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|MTG: Commander (CMD)||Rare|
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Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter
Legendary Creature — Vampire
Sacrifice a creature: Put X +1/+1 counters on Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter where X is the sacrificed creature's power.
Remove all +1/+1 counters from Vish Kal: Target creature gets -1/-1 for each +1/+1 counter removed this way.
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Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter Discussion
1 week ago
Mono-black IS good for vampires to be sure, but since Edgar Markov is a thing, going multicolor wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Anowon, the Ruin Sage is a strong commander to be sure, but Ed would give you more colors and more options.
Even Just splashing some red and going with Olivia Voldaren or Olivia, Mobilized for War wouldn't be a terrible idea, as it opens up the door for damage amp cards like Gratuitous Violence or Curse of Bloodletting, not mention plenty of vamps that put +1/+1's on themselves.
Splashing some white and going with Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter or Vona, Butcher of Magan would allow for some more life based cards like Campaign of Vengeance or Sorin, Solemn Visitor. Plus, if I recall correctly, B/W vamp cards have a lot token generation.
This may be a lot to take in at once and if it is, I'm sorry. Don't get me wrong, what you have here is really good as far as I can tell. Just be aware of your options if you weren't already.
1 month ago
Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter Only(?) Commander that can sac itself. So many sac/recur shenanigans available in BW. Black can generate mana for days.
2 months ago
I would cut the following cards due to their high mana costs and because they offer little other than their bodies to the deck: Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Licia, sanguine Tribune , Malakir Bloodwitch, Nirkana Revenant, Patron of the Vein, and Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter. Additionally I would cut Black Market, Cathars' Crusade, and Blood Tribute for more or less the same reasons. I would cut these for more ramp, which in mardu is just mana rocks, and lands in general, even if you kept 1-3 of your big beaters and cut the rest it would improve the curve and draws considerably.
3 months ago
Thinking about adding!!!
Bloodline Keeper Flip
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Heliod, God of the Sun
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Olivia, Mobilized for War
Sorin, Grim Nemesis
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
Sorin, Solemn Visitor
Call the Bloodline
Whip of Erebos
Day of Judgment
Feast of Blood
Seize the Day
Crovax the Cursed
Gatekeeper of Malakir
Guul Draz Overseer
Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
Thief of Blood
Urge to Feed
Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter
I'm going for building up vampires with +1/+1 counters!!
3 months ago
Here's a list of 7-Drops that I've found to possibly replace Norn:
Akroma's Memorial, Elbrus, the Binding Blade Flip, Karn Liberated, Angelic Arbiter, Angrath's Marauders, Cabal Conditioning, Chancellor of the Annex, Debtors' Knell, Defiant Bloodlord, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet, Rune-Scarred Demon, Sheoldred, Whispering One, Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter.
3 months ago
I have added Drana, Liberator of Malakir and I am already running the Falkenrath Aristocrat. I considered Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter, but I wondered about the mana cost. I think I have a spare Sword of the Animist lying around, and I think I might try it! In the three color deck, the color fixing is as welcome as the ramp!
3 months ago
I think an instant improvement for the deck would be to remove Skullclamp and replace it with Sword of the Animist, It'll ramp you up and help thin out your deck far better than a skullclamp would do. But thats just experience. also a great card, one of my favorite vampires EVER is not here, and think he's so underrated Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter Oh lord, he's just marveous, especially if you have Rakish Heir or Stensia Masquerade out or even a Necropolis Regent out removal at instant speed, and allows you to get rid of that pesky indestructible, Also i've found Falkenrath Aristocrat to be rather fabulous, with ANY kind of 1/1 counters mechanic you have (the ones i listed) She'll avoid most board wipes and is really resilient! Although you dont have a human to sac for the 1/1 a 4/1 indestructible flyer is still pretty darn good in my opinion. I hope this helps! Im trying to tune out my deck and see which vampires I like, and which i should switch out, currently for me my eyes are on Kheru Mind-Eater Bloodhusk Ritualist and Falkenrath Noble I havent seen much use from these guys so i may just switch them out for more control cards. I hope this helps!!!
3 months ago
I'm doing this from my phone, so please pardon any parsing errors.
A few things jump out at me immediately when skimming your list. One: You're not running nearly enough dudes to really capitalize on Edgar's abilities. Two: Your Black count is dangerously low.
Edgar's token ability procs with each vampire you cast, so you'll want to add in a substantial number more critters to ensure that your average draw value is maxed. His secondary ability of growing his squad also pushes this incentive even further. I'd be aiming to have close to 50 blood-suckers running around in your deck somewhere to truly keep the warmachine rolling.
The second point centers mostly around the card Vampire Nocturnus. The card is an animal, and absolutely worth building around. Yes, he isn't a legend so you won't have him every game, but with even a moderate field he can pack a potent punch. To earn this reward though requires you warping your card pool a bit to make certain that he reaches his formidable potential consistently. If there's a card or effect that you run that doesn't have a black symbol, try looking for a substitute card that might be close enough and does contain a black casting cost. Currently, 63 of the 99 cards in your deck are whiffs, so he's online just over once every three turns.
A few card notes:
Blood Artist is a good card, and while it synergizes with Edgar's tokens as a pseudo Goblin Bombardment, I believe that he's better in an Olivia Voldaren-style deck that utilizes sac outlets more freely and effectively. Don't feel bad to run him, but the roster spot could be spent on something else.
