Collinsville Vault Tour Analysis

Written by Andrew Grandstaff

The biggest thing here is Shadows was the worst-performing house allowing both Logos and Untamed fighting hard to be the only houses with a positive conversion rate to day 2.

House Conversion Day 1 Count Day 2 Count
Brobnar -3.99% 20 2
Dis -5.07% 38 4
Logos 17.57% 31 5
Mars -12.14% 17 1
Sanctum -5.43% 21 2
Shadows -12.86% 52 5
Untamed 21.92% 28 5

Part of this is due to day 2 being a top 8 only instead of the usual +16 making all the numbers more sensitive to small changes.  If the houses had swapped by 1 in either direction it would be a different story. Shadows would still have a negative conversion rate, but that is mostly due to it taking up 75% of the field on day 1(although seems to be normal in most Archon Vault Tours).  The number of decks without Shadows on Day 1 is the same as the number of decks with Mars. This might be the first time we have evidence of the oversaturation of Shadows in the meta. Despite this oversaturation 3 of the top 8 decks did not contain shadows and the eventual winner was also Shadowless.  

“Gasoline” Maximiliano, Dungeon Keeper (Dis, Logos, Untamed) Winner
Xarmatrix Litmus-Carel, Mechanic (Brobnar, Dis, Logos) Top 4
Surge of Jagcircuit (Logos, Mars, Untamed) Top 8

What makes these decks special?  George has done several great interviews talking about his second Vault Tour win and what makes his deck so strong.  It’s a control deck, but not like the ones I’m used to seeing. At least for me when I think of control cards in Keyforge I think of aember control and especially the big ones like Doorstep to Heaven and Too Much to Protect, and maybe second to that board control like Coward’s End and Gateway to Dis.  “Gasoline” Maximiliano, Dungeon Keeper takes a different approach to control. It is full of cards that change the game rules for a turn controlling the choices its opponent can make. Of course, there are the big ones in Dis like the 2 Control the Weak and Restringuntus, and some might put Skippy Time Hog in this category as well.  In addition to that it has Fogbank and Foggify that will also help reduce the choices its opponents get to make. All this control buys extra turns for creatures with great passive effects like Restringuntus, 2 Shaffles, Teliga, or Hunting Witch

Xarmatrix Litmus-Carel, Mechanic looks like your more traditional Keyforge control deck with 2 Effervescent Principle, Burn the Stockpile, and Lash of Broken Dreams giving it big aember control cards in each house, and Phoenix Heart to act as a board wipe.  Also of note is the Phoenix Heart only kills four of the fifteen creatures in this deck and is generally strong enough to take out all the important threats in most decks.  It also has a Poltergeist for that important artifact control. There is also player control with a Control the weak and a pair of Lifewards. This will provide some protection for the Pit Demons and Shaffles.  There is also the potential to make some real gains off of the Tolas. Logos provides card advantage through both Sloppy Labwork, regular Labwork, and phase shift.

Finally, the other Shadowless deck in the top 8 was Surge of Jagcircuit a double Key Abduction double Battle Fleet combo deck.  It has 3 types of Labwork, Mother, Timetraveller, and Library Access to race though the logos portion of the deck and setup for a big Battle fleet Key Abduction turn while generating a ton of aember.  It has some minor control elements to buy time until the combo hits like Scrambler Storm and a pair of Murmooks. It also has a pair of Witch of the Eyes which might hopefully buy it a turn while their opponent tries to get them off the board. 

Collinsville has demonstrated that shadowless decks do have a place in the meta, but they need to have a very dedicated game plan and in most cases it needs to focus on control.  

Now let’s take a step back and look at the Vault Tour from a larger perspective. 

*Note “success” is how many more copies appeared in day 2 over the expected number of copies based on the day 1 percentage of the house the card appears in.  Ex. Krump. (2[day 2 copies] / (12[day 1] * (20/69) ) – 1. I also exercised some discretion and skipped over cards that had a lower than average appearance on day 1.  Please let me know if my methodology is incorrect or you would like to see something else in the future.

*minor edit: there was an error in calculating most successful in my source sheet. Only change is a numbers update and Routine Job is now the most successful Shadows card and Mimicry for Untamed

Here is my source

Total Decks: 20
Name Day 1 count Day 1 deck count Day 2 count Day 2 deck count
Day 1 most popular Gauntlet of Command 13 9 1 9
Day 2 most popular Krump,


Hebe the Huge







2 1
Most successful:


Hebe the Huge 3 2 2 2
Least successful  Coward’s End 12 10 0 0

Total Decks: 


Name Day 1 count Day 1 deck count Day 2 count Day 2 deck count
Day 1 most popular Pit Demon 33 21 2 1
Day 2 most popular Control the Weak 29 20 4 3
Most successful:


Restringuntus 4 4 2 2
Least successful  Charette 22 15 0 0

Total Decks:


Name Day 1 count Day 1 deck count Day 2 count Day 2 deck count
day 1 most popular Mother 28 18 3 2
Day 2 most popular Labwork 21 15 5 4
Most successful:


Sloppy Labwork 7 6 4 4
Least successful  Inter-dimensional Graft 10 10 0 0

Total Decks:


Name Day 1 count Day 1 deck count Day 2 count Day 2 deck count
Mars: day 1 most popular Zyzzix the Many 11 6 1 1
Day 2 most popular Only one Deck made Day 2 Not enough data
Most successful not Enough  data
Least successful  Squawker 10 7 0 0

