Maybeboard


Hello everyone, and thanks for viewing.

This deck evolved from the stock 2017 Commander prepacked deck (Vampiric Bloodlust). Obviously, it has been heavily modified, but I am quite surprised at how well it has worked out. This deck wins a LOT of games!!

Vampires are an especially interesting choice for a tribal deck because they have been in the game for over 25 years. During that time a seemingly endless selection of Vampires have been introduced - most with some cool little ability. Further, every new set that comes out seems to have a couple of interesting new Vampires worthy of consideration. This variety keeps the deck fresh and interesting and provides endless possibilities depending on the Vampires you choose for your own deck.

I realize that I tend to attach large "Maybeboards" to many of my decks which may seem ridiculous to some, but I find it helpful as I play test and ponder new ideas. Hopefully, it also helps others to have a handy list of the most commonly used cards for a given deck archetype readily available in one location. Think of it as a template as you begin to design your own Vampire deck.

This deck is ever evolving and I am always interested (and grateful) to hear from others on potential improvements. Thanks!!


Once I decide that I am going to construct a new deck around a given archetype (i.e. tribal, affinity, combo, control, mill, etc.) and flavours (i.e. Vampires, Slivers, weenie, stompy, etc.); my first thought is, "What game mechanics do I want to incorporate to create a deck that is fresh, fun, interesting, and reasonably competitive?"

Once I have a general idea what I want, my next thought is, "How am I going to win the game?". From there I begin considering my Wincons and studying what cards will take me to my desired end state.

When building a deck, I feel it is important that one can quickly and easily articulate a purpose/reason/mission for each and every card in the deck. Trying to decide what to pull when considering a new card for the deck should be a painful experience.


Typically, when I decide to construct a new deck, I consider how I want to win the game very early in the deck building process. This deck was a little different as it evolved over time from a prepackaged deck - essentially, the Wincons evolved along with the deck itself.

WINCONS:

  1. Assembling, pumping, and augmenting a large Vampire horde and kicking butt.

  2. Through direct damage to my opponents via ETB, LTB, Attack, and State Based effects.

  3. Malakir Bloodwitch

  4. One of several Infinite Combo possibilities.

  5. A combination of any of the above.

This is an aggressive, go wide, tribal deck designed to provide the tools to quickly get a formidable Vampire horde on the board; which I then take to my opponent's front door for lunch.

Every creature in the deck is a Vampire. It is faster than most Edgar Markov EDH decks, but I have seen a few cool builds that are faster. The relatively low cmc average allows me to control the tempo of the game in most cases.

The deck is loaded with cards providing devastating Enter the Battlefield (ETB), Leave the Battlefield (LTB), Attack, and State Based effects. Building the board to take advantage of same is a large piece of the overall deck strategy.

This deck was assembled with an eye towards doing battle with my opponents. However, the deck also holds potential for a few nice combos which can turn into Wincons.

I never keep a hand with no lands

RESOURCING THE HORDE:

Obtaining a steady supply of and in the early game is paramount; plan the use of fetchlands accordingly. In all likelihood will just happen naturally. I seldom need in the first few turns and I usually do fine with only 2-4 sources for the entire game.

Besides having an advanced Land base, the deck contains some of the best Mana Rocks (Artifacts) in the game such as Arcane Signet , Chromatic Lantern , Mana Crypt , Mox Diamond , and Sol Ring . Rarely do I get mana hosed!! Phyrexian Altar provides mana ramp while doubling as a creature sacrifice outlet and a KEY combo piece. Herald's Horn pays dividends by reducing the casting cost of all Vampires by . The earlier I can get it on the board, the greater the benefit!

Several cards allow me to draw cards to maintain card advantage over my opponents. For example, equip one of Edgar's tokens with Skullclamp to draw two cards. Phyrexian Arena , Night's Whisper , Read the Bones , Sign in Blood , Herald's Horn , and Underworld Connections also provide significant card advantage. Viscera Seer , Path of Ancestry , and Vampire Nocturnus fill multiple roles, one being top deck manipulation to stack the deck to get a useful card on the next draw.

For Tutors, I have included Diabolic Intent , Demonic Tutor , Vampiric Tutor and Forerunner of the Legion in the deck. I use them to bring out the cards I need, when I need them most.

Fetchlands and Tutors also serve to force a shuffle if I am unhappy with the card(s) currently loaded at the top of my Library.

ASSEMBLING THE HORDE:

The whole point of appointing Edgar Markov to command the horde is his ability to generate a 1/1 Vampire Creature token every time you cast a Vampire spell. This ability triggers even if Edgar Markov is still in the Command Zone. For purposes of timing in the stack, it is important to know that Edgar's token actually enters the Battlefield BEFORE the Vampire that triggered the creation of said token. The token enters the Battlefield even if the Vampire spell is successfully countered and does not resolve. Bloodline Keeper   and Sorin, Lord of Innistrad also have abilities which generate Vampire tokens to add to your board. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet turns my opponent's dying Creatures into 2/2 Zombie tokens under my control. Kalitas does not care how my opponent's creature died - he exiles the creature and creates the Zombie token even if I had no part in the destruction of the creature.

In the early game, the Vampire tokens provide cheap blockers and sacrificial fodder as I amass my forces. Moving into the midgame, the tokens themselves can be pumped to levels my opponents are not able to compete against.

Malakir Bloodwitch can be a Wincon once a sizable Vampire army is on the Battlefield. Bouncing her back to my hand with Scapegoat or Cloudstone Curio to be recast can just plain have my opponents scooping their cards! Note that there are ways to bring her back from the Graveyard as well. As you calculate the number of Vampires you have on the board for Malakir Bloodwitch 's ETB effect, don't forget to include the token Edgar generates upon casting Malakir Bloodwitch while she is still on the stack.

When needed, don't hesitate to use Tutors to bring specific Vampires into the game from your Library. Most of the Tutors can bring any card into the game, but Forerunner of the Legion can only bring in a fellow Vampire.

FORCE PROTECTION:

There are quite a few removal spells included in the deck to help bring a viable horde to bear as early in the game as possible. Hopefully, cards such as Crackling Doom , Vindicate , Anguished Unmaking , Swords to Plowshares , and Urge to Feed will successfully disrupt your opponents long enough to allow you to develop the Battlefield in your favour. Patron of the Vein and Gatekeeper of Malakir each remove an opponent's creature as they enter the Battlefield and Vona, Butcher of Magan also has a Permanent removal ability, though he is very expensive (perhaps too expensive) to get on the board and to use. When it comes time to clean house, Toxic Deluge is probably the best board wipe in the EDH format.

I try to use mana provided by Cavern of Souls when casting key Vampire spells so they can not be countered by my opponents.

Reconnaissance is an incredible card in any deck with attack triggers (such as Edgar Markov , Sanctum Seeker , and Drana, Liberator of Malakir ), and doubly so in a deck with a go wide strategy, such as Vampires. Reconnaissance 's ability doesn't prevent damage that has already been dealt, it just removes the creature from combat (after which it can't deal or receive damage, hence the reminder text). To put the card to best use, attack with all your creatures (even a 0/1). Once your opponent has assigned blockers, untap any attackers facing an immediate lethal threat. After first strike damage is dealt, but before the normal combat damage step, untap any creatures still in peril (great with Stromkirk Captain and Drana, Liberator of Malakir ). Finally, untap any remaining creatures after normal combat damage is dealt, but before the combat phase ends. This plan will leave you with all creatures intact, untapped and ready to block or activate abilities (such as Captivating Vampire ).

In most cases, I hold Teferi's Protection and Scapegoat in reserve for that moment when someone (perhaps Me) casts a board wipe.

FORCE MULTIPLIERS:

EVERY time Edgar Markov attacks, he permanently pumps the entire horde by +1/+1. Likewise, Drana, Liberator of Malakir permanently pumps her fellow attackers by +1/+1. Indulgent Aristocrat pumps the entire horde as a sac outlet and Cordial Vampire does the same via his LTB effect. Also as an LTB effect, Patron of the Vein permanently pumps the entire horde each time an opponent's Creature dies and Rakish Heir does likewise for Vampires which deal combat damage to an opponent. Sorin, Lord of Innistrad 's -2 ability provides a permanent power boost to all Vampires as well. Other cards, such as Vampire Nocturnus , Stromkirk Captain , Captivating Vampire and Forerunner of the Legion , pump one or more Vampires as long as said card is on the board or until the end of the current turn or as long as specific conditions are met. In short, a small group of Vampire weenies can, very quickly, become a VERY formidable force.

