Vampire Elephants: GRN Standard

It’s fair to say that Standard is in a pretty good place right now. Sure, turbo fog might still be a thing. But the format as a whole is well balanced, and it feels like any deck could have a chance at taking down your local meta. For example, this last weekend I attended what will probably be my last PPTQ, and the variety of decks on display was heart-warming. Golgari Midrange, Izzet Drakes, Mono-Blue Tempo, Frenzy Red, at least half a dozen different flavours of Control and a ton of rogue lists were all battling it out for the top slot. With such a diverse format, now is the perfect time for brewers to practise their craft, and I am no expectation. Today I bring you a deck I am excited to put through its paces in the coming weeks. A tribal deck I like to call Vampire Elephants.

Legion Lieutenant - Rivals of Ixalan MtG Art

Ok, so Vampire Elephants isn’t technically a ‘tribe’. But the deck is full of Vampires and does make use of Elephants, so the name is factually true. The deck is a white weenie/token brew, with tribal synergies thrown in to help close out the game. What’s more, the deck is currently quite cheap to build in paper and on Magic Online (although you will need at least eighteen rare wildcards for Arena). So, if you’re looking for something different that can hold its own against some of the top decks in the format, Vampire Elephants could be the deck for you.

We start of with our Vampires, with full playsets of Skymarcher Aspirant and Adanto Vanguard. The Aspirant is a great early game threat that will gain evasion as we advance our board state, while the Vanguard is one of the most irritating creatures to take care of in the format. Paying four life to give it indestructible isn’t a big deal for our deck (as you will soon see) and your opponent will always feel bad using premium removal on a two drop. The rest of our vampire hoard is made up of tokens produced by our playsets of Legion’s Landing, Queen’s Commission and Call to the Feast. In no time at all we can flood the board with an army of 1/1 lifelinkers that will bog down our opponents’ threats.

Vraska’s Conquistador - Rivals of Ixalan MtG Art

“But what about Goblin Chainwhirler” I hear you ask in dismay. “I thought that made token decks unplayable?”. Well, that where our twelve, yes TWELVE lord effects come into play. The first two you could probably have deduced from our choice of tribe. We will be running four copies of Legion Lieutenant and Radiant Destiny in order to buff up our blood-suckers into real threats. The other ‘Lord’ we will be running is the namesake of ‘Vampire Elephants’ – a full playset of Venerated Loxodon. With the sheer number of tokens we will be producing, we should never be using our lands to cast this loxodon brute – we should be able to completely cover its cost with our creatures thanks to Convoke.

Venerated Loxodon

For the last two spells in the deck we want to run some removal. Two copies of Baffling End and a full playset of Conclave Tribunal should do the trick. Baffling End is a great enchantment for getting pesky blockers out of the way, while Conclave Tribunal gives us an answer to most threats our opponents might play. The mana base is pretty simple, with Forsaken Sanctuary and Isolated Chapel acting as our dual lands. We also want to run two copies of Arch of Orazca to act as a source of card advantage in longer games. Finish off the mainboard with a healthy splash of basic lands and you have yourself a deck.

Creatures (16)
Skymarcher Aspirant
Adanto Vanguard
Legion Lieutenant
Venerated Loxodon

Sorceries (8)
Queen’s Commission
Call to the Feast

Enchantments (14)
Legion's Landing
Baffling End
Radiant Destiny
Conclave Tribunal
Lands (22)
Forsaken Sanctuary
Isolated Chapel
Arch of Orazca

Sideboard (15)
Ixalan's Binding
Settle the Wreckage
Profane Procession
The Immortal Sun
Arguel’s Blood Fast

The Sideboard, as ever, is full of answers we can’t fit in the main deck. Duress gives us game against control decks, which appear to be on the rise. Ixalan’s Binding and Profane Procession give us some more targeted removal, while Settle the Wreckage gives us a good way of sweeping the board without hurting our board presence. Arguel’s Blood Fast is useful when we need more card advantage, while The Immortal Sun can just win us games against decks that rely too much on Planeswalkers.

And there you have it! Vampire Elephants for Guilds of Ravnica Standard. I have had quite a bit of fun playing the deck online and I’m looking forward to taking it down to my LGS for Friday Night Magic. What’s more, the deck is only going to get better when Allegiances comes out in a few months’ time. But what do you think? Does Vampire Elephants tick all your boxes? Or is there another brew you have seen that has you excited for Standard? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to stay up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. Until text time, however, remember – Good Luck and Have Fun!

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