Why Vampires is a Good Choice For Standard

January 8, 2010 | Posted by Dee

Vampire NocturnusUpdate 2/11/2011: Here is a new list, Black/Red Vampires, that’s Standard legal with Mirrodin Besieged. It won a 500 player tournament.

Vampires started off as a popular deck in Standard. Then everyone realized that Jund was the best deck. Vampires soon became less popular since it has a poor matchup versus Jund. However, I think the time is now ripe for Vampires to be a force in the metagame.

In this premium article, Cedric Phillips talks about how he’s been winning a lot on Magic Online with Vampires. He says people are tired of playing Jund and are looking instead to play decks that beat it. He believes that Vampires has great matchups against those non-Jund decks.

I think he’s right.

Also, he wrote the article before last weekend’s SCG 5K Standard Open, where LSV got 1st place with UWR Control, so there should be more people moving away from Jund.

Preying on Non-Jund Decks

Vampires has many advantages versus most of the decks in the field.

It’s mono black so it makes Flashfreeze a dead card. Also, it has good discard (Duress, Mind Rot, Mind Sludge) and Bloodghast to further make the control matchup a good one. Most control decks have little to no counters in game one to stop the discard since they are playing Flashfreeze.

Gatekeeper of Malakir is a beating versus the shroud creatures, Wall of Denial and Sphinx of Jwar Isle. And Vampire Nighthawk can trade with them.

Malakir Bloodwitch is awesome against Baneslayer Angel, Knight of the Reliquary, Woolly Thoctar, and Steppe Lynx. And she dodges Path to Exile and Ajani Vengeant all day.

Tendrils of Corruption is great versus burn and Goblin Bushwhacker.

If you’re looking for a good deck in Standard, give Vampires a try and let my know how it goes.

Here’s my current list.

Mono Black Vampires
Spells (15)
Creatures (21)
Lands (24)
Sideboard (15)

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65 Responses to “Why Vampires is a Good Choice For Standard”

  1. Richard on January 10th, 2010 12:33 am

    I agree that Vampires has potential and can win. I won my first FNM with a vampire deck. While true that it does a bit poorly against Jund, it works wonders against all the white control floating around. Personally, I like running Quest for the Gravelord. It helps by counteracting some of the advantages Jund has via their removal. Or they waste a pulse taking it out, which works for you if it means keeping your vampires alive for another turn of nocturnus.

  2. Dee on January 10th, 2010 12:11 pm

    Thanks for the comment. I might have to test Quest.

    Btw, Vampires definitely has potential. Yesterday, a 14 year old kid playing Vampires won a high profile 300 person tournament, beating Jund in the finals :)

  3. Eric on January 14th, 2010 3:46 pm

    Apparently I’m a total noob– I can’t figure out why there are eight fetch lands in a mono black deck. Are they all used to trigger bloodghast? How is this worth it?

  4. Dee on January 14th, 2010 5:09 pm

    Yes, to trigger bloodghast and to shuffle the deck to get a non-land on top for Nocturnus.

  5. Bryan Devonshire on January 14th, 2010 7:55 pm

    I like it, it’s fun.

    Why not feast of blood in the sideboard instead of doom blade?

    What’s sideboard plan in general with the extras (bloodwitch, bloodghast, sludge)? What about grim discovery?

    What are you taking out to board in the removal?



  6. Dee on January 17th, 2010 8:37 pm

    I like Doom Blade over Feast of Blood because in the matchups where lifegain is important (like Boros Bushwhacker and Mono Red Aggro), those decks have a lot of removal so it can be difficult to meet the requirement of 2 Vampires on the battlefield. Also, in those matchups, I sb out Bloodghast so it’s even harder to meet the requirement.

    Doom Blade is instant speed so it can kill the haste creatures of Mono Red Aggro (Hell’s Thunder, Hellspark Elemental, Ball Lightning, Elemental Appeal) while Feast of Blood is a sorcery.

    With the extras, I bring in Bloodwitch versus any midrange or control white deck. Bloodghast and Sludge comes in versus control.

    Grim Discovery is my attempt at combating Blightning lol. I’m still testing it but it hasn’t been awful.

