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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
The New Generation Of Vampires
June 17, 2010

When Zendikar hit the stage, everybody was eager to get some mileage out of their shiny new Vampire Nocturnus from M10. Although today's client has proven that even without the Nocturnus leading the charge by cover of night from his candlelit balcony, Vampires are a popular deck idea.


I am a player on a budget who cannot afford Vampire Nocturnus. I like Vamp decks because of the hawk and gatekeeper, and wanted to try it out. Since the nocturnes normally gives the Vamp decks a strong middle game, I wanted to concentrate more on the early game, with just a few finishers.

Here is my current deck.
Lands 21
21 swamps
Creatures 22
4 vampire lacerator
4 bloodghast
4 vampire hexmage
4 gatekeeper of malakir
4 vampire nighthawk
2 malakir bloodwitch
Spells 17
4 inquisition of kozilek
4 urge to feed
3 smother/doom blade (still not sure which one. With the inquisition, the smother seems redundant, but doom blade is usually more dead)
4 sign in blood
2 mind sludge
Since you like for the e-mails to contain a lot of information, that’s what I’ll do.
For 1st drops, we have 8 cards. The inquisitions are great weapons against X-spells from tap-out, overall strong monsters, and wall of omens which this deck has a lot of problems dealing with. The lacerators seemed like the best creature drop.

For the 2nd drops, we have 8 creatures. The hexmages have a bit of utility since level-up came out, and will gain more when quests become more popular (when shard rotates out). The bloodghast are just great. Finally, if no creatures are in my hand, I can play the signs in blood.
For the 3rd drops, we also have 8. Nighthawk and gatekeeper need little explanation. They see a lot of competitive play.

To round it, I added 4 5-CMC cards that can win the game once played, and a lot of removal.
I know the deck curve can use some work, but how would you change it?
I also don’t play in a very competitive environment, but in a more casual one. I still want to be able to do well on my FNM’s though.
The SB is a work in progress, and fairly simple. (15)
3 sadistic sacrament (any combo deck like polymorph)
1 mind sludge (control)
1 malakir bloodwitch (white weenie)
4 deathmark (just good)
3 duress (control. Read above)
2 tendrils of corruption (RDW)
1 doom blade/smother
If I get a curve from turn 1-3, and follow it with removal, I always have very good chances. The main problems with the deck are that sometimes I get mana flooded, and sometimes screwed (no, much more than normal decks) probably because I have little card draw, and my games sometimes go too long. The other problem are high toughness creatures. I used virulent swipe at first, but it was way too un-useful most of the time. I guessed this would be a great deck to help out since it would help many Vamp players on a budget (and that means a lot of players because Vamps are very popular in casual plays).
Note: This is not meant to be casual. I am testing this deck in the casual room of MTGO, and know the deck can do better.
Any suggestions, ideas, options, changes are perfectly welcome.

What Magic player doesn't love tribal decks? There's just something inherently fun about the idea of amassing a tribe of like-minded individuals and seeing your creatures work together as a team!

But while that's the flavorful, creative side of a tribal deck, the mechanic side is dependant on your creatures having synergistic abilities or actually rewarding you for playing more creatures of their type. Elf decks didn't tear up Onslaught block because the Elves were dedicated to the defense of their forest homes, they tore it up thanks to Wellwisher, Timberwatch Elf, and Elvish Champion making every new Elf that entered the battlefield exponentially improve the power of the whole tribe. So, for your Vampire deck to be as strong as you want it to be, you need cards that reward you for playing Vampires at the exclusion of all else.

Normally, that means Lords. Wizened Cenn rewarded you for each Kithkin you dropped by giving it +1/+1 just for it being a Kithkin. Scion of Oona thwarted every removal spell opponents tried to point at a fellow Faerie, but offered no protection for non-Faeries. So what do you have that gives you an incentive to play Vampires besides your own love of the bloodsucking fiends? Urge to Feed, which only boosts your Vampires if you tap them, and Malakir Bloodwitch, who by your own admission doesn't even come down until the late game. And you already said you can't afford Vampire Nocturnus, so to make this deck hum, you need more synergy. Some mechanical motivation for making these marrow-drinking monsters a majority of your military.

The first card that comes to mind is Kalastria Highborn. The Highborn rewards you with the option to pay {B} whenever a Vampire of yours dies to drain an opponent for 2 life. Since most of your Vampires are small, there's a good chance they'll die fairly easily, and thus the Highborn can siphon away a good deal of your opponent's life.

Guul Draz Assassin is another card worth looking into. It doesn't reward more Vampires, but it is a Vampire itself and can take the place of Smother or Doom Blade in your deck, as it acts like a reusable kill spell once you've leveled it a bit. It also acts as another way to give yourself some extra staying power in the late game-- the longer the game goes, the easier it'll be for you to level it up and the more of the other side's creatures you can kill without spending any extra cards of your own, ensuring that they run out of resources before you do. Once that's accomplished, swing with your 4/4!

Finally, make room for Blade of the Bloodchief. One to cast and one to equip, then let the bodies hit the 'yard! Woks well with Kalastria Highborn, as every lost troop on your side leaves them 2 life shorter and you 2 life longer, plus your creature 2 bigger on both ends. Once a creature grows to 6/6 or larger, consider moving the Blade so that you're not putting all your hope on one creature.

But to be perfectly honest, I think you're already on the road to making this deck better without my help. You already said you were testing it on MTGO, and like I frequently say-- practice will ultimately help you more than I ever could. I can point you in the right direction with card suggestions and basic theory explanations, but it's up to you to develop the skill you need to be the Magic player you dream of being.

And of course, good luck!




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