Contents and card changes in 25th Anniversary revealed

The contents of 25th Anniversary are detailed below. The number before each card is the number of copies of that card in the product.

PRECONSTRUCTED DECK: “Reign of Stanislava”
Crypt (12 cards)
2 Hartmut Stover
2 Ingrid Rossler
2 Mark Decker
4 Stanislava
2 Xaviar (Adv)

Library (88 cards)
1 Backways
1 Coven, The
1 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Ecoterrorists
1 Ennoia’s Theater
1 Fear of Mekhet
1 Giant’s Blood
1 Information Highway
1 Monastery of Shadows
5 Villein
4 Zillah’s Valley

7 Govern the Unaligned

Political Action:
1 Anarchist Uprising
1 Ancient Influence
1 Ancilla Empowerment
2 Banishment
4 Kine Resources Contested
1 Neonate Breach
1 Permanent Vacation
1 Political Stranglehold
1 Reins of Power

Action Modifier:
1 Beast Meld
1 Foreshadowing Destruction (NEW ART)
4 Earth Control
1 Enkil Cog
3 Forced March
3 Freak Drive (NEW ART)
3 Instantaneous Transformation

Action Modifier/Combat:
2 Rapid Change

Action Modifier/Reaction:
2 Murmur of the False Will

6 Earth Meld
6 Form of Mist (NEW ART)

6 Deflection
3 On the Qui Vive
3 Second Tradition: Domain

1 Alamut
1 Ankara Citadel Turkey, The (CARD CHANGE, SEE BELOW)
1 Black Metamorphosis (CARD CHANGE, SEE BELOW)
1 Camarilla Vite Slave (NEW ART)
1 Entombment
1 Femur of Toomler
1 Form of Corruption
2 Grimgroth (NEW CARD)
1 Hand of Conrad
1 Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1 Homunculus
1 Khobar Towers
1 Legendary Vampire
1 Life Boon
1 Rutor’s Hand
1 Sargon Fragment, The
1 Signet of King Saul
1 Talbot’s Chainsaw


In the words of Ben Peal, Design Director of Black Chantry Productions:

Hey, Methuselahs!

As we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of Vampire: the Eternal Struggle with the 25th Anniversary set, I’d like to address some card changes which Black Chantry Productions has made with the help of the playtest community, as well as give you the reasons for these decisions.

I’ll start with Pentex Subversion. This card has three main factors:

  • It has an effect we like, which is the “wall busting” effect of denying blocks.
  • It has an effect we don’t like, which is preventing a vampire from acting. For “star vampire” deck types, this frequently means an inability to play the game.
  • It is played with negligible game interaction (master vs. out-of-turn effect), requiring one of an extremely limited number of cards to defend against it.

We’ve chosen to simply remove the “can’t act” portion from Pentex Subversion. We looked at every option and possibility that has come up over the years, such as outright banning the card, leaving it as it is, increasing its cost, splitting it into two cards, having it burn after one turn, and others. By removing the “can’t act” portion, we preserve the card’s utility and an effect that has a beneficial effect on the game and we eliminate an effect that is detrimental to the game.

However, this change isn’t made in a vacuum and it has very significant ramifications on the game’s environment. Pentex Subversion has been the card that has singularly held at bay several deck archetypes that have exploited multi-acting to the point of abuse. In particular, we’re talking about the Una and Gerald Windham multi-action decks which use cost-reducing effects (Una’s special and Ankara Citadel) to exploit Freak Drive.

From a pure design perspective, the correct decision would be to make a change to Freak Drive as it’s a card that directly enables infinite actions. Ideally, Freak Drive would have been a “once per turn” card since Day One. However, we also had to consider the impact on the game’s environment by changing Freak Drive. Researching the types of decks that use Freak Drive, very few of them abuse it. Most use 4-8 copies. Decks that use a heavier amount of Freak Drive – say, 10-16 copies – don’t abuse it, either. For that heavier amount, we’re talking about decks like Ventrue Law Firm, Arika, Gabrin, Dmitra Ilyanova, Montano, Giotto Verducci, and the like. To make a change to Freak Drive would have an undesirable impact on a large amount of decks that players have been using without issue and which have been operating within the bounds of what the player community would consider normal and acceptable gameplay. As such, we’ve chosen instead to make changes to Una and Ankara Citadel. For Una, her Fortitude cost reducer is now only for combat cards. For Ankara Citadel, the cost reducer no longer applies to action modifiers.

We acknowledge that the changes to Una and Ankara Citadel do not address similar multi-action abuses by archetypes such as Nergal + Eternal Mask, Turbo Baron, and Turbo Aurora. For the time being, we’re letting those decks exist as-is and we’ll continue to monitor them to see if their impact on the game environment warrants changes.

Up next is Parity Shift. Very simply, we’ve determined that the pool swing early in the game is too large and too disruptive. As such, we’ve opted to fix the amount to three so that it remains a significant effect while bringing it more in line with other political action effects.

Lastly, and on a lighter note, we’ve given +1 stealth to the Black Metamorphosis action. It was about time.

These changes will take effect for tournament play 30 days after 25th Anniversary is released. The exact date will be announced within shortly.