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 1 Results

We’ve finished our first pod! We want to thank everyone who stopped by the stream. The games were a blast and we had a lot of fun that hopefully translated into entertainment for the viewers. We missed a couple of rules during the games, and those have been noted below. We have a few known technical issues, and we have a few solutions to implement for our next stream. Our goal is to improve each time we stream, so we appreciate the early support. 

Our overarching goal with this format is track a lot of data for future use. Obviously, the sample size in the first few pods will be small and so it won’t be terribly informative. Ideally, the data will tell a more complete picture when we get further along.

For those that missed it, check out the VOD:
Watch Keyforge Tournament of Champions Round 1 from tabletoproyale on www.twitch.tv

We wanted to represent each house at least once in our debut. A horseman deck was included, since the apocalyptic quartet have received a lot of hype early. These decks are light on board wipes and removal in general, so a lot of our games boiled down to complicated board states. 

Here are the first four decks with links to the Master Vault:
Punctually Wary Sablique
Lawwarper, the Crude Museum Privateer
The Innkeeper that Entwines Coalitions
Constant Philazag, The Resourceful Elder

Game Reports

Game 1 – Sablique vs Lawwarper

Start Time: 3:04

The Four Horsemen make their stream debut in a less than spectacular fashion. Lawwarper tried to battled for board supremacy, but spent much of the game outclassed. Sablique’s Teliga was not answered immediately and put the creature based Lawwarper on the back foot. The Horseman Of Pestilence set up a big Cleansing Wave for Sablique, that put the game far out of reach.

Winner: Sablique
3 Keys to 1

Game 2 – Innkeeper vs Philazag

Start Time: 24:14

Philazag jumped ahead to an early lead, and was looking to create an efficient board state on the backs of some powerful Logos interactions. Innkeeper, caught back up by wiping the board with The Spirit’s Way, but was unable to stop the first key from being forged. Innkeeper then took over the board with several stout Sanctum creatures. An Arise! from Philazag repopulated the board with Logos creatures over two turns, but Innkeeper was able to forge a key in the interim. Innkeeper deployed two of the deck’s three Dodgers, which set up a situation for Innkeeper to fight with them using Commander Remiel. This allowed Innkeeper to control the flow of aember to Philazag for most of the remainder of the game. A late game Tendrils of Pain cleaned the board up, but Philazag was too far behind to catch up.

Winner: Innkeeper

3 Keys to 1

Game 3 – Sablique vs Innkeeper

Start Time: 57:30

Once again, Innkeeper found itself in a hole to start the game. Sablique was able to forge a key early, but Innkeeper’s Screechbomb put the breaks on progress to a second key. Innkeeper started to take control of the board, and a Longfused Mines threatened to keep control of the board. Sablique’s Muramook stalled Innkeeper from forging a key for a turn. 

Sablique managed to mostly survive the Mines and started to slowly crawl ahead on the aember. Innkeeper did forge a key, but Sablique responded by gaining 5 aember. Innkeeper pulled off one of the most disgusting turns of the night. Stealing all five of the aember Sablique was stockpiling with a combination of One Last Job and Nerve Blasts and immediately threatening to forge another key. This proved to be too much of a hurdle for Sablique to overcome, and Innkeeper won shortly after.

Winner: Innkeeper
3 Keys to 1

Game 4 – Lawwarper vs Philazag

Start Time: 1:22:44

The game started with Lawwarper playing some of the Horsemen, and creating a modest board. Philazag did generate aember through some card plays to threaten a key, but Lawwarper used Sequis to keep Philazag off 6. Lawwarper responded with threatening a key, that Philazag’s Shooler prevented on the following turn. Shooler was part of a massive Dis turn set up by some earlier archiving. Arise! capped off the turn by putting 5 Logos creatures into Philazag’s hand. 

The board state shifted over the next few turns, and both decks forged a key and generated a handful of aember. Both Decks traded keys and creatures again. Slowly, both decks reached a point where they threatened each other to complete a key. Philazag bought a turn with the Lash of Broken Dreams and that proved to be the difference in the game.

Winner: Philazag
3 Keys to 2

Game 5 – Sablique vs Philazag

Start Time: 1:54:55

Sablique charged ahead with an early lead and a large board. Philazag responded with a Collar of Subordination on Teliga, who was then protected by a Yxilx Dominator equipped with Flame-Wreathed. Both decks jockeyed for position, and the board state grew quite large and complicated. 

