The Gauntlet


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

Keyforge Tournament of Champions Winners

At some point, I realized that we have never devoted any space on our site to decks that have actually won the Tournament of Champions for each set. I’m not going to go into details here about the decks, but I’ll include them below for reference.

Call of the Archons – Cpl. “Barkus Rex” Kingsley

Age of Ascension – Naberius the Apologetically Meaningless

Worlds Collide – Aendres, the Curator of Highburb

Mass Mutations – Fugitive Adler

Dark Tidings – Whelmed Belinda

Are you ready to go? (World’s Collide Spoilers)

Hey guys! We have been given two new spoilers for World’s Collide generously provided to us by Fantasy Flight Games! Let’s just jump right into the first one… Navigator Ali!

Ali has an effect familiar to many other card games that we have not yet seen in Keyforge. At a base level, he allows us to see the top 3 cards of our deck and know what we have coming for future turns.

The big difference between Keyforge and other card games that have similar effects is the amount of cards drawn per turn and the fact that they are drawn at end of turn. Most times after playing or using Ali, you will draw 2/3 to all of the cards you just looked at. Of course there will be exceptions to this but I think that takes away a little bit of this utility.

He will be best used alongside any Star Alliance cards that work with the top card(s) of our deck. If there are cards that ask us to predict the top card in Star Alliance, he will allow us to cheat our way through that interaction.

Overall I would want to see Ali in a deck that allows his ability to synergize with other cards in the deck as it does not provide any significant card advantage on it’s own.

Now, is there really anybody out there?

I am very excited about our second spoiler… just look at his happy face! Presenting Sci. Officer Qincan!

Kincan? Kwincan? Tin Can??

A 2 power elusive creature with an amazing effect? What is this, Dis?

At common, get used to playing against this fellow when facing down the Star Alliance. I find his creature types notable as well. Have we seen any other creatures with 3 traits. Alien is a curious choice as well considering his actual race is a trait (assuming Proximan is a race). Isn’t everything alien to the Crucible?

Now to unpack his ability, after a player chooses a house which matches nothing in play, he allows you to steal 1 from your opponent. Qincan has a lot of potential. If he hits the table early in the game or after a board clear your opponent will have some tough choices ahead of them. They may be able to kill him easily with a card in their hand, but if there’s nothing in play for that house, they will have a tax to pay!

He also gives you an advantage to keeping the board clear and calling different houses each turn. It becomes more beneficial than ever to trade your Brobnar guy 1 for 1 with the opponents creature! Qincan will shine in decks with lots of actions that control the board. Even better if you are able to ward him and/or protect him with taunt.

Thank’s for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed these spoilers and will join us on our stream over at Tabletop Royale for fun and consistent Keyforge gameplay!

Tabletop Royale March Madness

We are back at it once again with a 32 deck single-elimination tournament running through March. We have been opening and playing these decks on stream for the last few weeks and there are definitely a few to keep an eye on to see how they progress. Each game will be best of 3, and Nathan and I will be trading decks after each game to try and account for player skill.

Submit a prediction for a chance at winning Archon decks! We will be giving away 2 unopened Archon decks to the best prediction, and 1 to the second best.


This tournament kicks off 3/10/2019 at 7:30EST live on TableTop Royale and you have until then to submit a prediction!

Based on our preliminary games, many Zyzzix will be joining the party

The Final Four

The Keyforge Tournament of Champions draws to a close. One hundred decks have been doing battle since our stream started a little over three months ago, and now only four remain.

Thank you to everyone who has watched and supported our streams over at our twitch page. Tune in tonight at 7:30EST for the Grand Finale!

The double elimination tournament bracket has progressed over the previous 8 streams to give us our last remaining decks. Two decks each in the winners bracket and losers bracket.

Cpl. “Barkus Rex” Kingsley

The Corporal generates unprecedented amounts of Aember. It has been known, on multiple occasions, to threaten a key the first turn when it is playing second. Treasure map is it’s favorite card to play when going first. It has a whopping TWENTY THREE Aember pips on cards, and many more of those cards have conditions to generate more or steal from the opponent.

Strange Gizmo is the cornerstone of the control in this deck. It creates a board state that is very complicated for the opponent to play in to. When threatening a key, if the opponent cannot stop you, anything they commit to the board will just be gone on their next turn. We have seen plenty of games where this essentially causes the opponents deck to skip a turn, or just discard a few cards from hand during their turn. Barkus makes particularly good use of this card since it is more concerned with Actions that generate Aember than holding a board presence.

