Gencon Archon Vault Tour Recap from Top 16 Player Brian D. Mooney
Greetings Keyforgers! For any of you who have read my articles on my own tournament of decks I apologize for the delay. I was busy prepping for the Vault Tour. All my prep paid off though and I made the Top 16!
I bought this deck off of coolstuffinc for $13.99 + shipping. I didn’t run the metrics ahead of time but my eye told me it was strong.
Looking at the deck its E score is high so it doesn’t rely on aember from reaping too much. The A score is also quite high giving me a lot of good control options. Board wise it lacks high creature power so Gateway to Dis will be essential against big board decks. Fortunately every creature in it has a useful ability. In most decks speed sigil can be a very double edged sword but with Greking, Pit Demon, Francus, Bulleteye, Dodger and two Noddys I almost always get more value out of it than my opponents do. Speed Sigil with Greking and Bulleteye specifically is just plain nasty, allowing me to destroy or take control of a creature as soon as they come into play.
In play, Bree isn’t a true rush or board based deck. It pivots based on the opponent. Against an opponent that wants to rush I focus on denying them aember and building a board. Against large board decks I try and aember rush and use the Gateway to slow them down.
If the deck has any real weakness it’s that it has absolutely no Artifact Control.
Day 1, Round 1:
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a pic of my first opponent’s decklist. It was an AoA deck which was a struggle since I was still learning AoA cards. I remember the match having a lot of back and forth and that I won with the opponent on two keys. Without the decklist, I unfortunately can’t remember too much more. Record so far: 1-0.
Day 1, Round 2:
My opponent for Round 2 had come all the way from Brazil. He was very nice and I enjoyed getting a bit of an international player’s perspective.
Looking at the decklist I could tell it wanted to rush but only three creatures in Dis and three creatures in Shadows (two of them being Bad Penny) it couldn’t beat me on the board. There was a bit of back and forth early on and then he played the pair of Bad Pennys. I kept killing them to clog his hand and then played my Restringuntus to lock him out of Shadows. I think he held them in his hand for close to half the game. On paper the match was close as he ended with 2 keys (both of which he paid 9 for thanks to Lash of Broken Dreams) but I felt like I was in control for pretty much the whole match. I think my opponent was still a bit inexperienced as we chatted after the match and he still seemed to think Bad Penny was a good card. He was an awesome person to play with though, a theme that recurred throughout every match.
Record so far: 2-0
Day 1, Round 3:
My opponent for Round 2 was from Kansas and had made a long drive but was going strong.
Looking at the decklist I saw a strong Mars board possibility and a good amount of Aember control in Shadows. It looked like I might be able to beat him out in raw Aember though. This game also started off going back and forth. I drew my Gateway fairly early and held onto it for a few turns until he had both Grabber Jammers, 2 Tunks, the Marauder and a few other Mars Creatures out. The next turn I called Dis and played the gateway and he never really recovered from it. He delayed me a bit but I generated aember too fast for him to counter and won the match. All in all it was a fast and furious match against an awesome opponent with the same fun loving attitude towards keyforge that I have.
Record so Far: 3-0.
Day 1, Round 4:
At this point I was 3-0 and didn’t really care how well I did, I had come to a Vault Tour and proven that I was good enough to not have a losing record. I was pretty sure I could win at least one more game for a winning record too.
My opponent for Round 4 was a local from Indianapolis and a great guy. We chatted a lot and next time I’m down in Indy for the weekend I’m gonna look him up.
Looking at the deck I could see it was close to a pure rush deck. I fully expected him to rush right by me and beat me and knew my focus had to be on slowing him down enough to pull out the win. We were constantly bringing each other down out of check. The key play was when he played coward’s end with pile of skulls in play with 1 damaged earthshaker. I had 10 creatures on the board and he captured 10 aember from me and it all went on the Earthshaker. In retrospect I built my board too much and should have been aware of this problem. Still it wasn’t game over just yet, all I needed to do was kill the Earthshaker but for 3 turns I didn’t draw any 5 or higher power creatures. That was enough for him to go into check for his 3rd key at 9 aember and I couldn’t stop him again. On my last turn I did finally kill the Earthshaker. He won but I ended with 2 keys and 17 Aember after one of the most EPIC matches I’ve ever played. My opponent this round would actually end day 1 as the number 1 ranked player so I don’t feel too bad about losing.
