Sets

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Each KeyForge deck, also called an Archon deck, is a unique combination of 36 cards algorithmically chosen from a total card pool of approximately 370-420 cards, called a KeyForge set.

Standard sets contain a combination of new and previously released cards and include seven houses. Sets also typically introduce new mechanics, themes, or gameplay experiences. New standard sets were initially released twice a year under Fantasy Flight Games, and Ghost Galaxy has expressed the desire to return to this release cadence as well.[1]

In addition to standard sets, there are other special sets that have been released. The cards included in these sets and how they may be used vary on a per-set basis.

Each set is completely independent of all others, and are not replacements or expansions. Decks from different sets are playable against each other, and players don't need to own products from the first (or any) set to play with decks from a new set.

Standard Sets

Call of the Archons

Main article: Call of the Archons
Call of the Archons set art

The first KeyForge set, Call of the Archons, was announced at Gen Con on August 1st 2018 and released on November 15th 2018. Created by legendary designer Richard Garfield, this is the world's first unique deck game.

Consisting of 370 cards, CotA introduced the original seven KeyForge houses: Brobnar, Dis, Logos, Mars, Sanctum, Shadows and Untamed.

Call of the Archons also introduced Mavericks: very rare instances where a card appears not in its house, but in another house. CotA also introduced Special rarity cards like the four Horsemen that always appear together in a deck, and Timetraveller that always appears together with Help from Future Self.

Call of the Archons was received extremely well upon announcement. More than 30,000 decks were registered in the Master Vault app on the first day, and more than 500,000 just two months after the release. Sales exceeded FFG’s expectations and caused temporary product shortages. In October 2019, just 11 months after release CotA surpassed 1 million registered decks.


Age of Ascension

Main article: Age of Ascension
Age of Ascension (AoA) Starter Set Cover

Age of Ascension is the second KeyForge set, announced in a FFG live stream with Richard Garfield on February 12th 2019 and released on May 30th 2019. In Europe, the game launched with a Sealed Vault Tour at UK Games Expo in Birmingham. With 388 players, this is the largest KeyForge Organized Play event to date.

Keeping 166 cards from CotA and adding 204 new cards, Age of Ascension again contains 370 cards, spread among the same seven houses: Brobnar, Dis, Logos, Mars, Sanctum, Shadows and Untamed.

New keywords introduced in AoA were Alpha, Omega and Deploy: restricting when certain cards can be played and freeing others from the constraints of standard placement. Age of Ascension also introduced Legacy cards. These are cards from a previous set (such as CotA) that are not part of the current set, but on very rare occasions can appear in a deck.

More than 100.000 Age of Ascension decks were registered in the 3 weeks within release, but AoA did not match CotA’s number of registered decks or competitive success.


Worlds Collide

Main article: Worlds Collide
Worlds Collide (WC) Starter Set Cover

Worlds Collide is the third KeyForge set, announced at Gen Con on August 2nd 2019 and released on November 8th 2019. In the US, Target stores unintentionally leaked and then started selling Worlds Collide starter sets on October 2nd, more than one month before the official release date.

The first set to include new houses, Worlds Collide brought houses Saurian and Star Alliance, while taking out Mars and Sanctum. The total cardpool is 405 cards, of which 284 are new and 121 returning from one or both previous sets.

New mechanics first appearing in Worlds Collide are exalt, ward, enrage, and abilities that refer to the center of the Battleline (on creatures with the new Leader trait).

A new type of card introduced in Worlds Collide are Anomalies: cards that are not part of any current or past set, but from possible future sets. These extremely rare cards can appear in any house and usually contain new keywords or mechanics not yet seen in any other card. There are 10 Anomalies available in Worlds Collide (these are in addition to the 405 standard cards in the set).

On the strength of new houses and mechanics, the set was widely praised by players and 100,000 Worlds Collide decks were registered in the Master Vault within 15 days of the set's official release. Worlds Collide immediately proved to be a highly competitive set, winning the first Archon Vault Tour held after its release as well as outnumbering CotA in the top cut.