K. Olly, Mageshire’s Crackling Desperado

K. Olly is the only deck left that is completely undefeated throughout the course of the entire tournament. It has shown itself to have just enough control and resiliency to be able to hang with any other deck. It’s shadows has tons of one-off stealing between two Relentless Whispers, two Finishing Blow, and the Faygin double Urchin combo.

Soul snatcher is uniquely powerful in this deck. It can usually play it to much better value than the opponent because of it’s shadows events and the value of it’s Dis creatures. The removal of the double Hysteria and a Grasping Vines can shut down opponents creatures or entire boards without triggering soul snatcher for them. The shadows events can cleanly kill your own creatures to generate aember and steal from the opponent. One play in particular involved using relentless whispers on it’s own Dust Imp, Generating four Aember and stealing one from the opponent. 5 Aember from a single play!

Sov Wornvector Parmesan

With three Control The Weak, Mr. Parmesan is one of the most brutal decks to play against. This card can be used to guarantee the forging of a key or to basically skip the opponents next turn based on what they last played. The Dis creatures are all a problem for the opponent to deal with, and the creeping oblivion gives it a good game against combo decks. This was the last deck in even the top 8 of the tournament to have either Sanctum or Mars. The martians fly in on the back of two Battle Fleets creating huge turns. Soft Landing into Uxlyx the Zookeeper with a Squaker in hand is one of the most brutal plays an opponent can experience.

Epic Quest provides this deck with inevitability. After forging the first two keys, it can just stop caring about generating aember, and start building toward that final Sanctum turn to close out the game. Battle fleet filling up the hand or Zyzzix the Many archiving your knights helps assure a quest of epic proportions.

Deadclaw “Lion” Osteotense

At first glance this deck doesn’t look particularly special, but something about it just clicks when it is on the board. Most notably, the Untamed side contains two Mavericks, Ganymede Archivist and Blinding Light. Key Charge can be used to close out the game, or negate the opponents Aember control for a key forging. Deadclaw hits particularly hard with it’s Brobnar. With it’s two Smaaash and a Bumpsy, Wardrummer can create some amazing turns. The logos is just a pile of efficiency. Neutron Shark takes down problem creatures or artifacts that the Brobnar isn’t able to deal with.

Canon just works so well with the rest of this deck. It allows Brobnar to deal with those elusive Shadows and Mars creatures. As long as the opponent relies on a board presence to win the game, Deadclaw can keep pounding them into a hole until the war of attrition is won.

Which Archon has what it takes to destroy all the others and cement it’s place in the Crucible? I, for one, can’t wait to find out.

State of TableTop Royale

This update has been a few weeks in the making. The second round of our tournament is over and instead of doing individual write-ups for each pod (as was done for round 1), I’m going to do a big write-up for Round 2 and give an update for Round 3. Here is a link to the spreadsheet that we used to keep track of the decks for round 1 and 2:

Round 1 Spreadsheet

Round 2 Spreadsheet

For anyone who is stumbling across us for the first time, we are running a two-player, 100 deck tournament to determine the best deck of the decks that we own. We each purchased 50 decks of KeyForge when it was released and wanted to determine a way to see which of those decks would be the best. Shortly into the planning phase, we decided that we should stream and record the games for the KeyForge community at large.

For Round 1, we took the 100 decks and put them into 4 deck ‘pods’ that were played in a round robin format. Decks that finished with 2 or 3 wins were moved to the next round while decks that finished with no wins were moved to our “Worst of the Worst” bracket. For the second round, we took the remaining decks and repeated this process to narrow down the field to something we could make a double elimination bracket out of.

Almost all of Round 1 has a corresponding write-up that can be found on this website, and I will eventually get around to finishing the write-ups for those last few pods.

Champion’s Challenge

Round 3 & Contest Info

Round 3 is going to start on February 10th, at 7:30 EST. We will be playing around 6 games each stream until the tournament has finished. We currently estimate that this will take approximately 8 or 9 sessions for us to finish.

The field has been cut down to 26 remaining decks. We’ve played and recorded over 200 games, but there are 50 more to go. The remaining decks have been seeded into a double elimination bracket which can be found here:

Double Elimination Bracket

To celebrate the tournament and to thank all of our supporters, we are going to do a giveaway to coincide with the third round of the tournament. Predictions can be submitted through Challonge and we will give a deck away to whoever has the best bracket. Depending on participation, we may increase the prize pool. This contest is free to enter to anyone who wants to participate, and there are no strings attached to the entry.

Round 2 Round-Up

This round of the tournament featured a lot of high-quality games. Most of the pods we ran had several really close games. There are a few decks that stand head and shoulders above the rest of the competition, but the decks in the round were pretty evenly matched. KeyForge really shines when the decks are good matches for each other.

