https://www.vekn.net/2-uncategorised/52 ... r-may-2022
Black Chantry Rules Director Vincent Ripoll answers some rules questions:
Q: "Bleed bounce" cards such as Deflection, Telepathic Misdirection or Bait and Switch state that they are only usable "after blocks are declined." What does it mean exactly? Does "Declining to block" mean that you haven't tried to block with anything? Or does it still count as "Declining to block" if you attempt to block but your minion gets out-stealthed?
A: Methuselahs can decline to block if they don't attempt to block at all, or once they are done with all their (unsuccessful) block attempts. A Methuselah cannot decline to block in the middle of a block attempt, but once there's no more ongoing block attempt (usually because it has failed due to a lack of intercept or a card that makes the block fail), that Methuselah can simply state that they don't make any further block attempts: they “decline to block”.
This is equivalent of the defending Methuselah to "pass" instead of declaring a block attempt, letting other Methuselahs the opportunity to block with cards such as Eagle Sight.
Once every Methuselah has declined to block, the impulse goes back to the acting Methuselah who can increase the bleed or pass, then to the defending Methuselah to can play "bleed bounce" cards, etc.
As reminded on those cards, changing the target of a bleed creates a new blocking opportunity for every Methuselah, starting with the new target of the bleed and following the sequencing order (see the Rulebook). For instance:
A declares a bleed action against B with Nonu Dis.
B, who controls Kuyén and Martina Srnankova (+1 intercept during bleed actions), tries to block with Kuyén.
A plays Swallowed by the Night for +1 stealth.
B does not increase Kuyén's intercept: the block fails. B could attempt to block with Martina Srnankova but decides to "decline to block". Other Methuselahs pass too.
A plays Aire of Elation to increase the bleed.
B plays Bait and Switch to change the target of the bleed to C.
C can now attempt to block the action.
By using this stratagem, B "forces" A to play stealth in order to hinder C once the bleed is redirected to him or her. However, if someone cancels the Bait and Switch as it is played, then B cannot backpedal and try to block with Martina since the block opportunities are over.
Q: Some cards ask the Methuselah to do “A or B” during the unlock or master phase, for instance Ex Nihilo (“During your master phase, this vampire burns 1 blood or is burned.”) Does the Methuselah get the choice between A and B?
A: Yes (this is a reversal for some cards). Those cards will be reprinted with “do B unless you do A” to make the choice more explicit. Some cards such as Fear of Mekhet don’t leave the choice and are explicitly written so (“During this vampire's unlock phase, they burn 5 blood. If they cannot burn the blood, they are burned.”)
Q: If Kuyén (with the text “Animals (allies and retainers) cost Kuyén 1 fewer blood or pool.”) recruits or employs an animal using Piper or Pack Alpha, is the cost of the animal reduced?
A: Yes, the cost applies as normal, this includes any applicable cost reduction or increase. Some cards (e.g., Charisma) only reduce the recruit or employ actions. In that case, the cost of recruiting an ally or employing a retainer through Piper or Pack Alpha is not reduced since those are not actions.
Do you have rules questions? The easiest way to get them answered correctly is to ask at the VEKN Forum, in the VEKN Facebook group or on the VTES Discord, sometimes by the rules director himself!