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MTG: High Stakes – Top 5 Vampire Commanders

4 Minute Read
Jan 29 2024
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You’ll want to watch your neck around these Commanders; they tend to be a bit bitey. Just make sure you stock up on garlic.

Welcome Planeswalkers and Praetors to our ongoing series about the best casual experience in Magic: Commander. For the uninitiated, Commander is a semi-casual format for Magic: the Gathering. You use a deck of 100 cards led by a legendary creature, aka, your Commander.

Aside from basic lands, you are only allowed one copy of each card in the deck. Moreover, you can only include cards in your Commander’s “color identity” or artifacts. Each color and color combo has a unique playstyle and a wealth of mighty generals to lead your deck to victory. EDHRec.com is an excellent source for Commander info and can give you ideas to build your next Commander deck or tune an existing one.

Vampires are a popular creature in every form of media, from movies and books to tabletop games. As such, it makes sense they’re one of the most popular creature types for Magic. Vampires usually fall in either the Orzhov or Mardu color blocks, but occasionally you’ll see them in Grixis or Rakdos. Whatever color they’re in, though, you know they’ll be draining your life and stealing your creatures. They are Vampires, after all.

Edgar Markov

The King of the Night and definitely-not-Dracula of Magic, Edgar Markov is the go-to Commander for Vampire decks. Not only can he double up on your Vampires whether he’s on the field or not (eminence OP, please nerf), but once he hits the field, your Vampires will grow in strength rapidly. Add in a few of the lifelink Vamps and a bit of creature boosting, and you’ll have an unstoppable army in no time. Just watch out for board wipes.

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ClavileƱo, First of the Blessed

The face Commander of the latest Vampire precon, Clavi loves to make your creatures nastier. While his ability doesn’t directly buff your creatures, it does give them a nasty death trigger. But you’re in Orzhov, you won’t have many of those, right? Clav is a surprisingly versatile Commander, especially if you don’t mind pitching your creatures.

Strefan, Maurer Progenitor

One of the lesser-known bloodlines in Innistrad, the Maurer are still worth keeping an eye on. Strefan himself has an interesting playstyle. He wants you to be making Blood Tokens, which are slightly less effective Clues, and then using the Blood to summon your creatures directly from your hand. If you can turn your creatures into Vampires, this can be very powerful, but it does require a little work. Still, it is a fun alternative to the standard aggro game of Vampires.

Evelyn, the Covetous

This is a surprising entry from New Capenna, but the Maestros faction was always a bit strange. They are all artists of questionable morales, and Evelyn is a thief of the highest order. She makes all your Vampires into library thieves, and you’ll want to build your deck around “exile matters”. This isn’t hard in Grixis, of course, but it is different than Vampires usually play.

Carmen, Cruel Skymarcher

One of my absolute favorite Vampire Commanders, Carmen has a little bit of everything. She flies, she has sacrifice effects, and she can return your sacrificed permanents to the battlefield. I’m honestly just surprised she isn’t higher on the list, but I guess that could be because of her high cost.

What do you think of these Commanders?

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Author: Clint Lienau
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