Aember control is the most decisive factor in the the games we have played. The simple explanation is that if the opponent can’t forge a key, they can not win the game. Quite a few of our games have come down to both players with 2 Keys and six aember, and the person who wins is the one with the last answer.

Control the Weak
Worst Case Scenario: the opponent plays the turn they were going to anyway.

There are several cards that have really proven to be quite powerful: Control the Weak and Bait and Switch. The community at large is well aware of these, so it is not a surprise to hear that these cards played pivotal roles this round. That is not to say that the cards are unbeatable. One of the nastier decks, Sov Wornvector Parmesan, did not escape the second round without a loss despite featuring three copies of Control the Weak. Some of the undefeated decks that have Shadows and Dis in them have no copies of either card.

Bait and Switch
Trigger Warning

The decks that remain in this tournament play with a lot less ‘clunk’ than some of the worst decks. ‘Clunk’ is an affectionate term that Justin and I use to refer to decks that can’t seem to get out of their own way. A ‘Clunky’ turn is one where the player has to name a house to play cards that don’t do much to affect the board but free up space in the hand. We found ourselves taking fewer clunky turns as the tournament has progressed.

The Undefeated

Four decks have not dropped a game since the beginning of the tournament. I think there is a strong chance that one of these four decks will win this tournament, based off how dominate they have been so far. I do want to spend some time talking about each of these since they have separated themselves from the field. It is worth noting that not a single one of the decks features Mars.

The Innkeeper that Entwines Coalitions

The Innkeeper has a special place in this tournament, since it won the very first pod that we streamed. When we revisited this deck at the start of Round 2, we did not know if it would hold up, since we had played so much KeyForge since then. This trusty deck quickly proved itself again, by cutting through the competition yet again.

This deck has quality answers and deadly threats. Three Dodgers give this deck ways to fight for the board while controlling the opponent’s aember. The deck has some cross-house synergy, since Ganger Chieftain, Sergeant Zakiel and Brothers in Battle let those Dodgers fight in multiple ways. Shadow Self, Bulwark and Grey Monk provide a nice core of creatures that make the other creatures hard to kill.


If the opponent somehow establishes a board that is difficult to deal with, this deck is ready. Coward’s End, The Spirit’s Way and Long-Fused Mines can deal with multiple creatures at once. Hebe the Huge and Veemos Lightbringer kill creatures that might dodge The Spirit’s Way. These board wipes can often be played alongside huge aember generation like Glorious Few or Loot the Bodies.

Christensen of Killpont Bluff

This deck is my pick to win it all. I need to review the stream, but if my memory is correct, there have been about 5 total keys forged against it. This deck is packed with aember control. There are fourteen cards that interact with the opponent’s aember. Miasma rounds out the denial package, you know, in case the opponent ends up with enough aember to try to forge.

This deck features some of the best synergy I have seen in Dis (as long as you never actually play the Annihilation Ritual). The two copies of Arise! make it very difficult for the opponent to kill all of your problem creatures. The Terror has a very good chance of triggering his ability, since the Shoolers and Charettes can answer up to EIGHT aember by themselves.


This deck’s biggest match-up might be against Magnolia, if they meet. Nexus is the only artifact control in this deck, so the Nepenthe Seed + Library Access combo might prove to be too much for this deck. This deck might also be weak to Key Charge combos, since the aember could leave the pool before Christensen could get his grubby Archon hands on it. Otherwise, I don’t see this deck losing to any deck that is trying to play a fair game of KeyForge.

K. Olly, Mageshire’s Crackling Desperado

Olly is exceptional at generating aember, and can probably generate more than any of the other three undefeated decks. Left unimpeded, this deck can win with blazing speed. This deck feels like it is missing a Chota Hazri to be perfect, but it wouldn’t be a KeyForge deck if you got to pick the cards.

The Shadows in this deck can be particularly brutal. Faygin is unfair against any player who can not immediately answer him. Duskrunner has a way of finding itself on Faygin in this deck, and it is just as disgusting as it sounds. Even if the opponent answers Faygin, Arise! and Witch of the Eye offer ways to get him back into your hand. The Untamed in this deck is probably the weakest portion, but the massive number of creatures here work well with the deck’s Soul Snatcher.


Magnolia, Goldgorge Pickpocket

Magnolia is the deck with the Library Access and Nepenthe Seed combo, but in the second round of the tournament, it won without the combo drawing the whole deck. This deck is very capable of winning without the combo, but the combo is an ever present threat. This deck is skill-testing to mulligan with.

