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Evelyn Makes an Offer You Can't Refuse

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Hello Happy Folks! I hope that your day is going as incredibly well! Today I want to look at a Grixis colored Vampire matters leader that just debuted in Streets of New Capenna!

This is my 5th deck-build around a New Capenna leader and here are the first four:

  1. My first deck was a Jund build featuring the powerful Ziatora, the Incinerator, the leader of the Riviteers Family. I tossed in Ball Lightnings that swing out of nowhere and die anyway, so they can be sacrificed for 6 damage with Ziatora's ability. I also packed the list with Threaten effects like Zealous Conscripts that can steal creatures for a turn for Ziatora to snack on. I also included temporary token copy effects like Feldon of the Third Path that provide more bodies to be sacrificed, as well as damage increasers like Fiery Emancipation. You can check out the deck here!
  2. Next, I built a Esper colored deck around Queza, Augur of Agonies. I included Group Hug cards like Howling Mine and Temple Bell to get loads of card drawing fun times as well as winning triggers like Psychosis Crawler and Underworld Dreams. I even snuck in the winning Approach of the Second Sun that will be able to be cast twice, and the trio of game winners like Thassa's Oracle and Laboratory Maniac. Check it out here!
  3. Third, I built a Commander deck around the Naya token loving Jinnie Fay, Jetmir's Second! I tossed in loads of cards that care about making Food, Treasure, Clue and Blood tokens like Tireless Tracker and Old Gnawbone that you can convert into 2/2 or 3/1 swingers with Jinnie. We have ramp that plays into this like Growth Spasm and removal like Root Out and synergetic lands like Kher Keep. We have a double-digit number of cards from Streets of New Capenna. Good stuff!
  4. My fourth deck was built around Bess, Soul Nourisher. This Selensya colored lover of 1/1 dorks was built around life gain from the Soul Sisters archetype like Auriok Champion and Essence Warden, as well as hate bears like Esper Sentinel, life gain matters like Well of Lost Dreams and going wide effects like Decree of Justice as game winners alongside things like Test of Endurance and Voltron to win with a giant Bess like Rogue's Passage and Light of Promise. Love it loads - check out my Bess Brew here.

Ready for a deep dive into Grixis Vampires?

Evelyn, the Covetous

Check out this 5-drop 2/5 with flash. She's Black for sure, and then hybrid mana for her other two colors so you can lean on Black mana here and still be able to run three colors and cast her easily enough. Note that she counts as triple Black for devotion! She's just the third Grixis colored legendary Vampire (Garza Zol, Plague Queen; Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge are the first two). With Blue for card draw and counters, Black for removal and Red for burn you have a lot of great ways to make any Grixis deck work in Commander. When a Vampire enters the battlefield (ETB) under your control, including her, you can exile the top card of each players library with a collection counter on it, and once per turn you can cast a collection counter card and with any mana you have (which I call mana washing). Great card flow from your leader! She is the first Grixis colored Vampire matters leader! I am not turning her into a Grixis Blink Deck around Vampires like EDHREC.com, but instead an instant and Vampire matters brew.

How do I want to build around Evelyn? Great question!

  1. Run Enough Vampires - You need to lean on that ETB trigger of Evelyn by playing enough Vampires. Since she'll net you card advantage by playing one spell per turn, I won't be running as many card draw things as normal. Note that her trigger is missing the word "nontoken" in front of "Vampire" so it will trigger when Vampires tokens arrive to the party, and that means you can expect to see some of those in these colors (not that many) making an appearance here.
  2. Deep Black Mana - This deck is going to expect you to run a ton of mana since we'll be getting card advantage from casting spells with collection counters. That means we'll run a ton of Cabal Coffers effects and pricey things like Ancient Tomb and Mana Crypt.
  3. Cheaper Instants/Sorceries - Since we'll be casting things in order to net our card advantage every turn, I'll be leaning on cheaper instants and sorceries to self-exile and cast. That way we can always be able to cast something of ours that's cheaper. Normally I run better card for Commander that are more flexible in my answer suite like Cryptic Command, Access Denied, the cantripping Dismiss and Desertion. But this time we'll run cheaper Counterspell and similarly cheaper, but weaker, removal effects and answers. I'll lean into instant answers so I can cast them on foe's turns more reliably.
  4. Graveyard Tucking - Since we'll be exiling cards from our library as well as others, I'll be leaning into ways to tuck our graveyard back to our deck to prevent myself from being decked and to give me more options.
  5. Library Sorting - We'll be running a handful of cards that will let me sort the top cards of my deck repeatably to get the best card to exile and cast for a situation.

