Houses

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KeyForge Set
Brobnar.png
Dis.png
Logos.png
Mars.png
Sanctum.png
Saurian P.png
Shadows.png
Star Alliance.png
Untamed.png
1. Call of the Archons X X X X X
X
X
2. Age of Ascension X X X X X
X
X
3. Worlds Collide X X X

X X X X
4. Mass Mutation
X X
X X X X X

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 brings back house Sanctum, while Brobnar is rotated out. Additional new houses will appear in future sets, replacing old houses 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.

Brobnar

(For a list of all Brobnar cards, see Category:Brobnar.)

Brobnar.png
341-001.png

Brobnar is the fighting house, thematically inspired by Norse mythology and warrior culture. 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 any of the sets.

Dis

(For a list of all Dis cards, see Category:Dis.)

Dis.png
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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.

Logos

(For a list of all Logos cards, see Category:Logos.)

Logos.png
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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.

Mars

(For a list of all Mars cards, see Category:Mars.)

Mars.png
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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 they will return in a future set.

Sanctum

(For a list of all Sanctum cards, see Category:Sanctum.)

Sanctum.png
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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.

Similarly to Mars, its strength improved in Age of Ascension with cards like Proclamation 346E, The Grey Rider and Barrister Joya. Also like Mars, it was rotated out for Worlds Collide.

Saurian

(For a list of all Saurian cards, see Category:Saurian.)

Saurian P.png
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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.

Shadows

(For a list of all Shadows cards, see Category:Shadows.)

Shadows.png
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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.

Star Alliance

(For a list of all Star Alliance cards, see Category:Star Alliance.)

Star Alliance.png
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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.

Untamed

(For a list of all Untamed cards, see Category:Untamed.)

Untamed.png
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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.

Competitive success

Share of KeyForge Decks
with Power Levels 4-8
86%
6/7
71%
5/7
57%
4/7
43%
3/7
29%
2/7
14%
1/7
CotA
387 decks
St. dev.: 19%
AoA
203 decks
SD: 9%
WC
261 decks
SD: 13%
Brobnar.png 27%
Dis.png 60%
Logos.png 44%
Mars.png 21%
Sanctum.png 27%
Shadows.png 78%
Untamed.png 43%
Brobnar.png 32%
Dis.png 45%
Logos.png 49%
Mars.png 38%
Sanctum.png 39%
Shadows.png 62%
Untamed.png 35%
Brobnar.png 18%
Dis.png 44%
Logos.png 55%
Saurian P.png 59%
Shadows.png 36%
Star Alliance.png 48%
Untamed.png 39%
Avg.
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
46
108
78
43
55
156
81
Set
Brobnar.png
Dis.png
Logos.png
Mars.png
Sanctum.png
Shadows.png
Untamed.png
Total
CotA 46 108 78 43 55 156 81 189
House Breakdown of All Top
Age of Ascension Decks
All Time
24
42
35
31
32
58
30
Set
Brobnar.png
Dis.png
Logos.png
Mars.png
Sanctum.png
Shadows.png
Untamed.png
Total
AoA 24 42 35 31 32 58 30 84
House Breakdown of All Top
Worlds Collide Decks
All Time
11
16
24
36
17
28
15
Set
Brobnar.png
Dis.png
Logos.png
Saurian P.png
Shadows.png
Star Alliance.png
Untamed.png
Total
WC 11 16 24 36 17 28 15 49


Last updated February 12, 2020

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