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Ex-dtb Mono-Black Vamps: A.K.A. Team Edward


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Alandariel



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:15 am    Post subject: Ex-dtb Mono-Black Vamps: A.K.A. Team Edward Reply with quote

Mono-Black Vamps

Lands
22 Swamp

Creatures
4 Bloodthrone Vampire
4 Bloodghast
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
4 Kalastria Highborn
4 Vampire Lacerator
4 Viscera Seer
3 Vampire Hexmage

Spells
4 Feast of Blood
4 Duress
3 Dark Tutelage

Sideboard
1 Vampire Hexmage
3 Demon of Death's Gate
4 Marsh Casualties
3 Doom Blade
4 Memoricide

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This is the list that I'm running right now. It's very consistent. I'll explain some of my card choices here before I get trolled to death.

I chose mono-black rather than BR or Br for more than a few reasons. While I love to read other players' testing results and theories, I never make any decisions based on anything but my own personal testing. BR just didn't add enough for me to warrant even a splash let alone make it a full-on second color. Sure, Bolt is good for the obvious reasons, Mark of Mutiny can win games in the right matchups, and Arc Trail is a serious headache versus Elves, Goblins, and Kuldotha Red as well as the mirror. However, I'm not as fond of Bolt in a format defined by 6/6 beef and multitudes of 1/1s that simply turn sideways every turn and pray. Bolt is much better when it can just win you the game such as in Red Deck Wins or get significantly more value than just trading one-for-one with a Goblin token. Mark of Mutiny is great in many matchups, but too many times I had it in the grip game 1 versus Kuldotha Red where it was virtually useless or against Valakut where a good player will see red mana, acknowledge the threat of it being in your hand, and simply wait to drop Titan until they're ready to combo out. It's a great sideboard card in my opinion, but I can't justify adding a color for a card that helps in some matchups just as well as other cards in the color I'm already playing. Arc Trail is the only card that really pains me to drop. It's such a house in the mirror as well as versus Elves, Kuldotha Red, White Weenie (including Quest variants), any deck that runs Fauna Shaman and Lotus Cobra... the list truly goes on. It's rarely a dead card; even at sorcery speed this baby could possibly take the cake for best weenie removal in the set in a vacuum. However, this deck simply doesn't have enough problems with balls-to-the-wall aggro and mono-black has plenty of answers to the big guys without sacrificing stability. No matter how much you fight the thought adding a second color definitely does heighten inconsistency even if by a slight margin. I don't know about you, but I don't like to take chances when two mull-to-five hands in one match because you're color screwed means I have to get really lucky to win the whole tournament.

And please... don't tell me about "testing and results" or that "pros say that BR is strictly better." I have done a ton of my own testing with BR and have seen the results, and if you think that professional magic players are the only people that play this game and have brains you're sadly mistaken. But I digress...

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My main-deck choices are mostly standard, with a few less-seen choices mixed in there. Bloodghast, Highborn, Gatekeeper, Lacerator, and Seer are all choices that shouldn't need explained. I opted to run four copies of Gatekeeper to up the main-deck removal total to eight. This helps deal with first game woes against mid-range aggro and ramp decks.

Bloodthrone Vampire is a house in mono-black Vampires. He can win games by himself if not played around, keeps your opponent on his heels when a Highborn is in play, and can even keep your opponents' mid-range creatures at bay just by not swinging... especially if they think you're holding back more Vamps. (You are holding back more Vamps, right?)

Hexmage is probably more of a meta choice than anything. Well, to be honest, I can't imagine a meta that isn't full of planeswalkers. This card stops Kuldotha Red's Chimeric Masses, the obvious planeswalkers, and even stops some aggro decks dead in their tracks. It's not a hugely common matchup, but you should have seen the look on my opponent's face when his Kiln Fiend aggro deck paled as it threw its burn at two Hexmages then rolled over to a one-two punch of Gatekeeper and Highborn. It looked very similar to this.

