The second KeyForge set has been out for a few weeks and players are getting to grips with the cards available in the new set. If you're interested in learning about KeyForge, you can check out our starter set previews for the 1st set, Call of the Archons (KeyForge CotA) and the 2nd set, Age of Ascension (KeyForge AoA), along with our guide to the different KeyForge houses and the cards look to look for from CotA.
KeyForge AoA is a set in its own right, but it does play alongside CotA, meaning that decks can be played against each other. AoA does include cards from CotA, but only a select few as standard, the rest appearing as very rare Legacy cards in KeyForge AoA decks.
In this article, we're going to look at some of the new cards from KeyForge AoA. These aren't necessarily the best cards, but are fun and thematic cards that we enjoy playing. We're going to go house by house and in no particular order.
Brobnar[gallery size="full" columns="4" ids="303980,303976,303986,303983"]
Our top picks for Brobnar are Into the Fray, Drummernaut and Might Makes Right. Into The Fray can allow you to attack several times with a Brobnar creature. If the creature has armor or Skirmish, it can be very powerful. It is a combo card that relies on your opponent having creatures to kill and also you having a creature to make it worthwhile.
Drummernaut allows you to bounce a giant back to your hand after you Play, Fight or Reap with the Dummernaut. This can be used to get the play effect from a giant, or simply to remove all the damage from it by playing it again. If you're using Drummernaut, it means you've chosen Brobnar that turn so you'll be able to play it again after attacking with it and using Drummernaut to return it to your hand.
Might Makes Right is a key cheat card that not only gives you an Aember for playing it, but allows you to sacrifice 25 power worth of creatures to forge a key. This can be a powerful last key play, or just to gain some early momentum. Lollop the Titanic is a new Brobnar card with 11 power, which goes some way to giving you the 25 power you need to sacrifice.
Shadows[gallery size="full" ids="303982,303993,303987"]
Our favorite Shadows cards from AoA are Knuckles Bolton, Scowly Caper, and Nightforge. Knuckles is great because he has both Elusive and Skirmish. He's fun to play with and feels very thematic for Shadows.
Scowly Caper is a very thematic and interesting card for Shadows. Coming into play under your opponent's control, it slowly removes neighboring creatures. While your opponent can use Scowly Caper, attacing with a 2 power creature won't be worthwhile if they don't have Shadows as a house. They will want to try and remove it as it continually destroys their own creatures. It can lead to some interesting plays as your opponent is forced to play cards that they would rather use to remove other combo pieces you may have on the board.
Nightforge is a key cheat card that gives you an Aember and lets you forge a key at +4 cost. This can be used after you gain a lot of Aember, and before your opponent can stop you from forging in your next turn.
Logos[gallery size="full" ids="303988,303991,303985"]
Our choice Logos cards are Poke, [REDACTED] and Memory Chip. Poke is a run and rewarding card. Deals one damage and gives you one Aember, but has the effect of letting you draw a card if you destroy the creature you damage. It's not groundbreaking, but it's fun.
[REDACTED] is another interesting card. After playing it, you can Forge a key for free on the 4th turn you select Logos as your active house. Meaning that you can let it slowly build up and threaten a free key forge on your opponent unless they deal with it.
Memory Chip is another artifact that lets you build up cards in your archive, possibly building up for some big combo plays in later turns.
Mars[gallery size="full" ids="303975,303981,303984"]
Mars got some great cards in AoA. Collector Worm, Key Abduction and Martian Generosity are just examples of them. Collector Worm not only has 5 armor, but it easily removes creatures it fights (doesn't have to damage). They can get the creatures back, but it can really hamper your opponent's board presence while they try to deal with it or interact with your archive.
Key Abduction gives you an Aember for playing it, bounces back all Mars creatures to their owner's hands and then lets you forge a key at +9 cost, reduced by 1 for each card in your hand. You only have to have 8 cards in your hand (with the +1 Aember for playing the card) to forge a key for free. You can then replay all the Mars creatures that you returned to your hand.