Record so Far: 3-1
Day 1, Round 5:
My opponent this round was from Seattle and continued the trend of being an awesome, fun loving opponent.
I saw the Double Battle Fleet/Key Abduction and knew that was the big thing to watch out for. His deck also had a high E score so I knew he could go fast. This match actually ended up being very one sided. I played my Restringuntus and locked him out of mars on turn 2 or 3 and he had 4 Mars cards in hand and drew a 5th. It took him 5-6 turns before he could deal with it but by that time I was at 2 keys and close to my 3rd. He did get one awesome Mars turn off but only managed 1 key via Key abduction and I won soon after that. Winning so easily with Restringuntus wasn’t the best feeling but my opponent was cool about it and wished me luck. And it was still a win which meant I still had a chance at Day 2.
Record so far: 4-1
Day 1, Round 6:
I don’t remember where my opponent was from but he was as awesome as all my other opponents. What other game can you say that about?
Our decks were very similar on steal and aember generation, however, I had stronger board potential. We both opened fast but my draws were amazing and by turn six I had 2 keys. He slowed me down and caught up on keys mainly thanks to his Lash of Broken Dreams but I won shortly after. I was pretty tired at this point and don’t remember any specific awesome plays or anything, I believe I simply out drew him.
End of Day 1 Record: 5-1, 17th over all.
To make Day 2 you had to go 5-1 or better. 22 people total made it. 4 people went 6-0 and one of them was my round 3 opponent who beat me.
Day 2, Top 32:
For Top 32 the top 10 players got a bye and the rest played it out. I was (un)lucky enough to be pulled to play on the FFG stream!
My opponent was from New York City and was yet another awesome player. I’m pretty sure being on the stream rattled both of our nerves.
He had an AoA deck which was bad for me because I only remembered about half of what the AoA cards in his deck did. I could see scary untamed rush possibility but that he wouldn’t be able to compete with my board presence. I had to slow him down and build a board to win. He took the first key early with Chota but I followed soon after. He got his 2nd key first, but I mine still wasn’t far behind. We both actually forgot to forge our 2nd keys and had to be reminded. The stream nerves were real. The most important play was when My Overlord Greking passed the evasion sigil check and stole his Chota. I totally wanted Chota to stay on the board so he couldn’t recur it with World Tree but was in fear of a Nature’s call to end the game. I had one bad misplay where I forgot about the Power Boost from the Panpaca so a Relentless Whispers didn’t kill a Duskwitch. If I had caught it, I would have ended on check a turn sooner. On my last turn I built up to 9 aember and had a Control the Weak in my hand. He had regrowth-ed his Gatekeeper so I couldn’t choose Sanctum. I eventually chose Untamed and he couldn’t stop me so I won. In retrospect I should have locked him into Shadows but not knowing his AoA Shadows call, I was afraid of steal. I should have been more afraid of a Nature’s call. He did have a Miasma too so I don’t feel too bad about my choice and I did win after all. I found out after the game that my lone Succubus prevented him from drawing a Nature’s call and winning.
All in all this was an EPIC match. I also found out it was the last AoA deck left standing so I had the honor of eliminating AoA from the Vault Tour.
You can actually watch the stream here:
Day 2, Top 16:
My opponent for Top 16 was the same person I had lost to the day before. (See round 4 above for decklist).
It was another great match with continuous back and forth. I got a Restringuntus lock on Brobnar early that let me get a bit ahead. I ended with 2 keys 9 aember but my opponent was the one who moved on and my Vault Tour ended there.
Final Record, 6-2, Top 16.
I played the Vault Tour to have fun and see how I stacked up. I made it to the Top 16 and came away with a Power Level 5 deck. It was one of the best gaming weekends I’ve ever had (and I do gencon every year). I’m quite proud of my performance and hope to repeat it again sometime.