It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of gothic horror style stories and video games. Vampires especially. Starting way back to Vampire Hunter D, I was always intrigued by their life styles, vampiric powers and their moral stand of co-existing with humans.
Their decision to treat them as livestock, or as equals.
Of course growing up in America, your attention span only last for so long (minutes even) and I quickly got into comics in the early 90s. Again, I secretly had a crush on Vampirella, but couldn’t buy a single comic since my parents thought it was porn…
I guess they were partially right.
It wasn’t until Castlevania: Symphony of the Night brought me back into it in the mid-90s and Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust in the early 2000s. The art and design especially drew me in. When I got back into Magic, the Magic 2012 Event Deck caught my eye. Strictly all Vampires and aggro. Seemed really good at the time, but not the traditional beautiful, but deadly sort of way. Of course when Innistrad happened, I was incredibly deep into it’s lore.
Finally, Gothic horror in Magic the Gathering (with Angels too)!
More recently, whenever I play with casual players and their fresh starter deck from Target, I would normally play Pauper decks with them. If you’re not familiar with Pauper, it was originally a format found on MTGO or Magic Online which is comprised of only common cards. It has it’s own banned/restricted list, but the format is rather fun and challenging, especially if you’re on a budget.
One of the unique challenges was finding a way to play all the awesome Vampire cards in a functional deck that wasn’t so underpowered, but good enough to hold it’s own in the format. I tried a few times and made a past post about it, but it just wasn’t holding up well. That is until I got my ADHD in check.
The Hunt Begins
First rule was to play as many Steve Argyle drawn Vampire cards as possible! Well not really, but it was a pretty cool theme to start with.
So realistically, we would start the deck as a traditional aggro deck. Since we’re playing in a format with all commons, Vampire Lacerator seems like a bargain. Guul Draz Vampire was also really useful in the late-game since she would almost usually go unblocked. So finding Vampires with evasion and a reasonable mana-curve was right up there.
Of all the recent Vampires printed, Shadow Alley Denizen seems really underrated. Again, finding new ways to slip through easy damage for Gruul Draz Vampire’s power up is welcomed. Since we can’t always rely on 2 power creatures only, finding the right balance for heavy hitters presented a few obstacles.
One of those obstacles was there’s so many spells and abilities that can deal 1 damage directly to a creature. Many interesting Vampires at the common rarity only had 1 toughness, such as Markov Patrician. So in the 3-drop slot, we had to go with Blood Bairn and Chosen of Markov. Blood Bairn is a decent threat with equipment, so she does pose a threat mid-game when your Interlopers and Lacerators can’t get in for damage anymore. Chosen of Markov is somewhat clunky as a reliable beater, but she’s the only common Vampire with beefy stats that aren’t mana intensive.
In testing against various other pauper decks, the deck had a major issue against Black Control lists with Gary in them. There’s not a whole lot to do against that since we’re in a tribal theme, so we had to make adjustments to our evasion plan. Quag Vampires for example, can be somewhat of an evasive threat late game with swampwalk. Distress also allows us to deal with threats that we wouldn’t normally be able to respond to, such as a Gray Merchant.
Against other colored decks, the Vampires list should be just fine. Snuff Out is an amazing tempo card, often allowing us to constantly apply pressure on the board, without skipping our threats. The sideboard also helps to maximize our deck’s focus and answers against other match-ups as well. You can often stall out Tron players with Contaminated Ground and Duress. Also note the synergy with Quag Vampires. Against other aggro decks, there’s more removal/lifegain type cards, as well as Viridian Longbow against Faeries or other similar tribal decks.
Overall, this is quite a fun common deck you can play with your friends, or maybe if you’re so bold, a Pauper daily. Don’t take my list as the gospel, so feel free to discover new ways to improve it as you pilot it!
3 Guul Draz Vampire
4 Shadow Alley Denizen
2 Quag Vampires
4 Vampire Lacerator
4 Vampire Interloper
1 Bloodthrone Vampire
2 Blood Bairn
3 Chosen of Markov
2 Echoing Decay
4 Geth’s Verdict
1 Dirge of Dread
2 Snuff Out
SB: 2 Viridian Longbow
SB: 1 Nihil Spellbomb
SB: 2 Duress
SB: 3 Sign in Blood
SB: 4 Contaminated Ground
SB: 2 Tendrils of Corruption
SB: 1 Corrupt
If you have any questions or comments, or would like to see more articles, follow me on Twitter at @polishtamales or on Tumblr - polishtamales.tumblr.com
Have a magical day!
Asked by neojames82
If you look at most popular 1v1 games, there’s a specific design they share and it’s the Rock/Paper/Scissors type of meta.
If you were raised in the 90s, you may recall playing Pokemon with the choice of either (not in any particular order) a Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle. One beats the other, creating a cycle of balance, never having one specific type of Pokemon stronger than the others (outside of Mewtwo/Legendaries).
With Magic the Gathering, we traditionally have Combo/Aggro/Control decks. There were time periods where all three existed in Standard, but due to being too dependent on market research and focus groups, WotC has severely de-powered most combo based decks. Maze’s End is a clear example of how they want to have Combo, but not exactly clear cut or fair enough at a FNM/Kitchen Table level.
Synergy still remains in the game, but rarely will we ever see anything like Splinter Twin or even Bloom decks in the 90s.
So when you see the recent earning report by Hasbro citing weaker sales of MTG, it’s not too surprising to see lower sales. Standard has become stale due to Mono-Black/Blue Devotion decks. Theros Block itself doesn’t appeal towards the Urban markets, much less only appeals to very niche groups that appreciate Mythology and stories.
When was the last time you saw/heard an Icarus joke in mainstream TV shows such as Family Guy or even Saturday Night Live?
Then there’s the whole fact that WotC didn’t even use actual legends from Mythology and created their own. I want to know who from marketing thought this was a great idea since there’s a reason why these stories are told through generations, not through 1 year’s worth of product releases in hopes players draw similarities between MTG’s version of Hercules and the actual Hercules.
FOR SCIENCE | Teespring Campaign
What’s up guys! If you’ve been following me, I’ve ran into a series of health issues and hardware problems with my computer. The bills are getting out of hand and I can’t be productive or even create art without a computer.
I’ll be auctioning off a lot of my old MTG cards, collectables, video games, and original art tomorrow on eBay. In addition to that, I have started a Teespring campaign.
Please share this with your friends if you’re able to help out.
The Campaign - [LINK]
I can’t put my finger on it. Seems like people just want to down-vote my articles for “because” reasons, without actually reading them.
So much for equality on there.