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Much Abrew: RB Vampires (Modern)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week, we had a handful of Instant Deck Techs vying for the top slot, but in the end, it was RB Vampires in Modern that came out on top. So, this week, we are heading to Modern to play one of Magic's most popular tribes, but also one of the most forgotten tribes when it comes to competitive play in Modern: Vampires!

If you managed to catch our Brewer's Minute this week, you'll know there are some questionable choices and numbers in this deck, but we are going to give it a shot and play it as is. Then, after the videos (and also in the wrap-up video), we'll talk about fixing some of the problems with the deck and even have an upgraded list! 

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RB Vampires: Instant Deck Tech

RB Vampires vs. Double Moon Walkers (Match 1)

RB Vampires vs. Abzan (Match 2)

RB Vampires vs. Bogles (Match 3)

RB Vampires vs. Troll Worship (Match 4)

RB Vampires vs. Skred Red (Match 5)

RB Vampires: Wrap-Up


  • First off, we finished our matches with a 2-3 record, which isn't great but understandable, especially considering that we ran into some really strange matchups. While we managed to fight through midrange decks like Abzan and Double Moon Walkers, we didn't have a chance against Bogles or Troll Worship—both of those matchups are incredibly bad for our deck.
  • As far as the deck itself, it was sort of a good news / bad news situation. The synergies in the deck, specifically the madness subtheme, were surprisingly strong. Being able to discard Vampires to Smuggler's Copter and then madness them into play thanks to Falkenrath Gorger was better than it looked on paper. The bad news is that this synergy was underdeveloped, with only two Smuggler's Copters and two Falkenrath Gorgers. 
  • Likewise, we had some powerful Vampires in the deck. Stromkirk Captain is actually a very good three-mana lord. Giving everything first strike makes combat miserable for the opponent, and Vampire Nocturnus is a great way to randomly steal some wins (although it whiffs more than I'd like thanks to our non-black cards). On the other hand, we also have some incredibly bad Vampires, headlined by Olivia's Bloodsworn, which is very, very far from Modern playable, even in a tribal deck. 
  • We also just had some weird, extremely high-variance cards. Call the Bloodline looks really bad, and most of the time it was, although we did have a game where we sort of "went off" with madness and 1/1 lifelink Vampire tokens. 
  • All things considered, the deck mostly just felt underdeveloped and unfinished, like it wasn't sure if it wanted to be an aggressive Vampire tribal deck or a madness deck with some Vampire sub-themes. 
  • So, should you play RB Vampires in Modern? Not in its current form. The deck is just too scattered and indecisive, and it lacks some of the best available cards in its colors. The good news is that these problems are pretty easy to fix!

Here's my first take on fixing RB Vampires for Modern. While many of the cards are the same, there are a handful of subtle changes that really improve the deck. First off, we standardize the one-drops, playing four Falkenrath Gorgers and three Vampire Lacerators while dropping the underpowered Insolent Neonate. We also make room for four Lightning Bolts and three copies of Fatal Push, along with more Thoughtseizes in the sideboard. The removal helps us force through damage in the early game and also adding some reach for the late game, while Thoughtseize gives us a shot against combo ,which was one of the deck's biggest weaknesses. Finally, we cut Olivia's Bloodsworn for more copies of the best card in our deck: Smuggler's Copter

While I think this version of the deck is a major improvement over the build we played on video, it's far from the only possibility for upgrades. Another interesting option is to add Collected Company, which is pretty much a cheat card that makes any tribe playable. While we'd probably have to drop Gatekeeper of Malakir to make it work, it seems like it could amp up the power level of the deck even more. 

While I don't think this upgraded version of RB Vampires is tier by any means, I could certainly see it taking down an FNM, and the power level is fairly high, mostly thanks to the sneaky synergies. It also look like it will be much more fun to play because it eliminates the frustration of wanting to draw a Smuggler's Copter every game but rarely drawing one because we only have two in the deck as well as from the illogical breakdown of one-drops. 


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck by liking, commenting on, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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