Krakow Vault Tour: Sealed
Krakow vault tour is behind us, and it was a big one with a double vault tour. I have so much to talk about it, there is no way to fit it in one blogpost. As of writing this, I have 4 posts in mind: Sealed, Archon, Side Events and Personal. So stay tuned for more!
If you’ve been following the results, then you know which deck I picked. But if you haven’t, you can see if you would have picked the same one I did. Here they are in the other I opened them, sans names, so if you only know my deck’s name, you can still do the exercise.
My first step, as I have discussed in the past, is to count the most basic stats. Bonus Aember, Aember Control and Creature split.
Titles are links to decks of keyforge.
My bonus aember count was off by 1, but a count of 8 or 9 doesn’t make much difference. It has some printed aember, but not enough to rush.
I counted 3 cards with aember control. I’m not sure which, but they all need to be on the board and that makes me sad.
Lastly, I also missed one Mars creature, counting only 7 rather than the 8/6/6 split this deck has.
The most exciting cards for me in this deck were: Teliga, Mimicry, Destory Them All!, Collector Worm and Mars First. Teliga can be extremely powerful in a set that relies on board, and same for a Collector Worm, especially if it can attack on the turn it comes into play with Mars First. Destory Them All! provides artifact control, and Mimicry is just extremely versatile.
But because all the aember control must be ready on the board, I find this deck would do poorly. Lack of aember control means a deck must be consistent and this one is not. So I move on.
Surprisingly, I count everything correctly here, with 10 aember and 8/6/6 creature split. My Aember control count is at 5 with 2 Resonators, Maruck the Marked and 2 Sir Marrows. I missed the Take Hostages, but that hardly matters.
I don’t know what excited me more, the 3 Collector Worms, Teliga and the Æmberspine Mongrel or the double Marrows and two Resonators. Either case, this was a clear winner from stats alone, and looking at the powerful cards here, I had to pick it. Because the deck was a clear winner, I didn’t quite go over it as much as I should, and only later realized the sheer ridiculous number of strong creatures in it.
I won’t do a game by game analysis because honestly, I played so much keyforge this past weekend I can barely remember them. But I can tell you this much. Every single one of the opponents I won against made a major misplay, except Theresa, my round 6 opponent and top 8 match. I think this is my biggest take away from this event. Yes, there is variance and yes, you can lose due to a bad draw, a bad matchup, a weak or a strong deck, but skill is a huge factor. At least 2 of those games I would have lost without my opponent misplaying. That’s a difference between making the cut and a 3-3 result.
I myself only know of 1 major misplay I made. I decided to play Untamed with a 4 Mars 2 Untamed hand, and 2 Untamed creatures and 2 Sanctum creatures on the board. I zoned out for a second, and found myself playing my Sanctum creatures. I actually asked my opponent in disbelief “Did I just play Sanctum?” Which they confirmed.
Theresa’s deck, my round 6 opponent was quite powerful, with two Barrister Joya and a Restringuntus. She plays Restringuntus when I was holding 4 Mars cards, calling the right house, which signaled my doom. I managed to get out of it, but it left me way behind in tempo.
Day 2 – Game 1
My first game was against Rachael Trimble, Eindhoven vault tour champion. She played on a table next to me on day one, and we also chatted. I knew she had 3 Grey Riders and A Gatekeeper, but not much other than that. I went into the game fairly relaxed, if sleep deprived.
Rachael sometimes narrates her thought process as she plays, which was very insightful. I had a board with around 6 creatures, and she said something along the lines of “I can kill three of those, and I need to kill all 6.” My deck had such a high count of creatures that must be dealt with, and my opponents always felt under pressure to kill all of them.
The game was quite close until Rachael played a Soldiers to Flowers, forgetting the effect was symmetrical. I was on 1 key and 5 aember and she was on 1 key and 1 aember. The Soldiers to Flowers got me up to 12, letting me forge a key and have enough for a second one. I stayed on 6 knowing she had Gatekeeper.
Other than that last misplay, I was extremely impressed with her play. She manipulated the board excellently, and managed to deal with many of my must kill creatures. Her priority was always correct too, killing a Dusk Witch before Collector Worms and Worms before Sir Marrows. Let it be known, I’m a Rachael Trimble fan, and whenever I’m not up against her, I’m rooting for her to win.
Day 2 – Game 2
Next up I got a rematch with Theresa. Besides playing around Restringuntus, I didn’t do anything with the knowledge I had of her deck. I got luck enough to generate some aember before her Barristers came down. She captured it, and I collected it back later for the win. Theresa made no obvious misplays, and I feel it was down to luck. Which brings me to the opposite conclusion than day 1.
There is too much variance in top 16. You’re playing against the top players with the best decks, you should not be knocked out by a bad draw. I’ve had a bit of discussion with other vault tour top cut players, and all feel this way. Many feel that a best of 3 at top 4, 8, or even 16 is necessary. Personally, I would prefer a double elimination bracket for top 16. Either way, top 16 is way too harsh of a knockout at single elimination.
Day 2 – Game 3
Marc, who ended up the Vault Champion had an amazing deck. I got lucky I didn’t need to play against it earlier, as it is a archon level deck. I think I did have a chance against it, but I unfortunately drew into a very bad Mars hand of dead cards and basically skipped a turn. Yet again proving there is a bit too much variance in top 16.
Marc proceeded to take the very same deck to the archon main event, going 2-4, and proving the value of repetition. As good a player as you are, and as good a deck as it may be going undefeated in a sealed event, not having played 50+ games with a deck puts you at a severe disadvantage against those that have.
Contact and afterward
I had a blast at this event. I learned from my mistakes in Birmingham, played well and was rewarded for it. I hope you enjoy the read.