"Licia is an army general renowned for her ruthlessness in battle. She wields dual swords stained with the blood of countless victims, including the enchanted blood of an angel, whose feathers Licia wears in her helmet as a symbol of her supremacy"

Now that we know what we get from the Commander 2017 sets, there are several ways you could build a Mardu Vampire deck.

You could use Edgar Markov, make a lot of Vampire tokens and do... stuff. Or you could be a real man (or woman) and choose Licia, Sanguine Tribune as your champion!

At 8 CMC she's probably not going to be a popular commander, but don't let that high cost discourage you! We just need to gain some life, and Vampires do that best.

Let's take their blood, their life, and all they have,

For victory!


  1. Drain everyone's blood though spells or lifelink.
  2. Offer that blood to Licia, and have her slap someone really hard.
  3. Repeat 1. and 2.


Dark Tutelage: Not a 'draw', but you do get an extra card. We can afford the life penalty easily due to the substantial lifegain and low CMC.

Necropotence: This is your main draw engine, Use the life we get from our opponents to draw more cards.

Phyrexian Arena: Low cost card draw, every turn. Unlike Necropotence not much of a threat and often left alone, so you can usually keep it a few turns.


Ambition's Cost, Ancient Craving, and Sign in Blood: One-use only - offer blood for cards.

Reforge the Soul: Trade your old hand for a new one! could also Tutor it with Vampiric Tutor and put it on top of your library, then miracle it for way cheaper.

Wheel of Fate: Disruption for them, full hand for you. It has a suspend cost so you can set it and forget it. Although it's probably best you don't draw like your life depends on it (with e.g Necropotence) before it resolves..

I'm thinking of including Alhammarret's Archive, double life and double card draw which would work out amazing with the sorcery-based draw, not so much with the _enchantments _though.

Once you have Licia out and equipped, empowered, and ready to slap people, you'll need to find something to use all that extra life and mana for.

These spells will probably win you the game.

Bond of Agony: What's the use of having so much life if you don't do anything with it? Live a little! This is the chance to experience what your opponents feel.

Chandra's Ignition: The only sorcery that needs Licia active and ready, depending on how strong you managed to get her, the lifegain will set you up for.. life.

Debt to the Deathless: Let's face it. Debts suck. Especially when the one you owe can't die and you can't weasel your way out of repaying through any 'unfortunate accidents'.

Exsanguinate: Cheaper than Debt to the Deathless, but still very formidable.


Elixir of Immortality: Aside from the fact that you get to shuffle this card and your graveyard back into your library.. Imagine you activate this in T4/5 for with / / leftover mana. Instant Licia!

Venser's Journal: Just because you have cards in your hand, doesn't mean you have to play them. This is something I still struggle with as I play, because I like to "play" and usually end up with an empty hand. Obviously, don't use Wheel of Fate if you have too many cards in your hand.


In order to get Licia out fast we need early cost-reducers. Spells help, but we need something that can consistently be useful at relatively low cost. that's where these minions come into play. They might not be perfect, but they're cheap and they get the job done.

Child of Night Aside from being a 2-drop Vampire, nothing special.

Gifted Aetherborn: Deathtouch and a bit stronger than Child of The Night.

Indulgent Aristocrat: Also works as a sacrifice outlet with the potential to empower everyone else in the late game.

Vampire Cutthroat: Has skulk so he's pretty much unblockable.

Vampire Nighthawk: Flying and deathtouch.. If I could have more of these, I would!

Serra Ascendant: The only creature that is not Vampire or Soldier - but also allows you to get a turn 3 Licia theoretically.


Exquisite Blood: I originally intended for this card to be the ultimate strategy.. drain everyone bit by bit and gain all their life. I'm aware that you can go infinite with Sanguine Bond or Defiant Bloodlord, but we don't play with infinite combos in my group. Sanguine Bond does fit very well with Licia, Sanguine Tribune , but I feel bad about singling someone out - I prefer something that hits each opponent. This is also why I don't run Blood Tribute, although the new art does look nice.

Might include Sanguine Bond after all, just don't have both out at the same time.


Blood Tithe: I started with a whole list of 'minor' drain spells.. hard to believe this is the only one left. It's very good though! see the "Finishers" for other sorceries.

Ramp in / / ? yeah.. good luck. Not the easiest colors to ramp in, though I could spend $50 on a Land Tax (True, they can be cheaper, but those are the older ones and I don't like those :X ). However, there are tons of artifacts we can use. I made a small selection but you can definitely improve here. I'd love to run Mana Vault or Mana Crypt but they - like Land Tax - are too expensive at the moment.