    Here are my sb plans regarding removal:

    +3 Marsh Casualties
    +2 Doom Blade
    -2 Duress
    -1 Bloodghast
    -2 Mind Sludge

    Naya or GWB Midrange
    +2 Doom Blade
    +2 Deathmark
    +1 Bloodwitch
    -2 Duress
    -3 Hexmage

    Mono Red Aggro (Red Deck Wins)
    +2 Doom Blade
    -2 Mind Sludge

  7. balthazar88 on January 19th, 2010 2:22 am

    I agree that Vampires is kind a in a good spot in the meta game. The deck is very good against pretty much anything that is supposed to beat Jund. And you know, sometimes you get there versus Jund aswell.

    However I don’t like the fact that many people is skimping on Bloodghast and Malakir Bloodwitch. From my experience those (along with Nocturnus) is the most important creatures in your deck. In my book not playing 4x of both of them is… less than optimal.

  8. King Rob on January 23rd, 2010 12:02 pm

    4x Bloodghast
    4x Child of Night—Sideboard out with Doom Blade vs. Red
    4x Gatekeeper of Malakir
    4x Vampire Nighthawk

    4x Shadowfeed—Sideboard out with Duress vs. Red
    4x Sign in Blood—Cast on yourself
    4x Diabolic Tutor—Use only to find land for turn 5
    4x Sanguine Bond
    4x Blood Tribute

    Swamp x24

    Just for Fun
    Liliana Vess x2
    I’ve beaten most decks in 6-8 turns 90% of the time.

  9. John Williams on January 29th, 2010 2:57 pm

    Ok if the first guy said he was a noob, then I’m a noob x 2. What is the sideboard? And my deck right now is White/Black (vampires), which I like because of the life gain and celestial smthing that gives me double life and +3/+3. I know that the Kendikar white/black combo isn’t as powerful as it used to be, but should I go all vampires? I just preordered the monoblack deck for Worldwake so I’m thinking about it. Your thoughts…

  10. Dee on January 30th, 2010 3:51 am

    John, I think white/black is fine but just make sure most of your cards have something to do with vampires. This makes your deck more synergistic. For example, the more vampires you play, the better Vampire Nocturnus is.

    Learn more about sideboards here.

  11. John Williams on February 1st, 2010 2:59 pm

    Thanks, that link on sideboards helped. I’ve heard people talk trash on the white/black deck, saying the Zendikar/Worldwake combo isn’t what it used to be in times past. Although I see why people go with mono black vampires, I want to see if I cant make this deck work. Its becoming a good aggro/control deck that holds up well against most decks I’ve played against.

  12. Dee on February 2nd, 2010 3:34 am

    No prob and good luck with your deck. Care to share your list?

  13. John Williams on February 6th, 2010 7:34 pm

    Yeah here’s my list:

    75 Cards (incl. sideboard)

    1 Admonition Angel
    1 Celestial Matle
    2 Sheildmate’s Blessing
    2 Journey to Nowhere
    2 Pitfall Trap
    2 Nimbus Wings
    1 Landbind Ritual
    1 Serra Angel
    1 Lightkeeper of Emeria
    1 Conqueror’s Pledge
    1 Rest for the Weary
    10 Plains (Land/Nonbasic)

    1 Bloodgast
    2 Gatekeeper of Malakir
    1 Vampire Hexmage
    3 Vampire Nighthawk
    2 Mind Sludge
    1 Malakir Bloodwitch
    1 Kalitas
    1 Disfigure
    2 Grim Discovery
    1 Quest for the Gravelord
    1 Hideous End
    1 Smother
    1 Guul Draz Specter
    1 Blood Tribute
    1 Corrupted Zendikon
    1 Diablolic Tutor
    1 Needlebite Trap
    1 Urge to Feed
    1 Mire Blight
    13 Swamp (Land/Nonbasic)

    1 Amulet of Vigor
    1 Explorer’s Scope
    1 Expedition Map
    1 Terramorphic Expanse
    1 Everflowing Chalice

    Like I said, not your typical build but there are so many variations possible within this deck that I never get bored with it and it does alright against your mainstream builds. I find that the randomness doesn’t distract from the power of my deck too much. Depending on the hand I draw I already know whether I’m aggro or control… ie whether I’m going to attack quickly or control the action until I can attack big in the late game. Let me know what you think though, Im open to suggestions.

  14. John Williams on February 6th, 2010 7:52 pm

    I forgot about 2 Pacifisms that I also through in… And in no way am I done shaping this deck or a pro at magic, I’ve just asked around a lot and haven’t had someone else to guide my deck building since I haven’t seen to many black/white decks. I didn’t mean to sound like I knew a ton up above, but I have been to a couple local tournaments since my last post.

