Now that we’re hot on the heels of the Age of Ascension, each House is expanding their available arsenal of creatures, actions, and artifacts as they prepare for the next phase in the eternal quest to forge those darned keys. Let’s take a look at some new stand out cards for each of the Houses and how they may shape the future of Keyforge!
I am excited with what they’re doing with Brobnar this set. In Call of the Archons, I felt like Brobnar were just singularly devoted to fighting. In Age of Ascension we’re seeing some interesting new tactics Brobnar can employ to control the game, like Little Rapscal and Forgemaster Og.
I’m excited about Grump Buggy because it’s Brobnar’s first card that can manipulate the cost of Keys, following in the footsteps of Mars, Logos, and Untamed. Thematically appropriate to Brobnar, however, the effectiveness of Grump Buggy is tied to how many beefy creatures you have on the field.
And this buggy sure is grumpy, because your opponents gain the same advantage for their beefy creatures. I find this an interesting card, because I can see it being particularly effective against Shadows, as they have generally pretty squishy creatures.
I imagine this bad boy is going to be a deck-defining card. I feel like The Flex is going to be Brobnar’s best æmber maker; something the House has been lacking up until now. Pairing this with Blood of Titans (which is thankfully coming back in Age of Ascension) or Mugwump (also returning in Age of Ascension) is going to provide a juicy dose of æmber.
Oh boy Into the Fray is going to be a fun card for Brobnar decks! This card effectively lets a Brobnar creature continuously Fight as long as they are able to remain standing. You can barrel through Elusive creatures without issue (since you’d be able to Ready after triggering Elusive) as well as eking out any other Fight triggers depending on the creature you choose (this would’ve been great with Headhunter, but alas he is not with us in this set).
Also, pairing this with Mugwump will effectively let him constantly wipe the battle field (I suspect that Mugwump is going to become a much bigger deal in Age of Ascension).
Dis is more or less staying the course with their new arsenal. They’ll be getting more ways to control the opponent, which is always both exciting and terrifying (depending on where you stand), in addition to a few veritable beefy boys to throw on the battleline in Ortannu the Chained and Overlord Greking (and potentially Eater of the Dead).
Bloodshard Imp (and his lesser buddy Aember Imp) mark an interesting direction that is happening in Age of Ascension, which is punishing creatures who Reap. They are by no means the only card in this set that do this, but with the influx of cards like this we’ll definitely see how players’ strategies will evolve.
Dis hasn’t always been the most flexible of the Houses (though Dominator Bauble was always handy) in terms of allowing access to another House’s cards or creatures. Exhume, however, is going to really aid in that versatility, allowing you to swipe up any old creature from your discard and plop in on the battleline that turn.
Arise! is sadly not returning for Dis in this set, so Dis players will have to make do with this more versatile but less powerful counterpart.
I would say I’d be disappointed if a new set came out for Keyforge and it didn’t give Dis a new miserable way to control players. In this case we have the three Key Imps (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) who block the ability for players to forge their first, second, and third keys respectively.
These guys act like a longer-lasting and more potent version of Miasma (though each of them are more situational). Though I imagine they will make pretty easy targets at two power, so while cool, I don’t suspect these guys are going to be huge game changers.
One of my complaints about Logos from Call of the Archons was that they didn’t have a lot of ways of generating æmber. It feels like that complaint has been heard, because in Age of Ascension, Logos has a far wider arsenal of things that can generate æmber, with shoutouts to Cutthroat Research, Binate Rupture, and Eureka! I guess those experiments are paying off, eh?
I am always happy with new ways to forge keys in this game. It offers new strategies outside of the baseline that Keyforge provides. In Call of the Archons, Sanctum had Epic Quest and in Age of Ascension Logos has [REDACTED].
Giving Logos a new way to forge keys will really shake up how the House plays in the future. I just love the flavor of this card. What is it? Who friggin’ knows? Could be anything. All we know is that it’s super top secret, and potentially game winning.
Jargogle looks like a lot of fun. Embodying Logos’s ability to be versatile, Jargogle lets you put a card (regardless of House) underneath him, then if it’s your turn and it dies, you get to play it. Otherwise you get to Archive it.
I feel like this guy can be useful, but it will be tricky to get the play. Since Jargogle comes into play Exhausted, you won’t be able to attack with it (unless you somehow Ready it), meaning that he’ll be bait for the opponent. Having the card archived instead of played isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not terribly useful either.
Being Elusive helps it stick around for a little bit, or provide a nice distraction from something else on the battleline should it be snuffed out. Either way, I can see some fun shenanigans being played out with this bad boy.
Unlike Jargogle, I feel Project Z.Y.X. is going to be a behemoth for Logos. Being able to play any Archived card after Fighting or Reaping (regardless of House) is going to be a monster of an ability. Granted it’ll be limited by what you can get archived, but this will allow Logos to become the masters of being versatile.
Seems like Sanctum has been out making friends in Age of Ascension. Many of the new cards focus on inter-House support (such as the Prince Derric, Unifer and the Free Markets) as well as increasing Sanctum’s flexibility in using cards of other Houses.
Sanctum also gets to play around with the new mechanic Deploy, which features most prominently among its creatures (Shadows is the only other House who has creatures with Deploy among their ranks). Between Deploy and their inter-House support, Sanctum is shaping up to become quite flexible this time out.
It seems like Sanctum is trying to spread good will among the other Houses – and by sending ambassadors, no less! The Ambassadors are an interesting group of cards. There is one for every other House, and essentially they allow you to play a card from the House whenever the Ambassador Fights or Reaps.
With their one power, it is likely you’ll want to Reap with these guys. These are diplomats after all. This marks a pretty big shift in strategy for the Sanctum we know in Call of the Archons, and does make you wonder if the holy knights are trying to keep tabs on everyone.
Marking another one of Sanctum’s inter-House friendly cards is Golden Aura. Basically you get to convert any creature to Sanctum for the turn, heal them, and make them invulnerable. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. There’s not too much more to say, though if you have Brobnar or some of Mars’s tankier creatures on hand, you’ll be really happy to have this card in your deck.
Greaaaaat, Sanctum has a discount Ether Spider now. Thankfully it only triggers when an enemy creature Reaps, so it’s not the end of the world. However, Sir Marrows can fight back where Ether Spider can’t, so he’ll be a little harder to take out. Either way, Sir Marrows is going to be a linchpin in the Sanctum æmber-control game.
Click here to travel to Part 2, where I break down new offerings from the remaining three Houses: Shadows, Mars, and Untamed! And don’t miss out on our explanation of the new keywords in Age of Ascension, as well as an unboxing of the new Age of Ascension 2 Player Starter Set!