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Mana Vault from 'Vintage Masters'

Mana Vault
Mana Vault
Photo courtesy of Wizards of the Coast, used with permission.

Recently featured in Vintage Masters, Mana Vault is an eternal Magic: The Gathering card originally printed in the game's first three sets Alpha, Beta, and Unlimited. This powerful artifact can help you cast large spells early in the game, at the price of life.

Mana Vault - 1
Artifact (Rare)
Mana Vault doesn't untap during your untap step.
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may pay 4. If you do, untap Mana Vault.
At the beginning of your draw step, if Mana Vault is tapped, it deals 1 damage to you.
Tap: Add 3 to your mana pool.

Mana vault has a bit a a drawback: You'll have to invest more mana into it in order to untap it or take a pint of damage each turn. The damage Mana Vault deals is more than worth the tradeoff though, and is nothing when compared to the beating you could potentially take from a Mana Crypt. The one damage a Mana Vault deals a turn is insignificant compared to the advantage it'll give you in casting a massive first or second turn threat.

In the game's infancy Mana Vault would often be used to cast Serra Angel, Sengir Vampire, Air Elemental, or Shivan Dragon. These days players have much more broken spells at their disposal. We're looking at you, Jace, the Mind Scultpor.

Mana Vault sees play alongside Sol Ring and Moxes to produce fast mana in Vintage. Despite Mana Vault's downside it's a reusable permanent unlike Dark Ritual. Mana Vault and can be abused with Voltaic Key, and Tinker'ed away to find Time Vault or another nasty game-winning artifact. One iconic combo is to pair Mana Vault with Power Artifact in order to produce infinite mana.

One casual use for Mana Vault is to donate it to one of your opponents after exhausting its mana with Zedruu the Greathearted. You'll gain a life and a card each turn, and it'll be up to your opponent to pay and untap Mana Vault or take damage.

How will you use Mana Vault? Please let us know in the comments or via social media.

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