Call of the Archons

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Call of the Archons
Set Number:
Nov 15, 2018
New Cards:
Richard Garfield
Design and Development:
Brad Andres, Skaff Elias, and Nate French with Daniel Schaefer
9 - English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
Followed by:

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

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

CotA also introduced Mavericks: extremely rare instances where a card appears not in its house, but in another house. For example, Urchin is a Shadows creature, but in this deck it appears as a Maverick in house Brobnar. Mavericks appear in about 4.1% of Call of the Archons decks.


Call of the Archons features fast and dynamic gameplay. It features many cards that award an Æmber bonus and a large number of stealing abilities, both of which makes board presence comparatively less important than in other sets. House Shadows, with its heavy focus on stealing, is the most dominant house in the set, especially before the errata of Bait and Switch (when the card’s effect would repeat unlimited times, as long as the opponent had more Æmber). Many top ranking Call of the Archons decks rely on steal cards such as Relentless Whispers, Nerve Blast, and Routine Job to control their opponent's Æmber pool.

The second most dominant house in Call of the Archons is Dis, which is one of the most well-rounded houses in the set. Cards such as Restringuntus and Control the Weak are cornerstones of highly competitive Dis control decks. A wide number of Dis creatures in the set are extremely disruptive, such as Ember Imp and Succubus, and they can sometimes be recurred through cards like Arise!. Dis has outstanding board control through cards like Gateway to Dis and Key to Dis, and the house also features several cards that control Æmber, such as Shooler and Charette.

Another popular deck archetype is Untamed “Rush”, with cards like Hunting Witch, Dust Pixie, Nature’s Call and Chota Hazri that allow massive Æmber gain and forging a key in the same turn, especially when combined with Speed Sigil. The Library Access + Nepenthe Seed combo enabled decks that could draw the entire deck and win the game in one turn, prompting an errata for Library Access (which is now purged after playing). The Battle Fleet + Key Abduction combo provided Mars competitive success in an otherwise mediocre house. Some of the initially most sought after decks included the four Horsemen in Sanctum or a double Timetraveller in Logos.

Special Rarity Cards

CotA introduced Special rarity cards. “Fixed” cards like the four Horsemen always appear together in a deck, and Timetraveller always appears together with Help from Future Self. Cards that don’t have the Special rarity symbol, but also always appear together with other cards are Faygin, Niffle Queen, Bear Flute and Troop Call, while Routine Job always appears at least in a pair.

Another type of Special rarity cards are “variant” cards, where different versions of a card exist, such as: Master of 1, Master of 2 and Master of 3.

Card Distribution

This table indicates how many cards are in each house of Call of the Archons and how many are of each rarity.

Rarity Brobnar.png Dis.png Logos.png Mars.png Sanctum.png Shadows.png Untamed.png Total
Total 52 54 53 52 55 52 52 370
Common 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 112
Uncommon 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 112
Rare 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 140
Special 2 1 3 6


Kf01 anc spread.png

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.

Competitive Success

Most Popular Cards in CotA Vault Tour
Winning Decks, by Rarity
Shadows.png Relentless Whispers (12)
Dis.png Control the Weak (11)
Dis.png Shooler (9)
Logos.png Wild Wormhole (9)
Shadows.png Bait and Switch (8)
Dis.png Dust Imp (8)
Shadows.png Nerve Blast (8)
Logos.png Twin Bolt Emission (8)
Dis.png Poltergeist (6)
Shadows.png Special Delivery (5)
Shadows.png Carlo Phantom (4)
Shadows.png Lights Out (4)
Untamed.png Nature’s Call (4)
Shadows.png Speed Sigil (4)
Dis.png Three Fates (4)
Rares & Specials
Shadows.png Routine Job (4)
Logos.png Help from Future Self (3)
Shadows.png Imperial Traitor (3)
Logos.png Timetraveller (3)
Shadows.png Finishing Blow (2)
Shadows.png Masterplan (2)
Dis.png Restringuntus (2)
Logos.png Skippy Timehog (2)
Untamed.png Teliga (2)

Call of the Archons is widely considered a very successful set in the competitive Archon scene. It dominated Archon Vault Tours for a significant period, winning every Archon Vault Tour until the release of Worlds Collide. The set contains many extremely powerful cards that are useful in both control and rush deck archetypes, allowing the set to remain competitive for a long time.

