Forging the Future
Developer Brad Andres on the New Rulebook Update
A new version of the KeyForge Rulebook is available now! This update comes on the heels of the second KeyForge set, Age of Ascension; releasing on May 30th in the United States and on May 31st in Europe! These changes will be immediately going into effect. Today, developer Brad Andres details some of the key changes made in this update and how they will impact the game moving forward.
Brad Andres on the Rulebook Update
Today we have a large Rulebook update for KeyForge in preparation for the upcoming release of Age of Ascension! This update includes changes to the rules document, new FAQ questions, and additions to the errata section of the rulebook.
Since the release of KeyForge, we have kept a close eye on the developing tournament scene, looking out for the decks and combinations of cards that are most effective in tournament play. To that end, this update is also focused on maximizing the fun and enjoyment of tournament play. A few of the biggest changes are highlighted below.
A Change to “Step 2: Choose a House”
One of the bigger clarifications made in this update is concerning what houses may be declared as the active house by a player. In the vast majority of games there is no concern about what houses may or may not be declared during this step, as players want to choose one of the three houses that make up their deck. However, cards like a maverick Pitlord (Call of the Archons, 93) could put players into a position where they must choose a house that they neither have in their deck nor control a creature belonging to that house.
This rule has been updated to make it clear that a player cannot choose a house as their active house unless it is on their identity card or they already control a card of that house. This means that if a player controls a maverick Pitlord but does not have Dis in their deck or a Dis card in play, they do not have to choose house Dis as their active house.
Bait and Switch
Bait and Switch (Call of the Archons, 267) has proven itself to be one of the best cards in the game and has helped House Shadows become the most played house at multiple Vault Tours. Its ability to reverse the game state, especially after a player has just forged a key, is devastatingly powerful, and when combined with other steal effects it can be extremely difficult for other strategies to counter. The card’s extreme power level is problematic for two reasons. First, it decreases metagame diversity by making Shadows significantly stronger than other houses. This in turn, causes Shadows to be over-represented at tournaments. Secondly, it decreases the diversity among Shadows decks, as it is generally not viable to bring a Shadows deck to a tournament unless it contains Bait and Switch.
To this end we have decided to errata Bait and Switch to the following:
“Play: If your opponent has more æmber than you, steal 1 æmber. Repeat the preceding effect if your opponent still has more æmber than you.”
With this change, Bait and Switch’s steal effect can only trigger at most twice, once initially and then one additional time if your opponent still has more æmber than you. This limits the potential of the card to steal vast swathes of æmber from your opponent, but it still helps you out when you're behind.
Library Access (Call of the Archons, 115) is the heart of a combo that has been stirring up discussion among many player communities. This card, in conjunction with other cards like Nepenthe Seed (Call of the Archons, 341) and Reverse Time (Call of the Archons, 121), allows you to play Library Access multiple times in one turn so that a player can draw their entire deck into their hand once it goes off. From there, decks can either repeat the combo every turn for the remainder of the game, or if the deck composition is right, immediately win the game by forging three keys in a single turn.
These decks put intense pressure on the metagame and require many players to be ready to counter these decks to keep them from dominating. An even bigger problem with these decks though, is just how long the combo takes to perform. It can sometimes take upwards of fifteen minutes just to walk through all the steps of the combo. This isn’t fun to experience during tournament play and is disruptive to the overall timing of tournament rounds.
To improve the experience of this card, it has been changed to the following:
“Play: For the remainder of the turn, each time you play another card, draw a card. Purge Library Access.”
With this change, Library Access can still be used to make a good Logos turn into a great Logos turn, but it can’t be recurred multiple times and allow a player to draw their entire deck.
This change was announced a back around the time Age of Ascension was first announced, however we have updated the errata a bit from the original text that was announced. The issue with this card revolved around being able to actually get it into play, as without another Giant creature in play, the Drummernaut (Age of Ascension, 6) would be forced to return itself to hand.
The errata is as follows:
“Play/Fight/Reap: Return another friendly Giant creature to your hand.”
This change makes it so that you can play the Drummernaut to an empty board and not have it immediately come back to your hand.
Keep Forging Ahead!