Feast of Blood. I've never had so many people rage about how bad my deck was because of one card before. Listen guys, if you don't have two Vampires in play you're in terrible shape anyway. Very few decks are going to deal with all of your creatures and then play something you need to Feast, and as long as you're not over-extending board sweepers shouldn't be an issue anyway. Between Bloodghast and holding creatures and lands back until you need them, casting Feast should never be an issue. In terms of card strength itself, this one is probably unmatched. The lifegain destroys red-based aggro-ish burn decks like Red Deck Wins and some Boros Bushwacker builds. It destroys any creature, any time, any where; for this reason alone it is virtually never a dead card. Titans, Baneslayers, Eldrazi (barring Emrakul), and it's even good in the mirror against DoDG, which is growing in popularity as a main-deck choice. There's a lot of reasons to play this card, and practically no reason not to.

Duress is another extremely underrated card in the current format. It wrecks so many decks out there it's ridiculous. Pyroclasm, Arc Trail, Day of Judgement, Consume the Meek, Summoning Trap, Genesis Wave, Rebirth, counterspells, any planeswalker; you'll be hard-pressed to find a deck that Duress won't cripple. I've tested it extensively main-deck as well as sideboard and have come to the conclusion that it's too good in game one against your weaker matchups to leave it in the board. I've literally never had it be a dead card; even when you don't hit anything with it, you at least know what to play around which is extremely valuable to any deck, but especially Vamps. In all honesty however, there's so few decks that Duress will consistently miss on that it's a non-issue.

Dark Tutelage is still a slightly marginal card for me. To be honest, I've never had it work against me. I've had a few sporadic games where it didn't do as much as I would like it to, but the card advantage provided in a deck that truly thrives on it is invaluable. I wish it was Bob, but it's not. Don't let anyone tell you it is. In control matchups, they will not be able to recover from a resolved Tutelage. If they counter it, it's probably still a fair deal for you. Against aggro decks they simply can't power past your multitude of bodies. It's probably not amazing in the Valakut matchup, but thats why they come out post-board. I'm still sold on it for now, but I'm going to keep an eye on how the meta evolves.

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Sideboard choices can and most definitely should vary to suit specific metagames. I mean, that's what it's for, right? However, my very general sideboard should deal with most of the biggest threats to the deck. I'll explain now why I chose each card.

The extra Vampire Hexmage is to complement the three main-deck copies. It comes in against planeswalker-heavy decks as well as aggro decks that run a significant amount of X/2s.

Demon of Death's Gate absolutely steamrolls quite a few decks in the current meta. If you resolve it against Valakut or Eldrazi Green (especially on turn two) they will most likely look pretty heated. It should stay out against decks with good spot removal or counterspells. The last thing you want is to give your opponent a four-for-one and lose six life in a deck that has some element of suicide and relies on card advantage to win. Use with care, and whatever you do, keep him out of the main-deck. Oh, and Dark Tutelage doesn't like him very much either.

Marsh Casualties is our Arc Trail replacement. It's great against Elves and in the mirror. It's a game-breaker for the Kuldotha Red matchup. WW Quest will have a tough time winning when you wipe their board and then Gatekeeper their Armored creature. It's fantastic in quite a few matchups; you'll probably figure out which ones pretty quickly if you're playing this deck.

I felt the deck needed more spot removal in certain matchups so I decided I should try to find a card that might compare to Feast somehow. It took me a very long time to find anything even remotely close to how good it was, until I stumbled across Doom Blade.[/troll] Use it. Any non-black creature-based aggro deck is going to be unhappy to see you play this.

Memoricide is a card that many people think is too slow for Vamps, or doesn't contribute enough. I disagree. After a decent amount of testing, Memoricide has proven its worth against Valakut (name Titan), virtually every form of random jank combo (you would be surprised how much there is, and some is actually strong against us), Vengevine, Eldrazi, and even Jace... though I don't usually find myself bringing this in against control decks as our main-deck alone is quite strong against them even post-board.

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The following is a collection of cards that didn't make the cut:

Vampire Nighthawk is a little overkill against aggro. It's just more than we really need, and is more of a defensive card when we can usually just straight-up roll them.

