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Vampiric Bloodline Upgrade Guide – 5 Great Ideas

Congratulations on receiving your invitation to the wedding of Edgar and Olivia. It is certain to be an opulent affair. To go along with such a beautiful ceremony, Wizards has released a new pair of Commander decks. Today, we will be talking about how to upgrade the Vampiric Bloodline deck.

A Brief Note on Budget

Before we get too far, I need to mention, as I always do, that this article is meant to stimulate your own creativity, rather than tell you step-by-step how to maximize the power of this precon. I’m brainstorming some neat ideas, and you are welcome to use mine exactly, or as a springboard for your own idea. I’m sure there are even plenty of themes that I didn’t even think about that you might want to pursue with your own deck.

With that being said, I also do not intend to pull any punches, so to speak, in regard to budget. This is not a budget article, so my main focus will not necessarily be to include cheap cards. In many cases, the cards in this article are fairly affordable. However, if there are more expensive cards that I include, I will try to also mention cheaper cards with a similar effect. Unfortunately, I can’t promise that this will always happen, since some cards are expensive due to their uniqueness.

Hopefully, as you read this article, you will find something that inspires you to want to build this deck, regardless of your financial situation. I know that, as I was writing it, I found a lot of cool ideas that seem interesting to build around.

If you’d like to purchase the Vampiric Bloodline deck, you can order it on Amazon.

Vampiric Bloodline Crimson Vow Commander Deck Decklist

Vampiric Bloodline Decklist

And with that out of the way, here are the cards that you get when you purchase the Vampiric Bloodline deck:

Commander (1)
Strefan, Maurer Progenitor

Creatures (27)
Anje’s Ravager
Anowon, the Ruin Sage
Blood Artist
Bloodline Necromancer
Bloodlord of Vaasgoth
Bloodsworn Steward
Bloodtithe Harvester
Bloodtracker
Butcher of Malakir
Champion of Dusk
Cordial Vampire
Crimson Honor Guard
Dark Impostor
Falkenrath Gorger
Falkenrath Noble
Indulgent Aristocrat
Malakir Bloodwitch
Necropolis Regent
Nirkana Revenant
Patron of the Vein
Rakish Heir
Sanctum Seeker
Stromkirk Captain
Stromkirk Condemned
Stromkirk Occultist
Vampire Nighthawk
Vampiric Dragon

Sorceries (8)
Ancient Craving
Avacyn’s Judgment
Blasphemous Act
Damnable Pact
Feed the Swarm
Mob Rule
Night’s Whisper
Vandalblast

Instants (2)
Rakdos Charm
Urge to Feed

Artifacts (8)
Arcane Signet
Charcoal Diamond
Commander’s Sphere
Fire Diamond
Rakdos Signet
Sol Ring
Swiftfoot Boots
Unstable Obelisk

Enchantments (3)
Molten Echoes
Stensia Masquerade
Underworld Connections
Lands (37)
Command Tower
Exotic Orchard
Foreboding Ruins
Myriad Landscape
Path of Ancestry
Rakdos Carnarium
Shadowblood Ridge
Smoldering Marsh
Tainted Peak
Temple of Malice
Temple of the False God
Unclaimed Territory
11 Mountain
14 Swamp

New Cards* (14)
Arterial Alchemy
Crossway Troublemakers
Glass-Cast Heart
Imposing Grandeur
Kamber, the Plunderer
Laurine, the Diversion
Markov Enforcer
Midnight Arsonist
Olivia’s Wrath
Predators’ Hour
Scion of Opulence
Shadowgrange Archfiend
Sinister Waltz
Timothar, Baron of Bats

*These are the brand-new cards. If you can see them, it’s because the database wasn’t updated yet. You can find all new Crimson Vow Commander cards here.

Vampiric Bloodline – General Upgrades

Strefan, Maurer Progenitor Crimson Vow Commander Decks Spoilers

There are two possible commander combinations that come in this precon. You could choose Strefan, Maurer Progenitor, or Kamber, the Plunderer + Laurine, the Diversion. Later in the article, I will recommend which of these commanders I think would lead that particular upgrade strategy best.

As I’ve said in recent upgrade articles, the quality of the Commander pre-constructed decks continues to go up. This deck is no exception, and needs very little in the realm of general upgrades. As always, the mana can be improved, so I’ll go over that. Otherwise, the upgrades I recommend will exclusively be to focus the deck around one specific theme or other.

