They let me back in. This time I’m here with another Halloween themed deck (though the first one wasn’t intentionally Halloween themed), mono-black, vampire-tribal helmed by Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose.
This isn’t a particularly novel deck or idea for a deck. Mostly it’s Vampire tribal, but this isn’t why I built the deck. I generally don’t feel compelled to build tribal decks. The design space is too narrow for me and the deckbuilding is too easy. The reason I built this deck is entirely in the name of the Commander himself: Vito. This was and is a very important name to me.
When I was in 5th grade my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer. My family and I spent days and days in the hospital at his bed-side. My cousins and I passed the time playing whatever games we had for the Gameboy Advance. He passed away soon after 5 days before my birthday and 4 days before my brother’s. His name was Vito. This isn’t a common name for me to come across. Between the release of Core Set 21 and my grandfather I’ve come across the name one other time: a coworker at my first job in my career. I don’t necessarily believe in signs, but I took this to mean I was on the right path.
The card had no greater meaning or sign to me in the same way, but seeing as how Wizards printed a card with a uniquely Italian name and one that shared the name of my grandfather I had to build the deck.
That’s why I made the deck. Here’s what I made the deck into. Prepare for a tonal whiplash.
I WANT to Suck Your Blood!
Coming in at a whopping 1/3 for 2B, Vito may not seem that impressive. Decent value for 3 mana, but a 1/3 is wimp in combat. If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve never considered a Commander’s efficacy in combat, so what else is going on with this guy. I see 3BB give all of your creatures lifelink. That’s pretty decent, sounds like the beginning of a pretty durable go-wide strategy. What’s this other line of text? “Whenever you gain life, target opponent loses that much life.” Oh. Oh that’s very good. Sanguine Bond on a stick anyone? This guy is just one half of an infinite combo that he can facilitate by giving a blocking creature lifelink. Just add Exquisite Blood and it’s game over!
That’s right. We’re using the best and easiest two-card combo except half of the combo we have 3 to 4 redundancies for. If we ever lose Exquisite Blood we might as well throw in the towel. The rest of the deck is mostly Vampire good-stuff with some additional Extort mechanics thrown in for good measure (the Extort also helps pull off the Blood-Bond combo).
For card draw we are running the classics of Erebos, God of the Dead, Phyrexian Arena, and Greed. We are playing almost too many removal spells and a cool Decree of Pain (bonus card draw!) that we will achieve casting with Cabal Coffers, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, and Crypt Ghast.
Ending The Game
We have Consume Spirit as a player kill spell with all that mana we are producing. This is a useful card even if you only pump one mana into X. It’ll kick off your Blood-Bond kill loop. The same can be said about the other two game-enders, but these act more as contingency plans than as ways to trigger the Blood-Bond.
These two cards are probably the easiest way to add a simple win condition to your deck. If a game goes on long enough, any deck with black should have enough mana pump a boatload into the X cost of Torment of Hailfire or Exsanguinate. Exsanguinate comes in at $8 and Torment of Hailfire comes in at $17. Reasonable prices considering the power of these cards.
So here’s the decklist: