Welcome to my new video series, where I try to figure out Standard! With M20 just released on Arena we can expect some significant shifts in the metagame, as players try to figure out which new cards make sense to play. For this week I chose an archetype that undoubtedly has improved in a big way, and that is White-Black Vampires.

In many ways the easiest deck to compare this to is traditional White Aggro without tribal synergies. There are lots of similarities, as the decks do play many of the same cards, like Skymarcher Aspirant, Adanto Vanguard, Legion's Landing and Venerated Loxodon. While you lose a bit of consistency in the manabase here by adding the black, the deck gains more lategame power. The Vampire synergy cards provide great ways to close out games.

Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord has been very impressive, especially alongside larger Vampires like Champion of Dusk. We saw in the games how powerful putting a Champion of Dusk into play with Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord is. An aggressive deck with access to strong card draw is pretty sweet, especially when you can play the card draw effect at the top of your curve. We were also able to showcase how to gain value off Icon of Ancestry activations later in games to find your Vampires. The Icon of Ancestry alongside Legion Lieutenant and Venerated Loxodon provide nice ways to buff up your creatures.

We got some good games in this set of matches, though we also saw how being unfamiliar with a new set can change the gameplay. Both my play and the play of my opponents was likely not optimal as we are learning what cards to play around. Cheap sweepers are going to be very good against Vampires, and Martin Juza likely beat us because of a turn-three Flame Sweep out of his R/G Dinosaur deck. On the flipside, against the U/G Flash deck we played to our outs with the opponent sitting on three life, and fortunately found a Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord in time.

As far as the decklist is concerned this build likely isn't perfect, but it's the best I have right now. Knight of the Ebon Legion is certainly a very powerful one-drop in this deck, it just sucks that there are only nine turn-one black sources. I'm interested in possibly adding some Unclaimed Territory, but that could make sideboard cards like Duress worse. Dusk Legion Zealot may seem weak on the surface, but I do think it's the best two-mana Vampire you can play after Adanto Vanguard and Legion Lieutenant. I'm hoping to see Vampires do well moving forward, as Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord is a massive reason to start playing this tribe again.

Seth Manfield

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