Last updated on May 20, 2022
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose | Illustration by Lie Setiawan
I love all things horror. I love new horror, old horror, alternative horror. All of it. Classic movie monsters are pretty high up on my list of favorite creatures, and vampires exist near the top. These bloodsucking undead are one of pop culture’s most popular creatures and it’s easy to see why. They’re powerful, immortal, and they come with a whole host of awesome powers.
But what about vampires in MTG? They’re a pretty popular tribe and there are tons of decklists out there that not only feature them but highlight their unique strengths and synergies. Have you ever wondered what the best vampire in all of Magic is?
I sure have, and I’ve got the answer for you here today. The totally subjective, 100% true, definitely-not-biased list of the best vampires in all of Magic ranked. Let’s dive right in!
What Are Vampires in MTG?
Blood Artist | Illustration by Johannes Voss
You’ve heard of vampires, right? Right?
Well, they’re in Magic too! I feel like that’s not news. Vampires are pretty much everywhere, and the wide world of MTG is no exception.
Vampires are a tribe in Magic, and they’re a pretty good one. They’ve got a lot of support, plenty of vampire creatures, and a whole host of lords and payoff cards floating around. If you’re looking to make a tribal deck but can’t quite figure out which creature type to choose, I say go with vampires. You can never go wrong with vampires.
But there’s more to vampires than just the flavor. Sure, that’s great, but vampires in MTG are also really powerful mechanically. There’s a clear synergy that flows through all of the cards that support this tribe, which is what makes it so easy to build a deck around them. And so powerful.
In case you’ve never played with or really examined vampires before, let me introduce you to what they’re all about. You’ll be seeing a lot of these mechanics:
First we have flying. What’s a vampire who can’t fly, after all? They might not turn into bats (most of the time), but you’ll see vampires hovering around the air in a menacing fashion more often than not.
Next up are counters. Vampires love counters. Particularly +1/+1 counters. They like to give them to each other, pass them around, put them on themselves, share the love! There are also some instances of removing counters or even giving negative counters.
Lifelink and deathtouch are two more common keywords you’ll see if you dive into tribal vampires. They’re all about life and death, after all, so it makes sense. Vampires giveth life, and they taketh life away.
And it wouldn’t be vampires without the ability to make more vampires. Whether it’s through tokens or giving other creatures the vampire creature type, this tribe is always looking to expand it’s ranks.
And that’s the long and the short of it. Sure, there are plenty of other mechanics that pop up on vampires throughout Magic’s long and bloody history, but these are the main ones to keep in mind. Enough about rules and keywords and all that boring stuff, let’s get to the main event: the best vampires in all of Magic.
Anowon, the Ruin Thief
Anowon, the Ruin Thief is a great card. It boosts its tribe with +1/+1 counters and has a great triggered ability that punishes your opponent while also offering you some potential card advantage. The problem is that the Ruin Thief’s tribe isn’t vampires; it’s rogues.
Still, Anowon would be a great addition to a vampire/rogue tribal build. Just don’t think of it first if you’re going pure vamps.
Henrika Domnathi / Henrika, Infernal Seer
Crimson Vow gave us a lot of great vampires. This set is definitely going to pop up on my list quite a few times and that’s really no surprise. When it comes to Henrika Domnathi, it can be great in the right deck. But it’s not for every vampire build and that’s fine.
Legion’s Landing / Adanto, the First Fort
Legion’s Landing isn’t a vampire. It’s not even a creature. But it’s a must-have for any vampire tribal deck that uses white. Heck, I might even suggest you splash white just so that you can throw this bad boy in there.
This legendary enchantment-land duo is great for giving you a boost in the early game. And once you transform it into Adanto, the First Fort, you’ve got a mana sink for the late game if you need it that still boosts your vampire tribe.
#20: Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
I like Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. It’s not too expensive at as a 3/4 with lifelink and some good abilities. Its biggest problem is that it branches out of vampire tribal and dips its toes into zombies. That said, these two tribes do go really well together.
If you’re interested in making a dual-tribal deck with the bloodsuckers and shambling corpses working alongside each other, Kalitas should definitely be at the top of your list.
#19: Malakir Bloodwitch
Malakir Bloodwitch is a good card, and a good vampire. You’ve got protection, flying, decent power and toughness, and a good life play ability. This is a great card if you’re running a deck that wants to have a swarm of bloodsucking creatures on your side of the board. Even more so if there’s some life play and payoffs involved.
#18: Twilight Prophet
I really love playing with unique mechanics. Twilight Prophet scratches that itch in the best way. You don’t see ascend a whole lot, but it’s a mechanic that I’m really fond of. Prophet is affordable enough at , and you’re fine with it coming down a little later in the game anyway to make sure you’re getting that sweet ascendency ability.
