Innistrad: Crimson Vow is now available on Magic Online and MTG: Arena! The first deck on many of our minds will be Standard Vampire tribal. Let’s go over some of the Constructed-quality Vampires from the new set.
Henrika Domnathi is one of the cards I’m most excited to play with out of Crimson Vow. I’ve already written a Preview Highlight on this legendary Vampire, which you can find here:
Sorin, the Mirthless is one of the premier planeswalkers of the new set. He’s a natural fit in a Vampire tribal deck, while also able to build card advantage and staying power into any strategy. I particularly like the idea of diversifying threats in case creature sweepers wind up being popular. In my opinion, Sorin can be either a main deck or a sideboard card.
I haven’t heard much chatter about Bloodvial Purveyor, as it’s seemingly been eclipsed by the other mythics and rares available at the same mana cost. However, I have to say that I’m impressed by this card. A 5/6 flying, trample is no joke. Nothing in Standard can fight Purveyor in combat, and it can kill both planeswalkers and players extremely quickly.
Ostensibly, helping the opponent generate Blood tokens is a significant downside. However, if they’re stuck without an answer to the Purveyor, they’ll lose the game much too quickly to make good use of all the Blood. If they’re bottlenecked, the tokens can actually become a liability by pumping the Purveyor on attack.
Anje, Maid of Dishonor could easily be the most impressive Vampire on raw power level. She has the best intersection of raw stats, plus powerful noncombat abilities.
You may see a building problem here that there are many great options at the four-mana slot for a Vampire deck. As always, you need to be disciplined with your mana curve. Creatures that cost one and two mana will be at a premium.
I named Voldaren Bloodcaster as a candidate for the best non-land, non-reprint card from Crimson Vow. A two-power flyer with multiple additional abilities is pushing the boundaries of Standard power level. And as a non-legendary two-drop, it should be a staple four-of in any Vampire deck.
A friend of mine actually brewed Voldaren Bloodcaster into a Modern deck, and has been taking games off some of my top-tier decks. That ought to give you a taste of how strong this card is.
Bloodtithe Harvester is a little weaker, but still a useful card for rounding out the curve. It hits hard when the opponent isn’t prepared with blockers, and it helps build removal into the structure of your deck, just in case you find yourself needing to answer troublesome weenie creatures.
Rounding things out are Dominating Vampire and Falkenrath Forebear. They’re neither the cheapest nor the most powerful Vampires, but they each offer a unique ability for the Vampire tribe which should allow the strategy to thrive in a wide range of matchups and situations.
Falkenrath Pit Fighter isn’t new in Crimson Vow, but as a great one-drop, it’s one of the most valuable Vampires available in Standard.
A traditional weakness of two-color aggro decks is being unable to reliably cast their one-drop creatures on turn one. I’d expect most Vampire decks to be centered in black, plus Haunted Ridge (while a staple four-of) doesn’t help to cast Pit Fighter on turn one. This is why I’m particularly grateful for Voldaren Estate, which ought to nicely smooth out the mana and the early turns.
Here’s my first try at Rakdos Vampires.
Standard Rakdos Vampires by Reid Duke
I like a high land count (27 in my recommended deck list) to support the powerhouse four-drops. With Blood tokens, six creaturelands and four Bloodthirsty Adversaries, there should be plenty of options for spending excess mana in the mid and late-game, with minimal risk of flooding.
I don’t like to play too many noncreature cards in my tribal decks, but a small amount of black removal spells help you fight through blockers, and provide insurance against the must-kill Goldspan Dragon. Plus, you need a few instants and sorceries to help Bloodthirsty Adversary operate at its best.
Try it out and let me know what you think!