The Mana Base

This deck, like the others that Wizards has recently printed, has a very workable land package. There are ten lands that could potentially tap for either of the decks colors, which is great. The more lands you have that color fix, the better. Most of them even enter the battlefield untapped, with is even better.

Dragonskull Summit Vampiric Bloodline Upgrade Guide

If you want to make this deck more consistent, though, upgrading the lands is one simple way to do that. You can take out some basic lands, colorless utility lands, or enter-the-battlefield tapped lands and replace them with the likes of:

Some of these are more expensive than others, but any number of them that you can add will likely make your deck play out much more smoothly.

Since this deck is also a tribal deck, tribal lands like Cavern of Souls, Mutavault, and Faceless Haven are also great options. In the case of Faceless Haven, though, make sure to have plenty of snow sources to be able to activate it. Sulfurous Mire, plenty of Snow-Covered Swamps, and Snow-Covered Mountains should probably be adequate in most cases.

What to Take Out

This deck is pretty focused for a precon. Each card included out of the box could have a home in one of these upgrade paths. For that reason, I’ll let each individual section go over which cards you should take out of it.

5 Ways to Upgrade the Vampiric Bloodline Precon

Here are the five ways I came up with to upgrade this deck:

  1. Tribal
  2. Blood Tokens
  3. Artifactocrats
  4. Goad
  5. Extra Combats

If you can think of other, better ways to improve the deck, let me know. I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Otherwise, check out my ideas and let me know which one you want to build.

Power Level

At the beginning of each of the next sections, I included a range of numbers. That range is what I expect this deck to be able to perform at on a 1-10 power scale (Based on the power scale established by the Command Zone Podcast). For more information on the Commander power scale, you can take a look at the table below.

Power LevelNameDescription
1-2JankVery little synergy among cards. No Commander staples. Under powered on purpose.
3-4CasualSome synergies, but lacking the strong ones. Deck still lacks focus. Mana curves mostly neglected. A deck that a new player would build.
4-6FocusedSynergy exists, deck has a focused gameplan, although doesn't always win in the exact same way, usually after turn 13. Includes staples and a small amount of tutors. On the same power level as most Commander precons.
7-8OptimizedPowerful and varied synergies between the cards. A decent number of good tutors. Good mana curve. Has an efficient and consistent way to win on turns 10-12 (level 7) or 7-9 (level 8). Some social rules - like no mass land destruction, no consistent combo wins - still exist.
9-10CompetitiveThe most powerful decks, on cEDH level. Quick and explosive, can win on turns 4-6 (level 9) or 1-3 (level 10). No social rules, no jank cards. Only the most powerful commanders and strategies can reach this level.

Actual power levels may vary, but let those numbers be a guide when considering upgrading this deck in those ways.

1. Tribal

Recommended Commander: Strefan, Maurer Progenitor or Kamber, the Plunderer & Laurine, the Diversion

Vampires (6-8)

Vampire Nocturnus Tribal Vampires MTG

This is the most obvious upgrade path for the Vampiric Bloodline deck. The precon is a tribal Vampires deck by design, so this section simply wants to accentuate that theme. Rakdos Vampires is one of the most popular tribal decks on EDHRec, so people already know most of the best cards. Here are some of the best black/red Vampire cards that are not available in Vampiric Bloodline:

Vampires are a tribe that also have a lot of non-Creature cards that contribute directly to the tribe’s purpose. For example:

Furthermore, you can find some of the best Vampire cards here.

Madness

You will also notice that there are a couple of recurring themes within the Vampires tribe. There are a lot of Creatures with Madness, an ability that lets you cast the card from exile if when you discard it. There are a lot of Creatures with this ability that come in the precon.

Anje-Falkenrath Vampiric Bloodline Upgrade Guide

Similarly, there was a precon several years ago, led by Anje Falkenrath, built around this very theme. Check out that deck if you want to focus exclusively on Madness. If, however, you want to remain loyal to the Vampires, there are certainly more than enough cards to make that possible.

Legendary

Mox Amber How to Make Vampiric Bloodline Deck Better

If you were paying close attention to the long list of Vampires, you probably noticed that a ton of them were Legendary Creatures. In total, there are forty-eight Legendary Vampires in Magic. Of those 48, twenty-eight of them can go in the Vampiric Bloodline precon. That means that you could reasonably build a deck to take advantage of cards that cards about Legends, like:

For best results, it might be better to add white, blue, or all of the colors, in order to have the most Legendary Vampires possible. However, the above cards with supplement what you have regardless.