That's the synergy for my brew! Ready?

Vampires

Markov Enforcer
Anje, Maid of Dishonor

Let's start with this pair! Check out the 6/6 Enforcer! As you can see, this 6-drop will fight a dork when it arrives to the battlefield which is pretty nice. Other Vampires that arrive to the battlefield will also do the same! Then you can make a Blood when you have destroyed an opposing dork, so this is good creature removal over time, and then have you seen this version of Anje? Four mana for a 4/5 that will, when your Vampires ETB, make a Blood token and then you can sacrifice two Bloods or dorks to drain your foes of 2 life. Nice Blood making and creature removing pair!

Bloodline Necromancer
Sanctum Seeker

The Necromancer is a 3/2 5-drop with lifelink that will, on arrival to the party, Zombify a Vampire to your battlefield from your graveyard, which is pretty nice. Love it loads here! The Seeker is a powerful 3/4 for four mana and when your Vampires swing, they will drain a life from your opponents and push you faster to player kill.

Patron of the Vein
Anowon, the Ruin Sage

Let's add in some more creature kill to my Vampire suite with this four power rare Mono-Black duo! The former is a 4/4 flyer for six mana that will Murder a dork on arrival to the battlefield and when opposing stuff dies you can pump your Vampires with a +1/+1 counter each! The latter is a 5-drop 4/3 that will, during your upkeep, force everyone to sacrifice a non-Vampire. Our only two non-Vampires are Solemn Simulacrum and Burnished Hart. It's nice here and The Abyss on a stick, which is lovely card

Olivia, Crimson Bride
Thief of Blood

Check out this pair of 6-drops that could not be more difficult! Olivia is a 3/4 with haste and flying and when she swings you recur a dork from your graveyard tapped and attacking! It stays around until you no longer control a legendary Vampire like Evelyn or Olivia or Anje. Cast her in the precombat phase and then swing and raise the dead, and keep on keeping on. The Thief is a 1/1 flying Vampire that will pull counters off of everything on arrival and turn those into +1/+1 counters for this, so this is a brake on decks with loads of loyalty counters and +1/+1 counters and such. It's really strong at the kitchen table.

Midnight Arsonist
Bloodthirsty Adversary

The 4-drop will, on arrival, smash (up to) an artifact equal to your Vampire count and on a naked board this is 1. It scales up nicely in a Vampire brew like this one. Note that you cannot destroy mana rocks like Sol Ring or Arcane Signet, so it's nicer. The 2-drop is a 2/2 with haste which is nice. On arrival to the battlefield, you can pay 2r any number of times! Each time you do you give this a +1/+1 counter and can exile that many three-mana value or fewer instants and sorceries from your graveyard and copy them. In a deck built around cheap instants like this, that's pretty strong.

Henrika Domnathi // Henrika, Infernal Seer

Henrika is a fun dork. You can drop this 4-drop tiny 1/3 flyer on your precombat step. Then at the beginning of your combat you can either draw a card and lose a life or force everyone, yourself included, to sacrifice a dork. You can do the opposite one the next turn, and then the following turn flip her to the Infernal Seer version which is a 3/4 with flying, deathtouch and lifelink and you can invest three mana to pump those with those three abilities up, and we have a few other deathtouchers like Vampire Nighthawk and Vampire of the Dire Moon. Enjoy!

Vampire Token Makers

Glass-Cast Heart
Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet

The artifact is a 3-drop Black rare that can, when your Vampires swing, make a Blood token! You can tap it, a Black mana, and pay a life to make a 1/1 Vampire token with lifelink for Henrika to pump. You can also trigger Evelyn's Vampire arrival with it to exile. Nicely done! Kalitas is a bit pricey at seven mana for a 5/5, and then you can tap it and bbb and then destroy a dork, much like Visara the Dreadful and Avatar of Woe! And then you can make a Vampire token that copies the size of the destroyed dork, so you get creature control and Vampire making in one card. Nicely done Kalitas!

Ramp

Gem of Becoming

Most of my ramp is pretty obvious, like Expedition Map to search up Cabal Coffers or Urborg, but not this. The Gem is an essential in any Grixis colored deck in Commander since you can drop it for three, sacrifice it for three, and then search your library for three lands, one each of Swamp, Island, and Mountain, and note that those will get dual lands! So, you can get three Swamps for your deep black and Cabal Coffers needs. The Gem is only run in 1,087 decks which means it is criminally underplayed.

