Tournament Guidelines

From Archon Arcana - The KeyForge Wiki

This document represents Ghost Galaxy’s most recent version of Tournament Rules & Guidelines (TRG) for the KeyForge game. All official KeyForge events must be officiated in accordance with these rules and guidelines. The objective of the TRG is to provide players and event staff with the necessary information to have a successful, fair, and fun tournament. Information for event organizers on how to plan and execute a successful KeyForge event, which may include one or more official tournaments, will be detailed in a separate document. Adherence to the TRG allows for a uniformity of competition across KeyForge events played at different times and in different places, and provides the standard by which tournaments will be played and disputes resolved by, to the best extent possible, avoids subjectivity. This document will be updated over time. Such updates may reflect new rules, clarifications, or guidelines, or may alter or reverse prior ones.

Change Summary for Version 1.3

  • A clarification has been added about event staff not being allowed to play in official tournaments at an event in which they are working.
  • Notes about resolving conflict between rules or card abilities in different languages have been added.
  • A new section addressing requests for Special Accommodations has been added to the Conduct rules.
  • The rules for References and Notetaking have been clarified.
  • The section formerly known as “Foreign Language Cards” has been retitled “Deck Languages.”
  • A new section addressing Tardiness and Absence has been added.
  • The descriptions of the four official tournament formats have been updated to be consistent with the terminology used in the Playstile 2LO tournament structure.
  • The rules for Alliance deck construction involving Winds of Exchange decks and token creature selection have been clarified.
  • Several other minor revisions have been throughout the document to correct typos or make terminology more consistent.

Definitions

Please find below definitions of the various terms used in the Tournament Rules and Guidelines (TRG).

Event Structure

Event

A group of KeyForge players, gathered in whole or part by use of the KeyForge brand, for the purpose of running one or more casual or official KeyForge tournaments.

Tournament

A competition between KeyForge players resolved by playing games of KeyForge in a tournament format. Tournaments may be either casual or official, and official tournaments may be either a qualifier or championship.

A casual tournament is administered under the TRG which may, or may not, have prize support provided from Ghost Galaxy or the event organizer. Results of casual tournaments do not grant players advancement towards qualifying for a championship-level tournament. Casual tournaments may use any format specified by the event organizer, including official formats (described later in this document) or any alternative format as directed by the event organizer.

An official tournament is a tournament administered under the TRG organized by Ghost Galaxy or its designated tournament organizer. Official tournaments may involve player qualification or other advancement to higher-level official tournaments. Prize support at qualifying tournaments is provided by Ghost Galaxy. Qualifying tournaments must use one of the official formats described in this document.

Official Format

A set of rules by which official KeyForge tournaments are governed. Specific formats are detailed later in this document.

Gameplay

Rules and Guidelines

Tournament rules are objective methods provided in the TRG related to organizing and officiating KeyForge events.

Tournament guidelines are parameters for handling situations related to KeyForge events not explicitly covered by tournament rules. Within the parameters provided in the TRG, leeway is granted to event organizers to make necessary adjustments for variable circumstances in which a given event takes place.

Game Rules

The rules of play for the KeyForge game, as provided by Ghost Galaxy in the most recent version of the document titled KeyForge Master Rulebook. The rulebook and its companion document, Learn to Play KeyForge, can both be downloaded at keyforging.com.

Game Components

All necessary materials for playing KeyForge, including decks, tokens, and counters. A detailed list of player-provided materials is included later in this document.

Game State

The current legal position and status of all game components is known as the game state. Players are responsible for maintaining a legal game state in their own tournament games at all times.

KeyForge Master Rulebook

KEYFORGE MASTER RULEBOOK The comprehensive document found on keyforging.com that contains the most recently-updated rules for KeyForge, including clarifications and errata.

If there is a discrepancy between the English language version of the KeyForge Master Rulebook and a version localized in another language, the English language version takes precedence.

Play Area

Each player in a match maintains his or her own play area, which includes the game components currently being used by that player. A play area is part of the game state. Each player is responsible for maintaining an orderly play area so as to avoid confusion in the game state.

Round

Tournaments are divided into a number of rounds, with each round consisting of multiple matches. The event organizer determines the number of rounds needed for a successful tournament, based on the number of participating players.

Match

A match is either a single game, or a series of games, played between two players within a tournament round.

Roles at a KeyForge Event

KeyForge events involve several different defined roles. The same person may assume more than one role at an event.

Participant

Every person at a KeyForge event is a participant, including players, judges, marshal, event staff, event organizers, and spectators.

