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Creature — Vampire
Discard a card: Vampires you control get +1/+1 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn.
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Stromkirk Condemned Discussion
2 weeks ago
Boyson67 thank you for the upvote and comment! I’ll do my best to explain the reason. I archived some of the past comments because they didn’t represent what the build had become.
First off, Mutavault is so good in the combo or control match-ups where we are top decking. It’s nice to basically have another 2/2 vampire for free almost. Sometimes that extra few points of damage win the game.
For Drana, Liberator of Malakir, she is a great vampire creature card. She belongs in a go wide strategy, like tokens where you would get serious value from her ability. I’m this build, the win-con is Vampire Nocturnus with a black card on top of the library. This deck does its best to maximize that possibility. This provides immediate value, whereas Drana needs to wait a turn. Since this is midrange/aggro, Drana doesn’t fit super well. Our 3-drop spot is mainly reserved for 1 of 2 scenarios: Gatekeeper of Malakir with kicker, or a variable 2-drop with a hand destruction played previously to ensure our creature stays out on field (looking at you, various counterspells and removal!).
For Vampire Lacerator, check out the links I have in my deck description under “influences”. I have a source from Tom Ross where he explains reasons to play vampires, ie: Vampire Nocturnus. Vampire Lacerator does add aggro pressure, but we are midrange. We want a turn 1 hand discard, turn 2 Gifted Aetherborn or Stromkirk Condemned. The life loss isn’t terrible, but you can’t compare Vampire Lacerator to Goblin Guide, which I hear a ton. They play differently, and Vampire Lacerator doesn’t help the deck ensure Vampire Nocturnus goes off every turn. That’s why Viscera Seer and all the hand destruction and removal are our 1-drop spots.
I hope that all makes sense! Let me know if I can expound on anything! Thanks again for your support!
3 months ago
zephyr_chang how do I go about upvoting the comment you gave? ;)
I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into giving me advice and criticism. It was incredibly helpful and thorough.
I checked online about the the mono-black vampire builds that Tom Ross made and he literally said he was embarrassed about Pulse Tracker and Vampire Lacerator! I had never seen that discussion before so thank you for referring me to it!
To get straight to the point, I took your advice and rearranged the build. I substituted Viscera Seer in for Vampire Lacerator. I took out Indulgent Aristocrat and Captivating Vampire for Bloodghast and 2 more Sign in Blood. I hope this helps the build to be more consistent and more competitive. I wish Bloodghast was cheaper, but there is a reason it is expensive, being as good as it is.
As for the lands, I'm going to leave it the way it is for now, with the next big investment being Marsh Flats since I am a Mardu player through and through.
All in all, and everything considered, what do you think of the build? Is there anything else you would suggest for the sideboard? Thank you again for the dedicated response!
3 months ago
I have been playing mono-black Vampires in Modern for quite some time now. It is actually more competitive than a lot of people think. It's like mono-black Jund, and I've out-Junded Jund with vamps before. But this also means I play much more disruption than the build laid out here. My version runs 6 Discard (either a 4/2 or a 3/3 split among Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek), 6 Removal (4 Fatal Push and 2 flex slots), 4 Planeswalkers (the best in Modern - Liliana of the Veil), a much lower creature count at 21, and 23 lands.
Now, you have correctly identified Bloodghast to be the best Vampire in Modern. It does everything you want it to do in this deck - it is a recurring threat, you can sac it to scry (Viscera Seer), sac it to drain (Kalastria Highborn), discard it to Lili's +1, etc. The second best vamp is probably Vampire Nocturnus because its ability is just insane. I'd max out the number of Gatekeeper of Malakir because the sac effect is very strong in the format. 4 Asylum Visitor is great for card advantage and Madness is great for discard effects as well. Finally, I play 4 Viscera Seer because it synergises well with the other creatures. With Seer, you can do the fetch land-scry trick with Bloodghast, you can fix the top of your deck for Nocturnus, you can sac your entire board with Kalastria Highborn for extra reach, and you at least get to scry when opponent tries to kill your creatures.
