Enlarge (credit: Charlie Theel)
As a concept, KeyForge is enthralling. The game is the latest effort from legendary Magic: The Gathering designer Richard Garfield—and the big idea here is that every sealed deck is unique. Decks are pre-constructed and can’t be altered; there’s no card chasing, and there’s certainly no over-arching “meta” game that must be respected. This is a head-to-head two-player battler like no other.
The “unique” gimmick is great. The initial card pool numbers 370, and each 37-card deck you snag off the shelf consists of a completely one-of-a-kind mixture. This is accomplished via cryptic algorithms that govern deck construction. These 37 cards become your deck, your personalized slice of KeyForge that no one can take away. The bizarre naming conventions of each set only further the mystique and foster an emotional attachment to your cards.
Keys and vaults
Yes, there is a setting for KeyForge, but it’s almost irrelevant. Your deck represents the followers and the abilities of an Archon, an all-powerful being. These Archons live and die in the artificial world of the Crucible. This maelstrom is a ravaged place where champions scavenge keys in hope of unlocking hallowed vaults. So we battle as we always do.