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.

Pod 4 results

Pod 4 was unlike a lot of the other pods that we have run. We encountered our very first hard control deck, and we also got to play with some decks with wacky combos. One of the decks that had the worst performance was one of the more fun decks to play. This batch of games really show off the depths of experience that you can have while playing KeyForge.

Watch Keyforge Tournament of Champions POD 4! from tabletoproyale on www.twitch.tv

Here are the four decks for tonight:
Harlephis Jhe-Moreton, Footman
Thor, Caves God-Queen
The Imaginative Auditor
The Naturalist who Camouflages Breakfast

Game Reports

Game 1 – Harlephis vs Thor

Start Time: 2:30

One Sentence Summary: Thor stole a pile of aember from Harlephis, and ran away with the game. 

Card of the Match: The Sting
A really interesting card, that can generate a lot of aember. There aren’t many cards that have a chance to give you six or more aember. Tricky to use, but extremely powerful. Combos with Key Charge.

Notable Event: A brutal double Cooperative Hunting turn put the game out of reach.

Winner: Thor
3 Keys to 1

Game 2 – Auditor vs Naturalist

Start Time: 47:01

OSS: The longest game played on stream up to this point featured a lot of chains, a lot of cards drawn and lots of aember destroyed.

COTM: Mother
This card generates a lot of advantage over the course of a game if it is left unchecked.

NE: At 45 minutes, this game was chock full of events. One lucky event for Auditor: played 2 Library Access in a single turn by reshuffling and hitting it on a draw from the fresh deck.

Winner: Naturalist
3 Keys to 1

Game 3 – Harlephis vs Auditor

Start Time: 1:31:33

OSS: Despite pulling ahead early in the game, Auditor was just a turn short from beating Harlephis.

COTM: Epic Quest.
This card didn’t win the game, but it is a ton of fun.

NE: The Martians almost took over the board, but a Gateway to Dis stopped their invasion plans.

Winner: Harlephis
3 Keys to 2

Game 4 – Thor vs Naturalist

Start Time: 1:59:35

OSS: Naturalist dismantled Thor’s plans on every single occasion.

COTM: Effervescent Principle.
When timed correctly, this card absolutely demolishes. Lash of Broken Dreams and Effervescent Principle work well together.

NE: Naturalist destroyed around fifteen aember through various means.

Winner: Naturalist
3 Keys to 0

Game 5 – Harlephis vs Naturalist

Start Time: 2:35:00

OSS: Naturalist did to Harlephis what it did to Thor.

COTM: Lash of Broken Dreams
This card just wins games. It stopped Harlephis from forging multiple turns in a row, demolishing all hope of trying to win the game.

NE: There was a funny turn were Pawn Sacrifice was almost played by Harlephis to wipe out all of his own creatures to gain a single aember.

Winner: Naturalist
3 Keys to 0

Game 6 – Thor vs Auditor

Start Time: 2:47:15

OSS: After trading keys back and forth, some thieves stole the game for Thor. 

COTM: Umbra
Lots of cards played lots of roles in this game, but this is an unsung hero. Umbra did a lot of damage and stole a lot of aember towards the end of the game. There were lots of other threats on the board, and so Umbra was able to avoid a lot of scrutiny and did a lot of disruption.

NE: Auditor completed the Epic Quest again, but still lost the game.

Winner: Thor
3 Keys to 2

Final Results:

The Naturalist who Camouflages Breakfast – *Advancing*
3 Wins – 0 Losses
The performance of this deck was one of the most dominant that we’ve seen. The aember control and board control present in this deck is simply brutal. This deck worked like a classic MTG control deck. Clear any board your opponent had an advantage on, stop their win conditions and draw extra cards. This deck is pure oppression. The fact that it spent most of the night with chains didn’t stop it. The only downside of this deck is the amount of time that it takes to win a game. It doesn’t generate aember very quickly, and so it takes a long time to close out a game.

Thor, Caves God-Queen – *Advancing*
2 Wins – 1 Loss
This was an exciting deck, and it had the potential for big plays. The combination of The Sting, Chota Hazri and Key Charge can make it difficult to stop this deck from forging keys through aember disruption. The Shadows portion offers just enough disruption to make sure that opponents don’t run away with the game. The Sanctum portion is just filled to the brim with creatures, and that works hand in hand with the Untamed Portion. Thor does a good job of controlling the board, and does a good job of forging keys. 

