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KeyForge by Richard Garfield - The first Unique Deck Game (can't modify decks)

Oct 25, 2017
4,340
Austin, TX
i dunno

my two most common houses are shadows and mars with 4 decks containing shadows and 4 decks containing mars. out my 4 decks with shadows 3 are good and out of my 4 decks with mars 3 are good.

the houses seem pretty well balanced to me
I mean, I definitely have decks without shadow that are good. I just feel the Steal mechanic has no obvious counter unlike some other mechanics of other houses. My hope for the expansion is the introduce some kind of counter-steal thing.

Obviously, this is just based on my own experience. I have 6 decks, and a buddy of mine has about 8 and we rotate between them whenever we play. Shadow decks seem to be in the top tier. Shadow decks with Bait and Switch especially lol.

My favorite card in the game, though is in Dis. Without a doubt it's...Drumble
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,233
Sweden
I mean, I definitely have decks without shadow that are good. I just feel the Steal mechanic has no obvious counter unlike some other mechanics of other houses. My hope for the expansion is the introduce some kind of counter-steal thing.

Obviously, this is just based on my own experience. I have 6 decks, and a buddy of mine has about 8 and we rotate between them whenever we play. Shadow decks seem to be in the top tier. Shadow decks with Bait and Switch especially lol.

My favorite card in the game, though is in Dis. Without a doubt it's...Drumble
the way i see it, there are three main ways to win the game, and each of this archetypes are able to win against strong shadows steal if strong enough

1. if you can't beat them, join them. a bit lame maybe, but one way to beat a deck with strong steal is to steal all your lost amber right back

2. racing. a good amber rush deck can make amber so fast that with just a little bit of stall (say a well-timed ether spider) not even a deck with strong shadows can keep up. cards that allow forging out of turn make such decks even stronger

3. opponent lockdown through hand and turn control. a deck that's good at controlling your opponent can shut them out regardless of strategy. cards like control the weak and scrambler storm can prevent them from stealing on turns where you go above 6 to call check to make a key. if they're holding their swingy steal cards for just the right moment, cards that force them to discard can be effective as well. i personally find this kind of deck more difficult to beat than steal decks
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,609
Chainbound seems like a weird concept to me. One local person went 0-3, got no chains. Someone else finally got a chain with his deck, then lost it again. As I mentioned almost all of my decks seem very weak (both in terms of playing them and in terms of analysis tool(s)). Meanwhile other people have like 7-8 chains on their deck.

I just want to try sealed or a deck exchange format some time. :(
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,609
I don't understand your point. The op decks get chains as it is a drawback, not the weak decks.
That's what I'm saying. I've been told by someone local that I should play because otherwise I can't earn chains, and there are tournaments that I'll never be allowed to participate in unless I get a bunch of chains.

However, if none of my decks are strong enough to earn chains, then all I'm earning is whatever prize they give for 0-3 or 1-2, which isn't likely to be anything decent since the good prizes will likely be chosen by the people who ALSO have the best decks, who will be trying to power up already-strong decks. :P This is also happening to a couple other local players, not just me.

Basically it seems like a format aimed at people who have very strong decks who want to go to stronger tournaments, and the advice a local guy tells me is "well you should trade for a strong deck or just buy one off eBay", which basically comes to a netdeck situation. That's exactly what I wanted to avoid, and exactly what I feel like KeyForge was intended to avoid, so it makes me sad.


I want people to play random decks, or I want both players to get to play the same deck, rather than people bringing a Logos combo deck from eBay or a triple Control the Weak + Restringuntus deck (which someone local has).
 
Oct 27, 2017
471
Chicago
...or a triple Control the Weak + Restringuntus deck (which someone local has).
Which doesn't work anymore thanks to the last (or previous to last?) rules update.

I somewhat hear you, the second it is demonstrably true that this becomes simply "Lootbox The Game" or flat out Pay To Win, then I'm out. However, I do expect SOME monetary investment in any card game. Maybe it was simply luck, but within the first ten decks I had, I was able to get two "fine to good" decks that I could pull some wins with in my local stores. That's only $100 and some of those were from sealed events. If one wanted to play Magic.... well.... it's a liiiiiiiittle more than $100 to have decently competitive decks!

