The Gauntlet

Origin

Most of the content we create at Tabletop Royale takes place in long form tournaments that take weeks or months to complete. While we really enjoy simulating large tournament settings and building up to a massive showdown, we had requests for bite-size content. We needed something that we could repeat, and we wanted the games to still be informative. The majority of our games focus on playing a set vs itself, and that information is most useful for sealed play. Mixing in some Archon content seemed natural.

Despite every Keyforge deck being unique, a metagame does exist. Every set has deck types and house combinations that have risen to the top of Archon tournaments. Decks that are creature heavy are going to have to reap to win. Combo decks will need to assemble that combo and protect it from disruption. The fastest decks limit the amount of time the opponent has to find relevant answers. Control decks dictate the flow of the game.

The Gauntlet idea grew out of our desire to explore the metagame, and to provide a baseline to compare decks against. Archetypes from the past have proven to stick around, even when it seems like an impossible new combination debuts to alter the course of Archon (*cough*, BRIG). Whenever a new set comes out, decks from that set can be run through the Gauntlet to see how they compare to the rest of the Keyforge metagame.

The Gauntlet playlist can be found here.

Deck Selection

The rules for deck selection were straight-forward, we wanted to pack the most diversity that we could into 5 decks. We didn’t want any more than 2 decks from a set, and no more than 2 decks with each house. We also wanted each deck to represent a different type of deck in the metagame, as best we could. The decks that were selected were ones that had proven track records on stream.

Our community helped us pick out the decks, so a big “Thank You” is extended to our regular viewers.

The Gauntlet

Listed below are the current decks in the gauntlet with an overview of why they were selected and the role they fill.

Cpl. “Barkus Rex” Kingsley

Logos – Shadows – Untamed CotA Rush

The credentials for Barkus have never really been questioned. 1Barkus was the very first TableTop Royale Champion, winning the Call of the Archons Tournament of Champions. Barkus then won the True Contender tournament we ran right before Age of Ascension released. Barkus is an extremely fast deck, and so for the Gaunlet, Barkus fills the roll of a CotA Rush deck. Decks that beat Barkus are either faster than it, or can reliably stop keys for several turns in a row.

DoK Link

K. Vibius, the Wasteland Titaness

Brobnar – Dis – Sanctum AoA Board-based Grump Buggy

Vibius was a deck that was over looked on our stream for quite some time. It performed well in the Age of Ascension Tournament of Champions, but sat largely ignored for several months. We included in our 2020 March Madness tournament, and it performed very well, taking down Litetasker, Market Sheriff (Justin’s winning deck from the Archon PAXU Vault Tour). Vibius creates a smothering board, and locks opponents out of keys with Grump Buggy. To win against Vibius, a deck has to be able to reliably deal with large boards.

DoK Link

Luria of Waterhollow

Dis – Sanctum – Star Alliance MM Control

Luria was a late addition to the Gauntlet, and was relatively unproven when it was selected. It was added early into our exploration of Mass Mutations, but the deck has certainly earned its place. Luria finished in the top 4 of the Mass Mutation Tournament of Champions, confirming that it was an excellent choice for the Gauntlet. Mark of Dis is a powerful card, and Luria is adept at blanking opponent’s turns. Luria also features a small combo of double Grey Rider, which it can pull off every so often.

DoK Link

Kantphage, the Lady General of the Keep

Brobnar – Mars – Shadows AoA MG Ganger-naut Combo

Kantphage is the deck that won the Richmond Vault Tour, which is a pretty solid qualification. Drummernaut and Ganger Chieftain are a powerful combination that can end the game quickly if left undisrupted. While some players may mourn the fact that this deck does not have Key Abduction to go with the Martian Generosity, experienced players understand that the Generosity ends the game without it.

DoK Link

C. W. Gazalina of the Three-Eyed Bazaar

Logos – Saurian – Star Alliance WC Good Stuff

A Saurian deck was going to be included in our gauntlet, but picking just one was always going to be difficult. World’s Collide Saurian decks typically have a straight-forward approach that rely on controlling the board and getting extreme value from the creatures. Gazalina packs some troublesome cards for a lot of decks: Edie, Stealth Mode, Tribute and Interdimensional Graft. Gazalina also packs Kirby and Transporter Platform, making it extremely efficient.

Dok Link

Those who came before

As time goes by, the Gauntlet will change to reflect the metagame and as such, some deck will be removed. A complete list of decks that were in the Gauntlet are included below.

Sov Wornvector Parmesan

Dis – Mars – Sanctum CotA Control

Sov finished in the top 4 of our original CotA Tournament of Champions, and has always been a solid deck. Double Battlefleet can lead to explosive turns, and Epic Quest can help close out games. Importantly, Sov packs triple Control the Weak to slow the opponent down to a crawl. However, Sov is an very unreliable deck and is often very slow. We decided to replace it with Luria, since Mark of Dis is very comparable to Control the Weak.

DoK Link

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