Captivating Vampire is the opposite of what you want to be doing when you're playing this. It has "DoJ me!" written all over it in silver sharpie marker. (This gives me an idea for my next altered art...)

Bloodchief Ascension doesn't really help any of our matchups. Yeah, it's good against aggro. No, we don't really need it against them. I intend to test it a little more though, as it does have good synergy with the sacrifice package.

Smother? We have Feast, Gatekeeper, and Marsh Casualties. There's nothing that Smother can do that these cards can't.

Abyssal Persecutor is a tad too slow for us. Yeah, with Bloodthrone Vampire and Viscera Seer it should usually be able to do its job then disappear. I don't like either of those words though. I prefer consistency and card advantage, and Persecutor provides neither of these.

Vendetta is a card I haven't truly found a use for yet. I've heard plenty of praise about it, but I'm just not sold on its usefulness yet. We have Doom Blade already without the drawback, why is one mana so serious? If you're playing the deck correctly, it really shouldn't be.

----------------------------------

Well, that's all I've got for now. I'm too tired to post deck matchups or precise sideboarding decisions at the moment, but I'll get some up later when I have more time. Thanks for reading my epic wall of text. That's if you actually got through it all. I doubt you did. Razz


Last edited by Alandariel on Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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P_P4E



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blade of the Bloodchief? Why play 8 sac outlets and not include this card in a dedicated vampire deck. That's literally how CalebD won most of his games with it when he top8'ed the SCG thing. Your guy, with no problem at all, is an 8/8. It allows you to "go off" with bloodghast and get value instead of just doing it to scry.

Budget makes sense, but you need 8 sac lands for bloodghast i think.

Your anti-aggro could be better imo. You're pretty vulnerable to the vampire mirror since they have burn for your guys, so I think having something like Disfigure would be good (better than doomblade at least).

I like no pulse tracker. That card is terrible. I'd rather lower my 1 drop percentage than play that card.

I've been thinking about this deck for a long time. It's definitely better than RB vampires in my opinion due to blade of the bloodchief and bloodthrone for the quick kill... Granted you don't have blades, but whatever.
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Alandariel



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P_P4E wrote:
Blade of the Bloodchief? Why play 8 sac outlets and not include this card in a dedicated vampire deck. That's literally how CalebD won most of his games with it when he top8'ed the SCG thing. Your guy, with no problem at all, is an 8/8. It allows you to "go off" with bloodghast and get value instead of just doing it to scry.

Budget makes sense, but you need 8 sac lands for bloodghast i think.

Your anti-aggro could be better imo. You're pretty vulnerable to the vampire mirror since they have burn for your guys, so I think having something like Disfigure would be good (better than doomblade at least).

I like no pulse tracker. That card is terrible. I'd rather lower my 1 drop percentage than play that card.

I've been thinking about this deck for a long time. It's definitely better than RB vampires in my opinion due to blade of the bloodchief and bloodthrone for the quick kill... Granted you don't have blades, but whatever.


I don't think I'm a fan of Blade of the Bloodchief. I haven't gotten to test it a whole lot (I don't have a playset), but I don't like the idea of playing something that isn't actively killing my opponent on its own or contributing to Feast of Blood. I'll test it more though.

Sac lands aren't worth it. Once you hit 3 land you should hold lands when possible for Bloodghast. Lacerator and sac lands will tear you up in the mirror or against highly aggressive decks.

Feast rolls aggro so hard pre-board, lifegain on Highborn happens more than you realize, and Gatekeeper is such a huge tempo swing for me that fast aggro isn't a problem at all. Mid-range aggro becomes a little more aggravating, but there's not much black-based mid-range aggro so Doom Blade works fine.