  15. Dee on February 6th, 2010 9:25 pm

    I think the biggest thing to figure out the best cards, make them a 4-of, and cut out the rest. For example, why not have 4 Gatekeepers? The 3rd and 4th Gatekeepers are better than Landbind Ritual and Mire Blight.

  16. John Williams on February 7th, 2010 1:49 pm

    What cards would you take out of my deck other than those? I’d like to hear your thoughts on how you’d build a white/black deck.

  17. Dee on February 7th, 2010 5:20 pm

    I think the following cards are subpar:

    1 Celestial Matle
    2 Sheildmate’s Blessing
    2 Journey to Nowhere
    1 Rest for the Weary
    2 Mind Sludge (only good in a deck with Swamps as the only lands)
    1 Guul Draz Specter
    1 Blood Tribute
    1 Corrupted Zendikon
    1 Diablolic Tutor
    1 Needlebite Trap
    1 Mire Blight
    1 Amulet of Vigor
    1 Explorer’s Scope
    1 Expedition Map
    1 Terramorphic Expanse
    1 Everflowing Chalice

    I would build white/black like this deck that got 2nd in a single elimination tournament with 82 players.

    4 Arcane Sanctum
    4 Marsh Flats
    2 Terramorphic Expanse
    4 Arid Mesa
    6 Plains
    4 Swamp
    4 Steppe Lynx
    4 Knight of the White Orchid
    4 Tidehollow Sculler
    4 Baneslayer Angel
    4 Emeria Angel
    2 Path to Exile
    3 Oblivion Ring
    2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
    4 Honor of the Pure
    3 Brave the Elements
    2 Duress

    1 Duress
    4 Devout Lightcaster
    3 Wall of Reverence
    3 Luminarch Ascension
    2 Zealous Persecution
    2 Martial Coup

  18. zombieboy on April 5th, 2010 4:27 pm

    I like the idea of a red black hand /board control vampire aggro deck. i have not added any vampires yet but everything else is incorperated. I dont have my deck on me so ill name what i forgot and the amount of later.
    (sorry for the spelling. I can’t spell some card names.)
    grixis grimblade
    goblin deathriders
    doom blade
    blomious blast
    punishing fire
    mind slude ogre?
    im forgetting allot of cards. But i just plucked all my vampires when i get home . But the only two decks I’ve had trouble against has been a blue white green control and a mono red aggro . But adding vampires in replace of all creatures except 2 cunning sparkmages. Anyone please tell me anything

    cunning sparkmage
    siering blase

  19. Bo on April 20th, 2010 8:26 am

    Here is my current Vampire deck (note: a few changes/updates made after Eldrazi pre-release) — just wanted to get your thoughts to improve it (it’s currently running 3-1 on avg @ FNM, hasn’t been played there since pre-release though)

    4x Vampire NIghthawk
    4x Pulse Tracker
    3x Kalastria Highborn
    3X Bloodseeker
    2X Vampire Nocturnus
    2X Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
    2x Bloodhusk Ritualist
    2x Gatekeeper of Malakir
    2x Vampire Hexmage
    1x Anuwon, the Ruin Sage
    1x Malakir Bloodwitch
    1x Nirkana Revenant

    1x Sorin Markov
    1x Lilliana Vess

    2x Bloodcheif Assension
    2x Urge to Feed
    2x Tendrils of Corruption
    2x Induce Despair
    2x Curse of Wizardry
    1x Disfigure
    1x Blade of the Bloodchief

    17 Swamps
    2 Piranha Marsh


    1x Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
    1x Butcher of Malakir
    1x Anuwon, the Ruin Sage
    3x Disfigure
    2x Tendrils of Corruption
    2x Tomb Hex
    1x Consume the Meek
    1x Consume Spirit
    1x Suffer the Past
    1x Sanguine Bond
    1x Blood Tribute

  20. Dee on April 21st, 2010 4:38 pm

    Hm, why so many non 4-ofs? Usually it’s a good idea to have a lot of 4-ofs in an aggro deck. You want to pick the best cards and have 4 copies of them.

    I don’t have a lot of experience with Vampires but which cards are the best in your decklist? Then, cut out the others and run 4 copies of the best cards unless you have good reasons to run less than 4 copies.

