Deck Tech: Markov's Minions with Adena Chernosky
Zombies have taken up residence as one of the most popular aggressive decks in Standard, but we hadn’t seen much in the way of other undead tribes. That changed this weekend when Adena Chernosky’s Vampires jumped out to a 4-0 start on the first day of her very first Grand Prix yesterday without the help of any byes.
"I looooove vampires!" Adena said excitedly. "I wore an ‘I love vampires’ shirt to the Innistrad prerelease and really wanted to open Bloodline Keeper. And it worked!"
Adena Chernosky is rocking the sweet StarCityGames.com Vampire sleeves for her Vampires deck!
That fateful Bloodline Keeper launched a love affair with red-black vampires, a flavorful deck Adena has been working on for months. According to her, things started with four Bloodline Keeper topping off a quick curve containing Stromkirk Noble, Vampire Interloper and Child of Night, all supported by a good amount of burn to finish the job. Not a vampire, Hellrider didn’t have a place in the deck at first, but the Dark Ascension rare slowly but surely forced its way into the deck at the cost of some Bloodline Keepers. The little devil made it up to Adena by enabling the presence of another powerful vampire, Bloodlord of Vaasgoth.
"There’s not really anywhere to play where I live, so a bunch of us will drive a few hours to other stores and play all day. And in testing, the deck seems to go 50/50 with everything besides Delver. It’s really good against that."
Looking at the list, that statement sure seems accurate. Quick beatdowns give any deck a chance to win, and the solid range of removal in Adena’s deck forces Delver and other decks to react to the vampire army instead of dictating tempo the way they would like. Stromkirk Captain is obviously another great card for the deck, letting her creatures win most fights on the ground and letting Vampire Interloper win against Lingering Souls, and sticks the opponent in a really tough spot when combined with Hellrider.
"Brimstone Volley is the best since something dies every turn, but I wanted to vary my removal to give me a way to beat the swords. I have black spells if they have Sword of War and Peace, and I have red spells if they have Sword of Feast and Famine," Adena explained as she went over the various removal spells in her list. She also said she would want to change an Ancient Grudge and Doom Blade in the board to Ratchet Bombs to help against the surging token decks.
Despite being unable to capitalize on her great start in the main event, Adena said she was having a great weekend, even passing her Level 1 judge test to add to the Jackson, Wyoming pool. Her take on the aggressive vampire deck, Markov’s Minions, is below. Try it out and let us know how it goes in the comments!