We are back with our very first Keyforge’s Dark Tidings preview. With this set’s release coming soon enough, it is in our best interest to keep you guys informed. Two members from our community in Indonesia (KFIndo) have created a concise video about this preview with me. It is created in Bahasa, but I summarized it all here in this article.
We’ll have a brief of discussion for each house, and some spoilers were also shown to illustrate possible powerful effect and combos in the Dark Tidings’ games. We will have seven houses coming altogether, so bear with us for a while. It will be worth it.
Disclaimer: The spoiler cards are the courtesy of Archon Arcana, and they are translated roughly from other languages. There may be slight differences in the final prints in the future. The other printed cards from previous sets are the courtesy of Æmber Forge.
FIRST IN THIS DARK TIDINGS PREVIEW: HOUSE LOGOS
The main concept of House Logos in Dark Tidings is to play cards from hands. It rewards players both in resource generating and fighting against the opponent’s creatures. For example, let’s take a lot on the latest spoiler card Science! If we get this in our deck somehow, it supports playing Action cards from hands because it can generate Æmber while doing so.
If we are lucky, having this card with the Library Card in our deck will show a potent combo and bring more resource to your side.
As a result, more Æmber can dictate momentum in your favour. Meanwhile, this card can be played in an aggressive move by having Mind Bullets later on to inflict damages.
While the previous set brought us Logos with a direct approach to inflicting damage, we hate to break it to you that in this Dark Tidings preview, we saw a new play style for this house.
Logos is now more concentrated to Action Control. For instance, take a look at Groundbreaking Discovery that helps to deny our opponent's assets and tackle their momentum. The cost to activate is quite hefty, but when we successfully pull it, boy, it can really be devastating.
At this point, House Logos also begins to become more dependent on the state of the board. In this case, Captain Kresage can be a pretty strong existence when the other creatures with the useful keywords present.
In addition to this creature, his Evil Twin also boost the new more controlling Logos even more. By denying the keyword that may turn the tide, this creature can really cripple our opponent's creatures on the board.
Captain Kresage is so far a rare example of a decent Logos creature in this set. It's true that most of this house's Action cards are great, but the Creatures have different fates. We were not convinced by PI Sweven in particular. The Evil Twin also the same, but it is more a control card.
Speaking of the new way to play Logos in this Dark Tidings preview, we also noticed that there are fewer cards with good repeating Archive in this set. Most of them are printed on Creatures and Artefacts instead of on Action cards.
NEXT ON THE LIST: HOUSE SANCTUM
Fans of House Sanctum, there's good news for you in our Dark Tidings preview. Still identical with their exceptional healing ability and the buffed armour, telling you that Sanctum is as good as in the previous sets is an understatement. We can assure you that they are coming even better than before. Some of their new cards can be considered pretty powerful as well.
In particular, we will also find some old-but-gold cards getting reprints in the Dark Tidings set. Honourable mentions include cards like Doorstep to Heaven, Cleansing Wave, Radiant Truth, Gorm of Omm, Barrister Joya, Orb of Wonder, and Bring Low.
Combining them with their latest card prints, they bring a whole new synergy to the gameplay. Hence, it's interesting to see House Sanctum in this set.
Bringing the potent old cards from the previous sets may help House Sanctum to face the ferocious wave in this nautical set. Most of the reprints are control cards. How well can the new cards help Sanctum to counter the other Houses' way to deny their momentum?
Alas, it's not a Keyforge: Dark Tidings preview without talking about their new (spoiler) cards, right?
A noteworthy one is Redhand Registry that acts as a counter for Shadow's typical stealing effect. It punishes our opponent when they take our Æmber.
Next, we have Orphiel and Orphion who reside in the ocean and on earth. Orphiel is somewhat better for us with the skirmish keyword and its skill to gain 2 Æmber while Fighting. In an instance, it is similar to Dark Faerie. Orphion on the other hand can be a decent tool to control the opponent's Æmber when Reaping.
Keyforge's Dark Tidings brings that new Evil Twin concept, and this does not exclude the House of the knights in their shining armours. In this case, we have Sir Bevor's Evil Twin in the spoiler. We like the evil one due to its Poison keyword which we see more useful than the Taunt one.
The Stoic defence from House Sanctum has been popular since the first set. It is hard to kill Sanctum's creature already. The rare Aja The Inconspicuous makes our opponent's life more miserable when it's not standing on the flank. The only way to kill this creature is by blanking the textbox or applying a direct destroy effect. This card is another reason why we assess Sanctum pretty high in this Dark Tidings preview.
