Innistrad: Crimson Vow – Day 1 Standard Decks from Across the Web

Voldaren Bloodcaster art by Kim Sokol

Today marked one of the most exciting days of the year for Magic players: the release of a brand-new premier set! Innistrad: Crimson Vow is the follow-up to September’s set Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. The lore of Crimson Vow is focused on the Vampires of the plane, specifically the joining of two vampiric bloodlines through the marriage of Olivia Voldaren and Edgar Markov.

Crimson Vow is also the first set to be added to the Standard format since Midnight Hunt brought the yearly set rotation along with it. As a result, Crimson Vow is significantly expanding the Standard card pool, and we’re sure to see the format shaken up some by all of the new options. We’ve got powerful new Zombie, Human, Spirit, and of course Vampire cards bringing new tools to existing archetypes and potentially spawning some new ones.

The release of any new Magic set is always a unique and fun experience for players and brewers as everyone gets their hands on the new cards for the first time and puts their theorycrafting to the test. In the interest of sharing ideas and showcasing the new set, we’ve collected as many new brews as possible from streamers, pros, and other players who have shared their Innistrad: Crimson Vow decklists online.

In this article, we’ll get started with a brief rundown on some of the archetypes that have been generating the most buzz so far, and a bit of discussion about the new cards that are showing up in each archetype. Then at the bottom of the page, you’ll find our complete list of Day 1 decks featuring Innistrad: Crimson Vow.

You can check out all of the decks from day two here:

We’ve also got tons of other Crimson Vow content here at MTG Arena Zone; check out the some of the latest below:


Crimson Vow is the Vampire set after all, so it’s no surprise that Rakdos Vampires has been one of the most heavily-tried decks so far. The set has brought a heap of playable Vampires to complement the handful of strong ones from Midnight Hunt. MPL member Arne Huschenbeth even went as far as to proclaim the archetype the “NEW BEST DECK IN STANDARD” on Twitter:

Huschenbeth’s claim is almost certainly a little bit tongue-in-cheek as it’s obviously far too early to say what the format’s best deck will be. With that being said, it’s hard to deny that Rakdos Vampires got a ton of new toys to play with – and some of them are pretty sweet.

You’ll find Arne’s list, along with a few other examples, among the decks in today’s compilation down below.

Mono-Colored Aggro and Humans

It also seems that Crimson Vow may be a boon for virtually all of the mono-colored aggro decks in Standard. From Mono Green and Mono White, which were already two of top archetypes in the format, to Mono Red and Mono Black, two decks that were barely on the fringes, we’ve got examples of every mono-colored aggro deck in today’s compilation except for blue.


Even before Crimson Vow, Mono Green was already absolutely packed with powerful cards. The Mono Green decklists we’ve come to know are extremely tight, with very few flex slots and a general consensus among the community about best configurations. With that being said, Crimson Vow has some cards that are powerful enough to at least earn some consideration.

Of these new potential additions, the most important is probably Ascendant Packleader, a card that helps to solve one of the deck’s historic weaknesses – a lack of playable one-drops. Cemetery Prowler is also gaining some attention, but it’s yet to be seen if any of the other green cards from Crimson Vow are good enough to justify their inclusion.


Mono White Aggro is an archetype that has been competing with Mono Green for the best aggro deck and most effective counter to the Alrund's Epiphany extra turns decks. It has a lot of speed and power, but arguably has a bit more room for improvement in some of its card slots than green. And it’s a good thing too, because every Mono White deck is going to need to make room for an incredibly powerful reprint and one of the strongest cards in the set: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.

Hopeful Initiate is a new one-drop that is being tried in Mono White alongside Thalia, and the two cards together have also prompted many players to consider a new but similar archetype: Selesnya Humans.

The Selesnya Humans decks that we’ve been seeing so far are mostly white, and share a lot of cards in common with the Mono White Aggro decks since many of its best cards happen to have the human type. The green splash allows the deck to run cards like Sigarda, Champion of Light and Katilda, Dawnhart Prime – two cards from Midnight Hunt – and the somewhat controversial new Hamlet Vanguard.

Hamlet Vanguard is a card with quite a high ceiling, but when your board is empty, it’s horrendously bad as a 1/1 for three mana. Nevertheless, players are trying it out in the Humans archetype, and we’ll have to see if the upside of having a 5/5, 7/7 or even higher for just three mana is worth the times when the card does virtually nothing.


The Zombies archetype has been on the cusp of being playable since Midnight Hunt added some powerful options like Champion of the Perished and Tainted Adversary to the format. Now, Crimson Vow has brought even more good Zombies to Standard, and it’s possible that it may push the archetpy over the edge. We’ve got examples of people playing the Zombies deck in straight Mono Black as well as with a splash of blue added to play the new Zombie lord Bladestitched Skaab.

… And Many, Many More

Altogether, the decks we’ve seen so far have been quite diverse as players try out all of their new ideas inspired by Crimson Vow. There’s some great new options for reanimator decks in the form of Olivia, Crimson Bride and Diregraf Rebirth. Self-Mill decks are cropping up again with new tools like Otherworldly Gaze. We strongly encourage you to check out the whole collection of different decks – with so much variety, there’s bound to be a deck that catches your eye.

We’ll be back again with more lists for you tomorrow and for as long as the stream of new decks keeps coming. There are some tournaments coming up this weekend as well, so stay tuned for our first competitive results in the new format. Thanks for reading, and have fun with the new set!


Dude from Vermont who likes to play Magic and Escape from Tarkov. Musician, writer, and gamer. Submit feedback or corrections to @Paul on the Discord.