Granted, maybe you got the short end of the stick and maybe the 8 decks you pulled are super crap. That could absolutely happen. Would you not want to invest say, $30 to grab a good deck online to play in your local meta? Still a super effective cost proposition compared to other things!
(And I mentioned before, load your decks on Crucible and I'm sure some of us would be happy to play with/against them to see if there are things you could be doing differently).

Finally, zethren there's a mobile app to download where you scan in your decks and use for the chainbound tournies.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,609
Which doesn't work anymore thanks to the last (or previous to last?) rules update.
Control the Weak still works, and you can still lose to Restringuntus, just not together. That deck didn't win because of a single-turn lockout in the vast majority of cases -- it won because you would effectively skip turns (I believe Richard Garfield has actually said he considers skipping a turn effectively to be losing the game), or because of an artifact recur mechanic which made it possible to lock you over infinite turns instead of over one turn.

And yeah if I get time some time I may try my decks online to see if anyone has advice.
 
Oct 29, 2017
782
Which doesn't work anymore thanks to the last (or previous to last?) rules update.

I somewhat hear you, the second it is demonstrably true that this becomes simply "Lootbox The Game" or flat out Pay To Win, then I'm out. However, I do expect SOME monetary investment in any card game. Maybe it was simply luck, but within the first ten decks I had, I was able to get two "fine to good" decks that I could pull some wins with in my local stores. That's only $100 and some of those were from sealed events. If one wanted to play Magic.... well.... it's a liiiiiiiittle more than $100 to have decently competitive decks!

Granted, maybe you got the short end of the stick and maybe the 8 decks you pulled are super crap. That could absolutely happen. Would you not want to invest say, $30 to grab a good deck online to play in your local meta? Still a super effective cost proposition compared to other things!
(And I mentioned before, load your decks on Crucible and I'm sure some of us would be happy to play with/against them to see if there are things you could be doing differently).

Finally, zethren there's a mobile app to download where you scan in your decks and use for the chainbound tournies.
Thanks! Is it the official app?
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,340
Austin, TX
The chain system is dumb. I think Keyforge is at its strongest with sealed tournaments. Yes, someone gets lucky and gets a good deck, but I mean is the alternative really any better?

And, for the record, you can build a competitive MTG deck for around $20 if you are clever. I've done it before. Won like 3 months of FNM in a row with a homemade $20 mono red rushdown and had another streak with a cheapo version of a netdeck that I swapped out the expensive cards with something cheaper.
 
Apr 3, 2018
503
I think the gameplay mechanics are nice but I have two big complaints.

Can't do anything during opponents turn - This removes a huge amount of strategy from card games in general, there's no extra defense or tricks up your sleeve.

No deck editing - I get this is a big part of the appeal but at the same time it sucks that you can buy decks that are just clearly poorly made. I saw one that had the card that returned all Niffle Monkeys from play or graveyard to your hand but there was only 1 Niffle Monkey in the deck, so it's pretty much a wasted card.
 

Lothars

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,429
Do you recommend picking up the starter set or is it better to just grab some decks individually?
It depends if you can find a starter set and want the starter decks to learn than I would go for that since it comes with two decks as well and it comes with tokens otherwise just pick up individual decks. I picked up some decks and am planning to grab the expansion start deck.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
4,340
Austin, TX
Do you recommend picking up the starter set or is it better to just grab some decks individually?
If you are familiar with card games, you don't need to get the starter set. However, if you want the official Keyforge tokens, then it provides them all. There are too many damn tokens in this game lol. Damage, aember, chains, keys, stun, power...
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,340
Austin, TX
I think the gameplay mechanics are nice but I have two big complaints.

Can't do anything during opponents turn - This removes a huge amount of strategy from card games in general, there's no extra defense or tricks up your sleeve.

No deck editing - I get this is a big part of the appeal but at the same time it sucks that you can buy decks that are just clearly poorly made. I saw one that had the card that returned all Niffle Monkeys from play or graveyard to your hand but there was only 1 Niffle Monkey in the deck, so it's pretty much a wasted card.
My biggest complaint is still the draw system -- I had a post about it earlier, but yea not being able to "interrupt" is kind of part of that in a way, because you can't be as reactionary to your opponent because 1) no interrupts 2) no drawing at the beginning of your turn to be able to respond. Instead, you are thinking like multiple turns ahead and frequently have to plan for worst case before it happens by holding onto specific cards (which reduces the number of usable cards in your hand), unlike, say Magic, where you can respond to threats as they happen, and don't have to "save" a set of cards for future threats as much, because you are drawing every turn guaranteed.

