We're deep into spoiler season for Innistrad: Crimson Vow, and as expected, Vampires are the stars of the show. There are multiple competitive Vampire cards in Innistrad: Crimson Vow that will join up with the Vampires that are already Standard-legal. For players looking to play the Rakdos colors this is great news! Let's get into some of the new hits and take a look at a preliminary decklist for the new Standard format.

Here we have a card that synergizes with the Vampire tribe as a whole. The Blood tokens are definitely going to be useful as you transition into the mid and late game. Anje, Maid of Dishonor ability to drain your opponent out is highly relevant, as you will inevitably have at least some creatures and Blood tokens that can be sacrificed. Remember even if Anje immediately dies, you still generate a Blood token from the enters-the-battlefield effect.

This card is incredibly powerful, and definitely worthy of your six-mana investment. Olivia, Crimson Bride flying and haste make it easy to activate her on-attack ability the same turn you play her, allowing you to return a creature to the battlefield tapped and attacking! I don't think we have seen graveyard reanimation attached to a creature that has ever been this powerful. You simply attack and reanimate a creature that attacks the opponent. They likely won't survive for very long if this happens more than once.

Olivia, Crimson Bride cares about legendary Vampires, which will rule out a number of Vampires as far as being able to keep your reanimated creatures in play. Of course, she counts herself, so at a minimum the opponent needs to kill Olivia, Crimson Bride in order to deal with the creatures you bring back from the graveyard.

I'm happy to see a good two-drop in the Vampire tribe, and I suspect we will see Voldaren Bloodcaster in pretty much every Vampire deck because of the premium on good, inexpensive threats.

Transforming into Bloodbat Summoner is not the reason to play Voldaren Bloodcaster, as the card is strong enough even if you don't expect it to transform. However, when you are able to get up to five Blood tokens, turning them into flying Bats is really sweet. I love the design on this card, especially as you can pair it with sacrifice outlets to ensure you are generating Blood tokens.

This card is going to be good against other creature-based decks, especially if you have a sacrifice outlet to sacrifice whatever creature you are stealing. Keep in mind this is much more than a Threaten effect, and Threaten effects already see play a lot of the time in red sideboards. Dominating Vampire is very capable of being a maindeck card because it comes along with a nice body, though it could still be better off as a sideboard card. Expect it to be good against the same decks that are afraid of Brutal Cathar.

Sorin the Mirthless isn't quite a Vampire themed card, but I do want to mention it because it creates Vampire tokens. The jury is still out on this planeswalker, but it may earn a spot in Vampire-themed decks on the strength of its -2 ability.

Giving your opponent Blood tokens isn't ideal, but this is a very large threat that can win the game by itself if left unanswered. The pump effect from Bloodvial Purveyor when you attack with it doesn't end at the end of turn, it's a permanent stat boost the way the card reads, which is pretty sweet.

This definitely belongs in a deck trying to generate Blood tokens! Vampires generally win by attacking, so the fact Falkenrath Forebear can't block shouldn't be a huge deal. This card is not going to be easy for control decks to handle because of its ability to be recurred.

A Vampire land! Now we are talking. It even makes Blood tokens. I expect the Vampire decks to play four copies of Voldaren Estate.

That's a lot of the new Vampires that have already been spoiled, but certainly not all of them! Of course, there are also likely more we still don't know about yet. There is a high density of Vampires in Innistrad: Crimson Vow, so it's clear there is a push to make the tribe competitive in Standard. Here are some of the better Vampires currently legal in Standard:

There is already a very strong and competitive Vampires deck in Standard that plays these cards. This actually makes it quite difficult because there are too many good Vampires in the format now. This means that we will have to pick and choose which Vampires we want to play. A lot of the new Vampires in Innistrad Crimson Vow have synergy with Blood tokens, while of course the old Vampires can't generate Blood tokens without some assistance from the new Vampires. I expect this to make for a very interesting dynamic.

There will be a lot of decisions to make in the deck building process, especially in the early goings of this new format. Here's my shot at building a deck that highlights some of the new Vampires and the Blood token synergy.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Rakdos Vampires by Seth Manfield

'Rakdos Vampires' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Seth Manfield


Rank: 0-0


Market Price: $135.58


Nullpriest of Oblivion

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.71

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Kicker {3}{B}
Menace, lifelink
When Nullpriest of Oblivion enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

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Den of the Bugbear

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $6.58

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If you control two or more other lands, Den of the Bugbear enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {R}.
{3}{R}: Until end of turn, Den of the Bugbear becomes a 3/2 red Goblin creature with "Whenever this creature attacks, create a 1/1 red Goblin creature token that's tapped and attacking." It's still a land.

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Infernal Grasp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.48

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Destroy target creature. You lose 2 life.

