So yesterday saw the pre-launch event of Keyforge where I was able to get my hands on my first real deck. Mike and I were first in line and I was the first at my local store to get a hold of it.
After opening the packet and seeing the name, as above in the title, I was quite amused and wanted to see what cards this randomly generated machine had on offer for me. So without due, here it is.
So the houses I got as you can see were Mars, Logos and Sanctum. I was hoping for Shadows but seeing as it is the first deck I got, I was happy. During the day I played around about seven or eight games and I was happy with the cards. It did take a while to figure out some good combinations and how best to utilise the archive mechanic but I was happy with the deck.
Of the three houses I must admit that Sanctum was my favourite and here I initially want to look closely at them. In a later article I will discuss the other two houses and how I found them.
The ability to have my creatures out on the battle line along with the ability to somewhat control the play worked great. In the initial few games I found I was playing the cards for the sake of it without strategy and of course, this cost me a few games. I then figured out this battle line below, it worked a treat. The ability to get my best cards protected with neighbouring taunt cards, made things a hell of a lot easier.
Here are the Sanctum cards and layout on the battle line I was trying to line up. Firstly, Jehu the Bureaucrat, an excellent rare card of which granted two ember each and every time I declared my active house as Sanctum. Champion Tabris to the right with Protect the Weak active on him which provided one additional armor and gave him the ability to taunt. This upgrade card also provided one ember on use. To the right of him I would have the Staunch Knight as he received two additional power when on the flank. Back over to the left of Jehu, I had Protectrix who not only has five power but the reap ability to “fully heal a creature. If you do, that creature cannot be dealt damage for the remainder of the turn.” To the left of them I had Champion Anaphiel who again has nice power of six and also has the taunt ability to provide cover to Protectrix. Lastly to the left once more of Anaphiel, I had Sergeant Zakiel who did have a play ability to ready and fight with a neighbouring creature but generally was more used to allow Anaphiel to reap.
Now to look closely as to why this line up worked so well, firstly I point you towards Anaphiel and Tabris, both having six power with shields on both as one and three respectively. Incoming creature damage is forced here which allowed for me keep Jehu on the battle line. Remember every time I choose Sanctum I receive two ember before I do anything. The next step depending on the opposition field played one of two ways, either I used the cards to reap or utilised their fighting skills and sent them out. When I was fighting I had two action cards which allowed to quickly add to my pool of ember as I wasn’t reaping, by using one of two Cleansing Wave cards I possessed. These cards allowed me to heal one damage from each creature (not just friendly now as it wasn’t specified on the card), in doing so I received one ember for each creature healed. This was potentially another six plus amber per turn and in some games I used the two Cleansing Wave cards and had more than enough for two keys, game mechanics aside this was a good position to be in regardless of the ability to only be able to forge one key at the start of each turn. Protectrix I would try and keep to reap as the ability to fully heal a card and in doing so that card take no damage for the remainder of the turn worked great. Situation depending using this to heal at the start and send the healed card out to fight provided a good skirmish function to them.
The final part of my plan utilising the battle line above, was using Terms of Redress cards. Two of these were in my deck and not only did they provide one ember for using them, it allowed me to capture two ember from my opponents and place on a friendly creature of my choice. A nice utility here to stop an opponent from forging a key and best utilised by placing the ember on either the right or left of one of the two cards I had with taunt on, to slow them down in getting them back.
Let me know what you think and leave a comment. Sometimes hard to set up but when done raked in the ember.