Ravnos, post-LotN

Ravnos have a special place in my heart, because it is the clan with which I won my first game, way back in the 90s. They have some of the most powerful cards in the game, albeit at very high cost. They suffered from mediocre crypt choices, having a few amazing vampires, but loads of crappy ones. With the release of FN they got the necessary tools to counter their card costs as well as the Week of Nightmares, which became a staple card. More support followed in the next sets, thus they are today one of the most successful clans.

The least I can say about the new Ravnos crypt is ... weird! First and foremost we have Gwen, who sucks unless you play aus/chi (then she sucks less), but if another players throws a Gehenna card, in four turns, she gets AUS/ANI/CHI/FOR, +1 bleed and +1 capacity! Then we have Neel, without chimerstry and Brian, the standard 4-cap with the 3 in-clan at inferior. Johann is yet another low-cap with auspex and a useless ability.
At mid-caps, Papa Legba can get at least +1 bleed for a blood to compensate his useless obtenebration and the in-clan inferiors. Returning to the auspex theme, we also got Anjalika, the only out of the six new vampires below 6-cap with a superior discipline! Vassily, follows the new anarchic trends, sporting six inferiors, without even animalism, but guess what ... with auspex! Jayakumar & Ganesh have two in-clan superiors, corner-case abilities, the later trading his animalism for superior dementation. Chavi is the first new vampire we got that I actually liked, he's solid with two strong abilities and a big target painted on his forehead (Red List)! Vasiliy follows on the same trend, solid disciplines and a free boosted bleed per turn, nice. Kiradin is the second new Ravnos with superior dementation and free additional strike, which could be useful in a mass/horrid reality gun deck.
Durga Syn is a powerhouse, with seven disciplines (ani CHI for / aus dom OBF THA) and two powerful abilities. I am absolutely certain that she will lead a variety of decks and with good reason. Marcia is solid, shares with Durga dom/THA and has all in-clan at superior. Lizette & Phaedyme are decent, if not overcosted and seem to me more geared towards combat, the later is also the third new vampire with superior dementation.

The discipline in the last two groups are now distributed according to the table:
CHI/chi -> 16+10
FOR/for -> 10+11
ANI/ani -> 9+12
AUS/aus -> 1+7 // only one with AUS !
DEM/dem -> 3+2 // worth it?
OBF/obf -> 3+2 // Veil the Tumnimos ;)
PRE/pre -> 2+3 // to do what?
THA/tha -> 2+2 // Magic of the Smith !
POT/pot -> 1+3 // prevent+disarm
CEL/cel -> 2+1 // Horrid/Mass Reality ?
PRO/pro -> 2+1 // interesting options
DOM/dom -> 0+3 // deflection is still very strong
and one each with obt, nec, qui, or abo // safely ignore these guys
When I compare the with the G23 crypts, I realize that now the high-cap got stronger and the low-caps are pretty much useless, but given that Ravnos have the best breeding card in the game, as well as multi-act, the new crypts should be on par with the old ones.

The clan cards have some interesting, though not game-breaking additions, like Kumpania, a solid permanent intercept master, that is not a location. Karavalanisha Vrana is somewhat expensive, but still useful. Talith is one more useless melee weapon we got in this new set. Mantle of the Moon seems to me unnecessary with all the stealth the clan has. Finally, Zapaderin is a big boost to breed decks employing high-caps, like Gabrin, Durga, etc.

Chimerstry got Fantasy World, yet another weak imitation of Sensory Deprivation. Mirror's Visage, one the other hand, is just amazing, keeping your minions safe form harm and ready to react at inferior, while offers stealth at superior. False Resonance is also a killer, since it hoses the intercept discipline (auspex)! While the last new action modifier Will-o'-the-Wisp, can stop minions from both blocking, but more importantly deflecting! Army of Apparitions at inferior is simply worthless, but the superior can be somewhat useful since it can stop alone a rush (or other harmful action), albeit at high cost. Finally, Sympathic Agony (which also requires fortitude) is corner-case.

Animalism got three good new cards (Underbridge Stray, Sense the Savage Way & Flesh Bond), but none of them is especially useful to the Ravnos since they can already do everything they offer, but most importantly there are only nine ravnos with superior at an average capacity of 8,34! The situation with fortitude is somewhat better. Armor of Vitality can be a nice companion to Apparition. Hard Case is also an effective way to stay safe from combat, especially for a clan that excels at blocking. Bestow Vigor & Undying Tenacity seem more or less wallpaper to me.

There also some clan/discipline-less cards that fit well with the clan. The new weapons AK-47, Kpist m/45 & Bundi could find their way along with old ones in a Mass/Horrid Reality deck, as well as the Ambulance to deal with those annoying Imbued! The new untaps Fillip & Eluding the Arms of Morpheus are also nice additions, especially the former. Finally, you can now deflect bleeds without relaying on dominate with Lost in the Translation and if you don't, you can hose it with Narrow Minds.

Now, it's time for some advise to the new players who got interested in the clan and want to play with it. Despite the fact that Ravnos have a lot of solid cards, there also a lot missing and some of them will be very hard to find. First of all, the bulk of the rest of the G4 Ravnos can be found in in Kindred Most Wanted, along with Tumninos (thankfully a common), as well as Shilmulo Tarrot (in a rare slot). From Legacies of Blood you can pick Tsunda and Eldest are Kholo, but unless you want to begin collecting Laibon and bloodlines, it would be wiser to trade for these cards. Of course, Third Edition offers a lot of useful cards, along with nice trade options. If you can find the old starter from Final Nights it would be a huge boost to your collection, since it has a lot of strong cards that weren't reprinted. Unfortunately, Gabrin & Draba can be found only in the boosters, so trade is the only option for them.

With the same constrains I used for Assamites and Setites (2xStarters and 9 drafted boosters), it is very hard to make a competative deck. The one below though, should be decent for casual games, even capable of winning, depending on the opposition.

Crypt [13] (average: 6.16)
1x Lizette
1x Durga Syn
1x Kiradin
1x Vasiliy Vasilevich
1x Chavi Oraczko
1x Ganesh
1x Jayakumar
1x Vassily Taltos
1x Anjalika Underwood
1x Papa Legba
1x Brian Thompson
1x Gwen Brand
1x Neel Ramanathan

Master [12]
1x Fortune Teller Shop
1x Park Hunting Ground
2x Path of Paradox, The
2x Ravnos Carnival
4x Vessel
2x Week of Nightmares

Action [4]
4x Edged Illusion

Equipment [3]
1x Bundi
1x Talith
1x Treasured Samadji

Retainer [5]
5x Raven Spy

Reaction [18]
3x Eluding the Arms of Morpheus
3x Fillip
6x Ignis Fatuus
2x Instinctive Reaction
1x Lost in Translation
3x Sense the Savage Way

Action Modifier [18]
2x False Resonance
3x Fata Morgana
2x Forced March
2x Freak Drive
3x Heart's Desire
3x Leverage
1x Mantle of the Moon
2x Zapaderin

Action Modifier/Combat [6]
3x Mirror Image
3x Occlusion

Combat [24]
6x Apparition
6x Carrion Crows
6x Indomitability
3x Mayaparisatya
3x Soak

The idea is to block as often as possible your opponents, reducing the blood on their vampires and finishing them of with Edged Illusions. Albeit, there isn't enough intercept and no way to counter S:CE. The deck packs also a decent bleed threat. If your metagame sees a lot of low-caps or breed decks, it would be nice to use all four Durga Syn from the starters. Against heavy intercept, increase the stealth by removing transient intercept. Finally, if your metagame sees a lot of rush switch the Carrion Crows with Army of Apparitions.