My Maiden Voyage to Origins and the Sealed AoA Vault Tour
June 18, 2019
Hey all! It’s great to be back and writing for you again. Today I am going to discuss my 2019 Origins Vault Tour and convention experience. I would like to lead with I HAD SO MUCH FUN, I LEARNED SO MUCH, AND I MET/RECONNECTED WITH FELLOW KEYFORGERS! Side note: I plan on writing another article that goes into more detail specifically about what a Vault Tour day is like later on, but for today, I am going to focus on my Vault Tour content.
If you asked me a year ago if I would ever go to a gaming convention, I would’ve said, “I would like to go to one once in my life to see what they are like.” Well because of Keyforge and the Vault Tours, I will have attended three gaming conventions by the end of 2019 –Adepticon, Origins, and Gen Con. Seriously, I would have never signed up for these conventions with my friends if Vault Tours didn’t exist. Keyforge has changed my life and for the better at that.
The main appeal for attending Origins was that this was going to be my first chance at a Sealed Vault Tour. I LOVE the Sealed format. I like that sealed “evens out” the field because every one gets new decks that they have never used and they are not necessarily top tier. I also like that sealed format exercises different parts of the brain than archon. I enjoy evaluating my deck and trying to anticipate what decks I may play against. Sealed requires game knowledge of cards in all the houses because we don’t get to analyze our opponent’s deck list. It’s fun to watch people play around certain cards in certain houses that they aren’t used to and see how it affects game play. I realize that with this format, there is always the chance you get stuck with a crummy deck to play, but to me, it is well worth the risk and still loads of fun!
Jason and I signed up for the Day 1a Vault Tour. I wanted to get my nerves out of the way by playing the first day, and then we would have all day Saturday to play in a Keyforge Sealed Survival and check out the rest of Origins! It worked out really well! Check in on Friday went pretty smoothly and it was nice to say hi to the Cascade Games crew. Once everyone was checked in, the Cascade Games crew announced instructions and the day began. We each received three decks and were allotted 15 minutes to choose one.
Choosing a deck was harder than I thought. I didn’t know every card, so I had to open every deck and flip through them card by card. I had a lot of anxiety while I was making this decision but eventually I narrowed it down to one.
When I evaluated my decks I looked for these things:
1) Raw Aember on cards – Aember creates keys and that’s how you win Keyforge!
2) Aember control – Capturing and stealing aember is great in preventing your opponent from forging keys, and that makes it pretty difficult to win the game.
3) Creature count – Anything under 13 in this set is not great in my eyes, especially since there is so much more value on board state.
4) Creature power – Having stronger creatures or weaker creatures with big effects is important. It’s not fun fighting Brobnar/Sanctum with 2 power guys, just saying.
5) Removal – Board clears are nice and for a set that is focused on board play, necessary. Even direct damage for those pesky little creatures that are too good to be left alive is welcome. (i.e. tezmal and duskwitch)
6) Synergies – I could write a whole post about this, but I’ll let you use your imagination. A deck that works together…. wins Vault Tours.
Deck 1 (Rhodes) was an instant no because of the low creature count. However, I was torn between the other two decks mainly because I thought deck 2 (Genecrescent) looked so cool with the 2x Drummernaut and Ganger Chieftain combo, DrummerGang. However, after further thought, I realized that this deck might be too slow to set up and keep up with fast decks. It only had six raw aember and two aember control cards. It also only had two direct damage cards. On the other hand, it had the capacity to produce too much aember, which would be bad against Too Much to Protect and Interdimensional Graft. That left me with deck 3 (Hastings), which I loved. I mean who doesn’t love a 6x Plague Rat deck in sealed? It had 10 raw aember, much more aember control, good creature count, good creature power, multiple removal, and fun synergies! This was also my first plague rat pull so I figured, why not try it out during a Vault Tour.
Since this is already pretty lengthy, I am only going to mention quick lessons or things that stick out in my memory from each round.
Round 1 – Win vs. Tony who was at his first Vault Tour ever. I hope you got those metal keys!
Round 2 – Win vs. Colby, CoDameron from Bouncing Deathquark. I learned the true power of Panpaca, Anga and Panpaca, Jaga. Colby had a strong start against me and used Collector Worm to archive like 8 of my creatures. Although, I somehow came back, despite my misplay to kill his duskwitch. After the game, he nicely explained how I could’ve killed it using Beambuckler to move him to the other flank. Thanks again!
Round 3 – Win vs. Erich from Team SAS. It was a fun game! I remember I made a misplay where I had Haedroth’s Wall out and accidentally killed my Zookeeper with 2 damage by prematurely placing a creature on the flank. Oops.
Round 4 – Loss vs. Trever. It was a fun and close game with a Grump Buggy and two Haedroth’s Walls out. It was annoying, but fun!
Round 5 – Loss vs. Philipp. I was bummed to be knocked out for day 2 this round, but it was a fun game and Philipp played well. I felt like it was a game where he just had the perfect answer to everything I did, which is a classic Keyforge thing. I also learned he plays Unicorn in L5R, which is cool. Go L5R!
Round 6 – Win vs a very nice man who I cannot remember his name! It was a fun game, especially with no pressure since I already knew I couldn’t make the cut.
I had a great day despite not making day 2. I definitely thought my deck had the potential to make the cut, but it wasn’t meant to be. The silver lining is that since I didn’t have to worry about playing Sunday, I was able to relax and have fun for the rest of the weekend. Note: for food options I recommend anything in the North Market, Schmidt’s, and Brewcadia pizza and beer.
The Origins Vault Tour was great, but I hope that whoever reads this knows that Keyforge is so much more than playing a game and winning (although it is fun to win). Because of Keyforge, I have been able to go on vacation with my boyfriend and friends, hang out with my fellow Team Reapout members, play Keyforge, demo games, meet cool people, eat amazing food, and buy more gaming things I definitely didn’t need. No regrets!
Gen Con is next! Will I see you there? I hope so.