Mono-Darkness Midrange

Earlier this week, I shared an untested list of a Dracula deck on our Facebook group which looks like this:

Ruler: Dracula, the Demonic One

4 Artemis, the God’s Bow
3 Death Scythe, the Life Reaper

3 Stoning to Death
4 Dark Purge
2 Bloodsucking Impulse

4 Rasputin
3 Servant of Vampire
3 Lora, the Bloodspeaker
3 Scion of Ancient Lore
3 Carmilla, the Queen of Vampires
4 Nyarlathotep, the Usurper
4 Arthur, the Dead Lord of Vengeance

1 Grusbalesta, the Sealing Stone
1 Little Red, the Pure Stone
8 Darkness Magic Stone

Notice how I purposely left out Laevateinn because it’s really hard to get a hold of a set locally nowadays. The idea behind the deck is to beat variants of Fire Aggro, and other mid-range decks such as Pricia and Grimm by establishing an aggressive suite of Darkness Resonators that caps off with Arthur. The sideboard can be designed to fight control decks by shifting to Vlad along with discard effects and topping it off with Necronomicon to settle in for the long game. In theory, a turn 5 J-Activation via Carmilla would be enough to stabilize, and from there Dracula can wreak havoc on the opposing team.

That’s all just theory of course. I was soon reminded in testing that there are a lot of stuff nowadays that kills good ‘ol Drac, even with the Death Scythe around to boost his stats. Also, the T5 dream wasn’t as awesome as I expected – some decks go under it and just burned me out, while others simply get bigger with their Resonators and answers. Dracula’s strength turned out to be his greatest weakness – oftentimes I was playing to J-Activate, only to learn later that it wasn’t the best course of action. Finally, I found myself siding in Vlad in more matches and getting better results.

She may have been the better option from the start.

Image of Vlad Tepes
Best Vampire Awardee

So I rebuilt the deck from scratch and ended up with this:

Ruler: Vlad Tepes

4 Rasputin
4 Mozart
3 Lora, the Bloodspeaker
1 Servant of Vampire
4 Scion of Ancient Lore
4 Nyarlathotep, the Usurper
4 Arthur, the Dead Lord of Vengeance
2 Carmilla, the Queen of Vampires

4 Stoning to Death
4 Dark Purge
3 Soulhunt

3 Artemis, the God’s Bow

1 Grusbalesta, the Sealing Stone
1 Little Red, the Pure Stone
8 Darkness Magic Stone

Sideboard:
1 Blazer Gill Rabus
4 Death Scythe, the Life Reaper
4 Spiral of Despair
1 Artemis, the God’s Bow
3 Dark Pulse
1 Soulhunt
1 Carmilla, the Queen of Vampires

Mozart is the deck’s newest inclusion. While having small stats, she will almost always take a Resonator with her to the grave by dying through combat, being Banished for Soulhunt, or paying for Nyarlathotep’s Incarnation cost. Definitely a great addition in fighting the ever-popular plague of Fire decks.

Image of Mozart
No idea why that’s the flavor text.

Speaking of Nyarlathotep, the Cthulhu does a lot to stop early aggression when Incarnated on turn 2. It’s a huge blocker for that phase of the game, ruins the opponent’s game plan, and helps you plan ahead with the information you gain from the opponent’s hand. Follow it with a turn 3 Scion and turn 4 Arthur, and you’re on your way to sealing the game in your favor.

Sealing games proved to be a lot easier with Vlad. She provides the inevitability that the deck sorely lacks with Dracula, and shrinks any opportunity for the opponent late in the game to mount a comeback. The main difference between this build and the control variant is that this deck is more proactive, and Vlad plays a more supporting role with her ability late in the game where we inevitably run out of cards and need something to do with our excess resources.

The rest of the deck plays out like the original plan: play dudes, gain field advantage, close the game.

The sideboard is a mix of tools against decks which are heavily reliant on their J-Ruler, and control decks. Because recurring Arthur and/or Death Scythe consumes much of our graveyard (not to mention having Vlad’s power to sink our spare resources in), Necronomicon was removed. In it’s place, we add Dark Pulse, which is a great tool against Knights and Grimm variants.

So if you’re looking for a more proactive twist on a popular Ruler, mono-Darkness midrange just might be a good fit for you. It has solid removal, huge beatsticks, and can adapt to most matchups.

Until then!

Card images are from http://force-of-will-tcg.wikia.com and/or http://db.fowtcg.us/

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