Chromatic Lantern: Pretty darn good for multi-color set-ups, won't have to worry about color anymore and you get an extra mana.

Boros Signet, Orzhov Signet and Rakdos Signet: Filters colors and gives an extra mana. Signets are staples.

Pristine Talisman: 1 mana and 1 Life!, so this cuts Licia's cost by 2.

Sol Ring: Staple 1-drop for a reason. But I would be happier with colors. I might get a Coalition Relic or Gilded Lotus.


Anguished Unmaking: Exile permanent, helps if they have indestructibles or when they Darksteel Mutation you. You do lose life but we have plenty anyway.

Crackling Doom: Drain everyone a little bit and have them offer up their strongest creatures. Perfect at any time really.

Path to Exile: The only exile target creature we use, mostly for those pesky indestructibles.

Return to Dust: Whether in their turns or during your own main phase, this card is a must have to get rid of enchantments or artifacts.. but mostly enchantments (Looking at you Darksteel Mutation... tsk).

Utter End : Same as Anguished Unmaking, but no life loss and 1 mana extra.

Wear / Tear: Should help getting rid of enchantments, or artifacts whenever you need it, or both.


Feast of Blood: Destroy target creature and gain 4 life to make Licia cheaper.

Vindicate: Sorcery-speed, but still very good to get rid of enchantments, indestructibles, or even land.


Licia is a ruthless general with two swords, so weapons are a must-have! If I would go more towards a theme, I'd find her some armor - probably Darksteel Plate, and a nice helmet - something like Helm of Kaldra or Prowler's Helm . Actually, that last one's not even a bad idea, who plays walls anyway??

Haunted Cloak: A nice fur coat that gives Haste, Trample, and Vigilance.

O-Naginata: +3/0 and Trample. Mostly have this for the Trample, though the +3/+0 is nothing to scoff at either.

Prowler's Helm : I'm adding it, it's so cool! on theme and unblockable, don't need Trample if they can't touch you.

Sword of Vengeance: Perhaps not one of the best swords at a total CMC of 6, but we need it for the Haste, Trample, and Vigilance - though mostly for the Trample.

Sword of Fire and Ice: I kinda wish I bought the Modern Masters version instead of the Darksteel one now, because then it would have matching art with Sword of War and Peace instead of Sword of Light and Shadow. Protection from and , +2/+2 and 2 extra damage on combat damage, more importantly though is the card draw we get.

Sword of War and Peace(NPH): +2/+2, protection from and , and you get to Drain 'n Gain on combat damage.

Tenza, Godo's Maul : +3/+3 and Trample! Not bad at all.


Archangel of Thune: I know what you're thinking.. "Bou, why is there an Angel in a Vampire deck?" - Well.. I actually thought about this really hard, but when I looked at Licia's character background on the wizards website (Which I copy-pasted at the top of this description) I think I can get away with just one Angel.

Bastion Protector: Give Licia +2/+2 and indestructible, which is not bad for 3 CMC. Only allowed in because she's a Soldier.

Bloodsworn Steward: Same as the Human, but gives Haste.

Bloodline Keeper  Flip: This one will take some work, but once you do manage to transform him, he gives +2/+2 to all Vampires.

Drana, Liberator of Malakir: +1/+1 counters for all attacking creatures, but only works if we connect.. Not bad for 3 CMC though.

Mathas, Fiend Seeker: Another new Vampire that should help with politics in the multiplayer game, you put a bounty counter on someone's creature and encourage others to kill it for card draw and some life.

Necropolis Regent: I'm kinda conflicted about this. On the one hand, it's 6 CMC. On the other hand, if you Trample through or straight up don't get blocked, your creatures become absurdly, game-breaking strong.

Odric, Lunarch Marshal: If I'm going to allow other Soldiers, Odric is a must-have! Why cast multiple Enchantments if you can get all the effects with just this one :D.

Olivia, Mobilized for War: I mostly keep this in because it's a 3/3 for 3 CMC, but you can give Licia haste if you have cards to discard.


Always Watching : +1/+1 and Vigilance. Should help in defense.

Duelist's Heritage: Double strike for Licia during your turn, politics in everyone else's turn!

Gift of Immortality: This should be amazing, I could also run Darksteel Plate but I know from experience how much harder it is to remove this enchantment. Not much you can do if they Exile your creature.. but if you have Indulgent Aristocrat in the field you could sacrifice in self-defense, and it'll come back.