This deck leans heavily on Pile of Skulls for aember control. Champion’s Challenge combines well with that, and the Brobnar creatures in this deck are giant monsters capable of fending off lesser beings. Burn the Stockpile, Effervescent Principle, Murmook, Interdimensional Graft and Neuro Syphon round out a non-standard aember control suite for a non-Dis, Non-Shadows deck.

Pile of Skulls

The Rest of the Field

There are a lot of awesome decks that remain, but I just can’t cover all of them. Here are some quick hits:

There is one double maverick deck in the tournament.

Justin and I think this deck is just fun to play.

Harvy Dent

Lots of Hogs and Apes


Round 2 was packed with memorable games and memorable plays, and there is more content than I could hope to possibly cover in just one post. Justin won a game by hitting Key Charge off Wild Wormhole. Nathan won a game by calling Mars every single turn. We hope that the playoff round of the tournament can generate just as much excitement.

This project has been a lot of fun and we’re glad that we’ve had the chance to provide this content to the community. We want to thank everyone that follows, subscribes or donates to the stream. When we started the stream, we didn’t know if anyone would watch it, so we do appreciate the continued support. Now, lets go find out how the tournament ends.

Pod 22 Results

Another day, another pod. Once again, this pod had no deck escape without a loss, and there were some really close games. There were quite a few Dragon sightings tonight, and these decks were around the same power level. None of these decks are favorites to make a deep run into the rest of the tournament, but the games had some solid Keyforge action.

Watch Keyforge Tournament of Champions Pod 22! from tabletoproyale on

Deck Lists
Morphopodes Einstein-Wren, Companion
Curator Halpaeril Boomdalf
Bronze, Denhofn’s Servant
Yoren L. Yemeon, the Most Recent

Link to the Round 1 spreadsheet

Match Results

Game 1 – Morphopodes vs Boomdalf

One Sentence Summary: Each deck tried to forge the final key for about 3 turns in a row before someone finally blinked.

Card of the Match: Dimension Door
This is a Logos version of Bait and Switch in the best case scenario, but it usually doesn’t happen that way. This game, the Dimension Door played a huge role.

Dimension Door

Notable Event: Boomdalf jumped ahead to an early lead and forged two keys before Morphopodes could react.

Winner: Morphopodes
3 Keys to 2

Game 2 – Bronze vs Yoren

OSS: Yoren lost this game despite having Kelifi Dragon on the table for multiple turns.

COTM: Kelifi Dragon
I’m highlighting this card since it is a fun card, despite not winning this game. Kelifi Dragon is hard to get onto the field, but if it survives for any length of time will just take over the game. Just look at how sweet this dragon is. Reaping with the dragon is enough to kill most creatures while generating 2 aember.

Kelifi Dragon

NE: Bronze won this game despite being terribly far behind on board. The Shadows cards generated a lot of aember, and Miasma was played at a pivotal moment later in the game.

Winner: Bronze
3 Keys to 2

Game 3 – Morphopodes vs Bronze

OSS: Bronze completely shut out Morphopodes and didn’t care that Morpho had captured any aember during the game.

COTM: Ghostly Hand
Ghostly Hand did not even use its text box in this game, but playing three copies of it will generate a key for you. This card is analogous to Dust Pixie: there is some upside to generate more , but most of the time 2 aember is all you want from the card.

Ghostly Hand

NE: Noddy the Thief picked up a Mantle of the Zealot and got busy before a Niffle Ape had words with him.

Winner: Bronze
3 Keys to 0

Game 4 – Boomdalf vs Yoren

OSS: Yoren used a disgusting Library Access turn to kill a board full of creatures, stop a key from being forged and then set up the win.

COTM: Three Fates
This was Phase Shifted during the Library Access turn to kill two Trolls and a Yxilx Dominator, 25 points worth of power. This card is an incredible catch-up card.

Three Fates

NE: Yoren played Kelifi Dragon and Boomdalf immediately responded by using Orbital Bombardment and Mass Abduction to deal with the Dragon, a Troll and Valdr.

Winner: Yoren
3 Keys to 1

Game 5 – Yoren vs Morphopodes

OSS: Yoren took over the board, and kept murdering creatures for fun and profit.

COTM: Tolas
Yoren was in a dominating board position, and Tolas let the fight for board control turn into an aember generation. Tolas combos well with Three Fates.


NE: A Bouncing Deathquark combined with Tolas to put the game out of reach at the end. The only key that Morphopodes was able to forge was the one that was gifted on the last turn.

Winner: Yoren
3 Keys to 1

Game 6 – Bronze vs Boomdalf

OSS: A contingent of Brobnarians took up residence on the board and made themselves at home.

COTM: Troll
Trolls didn’t win the match by themselves, but Trolls killed Krumps, who could have made the fight for board control difficult. The Trolls just hung around afterwards to help with aember generation.