Strange Ordination feels like the lite version of Virtuous Works. It generates 3 Æmber but with a more limited condition (when the tide is high).
THE SAURS THAT SURVIVE THE EXTINCTION: HOUSE SAURIAN
House of the dinosaurs, the Saurian gets some decent reprints in this Dark Tidings preview. Nevertheless, we will not see some key cards from the previous sets here. There will be neither Axiom of Grisk nor Imperial Scutum in sight from now on. They also lose Praefectus Ludo, and having no access to all mentioned cards here is hurting this house.
The Saurian in Dark Tidings has almost no tool to deny the Capture and Exalt. As we know, the latter one is kind of how usually Saurian plays Keyforge. To Exalt becomes a cost for this house to activate some powerful effects. The only one released in the spoiler for this House is Bury Riches.
However, we think there's no reason to be worried. Under this particular changes, House Saurian adapts and shifts its play style. They get several tools to exalt the opponent's creatures. One of them is Carpe Vinum that exalts two opponent's creatures. In addition, Lapisaurus and the Evil Twin provide the possibility to exalt even though with different ways to do so.
Consequently, House Saurian becomes more defensive in this set by exalting the opponent's creatures. The power level stays the same when compared to the previous set. In addition to the tools we discussed above, there are several other cards which caught our attention as well.
Enlist Numeri, for instance, is a powerful tool to convert our opponent's creatures with Æmber on it. This card has a good synergy with the new way House Saurian should play in Dark Tidings. By exalting the creature, we can take control of it, and it belongs to House Saurian somehow. Hence, it produces a nice combo to control our opponent's creature.
The twins Eclectic Ambrosius the good and the evil are also unique cards which can be useful when we have either of them in our deck. The first one can generate a lump sum of resources when it survives long enough. Its twin, however, acts like Shadow of Dis, enabling us to put an Ignorance Token and blank the opponent's creature's text box.
Those are not the only cards the dinosaurs will be missing. The get deprived of many Ward tools, too. The only one remains is Paraguardian, a reprint from the previous set. Does it mean that the Ward is too strong?
FROM THE QUANTUM CITY TO THE DARK TIDINGS PREVIEW: HOUSE GRAND STAR ALLIANCE
This multiple-race house is well-known for its flexibility in the first place, thanks to the Upgrades it owns in the arsenal. Furthermore, the creatures from Grand Star Alliance have an additional effect that gets triggered by Playing, Fighting, and/or Reaping.
Hence, when we saw Diplomat Agung in the Dark Tidings spoiler, we were not even surprised with its unique effect. Triggering its effect helps one of our house's creatures to belong to one of the houses of our choice, making it possible to use an out-of-house creature in your favour. We would say that this card is much better than Commander Chan because the effect can run as soon as this card gets into play. As we know, Keyforge is a game of momentum, so this is a great boost for this house.
Professor Emeritus Kering could be used in the same manner when placed correctly, neighbouring with creatures from other Houses. It is triggered the same as Diplomat Agung, so actually it is a useful one, too.
Another card with the same function but with more general usage (by playing a card from another House) is Together! Coupled with high tide, this card can be powerful enough because we can play not only one, but two non-Star Alliance at the same time.
One of the best cards from House Grand Star Alliance is its Council. It is definitely in the contention to be the best board-wiping tool in the Dark Tidings preview.
Still bringing out its flexibility, Shield-U-Later can be played either as a creature or an upgrade. This is a great alternative to boost one of our creature's armour when needed, especially if that creature is the one we can't lose to keep the momentum. Meanwhile, this robot's Evil Twin can bring destruction to our opponent. Not only it has 5 Powers, we can play this as an Upgrade to deny Armour from a creature and further diminishing its Power. I think it's the first time we have an Upgrade to compromise Power and Armour without limitation, and Keyforge becomes more exciting.
Looking back at the previous set, this house has more creatures with a good synergy when it gets attached with Upgrades. Let's not forget about Hayden Oswin and co. from Mass Mutation.
In the spoiler for Dark Tidings preview, we could only find two creatures with the similar synergy: Z-Force Agent 14 that generates a resource for each Upgrade on it whenever it Fights, and Commander Dhrxgar with similar effect but different way to trigger it. Despite the lack of cards having this synergy, we find quite a bunch of Upgrades in this set.