Event Organizer (also known as Tournament Organizer)

The person, group of persons, or organization responsible for administering and officiating an event. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, collecting entry fees, officiating the tournament, judging disputes, and rewarding prizes.

Event organizers may be Ghost Galaxy employees or approved third parties.

Event Staff

The people working for the event organizer to help facilitate the running of the tournament, including judges. Event staff cannot also be players in official tournaments at an event in which they are working.

Player

An individual that plays KeyForge in a tournament. When a player is not actively engaged in a tournament game of KeyForge, the player is a spectator.

Judge

A person, well-versed in the game’s rules and regulations, appointed by the event organizer to officiate the tournament and game rules for tournament games. A judge not currently on duty is a spectator, and the judge must make that distinction clear to all participants.

A judge’s responsibilities include assisting players to resolve disputes, answering questions regarding the tournament rules and game rules, and issuing warnings and penalties when needed. In escalated disputes, judges delegate final rulings to a marshal.

Marshal

The person of authority appointed by event organizers to enforce the TRG and facilitate the fair and orderly conduct of tournaments. Disputes between players may be escalated (from a judge) to a marshal, who shall adjudicate the dispute and make a final ruling. The marshal has the authority to disqualify players from tournaments and eject participants from the event.

If a player requests a judgment from the marshal, the marshal shall listen to the dispute from the perspective of both players and the officiating judge, if any. The marshal may confer with other officials and judges prior to making a final ruling. A ruling made by a marshal is final.

Each event must have a marshal. A marshal may also be a judge, but need not be. A marshal not currently on duty is a spectator, and the marshal must make that distinction clear to all participants.

Spectator

Any individual physically at a tournament not actively engaging in another role. Spectators must not disturb an ongoing game, and cannot provide any input or assistance to players during their games. If a spectator believes they have witnessed a breach of the rules in a game they are watching, the spectator may bring it to the attention of a judge. Spectators must abide by the conduct rules outlined in this document.

Conduct

All KeyForge event participants are expected to act in a respectful manner for the duration of the event. Additionally, all participants are expected to adhere to all of the rules and guidelines outlined in this document, the Master KeyForge Rulebook, any additional rules imposed by the event organizers or facility managers, as well as federal, state, and local laws.

During tournament games, players are responsible for maintaining the game state in their own matches and ensuring that all rules are followed. During a match, players must maintain their own play areas in a neat and orderly manner so that the current state of the game is always obvious. It is both players’ responsibility to maintain a proper game state, and to ensure that all mandatory abilities and game steps are acknowledged. If a player forgets to use an optional effect during the timing specified by that effect, the player cannot retroactively use it without the consent of the opponent. This includes any optional actions a player could take as a result of correcting a game state. Players are expected to act with respect and not intentionally distract or rush an opponent with the intent of forcing a missed opportunity. Likewise, players are expected to avoid slow play and other unnecessary delays during a match.

If players have a dispute during a game and cannot resolve it themselves, they must call for a judge. The judge answers questions and provides any needed rulings. If necessary, a dispute between a player and a judge who is not also the marshal, may be escalated to the marshal by either player. The marshal has the final say in all disputes.

When a judge is observing a game or an issue is brought to his or her attention, the judge should inform players when they are not following the game rules. Players have an initial opportunity to resolve any situation among themselves, but any player may alternatively ask the judge to make a ruling. In the event the judge assisting in the matter is not a marshal, a player may request that a marshal be brought in to make a final ruling.

Anyone observing a match who is not a judge or marshal is a spectator. All spectators must avoid interfering with a match and should not insert themselves into a dispute between the players of a match. If a spectator is being disruptive to a match, the players in that match should ask for the disruptive behavior to cease, and if necessary, call the marshal to resolve the matter.

Special Accomodations

If a player has a specific need to allow them to participate in a tournament, that player should inform the tournament organizer of their needs during the check-in process, before the first round of the tournament has begun.

The tournament organizer and other event staff will assess each request for special accommodations on a case-by-case basis and determine the best way to proceed.

Unsporting Conduct

All tournament participants are expected to behave in a mature and considerate manner. Additionally, players are expected to play within the rules of the game and not abuse them. Unsporting conduct is behaving in a way that interferes with fair play and the ability for participants to enjoy the event. A non-exhaustive list of examples follows:

  • Aggressive or offensive behavior
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Stalling a game for time
  • Throwing game components
  • Intentionally trying to confuse an opponent
  • Disrupting a match in progress
  • Utilizing an electronic device to gain an advantage over an opponent
  • Mishandling or intentionally damaging another participant’s personal property
  • Bribery or colluding with other participants to manipulate tournament results

Tardness and Absence

Each player is responsible for being present at the correct table at the start of a tournament round. Players should attend to all personal needs prior to the start of the round to avoid disruptions or delays during a match.

