Courtesy Wizards of the Coast
Haters, etc.

I haven’t been playing a great deal of Magic lately, due to various reasons, but I recently returned to Friday Night Magic armed with a new deck. As much as my previous FNM decks seemed interesting to me, neither of them had a great deal of oomph. It was difficult for them to be consistent. And then, at the Dark Ascension release, I acquired a playset of not only the [mtg_card]Stromkirk Captain[/mtg_card], but also the lovely [mtg_card]Markov Blademaster[/mtg_card].

Not only is it decent art and a double-striking, self-pumping vampire for 3 mana, there is a way to get her on the field on turn 1. I’m not usually one for odd or janky combos, but I had to try this one out. And it worked, some of the time.

You see, I felt the biggest problem with Memento Mori was a lack of consistency. It also was limited in terms of how it could deal with certain threats. And my vampires faced the same problem. Individual threats I could deal with using [mtg_card]Tragic Slip[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Go For The Throat[/mtg_card], but quickly-appearing groups of tokens proved problematic. I knew I needed more consistent performance rather than flashy shenanigans, which meant turn 1 actions other than waiting for something to Slip or wondering where my combo was. I also needed more reliable vampires.

I needed [mtg_card]Stromkirk Nobles[/mtg_card].

Fortunately I made out well at the last FNM. Not in terms of playing, my nascent vampire deck went 1 and 3 in the brackets. I did, however, swing a pretty good trade. I parted with my pair of [mtg_card]Snapcaster Mage[/mtg_card]s for an entire playset of the swaggering nobles, a foil [mtg_card]Bloodlord of Vaasgoth[/mtg_card], the [mtg_card]Falkenrath Aristocrat[/mtg_card] that partially inspired this flash fiction piece…

…and my very first [mtg_card]Sorin, Lord of Innistrad[/mtg_card].

I know three colors is very difficult to curve properly, and I may be setting myself up for failure. But the notion of adding white to the red/black vampire deck means I can include something else I need: an answer to token swarms in the form of [mtg_card]Day of Judgment[/mtg_card]. I need two or so, another Sorin and some of the lands required to pull this all off. Once I get them, the deck should look something like this:

[mtg_deck title=”House of Markov”]
4 Markov Blademaster
4 Stromkirk Captain
4 Stromkirk Noble
1 Bloodlord of Vaasgoth
1 Olivia Voldaren

4 Faithless Looting
4 Tragic Slip
3 Go for the Throat
1 Curse of Stalked Prey
2 Day of Judgment
1 Fireball
1 Diabolic Tutor
2 Trepanation Blade
2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Clifftop Retreat
10 Mountain
6 Swamp
2 Isolated Chapel

3 Doom Blade
3 Bump in the Night
2 Fires of Undeath
3 Ancient Grudge
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Curse of Misfortunes
1 Curse of Bloodletting
1 Falkenrath Aristocrat

We’ll see how it does, if I can acquire the necessary cards, at my next FNM.