Every Pro Tour, we can be sure to see something sweet. Somebody always tries to break it with something cute or clever that doesn’t fit the mold. It’s rare that the deck finds success, but that wasn’t the case for Wilson Hunter and Phillip Braverman. They took the little-seen tribe from Ixalan and nearly converted it into a Top 8 on the game’s biggest stage.
There aren’t a whole lot of payoffs for a Vampire tribal deck. If you want “lords,” you can only look to Ixalan, as Vampires weren’t a prominent tribe in any earlier Standard set. Cards like Sanctum Seeker can be good but very fragile, and Anointed Deacon in a land of Harnessed Lightning and Abrade is kind of a joke. The biggest payoff for playing a lot of Vampire creatures is the ability to go wide early and often.
Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle is perfect for this and most closely resembles Goblin Rabblemaster. Getting down an early Vampire will let you get an additional token on turn 3 while continuing to gain some life and press your advantage.
Without any true Vampire lord, you turn to old favorite Metallic Mimic to get the job done. With a fair number of Vampires and plenty of ways to make 1/1 lifelinking Vampire tokens, Mimic gives your go-wide strategy the ability to also go big.
If you wanted to focus solely on Vampire synergies, this deck would fall short. There aren’t enough Vampires to go around, and the ability to go wide is far from a given. Oketra’s Monument, however, is incredible here. Not only can you name Warrior with your Mimic when the time is right, but this makes all of your other creatures cheaper to cast.
Legion Conquistador gives the deck a nice, steady stream of creatures and some card advantage akin to Squadron Hawk. Curving a 1-drop into Mimic into Monument into a pair of Conquistadors gives you a crazy board state early in the game. Even with a single spell to play in the first couple of turns, Monument into Conquistador puts four creatures on the board and will give many opponents immediate fits.
Angel of Invention is especially effective in this deck. Not only is it an army in a can with the ability to create multiple Servos, but Angel pumps the entire team while giving you a nice lifelink threat in the air. Oketra’s Monument will let you deploy the Angel on turn 4 (while also making a token).
Legion’s Landing is an absurd card. You get a Vampire token early, which is perfect for the deck. Later in the game, you get a source of continual advantage by giving yourself another land and a mana sink to create more tokens. Curving Legion’s Landing into Mimic into just about anything in the deck is going to result in a ton of victories.
Duskborne Skymarcher gives you a cheap creature that can do quite a bit in this deck. It will often be able to swing in unopposed for free damage and is a great outlet for making Vampires with Mavren Fein. Skymarcher can also mess up combat for your opponents as pumping a token will give you an additional point of life gain and allow you to trade up.
Adanto Vanguard is a great aggressive threat that can swing in on most boards unopposed. A 3-power attacking creature hits hard, and you should have life to spare to save the Vanguard thanks to all of your lifelinking creatures. This is another creature that plays well with Mavren Fein as an opponent will often have to take 3 while you grow your board.
Aviary Mechanic is great for resetting Angels and Mimics, but mostly as a combo with Oketra’s Monument. Bouncing a creature gives you additional tokens, and a pair of Mechanics working together gives you a 1/1 vigilance creature for white as many times as you want.
Your removal spells are a little on the clunky side, but they’re effective for a mono-white deck. Ixalan’s Binding does serious work against decks like Energy that are filled with 4-ofs that you’re happy to see stranded in their hand (I’m looking at you, Whirler Virtuoso). Thopter Arrest and Cast Out give you additional removal options to interact.
One of the most important cards in this deck comes in the land slot. You’re excellent at going wide with Monument and Vampire token producers, so having access to 4 copies of Shefet Dunes (as well as additional utility Deserts in Scavenger Grounds) gives this deck an amazing ability to close out a game.
Mono-White Vampires was far off the beaten path and took the Pro Tour by storm. With powerful sideboard options like Dusk // Dawn for Energy, Mono-White Vampires could have a real future dominating Standard tournaments!