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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Creature — Vampire
Ascend (If you control ten or more permanents, you get the city's blessing for the rest of the game.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have the city's blessing, reveal the top card of your library and put it into your hand. Each opponent loses X life and you gain X life, where X is that card's converted mana cost.
1 month ago
Predators' Hour, Damnation, Twilight Prophet, Drana, Liberator of Malakir, Blasphemous Act, Mind Stone, Fire Diamond, Call the Bloodline, Flameshadow Conjuring, Vampire of the Dire Moon, Reflections of Littjara, Feed the Swarm, Thassa, Deep-Dwelling, Nullpriest of Oblivion, Champion of Dusk, Ghostly Flicker, Essence Flux, Displace, Bedevil, Rakdos Charm, Malakir Rebirth Flip, Teferi's Time Twist, Reality Shift, Pongify, Hurl Through Hell, Illusionist's Stratagem, Olivia's Wrath, Kindred Dominance
1 month ago
NV_1980, thank you! I do think that Welcoming Vampire would be a great addition, and I might try to squeeze in Twilight Prophet, too. The only issue is that both my Welcoming Vampires are in other decks, just like my Prophet!
1 month ago
Great deck; love the approach of using many cheap-to-cast vampires to overwhelm the opposition. Right now the deck contains 7 card-draw options for you, though I should point out a few of these are one-shot deals. I think there are possibilities to increase the deck's speed even more by adding just a few more reliable (repeatable) card-draw options. I would recommend a few from the following: Welcoming Vampire, Twilight Prophet, Florian, Voldaren Scion, Phyrexian Arena, Greed.
Good luck with this brew, looks fun.
1 month ago
I have a friend that ran Markov who had a similar problem. Due to the nature of the deck you drop all of your creatures and kill one player. His solution was to transition to a mid-range strategy. Simply put he would cast early game threats to put pressure on other players, but they didn't win him the game or kill a player, so that he could win the game on later turns. Since I don't know how you are losing I'll put forward a few ways players stop Markov decks and how to counter those strategies.
First, are players killing you when all of you creatures are tapped down? Keep some of your creatures back as blockers, this is obvious and the strategy goes against how agro players operate in most formats but is needed in multiplayer environments. Along the same lines are white spells that can untap all of your creatures on other players turns like Battle Cry and Call to Glory leading to fun combat tricks to kill off important creatures and more importantly save your life total.
Second, are players board wiping constantly to knock down your board state? This was the problem my friend had and after two board wipes he would be out of cards in hand with no board state top decking hoping for some sort of Windfall. There are a few ways to counter this which can be focused on individually or can be mixed for similar results. Making it so your creatures don't die is one method featuring spells like Boros Charm and Teferi's Protection. Another is mass reanimation spells like Faith's Reward, Patriarch's Bidding and Living Death. Finally are flexible spells that essentially replace the creatures you lost. Those being Reprocess, Plumb the Forbidden or Village Rites.
Third, playing politics. Like you said there is not much stopping the rest of the table from ganging up on you, you can however influence other players decisions based on how you play and how others at your table play as well. Hold back threats, it's tempting to dump your hand and start swinging but as you mentioned this makes you a huge target. Instead put down a Coat of Arms or another value spell and hold the rest of your mana open for interaction, which leads to my next point interaction. You have some of the best removal spells in the game in your colors like Fracture,Dreadbore, Anguished Unmaking and Swords to Plowshares all of which are great bargaining chips to use as favors for other players, as well as being useful to take care of things causing problems for you. Last of all are less card choices but more how you address the table, having a good pokerface helps a lot with this. At the start of the game address the commanders others are playing and talk to the group about the powerful synergies they employ. Whenever an important combo or synergy price is played by an opponent point it out to the other players and if it's very strong stress it needs to be dealt with, which may incline the other players to use spells on it, reducing what they can use against you and making it so you don't have to deal with the problem. When a Tutor is cast discuss what spell the player could be gettng, this will draw attention to them and away from you. Finally when players address your board shift focus away from it, point out another player with the winning board state or the deck that won the last game. Downplay that you are a threat until you are ready to win the game. Keep in mind you are still an agro deck, so you can always lean into dumping your hand to kill a player fast if the game match up calls for it.
This final section is just general deck construction. Vampire selection: make sure you vampires are doing more that entering the battlefield to create an extra Vampire through eminence. Things like Blood Artist and Viscera Seer give value when opponents interact with the board and thing like Twilight Prophet draws cards. There are also the vampire lords that buff all of your vampires and tokens. Things that have synergy with your strategy are good includes too like Sanguine Bond, Impact Tremors or Goblin Bombardment and go a long way. Finally is "normal" card advantage that doesn't rely on you having vampires out and will shine in the early game as well as add value late game, Greed, Phyrexian Arena and Wheel of Misfortune.