  21. Bo on April 22nd, 2010 8:52 am

    @ Dee

    The deck has been changing a bit lately, but the main reason is that what is in the deck is what i have (nocturnus, for example). Some of the others, I have gradually slimmed down as I have added stronger cards — dropped an Anuwon, a Blood Seeker, and a Gatekeeper to add Drana x2 and Nirkana after the Eldrazi pre-release.

  22. Dee on April 22nd, 2010 6:55 pm

    Cool, I understand. Nice pickups at the prerelease :)

    Based on the winning Vampire decklists I’ve seen, I think the best cards are:

    Gatekeeper of Malakir
    Vampire Nighthawk
    Vampire Nocturnus
    Sign in Blood
    Tendrils of Corruption

    In my opinion, you should have a full set of these cards for the best Vamp deck possible.

    The other cards I would add as 2-4 copies would be:

    Kalastria Highborn
    Urge to Feed
    Malakir Bloodwitch
    Vampire Hexmage
    Mind Sludge

    I would also go up to 23-24 lands to keep from being mana screwed.

    Here’s a list that looks solid:

    4 Marsh Flats
    16 Swamp
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    24 lands

    4 Bloodghast
    4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
    4 Kalastria Highborn
    3 Malakir Bloodwitch
    4 Vampire Nighthawk
    4 Vampire Nocturnus
    23 creatures

    2 Mind Sludge
    4 Sign in Blood
    4 Tendrils of Corruption
    3 Urge to Feed
    13 other spells


    4 Doom Blade
    4 Duress
    1 Malakir Bloodwitch
    2 Mind Sludge
    4 Vampire Hexmage
    15 sideboard cards

    If you don’t have the fetchlands, then Swamps and/or Piranha Marsh could work. You could also try 2-3 Tectonic Edge.

    I think Pulse Tracker can be a budget replacement for Bloodghast. Also, you can play the Hexmages main deck and replace them with something else like Black Knight.

    Drana, Nirkana, and Anuwon, the Ruin Sage can replace Malakir Bloodwitch and Vampire Nocturnus if you don’t have full sets.

  23. Nex on May 9th, 2010 6:53 pm

    This is the vampire deck I constructed, it’s not great or awful it’s just kinda
    inbetween so give me tips please?

    -(4) Guul Draz VAmpires
    -(4) Pulse Tracker
    -(2) Ruthless Cullblade
    -(2) CHild of the Night
    -(1) Vampire Nocturnus
    -(1) Kalastria Highborn
    -(1) Blood Seeker
    -(1) Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
    -(1) Vampire Nighthawk
    -(1) Quag Vampires
    -(1) Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
    -(1) Butcher of Malakir
    -(1) Anowan, the Ruin Sage
    -(1) Gatekeeper of Malakir

    -(2) Doom Blade
    -(2) Urge to Feed
    -(2) Daibolic Tutor
    -(1) Blood Tribute
    -(1) Sanguine Bond
    -(1) Blade of the Bloodchief
    -(1) Feast of Blood
    -(1) Disfigure
    -(1) Hideous End
    -(1) Tendrils of Corruption
    -(1) Smother

    -(2) Piranha Marsh
    -(2) Bojuka Bog
    -(20) Swamp

    If anything it needs more repitition but of what? please help =)

  24. Dee on May 11th, 2010 8:25 pm

    Try this deck. It got 3rd place at a Pro Tour Qualifier (PTQ).


    4 Bloodghast
    4 Gatekeeper Of Malakir
    3 Kalastria Highborn
    3 Malakir Bloodwitch
    4 Vampire Hexmage
    4 Vampire Nighthawk
    4 Vampire Nocturnus

    4 Tendrils Of Corruption

    2 Grim Discovery
    2 Mind Sludge
    3 Sign In Blood

    Basic Lands
    15 Swamp

    4 Marsh Flats
    4 Verdant Catacombs

    2 Executioner’s Capsule
    1 Malakir Bloodwitch
    2 Consuming Vapors
    4 Deathmark
    4 Duress
    2 Mind Sludge

  25. Bo on May 14th, 2010 8:36 am

    Here is the latest configuration of my Vamp Deck. I’m testing to plan ahead in case Nocturnus isn’t reprinted in M11 and also to lend a bit more consistecny to the buff (Eldrazi Monument doesn’t depend on a black card topping the library, plus I can sac Bloodghast during upkeep and get him back with landfall……not to mention shoot my opponent with Kalastria for sacking a creature that I’m gonna get back).