Some comments on why I won't run the creatures you are playing...they are only good when there is a critical mass or density of creatures on board. Captivating Vampire really shines when you have at least another couple or more creatures already on the board, and you can forget about ever activating his second ability in a typical Modern game. In contrast, Vampire Nocturnus works great even when he's the only creature on board (a common sight after you have grinded the opponent out with discard and removal a la Jund). Vampire Lacerator is only good if played Turn 1 and even then it gets outclassed very quickly and then becomes a liability (Tom Ross tried the card in a very early build and called it 'embarrassing'!). Stromkirk Condemned and Indulgent Aristocrat are also only good when you have at least 2 other creatures on board, which I have found to be quite rare in a format full of removal. Furthermore, you cannot afford the card disadvantage, I don't think, if you are not playing Bloodghast.
Lastly, lands - I play 8 fetches to activate Bloodghast and to turn on Revolt for Fatal Push, 4 Mutavault as an honorary Vampire which gets Nocturnus bonus and can be sacrificed to Highborn (man-lands are traditionally used for getting in damage when both players are topdecking after a war of attrition - think Jund again), 4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth so you can produce black mana with Mutavault and fetchlands (you'd want to save fetches for Revolt Fatal Push and explosive Bloodghast turns), and 7 basic Swamps.
My sideboard includes a little bit of everything, Collective Brutality against Burn/Infect, Damnation against creature heavy decks, Duress as additional discard against control, Fulminator Mage and Ghost Quarter to kill lands, Nihil Spellbomb, Surgical Extraction and Scarab Feast for graveyard decks, Pithing Needle for various activated abilities, Vampire Hexmage for planeswalkers, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet for Jund or Abzan mirrors.
Just sharing my own experience playing Vamps in Modern for the longest time.
3 months ago
+1 for B/R vampires (one of my favorite builds!)
I have a version, Succumb to Madness if you want any ideas. I would say max out on the best ones like Stromkirk Captain Gifted Aetherborn and definitely Bloodghast if you have the money. First strike deathtouch is sooooooooooo good and B/R vampires do it the best I believe.
Personally, replace Guul Draz Vampire with Vampire Lacerator. Personally, you dont want the game dragging long (not past 6-8 turns) and you can take the damage from Vampire Lacerator if you have lifegain through Gifted Aetherborn and Vampire Nighthawk.
Best of luck on the build!
3 months ago
I'm seriously considering cutting Heir of Falkenrath Flip and Disfigure both are cards that often get pitched to Stromkirk Condemned anyway. Right now I am considering Smuggler's Copter to take the place of Heir of Falkenrath.
Thanks for your suggestion of Damping Matrix it is now on a very short list of cards to consider for my sideboard. Exactly the reason why I came here.
3 months ago
Uncanny_Ghoul I used to play Heir of Falkenrath Flip. Two things i found: I would rather pump the whole team with Stromkirk Condemned and Vampire Nighthawk is one of the best cards in modern, and combod with Stromkirk Captain, makes it VERY difficult to deal with.
5 months ago
Happymaster19 I agree that Stromkirk Condemned is way overlooked. Thats why I have it in the side deck. I usually sub them in if Im facing a control deck and need to put out as much damage as possible in a few turns.
Since my build is more beatdown, Smuggler's Copter hasnt been as useful, but Im willing to try it out. I found Id rather have the vampire type to have synergy with and I dont get that as much with vehicles.
I think Liliana of the Veil will always be out of my $ range. Shes great in madness, no doubt!
As far as fetches and Fatal Push I agree that it is what black does best right now. Maybe after saving, fetches will be possible. I know my build isnt 100% competitive/top tier. But with the lands what theyre at, I havent had too much of a problem.
For sideboarding, what do you recommend with common matchups? From vampire player to vampire player, any tips? Thanks in advance!
Ps: I saw your True Blood vampire build. I think Im in love! It looks so good! Very synergistic and flavorful!
5 months ago
Stromkirk Condemned is way better than people give it credit for. And Smuggler's Copter is nuts with madness. I feel like theres a budget here too. Otherwise, Liliana of the Veil, also absurd with madness. Fetches and Fatal Push.