Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are Vampire Decks in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Konami, the company behind Yu-Gi-Oh, inspired the game's Vampire archetype with its popular Castlevania video games, which also feature blood-sucking immortals. The Vampire monsters are fittingly dark-attributed and zombie-type, and many mill different cards from your opponent's deck or activate special effects by spending life points.
Several Vampire cards can revive their kin from the graveyard or steal control of opposing creatures, making them a unique series with several tricks up their undying sleeves. Unlike many archetypes, I often prefer the powerful Vampire trap supports over the monsters themselves, but with dozens of fierce units, which members reign supreme?
These are the ten best Vampire cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Crimson Knight Vampire Bram
- Vampire's Domain
- Vampire Awakening
- Dhampir Vampire Sheridan
- Vampire Domination
- Vampire Sucker
- Vampire Red Baron
- Vampire Kingdom
- Vampire Takeover
- Vampire Sorcerer
10. Crimson Knight Vampire Bram
Part of xyz monster Crimson Knight's appeal is how well several level five Vampires (Shadow and Duke) swarm, providing easy materials for her arrival. Crimson wields a fair 2500 ATK, although watch out for her 0 DEF, and she can once per turn detach a material to revive a monster from your opponent's graveyard, only allowing it to attack for the rest of the turn.
Remember, revived extra deck monsters take up main monster zones, so use this to steal your opponent's defeated aces while maintaining your limited extra deck zones. Additionally, during the standby phase after Crimson was destroyed by your opponent's card (whether through battle or effect), you revive in her in defense position. She won't have any materials, but she takes up a main monster zone and can be revived again; to truly get rid of her, adversaries will have to exile or bounce Crimson to the extra deck.
9. Vampire's Domain
Continuous spell Vampire's Domain offers two excellent abilities that combo well. Similarly to the long-banned "Ultimate Offering", Vampire lets you spend 500 life points to normal summon a Vampire in addition to your turn's regular normal summon, helping swarm your field.
Like many Vampire effects, this drains your life points; to ensure you always have fuel to spend, Domain's next trait recovers a corresponding amount of life whenever your Vampires inflict battle damage to your opponent. Vampires have decent battle stats that their signature field spell (more on it later) superbly boosts, giving them strong offensive capabilities that Domain adeptly rewards.
8. Vampire Awakening
Vampire Awakening simply special summons a Vampire monster from your deck but destroys it during the end phase. This is an excellent way to search and cast high-level Vampires without tributing, and you can avoid the destruction by using them as xyz or link material before the end phase.
And since Awakening itself bears the Vampire name, you can search it using spell/trap finders, one of which we'll encounter later.
7. Dhampir Vampire Sheridan
Summoning Dhampir requires two or more level six monsters, but if you use a card owned by your opponent that has a level (after stealing control of them with other Vampire effects), you treat that card as level six, letting you easily use your opponent's units as material.
Dhampir arrives with a solid 2600 ATK, and he can once per turn detach a material to send an opposing card to the graveyard. Also, if a monster is destroyed by battle or effect and sent to your opponent's graveyard, you can detach a material to special summon it to your field in defense position, skillfully pilfering your opponent's best monsters to use against them.
6. Vampire Domination
Vampire Domination is an excellent negation tactic with several advantages. First, as a counter trap, it operates at "spell speed 3", basically meaning only other counter traps can respond to it. You can trigger it when an opponent plays a monster, spell, or trap effect while you control a Vampire monster. You negate and destroy the activating card, and if it was a monster, you gain life points equal to its ATK!
Gaining health is especially useful for this structure's life point-draining abilities, and Domination's still a great counter even against just spells/traps. Unlike some archetype negations (such as "Yosenjus' Secret Move), you can possess non-Vampires without ruining the effect as long as you control a Vampire, making it an easy and reliable trigger.
5. Vampire Sucker
Link monster Vampire Sucker only wields 1600 ATK, but she helpfully directs two arrows backwards without pointing forwards, giving you (and not your opponent) additional extra deck zones. She also accepts any two zombie-type monsters as material and lets you spend opposing zombie monsters for your own tribute summons!
But what if your opponent isn't using a zombie deck? Not to worry, Sucker can special summon a monster from your opponent's graveyard in defense position and treat it as a zombie, giving you any fodder you need. Additionally, she lets you draw a card when one or more zombies are special summoned from either graveyard. These effects are both once per turn, but they give two much-needed tributing and draw boosts to the Vampire theme, making Sucker crucial for an immortal victory.
4. Vampire Red Baron
As a level six monster, Red Baron needs a tribute to normal summon, but we've already seen ways to avoid this cost or sacrifice opposing monsters. In addition to a strong 2400 ATK, Red Baron lets you (once per turn) pay 1000 life points to switch control of another Vampire you possess with an enemy monster, giving them weak supports and you their boss monsters.
Additionally, if Red Baron destroys a monster during the battle phase, you can special summon it from the graveyard to the field. This helpfully lets you rejuvenate from either discard pile, working regardless of whether you conquered an enemy unit or your own that you swapped control of. Finally, note that Red Baron carries the 2400 ATK/1000 DEF that the competitive Monarch archetype supports, giving him some interesting synergies with their group.
3. Vampire Kingdom
Field spell Vampire Kingdom simply offers two benefits that greatly support your theme. First, it boosts the ATK of zombie-type monsters by 500 during damage calculation only, giving them a huge edge in battle. Next, whenever one or more cards are sent from your opponent's deck to the graveyard, you send a dark-attributed Vampire from your hand or deck to the graveyard, then destroy a card on the field.
Many Vampires mill cards from your opponent's deck, activating the trait, and it even works when your opponent mills their own deck. Two excellent effects, but watch out for opposing zombie monsters—they'll also benefit from Kingdom's ATK boost.
2. Vampire Takeover
Vampire Takeover implements two incredible effects, but to use it, you need to control at least one zombie-monster (and no non-zombies) without having a field spell in play. At that time, Takeover activates Vampire Kingdom directly from your deck, then lets you special summon a dark Vampire from your graveyard in defense position.
In one fell swoop, you suddenly have your preferred arena and a rejuvenated Vampire. Plus, even if your graveyard is empty, you can still utilize Takeover and simply ignore its second effect, letting you instantly pull your field whether or not you can make full use of the card.
1. Vampire Sorcerer
Although Sorcerer's stats are both a mediocre 1500, his normal summon doesn't require tributes and he provides two essential benefits. First, when sent to your graveyard by an opponent's card (whether through battle or effect), Sorcerer searches a dark Vampire or a Vampire spell/trap from your deck to your hand, essentially grabbing any archetype member for free!
As if that weren't enough, you can banish Sorcerer from your graveyard to normal summon a Vampire that turn without needing to tribute, an excellent way to freely cast Red Baron or the two-tribute needing "Vampire Vamp". Sorcerer is easily my favorite Vampire who I've used to great effect in my own zombie builds; thankfully, he's affordable, costing well under a dollar to buy!
How to Support Vampire Decks in Yu-Gi-Oh
In addition to their own members, vampires make great use of the dark attribute's general supports, like the hand modifying "Allure of Darkness" and the destructive "Virus Control" traps. In addition to Kingdom, if you're using a dedicated zombie-type theme, the continuous spell "Solidarity" boosts the ATK of your singular type by 800, further granting an edge in battle, and the generic "Supply Squad" adds additional draw power to consistently replenish your hand.
With several excellent cards remaining, we'll undoubtedly return to tackle more of the game's best Vampires. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of Gothic monsters, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill