Hello again, Archons. First, we’d like to wish you a happy and successful new year 2022. And second, I’d like to try a new format in this article. As that being said, this time’s writing will be different compared to the previous articles we already had. I have managed to have a dialogue with three veteran players in our Keyforge Community in Indonesia. We talked about several topics, from something trivial and up to the heated discussion of the best Keyforge set and so on.
It would be best to get to know each other before we delve deeper into the interview. Our first contributor today is Kevin, nickname Schyse, is a regular contributor of Keyforge Indonesia YouTube Channel. Next, we have Arya, of House Wirahadi, is a game designer for Memento Craft; we have covered some of their games previously. Last, but not least: Agni. He fell in love with the ‘random unique deck’ and ‘no deck-building necessary’ concept.
When did you start playing Keyforge? What’s its strong suit that makes you keep playing?
Kevin: I have been playing since 2018; I think shortly after Keyforge was released.
You can consider Keyforge quite cheap for a card game. Additionally, there is no redundant purchase — unlike other trading card games (TCG) where the majority of the cards you acquire may never see the light of the day at all.
Arya: The year was 2019, perhaps. I’m still playing, despite not so frequent as I used to be.
I like the design simplicity and the uniqueness of this game. Keyforge doesn’t have many restrictions within the game; you can play creatures, etc. freely.
Keyforge has a fresh concept, which has repeatedly mentioned in this article: each booster contains a unique deck.
Agni: Started playing in late 2018 here!
Each deck is, once again, unique — that leads to the fact that every match-up is distinctive. We need to adapt and play around both the strength and weakness of our deck.
Keyforge demands the promptness to adjust how we play on the fly while minimizing our deck’s weakness.
Which Keyforge House do You like THE MOST and why?
Kevin: House Logos, for sure. They have everything to dominate the game — board-wiping tools (Final Analysis and Standardized Testing), scaling Æmber (Effervescent Principle and Interdimensional Graft), hard Artefacts control (Neutron Shark), cheating Key (through [REDACTED]), gigantic (Ultra Graviton), you name it.
Arya: My favourite is House Saurian, the Roman Republic of Dinosaurs. For the new players, they appeared initially in Worlds Collide set. Their main appeal lies in the short, two-piece combos — and I like the setup for a snowball in one turn. House Saurian in their initial release was definitely about those two points.
Agni: It’s hard for me to take only one out of House Logos, House Shadows, and House Dis. House Logos provides the capability to plan ahead, thanks to their Archiving ability. They are also the most flexible among the other houses, and thus, becomes the best support, too. Meanwhile, House Shadows gives access to many cards which opponents need to play around. It taxes them by initiating interesting mind-game situations. Lastly, House Dis, they have the unique ways to disrupt the opponent’s choices. It chokes them until they are out of options.
AND WHAT’S THE BEST KEYFORGE SET FOR YOU?
Kevin: It’s definitely Mass Mutation for me. Personally, this set contains the most variations, in terms of play style. In addition to the variability, Mass Mutation packs the random enhancement, too. It makes this set interesting to have and to play with.
Arya: As a fan of House Saurian, I pick Worlds Collide, for sure. But it’s not only because this is the set in which the dinosaurs were debuting, though — this is the last set to get the card Too Much to Protect from House Shadows.
Agni: Phew. Another difficult question, and I cannot single one of them out, again. Worlds Collide has the best balance between the broken and vanilla cards released in a set. With that being said, this set contains a wide selection of tools to utilize: board wipe, Æmber control, tempo play, and any other I might miss to mention.
The Keyforge debut set, Call of the Archons, brings some of the most disrupting cards that should not exist! Well, to be fair, most of them are now more straightforward and quite ‘vanilla’ compared to the new ones.
On the other hand, the flexibility and high potential offered by Dark Tidings is worth to mention, too. It is not as broken as Mass Mutation, though — that set gives the feeling of a power creep instead. Anyway, Dark Tidings provides a higher level of complexity to the meta.
TELL US YOUR MOST FAVOURITE DECK
Kevin: I think that should be The Sapphire Lance Corporal of Redbrake from Call of the Archons.
This deck does not come from my version of the best Keyforge set, I know. But Redbrake is still a good deck! It is focused on recursion, which is a very rare and one of a kind in my collection. I love Speed Sigil, that always makes the game interesting.
Arya: Mine is my very first deck — Nuuti, Invisible Wasteland Seamstress. It comes from the Worlds Collide set.
To be honest, this deck becomes my favourite due to its sentimental value. Nuuti was my first deck I obtained as a tournament prize. It was a fortunate event because the gameplay suits me, too. Plus, it is released in the Worlds Collide, my favourite set.
Agni: This time, I can place Satinferret, the Creeping Burg Ratcatcher from Call of the Archons on the top, alone.
It is probably the first deck that moved my heart to love Keyforge. If played right, Satinferret can potentially win any game, thanks to its tempo. Those multiple phase shifts and archive ability provides the flexibility to answer whatever your opponent throws at you while planning ahead.
KEVIN, WHICH COMBO IS THE STRONGEST ONE IN KEYFORGE AND HOW TO COUNTER IT?
Without any pinch of doubt, the double Tezmal lock. Any other combo in Keyforge still lets you play the game, or at least does not punish you as much as this one. If two Tezmals exist on the board, it practically ends the game immediately.
The only way to counter this duet is not to let it happen in the first place. You have to make sure to have some sort of creature control before they can reap, preferably a tool to deal direct damage or even better, to destroy the creature.
Tezmal is first released in Age of Ascension, the second set of Keyforge. Interestingly, all three players in this interview did not mention them as the best Keyforge set, though. Let us know what’s your strongest combo and your best Keyforge set so far in the comment!
THIS IS A QUESTION FOR AGNI — MECHANIC AND TECHNICAL-WISE, WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED IN KEYFORGE?
As for now, not much. But it would be nice to see more mechanics which have a similar vibe as archiving. That would provide more flexibility, and I prefer this approach rather to developing a straight-up strong card like Infurnace, for example.
Additionally, having the ability to trade the Æmbers we gain through the games for some innate upgrades is also fun.
Infurnace’s debut was in Worlds Collide set, and it was reprinted in Mass Mutation, too.
ARYA, COULD YOU TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST KEYFORGE DEVELOPMENT & NEWS?
I definitely feel bummed out after discovering that their algorithm to produce random decks is currently down. We still don’t know the root cause, though. Big respect to them, since they addressed and admitted the situation publicly instead of letting us in limbo.
Focusing on the good news is the best way to deal with the bad news. The sixth set is coming without Logos, Shadows, and Untamed — it should bring a fresh game to the table. And not to mention that possible online platform, too!
Will this next set, Winds of Exchange, become the next best Keyforge set for our players? What’s this online platform they are talking about? We’ll just have to wait.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR ADVICE TO THE (POTENTIAL) NEW KEYFORGE PLAYER TO CONCLUDE THIS TALK
Kevin: For starters, you can always try several decks, even the ones you don’t own, for free online. It is an unofficial platform, though, but we need to survive with it until the official one gets launched. Eventually, you have to buy your own Keyforge deck, too. It helps to sharpen your sense of belonging and to shape a better gaming experience. You also support the publisher that way.
Arya: And when you have your own Keyforge decks, try to explore them more. Keep playing your decks with different match ups — try to get familiar with them. While playing against the other players, take a more detailed look at the Archons — analyse what they do, and get to know what your opponents plan. Don’t forget to have fun; losing does not mean you’re always a loser.
Agni: Keyforge is a game full of adjusting moments. First, you need to adjust your play style to the deck you pick. And during the game, you need to adjust your strategy on the fly. This is Keyforge’s focal point compared to many other games in the market. After adjusting, if necessary, do some readjustments — be it your strategy or even your tempo, based on your opponent’s response. It can whirl into an interesting mind game in the end.
Luck plays some part when unboxing a new deck, and every deck has its personality and usage. Hence, don’t get disheartened when not getting a deck with high SAS ratings. It is also unwise to sell your high SAS deck only after you get one. Use them to learn and get to know your preferred style. Afterwards, you can decide which decks suit you and which deck you want to get rid of. Keyforge is unique, and you have to get used to its uniqueness.
Do not rush things. You don’t have to jump in to the later sets immediately just because the others tell you that it’s the best Keyforge set with stronger and better cards. Enjoy the game at your pace. Remember, it’s a unique game with unique decks — there is neither ‘strongest’ deck nor set. Each deck can be countered with a proper match up.
Lastly, find an appropriate gaming partners, who can understand your pace. Contact the admins of our Indonesian community if it’s difficult to find one — we’ll be happy to be your Keyforge partner.
And that concludes the dialogue with those three active Keyforge players in Indonesia. Please do not hesitate to reach us to drop questions and feedbacks.
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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.