    22 Swamps
    2 Crypt of Agadeem

    2 Eldrazi Monument
    2 Blade of the Bloodchief

    3 Consume the Meek
    3 Consuming Vapors
    6 some combo of Urge to Feed, Disfigure, Tendrils….

    4 Vampire NIghthawk
    4 Bloodghast
    3 Pulse Tracker
    3 Blood Seeker
    3 Gatekeeper of Malakir
    2 Kalastria Highborn
    2 Vampire Nocturnus
    1 Sorin Markov


    2 Vampire Hexmage
    2 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
    2 Nirkana Revenant
    4 Guul Draz Assassin
    5 rotating combo of situation specific removal spells

    I’m really liking the way the deck is playing right now, but would love to hear any main deck suggestions, but especially sideboard tweeks (looking at Malakir Bloodwitch and possibly Pawn of Ulamog to create tokens to sack to the Monument)

  26. Dee on May 15th, 2010 5:28 am

    Consume the Meek seems out of place since it kills most of your guys. I think Malakir Bloodwitch is better.

    You probably need 1-2 more lands. 24 is fine if you have 4 Sign in Blood.

    Also, Gatekeeper Of Malakir seems like it should be a full set. That’s one of your best cards.

    Anyways, good luck! I think the Eldrazi Monument tech could work well. Are there any token producers that are black?

  27. Bo on May 19th, 2010 12:54 pm

    Consume the Meek is actually there as a board wiper after Eldrazi Monument is played….t5 – monument, t-6 consume (it doesn’t kill my vamps then) to clear the field.

    Pawn of Ulamog, Corpsehatch and Induce Despair all provide tokens, but Pawn isn’t really useful otherwise and the other two are a bit overpriced for removal.

    I really like using bloodghast to sac to monument.

    t-5 – play monument
    t-6 – sac bloodghast to monument, poke opponent for 2 with kalastria highborn and gain 2 life, play a land and get ‘Ghast right back (possibly with haste.

    I am actually running 4 gatekeepers now, and 4 guul draz assasins at the expense of a consume the meek, and pulse trackers/bloodseekers were cut down.

  28. Alex on May 31st, 2010 11:05 am

    I personally have had great experiences with an eldrazi vampires deck. My decklist is as follows

    4 vampire nocturnus
    2 vampire nighthawk
    3 arrogant bloodlord
    1 nirkana revenant
    3 gravedigger
    4 gatekeeper of malakir
    4 bloodghast

    2 blade of the bloodchief
    3 eldrazi monument

    3 quest for the gravelord
    3 duress
    4 doom blade

    23 swamp

  29. Alex on May 31st, 2010 11:12 am

    Oh and 1 Liliana vess

  30. Dee on May 31st, 2010 11:25 pm

    Alex, thanks for sharing your list. Looks pretty good.

  31. cisco on June 21st, 2010 10:47 pm

    so Ive got a vamp deck in the works and i was hoping i could get sum pointers as to what i should keep or take out here is the list feel free to criticize lol

    3x vamp lacerator
    3x vamp hexmage
    4x vamp nighthawk
    3x gatekeeper malakir
    3x ruthless cullblade
    4x bloodghast
    2x vampire nocturnus
    1x malakir bloodwitch
    3x vamp aristocrat
    2x kalastria highborn

    2x blade of bloodchief
    3x unholy strength
    2x urge to feed
    3x feast of blood
    20 lands and 2 terramorpgic expanse

    im trying to keep costs down but would love sum ideas trying to enter a PTW tourny

  32. cisco on June 21st, 2010 10:49 pm

    sorry PTQ tourny lol

  33. Dee on June 22nd, 2010 10:05 am

    Needs more 4-ofs. Cut the worst cards and have full sets of the best cards. The worst cards are unholy strength, ruthless cullblade, aristocrat, feast of blood, and blade of bloodchief.

    Add Bloodwitch, Mind Sludge (just two copies since it costs 5 mana), Nocturnus, Hexmage, Gatekeeper, Malakir, Urge to Feed, Kalastria, and Sign in Blood.

  34. cisco on June 22nd, 2010 11:26 am

    thanks dee i also noticed the other deck u posted with Bloodchief Ascension think that would fare well in this kinda vamp deck??

  35. Dee on June 22nd, 2010 12:21 pm

    Not sure. I haven’t done enough testing. My guess is that Bloodchief makes the deck more explosive but less consistent. I like consistent decks even if I have to skimp on some power, so I would go without the Bloodchief.