NE: Boomdalf activated Brobnar creatures about 3 turns in a row.

Winner: Boomdalf
3 Keys to 1

Final Results

Bronze, Denhofn’s Servant – *Advancing*
Bronze is home to a gross Shadows portion. The creatures are serviceable, but the actions here are just plain rude. This deck needed the Coward’s End to fight out of the hole it found itself in the last game of the night, so board control is never certain with this deck. Fortunately, it almost doesn’t need a board presence due to the amount of aember generation at its disposal. There is the potential for a huge spike in aember with two Loot the Bodies and Coward’s End. There are some cards here that the opponent has to play around to avoid getting blown out: Doorstep to Heaven, Too Much to Protect and Bait and Switch. Mack the Knife and Mantle of the Zealot give some cross-house capabilities to the deck, and Commander Remiel, Sergeant Zakiel and Relentless Assault also help with this. This deck isn’t unfair, but it certainly can do unfair things from time to time. This is a solid deck that might be able to advance through Round 2.

Yoren L. Yemeon, the Most Recent – *Advancing*
This deck has a lot of powerful cards that can generate a lot of chains. There were not many games where this deck didn’t have chains for several turns. Yoren is a little light on creatures, but the two copies of Arise! can allow this deck to get the most use out of them. This deck really wishes it had a Mother or two to help offset the chains, but Library Access can do absurd things in this deck. The Brobnar is solid and this deck played the Kelifi Dragon fairly consistently. The Dis here can punish the opponent’s hand, and a spot of artifact disruption is always welcome. Tolas won one game for this deck, since it is pretty efficient at killing creatures in a variety of creative ways. Skippy Timehog is a card that can ruin plans, and this deck can pull it back several times in a game.

Curator Halpaeril Boomdalf – *Eliminated*
Boomdalf has an intangible quality to it that makes it difficult for it to win games. The aember generation in this deck is very poor, as there are only five cards that have an aember bonus for playing them. This deck has TWENTY-FOUR creatures, meaning that it can endlessly march soldiers to their death. Neither Key Charge or Key Abduction actually forged a key for this deck, and that is probably due to the low aember bonus counts. The creature quality in this deck is a little bizarre, since there are several creatures that I would consider very good. Dominators can protect the Witch of the Eyes, and Trolls kill 95% of creatures in the game. The biggest detraction for this deck is the dearth of cross-house synergies. This deck lacks ways to utilize resources on the board when activating other houses. This deck plays a very fair game in that regard, and it suffers for that. I’m sure this deck has good match-ups, but I’m not positive what they look like.

Morphopodes Einstein-Wren, Companion – *Eliminated*
There are a lot of disappointing cards and half-formed combos in this deck. Hayyel the Merchant and Veylan Analyst only have three artifacts to work with. The two Troop Calls have two Niffle Apes to work with and no Full Moon or Hunting Witch. The game this deck won could have been considered a fluke since it managed to draw Dimension Door after reshuffling the deck. There is not a lot of aember control, and Nepenthe Seed would have to be heavily relied on to grab the Dimension Door to keep this deck from losing. Foggify is an important card, since this is one of the most populated Logos decks that we’ve seen on stream. This deck doesn’t fight for the board very well, and really needs Halacor or some of the larger Sanctum creatures to have an advantage. Cleansing wave isn’t at its strongest in this deck, but it can always be good for some aember generation. Definitely a weak deck, but one that can steal a game here or there.

Known Errors: Chains, as always, were forgotten and then corrected.

Meta Info: Justin and Nathan split the games, but going second won 5 times tonight. Everything is tied:

Justin: 66 Wins
Nathan: 66 Wins

First: 66 Wins
Second: 66 Wins

Pod 21 Results

This pod was played on New Year’s day, and there is no better way to start off the year than playing some Keyforge! The night’s games ended up in a paper-rock-scissors match-up, and no deck escaped this pod undefeated. I’ll be the first to admit that we made a ton of mistakes on this stream, which is something that you would think that we would be better about after 120 games.

Watch Keyforge Tournament of Champions Pod 21 from tabletoproyale on

Deck Lists
Underzard Dugan-Nemonius, Arsonist
Lucelle, Center Emperess
Gratuitously Ephemeral Ada
Dahl, the Æmber-holder of Irongere

For anyone who would like to check out current info on the spreadsheet:

Match Results

Game 1 – Underzard vs Lucelle

One Sentence Summary: Underzard’s silly Mars turn put Lucelle behind for the whole game.

Card of the Match: Key Abduction
This was the best use of this card that we have seen on stream. It will be hard for Key Abduction to top its performance in this game.