Sigarda's Aid: We play quite a few equipments, this will allow us to circumvent the equip cost and just attach them directly.

Sunbond: While it's an enchant creature card, it's pretty much a no-brainer! Licia will double her power with every swing until they remove her.

Unquestioned Authority: Unblockable and you get a card back. it's a one-use card like Sunbond but once is more than enough.


I forgot to add Sorin, but he does offer some great benefits.

After some contemplating, I went with just Sorin, Lord of Innistrad because of his -2 Ability. I never bothered to check because I hardly see them.. but it appears Emblems stack. Which means that the longer Sorin survives, the more +1/+0 non-removable Emblems I can make, and to be fair, even if I get only 1.. it's still good. The lifelink tokens help as well.

The others; Sorin, Grim Nemesis and Sorin, Solemn Visitor, are pretty good as well and would give extra draw and removal - and +1/0 and lifelink respectively.


Demonic Tutor: Find whatever you need.


Boros Charm: Everything gets indestructible! Have fun with your board-wipe.

Make a Stand : Another indestructibility card to help protect your side of the board.

Vampiric Tutor : Find whatever you need, and totally on theme!


Early impression; It's not bad. Usually manage to get Licia out on T5 and swing for 10 on T6, give her Trample or something similar on T7 and swing again for 13-16. These aren't real play-tests though! We have to take removal into account and when we do - the deck lacks some things. Early game ramp, and mid-late game draw. With a perfect hand you can get Licia in the field T4, but without the draw you won't get all the swords she needs. Lifegain is insane if Licia grows, but we don't have anything we can do with all the life. We also have to be careful about Tainted Remedy or Rain of Gore as they completely cripple the deck, more removal would help.

If you would want to, you would be able to take out all the creatures except Licia, fill those slots with lifegain, ramp, and draw cards.. and you could get a Turn 5-6 lethal hit going purely voltron. Part of me wants to, but I know that it'll crank up the hate in my playgroup and that aside, Licia is supposed to be a general. What's a general without an army?

Comments and suggestions appreciated - Let me know if you think I missed anything!


Spent a good few hours typing everything out, also added tags for sorting.

Added a little bit more lifegain and draw, should be easier to get Licia out Turn 5/6 on average.


Arthurgress says... #1

Venser's Journal looks great with Licia.

August 9, 2017 2:30 p.m.

Bou says... #2

That's not bad yeah! will have to put in some more ways to get a nice full hand too.. very nice.

August 9, 2017 4:15 p.m.

PaulaTicks says... #3

Just like Kalemne, I'm ready to straight murder people with a Voltron commander that's immediately disregarded as boring. Some cards I've thrown into mine so far include

Dega Sanctuary, Glistening Oil , Chandra's Ignition, Illusionist's Bracers, Rings of Brighthearth, Wall of Reverence and Hatred

I like what you've done so far, more Vampire tribal than just voltron but all the lifelink seems like it will make her much easier to cast.

August 9, 2017 8:12 p.m.

Bou says... #4

@PaulaTicks: Kalamne is a cutie as well! never built with her but was tempted.

I'm very curious about the copy effects you mentioned.. Licia does read 'Activate this only once'.. would the copy from Rings of Brighthearth or Illusionist's Bracers even work or is it restricted by the wording?

The Dega Sanctuary looks nice yeah, hopefully they'll reprint it because I personally don't like these older looks.

August 10, 2017 7:01 a.m.

PaulaTicks says... #5

@Bou: They would work yes, you're only allowed to activate the ability once on your turn, but it doesn't say anything about how many times the effect can be copied.

August 10, 2017 9:10 a.m.

greatgoofini says... #6

Tainted Remedy group hug lifegain cards immediately become one-sided, plus Swords to Plowshares is excessivley better as well

August 10, 2017 4:45 p.m.

greatgoofini says... #7

Also I saw Congregate in your maybe board and figured you should also look at War Report

August 10, 2017 4:49 p.m.

Bou says... #8

I've been trying to cut cards for the past +-4 hours now, and I just now realized.. this deck would be so much better if I focused on soldiers instead of vampires. Maybe even a hybrid deck where we sacrifice soldier tokens to make vampires stronger. I still want to keep the life gain in there though.

@PaulaTicks That wording bothered me though, if it still work then it would be nice, especially in a more voltron-ey deck with more activiated abilities. But, as it is now, I don't have enough to make copy cards worth the inclusion. Also, Chandra's Ignition is going to be a game-winning card, what the hell.. the potential on that is insane, coupled with lifelink even more so.