    By the way, let me know if you have card availability issues (like not having a full set of Malakir Bloodwitch) and I may be able to give you some budget alternatives.

    Good luck! PTQs are pretty fun :)

  36. cisco on June 22nd, 2010 1:00 pm

    yea i dont have the full set of that or nocturnus but i was thinking of just buying them any way

  37. Dee on June 22nd, 2010 1:14 pm

    Hm, those cards are tough to replace, but you could try the following cards instead if you decide not to buy them:

    Black Knight
    Tendrils of Corruption
    Consuming Vapors

  38. MIke on June 26th, 2010 8:23 am

    why not try corrupt in casual play? tendrils will be leaving m10 and corrupt will be coming in m11, also nocturnus is not supposed to be re-released in m11, so vampires lose tribal lord in standard. i run a vampire decks and instead of using 4 bloodwitches i run 2 drana and 2 bloodwitch. i prefer Sorin over Liliana because of his second ability. i also like 3 hexmages because of PW kill and fs abilities.

    Your thoughts on the matter

  39. Dee on June 26th, 2010 11:50 pm

    Corrupt seems good for casual play. Vampires get a new tribal lord in M11. Good point about Hexmages. They are solid in today’s metagame.

  40. Doug on July 12th, 2010 11:42 am

    I’m fairly new to magic. With that in mind, could someone explain why the OP had 4 Marsh Flats and 4 Verdant Catacombs in a mono-black deck? Why not just include 24 swamps?

  41. Dee on July 13th, 2010 11:12 pm

    The fetchlands are there to trigger bloodghast and to shuffle the deck to get a non-land on top for Nocturnus.

  42. Mark on July 15th, 2010 12:38 am

    I love this vampire deck and have had some success with an almost identical build. What will you change now m11 is out? I’m hoping to get a few months out of this deck before we lose nocturnus!

  43. Dee on July 15th, 2010 3:11 pm

    Sadly, I don’t see Vampires getting anything that good in M11. I could be wrong though.

  44. Vince on July 18th, 2010 5:42 pm

    What are your feelings on Captivating Vampire from 2011? Since Nocturnus was not reprinted andhe could be a viable replacement.

  45. Dee on July 19th, 2010 10:27 pm

    It’s a lot worse in my opinion. It dies to Bolt and doesn’t give flying. Nocturnus was great because it was often a 5/4 and gave your other Vampires flying and +2/+1. That’s like an Overrun on a 5/4 body :)

  46. nmorris on August 17th, 2010 3:45 pm

    Does anybody just use Buried Alive to take your Bloodghasts from your library to your graveyard and then just drop a land and bring them all out? That seems like an awesome move. Howabout a Diabolic Tutor to bring out a Soren and bring your opponent’s life to 10 in the first several turns? Combined with the Buried Alive cards you have won.

  47. Jerah on September 12th, 2010 10:15 pm

    Hey, I’m currently running this


    4x Pulse Tracker
    2x Guul Draz Vampire
    3x Vampire Lacerator
    4x Bloodghast
    3x Vampire Hexmage
    3x Gatekeeper of Malakir
    4x Captivating Vampire
    2x Malakir Bloodwitch
    1x Vampire Nocturnus


    3x Duress
    3x Vampire’s Bite
    3x Sign in Blood
    3x Smother
    1x Eldrazi Monument


    17 Swamp
    4 Verdant Catacomb

    Ok, so the general idea is to run as a heavy aggro deck and hopefully knock ‘em out turn 4 or 5 (Nocturnus and Mounument help me “get there” but I only run 1 of each in the hopes of just being able to swamp with captivatings or Guul Draz once they hit below 10)

    I’m kind of torn on this build though.
    Any ideas? Feedback? Criticisms?

    Oh, here’s the Sideboard


    4x Doom Blade
    2x Nemesis Trap (In against U/W Control)
    3x Contaminated Ground (U/W Control and Jund)
    3x Sadistic Sacrament (U/W Control, Polymorph, Pyromancers Ascension)
    3x Shadowfeed (Red Deck Wins, Dredgevine, Pyromancer’s Ascension, anything with Knight of the Reliquary)

    Ok, ready…and comment!

  48. Dee on September 13th, 2010 4:19 pm

    Hi Jerah,

    Just wondering if you have card availability issues with Vampire Nocturnus. I think Nocturnus is much better than Captivating Vampire.

