|It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of our game's creator, Kazuki Takahashi.|
They were first introduced in Thousand Eyes Bible in the OCG and Pharaoh's Servant in the TCG, with the release of "Vampire Baby". After that, several "Vampire" monsters, most notably "Vampire Lord", were released over the years, but with no specific support cards. Their first wave of support was released in Shadow Specters, which introduced their first Xyz Monster, "Crimson Knight Vampire Bram", gave the archetype several cards to Special Summon more "Vampire" monsters, and expanded on their milling strategy. Their second wave of support, released in Deck Build Pack: Dark Savers/Dark Saviors, introduced a new strategy focused on paying LP and stealing the opponent's monsters, featuring cards such as "Vampire Familiar" and "Vampire Fraulein". In Battle of Chaos, three new cards focused on this same strategy were released.
"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.
Broadly speaking, the "Vampire" monsters can be separated in two categories; the first is composed of the pre-Dark Saviors "Vampires", which share a common pattern in milling the opponent's deck, by declaring a card type and having the opponent send 1 card of that type from their deck to the GY (inspired the first "Vampire" monster, "Vampire Lord"), with an added focus on the Xyz Summon of Rank 5 DARK Xyz monsters, with "Crimson Knight Vampire Bram" as their boss monster. This subset of "Vampire" monsters is supported by the Field Spell Card, "Vampire Kingdom". Most of them share 2000 ATK and are Level 5, with the exception of "Vampire Lady" and "Vampire Grace", which are Level 4 with 1550 ATK, and Level 6, respectively.
|Vampire||Trigger for the mill||Unique effect||Upgraded form|
|Vampire Lord||Inflicting Battle damage||"Once per turn, during your next Standby Phase, after this card in your possession was destroyed and sent to your GY by your opponent's card effect: Special Summon this card from your GY."||Vampire Genesis|
|Vampire Lady||Inflicting Battle damage||None||None|
|Shadow Vampire||Lacks the mill effect||"When this card is Normal Summoned, you can Special Summon 1 DARK "Vampire" monster from your hand or Deck, except "Shadow Vampire."||Crimson Knight Vampire Bram|
|Vampire Duke||On Special Summon||"When this card is Normal Summoned, you can target 1 DARK "Vampire" monster in your GY; Special Summon that target in Defense Position."||None|
|Vampire Grace||Once per turn, while in the Main Phase||"When a Level 5 or higher Zombie monster(s) is Special Summoned to your side of the field by the effect of a Zombie monster while this card is in your GY: You can pay 2000 LP; Special Summon this card from your GY."||None|
The second subset of "Vampire" monsters, released after Dark Saviors, share a common focus on taking control of the opponent's monsters, by Special Summoning those monsters from the opponent's GY (an effect originally only possessed by "Crimson Knight Vampire Bram"), with most of the Main Deck "Vampires" doing so by destroying the opponent's monster in battle, then Special Summoning that monster from the opponent's GY at the end of the Battle Phase. These "Vampires" are not as reliant on being Normal Summoned to hit the field and gain their effects, in comparison with the older wave of "Vampire" monsters, instead requiring a heavy payment of LP to trigger most of their effects. These effects support the Xyz summon of their boss monster, "Dhampir Vampire Sheridan", which can use monsters owned by the opponent as Level 6 monsters for its own summon, and can also "steal" monsters from the opponent's GY outside of the Battle Phase.
|Vampire||Level||Unique LP payment effect|
|Vampire Scarlet Scourge||Level 6||"When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can pay 1000 LP, then target 1 "Vampire" monster in your GY, except "Vampire Scarlet Scourge"; Special Summon it, but it cannot attack this turn."|
|Vampire Red Baron||Level 6||"Once per turn: You can pay 1000 LP, then target 1 monster your opponent controls and 1 other "Vampire" monster you control; switch control of those monsters."|
|Vampire Grimson||Level 5||"If a monster(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or an opponent's card effect, you can pay 1000 LP for each monster that would be destroyed, instead."|
|Vampire Fraulein||Level 5||"Once per battle, if your Zombie monster battles an opponent's monster, during that damage calculation (Quick effect): You can pay LP in multiples of 100 (max. 3000); your battling monster gains that much ATK/DEF during that damage calculation only."|
All the Extra Deck monsters can "steal" or gain control of the opponent's monsters with different triggers and conditions, and both "Sheridan" and "Voivode" share a similar alternate summon condition of treating monsters owned by the opponent as materials of the appropiate level for their Xyz summon. "Fascinator" is unique in that both its effects gain control of the opponent's monsters. They can be classified as follows;
|Vampire||Rank/Link Rating||"Stealing" effect||Unique effect(s)|
|Crimson Knight Vampire Bram||Rank 5||"You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; Special Summon that target to your field, but only that monster can attack for the rest of this turn."||"Once per turn, during the Standby Phase of the next turn after this card you controlled was destroyed by your opponent's card and sent to your GY: Special Summon this card in Defense Position."|