#17: Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose
I said that vampires like lifelink and deathtouch, but the reality is that they just really enjoy playing with life. Yours and your opponent’s. Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose is a great example of this. It’s not much of a powerhouse on its own, but that’s fine. Vito is just here to support your other vampires and punish your opponents for letting you gain life.
#16: Welcoming Vampire
Welcoming Vampire is another great addition to the tribe from Crimson Vow. I also really appreciate the flavor with this card. It’s just looking to say hi and make sure everything feels welcome when they join the party. Isn’t that sweet?
Plus Orzhov () is my favorite combo for vampires and white definitely appreciates the extra hands.
#15: Blood Artist
Look, it’s more life play! Blood Artist does a great job of giving you an early start on your life shenanigans at only . It’s fragile, sure, and you’re not going to be beating down anybody’s door with this lil guy, but throw it into the mix with some other support and you’ve got a strong start.
#14: Bloodline Keeper / Lord of Lineage
I really love transforming cards. Bloodline Keeper is from the original Innistrad set and shows off this mechanic in classic fashion. A great little token maker with the ability to power itself (and the rest of your undead horde) up once you’ve established a good army of vampires.
#13: Felisa, Fang of Silverquill
Look, more tokens! Except I like this one better because it makes Inklings, and those things are adorable. Let me introduce you to Felisa, Fang of Silverquill. Not only does this card boost any card that fights alongside it, but it also gives you a little something for your trouble whenever one of your soldiers falls in battle. Felisa really is Silverquill’s queen bee.
#12: Champion of Dusk
Champion of Dusk is a bit of a double-edged sword. You get more card advantage the more vampires you’ve got under your control, but you’re also going to take a hit to your life in exchange.
Then again, you could very easily turn this to your advantage in a deck focused on manipulating your life total. It’s a resource as much as your mana, after all, and no tribe does that quite as well as vampires do.
#11: Vampire Hexmage
Putting Vampire Hexmage right in the middle of my rankings might be a bit controversial. Some players absolutely love this card and rank it in their top 5, while others don’t even consider it. But a 2/1 for with first strike is pretty good, and the ability to sacrifice it to nerf something that your opponent has built up beyond regular removal is great.
#10: Knight of the Ebon Legion
Knight of the Ebon Legion was the talk of the town when it was in Standard. A 1-drop that will absolutely wipe the floor with your opponent if left unchecked is nothing to scoff at. And look, yet another card that really enjoys life play and counters. Who saw that coming?
#9: Patron of the Vein
I really love Patron of the Vein. This vampire is definitely on the more expensive side as a , but it’s more than worth it. A 4/4 with flying whose opening move is to destroy one of your opponent’s creatures is great, and it’s +1/+1 counter ability is just another boost to your bloodsucking army.
#8: Timothar, Baron of Bats
Timothar, Baron of Bats is probably one of my favorite vampires to be printed in recent years. I’d love to put it higher on the list, but I have to be fair to the others.
Putting the on-point art and flavor aside for a second, Timothar is a great addition to any vampire tribal build, but particularly in Commander. As long as you can protect your own, your vampires need never see the true release of death.
#7: Drana, the Last Bloodchief
Playing with the graveyard is a big love of mine in Magic. Drana, the Last Bloodchief enables this in one of the best ways. I also really love forcing my opponent to pick their poison.
And if they’re trying to be smart about it and bring back the one non-vampire I happened to have in there, well, Drana has that covered too.
#6: Elenda, the Dusk Rose
Elenda, the Dusk Rose is great. It’s a bit expensive for a 1/1, sure, but you’re looking to get it one the field and then just go to town on your opponent. Or you could pair it with some sacrifice or removal to get the ball rolling.
And even if your opponent manages to expel Elenda from this mortal coil, they’re going to pay for it with an army of vampire lifelink tokens.
#5: Edgar, Charmed Groom / Edgar Markov’s Coffin
We’re finally in the top five! Edgar, Charmed Groom is here and it’s his wedding day, so I couldn’t leave him out.
Along with providing +1/+1 counters to all of your other vampiric guests, Edgar also refuses to leave the party. It’s his party, after all. Your opponent definitely won’t get the last word as Edgar boosts all of your vamps and just makes more of them when he taps out for a bit to get some rest before returning to end it all.
#4: Olivia Voldaren
I couldn’t cover the top five without introducing you to Olivia Voldaren. Rakdos () is a very close second when it comes to vampire tribal for me, but this is definitely the best combo to get into if you’re building around vamps. Olivia makes it even easier by just turning every creature she touches into a vampire and stealing any vamps that are on the wrong side of the board.