Mass Mutation

Main article: Mass Mutation
Mass Mutation (MM) Starter Set Cover

Mass Mutation is the fourth KeyForge set, announced on January 30th, 2020 in an FFG Live stream. It was released on May 29, 2020 in China and Taiwan, and on July 10, 2020 globally. It includes more than 250 new cards, for a total of 422 cards. House Sanctum returned after its absence in Worlds Collide, and Brobnar is rotated out for the first time. Mass Mutation centers around Mutant creatures and features many cards with the mutation theme. The set also includes gigantic creatures, which are very powerful creatures that require two cards to play.

Moreover, Mass Mutation introduces the enhance mechanic. Certain cards add bonus icons throughout a deck during the deck generation process, allowing decks to become even more unique than ever before. These bonus icons include Æmber, Capture, Damage, and Draw icons, and each icon represents an effect that occurs when a card containing that icon is played. A single card can have a maximum of 5 bonus icons.

Even with a lack of Organized Play upon its release (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), the set quickly became a fan favorite and is currently regarded as the most competitive KeyForge set thus far.


Dark Tidings

Main article: Dark Tidings
Dark Tidings (DT) Starter Set Cover

The fifth KeyForge set, Dark Tidings, was announced during the Fantasy Flight Games' In-Flight Report on July 29, 2020. After multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was released in March 2021 in Asia, April in Europe and finally on May 14 in the United States. Dis was rotated out in order to make room for the Unfathomable, a new, Aquan-based house with many controlling and taxing abilities. The new Tide mechanic is prominently featured in Dark Tidings, allowing players to raise the tide in order to enable powerful card effects.

Dark Tidings also introduces Evil Twin decks, which are copies of normal decks that contain Evil Twin versions of creatures whenever possible. These rare decks are indicated by the words "Evil Twin" in their names. Evil Twin cards have alternate artwork and abilities from their original versions.


Winds of Exchange

Main article: Winds of Exchange
Winds of Exchange set art

Winds of Exchange, was revealed on September 10, 2021 in an announcement from Fantasy Flight Games that simultaneously teased the sixth set and also announced a hiatus for KeyForge due to the loss of the deck generation algorithm and the inability to print new decks.

In June 2022 Ghost Galaxy (a new venture by Christian T. Petersen, founder of Fantasy Flight Games) acquired the KeyForge IP and publishing rights from Asmodee and in August 2022 announced that the rebuilding of KeyForge and the launch of Winds of Exchange would be crowdfunded through Gamefound. The campaign launched on September 9, reached its funding goal in 27 minutes, and raised over $1.1M from more than 6000 backers. The set started to ship to backers in the United States in May 2023, ahead of an expected July 2023 retail release. Backers outside of the United States received pledges in late 2023.

Winds of Exchange features the largest house rotation so far, with Logos, Shadows, and Untamed all leaving the game for the first time. Mars and Brobnar are rotated back in, alongside the introduction of KeyForge's 11th house, the Compacts of Ekwidon. The remaining four houses featured in the set are Sanctum, Saurian, Star Alliance and Unfathomable. The set's primary new mechanic are token creatures. As an unlocked stretch goal in the crowdfunding campaign, the set will also feature the return of anomalies, rare cards from the next set.


Grim Reminders

Main article: Grim Reminders
Grim Reminders set art

The seventh KeyForge set, Grim Reminders, was revealed as a stretch goal from the Winds of Exchange Gamefound Campaign, and was funded through its own campaign which launched on October 12, 2023 and was successfully funded. Some backers started to receive their shipments as early as late January 2024, with the official English-language release date being March 1, 2024.

Grim Reminders introduces the game's 12th house, Geistoid, which represents reanimated discarded machines, and features the return of the The Grim Reaper. The set focuses on keywords and abilities that interact with the discard pile, such as being Haunted, Scrap: abilities, and a discard Bonus icon.


