Yu-Gi-Oh!: Best Vampire Cards
The game of Yu-Gi-Oh! has seen several archetypes become popular but gain only periodic support.
Vampires are one such archetype, as they first received support back in 2013 with the set Shadow Specters, alongside the popular Ghostrick monsters. Afterwards, the deck would receive some minor support in following sets, until finally getting another major wave in the set Dark Saviors in 2018. They took their time, but they became a TCG reality.
In general, Vampire cards stick very close to two specific ideas: they can special summon the opponent’s monsters, and/or pay life points to activate their effects. Both of these concepts fit well with the idea of vampires, as they can bring people back from the dead, as well as use their own “blood” to achieve superhuman tasks. We've seen some very effective Vampire cards over the game's long span to date, and these are our picks for the best of the best.
Vampire Scarlet Scourge is a level six monster with only 2200 ATK, but when it’s normal or special summoned, the player can pay 1000 life points to special summon a Vampire monster from their graveyard. As such, it's an easy card to make game-changing plays with.
Even better, if it succeeds in destroying a monster by battle, it can special summon them to the field as allies, thereby taking the opponent’s weapons from them and leaving them in a difficult position.
Shadow Vampire was part of some early Vampire support released for the archetype back in late 2013, in the aptly named set Shadow Specters. The art is easily the coolest thing about the card—just this enormous vampire monolith standing front of a crimson moon, holding a giant freaking sword and looking absolutely unstoppable.
The card’s effect is pretty great—when normal summoned, he can special summon a Dark Vampire monster from the hand or the Deck, besides himself. It was great in the past, but being a level 5 that needs Normal Summoning and locks the player from attacking (outside of the monster they special summoned by its effect) makes it less useful these days.
Another card featuring some pretty fantastic art, Vampire Fraulein is a rare Zombie with respectable DEF points: 2000 Defense. It can special summon itself when a monster declares an attack, which is neat for additional field presence.
What really makes the card great is it can make any Zombie monster gain Attack and Defense by multiples of 100, equal to the amount of life points paid by the player, up to 3000. This means any one monster can become 3000 ATK stronger while on the field, allowing the player to win any match-up they want. Then, if Fraulein destroys a monster, it can special summon them to the field.
This is Shadow Vampire with a power-up. A Rank 5 Xyz with 2500 Attack, it’s actually kind of small considering its rank. However, it can detach a material to special summon a monster in the opponent’s graveyard, though only that monster can attack for the turn if the player chooses to do so.
The best part about this card is that even if the opponent destroys it, it’ll simply return next standby phase, special summoning itself in defense position to offer an additional body. It’s just too bad its defense value, like most zombies, is 0.
The powerful LINK monster of the deck, making it possible to put other Xyz boss monsters onto the field. Vampire Sucker has some pretty neat effects when combined with the field spell Zombie World. Whenever a tribute summon is necessary, Vampire Sucker allows the player to use zombie monsters the opponent controls... which would be all their monsters if Zombie World is on the field.
It can also target monsters in the opponent’s graveyard and special summon them to the field, making it a Zombie monster. Plus, if a Zombie monster is special summoned from the graveyard, the player draws a card. Offering both hand and field advantage at once, this might be the best card of the deck.
Some of the support introduced in 2018, Vampire’s Domain is meant to help put out some board presence for a deck that would otherwise be much slower without it. The card gives Vampire players an extra normal summon once per turn, at the cost of 500 life points.
Of course, it also helps to shore up the fact that it costs so much to actually play the deck, and helps them gain life points by gaining whatever they deal in damage as life points. It’s reminiscent of the way vampires get stronger by draining the life out of their victims.
Vampire’s Desire is a Spell specifically meant to help out with Xyz Summoning and getting additional monsters to the field. When activated, the player can target a monster they control, then send one monster from the deck to the grave of a different level. The monster on the field will assume the level of the discarded one for the remainder of the turn.
Or, in the same way vampires can rise from the grave, it can send one monster on the field to the graveyard to special summon a Vampire monster in the grave and bring them back.
One of the better monsters added to the game, this additional support for vampires came during 2014’s Primal Origin set. A level 7 with 2000 ATK, what makes Vampire Vamp impressive is its efficiency at stealing monsters.
When a Vampire is Normal or Special summoned, this card can target and steal a face-up monster controlled by the opponent with higher attack, equip it to itself, and gain its attack as well. Since it starts out at 2000, this means it's going up to 4100. At a minimum. Even better, if this card is somehow sent to the grave while equipped with a card, it can special summon itself back.
Probably the best boss monster the deck could have gotten. Vampires like to steal the opponent’s monsters, and Sheridan capitalizes on monsters already stolen while taking them itself.
If summoned with any monster that belongs to the opponent, that monster can be used as a level six. It can also detach a material to target and send an opponent’s card to the graveyard, making for great non-destruction removal. Lastly, it can special summon any monster sent to the opponent’s grave by a card effect or destroyed by battle, helping the player and their Vampire legions grow even larger.
Every archetype eventually gets a counter trap, and Vampire Domination just happens to be one that’s both themed to the deck and fits the archetype. If a Spell, Trap, or monster effect is activated while the player controls a Vampire, Vampire Domination can negate that effect then destroy that card.
If it was a monster card, the player also gets to gain attack equal to the monster’s attack, offsetting a good portion of the damage taken to activate many of this deck’s attacks. This is not just perfect for the deck, it’s also one of the scariest cards to deal with (as its creepy art would suggest).