Martian Generosity is a great combo card that can be used for some big card draws. Played without any Aember, it gives you an Aember and allows you to draw 2 cards, paying for itself and redrawing the card you used to play it. It will be interesting to see decks that play into it.
Sanctum[gallery size="full" ids="303989,303972,303992"]
Our favorite Sanctum cards in AoA are Proclamation 346E, Barrister Joya and Rothais the Fierce. Proclamation 346E means that unless your opponent has creatures from all three of their houses in play, their keys cost +2. It's not game-changing, but it can be difficult to have that kind of board presence, so it will force your opponent to deal with the artifact.
Barrister Joya forces your opponent to deal with them. Not allowing any of their creatures to reap can be oppressive. Surround her with armor boosting taunt creatures to really slow down their Aember generation.
Rothais the Fierce has 2 Armor, Taunt and Hazardous 4, which means that any creature attacking them has to have more than 6 power before they even do damage. If their armor is boosted further, this can really hamper your opponent's ability to deal with them.
Dis[gallery size="full" ids="303973,303994,304012"]
Our AoA Dis card picks are Binding Irons, Shadow of Dis and Exhume. Binding Irons and Shadow of Dis are great control cards. Binding Irons gives your opponent chains, reducing their card draw for a few turns.
Shadow of Dis removes all card text from enemy creatures, denying them abilities they may need for combos and also allowing you to remove troublesome creatures with protective abilities.
Exhume gives you an Aember and allows you to play any creature from your discard pile, which is deck dependant and also requires them to be in your discard pile, but can be powerful and is also very thematic for Dis.
[gallery size="full" ids="303974,304002,303978"]
Dis also got the Key Imps, which stop players from forging the key for that Imp (Bronze - 1st, Siver 2nd, Gold 3rd). It does require you to draw the Imp at the right time. If your opponent is ahead of you, you stop yourself forging and not them, but they can be fun. They can also be discarded and drawn from the discard pile if required at a later time. They aren't incredible cards but can be very oppressive with some luck.
Untamed[gallery size="full" ids="303970,303979,303990"]
Untamed got our favorite cards from AoA in Aemberspine Mongrel, Heart of the Forest and Punctuated Equilibrium. Aemberspine Mongrel gives you an Aember every time your opponent uses a creature to reap. This is also made better by the fact that your next Key Forge step is before theirs, so they have to make sure they don't give you enough Aember to forge a key, possibly restricting their own Aember generation that turn. Hazardous 3 gives the Mongrel some protection from attack and forces your opponent to deal with them with a control card, or a creature of 6 power or more.
Heart of the Forest is an interesting card that means you have to be on less or equal keys to your opponent before you can forge the next one. In the right deck, this can slow down your opponent's key forging and if you have key cheats, can be combined well to forge the last key before your opponent can.
Punctuated Equilibrium is situation dependent. But it can be used to completely refill your hand mid-turn if you're able to clear it and if your opponent has to discard a full hand, it has a double bonus.
Shards[gallery columns="7" size="full" ids="304001,304000,303999,303998,303997,303996,303995"]
Also in KeyForge AoA are the Shard cards. Each house got a Shard and they all boosted by the number of friendly shards in play. Decks look to come with a minimum of 2 shards in, but a lot have 3 shards, which triples their reward if you can get all 3 on the table. Each shard plays into the strengths of the house and can add some great combinations depending on the deck they're in.
We've been really enjoying our time with KeyForge AoA so far. AoA decks don't feel as strong overall as CotA, that's not to say that there aren't some great AoA decks out there, just that the set feels more balanced but weaker than CotA. We'll continue to cover KeyForge and will follow up this article with an AoA deck box breakdown, as we did with CotA.
The KeyForge AoA decks we used in producing this article were provided by Asmodee UK.
Which is your favorite KeyForge AoA card or combo? Which is your favorite KeyForge House? How do you think AoA holds up against CotA? Let us know in the comments below.