The most popular cards in Call of the Archons Vault Tour winning decks are in the table below. The data includes all Vault Tour winning Call of the Archons decks from the 2019 Eindhoven Vault Tour to the 2020 Albany Vault Tour. While this list includes the most popular cards among Vault Tour winners, it is important to note that there are many powerful cards that did not make the list. Even though every house in Call of the Archons has won a Vault Tour at least once, the data is biased toward the most competitively successful houses, which have been Shadows, Dis, Logos, and Untamed.

(Note: Decks that won more than one Vault Tour are only counted once.)

Most Popular Cards in
CotA Vault Tour Winning Decks
Card House Rarity Count
Relentless Whispers Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 12
Control the Weak Dis.png Rarity-common.png 11
Shooler Dis.png Rarity-common.png 9
Wild Wormhole Logos.png Rarity-common.png 9
Bait and Switch Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 8
Dust Imp Dis.png Rarity-common.png 8
Nerve Blast Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 8
Twin Bolt Emission Logos.png Rarity-common.png 8
Charette Dis.png Rarity-common.png 7
Ember Imp Dis.png Rarity-common.png 7
Phase Shift Logos.png Rarity-common.png 7
Urchin Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 7
Dust Pixie Untamed.png Rarity-common.png 6
Labwork Logos.png Rarity-common.png 6
Pit Demon Dis.png Rarity-common.png 6
Poison Wave Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 6
Poltergeist Dis.png Rarity-uncommon.png 6
Quixo the “Adventurer” Logos.png Rarity-common.png 6
Titan Mechanic Logos.png Rarity-common.png 6
Dodger Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 5
Library Access Logos.png Rarity-common.png 5
Mother Logos.png Rarity-common.png 5
Silvertooth Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 5
Special Delivery Shadows.png Rarity-uncommon.png 5
The Terror Dis.png Rarity-common.png 5
Carlo Phantom Shadows.png Rarity-uncommon.png 4
Dextre Logos.png Rarity-common.png 4
Effervescent Principle Logos.png Rarity-common.png 4
Foggify Logos.png Rarity-common.png 4
Ganymede Archivist Logos.png Rarity-common.png 4
Gateway to Dis Dis.png Rarity-common.png 4
Ghostly Hand Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 4
Library of Babble Logos.png Rarity-common.png 4
Lights Out Shadows.png Rarity-uncommon.png 4
Nature’s Call Untamed.png Rarity-uncommon.png 4
Nexus Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 4
Noddy the Thief Shadows.png Rarity-common.png 4
Protectrix Sanctum.png Rarity-common.png 4
Routine Job Shadows.png Rarity-rare.png 4
Speed Sigil Shadows.png Rarity-uncommon.png 4
Succubus Dis.png Rarity-common.png 4
Three Fates Dis.png Rarity-uncommon.png 4

Last updated on February 7, 2020

Most Successful Houses

The following is a graph containing a house breakdown of all Call of the Archons decks that have reached a Vault Tour top cut. House Shadows is the most dominant house in Call of the Archons by a considerable margin, as it is extremely popular in both Sealed and Archon events.

(Note: For the sake of simplicity, decks can be counted more than once for this data.)

House Breakdown of All Top
Call of the Archons Decks
All Time
CotA 46 108 78 43 55 156 81 189

Last updated February 12, 2020


Along single Archon decks, a Call of the Archons starter set was released. It included 2 unique Archon decks and 2 standardized learning decks, 6 Key tokens, 2 Chain Tracker cards, 22 Damage tokens, 26 Æmber tokens, 10 Power cards and 10 Stun cards.

See also

KeyForge Sets
Houses • 
Sets • 
Keywords • 
News •