|Dhampir Vampire Sheridan||Rank 6||"Once per turn, if a Monster Card(s) is sent from the field to your opponent's GY by a card effect, or a monster is destroyed by battle and sent to your opponent's GY: You can detach 1 material from this card; Special Summon 1 of those monsters to your field in Defense Position."||"Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 card your opponent controls; send it to the GY. "|
|Vampire Sucker||Link Rating 2||"If you would Tribute a monster(s) for a Tribute Summon, you can Tribute a Zombie monster(s) your opponent controls, even though you do not control them."||" You can target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; Special Summon it to your opponent's field in Defense Position, but it becomes a Zombie monster. If a Zombie monster(s) is Special Summoned from either GY: Draw 1 card."|
|Vampire Fascinator||Link Rating 3||"You can Tribute 1 "Vampire" monster, then target 1 monster your opponent controls; take control of it until the End Phase."||"If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; Special Summon it to your field in Defense Position."|
|The Zombie Vampire||Rank 8||"You can detach 1 material from this card; each player sends the top 4 cards from their Deck to the GY, then if any monsters were sent to either GY by this effect, you can Special Summon 1 of those monsters to your field."||"Neither player can target this card with effects of Special Summoned monsters, except those Special Summoned from the GY."|
Lastly, there's the two highest leveled Normal Summon "Vampire" monsters; the Level 8 "Vampire Voivode", and the Level 7 "Vampire Vamp", which share a similar focus on "stealing" opponent's monsters upon their Normal Summon, and also some form of "immortality" by reviving from the GY when a certain trigger and field condition is met. "Voivode" also possesses the only quick disruption effect in the archetype. The Rank 8 "The Undead Vampire" is the upgraded form of "Voivode", and as of this time, the "ultimate" boss of the "Vampire" monsters, with an extremely powerful (and one of the few in the archetype) protection effect.
Both subsets are supported by a group of lower Level "Vampire" monsters which act as Tribute Summon fodder/support, that can also search "Vampire" monsters and "Vampire" Spell Cards and Trap Cards, but share almost no other effects in common. These are (by order of release); "Vampire Sorcerer", "Vampire Familiar", "Vampire Retainer" and "Vampire Ghost".
The "Vampire" monsters, "Vampire Curse", "Vampire Dragon", "Vampire Hunter" and "Vampire Baby" share little or none synergy with the rest of the archetype and almost no effects in common, and shouldn't be played in any "Vampire" deck that aims to win.
Broadly speaking, the "Vampire" Deck in 2022 is a control-oriented strategy focusing on controlling the field by battle and gaining advantage by Special Summoning monsters from the opponent's GY, supplemented by strong generic Zombie support cards. Because of their emphasis on taking control of the opponent's monsters and using the opponent's GY, the Deck has consistency issues and its performance significantly varies depending on the matchup. The Deck has some setup combos to Summon its Tribute or Xyz Summoned boss monsters, but most of them (aside from "Vampire Voivode") do not provide Quick Effect disruptions, and generally the archetype's only disruption on the opponent's turn is their searchable Counter Trap Card, "Vampire Domination".
Early "Vampire" Decks often focused on strategically milling the opponent's Deck of their key cards as their main win condition. However, due to most Decks' increased GY usage as the game evolved, this strategy had largely become obsolete.
For supporting Spells, "Vampire's Domain" grants an additional Normal Summon for a "Vampire" monster, supporting the archetype's need for Tribute Summoning, and "Vampire's Desire" is a combo enabler that can search "Vampire" monsters by milling and modulates Levels for Xyz plays.
Their main combo-enabling swarming monsters are "Vampire Ghost", "Vampire Scarlet Scourge", and "Vampire Grace", who can Normal and Special Summon additional "Vampire" monsters (or themselves from the GY) to enable the Summon of "Vampire" boss monsters. Lastly, "Vampire Fraulein" is a pseudo-hand trap that can grant the controller's Zombie monsters up to 3000 ATK/DEF per battle (at the cost of the player's LP), greatly increasing the deck's combat capabilities.
Externally, the "Vampire" archetype is strongly supported by "Zombie World" and its related "Doomking Balerdroch", primarily through "Vampire Sucker". "Sucker" lets the player Tribute Summon monsters using Zombie monsters the opponent controls, supporting the archetype's Tribute Summons. "Balerdroch" meanwhile provides much-needed Quick Effect disruption for the archetype, and also synergizes with "Sucker" by triggering "Sucker's" card draw effect when it revives itself from GY.
Vampire Hieratic Deck
- The archetype has a general lack of Quick Effect disruptions (unless paired up with "Doomking Balerdroch" and "Zombie World"), making its boards easy to play through.
- The archetype's milling effects can often be used against the "Vampire" player, as most decks have cards that can be utilized for advantage even in the GY.
- Anti-DARK floodgates can shut down the deck.
- Anti-GY floodgates, such as "Macro Cosmos" and "Dimensional Fissure", can stop the deck's main method of gaining advantage of reviving monsters from the GYs, and shuts off some "Vampire" combo lines.