Total Decks


Name Day 1 count Day 1 deck count Day 2 count Day 2 deck count
Day 1 most popular Take Hostages 12 9 0 0
Day 2 most popular Bulwark 11 8 4 2
Most successful:


Bulwark 11 8 4 2
Least successful  Take Hostages 12 9 0 0

Total Decks:


Name Day 1 count Day 1 deck count Day 2 count Day 2 deck count
Day 1 most popular Relentless Whispers,


45 30,29 5 2,3
Day 2 most popular Nerve Blast 36 25 6 3
Most successful:


Routine Job 16 7 4 2
Least successful  Ghostly Hand 28 20 0 0

Total Decks:


Name Day 1 count Day 1 deck count Day 2 count Day 2 deck count
Day 1 most popular Hunting witch 24 15 4 2
Day 2 most popular Witch of the Eye 18 14 5 3
Most successful:


Mimicry 6 6 2 2
Least successful  Regrowth 10 7 0 0

A couple of things jump out at me here; 

1.) Charette and Ghostly Hands not making it to Day Two despite the large showing in Day One.

2.) Never Blast outperforming Relentless Whispers again.

3.) Coward’s end also underperforming

It seems that most of the cards that concentrate captured aember onto one creature performed poorly except Old Bruno(8 and 2).  Drumble had 7 copies on Day 1 and on 0 Day 2, Terms of Redress 11 and 0, Grabber Jammer 8 and 0, Gatekeeper 4 and 0, Sequis 7 and 0.  My initial guess was that because Nature’s Call and Key Charge are popular enough to really punish these cards, but they both also performed poorly along with having a low appearance(both 8 and 1)  It must be something more fundamental to how these cards function. These cards are usually played like a Miasma and in some cases don’t even buy you a turn. Playing a Charret early in the game when your opponent is at 3 aember there is a good chance they wouldn’t burst up to 6 on their next turn, so by the time they would have hit 6 naturally it might only cost them one reap or a piece of removal, but not delaying their key.  

I can’t really find a good reason for Ghostly hand’s performance.  Other cards with low board impact but multiple aember pips do ok. Dust Pixie went 19 and 4, Fuzzy Gruen 2  and 1, Virtuous Works 5 and 1, and I might be stretching with Dust Imp at 25 and 4. This might be variance, or it could be players are holding out for the steal 1 too much.  I can’t imagine with the quality of players at Vault Tours this was happening so much to cause this. From the rough data I have on several Vault Tours it looks like it is underperforming on a larger scale as well.  It could be that it is not good enough compared to other Shadows card. 

Time and time again Nerve Blast has been putting up larger numbers in the top 16 than Relentless whispers.  I thought this just might be Nerve Blast starting with a higher day 1 appearance but now we know it’s just simply outperforming. The consistency of nerve blast must be giving it the edge of Whispers higher upside.  With the most popular day 1 cards from most houses being a creature with more than 2 power and bulwark being one shy of tying for that position, it is just not an environment where it is easy to get full value out of Relentless Whispers.  

Coward’s End and most board wipes performed poorly.  The average creature count was just slightly lower than the estimated average by Decks of Keyforge(16.7 to 17) and for day 2 it got lower(15.9).  Save the Pack and Poison Wave were the only two cards to have multiple copies in day 2. Although they might have functioned closer to target removal instead of as a true board wipe.  Save the pack had 13 copies in day 1 and 3 in day 2 giving it the only positive success rate of these cards. This trend will probably continue until heavy creature control decks like the Grump Buggy, Iron Obelisk, Pile of Skulls decks become more popular.  

You might have noticed there wasn’t a lot of talk about Age of Ascension cards so far.  That is because only 10 were brought to the event. The house breakdown was 3 Brobnar, 4 Dis, 5 Logos, 4 Mars, 5 Sanctum, 7 Shadows, and 2 Untamed.  Of those decks, none had any of the combos people were expecting. There were 0 Heart of the Forest, 0 Martian Generosity, 0 Binate Ruptures, 0 double Grey Rider, and 0 Drummernaut Ganger Chieftain.  Going by SAS numbers Call of the Archons has on average about 10% more expected aember, creature control, and house cheating. It also has double the artifact control, disruption, and aember protection.  In exchange, AoA had 10% more effective power and efficiency. It would seem that the people who brought AoA decks were just slightly slower and despite their better card draw/selection were unable to overcome the disruption and just general control that CotA has.    

If we do the same comparison of day 1 CotA decks to day 2 CotA decks we see something similar.  Disruption(2.9 to 3.3), efficiency(6.1 to 8.8), aember protection(0.9 to 1.1), and house cheating(0.8 to 1) go up.  Aember control, creature control, artifact control, and effective power all drop when moving to day 2. Decks that are successful against the CotA meta are highly efficient and highly disruptive decks. The high disruption is important in fighting against the high house cheating and efficient decks.   If you are just relying on play 2 or 3 cards a turn and maybe using 1 creature you will fall behind decks that are just drawing more cards or finding ways to get more uses out of their creature. A good way to fight that is disruption. That same disruption can be used to compensate for low control in other areas.  Looking back at “Gasoline” Maximiliano, Dungeon Keeper we can see that it has significantly higher than average disruption and efficiency and lower than average expected aember and aember control. With all the disruption “Gasoline” has it is able to make up for its shortcomings though extra turns and minimizing its opponents’ ability to interact with the game.   

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