With Tribal decks common in the Commander format, Coat of Arms is a duel edged sword which you may, or may not, decide to deploy. While it will bring awesome power to your horde, keep in mind that it affects ALL creatures, so your opponents may also receive significant benefit when it is on the Battlefield. Shared Animosity also pumps the horde to insane levels but only MY attacking Vampires gain the benefit.

A general theme of the Vampire tribe is to slowly suck the life from your opponents and transfer that life to your own life force. Drana's Emissary personifies the concept with her state based effect. Cruel Celebrant , Blood Artist , and Falkenrath Noble exercise the same mechanic as an LTB effect. Malakir Bloodwitch employs the idea as an ETB effect and Sanctum Seeker projects the mechanic to ALL of my Vampires via an attack effect.

Cliffhaven Vampire holds to this theme by dealing damage when you gain life from another source such as the previously mentioned cards or Creatures with Lifelink.

Lifelink is a static ability which, on a 1:1 basis, adds to your life total any time a Creature with the ability deals ANY kind of damage to any target. In my deck, cards with Lifelink include Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet , Indulgent Aristocrat , Vampire Nighthawk , Nighthawk Scavenger and Vona, Butcher of Magan . Tokens created via Sorin, Lord of Innistrad 's +1 ability all have Lifelink as a static ability as well. Make these Lifelink cards prime targets when you pump the force before damage is dealt.

Another Vampirish theme is Deathtouch. ANY damage dealt by a Creature with Deathtouch, to another Creature, destroys the receiving Creature; the damage does NOT have to be combat damage. This can be useful because it allows even a 1/1 Creature to destroy a Creature with vastly greater Power and Toughness. Your 1/1 may also die, but not before doing devastating damage to an opponent's board. This reality acts as a form of Creature removal and tends to force your opponents to think twice before initiating combat against the Vampire horde. The only cards I am currently running with Deathtouch are Vampire Nighthawk and Nighthawk Scavenger .

Vault of the Archangel is a land with the very cool, but rather expensive, ability to grant both Deathtouch and Lifelink to my entire force. In the later game, this can be a game changing weapon when used either offensively or defensively.

Though I am not going to list every card, quite a few of my Vamps have Flying; greatly increasing the probability that they will get through any blockers to inflict their damage on my opponents. Conditionally, Vampire Nocturnus can grant Flying to the entire Vampire horde which can be a game ender in the later turns.

Edgar Markov , Drana, Liberator of Malakir , and Stromkirk Captain each have First Strike as an inherent static ability. As long as Stromkirk Captain is on the battlefield, ALL of my Vampires have First Strike!!

The only card in the deck with Flash is Bloodcrazed Paladin . Casting this card at a well timed moment (say following a major board wipe) can easily render the Paladin as one of the best 2-drop Creatures in the game.

Throughout this Primer I champion the importance of triggering ETB/LTB effects as an integral piece of the overall deck strategy. The current list of cards with LTB effects are Cruel Celebrant , Blood Artist , Falkenrath Noble , Blade of the Bloodchief and Cordial Vampire . The only card currently in the deck with a recurring ETB effect is Impact Tremors .

Creature sacrifice outlets are important in a deck with lots of LTB effects to ensure those effects get triggered as often as possible. A Vampire deck, with lots of tokens for sacrificial fodder, is a perfect place to utilize this game mechanic. To fill the need in this deck, I included Indulgent Aristocrat , Viscera Seer , Phyrexian Altar , and Yahenni, Undying Partisan . Skullclamp can also act as a sac outlet in the early game when the tokens on the battlefield are 1/1 Vampires.

I put Scapegoat and Cloudstone Curio into the deck to bounce low cmc Vampires back to my hand to be recast to trigger additional ETB effects and gain more tokens - of course as tokens are created, they trigger still another round of ETB effects.

REINFORCEMENTS:

Cards, such as Yawgmoth's Will , Phyrexian Reclamation , and Volrath's Stronghold are included in the deck to bring my Vampires (and other cards) back from the Graveyard. Buried Ruin is in the deck to return any key artifact (say Phyrexian Altar ) from the Graveyard.

