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!
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 www.twitch.tv
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NE: The stream dropped out during this game, so some of the action was lost.
3 Keys to 1
Game 5 – Temujin vs Webenvy
OSS: A play mistake turned a not close game into a close game.
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.
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.
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
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