Star Alliance also gets two controls from Artefacts. Ceaseforge helps to stall our opponent, preventing them to forge keys. Meanwhile, The Ulfbehrt Device can help to further control and limit which House your opponent can play. However, the latter Artefact works both ways.
Overall, we observed that this house has smaller creatures in Dark Tidings, but they come with powerful effect. We are keen to see how this will be useful in each deck in this set.
THE WILD FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME: HOUSE UNTAMED
Inspired by the ferocious wilderness and tenacious nature, House Untamed has been there since the Call of the Archons set. The playing concepts combine the raw Power of its creature with a nice touch of Æmber burst and its recursive ability. The latter one helps the Untamed to recycle cards from the discard pile to our hands.
While this ability and the prowess to effectively generate Æmber stay the same, in Dark Tidings preview we found out that there is a slight change in the way the creatures rumble. Instead of depending on their muscles, now they need some boost from the Power Counter.
The special cards in this set are a set of combo of Chenile, Bombyx, and Fifalde, the best illustration of how nature metamorphoses. In particular, the first two show the recursive ability of this house in the Dark Tidings preview. Meanwhile, the last creature can be really annoying with its raw Power and healing ability. It's the typical Untamed creature.
However, to pull this combo off without wasting our momentum, we need to have all three cards in hands. Thus, making the combo situational. Nevertheless, these cards are not nonsensical. If the cards present in a deck with some Archive and/or drawing support, then the likelihood to see the butterfly coming out of the cocoon is high. Thankfully, they have it covered with Waste Not.
The Æmber burst concept can be found in several cards, for example Fertility Chant that generates 4 Æmbers but with a drawback giving the opponent two. This is basically like Fuzzy Gruen (which also gets a reprint in Dark Tidings) printed on an Action card with a doubled effect. It also has a sibling now with two Æmbers on it when played, Deepwater Gruen. Another alternative is Chelonia that can generate resource whenever we play another creature during the high tide.
Some control cards from House Untamed include the Evil twin version of Chelonia that has a contrasting effect in regard to the normal version. Consequently, this one helps to deny your opponent's Æmber.
Plus Mookling that brings the new way to play House Untamed by abusing Power counter. Not only it increases the Power of this creature, the cost to forge the Key for your opponent also gets higher.
Mookling's Evil Twin, on the other hand, gets Power counters every time our opponent has forged a key. This creature becomes one of many Untamed house members that utilizes the Power counter.
House Untamed has more in its sleeve for control purposes. For example, we found Mollymawk to be one of the best Artefact control in this set. Besides the resource and artefact control, we have the tool for creatures, too. Pestergrove forces both our and our opponent's creatures to enter play Enraged.
Cross Porpoises is another card to Enrage two of our opponent's creatures. While this can be easily bypassed by the Untamed thanks to the Power counter abuse and several creatures with high raw Power, it is proven to be effective to inflict damages to the other party.
Both tools are not only useful to control creatures on-board, but it can also stall our opponent to get more Æmber. Enraged creatures are forced to Fight whenever possible. In short, the chance to reap for resources is denied. This card can potentially swing the game flow.
For the most part, controlling creatures can also be done by wiping the board. For this purpose, we have Infighting and Thin the Herd.
The recursion ability of this House can still be played under both Witch of the Dawn and the Evil Twin. The latter one is stronger because the creature is played from the discard pile without coming back first to our hands. In addition to that, it enters play ready and can be used directly, too.
THE MOST NOTORIOUS, NOW BECOMES PIRATES: HOUSE SHADOWS
Still as infamous as ever, no wonder House Shadows is now thematically portrayed as the pirates in the Dark Tidings preview. Keyforge's lead designer has a new idea in this set for this house. Instead of going with the annoying ability to directly steal Æmber, now it is focused on inflicting direct damage.
The way House Shadows steals now relays on the board presence. For instance, we have Monty Bank and the evil Monty Bank. Both can steal an amount of Æmber depending on how many they have on themselves.
While we are talking about the Evil Twins, the ones in House Shadows mostly are more useful than the conventional version. The Sea Urchin duo, for instance. The evil one has a more powerful stealing effect, despite the usual one that has that Poison keyword.
Captain No-Beard and his sibling, too. As we can see, the evil one has a strong keyword, Power, and better effect. It makes the neighbouring creatures capture Æmbers.
Moving on to their next cards, we have Borrow and Hornswoggle. These tools are reliable and useful for Artefact control. One to steal it, and the other for a one-time use only.
