Why is Time Vault seeing so little play?

Sorry if this is too basic a question for this forum. I haven't paid much attention to Vintage for a while.

I want to know why decks with Tinker-Blightsteel-Vault-Key aren't seeing much play/success. Is it just that Gush with Mentor/Pyromancer is a better win condition in the current metagame?

@bakert Robot has lost a lot ots appeal since creature removal is at a high peak in the format at the moment. Most white decks are packing some amount of swords to plowshares in the main deck, a lot are maxing out on them, and others are even playing path to exiles in the sideboard.
A turn 1 tinker into robot, can often feel like a coin flip if you are winning the game on the spot or losing it since they have swords. Its hard to come back from a dedicated turn 1 robot start if it gets removed. The other, and way worse, punishment for going for a robot is Dack feyden. A stolen robot is most of the time immediately a game loss.
Iam sure there are other reasons i forgot or am not aware for the relatively low number of vault/key decks.

last edited by Aelien

The general gist of why was captured by @Evoclipse , but I'll add a couple other factors:

  1. There are a lot more Null Rod effects running around, especially maindeck, which makes Vault-Key less appealing.
  2. Mentor/Pyromancer are better more resilient win conditions than Tinker-bot when you consider how many Dacks, StPs, and TKSs (to steal Tinker from your hand before you can safely cast it) running around.

In addition to everything @Evoclipse says above, I would also add a higher than ever expectation of running into Null Rod or Stony Silence . Whether the Data shows this as truth or not, I think folks are are building to account for them.

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks folks I appreciate it!

I think Time Vault only goes into a Blue deck, and all the best Blue decks are Gush decks, which don't play well with artifacts. I think if Gush were restricted, Time Vault goes back to being a staple.

If you want to play Vault Key you really want black for Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor. Black does not help you against Eldrazi, Shops and Thalia.dec.

Also Null Rod/Stony Silence are at an all time high.

@Arianeira said:

Black does not help you against Eldrazi, Shops and Thalia.dec.

Massacre, Snuff Out and Baleful Strix are cards though.

Time vault is a dead draw without Voltaic Key, and Key is a dead draw without Vault the majority of the time. Sure, there are cute things you can do with Key and Sensei's Divining Top or Sol Ring, but those all take two cards.

Monastery Mentor and Young Pyromancer are combo pieces too. They combine with one third to one half of the average Vintage deck to create an army of creatures. Casting an Ancestral Recall with a Mentor/PMancer out turns that card into a true +3 card advantage, and cantrips like preordain suddenly create a point of advantage too (due to the 1/1 token approximating the value of one magic card). These cards ask so little of you and offer so very much in return, and they have few true disadvantages.

Gush, which goes hand in hand with said creatures, is simply the best and most efficient unrestricted card-drawing spell in Vintage. Much like the token generating creatures, Gush doesn't ask much of you at all, it really just wants you to play fewer lands (and who doesn't want more spells and less lands!).

Since those creatures combo with so much of your deck (instants and sorceries, and non-creature spells). you don't have to fill your deck with janky cards like Time Vault, Fastbond, or hell even Yawgmoth's Will or tutors (although those are probably still good). You get to pack your deck with card drawing and counterspells, which means that you're putting together a winning board state with very little effort, instead of trying to assemble some combo AND find cards to protect it.

The only drawback that the non-broken creature based Gush decks have is that their cards aren't quite as busted and "oops I win" as cards like Oath of Druids or Tinker. The plus side really, REALLY seems to outweigh the downside, as the consistency of a Gush deck seems to be more relevant than the occasional lucky vintage turn one kill.

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