The "Vampire" archetype is strongly associated with the Castlevania video game series, one of Konami's best selling franchises. Camula in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Tilla Mook in Yu-Gi-Oh! R use "Vampire"-themed Decks.
Some members of this archetype appears as characters in some video-games:
- "Vampire Genesis" appears in World Championship 2006, and in World Championship 2007;
- "Vampire Lord" appears in World Championship 2006, in World Championship 2008, and in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Arena;
- Both "Vampire Lady" and "Curse of Vampire" appears in World Championship 2008;
- Both "Vampire Dragon" and "Vampire Sorcerer" appears in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Tag Force Special.
"Vampire" monsters typically resemble pale-skinned humanoids with irregularly colored hair (white, green, etc.) in mostly aristocratic clothing resembling that of the 18th to 19th century, evocative of the common depiction as the mythological undead creature of Europe, and with them being tied in infamous legend to tyrannical and corrupt nobility. Many Vampire monsters have claw-like appendages on their clothing, best seen in the artworks of "Vampire Sorcerer" and "Vampire Grace"; it is unclear whether it is an adornment or an actual part of their bodies.
The effects of some of the "Vampire" monsters require paying LP to activate their effects, or focus on taking control of the opponent's monsters. These are references to a vampire feeding on a victim's blood to survive and their ability to use hypnosis to put their victims into a trance or gain control of their bodies.
Earlier build of this archetype is deck destruction by milling, which is supported by the Field Spell Card "Vampire Kingdom". The card is designed to augment the effects of "Vampire Lord", "Vampire Lady", "Vampire Duke" and "Vampire Grace", but it also works with other effects that mill your opponent such as "Gravekeeper's Servant" and "Iron Chain Dragon". The Trap Card, "Vampire Takeover", is very handy for getting "Kingdom" onto the field, and as well as a free Special Summon from your Graveyard. The main idea behind this strategy is to eliminate key cards in your opponent's Deck and controlling their field.
"Vampires" also make an effective Xyz Monster Deck. Using the effects of "Shadow Vampire" and "Vampire Duke" to Special Summon Level 5 DARK "Vampires" (such as each other or "Vampire Lord") and Overlay for the boss of the Deck: "Crimson Knight Vampire Bram". You can also use "Vampire's Curse" and "Vampire Grace" for Rank 6 plays (such as the unorthodox, yet still thematically fitting Number 24), as well as "Zombie Master" for Rank 4 plays with monsters such as "Vampire Lady" or "Vampire Sorcerer". The "Crimson Knight Vampire Bram" also have unique effect to Special Summon an opponent's monsters from their GY to your field by using 1 overlay unit, but only that monster can attack during the remainder of the turn. It is still favorable, however, if you use this effect in the Main Phase 2, after all your other monster had attacked.
"Vampire Sorcerer" is very helpful for both of the Deck's goals. Its first effect allows you to search any DARK "Vampire" monster or any "Vampire" Spell/Trap Card, and its second effect allows you to Normal Summon one "Vampire" monster without Tributing. You can use its first effect to search for "Vampire Kingdom" and its second to Summon "Vampire Lord" or "Vampire Grace" in order to mill your opponent, or you could search for "Shadow Vampire" and use the second effect to Normal Summon it, use the effect "Shadow" to Special Summon "Vampire Lord", and Overlay for a DARK Rank 5.
By the release of Deck Build Pack: Dark Savers, "Vampire" archetype switches focus around Life Points manipulation, similar to earlier Psychic monsters and their supports. Some monsters require their controller to pay some LP for their effects, such as Deck searching, destruction protection, power boost, resurrecting a dead comrade, even control-switching. To cover these costs, some of their Spell/Traps have effects to increase the player's LP, either by having the Vampires to inflict Battle Damage to the opponent ("Vampire's Domain") or countering opponent's card activation ("Vampire Domination").
However, these newly released "Vampire" support cards not solely LP-centered; in fact, their new boss monster, the Xyz Monster "Dhampir Vampire Sheridan" can treat any monster you control, that is originally owned by your opponent, as Level 6 for its Xyz Summon. This actually works well with the ability of the "Vampire" Xyz Monster of previous generation, namely "Crimson Knight Vampire Bram". In addition, by the release of their new Link Monster - "Vampire Sucker, "Vampire" deck could further explore more strategy in conjunction with "Zombie World". The first effect of "Vampire Sucker" allows you to Tribute Summon any monster by using a Zombie monster your opponent controls, which is useful since many "Vampire" monsters are also either Level 5 and 6. While you can meet this situation by 'creature-swapping' one of your "Vampire" monster with your opponent's monster via "Vampire Red Baron", but still, utilizing "Zombie World" is obviously more beneficial, not only for the first effect of "Vampire Sucker" but also for her other ability that gives you 1 free card per turn when a Zombie is Special Summon from any GY. Nevertheless, "Vampire Sucker" herself has another effect to revive a monster from your opponent's GY under their control, and zombify it.
|Vampire Hieratic Deck|
While "Vampires" are fairly powerful in controlling your opponent's Deck, they can be devastated by their own effects too. In a match, between Duels opponents will likely put cards into their Deck from their Side Deck that can easily counter "Vampire" Decks' strategies. Cards such as "Dimension Fortress Weapon", "Skull Invitation", "Breakthrough Skill", and "Jackpot 7" are some examples, with the last one being most dangerous due to "Vampire Kingdom's" effect being mandatory.
Decks that utilize the Graveyard as resource are also a problem. "Lightsworn" Decks in particular can take huge advantage of a "Vampire" player, while Decks such as Zombies and "Infernities" that can construct huge combos out of the Graveyard pose a similar threat. A lone "Vampire Hunter" can potentially destroy an opposing "Vampire"-centered deck, especially since all "Vampire" monsters are DARK.
"Macro Cosmos" and "Dimensional Fissure", as well as "Banisher of the Light" and "Banisher of the Radiance", can easily prove fatal for the "Vampire" strategy, since it relies almost entirely on "Vampire Sorcerer"—or at least "Plaguespreader Zombie" or "Mezuki"—being in the Graveyard to allow for the Summon of "Vampire Shadow" and "Vampire Duke".
Cards that negate monster effects on the field—most notably "Skill Drain", "Soul Drain", and "Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror"—normally stop this Deck in its tracks due to its huge reliance on monster effects.