@greatgoofini: Oh I was typing this up as you posted, good timing :D.

I took Congregate out earlier! but if I do switch to a soldier-vampire hybrid like I'm thinking of.. I'll definitely take it back in because it's going to be just way too good. if so, War Report can join in as well , nice find :)

Tainted Remedy is something I'll have to watch out for as well.. could totally break this deck.

August 10, 2017 5:19 p.m.

Bou says... #9

Decided to ditch the other soldiers after all and lean more towards voltron. Which actually makes sense because she's carrying like two swords.

I'm really curious to see what else they're going to spoil :)

August 11, 2017 8:40 a.m.

gman10 says... #10

Have you considered Sorin, Lord of Innistrad? It has a cheap anthem and makes some lifelink tokens. The ultimate is solid when you reach it.

August 11, 2017 12:51 p.m.

Bou says... #12

That's actually not a bad Sorin! Haven't once managed to trigger ultimates on planeswalkers in my playgroup so I pretty much only look at the first two abilities haha. I feel he might work even better in an Edgar Markov token deck though. I'll put it in the maybe-board for now until I figure out what to cut. thanks :)

Edit: Okay so I didn't know but it seems Emblems can stack?! I definitely have to put this in then!

August 12, 2017 6:10 a.m.

What about all the Outlast creatures? They can buff her for her +1/+1 counters

August 12, 2017 3:21 p.m.

AkaAkuma says... #14

Hey looks good! I am thinking about starting a Licia EDH as well. Although i might take a soldier route instead of vampire.

What about Favor of the Mighty, Rest for the Weary or maybe Aetherflux Reservoir?

Also Sunspring Expedition and Ordeal of Heliod might be interesting but i'd rather keep playing Licia a surprise.

August 12, 2017 7:49 p.m.

Bou says... #15

@ReignBeauxRida: The Outlast creatures would be so much better if you could put a +1/+1 on other creatures, as it is now they only put them on themselves. Abzan Falconer and Mer-Ek Nightblade would be interesting though! The other effects we already have.

@AkaAkuma: Thanks! Soldiers are definitely a good option, I toyed with the idea as well. Favor of the Mighty seems good but you have to keep in mind that protection also means we can't enchant or target her, so we can't give her more counters, the equips still work because they don't have a color.

Rest for the Weary looks pretty good, but you'd ideally want it if they blow up Licia and you need to recast her.. Sunspring Expedition might be good as well for the same reason, just wait a little with sacrificing until you need it. I'm still piecing together the heal spells so I'll put this in the maybeboard :). Ordeal of Heliod on Licia wouldn't work that well..

The problem with lifegain spells is that you need them to help you cast Licia. If she's already there, extra life doesn't really matter because just fighting with her can get you pretty much 10 life a turn. Add in all the other tools we have and you can easily get 100 life. Aetherflux Reservoir at that point, would just be mean hahaha

August 13, 2017 8:25 a.m.

chiri says... #16

I think Serra Ascendant fits nicely here. Same with Archetype of Finality. Deathtouch and lifelink are a great combination.

August 13, 2017 10:22 a.m.

chiri says... #17

With all the Vampire tokens you're making, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet can be your man. Lifelink too!

August 13, 2017 10:24 a.m.

AkaAkuma says... #18

I agree Bou! Still i have to see how well Licia sustains our life. But Favor of the Mighty does not counter Licia's selfpumping ability? I've done quite some more brainstorming and came to the conclusion that Licia actually does not fit the tribal ideas so much, that is Edgar's game. To add to this I miss green haha. but still I want to make it work!

So even though Edgar would profit more from these, Anointed Procession, Coat of Arms and Shared Animosity would help our vampires. "Mynea frian, dark apostle", a card from the upcoming Ixalan expansion also helps with creating tokens. (I forgot about Kalitas! Thanks Chiri)

While not fitting the theme Martyr of Sands, Rhox Faithmender and as mentioned above Serra Ascendant would help throwing Licia out asap. I also might add a Paraselene.

To support Licia's pumping Sunbond, Rings of Brighthearth and Illusionist's Bracers would be good additions.

August 13, 2017 3:56 p.m.

Bou says... #19

Oh Akuma, You're right. Had a bit of a brainfart there but was under the impression you would have to target Licia - which you don't, so it's all good. Edgar Markov is really the Vampire tribal overlord yeah - I don't make that many tokens in this deck. Think it's just Bloodline Keeper and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad that have the potential. Mynea is a nice addition from Ixalan, now that I looked.. so is Sanguine Sacrament. And I thought waiting for C17 was bad :'(.

