Combo of the Day #10: Vault/Library

As noted earlier, effective use of the Library requires reduced hand size.  One way to do this is to rely on your opponents; another is to play +Actions cards that don’t replenish your hand.

The third way is using the Vault’s ability to discard your cards for money.  Play your +Actions cards, Vault your hand, then draw back up to 7 with the Library.  Repeat as necessary.  It’s a nifty strategy that can result in obscene amounts of money, though it does require quite a bit of +Actions to work effectively.  It’s best in untrimmed decks with Coppers and Estates; in a Chapel deck, your average card is likely to be so valuable it’ll make little sense to feed it to the Vault for just $1.

Naturally, Watchtower can be substituted for the Library, and Secret Chamber can be substituted for the Vault.  Additional Buys will likely be necessary as well, meaning Festivals and Worker’s Villages are probably the best sources for the +Actions for this combo.

Sample Game

This game also illustrates the Vault / Secret Chamber’s ability to get to Grand Markets very easily.

Sample Game #2

This game shows how this combo is also a great defense against Pirate Ship.

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7 Responses to Combo of the Day #10: Vault/Library

  1. Keith Grant says:

    This is a really fun combination, but ultimately ineffective.

    I just tried it (using mostly Worker’s Village for the action chaining), and while it was a ton of fun to pull it off the first few times, I could not make it pay off well enough to be worth the trouble. I had to bloat my deck with multiple copies of all three action cards, which took a lot of time to build up, and even then, I could never afford anything more than a single Colony, even though I had the extra buy.

  2. rrenaud says:

    I have hit $20+ money with this reasonably easily with Festival/Library/Vault combo. When I pulled it off, I would actually discard Libraries and Vaults to the Vault, knowing that I’d see them again later in the same turn because of the Libraries ability to filter the actions that I accept into my hand. I would keep all of the Festivals to give myself the action runway keep only a single Library and Vault. When the chain hits, Vault turns into $6 or 7. Was there any trashing in your game where it failed?

    I’ll happily play some Festival/Library/Vault/7 other random action games and see if this wins.

    From the sample game, 6 provinces in 15 turns is quite good, although I think it’s as much due to Secret Chambering into early Grand Markets as it is too due Secret Chamber->Library.

    • Keith Grant says:

      I could see Festival doing it. I was action chaining okay (but only on every other turn or so)… the +coin would have been really helpful. I also had no trashers, so my Library often got me a handful of Coppers/Silvers without any Vaults to use, so I couldn’t keep the chain going indefinitely.

      Maybe if I could have gotten to my first Library without having to buy a couple Silvers, too. Those kind of clogged me up when I really needed my actions.

  3. rrenaud says:

    Here is another game where Vault/Library wins, I ended it a bit early, I could have scored more on the last turn. The setup was random other than Vault/Library.

    18 turns, 40 points, no trashing, with a bit of duchy sparring and only pawn for the +buy. I probably would have been better off with a bit of an earlier bazaar, I had a lot of false starts with a lack of an action fork in my early turns, where I had both a Library and a Vault, but no +action.

    http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201011/30/game-20101130-213317-74e4336f.html.gz

  4. Zaphod says:

    Interesting. I haven’t tried this combo before, but now I’ll look out for it. The only problem I can see with it is that it relies on two cost-5 cards, and most of the +2 action, +buy cards cost 4 or 5 coin as well, so setting it up might be tricky. Also, you’d have to avoid buying much Silver/Gold/Platinum, since you’ll often be discarding it. But this means you’d need more than one +action card, since you won’t be getting your buying power from coin. And, of course, it’s hard to buy cost-5 cards without Silver and Gold. But obviously, it’s been done, so it can’t be too hard to set up.

    You mention that Watchtower can substitute for Library; I think you could also build a treasure-heavy deck and substitute Black Market for Vault. You wouldn’t be discarding your entire hand, typically, but it could be a better combo if you’re drawing better money cards. I’d have to try it to be certain.

    Setting this combo up with Tactician would be particularly powerful, since it gives you another action and buy while putting extra cards into your hand. It would be easier to get the Vault and Library together in the same hand, while at the same time it would provide more cards for the Vault to discard. Sounds like a double Province turn to me.

    All in all, an interesting strategy. I’ll have to play around with this one.

  5. tlloyd says:

    Library/Warehouse is arguably better, both because the Warehouse gives you the extra action for Library, and because Warehouse is much more affordable. This combo allows you to start buying duchies quite early in the game (I’d say after two golds), because even if your deck slows down or you get a bad hand and have only three, you can still pick up a warehouse. Vault forces you to decide whether to spend your good turns grabbing victory cards or reinforcing your deck. With Warehouse, you can reinforce your deck on your bad turns and leave the good turns for grabbing victory cards.

  6. Anonymous says:

    doesnt vault only work consistently better if you play without colonies/plat? A Vault means you can buy a gold, a Vault and a Gold(or 2 silver) gives you a province

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