#3: Olivia, Crimson Bride
Speaking of Olivia, it’s her wedding day! And Olivia, Crimson Bride is here to make it everyone’s problem as she starts off our top three best vampires in MTG.
is nothing to scoff at, but a 3/4 with flying and haste isn’t either. Not to mention that Olivia isn’t letting any of her guests leave the party until she gets what she wants.
#2: Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord
Our one and only planeswalker, Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord gets the honor of second best vampire in Magic. It might not be a vampire itself, but Sorin needs to be in your list. Both +1 abilities are great boons to your undead army and do a great job of synergizing with the tribe. Its -3 ability is just icing on the cake.
#1: Edgar Markov
Look, I know Edgar Markov tops pretty much every “best vampires” list ever, but it’s easy to see why. This is a great card for vampire decks. You get an extra vamp token for every vampire you cast (even while he’s in the command zone), consistent and recurring +1/+1 counters for all your bloodsucking minions, and the card itself has first strike and haste.
Best Vampire Lords and Payoffs
Looking to maximize your impact and attack power while giving your vamps a little boost? Stensia Masquerade is your friend. First strike can give your creatures the edge they need to actually get around your opponent’s blockers, or even get rid of some.
And then there’s the payoff for actually connecting with your opponent. Plusses all around.
Bloodlord of Vaasgoth
Bloodlord of Vaasgoth is here to absolutely annihilate your opponent. It’s price is steep at , but giving every vampire that hits your side of the field bloodthirst 3 is more than worth it. If you really want to keep your bloodsuckers full and charged up, this is the card for you.
Blade of the Bloodchief
Blade of the Bloodchief might not be as striking as some other cards, but it’s cheap and it likes vampires. A measly to cast and then another to equip and your newly-armed vamp is suddenly much more menacing with every drop of blood you taste.
I think I just really like polite vampires. Cordial Vampire is here to invite you in and make you feel right at home. As long as someone just died, of course. Feed this vampire and you’re sure to have a good time.
I don’t really want to know what happens if you let it go hungry.
Oh look, it’s Edgar Markov again! I don’t know how much clearer I can be. This is the vampire commander. And if you’re building a deck for a different format, Edgar is still one of (if not the) best vampires out there.
It’s a powerful card in its own right and offers awesome payoffs and synergy to the rest of your vampire horde. There’s really no downside here. Just put Edgar Markov in your vampire tribal build. You won’t regret it.
Cool MTG Vampire Accessories
Vampire Token Alters
If you’re building a vampire tribal deck, odds are you’re going to need some vampiric tokens. And why settle for the same old default tokens (or whatever random piece of paper you grabbed to serve as a token) when you can get a beautiful, custom-art token?
GKalters over on Etsy offers two absolutely stunning vampire tokens: one with lifelink, and one with flying. I’m partial to the lifelink version, but they’re both top tier.
Olivia Key Art Binder
Looking to store your cards in style? Look no further than Ultra Pro’s Crimson Vow Olivia binder. Featuring Olivia’s absolutely gorgeous key art from Crimson Vow, this binder is perfect for storing your vampiric collection.
- Stores and protects standard (Magic) size gaming cards in Deck Protector sleeves
- Holds 360 cards and is made with archival-safe polypropylene materials
- Elastic strap securely closes the binder to keep contents secure
- Side-loading pockets prevent cards from falling out during transit
- Built to Last
Legion’s Landing / Adanto, the First Fort Double-Sided Playmat
If protecting your cards while you’re playing is what you’re after, then you’re going to want Ultra Pro’s Legion’s Landing playmat. It’s double-sided just like the card itself, which makes this all the more awesome.
- Ultra-PRO standard play mats are sized approximately 24″ wide × 13.5″ tall
- Made with a premium-fabric top for a smooth, protective playing surface
- The back of the play mats are lined with non-slip, textured-rubber material for added grip and padding
- Rubber backing lets the playmat lay flat and prevents the mat from shifting during use.
- Ixalan release will offer different designs: EACH SOLD SEPARATELY!
Edgar Markov’s Coffin | Illustration by Volkan Baga
So there you have it! Those are the best vampires in all of Magic, plus some extras just because I felt like being generous today. What are your thoughts on this list? Did I miss your favorite undead bloodsucker? Let me know in the comments down below or find us over on Twitter where I’m sure we’ll have a very civilized debate about my choices.
That’s all I’ve got for you for today, though. I’m off to find a horror movie that I haven’t actually seen yet. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay out of the sun!
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