Chiri! deathtouch and lifelink are certainly formidable! especially when you have first strike too hehe. I'm not sure about adding Serra Ascendant, it's a great 1-drop that is basically a 6/6 always, but it being a monk bothers me a bit - this is just me being petty though! it's a great card. As for Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet.. not a fan of the Zombies. Yes you get them for free, and you can even sac them to make Kalitas stronger, and he's a 3/4 for 4 with lifelink. Tons of value and I should really be playing him.. but I won't, for now.

I was looking for Sunbond, should add more value to our lifegain spells as well.

August 14, 2017 2:51 a.m.

Bou says... #20

Showers are amazing, always get the best realizations.

I'm putting the Serra Ascendant in, it's a potential T3 Licia.

August 14, 2017 3:16 a.m.

greatgoofini says... #21

If you want what is imo a better card than Favor of the Mighty, use Spectra Ward

August 14, 2017 6:13 a.m.

Qolorful says... #22

Unquestioned Authority is a pretty solid card for licia. Evasion that replaces itself is fantastic

August 14, 2017 8:16 a.m.

Bou says... #23

Spectra Ward is a little high on the curve, but it's one-sided and +2/+2.. hmm. Also very pretty.

Unquestioned Authority is perfect! guarantees a clean hit, totally on theme, and you even get a card. Might switch out my helmet for this.

August 14, 2017 8:24 a.m.

Delta-117 says... #24

August 16, 2017 1:55 p.m.

Treehugger003 says... #25

For the voltron theme have you considered adding a Sunforger package?

Late game card draw I am planning to use Erebos, God of the Dead. its indestructable, prevents lifegain for opponents and allows card draw.

Land Tax, and Sword of the Animist work well. I like how land tax can really thin your deck late game.

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim is a bit harder and probably belongs with one of the other commanders but she has great utility. I used to use her as my commnader but she drew sooo much hate.


August 16, 2017 2:33 p.m.

Bou says... #26

I actually started off with a Sunforger but took it out as I kept cutting instants. I'm now considering adding more protection / finisher-copy cards like Reiterate, Reverberate, Wild Ricochet, maybe even Arcbond, so its not a bad idea to re-add the sunforger yeah! that would certainly help.

Big fan of the Sword of the Animist as well, and I've seen Land Tax explode often enough to know it's definitely worth it - I mention it in the "Ramp" section I typed up - but have been thinking lately about getting an older and slightly cheaper version. Erebos, God of the Dead and similarly Greed or Vampiric Rites are quite nice. What bothers me though is the relatively high mana cost for each draw, making it difficult to repeat each turn. I'm obviously okay with paying the life but I need the mana for my other spells. This is why Necropotence is so good, and why I'm considering Ad Nauseam and / or Moonlight Bargain. While these are single cast instants, 5 mana can get so many more cards than the ~ 2 cards Erebos could get you. Greed on the other hand would get you 5 cards so that's pretty much even with Moonlight Bargain. I guess it depends on whether you want the indestructible creature or the extra cards.

At the moment though I'm more or less satisfied with the ramp and would probably try to include the above mentioned red spells first as my group has begun playing a lot more removal lately and I need a way to protect my non-land permanents better. I might cut out some more creatures, but it's getting more and more difficult.

August 18, 2017 8:09 p.m.

chiri says... #27

Odric, Lunarch Marshal would be great for your combat steps. Giving your whole team relevant keyword abilities!

August 19, 2017 2:44 a.m.

Bou says... #28

Yeah that's why he's already in there! ;)

August 19, 2017 5:45 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 1 week
Last updated 1 day
Exclude colors UG
Splash colors R

This deck is not Commander / EDH legal.

Highlight illegal cards
Illegal cards Bloodsworn Steward , Licia, Sanguine Tribune , Mathas, Fiend Seeker, Path of Ancestry
Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.95
Tokens 2/2 Vampire
Folders EDH, daretti, Decks I like, POSSIBLE DECK, nice try, EDH, commander, Commander/EDH, EDH, Insightful Decks
Top rank #4 on 2017-08-20
Based on
Views 2432

Revision 9 (1 day ago)

+1 Reiterate maybe
+1 Shunt maybe
+1 Suffer the Past maybe
+1 Arcbond maybe
+1 Reverberate maybe
+1 Reroute maybe
+1 Wild Ricochet maybe
+1 Increasing Vengeance maybe

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