malkavian Starter 1VP →️ Ventrue Stickmen →️ me

My predator was very fast with Lodin up via Dreams of the Sphinx. I had Nonu Dis as a first guy, but my hand was very awkward: some masters I had to play before I could get blood from Noni. I drew stealth cards, with just a single Platinum Protocol and CrimethInc., which I hoped would get things going. My prey played a Mind Numb on me before I could bleed, which slowed me down. My predator bled me for six as his first action, which I could not block. This meant that I could only bring out two vampires instead of three.

I realized I would need a Baron if I was supposed to survive because I was also likely to receive bounced Malkavian bleeds by Malkavian. I had no Barons in my uncontrolled region, so I tried to play as many cards as possible to cycle to some Fee Stakes. It started to show that my cross-table allies were very green (“playing with checklists” green), which did not really help the balance on the table. Toreador was under weenie pressure. Malkavian bled forward, but she got blocked and hit by Stickmen often.

Toreador was down to two pool, so the Ventrue tried to keep him alive and passed a Parity Shift moving three pool from my prey to the Toreador. I was also getting bled but not by full force; I am unsure whether my predator wanted me to do more damage forward or he did not have the cards. He pulled out a fourth vampire as the only unlocked one. I still tried to go forward; my prey was at eight, so in theory, I could oust him with enough cards (with Club Illusion, I had a bleed for five on the board), but I only had stealth and bounces, and I only drew politics and more stealth. My prey ousted the Toreador in his turn but, more importantly, Mind Numbed the only unlocked Ventrue, who also received one redirected bleed. Turns out that he did not have any wakes or unlocks, so he dies with three Deflections in his hand. So I got one more turn, but now my prey had more pool. I drew more cards I could not play, so I could not kill him. He then swept the Malkavian, and I just conceded.

Having slept for only three or four hours two nights before, I was sleep deprived, and I made a million stupid mistakes in this game: I kept forgetting to discard, I forgot that Nonu Dis has +1 bleed, and I even forgot to use his special. I had to compensate by trying to focus hard in the remaining games. The rest of the day was better, but I could have done better if I had focused better in the first game.

Game 2: 0VP

me →️ Ventrue Starter →️ Anson Guns Rush →️ !Tremere →️ Stanislava

I was first, and without a Baron in my uncontrolled region, I went for a nice Jenny Silver into Nonu Dis start. Anson had a pretty fast, explosive start. Unfortunately, also my predator accelerated the game, leading with two Zillah’s Valleys in the first two turns and bringing out Hartmut Stover and Genevieve. He attempted to Govern the Unaligned at superior with Hartmut, which I would love to see. Still, I pointed out that he cannot do that (Hartmut only has inferior dominate), so I took a big bleed instead.

I managed to get some bleeds through, but I was stuck with just two minions, and I heavily missed multi-act, seeing no Dabblers or CrimethInc.. Prey did not block me to make me choke on stealth cards, but I was, in fact, stuck with * action* cards on my hand (like four The Platinum Protocol, etc.). Anson and Stanislava started cooperating, and my predator then had an easy game because Anson thrashed my grandpredator’s minions. The Tremere combat is no match for Anson with guns. As a result, I started taking heavy bleeds and political hits and died rather quickly.

Game 3: 0VP

Tero Aalto (Unnamed) →️ Do Not Remember →️ Weenie Politics →️ me →️ Nikica ( Unnamed)

What should have been a game started with a fairly easy early oust turned into a VtES nightmare and my deck completely broke down. Both my prey and my grandprey were playing an Unnamed deck, so neither of them had a functioning vampire for quite a long time. My predator was a weenie-ish political deck that spent their early games doing various political actions with Cryptic Rider and bred votes with Praxis Seizures. Under normal circumstances, this should have been an excellent game for me, but my deck decided to not cooperate. I have not seen a single Platinum Protocol nor any other bleed card. I only drew masters and the “second action” cards, and I spent my turns mostly doing bleeds for one. This was not enough, and I was ousted first by the political predator, who, for some reason, also had very little pressure (I do not remember what his predator was playing).


I’m pretty disappointed about this tournament. The combination of poor play ( especially in the first game) with the deck malfunction in the third one led to an abysmal result, tough to swallow. I am still convinced the deck has merits, but it probably needs to be tuned for consistency. It definitely needs to run more Dabblers; I think three is the minimum for the 75-card deck, but I will probably try four. One more Dreams of the Sphinx to increase consistency. Prey’s Villeins are also problematic, so several Wash copies could help.