All right! Mono Red may have been the king of Aggro decks, but that was before M20 was released! With access to a new PW and a new 1-drop, Orzhov Vampires suddenly took the entire Standard Meta by storm!
Orzhov Vampires Are Not Sparkling Vampires!
Orzhov Vampires is probably one of the toughest matchups against any midrange and control deck due to the fact that it can go wide or go high, or both in any given matchup. Its speed and power are remarkable and it’s a big mistake when you grind out against an Orzhov Vampires deck.
No, the vampires on this deck are far from the sparkling ones. They’re tough, vicious, and are capable of punishing you if you leave them alone.
Orzhov Vampires Decklist by Holymadness
Arena Super Cup Qualifier - Single, 1st Place
I would like to point out here that on its main deck alone, you have 14 one-drops! 14 out of 60 cards. One drops comprise 23% of the main deck, including the sideboard (which amounts to 17). Let that number sink in for a minute.
Knight Of The Ebon Legion – Orzhov Vampire’s Secret Weapon
This was one of two cards that drove Orzhov Vampire’s power levels up by 9000!
It’s a 1/2 creature that gets +3/+3 and Deathtouch for 3-mana. It survives and kills a Goblin Chainwhirler outright.
But that’s not the reason why this card is good. Its passive ability makes it even a more potent creature by gaining a +1/+1 counter when a player lost at least 4 life on your turn. This includes you.
And believe me, that’s easily done with the help of enablers such as Adanto Vanguard or Vona, Butcher of Magan. Not to mention that it also counts life lost from the Shocklands.
Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord Is Lord Of All Vampires!
But the main reason why Vampires is such a thing right now is because of Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord.
It’s a 3-drop Planeswalker that has a lot of value the moment it comes into play.
Its +1 ability gives your creature Lifelink, and if it’s a Vampire, a +1/+1 counter to go along with it. Guess how many Vampires this deck has? 25!
Its other +1 ability gives you the choice of sacrificing a Vampire, and when you do, Sorin deals 3 damage to any target and you gain 3 life. It’s an efficient removal for creatures and planeswalkers, and when you have Legion’s Landing in play, just sacrifice the token. Easy peasy.
Its -3 ability lets you put a Vampire from your graveyard into the battlefield, so nothing really stays dead here in this deck (unless its Exiled).
Still A White Weenie With Vampires!
In its entire shell, it still runs similar to a Mono White Aggro deck minus the Venerated Loxodon. It runs 4 copies of Legion’s Landing and 4 copies of History of Benalia to keep your board flooded with creatures at any given turn.
It still runs the same strategy as Mono White Aggro, but Orzhov Vampires just does better at controlling the board due to having access to Black spells such as Mortify, Despark, and Noxious Grasp, which the deck has copies of in its sideboard.
Late Game Bombs
Even if the game lasts longer than anticipated, Orzhov Vampires does an amazing job at transitioning into a late-game deck thanks to its bombs, Sanctum Seeker, Champion of Dusk, and Vona, Butcher of Magan.
Sanctum Seeker gets you 1 life while the opponent loses 1 life for each vampire you control attacking. That’s an additional reach of damage that matters in the late game and gaining life is just too good to pass on.
Champion of Dusk is your draw engine and, just like Sanctum Seeker, relies on the number of Vampires in play. Granted, you lose life in the process but that’s a small price to pay to get a lot of cards in one go.
Vona, Butcher of Magan never saw play in Standard up until now, and it found a great place in Orzhov Vampires. It has Vigilance and Lifelink for a 5-drop creature, and for only 7 life, you can destroy any nonland permanent. This includes Planeswalkers, Enchantments, and Artifacts.
Check out Corey Baumeister’s take on Orzhov Vampires:
Piloting this deck can take you to Mythic in no time at all in MTG Arena, as long as you’re used to its synergies and have identified its nuances.
I might even build this deck on MTG Arena before it rotates!