    Also, for sideboard, I would go with Inquisition of Kozilek over Nemesis Trap and Leyline of the Void over Shadowfeed.

  49. Jerah on September 14th, 2010 2:21 pm


    Yeah, I was only able to pick up a single copy of Nocturnus. But the idea is to beat them down with smaller guys and turn 3 4 or 5 drop a lord to really put them in the red.

    Inquisition of Kozilek is a card I ran for a little bit, but it tends to be way more of a dead draw if the game goes longer. I like that it can get rid of any early plays/blockers that my opponent might have, but I think I have just enough removal main board. Also, Duress has been performing pretty darn well for me, I know I’ll be in trouble against dredgevine, but that’s what the shadow feeds are for.

    I really enjoy Shadowfeed. I don’t like running the leyline because it knocks out my bloodghasts as well as dilutes my draws. True, turn one leyline really screws over Ascension and Dredgevine. But the lifegain is spectacular against RDW, especially in my build. I used to run Child of the Night (just 2 of) as well as Vampire Nighthawk. But I streamlined it down to focus more on 1 drops.

    I think nemesis trap is some pretty good secret tech. :-P

  50. Dee on September 14th, 2010 4:15 pm

    Good point on Leyline hurting your Bloodghasts.

    The deck looks mostly solid if you want to go the hyper aggro route. But Nemesis Trap doesn’t seem to fit that strategy. Why not just play Deathmark?

    21 lands seems too low since you have a couple five drops. I think 22-23 lands is better.

  51. joey on October 5th, 2010 7:21 pm

    well i think vamos is actually better then ppl say. it can stop control not only with maliars and bloodghast but summoning so many creatures at a low cost is devistating to every deck. the life gaining definatly works aginst mono red and aggro and valukut

  52. nikola on October 10th, 2010 11:19 am

    why did you put marsh and cata combs why dont you just play normal swaps and you wont have to pay any life. mars and catacombs are just stupid

  53. Willy on October 12th, 2010 3:57 pm

    Hey I’m running a vampire deck that has been working pretty well and i wanted to know if i could get some tips

    ok here we go

    x3 nirkana cutthroat
    x2 kalastaria highborn
    x2 vampire hexmage
    x2 anowan the ruin sage
    x2 black knight
    x2 ascendant evincar
    x2 vampire nighthawk
    x1 guul draz assassin
    x1 kalitas bloodchief of ghet
    x1 captivating vampire
    x1 nirkana reverent
    x1 skeletal vampire
    x1 butcher of malakir
    x1 drana kalastaria bloodchief
    x1 malakir bloodwitch
    x1 halo hunter
    x1 pestilence demon


    x3 bloodchief ascension
    x3 tendrils of corruption
    x3 dark ritual
    x2 bubbling muck
    x2 diabolic tutor
    x2 blood tribute
    x1 stir the grave
    x2 unholy strength
    x1 disentomb

    x1 crypt of agadeem
    x1 piranaha marsh
    x22 swamps

    x1 sorin markov

    ok possible problems i can see

    #1: i know i need to decide which are best and go 4s of but i dont have enough of certain cards to do that yet

    #2: too many high cost cards? I tried to compensate for that with dark ritual and bubbling much and nirkana reverent really helps eliminates the problem when it gets out

    #3: Im trying to slim the deck down closer to 60-63 but cant decide on what cards should go and like i said i need more copies of certain cards before i can make too many changes

    let me know what you think

  54. Jerah on November 2nd, 2010 5:06 am

    Hey, just a quick update on how it turned out with the list I posted earlier.

    Totally demolished. I had some good games, but going against Jund 2 rounds in a row is rough.

    In case it still matters, I don’t like sorcery speed deathmark, it is an allstar, but I’d rather tap down stuff on your turn to leave mana open for stuff on my turn (not that B is all that intensive.)