Key Abduction

Notable Event: The Key Abduction turn started with three Martians reaping, then Key Abduction being played, and then two Martians coming into play ready, an attack by Mooncurser and aember being stolen. It was sort of like a Martian version of Epic Quest.

Winner: Underzard
3 Keys to 1

Game 2 – Ada vs Dahl

OSS: A really close game was decided by single card.

COTM: Control the Weak
This card was played multiple times during this game, and ultimately won the game.

Control the Weak

NE: This was a long game and both decks were very good at controlling the opponent’s aember. There are a number of plays that had long reaching effects, and its tough to say if any one of those swung the game in the long run.

Winner: Ada
3 Keys to 2

Game 3 – Underzard vs Ada

OSS: How do you negotiate with a deck that will blow up its own artifacts?

COTM: Francus
He is Champion Tabris lite, but considering how good Tabris is, being slightly worse than her is not the worst thing. Francus fought on this congested board really well, and captured key aember to keep keys from being forged.


NE: At the end of the game, Ada played Oath of Poverty which generated 5 aember.

Winner: Ada
3 Keys to 1

Game 4 – Lucelle vs Dahl

OSS: Dahl and Lucelle both stole and captured a ton of aember from each other.

COTM: The Sting
This card warped the middle of the game, since Dahl was able to gain a ton of aember from it.

The Sting

NE: Lucelle did stop Dahl from forging the game winning key for around three turns in a row and was just an aember short of stopping the final key again.

Winner: Dahl
3 Keys to 2

Game 5 – Underzard vs Dahl

OSS: He who controls the aember controls the game.

COTM: Booby Trap
If there was a big swing in this game, it was when Booby Trap killed three creatures. Due to Booby Trap’s restrictions, it can be difficult to use. Here, the card was played for maximum effect.

Booby Trap

NE: This game had a lot of interactions, and its tough to say which one ultimately won the game. Mother was left alive for too long, and the Dis creatures caused a lot of problems.

Winner: Dahl
3 Keys to 1

Game 6 – Lucelle vs Ada

OSS: Lucelle defies the odds and wins versus the undefeated deck in the pod.

COTM: Poison Wave
This card cleaned up a messy board before it could get out of hand.

Poison Wave

NE: Ada forged an early key off of Oath of Poverty for five. Ada had actually jumped ahead to a two key lead in this game before Lucelle came back and won the game.

Winner: Lucelle
3 Keys to 2

Final Results

Dahl, the Æmber-holder of Irongere – *Advancing*
This deck has a bounty of aember control in it. The Logos in this deck has an uncharacteristically large amount of it at its disposal. The Sting plays an important part, and it combos well with Lash and Too Much to Protect. This deck does struggle to fight for the board, but small creatures are not safe against this deck. There are no board wipes here, but Sneklifter will take problem artifacts. Knowing when to use Lifeward will be difficult, since there is no way to look at the opponent’s hand. I would put this deck in to the upper mid-tier of decks since it plays a solid aember control game.

Gratuitously Ephemeral Ada – *Advancing*
Ada is winning as long as it is playing Control the Weak multiple times in a game. It can control the board in several different ways, and it has the option to wipe it all up if things are coming unglued. Two Witch of the Eyes and Nepenthe Seed give the player several ways to play the best cards over and over. Oath of Poverty gives this deck a way to make big aember gains, but does require a little setup ahead of time. This is a solid deck with some potentially unfair draws.

Underzard Dugan-Nemonius, Arsonist – *Eliminated*
The Mars in this deck is a Battle Fleet away from being degenerate. This deck matches up against other creature decks really well, but tonight we saw it lose to decks with more powerful actions than it. The Shadows in this deck is not cutthroat like other decks, and it is missing some of the cards people fear. Selwyn the Fence is a card that has never found a way to leave a mark on the games we’ve played, and the same is true for Smiling Ruth. There are some cool combos in this deck. Customs Office and Whispering Reliquary will nearly negate your opponent’s ability to play artifacts. Two Key Abductions means that there is a chance that this deck could win out of turn and your opponent will not be able to stop you. This is a cool deck and would be fun to play in casual settings, even if it didn’t set this pod on fire.

Lucelle, Center Emperess – *Eliminated*
Lucelle did not have the powerful answers it needed to advance. This deck does have a solid game plan, and it will just murder creatures that are under a certain size. There was a lot of armor in this pod, so a lot of the damage this deck could do was absorbed. This deck also relied heavily on creatures to produce aember, which is why it always felt as if it was playing from behind. There was never a point in time where this deck had all three Trolls on the table, but I bet this deck would be in better shape if that ever happens. This deck would match up better against non-Sanctum decks, and probably has a really good chance against Shadows-based decks.

