How to Play the Vampiric Bloodline Precon in EDH
This is the complete guide to successfully piloting the Vampiric Bloodline preconstructed deck, led by . This guide holds all the information needed to pilot the deck to victory straight from the box!
Vampiric Bloodline is a Vampire tribal deck first and foremost, and is looking to power up its Vampires with counters and synergies, while also leveraging Blood tokens made from Strefan to churn through its library to achieve a critical mass victory with large creatures.
The tribal synergies in this deck are strong. It has 21 Vampire payoffs, ensuring that multiple will be drawn every single game. Some of them will provide bonuses and value when Vampires come and go, and others are boosting power and toughness.
- is going to do a very good impression of in this deck, primarily due to the several Blood tokens guaranteed by Strefan. It’s a strong way to tie the two strategies together.
- and each provide more value whenever a Vampire dies or enters, either with Treasures or by fighting and killing opposing threats. also grants Vampires a second life upon death, if the Bat tokens can connect.
- is one of the best Vampires in the deck, and will regularly drain opponents for five or more life. It can be a finisher in certain games.
- is another one of the strongest payoffs in the deck, and will prevent the deck from running out of steam in every game it’s drawn.
- is proficient at bringing back troublesome threats, and the lifelink is relevant with some of the anthem effects the deck possesses. When a large threat dies, it’s nice to get a second use out of it.
Now, for the Vampire payoffs that grant stat boosts and abilities:
- Certain Vampire payoffs get better when the deck is sacrificing creatures, which isn’t the easiest task to accomplish in this deck. However, if , , and get going, your opponents won’t survive without a board wipe. These are the go-to finishers for the deck.
- , , , , and are redundant ways of boosting power and toughness, with varying degrees of power. and require combat damage and are weaker as a result.
- not only hands out deathtouch and lifelink, but it uses the life gained to draw extra cards to ensure its controller is never out of gas.
While the deck has strong death payoffs like and , it is severely lacking in sacrificde outlets to reliably trigger these backbreaking effects. The deck will need to rely on combat damage and blocking to trigger them, but it also contains some other cards that will be less powerful than usual due to this weakness.
- and won’t be reliable finishers like they normally are, and if the deck wants to dish out big damage with them, it’ll need one of its boardwipes, like Blasphemous Act.
- will help push through damage and make trading worse for opponents, but it won’t serve as a one-sided board wipe without ways to sacrifice creatures. It does still remain a solid creature to cheat into play by sacrificing two Blood tokens to Strefan.
Despite ’s love for Blood tokens, Vampiric Bloodline is also lacking guaranteed ways to damage all players at once. With cards like and , the deck could reliably get three or four Blood tokens each turn, but without them, this precon is relegated to attacking to get Blood tokens. As a result, Strefan will cheat less creatures into play, which is unfortunate, because the Vampires in this deck are actually quite expensive overall. There are twenty Vampires that cost at least 4 in the deck, so it’s unfortunate that Strefan can’t help out more.
While some cards fall short due to the specific configuration of the deck, others consistently underperform no matter how this deck is built.
- is meant for decks that have expensive commanders. This spell should almost exclusively be discarded to Blood tokens in precon battles, as it can easily lose its controller the game, since they will only draw 4 cards after.
- is more of a group slug card that happens to be a Vampire, and will do nothing to contribute to this deck’s Vampire tribal plans.
- just doesn’t have enough text to perform well in Commander at almost any power level. This is a nice last resort play or desperation move if an opponent has a giant flier, but it won’t accomplish much else.
While every preconstructed Commander deck has some duds in it, most of them also contain overperformers that can surprise players who are picking up the deck for the first time.
- While Strefan won’t be providing an endless supply of Blood tokens, there will still be more than enough to cheat out . It’s essentially a 3 mana 8/4 that draws a card when cast, that also scores a three-for-one by taking out the best creature controlled by each opponent. It isn’t a Vampire, but it doesn’t really matter. It even offsets the payment of 8 life required for its Madness cost.
- may be more of an obvious overperformer, but the utility of a one-sided board wipe can’t be ignored. It can clear the way for all the deck’s Vampires, leading to lethal strikes after an already efficient mass removal spell.
- While plays out as a medium-tier mana doubler in regular Commander, it can absolutely dominate games in lower power tables or in precon battles if it isn’t answered in a timely matter. Even if left around for a turn or two, it can power out more threats that also require answering, giving its controller time to pressure opponents even further.
Overall, Vampiric Bloodline is a solid Vampire tribal deck that doesn’t focus very heavily on creating Blood tokens and spreading out damage, and aims instead to cobble together very large vampiric threats to attack in for the win.
Understanding the priorities of the precon as well as what the overperformers and underperformers are will help improve the quality of Blood rummages, and allow players to avoid play patterns that aren’t well supporting and choose the correct paths to victory!