Call of the Archons
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.
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.
This table indicates how many cards are in each house of Call of the Archons and how many are of each rarity.
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.
|Most Popular Cards in CotA Vault Tour|
Winning Decks, by Rarity
|Rares & Specials|
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.)
|Control the Weak||11|
|Bait and Switch||8|
|Twin Bolt Emission||8|
|Quixo the “Adventurer”||6|
|Gateway to Dis||4|
|Library of Babble||4|
|Noddy the Thief||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
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.