Similarly, Bloodthrone Vampire is better in Olivia as well, though I approve of keeping some sac-outlets in the list. I'd suggest Viscera Seer as an alternate, as scry is typically superior to a buff when pitching creatures (usually in response to a board clear).
The Gorger is just a Savannah Lions in a cape enough of the time that I don't believe he merits inclusion. He improves some if you really work to get a madness theme going, but I think the dropoff in overall card quality to meet that goal isn't worth it. If you're hellbent on running him, then I'd possibly look at Sire Of Insanity and Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace to bolster the rest of the discard outlets. Also, you just don't have enough vampires in the deck to take advantage of the free madness reliably anyways.
Olivia, Mobilized for War is pretty mediocre when not paired with Falkenrath Gorger or Oversold Cemetery. Your general already has haste, and there aren't many other vampires that I'd consider powerful enough with haste to discard for. Maybe Necropolis Regent or the specter-style vampires. Her ability to make creatures into vamps is irrelevant in your deck, and the +1/+1 bonus isn't anything too exciting. I'd cut her for something else.
Stromkirk Condemned: pretty much everything I said about Olivia applies here, though he at least is better with the tokens that Edgar makes.
Stensia Masquerade: it's neat that this has madness and the effects aren't terrible, but the enchantment suffers from not being black, and by being largely outclassed by cards like Cathars' Crusade. At the end of the day, the counters from this are too slow to make the cut.
Speaking of slow, playing Guul Draz Assassin is just asking for sadness. Level Up is one of the most feel-bad mechanics when things go wrong. Finally investing enough in your guy, only to have him Swords'ed in response is quite deflating.
Mathas, Fiend Seeker is too group-huggy for my tastes. Assuming that you play multiplayer, letting two or more opponents draw while you draw one is card disadvantage. View the table as one large, cohesive enemy, and not several smaller ones.
Mirri the Cursed is sweet, but overall not very strong. Most opponents won't block unless they can kill her. Running some additonal sabateur effects (other than Necropolis Regent and Rakish Heir) such as Larceny or Pain Magnification would help, but still probably not enough. That said, she is a cat vampire, so that's worth something.
Shadow Alley Denizen is pretty small-game. Intimidate isn't particularly strong with multicolor creatures, and even on the monoblack ones it's still not worth running. A good number of your monsters already fly, which is a better form of evasion.
Stromkirk Noble and Vampire Lacerator are just too low impact to run. They don't do anything besides attack, and topdecking one of them in the late game is nauseatingly painful. The noble suffers from being non-black as well.
Cathartic Reunion and Tormenting Voice would likely be better as actual draw spells than rummaging spells. I know they work with madness and the Cemetery, but I like things that net you cards a lot more. If you wanted, Kheru Mind-Eater and Fiend of the Shadows are tribal means of getting ahead on cards, and both black (even if they aren't great cards otherwise).
Cover of Darkness: fear is better than intimidate, but this still isn't impactful enough to run.
Necropotence is one of the most busted cards ever printed in Magic, and in Commander is a complete trap. The downsides are too steep in a multiplayer format, and only a handful of decks are set up to wield it properly. Look elsewhere for advantage. Look at your mana base and the casting cost while you're at it too.
I don't see the reason for running Expedition Map- is there an interaction I missed?
Boros Charm, Teferi's Protection, and Rootborn Defenses: These cards are all reasonable, but may be superfluous. One of Edgar's strengths is being able to churn out an army quickly, and doesn't even need to be in play to do so. It gives you a small hedge against Wrath effects; nobody at the table should be able to recover as well as you do. The rhetoric against non-black cards applies here as well. You know your meta better, so it might be right to play them, but if you really need the protection then Eldrazi Monument or Avacyn, Angel of Hope might do the job better.
Swords to Plowshares is the single greatest spot-removal spell in the format, so I'm never going to tell someone that it's wrong to play it. However, it might not be the "most right" to play it here either. It being white is a powerful strike against it, and revealing it to your opponents doesn't feel great either. You're sitting on 14 pieces of removal at the moment, which leans on the high end. Again, it could be a good meta call, but even if that number is what you want, perhaps some upgrades could be found. A black instant perhaps, such as Terminate or Silence the Believers; Vindicate as another means to deal with enchantments; or vampires that kill: Shauku, Endbringer, Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter, Dark Impostor, or Olivia Voldaren count. So would Butcher of Malakir in some circumstances, Gatekeeper of Malakir in others, and Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet. There are a lot of vampires that kill things dead, so maybe start there for your removal, and cut the Swords and Path to Exile.
I like mana rocks as much as the next man, but your curve is fairly low, and their colorless identity is less than stellar. Perhaps trim down to the best five, and go from there?
On the subject of mana, your mana base needs an overhaul. I know this is like the Magic version of being told to eat your vegetables, but it's so true: if you're going to spend money anywhere in your deck, start with the lands. I understand ABUs (Badlands etc) aren't in everyone's budget, but at least pick up the fetch lands (e.g. Marsh Flats) and the filters (Graven Cairns). You probably don't need any Red/White duals, but the ones that produce black will prove invaluable. If you discover that you hate paying vampires or something like that, you'll always be able to play the lands in a different deck. They aren't flashy, but they are the most important part of Commander.
Well, that's about all I have for you at first blush. If you want a list to cross-examine, I've been playing vampires since Worldwake and converted my Olivia list into Edgar when he was first spoiled. Here's the link if you'd like: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/formerly-olivia/
Feel free to send me an ask if you have any questions, I usually respond within a week. God bless, and good luck out there. McDeity.