Future Sets

Æmber Skies (Set 8) was revealed as part of the Grim Reminders Gamefound campaign, and is expected to release in Fall of 2024. The set is to introduce a new house: Skyborn who "are a loose confederation of baronies, merchant captains, and pirates who spend most of their lives miles above the surface abroad their prized skyships."

Æmber Skies will be crowdfunded through its own Gamefound campaign that is expected to launch in April 2024.

Special Sets

These sets are released in addition to the standard KeyForge sets and generally have limited availability. The legality of special sets in tournaments varies per set.

Vault Masters

Vault Masters sets were introduced at Vault Tour 2023 Philadelphia — starting with Vault Masters 2023 — as a special product attendees could purchase. Vault Masters sets are believed to only be obtainable at a Vault Tour event, and not able to be purchased through normal retail means. Each Vault Tour season under Ghost Galaxy so far has had its own corresponding Vault Masters set release.

Vault Masters decks are tournament legal, and each set features its own curated card pool of seven houses featuring select cards from other standard sets released up until that point.

Vault Masters 2023 was released on July 7, 2023 at the first 2023 Vault Tour held in Philadelphia, PA.

Vault Masters 2024 was released on April 5, 2024 at the first 2024 Vault Tour held in Roseville, MN.

Unchained

Unchained sets were introduced in the Winds of Exchange Gamefound Campaign as a stretch goal that backers could unlock. Unchained decks are generated with almost none of the normal rules and balancing, and feature higher ratios of legacy and maverick cards. Unchained decks lack the overall balance of standard set development, and are meant to promote wild gameplay scenarios that are a closer representation of how Richard Garfield originally designed KeyForge with increased variance. Unchained decks are not tournament legal.

Unchained 2023 contains cards and houses from Call of the Archons to Winds of Exchange (Sets 1–6).

Menagerie

KeyForge: Menagerie was introduced in the Grim Reminders Gamefound Campaign as a stretch goal that backers unlocked after raising $300,000 USD.

Menagerie decks include one or more (of 50 total possible) menagerie packets: preconstructed and curated groups of cards that play around a specific theme, identity, or combos. Other cards in the deck outside of packets are selected via the standard deck generation process. Menagerie decks are not tournament legal.

Menagerie 2024, which released alongside Grim Reminders, contains cards and houses from Call of the Archons to Grim Reminders (Sets 1–7), as well as cards from house Keyraken, modified and adapted from the KeyForge Adventure Rise of the Keyraken to facilitate standard 1v1 play.

List of Sets

Standard Sets
# Set Name Icon Release Date Houses Total Cards New Cards
1 Call of the Archons Cota.png Nov 2018 370 370
2 Age of Ascension Aoa.png May 2019 470 204
3 Worlds Collide Wc.png Nov 2019 405 284
4 Mass Mutation Mm.png May 2020 422 259
5 Dark Tidings Dt.png Mar 2021 429 279
6 Winds of Exchange WoE.png May 2023 403 262
7 Grim Reminders GR.png Mar 2024 399 248
8 Æmber Skies est. Fall 2024 TBD 200+
Vault Masters Sets
Set Name Icon Release Date Houses Total Cards New Cards
Vault Masters 2023 VM23.png Jul 2023 381 0
Vault Masters 2024 VM23.png Apr 2024 TBD 0
Non-Tournament Legal Sets
Set Name Icon Release Date Houses Included Sets
Unchained 2023 UC23.png May 2023 Sets 1 – 6
Menagerie 2024 M24.png Mar 2024 Sets 1 – 7

References

KeyForge Sets
Standard: Call of the Archons • 
Vault Masters: 2023 • 
Non-Tournament Legal: Unchained 2023 • 
Supplements
Resources
Cards
Houses • 
Sets • 
Keywords • 
News
News •