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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Creature — Vampire Knight
Whenever a Vampire you control attacks, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
1 month ago
2 months ago
NerdPounder: I like pretty much all of your suggestions! =D
Vampire Socialite & Falkenrath Pit Fighter both used to be in the deck. They were actually both cut in favour of the instant speed draw spells (Village Rites, etc.), as I often found I pretty much always have creatures to sacrifice, but didn't always have cards to discard. The instant speed draw is pretty nice to have in response to board wipes as well, but since then I've also added Pact of the Serpent and Phyrexian Arena, so perhaps I don't need them anymore.
There are a few life gain decks in my playgroup which was the inspiration for the inclusion of Sorin Markov, but you're right that he doesn't really add any value beyond that. Probably he'll be replaced with Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord.
Smothering Tithe is just a really solid card, and really good with Anointed Procession, but you're right that it is distracting from my strategy and could likely be cut. Olivia Voldaren is definitely in that camp as well. In the couple months this deck has been together I've cast her a number of times but have never activated her lol.
I do disagree about cutting Vicious Conquistador, though. Between it and Pulse Tracker in combination with Impact Tremors, Purphoros, God of the Forge and Sanctum Seeker they can really help with piling on damage over the course of the game.
I used to use Legion's Landing Flip when Ixalan was in Standard but had kind of forgotten this card existed haha, good call! Adanto Vanguard was also in that same deck, and it was a really great beater with great sticking power. I think it's going to find a home here as well.
Thanks again for all the great suggestions and the upvote! =)
2 months ago
Wow! I haven’t seen either of those yet! I appreciate the suggestions. I’m curious though. I see what Reconnaissance does at surface level but I get the feeling I’m missing something obvious.
Also, Sanctum Seeker is perfect.
2 months ago
Have you considered Reconnaissance?
And for me, any vampire swarm is improved by adding Sanctum Seeker!
5 months ago
Hey, good start and budget Vampire version of Olivia.
Consider getting the Crimson Vow Vampiric Bloodline Commander precon? The precon would be a fine start at upgrading your Vampires and has many staple cards for Commander such as Command Tower and Arcane Signet. What all precons lack however is a good basic casual Commander deck structure to start a deck with:
- 36 lands (Command Tower)
- 25+ creatures (Necropolis Regent)
- 10+ ramp sources (Arcane Signet)
- 10+ draw sources (Champion of Dusk)
- 10- removal (Anowon, the Ruin Sage)
Not all areas of a deck are covered in this structure example just the basics and of course these numbers can change as you're deck building. Some cards can cover many areas which is what you really want with cards you choose to play especially in this case Vampires.
Vampire upgrades in Vampiric Bloodline: Patron of the Vein, Necropolis Regent, Anowon, the Ruin Sage, Champion of Dusk, Butcher of Malakir, Crossway Troublemakers, Stromkirk Captain, Sanctum Seeker, Cordial Vampire, Rakish Heir, Indulgent Aristocrat, Malakir Bloodwitch, Bloodtracker, Vampire Nighthawk, Falkenrath Noble, Blood Artist.
Other good nonVampire cards in Vampiric Bloodline: Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, Command Tower, Olivia's Wrath, Vandalblast, Stensia Masquerade, Swiftfoot Boots, Rakdos Signet, Blasphemous Act, Feed the Swarm, Rakdos Charm, Night's Whisper, Commander's Sphere, Tainted Peak, Unclaimed Territory, Exotic Orchard, Path of Ancestry, Smoldering Marsh, Foreboding Ruins, Shadowblood Ridge, Temple of Malice.
Of course you don't have to get the precon, but in doing so you get a lot of cards at one time. I listed many cards that would be upgrades to pick and choose from if you would rather do that, if at all. If interested I offer more advice in another comment.
Good luck with your deck.
6 months ago
I have built five different orzhov commander decks in my time playing magic. Whenever dipping into standard, I generally find myself running this pairing. There are a number of reasons for that. Orzhov ties the White life total surplus with the Black propensity to use life as a resource, essentially minting your own money. Adding White widens Black’s tight focus on creature removal to cover almost everything. It gives you access to creature tokens that you can either use with White or abuse with Black. Perhaps most importantly, it offers a profound level of synergy between all three relationships. There is a lot on offer here, and the commanders illustrate that.
