As you may have guessed, my Vampire deck is meant for Casual games and stands no chance against competitive decks. I would like to fix that, but I'm not going to.
No, I'm going to leave the deck intact and use it only for casual games. I will, however, proxy a duplicate for competitive games. It will need to be improved though. So let's take a lookie at what we can do with it!
First, this is what we start with...
Not bad, but definitely not competitive. Let's make some adjustments.
Rise from the Grave helps Zombies, not Vampires. Gone. Beacon of Unest is preferred. Same mana cost, and you can get multiple uses out of it (-1 Rise from the Grave, +1 Beacon of Unrest).
As the deck stands now, the only card that can be played on the first turn is Viscera Seer. We need more cards with a Converted Mana Cost of 1. Guul Draz Vampire and Vampire Lacerator work well, as does Pulse Tracker. We can obviously get rid of the two non-vampires in this deck to add them, and I'm getting rid of the token Vanilla card as well (-1 Reassembling Skeleton, -3 Barony Vampire, -1 Dakmor Lancer, +2 Guul Draz Vampire, +2 Vampire Lacerator, +1 Pulse Tracker).
The problem with this is if the opponent DOESN'T have 10 or less life. We need a quick way to get them down, and given how many creatures are destroyed per game, the choice is clearly Kalastria Highborn. It also lets us use up any unused Mana we have (+2 Kalastria Highborn, -1 Soul Feast, -1 Swamp).
If, on the other hand, the opponent DOES have 10 or less life, then we need to capitalize on that as much as possible. Bloodghast is a nice creature that can be summoned multiple times through its effect, just by Landfall, and it gets Haste if the opponent is down too low. Note that due to the multiple summons, only one copy of the card is necessary. Bloodthrone Vampire will be lost in favor of this (-1 Bloodthrone Vampire, +1 Bloodghast).
Diabolic Tutor costs 5, which is too expensive for my tastes. Beseech the Queen is just as good, and costs 3. The downside with Queen is you have to be able to play the card, but why would you search for it otherwise? Problem solved (-3 Diabolic Tutor, +3 Beseech the Queen).
Gatekeeper of Malakir is a good way to deal with opponent's creatures. It sure as hell beats Quag Sickness (-2 Quag Sickness, +2 Gatekeeper of Malakir).
Since a majority of the decks I face are Infect decks (blame the people who I play with (mainstreet and Akiza)), -1/-1 counters dominate my creatures, and to deal with them, I'd like a Vampire Hexmage (-2 Swamp, +2 Vampire Hexmage).
Ambition's Cost is identical to Ancient Craving, but with a cooler name. The choice is obvious (-2 Ancient Craving, +2 Ambition's Cost).
Another problem this deck has is the inability to deal with Flying Creatures. Nothing in this deck has Flying or Reach. The only way to kill them is with Doom Blade, and if they are BLACK Flying Creatures, then nothing can be done. We need to take this battle to the skies, and add some flyers. Adding a card that isn't color-specific on what it destroys isn't a bad idea either (-2 Bloodthrone Vampire, -1 Child of Night, -1 Swamp, +2 Go for the Throat, +2 Vampire Nighthawk).
Finally, Crystal Ball is dumb when there are much better options for drawing cards. (-2 Crystal Ball, -1 Child of Night, +1 Phyrexian Arena, +1 Dark Tutelage, +1 Promise of Power).
Now that that's done, guess what we kept? 4 Captivating Vampire, 1 Child of Night, 2 Viscera Seer, 2 Corrupt, 4 Doom Blade, and 22 Swamp. (The lost Swamps aren't much to worry about, as 26 is a on the high end, especially for a single-colour deck.)
DAMN. Looks like I took out more than I thought. I guess this means that I will have to make two decks after all, 1 casual, 1 competitive. Fair enough. Let's see what the finished product looks like.
4 Captivating Vampire
1 Child of Night
2 Gatekeeper of Malakir
2 Guul Draz Vampire
2 Kalastria Highborn
1 Pulse Tracker
2 Vampire Hexmage
2 Vampire Lacerator
2 Vampire Nighthawk
2 Viscera Seer
I think this is much better, but if I'm wrong, be sure to let me know in a comment below (It is about $30 more expensive though).
http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=778895 The old version
http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=840798 The new version