Vampires have always been one of my favorite tribes in Magic and it’s interesting to see them moving more into the white section of the color pie. They’ve always been about gaining life, but it’s more important than ever in Ixalan and a great example of that is Vona, Butcher of Magan.
Paying 7 life to destroy pretty much any permanent, even planeswalkers, is a very powerful ability. The fact that Vona can attack, gain life, and still use this ability is a nice touch as well. Although, being a 4/4 for five mana I’m not sure how often Vona will actually be attacking, but there are plenty of other ways to gain life in this set.
Before we get to that here are a couple other cards that you can use your life total to enhance.
As I mentioned, there are plenty of ways to gain life and above are just a few of those ways. Of course, some of these cards are better than others. In the past, cards like Sanguine Sacrament have been completely unplayable, but it’s possible it could find a home in a deck paired with Ixalan‘s vampires.
A second legendary vampire in the set, Mavren Fein, creates tokens and these may be some of the best ways to help you boost your life total. There are also a few other cards that produce 1/1 tokens with lifelink that I could see playing pivotal roles in the Ixalan vampire deck.
Here are a couple of vampire bishops that might be decent for the top end of a vampire deck. Bishop of Rebirth is basically Sun Titan lite, which is okay, but being a 3/4 makes it a little underwhelming. Bishop of the Bloodstained is a card that probably wouldn’t make the cut in my deck because it just doesn’t do enough. If you also gained life for each vampire, I could certainly make a better case for playing it, but as is, not so much.
Finally, here are a few other interesting vampires from the set.