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Voldaren Bloodcaster

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.57

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Whenever Voldaren Bloodcaster or another nontoken creature you control dies, create a Blood token. (It's an artifact with "{1}, {T}, Discard a card, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.")
Whenever you create a Blood token, if you control five or more Blood tokens, transform Voldaren Bloodcaster.

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Anje, Maid of Dishonor

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.58

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Whenever Anje, Maid of Dishonor and/or one or more other Vampires enter the battlefield under your control, create a Blood token. This ability triggers only once each turn. (It's an artifact with "{1}, {T}, Discard a card, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.")
{2}, Sacrifice another creature or a Blood token: Each opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.

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Shatterskull Smashing

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $3.24

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Shatterskull Smashing deals X damage divided as you choose among up to two target creatures and/or planeswalkers. If X is 6 or more, Shatterskull Smashing deals twice X damage divided as you choose among them instead.

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Immersturm Predator

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.86

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Whenever Immersturm Predator becomes tapped, exile up to one target card from a graveyard and put a +1/+1 counter on Immersturm Predator.
Sacrifice another creature: Immersturm Predator gains indestructible until end of turn. Tap it.

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Vampire Socialite

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.47

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Menace (This creature can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.)
When Vampire Socialite enters the battlefield, if an opponent lost life this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on each other Vampire you control.
As long as an opponent lost life this turn, each other Vampire you control enters the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on it.

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Olivia, Crimson Bride

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $12.69

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Flying, haste
Whenever Olivia, Crimson Bride attacks, return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped and attacking. It gains "When you don't control a legendary Vampire, exile this creature."

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Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

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({T}: Add {R}.)

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Blightstep Pathway

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $5.52

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{T}: Add {B}.

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Hive of the Eye Tyrant

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.97

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If you control two or more other lands, Hive of the Eye Tyrant enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}.
{3}{B}: Until end of turn, Hive of the Eye Tyrant becomes a 3/3 black Beholder creature with menace and "Whenever this creature attacks, exile target card from defending player's graveyard." It's still a land.

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Voldaren Estate

Market Price: $0.83

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{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Pay 1 life: Add one mana of any color. Spend this mana only to cast a Vampire spell.
{5}, {T}: Create a Blood token. This ability costs {1} less to activate for each Vampire you control. (It's an artifact with "{1}, {T}, Discard a card, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.")

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Falkenrath Forebear

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.27

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Falkenrath Forebear can't block.
Whenever Falkenrath Forebear deals combat damage to a player, create a Blood token.
{B}, Sacrifice two Blood tokens: Return Falkenrath Forebear from your graveyard to the battlefield.

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Florian, Voldaren Scion

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.94

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First strike
At the beginning of your postcombat main phase, look at the top X cards of your library, where X is the total amount of life your opponents lost this turn. Exile one of those cards and put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. You may play the exiled card this turn.

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Dominating Vampire

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.26

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When Dominating Vampire enters the battlefield, gain control of target creature with mana value less than or equal to the number of Vampires you control until end of turn. Untap that creature. It gains haste until end of turn.

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Hero's Downfall

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.24

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Destroy target creature or planeswalker.

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Agadeem's Awakening

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.58

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Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different mana value X or less.

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Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

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({T}: Add {B}.)

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Haunted Ridge

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $5.50

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Haunted Ridge enters the battlefield tapped unless you control two or more other lands.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}.

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Falkenrath Pit Fighter

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.71

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{1}{R}, Discard a card, Sacrifice a Vampire: Draw two cards. Activate only if an opponent lost life this turn.

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This deck prioritizes the Vampires, with only a couple removal spells to supplement. Hero's Downfall is a nice flexible option to go alongside Infernal Grasp. However, without a ton of removal I don't think you want Bloodthirsty Adversary. This should make the deck better against a deck like Izzet Epiphany though, as that deck plays practically no creatures. Having a high density of Vampires will be the key to success.

Remember that this is a tribal strategy, so the creatures aren't going to be as good in isolation. Immersturm Predator is a really nice sacrifice outlet, so I expect to see a lot of that card, as it pairs really nicely alongside Dominating Vampire. It's possible the deck will end up not wanting Olivia, Crimson Bride for curve purposes, but I definitely think it's worthy of consideration. If you are paying six mana you would certainly rather have Olivia, Crimson Bride than Nullpriest of Oblivion.

Rakdos fans have a lot to look forward to in Standard. The manabase is great with the addition of Voldaren Estate, so you don't need to worry too much about having both colors. This deck also can play through opposing removal spells very nicely, either by giving Immersturm Predator indestructibility or bringing a creature back with Olivia, Crimson Bride, or rebuying Falkenrath Forebear by sacrificing a couple of Blood tokens.

I'm excited to see how the addition of the Blood tokens affects a deck that is already quite good, and as I said, spoilers aren't over. This reminds me a lot of when we saw a ton of Vampires in Standard due to Ixalan, but instead of white-black we will be moving back to the more traditional Rakdos colors.