I may well be discussing more powerhouse commanders here than in any article to date. Orzhov has delightful themes to it, and almost too obvious. There are ten commanders in this pairing that create or boost creature tokens in some way, nearly twenty that have lifelink or an interaction with life. This, out of only 33 valid Orzhov commanders: believe me, there's a fantastic roster that didn't make the article. However, I’ll not be discussing these themes directly: they’re so intrinsic to the pairing that discussing them is nigh redundant. Instead, let’s get a little more granular and talk about interactions that are specific to these pairings, which I’ve fondly titled Death, Taxes, and Vindication. As always, please bear in mind that our focus here is not necessarily competitive but rather on thematic, archetypical commanders.
For those of you who don’t follow the lore, Orzhov is also called the Guild of Deals: essentially, a bank specializing in the harvest of souls as collateral for their predatory lending practices. Two of the keywords on Orzhov cards reflect that: Afterlife gives you souls after death, and Haunt, well, lives up to its name. Thematically, every time something dies the Orzhov player should be getting their cut, and these generals are experts at seeing you make bank.
Starting this theme with a bang, Second Athreos is a favorite of mine. Yes, you can steal your opponent’s critters, but there are so many fun things you can bring to the party yourself. Consider the consequences of repeatedly sacrificing your own Kokusho, the Evening Star, Sun Titan, or Ashen Rider. The counter ability goes on the stack, so it pairs beautifully with things like the Whip of Erebos. Dig up some ways to cheaply recur your guys for a turn, only to have Athreos cheat the deal? That’s making the system work for you!
For those of you inclined toward commander damage but still keen on killing stuff, I submit to you Elenda. There is a fair collection of cards like Divine Reckoning in White that will turbocharge the lady while leaving her intact, and once you reach that point killing her becomes a frightening prospect for your opponents. Don’t believe me? Consider the cost of killing her, only to see the pilot drop a Sanctum Seeker.
We can’t discuss this theme without talking about at least one version of Teysa, and it's a doozy. All the death triggers you can pack into an Orzhov deck, and there are a lot of them, get turbocharged when Teysa is out. Grave Pact effects, Blood Artist and that entire collection of pain, Bishop of Wings and all the accompanying angelic bullshitery. This is TERRIBLE. I love it.
There are a lot of ways to death-by-a-thousand-cuts someone. Goblin Bombardment, Ayara, First of Locthwain, Walking Ballista. White doesn’t have the option of itself, but does lead in forcing opponents to pay extra to play the game. In a word, Staxs. Black has the unique attribute of stealing life from opponents. Combining these is where things get both hilarious and hateful, by which I mean that you force opponents to pay life for the pleasure of playing with you. Whether your favorite approach to the game is predatory capitalism, you’re on a quest to micromanage the table’s life total, or seek to win via “stop hitting yourself,” Orzhov is the safe bet.
Shame on you. Fie, and shame (I don’t really mean it: I love the tactics here). I don’t think I need to go into detail in making this work: the bastard all but sings of forcing opponents to make bad, bad choices. The worst part is wording on the final line: target opponent. Screw you in particular, chosen target.
Both less and far more direct than Athreos. Creature-heavy decks won’t mind so much, but Blue players are going to weep tears of blood if they can’t get this guy off the board. The lifegain is a very nice touch, giving players who lean toward lifegames more material to work with.
Ok, real talk. When I read the lore behind Liesa, the already smoldering dislike I had for Avacyn went up like a bonfire: I had to wait years for this luminous beast to hit the roster just because the archangel of Innistrad doesn’t approve of getting one’s hands dirty, the hypocritical vampire barbie. Paying life instead of commander tax would be a joke to either color in the right context. With both, it’s beneath notice, as is dealing with Liesa’s triggered effect. Other decks, though, will not be happy at all.
