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Much Abrew: Vito Combo Vampires (Historic)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. A couple of weeks ago during our preview stream for Jumpstart on Magic Arena, we messed around with a version of Vampires built around the combo of Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose and the new Jumpstart addition, Exquisite Blood. Together, if we can either gain a life or make our opponent lose a life, we just win the game on the spot with Exquisite Blood triggering Vito, which triggers Exquisite Blood, which triggers Vito, until our opponent's life total hits zero and they lose the game. While there are a bunch of different ways to potentially take advantage of the combo, Vampires is a natural fit, both because Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose is a Vampire and because the Vampire tribe has some sneaky lifegain synergies that make Vito powerful even without the infinite drain combo. How good is Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose in Historic, backed by the Vampire tribe and Exquisite Blood? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Vito Combo Vampires

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The Deck

  • Vito Combo Vampires is basically a tribal-combo deck. While it does have some Vampire synergies, it isn't a typical lord-based tribal deck, instead using Vampires as card draw and lifegain engines to set up the infinite combo of Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose and Exquisite Blood

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  • As for our combo pieces, Exquisite Blood isn't all that good without Vito, although it does occasionally help against aggro decks, where we can play it, attack, and gain a big chunk of life to swing the race in our favor. Meanwhile, a big part of Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose's power is that it's actually a solid card in our deck even if we never draw Exquisite Blood, thanks to some random Vampire lifegain tricks and the fact that its activated ability can win the game on its own if we have a big board full of Vampires.

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  • Outside of the infinite combo, the sweetest synergy in our deck is Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord and Silversmote Ghoul. If we can get both on the battlefield together, we essentially have a free Lightning Helix every turn since we can +1 Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord, sac Silversmote Ghoul, and deal three damage to something and gain three life, and then the fact that we gained three life allows us to return Silversmote Ghoul to play on our end step. This gives us repeatable removal to deal with our opponent's creatures, which can be almost unbeatable against creature-based aggro decks like Elves or Gruul, and it also gives us a way to kill our opponent with direct damage. If we add Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose to the mix, every Sorin activation ends up hitting for six damage, which is a surprisingly fast close if we choose to go face.

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  • Gifted Aetherborn and Sanctum Seeker offer additional lifegain synergies for Vito and also happen to be on-curve Vampires that we don't mind drawing even if we don't have a Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose. Gifted Aetherborn is especially effective against aggro as a ground-bound Vampire Nighthawk, while Sanctum Seeker drains our opponent for two with each attacking Vampire if we have a Vito. It's also worth mentioning that these cards are a good way to start our infinite-drain combo. If we get Vito and Exquisite Blood on the battlefield, we can attack with Gifted Aetherborn. If our opponent blocks, we gain life and trigger the combo; if our opponent doesn't block, they take damage to kick off the combo!
  • Otherwise, Champion of Dusk and Dusk Legion Zealot give us some card-draw Vampires to help find our combo pieces. Champion of Dusk is also one of our best Vampires to put into play with Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord's −3 ability.
  • One card that impressed me in the deck was Bojuka Bog. While coming into play tapped is annoying, there are a lot of graveyard-based decks in Historic playing cards like Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, Elspeth Conquers Death, Cauldron Familiar, and friends. Bojuka Bog gives us a maindeckable way to answer these decks, more than making up for its tappedness. 
  • All in all, Vito Combo Vampires feels like a fairly competitive deck. I've played a bunch of matches with it, mostly because I think it's really fun to play, and was able to use the deck to rank up through most of Diamond on Arena. If you like tribal decks but are also a fan of combos and drawing tons of cards, give it a shot!


Anyway, that's all for today. 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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