Nobles (3-6)

Crimson Vow Commander Deck Vampire Florian

The Nobles tribe is one that has shown up a lot more frequently lately. Since the tribe is so new, it doesn’t have a very thoroughly fleshed-out identity. However, one prominent theme among the few available black/red Nobles is Aristocrats. Cards like Falkenrath Aristocrat and Falkenrath Noble are perfect Aristocrats cards and even work well with Nobles like Florian, Voldaren Scion. This deck might end up looking just like a tribal Vampires deck, since so many Nobles are also Vampires.

Also, Strefan, Maurer Progenitor is the recommended commander for this upgraded version of Vampiric Bloodline deck. You might notice that, other than the typeline, Strefan doesn’t have any synergy with Nobles. Technically, sharing a type with the tribe is a decent reason for a Legendary Creature to lead a tribal deck, but we might have to wait a little longer for a proper Nobles commander.

Rogues (4-6)

Rogues are a tribe we’ve seen get a lot of support in the last year. This upgrade path, however, tries to replace blue (a traditionally characteristic Rogues color) with red (a color that sometimes has Rogues). Let’s explore what red has to offer the tribe.

In case it wasn’t obvious, the commanders for this deck should be Kamber and Laurine.

Surprisingly, a whole lot of red Rogues are also Goblins. I didn’t really expect to recommend this, but you could probably get away with building a Goblin Rogues deck around these commanders. It likely won’t be very competitive, but if you decide to try it out, please let me know.

Frogtosser Banneret Vampiric Bloodline Upgrade Guide

These are some decent Rakdos-colored Rogues (minus the Goblins):

This list turned out to actually be pretty long. Although Rogues are not as well-supported in red, you could still likely make a cohesive deck from them. Consider leaning into their Artifact or Aristocrat synergies.

New Cards From Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Obviously, the main theme of this set is Vampires. As a result, there are plenty of Vampires to upgrade this version of the Vampiric Bloodline deck. There is only a single Noble (Olivia, Crimson Bride) and a single Rogue (Creepy Puppeteer) in the entire set, though:

Vampire cards you can get in Crimson Vow are:

What to Take Out

Obviously, the cards that you take out of this upgraded Vampiric Bloodline deck depend on the tribe you choose to focus in on. If you want to focus on Rogues, take out all the Vampire, and vise versa and so on. There is at least one card, however, that doesn’t contribute to any tribe.

Specifically, I’m referring to Shadowgrange Archfiend. Even though it has Madness, this card doesn’t do much for any of the tribes you might upgrade this deck for. If you want to build a non-Vampire Madness deck, this card is great. However, it does not fit in a tribal deck of almost any kind.

2. Blood Tokens (4-7)

Recommended Commander: Strefan, Maurer Progenitor or Kamber, the Plunderer & Laurine, the Diversion

Blood tokens are a brand-new mechanic from Crimson Vow. They work similarly to Clue tokens, but they only cost one generic mana to activate and also require you to discard a card.

Olivia's Attendants Vampiric Bloodline Upgrade Guide

Since they are new to the game, you might struggle to find enough cards to fill out a complete Commander deck. If you want to try it anyway, here are all the cards from Crimson Vow that make or care about Blood tokens:

A lot of the cards are obviously more powerful in draft than in Commander. Also, there is not an obvious payoff for simply making a lot of Blood tokens. I think choosing a commander that can utilize the tokens effectively is going to be key to making this strategy work.

Strefan is probably the best option, but Kamber & Laurine can also use them if you want to run them instead. Outside the commanders, you’ll probably have to get creative with how you use Blood tokens.

We discussed Madness previously, but that is one option. Reanimator is another one if you want to fill in the remaining parts of the deck with big scary Creatures. To further explore creative uses for Blood, check out the next section on Artifactocrats.

What to Take Out

This version of the Vampiric Bloodline deck will doesn’t need most of the tribal synergies. You could probably cut most of the Vampires that don’t care about Blood tokens. Similarly, cards like Predator’s Hour and Mob Rule that don’t actively contribute to the Blood theme can probably go. This may mean that you have to find utility cards that do things like wipe the board, draw cards, or remove threats. You will probably be better off having cards that serve that purpose as well as contribute to the rest of the deck’s synergy.

3. Artifactocrats (4-7)

Recommended Commander: Kamber, the Plunderer & Laurine, the Diversion

“Artifactocrats” is a name given to a deck archetype that sacrifices specifically Artifacts for value. Alternatively, these decks often try to generate a critical mass of artifacts, and use their sheer volume to generate the value they need to win.

