Review: Renegade Game Studios – The Dragon & The Rogue (Vampire The Masquerade – Rivals)

The Dragon & The Rogue
The Dragon & The Rogue is an expansion set for Vampire: The Masquerade – Rivals expandable card game,
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about The Dragon & The Rogue here
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The Dragon & The Rogue is the fifth expansion for Vampire The Masquerade: Rivals and introduces two new factions – Clan Tzimisce and Clan Ravnos. These two new factions use very different tactics with playing the long game through continuous enhancement and the other favoring quick hit and run strikes to win the game.

First up, Clan Tzimisce (The Dragon, because they hoard attachments), a faction who thrives on long-term wins by accumulating power through attachments. They remind me of a warlord in D&D 4E where the goal is to control. Interestingly enough, many of their cards are seemingly underpowered when first played, but their true power lies in their long-term use by either utilizing attachments or empowering others by creating opportunities for attachments. Even the ghouls they control need to utilize attachments; but then that’s the point. There is one drawback; their vampires have a steep cost for getting them out on the table, but their special ability, Possessive, allows them to retain 1 attached card when entering torpor. Effectively, this deck is about combos and what you can do to grow your power.

Second up, Clan Ravnos (The Rogue), a faction who thrives on quick wins. They are in fact a rogue of any game; they play the “back-stabber” role quite nicely by utilizing cause and effect (when this happens, do this). In all honesty, I can see this being a difficult deck to play as it requires you to think and react quickly before you become overwhelmed. While an opponent is slowly building up to their agenda, you have to be light on your toes and get take the advantage every time it presents itself. If you sit back and hope for a better opportunity, I think you’ll miss that chance and fall behind. Their vampire costs are lower than Clan Tzimisce, but they don’t quite have the stat block to match. Strategy is the winner for this one!

As with many expansions, The Dragon & The Rogue introduces mechanically opposing factions, giving you two ends of the spectrum for how to win the game. I can see both of these being extremely beneficial if combined with another Clan to provide short-term and long-term gains, but then you may not get the combos you really need to meet your agenda.

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