KeyForge and Deckbuilding

Robert A. Rodger

Aspiring Kermit
Validated User
#1
FFG just announced a new game from Richard Garfield KeyForge: Call of the Arcons which looks to my eye to try to capture some of the magic from the early days of Magic: The Gathering.

Each deck is unique. There's no deckbuilding. You buy a deck, pop it open and play.

And some of the posters on FFG's boards... well, they don't seem that into it. I've been reading some of the threads, even participating. But it finally sunk in. A few of them really believe that the deckbuilding is the entirety of the game. They think that someone is going to get the Best Deck and then Win Everything. There's no space for game play to factor. It's like they can't imagine that most packs are going to be around the middle of the bell curve and the players who figures theirs out best will rise to the top of something.

I don't know. It just sounds like a cool idea to me and the response really reminds of why I turned off of magic so quickly once it became popular.
 

Aspeon

Registered User
Validated User
#2
Definitely an interesting concept. They address the possibility of an OP deck in their FAQ:

Are some decks stronger than others? What happens when a deck wins consistently?

Some Archon Decks in KeyForge will naturally be stronger than others, but every deck in KeyForge has value. First of all, every deck represents a chance to explore deeper into the world of the Crucible, potentially uncovering cards and combos that you never knew existed or have never played with before. Furthermore, just like any card game, some decks are better in certain matchups, and choosing the decks you’ll play is an important strategic element. And even if you and your opponent have decks that are less than optimal, it can be just as fun to swap decks and see what your opponent can do with your deck!

If a deck wins too often in an Organized Play framework, there are processes in place to handicap and eventually retire that deck. For more information on this, keep watching our Organized Play articles and announcements for KeyForge!
Though I'm not sure how they could rotate out specific decks without saying things like "A deck with cards A, B, and C is restricted."
 

Robert A. Rodger

Aspiring Kermit
Validated User
#3
Definitely an interesting concept. They address the possibility of an OP deck in their FAQ:



Though I'm not sure how they could rotate out specific decks without saying things like "A deck with cards A, B, and C is restricted."
I haven't worked through the full rules yet. My suspicion is the chains thing is going to be something like, if you keep winning with a specific deck you get handicapped. And the handicap ("chains") seems to be more about giving the opponent more time to get going or something.
 

VicenteC

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#4
I read this yesterday and I still don't understand it. For casual play (no deck building), I can do the same right now with Magic and all the preconstructed decks Wizards sells (and some stores like Card Kingdom here have their own preconstructed decks that are super cheap).
 

Neaden

Registered User
Validated User
#5
I read this yesterday and I still don't understand it. For casual play (no deck building), I can do the same right now with Magic and all the preconstructed decks Wizards sells (and some stores like Card Kingdom here have their own preconstructed decks that are super cheap).
And those decks will have a theme, like if I want an elf deck or a dragon deck. Since these are random cards it seems like they'll all just be a mishmash of three random colors in MtG terms.
 

PMAvers

Registered User
Validated User
#6
From the demo I got, it feels like there’s themes inside the houses where they’ll focus on a specific mechanic, but you don’t need specific cards to actually win.

Like, for instance, Mars is really good at reaping, and seems to have a lot of abilities that play into it. But even without the bonuses reaping is still good on it’s own.

(I liked it, from what I played.)
 
Last edited:

Victim

Registered User
Validated User
#7
I read this yesterday and I still don't understand it. For casual play (no deck building), I can do the same right now with Magic and all the preconstructed decks Wizards sells (and some stores like Card Kingdom here have their own preconstructed decks that are super cheap).
Games like ashes, summoner wars or codex also let you just pick up a deck a play too. The random but fixed deck idea for Keyforge seems pretty silly imo.
 

Owlbear Camus

Autothrusters engaged!
Validated User
#8
It's like what I like about TCGs as interpreted by a cursed monkeys paw. "Self-expression through a unique deck? Sure your deck is unique as heck: You get a completely random one and you're not allowed to change it by swapping out even a single card. Variance between games through randomization keeping themes fresh? Howabout variance when you pay your ten bucks determining if your pile is swank or jank, forever?"

Gonna be honest, getting a strong BreaKey vibe from this one. Just a hobby game format as imagined through the lens of unrestrained, profligate hypercapitalism. Instead of opening packs to chase the best cards, you're cracking cases to chase the best decks. Either there's enough variance that that becomes the chase, or there's not and I don't see a lot of replayability if the variance is that shallow.

"Sealed Deck" is already a format for most TCGs that's fun for a change of pace; seems really wild to me that having it as the whole gimmick propping up the product line made it out of a pitch meeting.

I'm not sure how you handle expansions under this scheme either. For me "Wow Card$ is going to go great in my deck and change how it plays" I would think is a lot more compelling to the typical TCGer than "I can't wait to throw my deck in the trash and replace it with the random expansion deck I get issued."

After it faceplants, I'll make it a point to snap up a couple decks with the most goofy and suggestive procedurally generated names for a laugh though.
 
Last edited:

Robert A. Rodger

Aspiring Kermit
Validated User
#9
See, I'm wondering if there's much "chase" to it at all. I'm hoping that you get maybe four of five decks for variety and then just play.
 

Tonbo_Karasu

Registered User
Validated User
#10
I remember seeing somewhere that the vast majority of people who play most games just buy the basic game (starter, core, whatever) and play with that, without ever reading an online message board, posting their ideas or anything else. This seems to be primarily aimed at that market, and people like myself and Robert who remember the early days of MtG where we could still be surprised by a card and found that fun.

Some of the responses to this thread have fallen into exactly the category that the OP described from his (and my) experience on FFG.
 
Top Bottom