The new House Unfathomable (will be discussed later on) is pretty annoying with its Exhaust effect. Nevertheless, House Shadows are prepared to counter it with Early Bird, readying all pirates to battle against the sea monsters.
House Shadows is also provided with some cards with options of effects to trigger. Loot or Pillage gives us options to either steal one or capture three Æmbers. Meanwhile, Walk the Plank dictates the same function with two different scenarios.
THE NEW HOUSE ON DARK TIDINGS PREVIEW: HOUSE UNFATHOMABLE
This is the last House we have reserved for this article. When House Dis rotates out, House Unfathomable comes in. Mostly populated by aquatic humanoids and beasts from the deep sea, it drives the oceanic theme of Dark Tidings.
We'll start with the gimmick trio: Drawn Down, Dive Deep, and Dark Discovery. With these three cards in hands, they guarantee forging a key at no cost at all. That is situational, but doable somehow.
Another unique gimmick from this new House Unfathomable is Omnipus and its Tentaclids. The octopus is a milling tool, generating resources afterwards. Meanwhile, the tentacles are the defensive mechanism, attacking creatures.
Although both gimmicks look so situational, they are pretty interesting to see in the next Keyforge. It's a nice sight to watch our opponents pop their eyes out whenever we successfully pull it through.
It does not stop there, though. There is an interesting artefact that can be an omnipotent creature when it gets enough Awakening counters: Effigy of Melerukh. It sure has 100 Power and Armour, but that does not necessarily mean the creature is not prone to other ways of removal.
For creature control, The Chosen One can be a great help. It prevents our opponent's creatures from readying themselves. Of course, it is triggered not without any price.
Another way to control by House Unfathomable in this uncharted territory is through milling the opponent's deck. Well, this is another situational card. Milling can be either good or bad, depending on the game state. It can be game changing, but we need to make sure it does not hit us back. Timing is the essence when using Thalassophobia.
Kaupe is also controlling and limiting the opponent's gameplay. It does not let them play more than one card per type, narrowing their option down during their turn. The Evil Twin, on the other hand, screws the opponent not via control but through inflicting damages.
House Unfathomable has a board wiper, but it's pretty much limited in the usage: Sleep with the Fishes. It is helpful to have the Upgrade Under Pressure and Action Storm Surge to make the wiper more efficient. They work by denying your opponent's creatures the chance to readying themselves.
For Æmber control, this House has some tools but may not be as strong as the House Dis it replaces this set. We see some Æmber disruption, such as Photic Rider, Wikolia and its Evil Twin, as well as Hookmaster.
All of them have different ways to control our opponent's resource. Either by denying through capturing or increasing the cost to forge keys.
Overall, House Unfathomable suits well to the players who like to maintain board dominance. The control tool can be disruptive for our opponent's board's state. Unlike House Dis that controls and dictates our opponent's decisions, the Unfathomable dictates what's happening on the board.
In terms of power, I think House Sanctum is successfully topping the list out of all seven houses in Dark Tidings preview. Their cards are more powerful, and it still consistently brings the healing abilities, as well as the high defence of its armour. It would be interesting to see a deck with a combination of Unfathomable, Star Alliance, and Untamed. Marcel L.
We have a different point of view here. We think House Logos becomes the top one from all the houses in this Keyforge's set. This house has a unique function and play style that only belongs to Logos. That means, no other House has similar traits to what it has currently. They can be supported by House Sanctum, Saurian, and Unfathomable, or even Untamed. The efficiency of House Logos to generate Æmber can be the main driver for the deck they belong to. I think the best combination would be Logos, Sanctum, and Unfathomable. Kevin I.
I divided the houses into three separate classes: main house, burst house, and supporting house. Logos is totally a burst house. Well, it can potentially become the main one, though. For supporting house, I vote Star Alliance. I agree with Kevin for the best House combination. Lieanto A.
Let us know your thoughts in the commentary box. Please like and follow our YouTube Channel Keyforge Indonesia. We will create more contents about this beloved card game for you guys.
Content creation: Marcel Leonardo, Lieanto Agni, & Kevin Indiwan
Editor: Stephan Celebesario Sonny
Pictures are in the courtesy of Æmber Forge & Archon Arcana.
I am an owner of a board game café and KeyForge enthusiast. The latter one is the topic I will contribute mostly in this blog. I have been playing board games since 2015. Not to brag, but my collection is growing every year. As an owner of a board game-related establishment, my favourite phrase is “What are we gonna play tonight?” You can find my café in Depok, Indonesia.