Daretti, Scrap Savant

This archetype is fairly new, as a lot of the payoff cards were printed in the last few years. Highlights include:

You’ll notice that these cards do one of four things.

  1. Make Artifacts.
  2. Sacrifice Artifacts.
  3. Care about Artifacts going to the graveyard.
  4. Care about Artifacts entering the battlefield.

The specific kinds of Artifacts don’t matter hardly at all, making this strategy perfect for effects that make a lot of Treasures, Clues, Food, Blood, etc.

New Cards From Innistrad: Crimson Vow

See the above section on Blood tokens. Additionally, Investigator’s Journal is a Clue token with upside.

What to Take Out

Again, this deck focuses more on the tokens than the tribes. Feel free to take out anything that doesn’t make or care about Artifact tokens. There might still be a small Vampires subtheme, though, since so many of the new set’s Vampires make Blood tokens.

4. Goad (5-7)

Recommended Commander: Kamber, the Plunderer & Laurine, the Diversion

This section is pretty different from the previous ones. No Vampires, no tokens, just making your opponents fight each other to the death.

Disrupt Decorum How to Make Vampiric Bloodline Deck Better

The inspiration for this theme comes from Laurine, the Diversion, who lets you Goad one of your opponents’ Creatures if you sacrifice an Artifact or Creature. There are a ton of cards in these colors that let you do a similar thing, so let’s go over some of them:

These cards can help you keep your opponents fighting amongst themselves, rather than attacking you. These games end up being a lot of fun and quite a bit faster.

New Cards From Innistrad: Crimson Vow

There aren’t any new cards in the set with Goad, but Curses often pair well with this kind of deck. Curse of Hospitality is a great way for players to be even more incentivized to attack each other than they were previously.

What to Take Out

This is one version of the Vampiric Bloodline deck where we have to gut the original to make room for the new cards. The Goad deck doesn’t need Vampires, Blood tokens, tribal synergies, or anything. Obviously, keep or replace any card draw, removal, or ramp that you will need.

Other than that, the entirety of the deck can be replaced with cards with Goad, or that have effects to manipulate combat.

5. Extra Combats (5-7)

Recommended Commander: Strefan, Maurer Progenitor

Combat Celebrant Strefan Vampiric Bloodline Upgrade Guide

Finally, we have the section that is sort of like the inverse of the previous section. Instead of making our opponents attack each other over and over again, what if you just cut out the middle man and attack them over and over yourself? That’s a great idea. Here are some cards that let you do just that:

The reason that we want these cards is because Strefan triggers on attacks. So, the more we attack with him, the more triggers we get. However, there is an awkward balance here between running Creatures like Combat Celebrant, who help us take extra combat steps, and cards that Strefan cares about. Namely, when we attack with Strefan, we can sacrifice Blood tokens (necessitating a Blood token generation package) in order to play Vampires from our hand for free.

So, we have a couple of options here: 1) Include as many scary Vampires as we can among the extra combat spells. Or 2) Play cards like Conspiracy and Maskwood Nexus that make all of our Creatures into Vampires so Strefan can cheat anything in our deck into play. I’ll let you decide what you want to do in this case.

New Cards From Innistrad: Crimson Vow

There are not any cards from Crimson Vow that let you take extra combat steps. There are, however, Creatures with abilities that trigger during combat. For instance:

What to Take Out

Depending on whether you choose to try to cheat real Vampires or Maskwood Nexus-ified Vampires into play, you might have a lot of cards to cut from this deck. Obviously, if you want to cheat real Vampires into play, keep/add all the ones that you want to try to get out.

I find that higher mana-value Vampires that are more difficult to hard-cast work best in this situation. Otherwise, you can cut most of the Vampires cards, which should make plenty of room to include the rest of the cards that you are going to need.

Conclusion

And that concludes another fun upgrade guide. Let us know down below if you want to build and upgrade the Vampiric Bloodline deck. If you have further questions, you can find me on Instagram or Twitter. You can also listen to my podcast, Gathering: My Thoughts on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

If you want to open some new Crimson Vow cards, to upgrade your Vampiric Bloodline deck with, you can purchase a Set booster box on Amazon.

Crimson Vow Set Booster Box

If you want to pimp your deck with the rarest card, then you’ll probably like Collector boosters. You can find the Crimson Vow Collector Booster contents here.

More Upgrades

And if you have other Innistrad 2021 Commander decks that you want to upgrade, check out these upgrade guides:

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