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Is Keyforge worth it with just a single starter box?


I really dig the idea of getting a “standalone CCG” to play for pokemon nostalgia with my siblings, and I feel like some LCG’s only give you kind of unbalanced baby decks, only 1 of important cards etc.

So the fact that they’re not just complete decks but as complete as it can get is actually a big selling point. Is there a high risk of getting very unbalanced decks or a boring matchup, just playing those same 2 decks vs each other? (to start with at least)


You actually get 4 decks total; 2 static learning decks and 2 retail decks which are the same you’d be buying. I haven’t played the static decks but I found playing with just the 2 decks that come with it got a bit stale so I ended up getting 2 more just to mix it up a bit. They’re all pretty ‘balanced’ but I haven’t really put them through the paces.


I bought the Keyforge starter set for the same reason - I played with my brother over Christmas. He plays Hearthstone pretty regularly but I’ve never wanted to spend the time required to keep up with him competitively. The appeal of Keyforge for me is that we can both grab a couple of random decks and play with them straight away without worrying about deck building or keeping up with the meta too intensely.

The starter set is a little expensive for the addition of 2 “learning” decks and some counters, so if you’ve got anything that would work as a replacement for the Aember/damage/power/stun tokens, as well as 6 flippable counters for the keys, then it might be worth just buying a few decks. Personally it was nice to have the counters and 2 decks that I know aren’t going to be overly complex or weird.

We had a great time playing the default decks and didn’t actually find the time to open and use the randomised decks! Next time we see each other we’ll give them a shot.


I thought the starter set was a great value. I understand the starters aren’t playable in a competitive setting but, I don’t expect to play in them often, so four decks was a good jumping point for me. Plus I enjoy the tokens.

I agree that the starter set could be avoided. I think all you really need to play is a starter deck and some D6’s as far as I can tell most of the counting / tokens work on a base 6 system. (chains for example).


Some cards make keys more expensive (or cheaper), so a D6 instead of a token might be a little fiddly.
However, we played a few games of Keyforge with just some leftover cubes from Pandemic Legacy, D6’s and it was fine.

About value for money: I felt like the whole experience of Keyforge revolves around unique decks and therefore I wasn’t eager to play the starter decks. Even though I didn’t like the game as much as I thought I would, I totally enjoyed opening the decks and finding out what we got.


You’re right that the whole experience is about unique decks. If the starter set were £15 with no unique decks then it would lose a lot of its appeal!

On the other hand, I’m happy with the purchase even though I could have bought 4 unique decks for only slightly more than the starter set. I enjoyed playing with the starter decks and I’m looking forward to opening the unique decks. If I hadn’t already played with the starter sets, looking through the first unique decks wouldn’t be as exciting as we’d have nothing to compare them to. It also helps the game remain accessible when it comes with everything you need (apart from a full rule book, which is still disappointing)

Since I don’t play any card games I think the novelty of the starter set makes it a decent value purchase and easier for me to enjoy. I could see that more experienced card game players (Magic, Netrunner etc) might not feel the need to get the set if they are familiar with the genre!


I think the starter box is what I would go for, then. Assuming the two “tutorial” decks are full 37 card decks that could play against the random ones (even if not tournament legal)


Yeah I thought they were pretty fun to try out on their own, we’ll keep them and continue to use them in friendly play to see how they stack up against the randomised decks.
The other advantage is that they guarantee you get to try out 6 of the 7 “Houses” since between them they have one of each faction apart from Mars! It’s pretty likely you won’t have access to all of the houses if you only buy a handful of decks without the starter set. One of the annoying things about the format I suppose :thinking: