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Keyforge: Call of the Archons


Yeah I think some of the appeal is that you’re playing with a deck to test out that generated deck, rather than testing out a designed deck where you’re testing the player’s skill at building a deck. If it’s a deck of your own making then I can see how players can feel more personally invested and more competitive because of it. Keyforge avoids the feeling that your deck’s weaknesses are your own fault and gives you a scapegoat for your failures.

The counterargument is that it also loses the sense of pride a personal deck can provide, which is something that appeals to a different kind of player. It’s nice to have a card game that appeals to a different subset of players, which seems like the thing that allowed Netrunner to be so successful!


For me at least, having a pre-generated deck was a strong selling point because once I went to a Magic the Gathering event with a deck which I had made myself and got completely crushed, because I didn’t have the money to buy the cards for the best decks. However it feels like with Keyforge everyone is on a much more level playing field in terms of the power of the deck they have and it is more about using your skill to play the deck you have to the best of your ability.


Exactly, it makes it a great alternative system for people who can’t invest the time and money required for staying competitive in most card games


Something I love about Keyforge.
Epic - EPIC finishing moves.

Me & my Bro got ourselves half a dozen decks; and nearly every game has ended with one of us thinking the game’s all tied up - that we’ve won, and there is no hope for the other player - only to pull out some incredulous, ridiculous combo that completely turns the tables.

In Magic, or Netrunner you’d occasionally get a finish like that, but Keyforge seems to be able to pull it off with such consistency - it’s clearly by design.


Keyforge did feel like it was all to play for up until right to the end, unlike Magic where by a certain point there is no hope of a player coming back from the brink of defeat and you just have to play out the motions till one person inevitably wins.


A new set is announced, which is… exciting?

I still haven’t got in enough plays of the first set but there are new things! It’s interesting to see the direction they’re taking it in - 166 cards from the first set are still in Age Of Ascension packs, with 204 new cards. The new starter set doesn’t have any “learning” decks so is cheaper too.

I quite like the fact that you can just pick up the new starter set if you’ve never played before, and there’s no need to worry about buying a lot of sets to get up to date. Makes Keyforge one of the most accessible card games I can think of. Old decks are still compatible (for now?) so I’m looking forward to seeing whether this model will work for them.


I still can’t wrap my head around the collectability of Keyforge. I enjoy this game, and I wish I could play it more but I can’t understand or justify buying random decks over and over again. Not that it stops me. What keeps you coming back for another pack? Is it the endorphin thrill? The chance that you’ll get a better deck than the one you have now? Will that change when there are new cards mixed in with familiar ones?

At the point of expanding the game, I still feel like it’s odd to not have deck customization. I don’t think that will stop me from buying decks that I don’t need.


I suppose you get to “explore” a deck in a way that you can’t really do otherwise: buy a deck, see what cards have been mixed together and try to put together a plan. Then play with it and see how this combination of houses works. See whether there are any hidden combos you didn’t see?

In this case the goal is to keep it fresh and exciting by changing the options available. Now you can buy a pack with different possibilities to explore. I don’t play enough at the moment to buy anything more (I only got the starter set) but if I was playing regularly I’d be looking forward to trying out some new cards.


Just checked with my local card shop. They don’t carry Keyforge. Only other game store in town is aggressively unfriendly, so I’m ordering more decks from Amazon.

And apparently the only chainbound events in town are 40 minutes away, at 0200 on Saturdays. When I’m asleep.

One of the largest cities in the country, and we have crap for game stores.


0200 as in 2am at night? That seems mad. Who attends those?


My FLGS has tournaments that start at like 6 or 8 o’clock, and I think that is bonkers. 2 am must be appealing to the vampire crowd.