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Every KeyForge deck consists of 3 of the 7 houses that are part of a KeyForge Set.

The original houses introduced in Call of the Archons were Brobnar, Dis, Logos, Mars, Sanctum, Shadows and Untamed. The same houses were in the game's second set, Age of Ascension. The first two new houses were Saurian and Star Alliance, both introduced in Worlds Collide. Mass Mutation brought back house Sanctum, while Brobnar was rotated out. Dark Tidings introduced the new house Unfathomable, replacing house Dis. Winds of Exchange introduces house Ekwidon, Grim Reminders will introduce house Geistoid and Æmber Skies will introduce house Skyborn. Additional new houses could appear in future sets, replacing old ones which can then come back in a later set.

Each house in KeyForge has a very distinct look, theme and style of play. While most mechanics are shared among multiple houses, each house excels in a different aspect of the game. However, as each new set introduces more than 50% new cards, house identities also evolve over time.


An example of a card from house Brobnar
Brobnar is the fighting house, thematically inspired by Norse mythology and warrior culture. It features Giants and Goblins, along with powerful effects that enhance and reward fighting and destroying enemy creatures. Unlike many other houses, Æmber control is primarily achieved through Æmber destruction (instead of capturing or stealing).

Examples of typical Brobnar cards are Ganger Chieftain, Loot the Bodies, Grump Buggy and Pile of Skulls. Uniquely, in Worlds Collide all common Giant creatures also have a more powerful Mega variant.

With limited potential for Æmber gain and Æmber control, Brobnar wasn't a powerhouse in the earlier sets, but later on with cards like Brikk Nastee and Hallafest it became much more competitive.

Full list of Brobnar cards


An example of a card from house Dis
Dis is the disruption house, with an infernal theme embodied by Demons and Imps. Preventing players from choosing a house, from drawing or playing cards, giving chains, discarding and purging cards are all common ways Dis can control the game.

Some of the most powerful cards in KeyForge are in Dis: Control the Weak, Ember Imp, Gateway to Dis, Collar of Subordination and Infurnace.

Dis has proven to be a staple of many competitive decks, especially in Call of the Archons.

Full list of Dis cards


An example of a card from house Ekwidon
Introduced in Winds of Exchange, Ekwidon is a trade-inspired house.

Some of the most powerful and popular Ekwidon cards are: Prospector, Closed-Door Negotiation, Antiquities Dealer, Corner the Market and Exchange Program.

Full list of Ekwidon cards


An example of a card from house Geistoid
The most recent addition to the world of KeyForge, Geistoid was introduced in Grim Reminders and became an instant powerhouse.

Some of the most powerful and popular Ekwidon cards are: Ecto-Charge, Winds of Death, Be Our Geist, The Grim Reaper and Future is Past.

Full list of Geistoid cards


An example of a card from house Logos
Inspired by scientific and technological themes, Logos is the efficiency house. Drawing and archiving are the most prevalent mechanics in house Logos. Along with deck manipulation and allowing playing cards not from the active house, it brings consistency to decks more than any other house.

Library Access, Mother, Wild Wormhole, Interdimensional Graft and EDAI “Edie” 4x4 are some of the most popular and iconic Logos cards that helped Logos be among the best houses in each set.

Full list of Logos cards


An example of a card from house Mars
Drawing from classic pop culture depictions of Martians, this is the most insular house in KeyForge, with many effects that synergize only with other Mars cards. Examples of typical Mars cards are “John Smyth”, Mothergun, Mars First and Xanthyx Harvester. A secondary theme is abducting creatures into their opponent's archives, with cards like Collector Worm and Uxlyx the Zookeeper.

While traditionally regarded as the weakest house in Call of the Archons, it proved to be more competitive in Age of Ascension, especially with the Martian Generosity + Key Abduction combo decks. Mars was rotated out after Age of Ascension, but returned stronger than ever in Winds of Exchange.

Full list of Mars cards


An example of a card from house Sanctum
Sanctum is a contrast to the demonic Dis: a house of Monks and angelic Knights. Sanctum's primary themes are board control through powerful creatures with armor, capturing Æmber and healing. Secondary themes are stunning and Æmber burst. Notable examples are cards like Bulwark, Virtuous Works, Doorstep to Heaven and Sir Marrows.

Similar to Mars, its strength improved in Age of Ascension with cards like Proclamation 346E, The Grey Rider and Barrister Joya.

Full list of Sanctum cards


An example of a card from house Saurian
With a unique mix of Greco-Roman culture and dinosaurs, Saurian was one of the new houses in the game's third set, Worlds Collide. Exploring the theme of hubris through the exalt keyword that was introduced exclusively with Saurians, big creatures with high risk / high reward effects define this house: Senator Shrix, Cincinnatus Rex, Saurus Rex, Gargantodon and many others.

Secondary themes include steal-hate, capturing and warding. Saurian immediately proved to be both a fan favorite and a competitively successful house.

Full list of Saurian cards


An example of a card from house Shadows
Shadows is the sneaky house. It contains small, elusive creatures and powerful effects that deal direct damage and, more than any other house, steal Æmber. This is emphasized with cards like Ronnie Wristclocks, Miasma, Relentless Whispers and Too Much to Protect.

Bait and Switch was largely considered to be the best card in the game, until it was errata'd and its power considerably lowered.

As stealing is arguably the most impactful mechanic in the game, Shadows has proven to be by far the most competitively successful house across the game's first two sets.

Full list of Shadows cards

Star Alliance

An example of a card from house Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Introduced in Worlds Collide alongside Saurian and inspired by classic sci-fi tropes, Star Alliance is thematically the opposite of house Mars. As the primary mechanics are allowing playing and using cards outside of the active house, Star Alliance brings cohesion and efficiency to decks. This is exemplified in cards like Captain Val Jericho, Com. Officer Kirby, United Action and Commander Chan.

Star Alliance also has more upgrades than any other house, including a unique Blaster for each common creature in Worlds Collide, as well as Robot creatures that can also be played as upgrades. Just like Saurian, Star Alliance is considered one of the best houses in Worlds Collide.

Full list of Star Alliance cards


An example of a card from house Unfathomable
House Unfathomable features aquatic creatures and a deep-sea theme. Taking the place of house Dis in Dark Tidings, it aims to slow down and control the opponent, primarily by exhausting their cards and preventing them from playing or using cards. Storm Surge, Kiri Giltspine, Kaupe and Brain Drain are all examples of this theme.
Full list of Unfathomable cards


An example of a card from house Untamed
Untamed is the house inspired by nature and wilderness, featuring animals, plants, humans and other lifeforms. Untamed's primary themes are Æmber burst and recursion. Dust Pixie, Hunting Witch, Witch of the Eye and Key Charge are some of the cards that made Untamed the house with the best Æmber generation in Call of the Archons.

Mimicry, Nepenthe Seed, Duskwitch and Heart of the Forest are some of the other iconic Untamed cards.

Full list of Untamed cards

Competitive success

Share of KeyForge Decks
with Power Levels 4-8
387 decks
St. dev.: 19%
203 decks
SD: 9%
261 decks
SD: 13%
Brobnar icon 27%
Dis icon 60%
Logos icon 44%
Mars icon 21%
Sanctum icon 27%
Shadows icon 78%
Untamed icon 43%
Brobnar icon 32%
Dis icon 45%
Logos icon 49%
Mars icon 38%
Sanctum icon 39%
Shadows icon 62%
Untamed icon 35%
Brobnar icon 18%
Dis icon 44%
Logos icon 55%
Saurian icon 59%
Shadows icon 36%
Star Alliance icon 48%
Untamed icon 39%
Last updated: March 17, 2020

The comparative strength of houses within a set varies across different sets. One way of assessing this strength is through competitive success in KeyForge Organized Play. For this purpose, this includes all decks with power level 4 and above.

A deck can attain this power level by reaching the Top 16 of a Vault Tour, the Top 8 of a Grand Championship, the final of a Prime Championship, or earn the maximum power level in Chainbound tournaments. Except for Chainbound, this includes both Archon and Sealed tournaments.

In a perfectly balanced set, each house would be on average represented in 3 out of every 7 decks (~43%). In reality, some houses are often much more successful than others within a set.

Vault Tour Success

The following graphs depict the house breakdowns of all decks that reached the top cut of a Vault Tour.

Note: For the sake of simplicity, decks can be counted more than once for this data if they reached the top cut of multiple events.

House Breakdown of All Top
Call of the Archons Decks
All Time
CotA 46 108 78 43 55 156 81 189
House Breakdown of All Top
Age of Ascension Decks
All Time
AoA 24 42 35 31 32 58 30 84
House Breakdown of All Top
Worlds Collide Decks
All Time
Saurian P.png
Star Alliance.png
WC 11 16 24 36 17 28 15 49

Last updated February 12, 2020

Further reading

Blood of Titans: Previewing House Brobnar in KeyForge, 26 September 2018
Dance of Doom: Previewing House Dis in KeyForge, 3 October 2018
Knowledge Is Power: Previewing House Logos in KeyForge: Call of the Archons, 10 October 2018
Mars Attacks! House Mars in KeyForge: Call of the Archons, 29 October 2018
The Glorious Few: House Sanctum in KeyForge: Call of the Archons, 31 October 2018
Perilous Wilds: House Untamed in Keyforge: Call of the Archons, 5 November 2018
The Master Plan: House Shadows in KeyForge: Call of the Archons, 12 November 2018
Favor of Rex: Previewing the Saurian Republic in KeyForge: Worlds Collide, 7 October 2019
Set Stunners To...: Previewing the Star Alliance in KeyForge: Worlds Collide, 21 October 2019