    Also, I ran the fetches because they increase your chances of drawing relevance rather then wiffing and getting another land. Also, I hear bloodghast is pretty good with fetchlands…

  55. co918 on November 12th, 2010 2:37 pm

    21 creatures
    4 Captivating Vampire
    2 Nirkana Revenant
    1 Vampire Nocturnus
    4 Vampire Nighthawk
    4 Nirkana Cutthroat
    1 Kalitas Bloodchief of Ghet
    1 Drana Kalastaria Bloodchief
    2 Malikir Bloodwitch
    2 Kalastaria highborn

    21 spells
    3 Bloodchief Ascension
    2 Doom Blade
    2 Quest for the Gravelord
    2 Painful Quandary
    2 Diabolic Tutor
    4 Tendrils of Corruption
    2 Needlebite Trap
    2 Blood Tithe
    2 rise from the grave

    22 swamps

    Total 64

    Okay this deck is mainly lifelink (trying to play into the them of vampires) and ive been ironing it out for a few months. Ive found several good combos such as bloodchief acension and painful quandrey since scars of mirrordin came out, if they play a spell they either lose 5 life (adds counters to acension) or they discard a card (which triggers acensions life drain ability) granted this needs at least 1 acension to have 3 counters but nighthawk and highborn make this rather simple.
    I also find captivating really helpful in almost any situation.

    If anyone has any tips and tricks that i havnt spotted or thought of id appreciate it.

  56. co918 on November 12th, 2010 2:39 pm

    oh and 1 sorin markov do actually 65

  57. Jake on December 2nd, 2010 1:49 pm

    I like your idea behind your deck Dee, but what do you think of this? It focuses on life gain and using that to waste the opponent. Here’s the deck list:

    x4 Captivating Vampire
    x4 Vampire Nighthawk
    x4 Child of Night
    x4 Kalastria Highborn
    x2 Nirkana Revenant
    x1 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
    x1 Anowon, the Ruin Sage
    x1 Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet

    x4 Doom Blade
    x4 Vampire’s Bite
    x3 Diabolic Tutor
    x2 Urge to Feed
    x2 Corrupt
    x1 Sanguine Bond

    x19 Swamp
    x4 Piranha Marsh

    x4 Crypt of Agadeem
    x4 Bojuka Bog
    x2 Tendrils of Corruption
    x2 Vampire Nocturnus
    x3 Gatekeeper of Malakir

  58. Jake on December 2nd, 2010 1:56 pm

    I only have the bigger vamps as 1-ofs since I’ll have the Diabolic Tutors so I can decide at that time which is the best to play. Nirkana Revenant is mostly there to speed mana, that and she’s just plain crazy with a kicked Vampire’s Bite when Sanguine Bond is out. The lands are in the sideboard in case I either need a fast deck or I need to get rid of an opponent’s graveyard so they can’t return anything. Tendrils are there in case of need for faster removal along with the Gatekeeper. And of course Vampire Nocturnus is there for more power. I realize I could be gambling since the first turn I can do anything is my second turn at which I can at least stall with removal, but that’s why this deck should always go first.

  59. Caleb on January 24th, 2011 7:43 pm

    ok im just gettin used to playing again so somebody explain to me. would sign in blood better be used to drain my oppenents life or get me more access to cards?

  60. Caleb on January 24th, 2011 8:20 pm

    also i think bloodchief ascension wud fit great but what should i take out?

  61. Dee on January 25th, 2011 3:16 am

    Sign in Blood is usually better to draw cards for yourself.

    If you want to play bloodchief ascension, I recommend a list like this one: http://magicgameplan.com/blog/mono-black-bloodchief-ascension-standard-deck/

    Check out the comments on that post for more ideas.

  62. Sorin on January 30th, 2011 7:22 am

    Hey, I was just wondering if someone could answer a question for me. What is the point of having Marsh Flats, and Verdant Catacombs in an all black deck? Why not just use all swamps? If you have to sacrifice it to Fetch one, wouldn’t it be the same if it were a swamp? Thanks.

  63. Dee on January 30th, 2011 12:31 pm

    The fetchlands are there to trigger Bloodghast and to shuffle the deck to get a non-land on top for Nocturnus. Try it out. It works pretty well :)

  64. cyberblitzx on March 3rd, 2011 6:34 pm

    2x Nirkana revenant
    2x Dark ritual
    2x sudden spoilings
    4x viscera seer
    1x blade of the bloodchief
    4x blooththrone vampire
    2x vampire hexmage
    4x vampire nighthawk
    2x kalastira higborn
    2x blood tribute
    2x sanguine bond
    4x pulse tracker
    4x Gatekeeper of Malakir
    1x temple bell
    2x vampire nocturnus
    1x kalitas bloodchief of Ghet
    1x bloodchief ascension
    20x swamps

  65. cyberblitzx on March 3rd, 2011 6:35 pm

    ahh forgot
    2x demonic/diabolic tutor