Known Errors: The usual errors abound: Mother, Staunch Knight, Chains, etc. There were a couple of times that Bulwark’s armor was missed. Deipno Spymaster is a card whose ability is easy to forget about. Nathan used a Whispering Reliquary out of house in game 5. Nathan also played a Take Hostages as if it were Terms of Redress. These mistakes happened in a game that he lost, so these did not impact the tournament at large.

Meta Info: Another split night. Here are the current totals:

Justin: 63 wins
Nathan: 63 wins

Going First: 65 wins
Going Second: 61 wins

Round 1 has Finished!

We finished up round 1, and we are preparing for round 2. This is just a quick update to let people know where we stand.

Round 1 Spreadsheet

Round 2 Spreadsheet

We need 1 deck to round out the second round pods, so one of the 1-2 archons to advance, we have thrown up a strawpoll for people to vote:


Links for those archons can be found on one of the spreadsheets. I culled some of the weaker or less fun 1-2 decks to get the list down to an even 20. We’ll check the poll Sunday before we stream to see witch archon the fans have voted in.

Pod 20 Results

This pod is a return to normalcy after the high octane combos of the previous pod. For Pod 20, it has become clear to us that the decks that typically do the best are the decks with the most aember control. We have a direct correlation between quality and quantity of aember control and decks that have advanced to the next round. This explains the dominance of Shadows, and why Mars is usually frowned upon. I’ll revisit this theme in the Round 1 recap, but for now, enjoy some more Keyforge carnage!

Watch Keyforge Tournament of Champions Pod 20! from tabletoproyale on

Here is the end of the stream from where we had some connectivity issues:
Watch Keyforge Tournament of Champions Pod 20! Game 6 post stream lag from tabletoproyale on

Deck Lists
Temujin, Hospitable Haunt Gauntlet
Mr. Goldsee, the Hustling Chieftain
Cpl. “Barkus Rex” Kingsley
Webenvy, the Urchin of The Spider

Current Standings

Match Results

Game 1 – Temujin vs Mr. Goldsee

One Sentence Summary: Mr. Goldsee found out how hard it is to win against some of the best cards in the game.

Card of the Match: Ganger Chieftain
Instead of highlighting Bait and Switch for the eighteenth time, I’ll point out this card which made a subtle, but important play. Ganger Chieftain got a Krump directly into combat to keep Mr. Goldsee off a key, and since the end of the game was a sprint for the final key, it probably saved the game.

Ganger Chieftain

Notable Event: A Bait and Switch swung the match in Temujin’s favor towards the end of the match. Lash of Broken Dreams and Bait and Switch often put the opponent in really tough situations where it is impossible to play around both cards. Arise! also played a part in this match, as the squad of Brobnar goons it brought back were quite formidable.

Winner: Temujin
3 Keys to 2

Game 2 – Barkus Rex vs Webenvy

OSS: Plan A for Webenvy is to keep all of the opponent’s aember on an Ether Spider and pray that the opponent doesn’t realize there is no Plan B.

COTM: Save the Pack
This is the worst board wipe, but this game had the best case scenario for it.

Save the Pack

NE: After setting up a few turns in advance, Save the Pack wiped out one side of the board, including an Ether Spider with 12 aember. A Strange Gizmo secured the future, by making it so that nothing played by Webenvy could threaten the following turn.

Winner: Barkus Rex
3 Keys to 2

Game 3 – Temujin vs Barkus Rex

OSS: Temujin stayed in control of the game the whole time.

COTM: Charette
Charette put a dagger through Barkus Rex at the end of the game. I’ve highlighted this card before, but Charette is particularly good in decks with Arise!


NE: Its tough to call out any single moment in this game, since Temujin was just beating down Barkus Rex the whole time.

Winner: Temujin
3 Keys to 1

Game 4 – Mr. Goldsee vs Webenvy

OSS: Some giant monsters dominated the early game and put Goldsee very far behind.

COTM: Chuff Ape
One of the biggest creatures in the game, this guy’s built in healing is extremely useful. For this game, the Ape protected an Ether Spider for several turns while dominating the board.

Chuff Ape

NE: The stream dropped out during this game, so some of the action was lost.

Winner: Webenvy
3 Keys to 1

Game 5 – Temujin vs Webenvy

OSS: A play mistake turned a not close game into a close game.

COTM: Arise!
I’ve talked about this card a lot, but this game shows how much better it is when you use it to get back creatures with Play abilities. Here, the Brobnar creatures came into play and impacted the board immediately to make up for waiting a turn.


