Another Vampire Legend. Sigh, really?
Alright, this one we kinda knew. In what has got to be a good start, Drana was actually featured on the front of an intro pack. You know what that means?
That’s right, if you buy the Invading Spawn intro deck, you get your foil General.
I’ve been asking this for a while and it seems like either Wizards listened, or they realized it just seemed like a good idea. Score one for EDH players and a big thumbs up to Wizards; let’s hope we continue to see this trend. But, that doesn’t matter if she isn’t a very good General. Let’s see what she does.
XBB: Target creature gets -0/-x until end of turn and Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief gets +X/+0 until end of turn.
Ah, yes. very nice. A 4/4 for 3BB and a very Black ability? I think I might like her.
Though she is a Vampire, she doesn’t have to fit in any Vampire deck. Of course, she would be great with the other 500 Vampires in Zendikar block and beyond. I feel she’s more interesting as a mono-Black General, and that was one spot in my collection of EDH decks I was missing. This isn’t about what I want for me, but if she can be a good General.
Of course she is, are you kidding me?
I want you to listen (read?) what I’m about to tell you about her. 1) Her ability doesn’t cause her to tap; you can do it more than once a turn. 2) Her ability is at instant speed. 3) You can “drain” for more than what the creature’s toughness is. 4) The +X/+0 ability means more General combat damage. And at 5 mana, she can still be cast easily later in the game. Suddenly you have a huge threat ready to chew bubble gum and kick ass.
She may be the mon0-Black General of choice now that Braids has been banned.
But how does she compare to other mono-Black Generals that use a ton of mana: Chainer, Dementia Master, Maga, Traitor to Mortals, and Volrath the Fallen? Surprisingly, Chainer is the one that would fit the best in this deck, you take the creatures that you killed (In which Lim-Dûl the Necromancer would be another fun addition to that combo as well). Maga needs mana up front which is a better kill card since you can play other colors with it. Volrath does some of the same stuff, pumping himself to deal more General damage.
What are some interesting things we can do with her? Now, if you just want to play a straight mono-Black control deck with lots of removal and hand disruption and things like that, there’s nothing or no one stopping you (unless your playgroup is really persuasive). Let’s have a little fun with her and see what we can do.
First, we’re going to need a lot of mana. Not only can she pick off small creatures, but bigger ones as well. Here’s what we can use to get more Black Mana going for us:
- Gauntlet of Power
- Extraplanar Lens
- Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
- Magus of the Coffers
- Cabal Coffers
- And the new card that Kelly Reid previewed on Quiet Speculation: Nirkana Revenant
This allows you to not only pick off other opponent’s creatures, but creatures some very fun situations. If, and let me just throw this idea out there, someone was targeting one of your creatures with a spell, say Control Magic. Let’s say you didn’t want that to happen so you “drained” your creature, killing it in the process. And if you had Butcher of Malakir or Grave Pact on the battlefield making your opponent sacrifice a creature as well, that could work.
Or, if an opponent is attacking another opponent with a creature and you happen to make the attacking creature’s toughness 1 creating what was going to be a beat down into a creature swap, that could work too.
With her on the table, you can control the game. I don’t think people will catch up on it just yet until you start creating these weird situations where a simple Rancid Earth will take out an opponent’s army. Yes, that will take a ton of mana, but isn’t that what EDH is about?
Final Word: Without her ability she’s a 4/4 flyer for 3BB, which is already good, but if you make her your Queen in your Vampire deck, suddenly, it gets a whole lot better. But, she’s powerful enough to stand on her own without the help of her tribe. Yes, she will become one of those EDH Generals you get tired of seeing from time to time but that’s because she’s so good.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I think I will pick up that Vampires Into pack so I can have her as my mono-Black EDH General. I recommend you do the same.