Harlephis Jhe-Moreton, Footman – *Eliminated*
1 Win – 2 Losses
Harlephis is deck that is fighting against itself. It is missing a few intangible elements to make it consistent and a contender. The Mars portion probably has too many Martians, and not enough helper actions, like Squawker and Soft Landing. The Shadows portion of this deck is underwhelming compared to others that we’ve played on stream. Carlo Phantom looks particularly bad in this deck, since there is ONE! artifact. The Sanctum portion does a solid job of fighting for the board, and Mantle of the Zealot is a great card. This deck’s performance could be attributed to draws. The deck was never able to assemble any of the crazy possibilities like Bulleteye with Mantle of the Zealot or Skeleton Key and Yxili Marauder. 

The Imaginative Auditor – *Relegated to WotW*
0 Wins – 3 Losses
This deck was a blast to play, even though it lost all of its games. It did come really close to winning two of the games it played, and seemed to be able to complete Epic Quest reliably. There is some powerful synergy in this deck, and there could be a game where the Auditor pulls off a back to back turn of Knowledge is Power with a bunch of knights archived and follows that up by completing Epic Quest. This deck could probably perform better with more experience.

If you only watch one game: Game 3 – Harlephis vs Auditor
If you only watch one more: Game 6 – Thor vs Auditor

Known Errors: CHAINS CHAINS CHAINS.
There were a lot of chains thrown around this session, and there were a couple of times that players drew extra cards. This got particularly tricky with the amount of Mothers that were played. We’re trying to make sure that we keep better track of our chains. 

Several cards tonight made a differentiation between flank and non-flank creatures. Booby Trap initially targets a non-flank. Positron targets a flank. These weren’t necessarily played wrong on stream, but they are worth remembering.

One question that was brought up during play was about upgrades. Could you play an upgrade when there are no creatures in play to get the aember bonus? The rules state that if an upgrade cannot attach to a card in play, it can’t come into play.

Meta Info: This night brought things back to perfectly balanced, as all things should be. Both Nathan and going first managed to even the scores. 
Justin: 12 Wins
Nathan: 12 Wins

Going First: 12 Wins
Going Second: 12 Wins

Pod 3 Results

I’m going to try a slightly different format for this write-up. It will be a little less detailed on each game, as I will try to hit just the highlights. I’ll try to single out key cards and plays that swung the game. If there is a demand for the other style of write-up, let me know.

As for the stream, we have once again improved the layout, with some more improvements on the way. We’ve added an aember betting feature, which is for bragging rights. Viewers accumulate aember by watching the stream, and you can earn more aember by correctly predicting the winner of each match. The points aren’t used for anything, but we have a leader-board so there are always bragging rights on the line.

Watch Keyforge Tournament of Champions POD 3! from tabletoproyale on www.twitch.tv

Here are the decks played in the third pod:
Quasimodo “Ms. Diesel” Fletcher
Imprisoned “Aurora” Aquarius
Jelika “Stew” Juggerdottir
Eternal Heatpeeve Rockshell

Game Reports

Game 1 – Quasimodo vs Aurora

Start Time: 8:30

One sentence summary:
A really close match that was swung by a timely Jammer Pack that bought the necessary extra turn.

Card of the Match: Soul Snatcher
This card warped the game in a crazy way. Both decks weirdly wanted to kill their own creatures to generate aember.

Notable Event:
This match probably had the most aember that has been generated in a game on our stream. At one point, the token supply had been exhausted. 

Winner: Quasimodo
3 Keys to 2

Game 2 – Jelika vs Heatpeeve

Start Time: 31:30

One sentence summary: Heatpeeve pulled out all the stops and prevented Jelika from forging several keys, just not the three Jelika used to win.

Card of the Match: Bait and Switch
A Nepenthe Seed returned this to Jelika’s hand to steal 4 aember, eventually sealing the game away.

Notable Event: Lifeweb stole 2 aember after Bad Penny was played twice in a turn with a Nexus. This could be marked down as a play mistake, since the same amount of aember could have been generated by reaping with Mack the Knife instead of shooting Bad Penny to replay her.