Pulse Tracker? What's that?[/troll]

Thanks for the response, I'll do some more testing tomorrow before I update.
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Alandariel



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DoDG main is something I barely even needed to test. Against any kind of Ux Control piloted by an intelligent player he just never hits play. Having a completely dead card in some matchups is truly detrimental to this deck's strategy of consistency and card advantage. If they have two mana open, you hold him. If they don't, you still have to respect the Jace or Roil bounce. Condemn is bad for you as well. In fact, any deck that can remove him is going to have a stronger matchup against you if he's main-decked, and that is never good. It also means you can't really run Dark Tutelage either, which I'm liking more every time it hits play.

Thanks for the sticky, I'm really excited to hear people's feedback as well as educate those new to the archetype.
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P_P4E



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alandariel wrote:
DoDG main is something I barely even needed to test. Against any kind of Ux Control piloted by an intelligent player he just never hits play. Having a completely dead card in some matchups is truly detrimental to this deck's strategy of consistency and card advantage. If they have two mana open, you hold him. If they don't, you still have to respect the Jace or Roil bounce. Condemn is bad for you as well. In fact, any deck that can remove him is going to have a stronger matchup against you if he's main-decked, and that is never good. It also means you can't really run Dark Tutelage either, which I'm liking more every time it hits play.

Thanks for the sticky, I'm really excited to hear people's feedback as well as educate those new to the archetype.


Demon is good i think enough against ramp to play maindeck if you aren't running dark tutes. It's pretty much like titan on turn 4 and you just fireball them for 6, untap and win.
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Alandariel



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P_P4E wrote:
Demon is good i think enough against ramp to play maindeck if you aren't running dark tutes. It's pretty much like titan on turn 4 and you just fireball them for 6, untap and win.


I understand the sentiment, but I feel that this deck's biggest strength is in its consistency. Adding a card that is dead in possibly over half of the game one matchups just doesn't sit well with me.
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P_P4E



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 579

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alandariel wrote:
P_P4E wrote:
Demon is good i think enough against ramp to play maindeck if you aren't running dark tutes. It's pretty much like titan on turn 4 and you just fireball them for 6, untap and win.


I understand the sentiment, but I feel that this deck's biggest strength is in its consistency. Adding a card that is dead in possibly over half of the game one matchups just doesn't sit well with me.


More than half the format at worlds is valakut or vampires. I assume its pretty hot in the mirror since they can never kill or block it.
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Alandariel



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding arguments towards Demon of Death's Gate being main-decked rather than sideboarded:

P_P4E wrote:
More than half the format at worlds is valakut or vampires. I assume its pretty hot in the mirror since they can never kill or block it.


Alright, it's probably not terrible in the mirror if you play around Gatekeeper by always having an extra creature. Of course, that's going to slow you down at least one turn as well as grant them extreme card advantage and leave your hand virtually empty of creatures, if you even have enough to begin with. If they're running the BR variant, they have access to Mark of Mutiny which can really spoil your day. Talk about a four-for-one? How about you take 16 to the dome AND four-for-one yourself? And against Kalastria Highborn? You get the point.

Too often DoDG reads: "Sacrifice board position and life advantage: Put Demon of Death's Gate into the graveyard. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200." It's a lot better in theory than it is in practice. I highly suggest keeping it in the board.

I really, truly appreciate your feedback; I even welcome it. But these are ideas that I have already thoroughly tested (and will continue to do so as the metagame evolves) and dismissed. Even in a metagame completely dominated by Valakut to the point of over a 50% match-up rate against it... your game one is strong enough to give you just under 50% and bringing him in post-board virtually assures you victory as long as you draw it + creatures. Note the match-up still isn't terrible if you don't; with Memoricide entering in place of 3 Hexmages and a Gatekeeper alongside your game-winner and your already main-decked Duress you have eleven cards that cripple your "worst match-up*". If you know how to mulligan effectively and you outplay your opponent it's almost difficult to lose the match overall.