Answers

Mana Drain
Recoil

Let's turn to some answers. I tossed in some cheap counters here and there as well as the pricey Mana Drain. As you can see, this Counterspell-sized spell can, when it counters, give you a bunch of colorless mana on your next main phase, which can be pretty nice when casting an expensive exiled card from Evelyn. The bounce spell is a three-mana instant you can use proactively or reactively to bounce any permanent even lands and then force your foe to discard. If they had a naked hand prior to the bounce then it serves as an instant speed Vindicate. You can also bounce a key card that slipped past a counter shield like a Mind's Eye or Consecrated Sphinx and then counter it this time. Both are strong here!

Crippling Fear

Check out this recently printed powerhouse! When you cast this four-mana Infest variant, you give everything -3/-3 unless it's a Vampire. That's enough to clear out loads of your foe's stuff like Eternal Witness, Karmic Guide, Flametongue Kavu, and Cloudblazer. I like to run some sort of mass removal spell in my Commander decks like this one! Good card!

Lazotep Plating

Did someone try and target Evelyn, a key Vampire or a key mana engine like Cabal Coffers for removal? Enter this Plating which is a two-cost instant that gives all of your stuff (and you) hexproof for the turn! Note that this can protect from things traditional counters can't, like the sacrificing of a Wasteland to hit your Coffers or the flicker of a Ravenous Chupacabra to hit your Commander. This will also counter Comet Storm on you, as well as answer Cyclonic Rift, Murder and Swords to Plowshares effects that are cast targeting your stuff. Nice answer to answers! And it leaves behind a 1/1 Zombie Army token.

Top of Library Effects

Soothsaying

Most of the top of library effects are obvious like Sensei's Divining Top or Scroll Rack, but check out this 1-drop Blue enchantment. You can spend X mana to sort the top X cards of your library. Need to get a reshuffle? No problem! Spend 5 mana to do it at any time! This is very potent in this brew and is pretty underplayed in Commander with just 4,634 of this uncommon getting played.

Tuck and Roll

Clear the Mind

I only have a few obvious tucks like Elixir of Immortality. Check out this 3-drop cantripping sorcery that shuffles your graveyard to your library. You can use it on a foe's if they are breaking the game open so it's flexible, but it's here to tuck your stuff and draw a card. Nice!

Synergies

Memory Lapse

This 2-drop counterspell puts the card on top of their library so that they'll draw it. However, drop a Vampire and now they won't get it and it'll be exiled, and you can cast it yourself! Nasty good here, right?

Kindred Charge
Molten Echoes

The Charge is a 6-drop sorcery in Red, and you can cast this and choose Vampires. Then you'll make a copy of each Vampire you control with haste and they'll be exiled at the end of the turn. That's a ton of Vampire triggers for Evelyn and digging! And you can just win the game out of nowhere on a cluttered board and you saw that many of your Vampires have control-based removal of things like dorks and artifacts. The Echoes is a 4-drop enchantment, choose Vampires. When you drop a nontoken Vampire to the battlefield you make a token copy for the turn with haste and self-exiling as well, so this can double your Evelyn triggers over time!

Three cards left!

Lands

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

I never run Nykthos, in a three-color deck like this one, but with all of the Black mana symbols on my Vampires and leader we could easily make four or five Black mana from this legendary land.

Flavor

Vampiric Tutor

I have one card that I added in simply for flavor, this tutor. This is my only tutor effect, and if I were going to just run one, it'd be Demonic Tutor. As you can see, this one cost instant can be played any time and puts the tutored card on top of your library, has no searching restrictions, and costs you a pair of life. You can do it on a foe's turn with a card that was exiled very easily. You also can exile and save it for casting later. Nice!

New Cards from New Capenna

An Offer You Can't Refuse

Let's finish with a card from the same set as Evelyn. This is a one-mana counter of anything non-creature, which is very nice! But you give them a pair of Treasures to break for mana. Which is fine by me considering the mana needed for your other things makes this one-mana hard counter quite capable of punching well above its mana value. Love it loads and it made my first Top Ten List of Cards from Streets of New Capenna which you can find here.

Ready for the decklist?

Grixis Vampires with Evelyn | Commander | Abe Sargent


There we go!

As you can see, I am running almost every black/red and black/blue dual land save for Badlands and Underground Sea to help with the Cabal Coffers even without Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. Please note that I am not pulling basics for modal spell/lands, or the "arrives untapped and ready to tap" legendary cycle from Neon Dynasty. I need to keep as many basics as possible for Cabal Stronghold. I'm not even adding in Cavern of Souls or Voldaren Estate.

I hope that you enjoyed my look at the Grixis Vampire enabler Evelyn? Anything in here that you liked or something I missed? Just let me know! Have an awesome day!


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