Winner: Jelika
3 Keys to 1

Game 3 – Quasimodo vs Jelika

Start Time: 55:30

One Sentence Summary: Quasimodo tripped over some chains.

Card of the Match: Gateway to Dis
Powerful effect. Massive drawback.

Notable Event: A massive turn from Jelika allowed an Ancient Bear to wipe out the opposing creatures and generate 6 aember.

Winner: Jelika
3 Keys to 1

Game 4 – Aurora vs Heatpeeve

Start Time: 1:11:30

One Sentence Summary: Heatpeeve drew the right cards at the right time.

Card of the Match: Library Access
You know why.

Notable Event: The turn after Heatpeeve drew a turn of cards with Library Access, Justin chose to discard two Coward’s ends to free up space, noting at the time it could be a misplay. This probably was in retrospect, since the following turn Heatpeeve deployed some Sanctum creatures to clean up the board.

Winner: Heatpeeve
3 Keys to 1

Game 5 – Quasimodo vs Heatpeeve

Start Time: 1:34:30

Single Sentence Sumary: Another game dominated by Library Access.

Card of the Match: Chaos Portal
This card missed every other time it was used tonight, except in this game.

Notable Event: Chaos Portal hit Sergeant Zakiel to ready a Batdrone played that turn to kill Hunting Witch and steal an aember. 

Winner: Heatpeeve
3 Keys to 0.

Game 6 – Aurora vs Jelika

Start Time: 1:55:01

Single Sentence Summary: A grinding match, with a thrilling conclusion.

Card of the Match: Miasma
This card won the game for Jelika, and could have stalled the game another turn if needed.

Notable Event: Jelika won the game, despite having two dud turns in a row.

Winner: Jelika
3 Keys to 2 

Final Results

Jelika – *Advancing*
3 Wins – 0 Losses
The Shadows portion of this deck is oppressive and just simply wins games. Miasma will buy you turns you need to win, and the Brobnar portion of the deck can generate a lot of aember in the process of murdering opponent’s creatures. The Untamed portion felt like a drag in a lot of games with the notable exception of Nepenthe Seed, Pirahna Monkeys and Mighty Tiger. Cooperative Hunting looks better on paper than in practice, and Chota Hazri and Key Charge under-perform without Dust Pixies and Full Moons. 

Eternal Heatpeeve Rockshell – *Advancing*
2 Wins – 1 Loss
The Little Archon that could proved us wrong. This deck proved to be a scrappy little contender after a few games. The deck wins when it can assemble a huge Library Access turn and buries the opponent in card advantage. One of the understated elements about this deck is how well it stays in the game with its aember control. Doorstep to Heaven and Terms of Redress have synergy. Lifeweb will randomly steal during an Untamed turn. 

Quasimodo – *Eliminated*
1 Win – 2 Losses
While falling short, this deck generated some entertainment. The biggest problem is that this deck generates a lot of chains for itself. The cycle is:
1. The deck falls behind on the board.
2. It plays Gateway to Dis to catch up, and gains chains.
3. The chains choke the hand, so the deck plays fewer cards. Back to step 1.
Now, when this deck has its Soul Snatcher on the board, a lot of aember is generated. The Mars portion can tax the opponent heavily, and can do a good job of stalling games. Vezyma Thinkdrone gives you a way to get rid of Soul Snatcher when it is no longer welcome.

Imprisoned “Aurora” Aquarius – *Relegated to WotW*
0 Wins – 3 Losses
For what it is worth, I think this is the best deck of the decks that have gone without a win. It’s possible a few misplays cost this deck a chance at qualifying. The triple Mindwarpers in this deck wish they had some taunt creatures to hide behind. It has a lot of tricks and was very close to winning two games. 

If you only watch one game: Game 6 – Aurora vs Jelika
If you only watch one more: Game 1 – Quasimodo vs Aurora

Known Errors: Not many missed rules with this bunch of games, but Lifeweb is a card to play around when given the option. In Game 4: Silent Dagger provides an aember when played. In that same game, there was a turn where aember was not generated by a Protectrix reap, but was balanced later when Snufflegator got an extra aember from reaping.

Meta Info: Justin takes a lead in the rivalry at 10 wins to 8. For the first time, there isn’t a tie in the going first or second data. Going first has jumped up to a 2 game lead with 10 wins to 8.