The Albany Vault Tour… I Hope to See You There!
What a crazy two weeks it’s been for me. Between setting up my new laptop, doing a podcast with 5th Planet Keyforge, working overtime during a power outage, to testing for the upcoming Albany Vault Tour.
To add on another challenge, my original article draft for last week accidentally got deleted. With no time to finish a new one, I had to just wait until now.
For this Shard of the Week, I would like to just talk a little bit about the upcoming Albany Vault Tour. January, 10th-12th, the Albany VT will be a single elimination Archon format with each player bringing three decks. Once you lose with all three, you’re out.
What makes this event really interesting is the way 3 deck single elmination will typically cause the meta to collapse. The current meta since Worlds Collide released has become (primarily) a game of rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock… with MANY deck archetypes overlapping and defeating each other in an endless circle. Despite the chaos, there has been a meta forming that seems to divide into two larger categories. I played around 75 games this week and started to pinpoint those various themes. Upon review, 30% of my opponents were playing midrange CotA decks with Dis and Logos. Another 45% were WC decks with Saurian or Star Alliance board control… commonly backed up with Logos. The remaining 25% were decks that were harder to categorize.
Obviously we can never have enough data but at least I could get my reps in and have a rough viewpoint to base something from.
So knowing all this info about the meta asks the question “what kind of deck should win the event?”
I’ll throw my two cents in, and hopefully I’m not going too far off the rails here.
With more decks being brought by each player, you will have enhanced odds of facing off against a deck that doesn’t fit perfectly into any preconceived meta.
While on one hand, we can say that Saurian and Star Alliance decks are hot for right now, it doesn’t mean that every player will own multiple competitive decks with those houses.
We may also see alot of decks that rely on winning the Æmber race but have less steal, or decks that need to draw two or three specific cards to lock-out the game, or decks with lots of steal and no real board control. Still great decks, but reliant on winning in only one super-focused aspect of their game plan. In short, Triple Deck Elimination throws a large portion of the meta right out the window. Players will be more likely to bring decks that aren’t as well suited to the current metagame when they are required to dig deeper into their collections.
So what can you do to improve your chances in this ‘ghost meta’?
Playing decks you’ve had success with in the past and know how to pilot will be essential. There may be games you can’t win, and maybe others you will devastate. With so many unknowns, bringing decks you know and trust is the only real way to add some stability. You can’t plan for everything, so plan for your sharpest gameplay.
As tempting as it may become, avoid any last minute deck swaps. You may see a shift in online meta but don’t overthink it. Just remember that other players are going to worry about that shift as well, which will cause even more weird decks to enter the fray.
So just relax and stick with the deck you tested. Don’t let a few bad matchups before the event decide everything.
Keeping yourself physically intact throughout the event can be a challenge in itself.
Snack bars, water, extra sleeves, phone charger, or possibly even a backup phone battery. Plan like you’re about to walk through the Sahara desert, because that’s exactly how you will feel after rounds four, five, six…
A full night’s rest before the event, and a nutritional dinner to feed your brain; that’s what really gives you an edge.
Don’t defeat yourself.
What I mean here is to be prepared for losing just as much as winning. If you lose round 1- don’t let a feeling of negativity dominate how you play for the remainder of the event. Sure, there’s a chance you could have played better, but often there are matchups that cannot be won.
Meditate before the event and between rounds when you can. Visualize your own strength and resolve to finish the tournament with integrity. Players with integrity are always winners in one aspect or another.
So to end today’s rant, I would like to let my readers know that I am currently working on setups to begin live streaming gameplay at the beginning of next year. This is something I have been very excited to do and really look forward to interacting as often as possible with this incredible community. If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop me a line at FuzzyGruen@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you, and can’t wait to meet as many Reapout fans as possible in Albany!
Until next time!