I hope some of my thoughts help you work out a good game plan.
2 months ago
As far as vampires, Cordial Vampire, Necropolis Regent, and Forerunner of the Legion are cheap. I'm also a massive fan of Bloodline Keeper Flip and Twilight Prophet if you think they're worth the money.
2 months ago
@IHATENAMES - I agree that I could use more interaction. I've cut boardwipes right now as more of an experiment but I could use more targeted removal.
Card draw I've been happy with but I'm always after suggestions if you have something not listed below in mind? I run 8 cards that draw, 3 that exile stuff for me to play, and 4 of the best tutors for redundancy. I currently run Esper Sentinel, Mangara, the Diplomat, Twilight Prophet, Tymna the Weaver, Welcoming Vampire, Necropotence, Phyrexian Arena, and Skullclamp for draw and Tectonic Giant, Jeska's Will, and Cunning Rhetoric for play from exile.
3 months ago
Thank you for the suggestions Last_Laugh, I appreciate them. I have considered most of the cards you suggested here. At the very least, I may need one more repeatable draw effect, but I am still determining what feels best as a I play the deck. Here are my thoughts on your suggestions:
Esper Sentinel - I currently own one copy, which I'm utilizing in my Osgir, the Reconstructor deck. I think Osgir and the artifact synergies there can make a bit more use out of Esper Sentinel. Even in the games I've played Sentinel in that deck, it hasn't felt like much of a deterrent beyond Turn 3, and my play group usually pays the , unless I have multiple Sentinel copies out, thanks to Osgir.
Strionic Resonator - I can definitely see the utility for it, but to me it feels a bit "win more". In the games I've played so far, I haven't really felt like I was lacking for attack triggers. I could see it being like a "backup" Isshin in some cases, but haven't had much issue with Isshin being a removal target yet. I'm also not a fan of paying into activated abilities if I don't have to. I prefer to leave at least 1-3 mana up for instant speed interaction/removal once I can afford to do so.
Tilonalli's Summoner - Similarly to Strionic Resonator, I left this out of initial drafts of my deck because I didn't want to pay mana into an activated ability, when I could be leaving that mana open for removal/interaction. Pacing wise, it also feels awkward to me: Turn 2 Tilonalli's Summoner, Turn 3 cast Isshin but won't have mana for summoner, Turn 4 swing with the Summoner and pump it but not have mana for any of the cool options in the 4 mana spots. I think most of the Token producers already in the deck can produce 2-6 tokens when Isshin is on board, and 1-3 without.
Mardu Ascendancy - It's a fun card that I have considered as another token generator, and as a one time defensive buff. I have excluded it so far because I generally like the other token producers I have a bit better. I also have a weird personal rule for 3 color decks, where the commander is the only spell with all 3 colors. Even with a well-balanced manabase, I don't want many other multi-color spells ever falling risk to not being able to cast them.
Twilight Prophet - I have a copy and used to run it in a Token/Artistocrats Alesha, Who Smiles at Death build. So I recently removed Phyrexian Arena and Mangara, the Diplomat from this deck. Mangara wasn't much of a deterrent, and my friends either attacked me with 1 creature, or only played 1 spell per turn to get around his clauses. I removed Arena because its pacing felt too clunky for the deck, and didn't feel great to play beyond turn 4-5, when I'd have to wait an entire turn rotation to get 1 extra card. During turns 2-3, Arena felt like it competed with ramp, early 2 drop creatures, or getting Isshin online Turn 3. To me, Twilight Prophet feels somewhere in between Phyrexian Arena and Mangara in terms of pacing and effect. Twilight Prophet has a decent ceiling for extra draw and hurting my opponents, but is dependent on having a sizeable board state for Ascend, and protecting that board state. Knowing my play group's tendency to boardwipe and whittle down growing boards and having played Twilight Prophet before, I don't think it will be super viable, but I'll keep it in mind.
I'm generally a fan of the draw effects I currently have like Night's Whisper, Plumb the Forbidden, and deadly Deadly Dispute because they are reliable and can scale in some cases. I'm not super worried about draw because my play group has a house rule where the person going last in turn order becomes The Monarch at the end of their 3rd turn.
3 months ago
Mardu Ascendancy 100% deserves a spot. Strionic Resonator allows us to triple an attack trigger. I'd also suggest more repeatable draw over the one-time sorceries... stuff like Twilight Prophet and Esper Sentinel. Tilonalli's Summoner can spit out a lot of tokens (yeah, he doesn't work well with double triggers, but still...).
Feel free to check out my list for ideas. Upvotes on any of my decks are appreciated. Isshin - Army of Darkness