General Vampire Development:
Most Vampires I would suggest start of in this way, as I already said taking Dodge first helps counter their need for rerolls. It will also make them far more manoeuvrable and also offers them some protection. If facing a lot of Tackle then perhaps go Block first, though I don’t think many teams will be in that situation. Follow up with Block to make them more reliable when hitting and again to keep them upright. If you are feeding on Thralls you want to keep as many of the rest of the team upright as possible. After that take Side Step, their movement isn’t great and it helps with that. It can mean taking less hits, makes the sidelines safer and keeping a ST4 player next to someone you are marking is very handy. Further skills from this point allow you to specialise them, though most specialist builds still do well starting in this manner.
As Vampires have access to general, strength and agility skills there aren’t any double skill choices that I would take over one of the many normal picks you can have. If you do take one then remember that it is adding more to your team value, so is it really worth it? Strength increase is brilliant, a high agility ST5 player is just a monster to try and deal with. Agility increases are also great, you can run through tackle zones easily and it also makes Hypnotic Gaze more effective. Movement is also worth taking, the team isn’t exactly fast and it gives you someone who can score in two turns without needing a go for it.
To specialise the Vampire after Dodge Block and Side Step consider the following:
Crowd Push Vampire:
Take Frenzy next and you have a viable crowd pushing threat, which can either get you numerical advantage or at least open up the sidelines more. Juggernaut will ensure you get your second Frenzy block in. It will also let you target those Wrestle and Fend players on the opposition as it cancels out both! You have a few options after that, Tackle would be a good one, especially if facing lots of Dodge. Before you get it though, Frenzy can somewhat make up for that.
Team Support Vampire:
Whilst the Vampires on the team are strong the Thralls aren’t. Guard will help you get more use out of the Thralls and also help counteract Guard on the opposition. If you take Guard chances are you will be in a position where you can block in further turns, making Mighty Blow worthwhile. If you are facing lots of Dodge though then I would give some preference to Tackle.
Marking Specialist Vampire:
- Tackle / Diving Tackle, Pro / Pass Block
Your Vampire is already hard to blitz away from anyone they are marking, you can make this even worse for the target player by either taking Tackle first if against lots of Dodge players. Or Diving Tackle which might be more effective at forcing them to fail a dodge, but Tackle will also help for hitting them as well. Diving Tackle is more effective against the lower agility sides, who will usually have less Dodge as well. Now is a useful time to take Pro for the advantages outlined earlier, or Pass Block can help against passing teams to be able to get into contact with the correct receiver. That can make the catch harder, or force them into taking a tricky dodge away. Alternatively you can look to mark the Thrower to force a fumble or just move somewhere in the open to try a 5+ interception.
Look on Page 3 for builds with different early development…