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CardShark Content - Benjamin George (6/9/2004)

With 5th Dawn around the corner, there’s one black creature that has caught my eye and generated some buzz merely from its creature type. That card is none other than Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross VampireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Each creature you control is a Vampire in addition to other creature types and has ´´Whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on it´´.
. Now before I explain why Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross VampireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Each creature you control is a Vampire in addition to other creature types and has ´´Whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on it´´.
is, while a fun card, completely impractical in almost any serious environment, I’ll explain how Vampires have gotten the shaft in almost every edition, excepting of course: Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
and Odyssey. Sadly, Vampires in magic have gone downhill since the Sengir, and anyone who tells you otherwise is most certainly blind. While there are some Vampires that can hold their own in casual play, most of them are either too expensive or too weak to stand up to today’s environment of massive creatures and mass removal.

Let’s start with the most obvious and famous Vampire ever created in Magic… the Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
. Back in the day, the Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
was a powerhouse; If you played the Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
early enough, and your opponent didn’t deal with it, you’d more than likely win the match. And I, like most of the other Vampire fans out there, was extremely happy when they reprinted the Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
in Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
. My thanks go out to Kev Walker for doing such a fine job with the artwork, by the way. The whole Sengir theme in Homelands told an interesting tale of the Baron Sengir
Baron Sengir
Baron SengirSet: Homelands
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying Whenever a creature is put into the graveyard the same turn Baron Sengir damaged it, put a +2/+2 counter on Baron Sengir.T: Regenerate target Vampire.
, and while the card itself was utterly overcosted and a bit on the hard-to-use-side, it provided an excellent backdrop for the whole Vampire scene. I can only hope that Wizards plans to re-visit the universe of the Sengir later on.

Anyway, the Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
was quickly cut down by a new era of anti-flier madness. With Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue Kavu
Flametongue KavuSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Kavu
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
4
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Flametongue Kavu comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target creature.
(and others) running around, the Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
simply wasn’t cutting the mustard anymore. The Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
has gone to pasture, it’s dead, retired, worn out. What was powerful back in the day is no longer powerful now. Creatures these days are getting bigger and deadlier, and the casting costs of these monstrosities are only going down. Reprinting the Sengir, while a good idea, didn’t bring the Vampire back into the spotlight it once was.

With the Sengir out to pasture, Odyssey was a great edition for vampires. We’ve got the Stalking Bloodsucker
Stalking Bloodsucker
Stalking BloodsuckerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying 1B, Discard a card from your hand: Stalking Bloodsucker gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
, Vampiric Dragon
Vampiric Dragon
Vampiric DragonSet: Odyssey
Cost:
8
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire Dragon
Rarity:
R
Number:
296
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying Whenever a creature dealt damage by Vampiric Dragon this turn is put into a graveyard, put a +1/+1 counter on Vampiric Dragon. 1R: Vampiric Dragon deals 1 damage to target creature.
, and the Repentant Vampire
Repentant Vampire
Repentant VampireSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
157
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever a creature dealt damage by Repentant Vampire this turn is put into a graveyard, put a +1/+1 counter on Repentant Vampire. Threshold - Repentant Vampire is white and has ``Tap: Destroy target black creature.``
coming into play. In casual, these vampires were decently strong. The Stalking Bloodsucker
Stalking Bloodsucker
Stalking BloodsuckerSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying 1B, Discard a card from your hand: Stalking Bloodsucker gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
had more resemblance to the Skyshroud Vampire
Skyshroud Vampire
Skyshroud VampireSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Gary Leach
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Choose and discard a creature card: Skyshroud Vampire gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
from Tempest, but I didn’t complain. Making a 16/16 flier in casual never gets old if you ask me. Unfortunately, the most lackluster of the three was the Repentant Vampire
Repentant Vampire
Repentant VampireSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
157
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever a creature dealt damage by Repentant Vampire this turn is put into a graveyard, put a +1/+1 counter on Repentant Vampire. Threshold - Repentant Vampire is white and has ``Tap: Destroy target black creature.``
. Instead of giving the aged Sengir a shot in the arm, Wizards chose to make a weaker version of the Sengir, with a threshold skill that even the most casual player would have trouble loving.

Alright, skipping over the Soul Collector
Soul Collector
Soul CollectorSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Matthew Wilson
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Morph BBB
Flying
Whenever a creature dealt damage by Soul Collector this turn is put into a graveyard, return that card to play under your control.
, which was basically what the Krovikan Vampire
Krovikan Vampire
Krovikan VampireSet: Ice Age
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the end of a turn in which any creature is damaged by Krovikan Vampire and put into any graveyard, put that creature directly into play under your control. Treat the creature as though it were just summoned. If you lose control of Krovikan Vampire or Krovikan Vampire leaves play, bury the creature.
should have been back in Ice Age, we’ve got the new 5th Dawn vampire: The Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross VampireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Each creature you control is a Vampire in addition to other creature types and has ´´Whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on it´´.
. Wizards had hinted at a new “techno Vampire” before 5th Dawn, and anyone who saw the poster of the concept art will see the resemblance. Unfortunately, the Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross VampireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Each creature you control is a Vampire in addition to other creature types and has ´´Whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on it´´.
is an overcosted, underpowered creature with an ability that is too slow for serious play. Look, if you’re paying 4BB for a creature, let’s be honest folks, it better be a BIG creature, and it better be something that’s going to win you the game. The Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross VampireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Each creature you control is a Vampire in addition to other creature types and has ´´Whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on it´´.
is basically an attempt to turn your creatures into little “mini vampires” , but not to use too many clichés, Wizards was a day late and a dollar short. A year ago, Mephidross might have been something, but nowadays it’s just not enough.

What’s my point? Vampires have had it rough since their icon, the Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.
, became obsolete. And looking at this Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross VampireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Each creature you control is a Vampire in addition to other creature types and has ´´Whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on it´´.
, it looks like Vampires are going to have to hit rock bottom before they will get better. Until then, I’ll have fun playing with Mephidross in casual, since that’s about the only environment that it will become playable.


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