It’s Tuesday O’Clock! Time for a deck tech!
This week we are doing yet another standard deck, and this time it’s not pirates. We will be looking at a different tribe for Ixalan in WB Vampires!
WB Vampires is a deck that I feel has a lot of hidden potential in the current standard metagame. It is a powerful deck that has a multitude of options and play-styles available to it at any given time. I would even go so far to say that this is the Mono-Black Zombies of Ixalan Standard. I say this because of the potential for the deck to both be a very fast aggro deck that curves out and kills you by turn 4, or it can be a very powerful midrange grindy style of deck that can just flood the board with vampires until the opponent is sucked dry. Zombies had the ability to switch its game plan at any moment in order to answer whatever their opponents might have, and Vampires feels very similar in that regard. Vampires are a deck that I would consider to be very playable, despite there being no showings for Vampires in standard as of yet.
Why is now a good time to play Vampires? What makes them better than just simply sleeving up Temur Energy or Ramunap Red? Vampires are great for a few reasons. First, it is unexpected. Not everyone is going to expect a Vicious Conquistador turn 1, and a Gifted Aetherborn turn 2. How many people actually remember Sanctum Seeker from spoiler season? This element of surprise is going to heavily favor us especially when our opponents are expecting us to be trying to kill them with Hazorets and Bristling Hydra. Our sideboard will be finely tuned to deal with the top decks at the time, while they will be left struggling for answers for a go wide strategy such as this one. Cards such as Sweltering Suns which used to see play in Standard to combat Zombies are now gone giving decks like this a chance to flood the board before the opponent has a chance to do anything about it.
Vampires are also really good because they are well positioned against the meta right now. I say this because of the multitude of tools to combat the 3 top decks in the meta-game right now. Ramunap Red struggles to beat lifegain, which is a feature attached to almost half of the vampires in our deck. UW Control already has a bad match-up against Ramunap Red, which our deck can emulate pretty well given the right curve. Cards such as Sanctum Seeker also allow us to get around sweepers such as Settle the Wreckage because it can drain the life before it exiles, giving us that last bit of push that we need to close the game. Yahenni also protects our going wide strategy from Fumigate, sacing the whole board before they can gain any life. Against Temur Energy you have the advantage of going wide and flooding the board with little creatures. A Longtusk Cub can’t do much if it is getting chumped on every attack step. Dusk // Dawn is also a very good card in the Temur matchup, giving us both an answer to their creatures, and a late game card draw source.
Out of all the above matchups Temur is probably our shakiest matchup at the moment, but I will be conducting more testing until I can determine what cards are good against Temur. I normally don’t do as much testing for other kinds of decks that I post on this blog, but I feel that this deck has the potential to be the next big thing. With Rivals of Ixalan around the corner, this deck is only going to get better and should be a dominant force in the meta-game once it has a complete pool of cards to work with. In the mean time, I still feel that this deck has a lot of potential and is what I am actually bringing to my first Grand-Prix in Atlanta, Georgia! I am super excited to go a tournament as large as Atlanta’s but I feel that the element of surprise and being well placed against the meta game will give me a solid chance of doing well down in the south.
If you have any thoughts about the deck, suggestions, or critiques please let me know! I want this deck to be as fine-tuned as possible for when I travel to Atlanta, and any advice would be helpful. I don’t claim to be a master deck builder, just simply someone who enjoys the process of building decks. Thank you for reading, and be sure to have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!