Captivating Vampire , Olivia Voldaren , and New Blood add insult to injury by turning my opponent's creatures into Vampires and bringing them under my control. It always tickles me to whomp my opponents with their own critters.

I realize there are many differing opinions about "Sideboards" in the EDH format.

I am currently using the Sideboard to hold cards which I am play testing and/or want to move into the main deck.


This section is updated frequently - feel free to check back often.
If you have ideas to include in this section please leave a comment.

My goal here is to create a useful reference presenting as many Vampire themed combos as I can identify in an organized format. My deck does not necessarily contain every card needed for every combo.

Infinite Vampires / Infinite Mana (All Colours) / Infinite ETB & LTB Effects

  1. Herald's Horn + Oathsworn Vampire + Phyrexian Altar
    The one big caveat to this combo is that it will only work during a turn, not necessarily YOUR turn, but during a turn in which you somehow gain life prior to the step where you cast Oathsworn Vampire from your graveyard. Assuming such is the case; sacrifice Oathsworn Vampire to Phyrexian Altar for . Casting Oathsworn Vampire from the graveyard will only cost the you just generated thanks to Herald's Horn . A new 1/1 Vampire token also comes onto the Battlefield courtesy of Edgar Markov . Repeat, repeat, repeat,,, If you find yourself needing mana, sac a few of your infinite tokens to the Altar as well.

  2. Oathsworn Vampire + Pawn of Ulamog + Phyrexian Altar
    Likewise, this combo also requires that you have somehow gained life during the course of the current turn. Sacrifice Oathsworn Vampire to your Altar for . Pawn of Ulamog triggers to create an Eldrazi Spawn token. Sacrifice the Eldrazi token for . Spend both mana to cast Oathsworn Vampire from your graveyard and gain a new Vampire token from Edgar Markov . If you find yourself needing mana, sac a few of your infinite tokens to the Altar.

Infinite ETB & LTB Effects:

  1. Cloudstone Curio + Phyrexian Altar + two 1 cmc Vampires
    Cast your 1 cmc Vampire from anywhere. It will be PRECEDED onto the Battlefield by one of Edgar's 1/1 tokens. Use Cloudstone Curio 's ability to immediately return the OTHER 1 cmc creature from the Battlefield to your hand. Sacrifice the newly gained token at the Phyrexian Altar to add 1 mana of the colour required by the 1 cmc Vampire just bounced to your hand. Recast the 1 cmc Vampire from your hand. Repeat as many times as necessary. As the Vamps and tokens enter the Battlefield, all ETB effects will trigger. Generally speaking, LTB effects will trigger only as you sac the token as the Vampire being returned to your hand does not "die".

Infinite Power/Toughness for your Creatures:

  1. Any of the above combos + ( Blade of the Bloodchief or Cordial Vampire )

Infinite Damage:

  1. Any of the above combos + ( Cruel Celebrant or Blood Artist or Impact Tremors or Falkenrath Noble )

  2. Exquisite Blood + ( Sanguine Bond or Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose )

Infinite Damage / Infinite Life / Infinite ETB & LTB Effects:

  1. Oathsworn Vampire + Phyrexian Altar + ( Cruel Celebrant or Blood Artist or Falkenrath Noble )
    Upon casting Oathsworn Vampire you will also gain a Vampire token via Edgar Markov 's ability. Sacrifice Oathsworn Vampire and the token to Phyrexian Altar for two mana. Blood Artist (et al) will trigger to drain two life from target opponent(s) and you gain two life. Use your two mana to cast Oathsworn Vampire from your graveyard and gain a new token,,, wash, rinse, and repeat until game over. If you have somehow gained life earlier in the turn, then Impact Tremors can also finish the game in Blood Artist 's slot.

Creature Destruction:

  1. Grave Pact + Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet + Viscera Seer + another Creature

WEAKNESSES:

STRENGTHS:

UPGRADES UNDER CONSIDERATION:

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Date added 1 year
Last updated 6 days
Key combos
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 2 Mythic Rares

48 - 3 Rares

27 - 4 Uncommons

8 - 1 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.66
Tokens 1/1 Vampire, 2/2 Vampire, 2/2 Zombie, */* Vampire, 1/1 Vampire, Sorin
Folders Commander, EDH, Dad’s Decks, EDH, Vampires
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Revision 7 See all

6 days ago)