NE: The big swing in this game came when Temujin was setting up a Gateway to Dis by playing a Lifeward, and forgot about the Nexus on the table. This costly play mistake almost lost the game after Temujin was ahead by 2 keys.

Winner: Temujin
3 Keys to 2

Game 6 – Mr. Goldsee vs Barkus Rex

Note: This game is partially missing due to connectivity issues.

OSS: Barkus Rex beat Mr. Goldsee in nearly record time.

COTM: Strange Gizmo
This card is extremely good, and it is very innocuous at first glance. What happens with this card is that the player with it threatens to forge a key, and if the opponent can’t stop the forge, then that opponent can’t really play any cards. It not that they can’t, its just that any creatures or artifacts that get played are immediately destroyed. Effectively, eventually this card will almost completely skip one of the opponent’s card eventually.

Strange Gizmo

NE: The Strange Gizmo set up a Treasure Map, followed by Fertility Chant. This aember burst proved to be too much for Mr. Goldsee.

Winner: Barkus Rex
3 Keys to 1

Final Results

Temujin, Hospitable Haunt Gauntlet – *Advancing*
This deck was in control in most of its games and upon reviewing the games, this deck was only in danger of losing one game due to a massive play mistake. The aember control here is just brutal. One of the impressive things about this deck is how well it competes for the board with the limited number of creatures it has. Sound the Horns would combo well with the Arise! a little better if this deck had more Dis creatures and fewer Brobnar, but both cards are just fine here anyway. Arise! really is the linchpin of this deck, and most of the time it will get back Brobnar creatures. The Dis in this deck is disruptive, and has a little bit of everything. Since there isn’t more than one copy of anything in Dis, the deck won’t be consistent, so sometimes it will feel like the answer won’t be in your hand when you need it. However, this deck did go undefeated, so if anything is consistent, it is the ability for this deck to win.

Cpl. “Barkus Rex” Kingsley – *Advancing*
This deck does not have a lot of creatures, but does have a lot of aember burst. There are some good combos, like The Common Cold and Save the Pack, and Library Access is possibly the best card in the game. The creatures in this deck do fight for the board outside their weight class, thanks to poison and skirmish. Nature’s Call is an incredible card, and lets this deck get some more mileage out of the Full Moon in the deck. Timed correctly, Fertility Chant can give the opponent aember that this deck could turn around and steal later. Strange Gizmo is one of the better cards in the game after some play testing, and it would take some pretty convincing arguments to sway my opinion on this. This deck does not have a ton of quality aember control, but it can pick off a stray aember here or there. It doesn’t have enough Shadows creatures for One Last Job to be a blow out. This deck probably benefited from a slightly weaker pod.

Webenvy, the Urchin of The Spider – * Eliminated*
This deck is weirdly themed, since it has both an Urchin and an Ether Spider. This deck feels like a low-mid tier deck, and aember control was a big problem. It isn’t short on aember control cards, but most of them are creatures, and those are prone to death. This deck had inconsistent board control, and was usually winning while it was in control. Mothergun and Ammonia Clouds help with that, and Chuff Ape is extremely good at protecting valuable creatures like Shadow Self or Old Bruno. Charge! wishes their were more Sanctum creatures, and the Sanctum is mediocre overall. Virtuous Works helps with aember generation, which this deck did struggled with. Deep Probe is a powerful card, and Imperial Traitor is another card that can give you insight into the opponent’s hand. This is a deck that I would file into the category of needing to play it several times to learn the nuances here.

Mr. Goldsee, the Hustling Chieftain – *Relegated to WotW*
The aember control cards in this deck are creature based and, for the most part, require that creature to be ready, and that is ultimately why it lost. There are some powerful aember generation cards in this deck, but there are also some dead weight cards. Briar Grubbling is one of the worst cards in the game, and Phosphorous Stars is rarely worth the chains that you accumulate. The dream would be to play the Dust Pixies and then Total Recall them on the following turn, but that seems like only a pipe dream after playing with this deck. There is a weird mix of big and small creatures in this deck, and the small creatures don’t help with fight for the board. This often means that the opponent has targets for their creatures with Fight abilities. I don’t think this deck will win the Worst of the Worst, and I expect it to make an early exit from that tournament.

Known Errors: Justin did forget to flip a key for quite a few turns in the first game. In game 3, Nathan tried to play Untamed and Shadows cards in the same turn, possibly because of an omni action on Special Delivery. This was corrected almost immediately.

Meta Info: Big shakeups in the meta info world! Going first completely swept this pod and is now in the lead! Justin has evened up the rivalry score! Current records:

Justin: 60 wins
Nathan: 60 wins

Going First: 62 Wins
Going Second: 58 Wins