Good Keys Deserve Good Locks, VT Collinsville Recap
What a ride! Vault Tour Collinsville happened recently and I became the first person to win 2 Vault Tours, as well as win both with the same deck! It’s crazy stuff, let’s talk about it!
To start, Yeti Gaming put on a great event. Rounds were on time. Judges and staff were on top of everything. The attendance at this Vault Tour was low compared to others, and I suspect it’s almost entirely from the short notice and location. Even despite this, their side events were filling up quickly, event the Team Trios event which surprised me quite a bit. Everyone seemed to love it. I expect future events from them to be even better and have a much higher attendance. I know I’ll be at VT Indianapolis.
If you read my last article, I ran Cutthroat Quigley at GenCon and it did not go as well. I was very excited to find out another Vault Tour was happening close to me so soon. I knew I was going to run “Gasoline” Maximilano back at this event. I’ve been asked quite a bit if I think the deck is still good after the Library Access errata. I’m not going to pretend that losing a huge combo didn’t effect it, but Gas Max was more than a one trick pony. Some have also doubted that a LANS deck (Library Access + Nepenthe Seed) could compete post errata without Shadows. I’ve never lost faith in the power in this deck. I set out to show its strength despite the doubts.
Day 1 was 6 rounds. Only 5-1 or better will make it do day 2, which will automatically be Top 8 as well. I receive my first, and only, loss at the hands of Big Z from Team SAS, Round 3 on stream.
It’s important to note that he starts off extremely strong with 2 Mothers and a Howling Mine. This is exactly the type of thing that Cutthroat Quigley did in my testing that was so strong. Gas has a difficult time keeping up with the card advantage created by cards that increase hand size, or hold a large archives. My tempo lock pieces have less impact when my opponent has 9 cards, meaning they likely have multiples of each house and can answer my plays. Additionally it helps him draw into his 4 Routine Jobs, which do a great job of controlling aember on my side.
Towards the end of the game I make a large push with Library Access. Wild Wormhole flips into a Save the Pack, which is what I didn’t want to happen. Had I actually prepared for that, I could have used Dextre to fight his Dodger, Dextre would go back on top of the deck, I can draw it with a LA trigger and kept the combo going more. My odds were still low on winning that game, but that would have been a stronger play with a chance to actually complete the Restringuntus lock to win the game. Additionally knowing that the lock was my plan, I should have attempted to reduce the amount of aember I produced as much as possible, but I didn’t realize that until it was too late.
But how does my deck WIN, especially without a full combo and Shadows? The final match is on YouTube if you want to watch! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPaxPSsQ-xM
There are lot of tempo tools in the other houses that are often underrated. In many of my games I was able to either use Control the Weak to make my opponent either lose a turn completely, or take a turn with very few profitable plays. Sometimes multiple turns in a row to make a come back and keep them off the win. Restringuntus was able to lock out opponents as well. Restringuntus is a very skill intensive card that people often see as a “lucky guess”, but if you know how to use it, you can back an opponent into a corner and then lock them out of the game completely. It can also be used as another Control the Weak forcing the opponent into a lackluster turn, where their only option is to kill the Restringuntus in order to play the game. Those aren’t the only cards like this however. Teliga forces opponents to play in a manner I want as well, often times giving me enough aember for a key all on her own! Other times she forces the game to be played around her with removal and fighting lest my opponents keep giving me free keys. The two Fog effects my deck has helps keep all creatures alive. And Skippy Timehog stops a large chunk of aember from reaping, as well as stops fights from killing my creatures. Knowing how to use these tempo plays was key to many of my wins. This doesn’t mean I don’t have aember control though. I do think it’s a crucial component in the game, but I don’t think Shadows is the only way to do it. A few small effects in my other houses were definitely enough to get the job done.
I’m hoping the take-away from all this is that any house combination can win at the top of competition. I’ve always pushed people to play their decks. You might have the next Vault Tour winning deck. Shadows isn’t the end all be all. Hard work, skill, and some luck, will pay off more than deck ratings. Vault Tours are a great way to test your might against players from other regions, as well as have friends to have a great time with. I knew a lot of the players at Collinsville and that meta was stacked, not only with strong Team players, but also a lot of the locals from my area who I know to be extremely strong. Everyone was friendly as always, even though some tilted after my lock outs or lucky draws. I’ve been there myself. We’re passionate about KeyForge after all! It was all friendly hand shakes and fist bumps after the fact. I’m excited for the next big event, and hope to see more people, and maybe a little less Shadows.
You can find George Keagle in the KeyForge Facebook group, or on other social media like Discord as compacta_D