Vampires in RIX Standard

by Lee Shi Tian on 01 February 2018, Thursday

Lee Shi Tian

 

Hello all,

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Merfolk in RIX Standard and Pirates in RIX Standard. Today, let's take a look at Vampires. While I do not agree with the recent bannings, I believe it opened up a lot of new possibilities in Standard. 

Vampires gained many powerful tools, and I think that the tribe is going to be a strong contender in Standard.

 

 

Mono-White Vampires

First of all, let’s start with Mono-White Vampires!

 

Mono-White Vampires (Standard (RIX) - Others)

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Skymarcher Aspirant


Skymarcher Aspirant is the new go-to one-drop for us. Not only is it a 2/1 for one mana, but it also remains relevant in the late game once we gain the City’s Blessing. That makes it an excellent card. The flying ability will help us deal the last couple of damage and close out the game.

 

Forerunner of the Legion Legion Conquistador


Forerunner of the Legion was a card that impressed me greatly during my Rivals of Ixalan Draft. I believe it should be good enough to play in Constructed. The main tutor target is Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle and Legion Conquistador

Getting Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle means you would have a Vampire token every turn which also give you extra triggers from Forerunner of the Legion himself. If you are facing some midrange removal-based deck, you could easily search up Legion Conquistador for card advantage.

 

Radiant Destiny Oketra's Monument


Radiant Destiny is the Glorious Anthem effect we long wanted for a tribal deck. Since our Vampires deck has multiple ways of creating 1/1 lifelink tokens, pumping them up into 2/2 makes it more threatening and annoying.

However, I am not 100% sure about Oketra's Monument which we saw in Wilson Hunter’s Mono-White Vampires at Pro Tour Ixalan. 

It provides card advantage for us and generates tokens, but we have so many good three-drops now, I feel like we need to replace the threats. Even if there was still space for Oketra's Monument, I'd rather have extra removal spells or even Angel of Invention to help me with my board position.

 

 

 

White-Black Vampires

 

Legion Lieutenant


If there was one reason to play Black-White Vampires, it is Legion Lieutenant. It's a two-mana Lord that fills out the curve greatly and allows us to be aggressive. Let's take a look at this White-Black Vampires list!

 



As you can see, I cut the Oketra's Monument and Legion Conquistador package. Instead, I am going with lots of singletons to maximize the power of Forerunner of the Legion.

 

Forerunner of the Legion Vona, Butcher of Magan Yahenni, Undying Partisan Elenda, the Dusk RoseChampion of Dusk Sanctum Seeker

  

Vona, Butcher of Magan provides us lifelink and removal, while Yahenni, Undying Partisan and Elenda, the Dusk Rose are there for "anti-removal" purposes. Champion of Dusk can help us gain tons of card advantage, while Sanctum Seeker can be used to reduce the clock against your opponent.

These singletons are for testing purposes and might end up not being needed at all. As boring as it might be, sometimes we would rather have extra removal instead. However, I think there is no harm in testing some of these silver bullets.

 

Concealed Courtyard Unclaimed Territory


The mana base of "enemy-colored tribal decks" is easy to build, just as I suggested in my previous articles. A combination of Kaladesh fast lands and Unclaimed Territory will provide us enough stability.

 

 

  

Mono-Black Vampires


Lastly, I'd also like to try out Mono-Black Vampire because of Dusk Legion Zealot. It reminds me of Elvish Visionary, which proved to be great in any Standard format.

 

Mono-Black Vampires (RIX) (Standard (RIX) - Others)

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This deck plays out differently from a usual Vampire aggro deck. It feels more like a midrange / Mono-Black Control deck. As you can see, I packed in lots of removals and life gain spells. Here, I merely want to play "the resources game" with my opponent rather than attacking with a horde of tokens.

 

Dusk Legion Zealot Oathsworn Vampire Gifted Aetherborn


Dusk Legion Zealot is not the best aggro card in the format but the cheapest card advantage we got. Oathsworn Vampire is an interesting one because it is a good blocker and could gain back some card advantages in the late game. Gifted Aetherborn always trades up with higher drops and I like how these different creatures are capable of generating card advantage in various ways.

 

Sadistic Skymarcher Twilight Prophet


Sadistic Skymarcher is a card I want to test. An evasive lifelink creature always demands immediate removal. If you ignore it and try to race, it's usually a futile effort. 

Twilight Prophet is another card that provides a lot of gas in the late game. It can take over the game by itself if unchecked. However, we do need to examine out how easy for us to gain the City’s Blessing.

 

Champion of Dusk


Champion of Dusk is great but to be honest we are unlikely to draw more than three cards in this deck - unless our opponent is offering no opposition. However, that's more than enough card advantage, and the 4/4 body is quite annoying to deal with too! The rest of the deck is filled with removals. We simply want to destroy all of the relevant threats and grind the game out. 


Conclusion

 

So, here is my take on Vampires as a tribe. I like it that we can build these Vampire decks from various dimensions and I think at least one of these decks will find a spot in the metagame.

This weekend, I will be competing at Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan in Bilbao. Other than Grand Prix London last week, I haven't played a Premier Event for three months. I hope that I will be able to maintain my results to keep my Pro Player Club level. Wish me luck!

@leearson




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