Quixo the “Adventurer” picked up a Brain Stem Antenna, courtesy of the Martians. This allowed for a huge swing in card advantage where Quixo was able to do a lot of damage and draw a lot of cards at the same time. A Bouncing Deathquark evened the board out, but Philazag was better positioned to recover. Sablique managed to forge the second key while ol’ Phil only had one. 

In the game’s third act, Philazag took control of the game with a huge board position. Sablique kept finding ways to threaten to forge a key, however, Philizag kept finding ways to thwart those plans. After taking a strangle hold on the board and on aember, Philazag was able to mount a comeback victory.

Winner: Philazag
3 keys to 2

Game 6 – Lawwarper vs Innkeeper

Start Time: 2:39:39

This match started on a level playing field for about three turns before Innkeeper took control. Innkeeper kept the gas pedal down for the rest of the match. The shadows portion of the deck didn’t allow Lawwarper to forge any keys. The beefy Sanctum side of the deck arrived late in the game, and created an insurmountable board position. Lawwarper ended the game with a measly two aember.

Winner: Innkeeper
3 Keys to 0(!)

Final Results

Innkeeper: 3 – 0 *Advancing*
This deck spent a couple games slightly behind, but proved to have a powerful mid-game. It won all three of its games in a convincing fashion. The Shadows portion of this deck is extremely powerful, and three Dodgers make it so this deck doesn’t get pushed around as much as other Shadow’s creatures. The vast majority of the shadows cards steal aember, which make it really hard for the opponent to generate more aember than the deck can steal. The Brobnar in this deck does a good job of not getting in the way of the Shadows, and Brothers in Arms offers a great way to get your Dodgers to fight out of turn. The Sanctum in this deck gives you multiple ways to avoid getting behind, with cards like Doorstop to Heaven and The Spirit’s Way.

Philazag: 2 – 1 *Advancing*
The Dis portion of the deck offers a heavy amount of disruption, while the Logos makes the deck very efficient. There are multiple ways to archive, which allows the deck to set up several big turns. Game 5 displayed the Mars cards in all of their synergistic glory. Yxili Marauder and Ether Spider don’t get much better than what was displayed there. The backbone of the deck is the large number of artifacts which provide a lot of utility regardless of the house named. 

Sablique: 1 – 2 *Eliminated*
This deck was never out of the games it played, but it really wanted a board clear beyond Bouncing Deathspark and Save the Pack. It’s creatures aren’t quite big enough to take control of the board in all situations. This deck has some powerful cards, but its missing some utility to assemble them. The Untamed portion of this deck seems good on paper, but disappointed in the game. This deck came up short when it mattered, which made it’s losses disappointing.

Lawwarper: 0 – 3 *Relegated to WOTW*
Horseman haters look no further than this deck. They’re cool and splashy, but they won’t win you the game alone. The Untamed portion of the deck offers ways to replay the horsemen, but that didn’t prove to be enough. This deck’s aember generation is disappointing to say the least. The Mars in this deck is very disappointing, and cards like Swap Widget and EMP Blast don’t synergize with each other. If this deck could pick the order of the cards it drew, it might be able to win a game.

If you watch one Game: Game 5 – Sablique vs Philazag
If you only watch one more: Game 2 – Innkeeper vs Philazag

Known Errors: Snudge was used incorrectly a few times by me (Nathan). I mistakenly thought Snudge’s ability was a Play/Reap ability and not a Fight/Reap. I did call myself out later for it, and it might have affected the outcome of the game. As for Wild Wormhole in game 5, it is our current understanding that it won’t cause a player to reshuffle their discard pile if there are no cards in their draw deck. Justin did do this in Game 5, but the game was won even without the additional card. Personally, I have missed Chains quite a few times in recent games. I missed them at least once in Game 3 and we did our best to restore the board state before. I’m thinking of storing the Chain Tracker on top of the draw deck from now on to help reinforce their prominence.

Legacy Info: This section will be where we keep meta info. Justin and I are commited to a large number of games, and so we are going to keep track of the overall win-loss record between us to keep the rivalry sharp, 

If you’ve taken the time to read all of this, I thank you and hope you will check out the results for round 2.