I’m going to be quiet now, because I adore this card and you don’t need to hear about it.
The oldest card with the text “Destroy target permanent” isn’t Vindicate, it’s actually Desert Twister (if my five minutes of research is correct). There are only twenty-two legal cards with those exact words, and they are all more convoluted, expensive, or both. Vindicate, though, has served as a paragon of cheap, efficient removal for twenty years. Three mana to knock absolutely anything off the board is a great deal, and even knock-off, caveated parallels like Beast Within or Anguished Unmaking are staples in the game. Orzhov has stood by its trendsetter and even set up a few commanders with parallel effects on a stick, though even the meanest justifiably added the condition “non-land.”
Here’s another example of the intrinsic relationship between Orzhov, creature tokens, and lifegain. Spam tokens and token embiggeners like Ghoulcaller Gisa, Coat of Arms, and Cathars' Crusade. If you don’t slaughter the board by going wide with your piebald weenies, exile the board instead. And, at two mana for a 2/3 deathtouch creature, Ayli’s wonderfully accessible.
Karl is a little too mean and repetitive for my taste. I built him, but I didn’t like it. To be just, compared to other decks I put through that process he had a frightening winning streak. The profusion of recuring tiny lifegains in Orzhov can quickly turn Karl into a monster, and a sprinkling of evasion ends games right quick. The removal is almost unnecessary. Almost. Like Ayli, he only costs two mana, but unlike Ayli nobody will see Karl hit the field and handle it with anything like grace.
This guy’s a little calmer, costing more than twice the others and requiring a tap AND seven life to blow up something. However, he’s also immediately usable, lack of haste notwithstanding, and paying life won’t hurt an Orzhov player nearly so much as their opponents keeping lynchpin cards. Also, you don’t have to pay mana, so if you can take repeated use on the chin you can absolutely wreck house with the Thornbite Staff, some tokens, and an aristocrat of some sort.
And, for my personal favorite…
This is a departure from my usual favorites: I love the mythology behind the card but disdain the card itself. I want this to work, but have trouble seeing a way forward that would satisfy me as a player: you can only say “thornbite staff” so many times before it starts getting stale. Crunchwise, the tap attached to all three abilities is ruinous. Maybe if the first ability was a boardwide ETB effect, or triggered boardwide at the beginning of your upkeep? They measure the fates of ALL THINGS, and keeping the second two tap effects would keep it reasonable, right? Maybe parallel Zacama, Primal Calamity/Shattergang Brothers and raise the costs of the second abilities, or go hard into flavor and make the first triple partner legends: one to spin, one to measure, and one to cut, just like the myths. I like that idea! could even make some sort of assembly line, like the station cycle!
But with old, warty women... Eh, I’m no designer, but I can comfortably say they didn’t do the fates justice here.
Whinging about rules text aside, building this solely for flavor’s sake would be a fantastic bit of fun and, as I’ve said, I’ve always enjoyed the multicultural mythos behind three women knitting humanity’s fate into being.
That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back soon for Izzet!
8 months ago
Vampire Nocturnus is strong finisher on his own - with you normally being able to win very quickly after he comes down (topcard dependant), another reason I don’t think you need Mirri.
If you can run Fatal Push go for it - a playset would be perfect. I only didn’t suggest them in my first post as i’d suspected they might be above this decks budget. But they are defo worth playing if you can field them.
I’d suggest not wasting killspells targeting your own stuff though. If you’re really wanting to kill your own dude, you’re better off including a sac outlet like Viscera Seer.
As far as Sanctum Seeker and Sanguine Bond, they don’t look great. Modern is a super fast format, so decks without ramp are unlikely to run more than 4 cards in the cmc4 slot, and nothing higher than this. These cards just look clunky and not a good use of that premium “top-cmc-slot”, especially when Vampire Nocturnus is decent and already taking up that cmc4 position.
8 months ago
Any opinions on Vampire Nocturnus? Seems like a fun card, but I’m not sure how reliable it’d be in a more competitive situation. I also like the look of Sanctum Seeker, maybe paired with Sanguine Bond?