If you're not outplaying your opponents, or you aren't winning the percentage of games that you think you should be, you should probably play a simpler deck. I'm not being a jerk, this just isn't your average 1cc 2cc creature deck. Far too many people look at this deck and think, "Aggro smash! Me no make decision!" This is far from true. Over-extend and you will lose to a board sweeper every time. Don't threaten enough and you'll find yourself losing with seven cards in hand. Drop all your land and your Bloodghasts will cry murder. All in all... don't make the right plays and you will just lose; this deck is less forgiving than some others in the format.
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TomLocke



Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, Alandariel, I love you!

Second, I have stuck with this deck on magic online and people make fun of me for not playing red. I honestly think this is better.

Third, blade of the bloodchief is the kalastria highborn you wish you had. AKA the 5-8th copy. It just gets that extra damage through with that bloodghast. It also makes fetchlands really good. And since fetchlands are BASICALLY free...

Fourth, feast of blood is a great idea, I need to try it.

Fifth, I love you!
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Alandariel



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomLocke wrote:
First, Alandariel, I love you!

Second, I have stuck with this deck on magic online and people make fun of me for not playing red. I honestly think this is better.

Third, blade of the bloodchief is the kalastria highborn you wish you had. AKA the 5-8th copy. It just gets that extra damage through with that bloodghast. It also makes fetchlands really good. And since fetchlands are BASICALLY free...

Fourth, feast of blood is a great idea, I need to try it.

Fifth, I love you!


Um, thanks Tom, I think?

I'm not a huge fan of fetchlands. I've said it before, and I stand by experience when I say that you should not need more than the basic land package to complement Bloodghast. It's shenanigans with Scry and sometimes Bloodthrone and Highborn, but honestly it's win-more with a too-often overlooked drawback: losing life is not a good thing. The altered percentage of topdecks is nowhere near as significant as the likelyhood that the 2-4 life you lose is going to matter. Also, drawing a land in this deck isn't necessarily a terrible topdeck a good portion of the time and don't forget the card advantage Tutelage provides in a deck with nothing but one- and two-drops. On that subject Tutelage, Lacerator, and fetches together can really tear you up against balls-to-the-wall and midrange aggro matchups... something that I'm not willing to do. I understand the arguments for fetchlands, but I feel that the drawbacks do outweigh them.
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Pins4Sins



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol
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TomLocke



Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But add the shenanigans of blade of the bloodchief seems to make it worth it.

You are welcome!

Can we test after Dec 16th? AKA Finals
As you can see by my results, I can play a lot of decks well... sorry to have a big ego?
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Alandariel



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
Posts: 217

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomLocke wrote:
But add the shenanigans of blade of the bloodchief seems to make it worth it.

You are welcome!

Can we test after Dec 16th? AKA Finals
As you can see by my results, I can play a lot of decks well... sorry to have a big ego?


I'm always welcome to a competent testing partner. And don't worry about egotism... I'm as narcissistic as it gets when it comes to many things.

Good luck with finals, remember M:tG is just a game (for most anyway) so make sure school comes first. But I'm not your mother and you're probably not an idiot so this was probably a redundant paragraph.
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TomLocke



Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehehe you make me smile! Very Happy

I love narcissists! Let's be friends!

Thanks for the luck! I also hope I run well Razz
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dragonhand



Joined: 07 Nov 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you are a noob.com and I'me sure you never played vamps on a decent tournament...

If some one is looking for a vamp deck get out of here.. the list suck.


4 bloodthrone with no synergism card but bloodghast? It makes reduces the outcome result by making a temporary boost on a non trampler...

No fecth?... so you save lands in your hand to use them on ghast... but can't you do the same with fetchs? YOU CAN!! you get 2:1 advantage as you can do it twice with the same land increasing the potential of Kalastria shock effect.

4 Memoricide and 4 Marsh Casualty with 22 lands... ur rly not going to get those running in time...

I wont even comment the text that follows...

Edit:

Your poor sentences, that seem to have been copy+pasted from babelfish, are awful. It makes the tone of your reply seem worse than you might have intended though. You haven't done anything that is specifically against rules, but if you can, put more effort into writing in English or use a less abrasive tone. An abrasive tone and poor writing are not a good combination for starting an intelligent debate.

A friendly heads-up.

-EngSk
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