I wish you could deck edit. And not like a lot. I'm thinking a very simple sideboard-style system where you get like 4-5 card leeway with decks, swapping in a few here and there. Issue here is in this game one card addition to a deck can completely change the power, but I mean, there are already really strong decks that are randomly generated, so I don't see the harm in allowing players to improve their less than stellar decks.

I think a decent solution to this could be a "restricted cards" list, but not in the traditional sense. As in, these cards are too strong to allow sideboarding. Bait and Switch, Restringus, Drumble, Chota, The Sting stuff like that are good examples of these, since they can synergize so well with combos you could easily edit them into a deck and create something super powerful. So don't allow those. But if you want to swap out some crappy Mars creature for another Mothergun, go nuts.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,873
I mean, the reason you're not drawing every turn is BECAUSE you're holding random threats, though.

And 'restricted' cards exist already, there are tons of cards you can't get more than one of, or you can't get in certain combinations, it doesn't have to be printed anywhere because those restrictions exist in the deckbuilding process itself.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,233
Sweden
I think the key to enjoy this game is to approach it as a casual game. Yes, people will likely bring crazy powerful decks to tournaments. So then, don't primarily play in tournaments. I play casually with a friend, but mostly just random casual games on the crucible online. Most people don't use crazy powerful decks on there, in my experience. I'm able to get wins with all of my 7 random decks in the crucible online casual games. None of those 7 are very strong; some are even kind of weak
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,609
I think the key to enjoy this game is to approach it as a casual game. Yes, people will likely bring crazy powerful decks to tournaments. So then, don't primarily play in tournaments. I play casually with a friend, but mostly just random casual games on the crucible online. Most people don't use crazy powerful decks on there, in my experience. I'm able to get wins with all of my 7 random decks in the crucible online casual games. None of those 7 are very strong; some are even kind of weak
I might enjoy doing that if I had the real life opportunity. I still just want to try the swap deck format and maybe a sealed, though at this rate it's looking like sealed won't happen until next set.
 
Oct 26, 2017
971
Northern VA
the initial announcement of keyforge caught my notice and i'd been reading this thread intermittently since launch. i used to be big into mtg from fallen empires through the urza's block then picked it up here and there. finally i bought a couple of decks and had a couple of matches playing against friends. i'm hooked bad. my first two decks are pretty good but the newest one is formidable if it gets rolling. crucible.online matches can be hit or miss but the ability to queue up anytime from the comfort of my own home is ridiculously appealing. i know i'll have to go to store matches for chains and such and will probably have to get to it next month at some point.
 
Nov 1, 2017
2,982
I think the key to enjoy this game is to approach it as a casual game. Yes, people will likely bring crazy powerful decks to tournaments. So then, don't primarily play in tournaments. I play casually with a friend, but mostly just random casual games on the crucible online. Most people don't use crazy powerful decks on there, in my experience. I'm able to get wins with all of my 7 random decks in the crucible online casual games. None of those 7 are very strong; some are even kind of weak
That's what I've done, just bought a few decks, we play casually, but no way in hell will I get too involved in this game cause winning can clearly be purely about luck of the deck you pull. We've already had in our small circle playing it a couple decks that just are insanely good and most can't beat em, but it's all casual so we just toss some chains on or choose to play other decks instead. I've for sure got 2 decks that I think absolutely blow, the card combos in them do not mesh at all and so many glaring weaknesses.
 
Nov 15, 2017
423
I think the key to enjoy this game is to approach it as a casual game. Yes, people will likely bring crazy powerful decks to tournaments. So then, don't primarily play in tournaments. I play casually with a friend, but mostly just random casual games on the crucible online. Most people don't use crazy powerful decks on there, in my experience. I'm able to get wins with all of my 7 random decks in the crucible online casual games. None of those 7 are very strong; some are even kind of weak
This is a good philosophy for me. I have 6 decks plus the two starter decks and when my friends and I play we just grab random decks and go. I do have a Mars/Logos/Shadows deck that is undefeated so far after about 10 games with three different people using it, so I’m keeping a special eye on that one. But overall I’m really enjoying the low buy-in and casual experience of it.