If a player is not in their correct seat by the scheduled start time of the round, then that player is tardy. If the tardy player arrives at the correct table within five minutes of the start of the round, they receive a formal warning. The match may then proceed normally with a time extension equal to the delay since the start of the round. If the tardy player does not arrive to their correct seat within five minutes of the start of the round, the tardy player receives an automatic game loss.

If a player has to leave a match in progress for any amount of time, they must bring the matter to the attention of a judge.

Rules Infractions

A rules infraction is any situation where a player is not correctly following the rules of the game or the rules outlined in the TRG. Rules infractions can also apply to spectators who are not following the rules in the TRG. A non-exhaustive list of possible rules infractions follows:

  • Gameplay errors, including but not limited to:
    • Missed game steps
    • Missed mandatory card abilities
    • Failing to promptly correct an incorrect game state
  • Tardiness (5 minutes or more)
  • Absence at the start of a match
  • Failing a deck check
  • Intentional slow play
  • Ignoring instructions or warnings from a judge, marshal, or event organizer
  • Cheating, including colluding with other participants to manipulate tournament results

Penalties

A judge or marshal may issue penalties to players or spectators for rules infractions or unsporting conduct. Penalties can involve warnings, automatic game losses, disqualification from a tournament, and ejection from the event.

Warnings

A judge or marshal may issue warnings to players or spectators for rules infractions or unsporting conduct. Warnings may be either informal or formal.

Informal warnings are generally friendly reminders issued to participants for minor infractions. If a judge or marshal has to repeatedly issue the same warning to a participant, a formal warning should be given. Informal warnings are best used to correct honest mistakes or minor misbehavior.

Formal warnings are issued for serious rules infractions or serious unsporting conduct, or when a participant has already been issued one or more informal warnings and has failed to correct the behavior. When a participant receives a formal warning, the judge or marshal issuing the warning records it in a log and informs the event staff.

Participants who receive two formal warnings in the same tournament will receive a penalty up to and including ejection from the event, at the discretion of the marshal.

If a player’s transgression is deemed serious enough, at the marshal’s sole discretion, the judge or marshal may forgo warnings and proceed directly to issuing a penalty on the offending player.

Penalties are as follows:

Automatic Game Loss

A judge or marshal may issue an automatic game loss to a player.

Automatic game losses should not be issued lightly. If a rules infraction can be reasonably corrected in a way that preserves the integrity and fairness of the game, then the corrective action should be taken and a warning should be issued.

Tournament Disqualification

The marshal may disqualify a player from a tournament for a serious rules infraction or for serious unsporting conduct. A disqualified player is immediately eliminated from the tournament. If the disqualified player was in the middle of a match, his or her opponent receives a win for that match.

Disqualification should never be issued lightly. In most cases, at least one formal warning should first be issued to the offending player.

Ejection from the Event

In the most serious situations of rules infractions or unsporting conduct, the marshal may eject a player or spectator from the event. The ejected person must leave the premises immediately.

Ejection from the event should never be issued lightly. In most cases, at least one formal warning should first be issued to the offending player or spectator.

Player Materials

Players are responsible for providing their own components needed to play a game of KeyForge at a KeyForge event. This includes all necessary tokens, counters, reference cards, deck list cards, and Archon identity cards.

Archon and Deck List Cards

Each KeyForge deck consists of 36 cards (12 from each of the deck’s 3 houses), an Archon identity card, the reverse side of which is the deck list for that KeyForge deck, and, where applicable, a set specific reference card (Tide, Token).

Each player must present the Archon identity card or cards used in a tournament when registering for the event. A player’s Archon identity card or cards must be visible at all times during a match. Depending on the format of the event, the decklist may be hidden from the opponent.

Proxy decks or cards are not allowed in official KeyForge tournaments.

Card Sleeves

Players are required to sleeve their decks in opaque card sleeves for all official KeyForge events. All sleeves within a single deck must be identical in size, color, texture, and condition. All players are encouraged to have extra sleeves available to replace sleeves that become damaged during an event.

Casual events may omit the card sleeve requirements at the discretion of the event organizer.

Tokens, Counters, and Status Cards

KeyForge uses a variety of different tokens, counters, and status cards to track various aspects of gameplay. In official tournaments, players may use the cardboard tokens and counters and/or status cards included in any KeyForge starter set, or they may use third-party components provided those components adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Different tokens and counters are clearly distinguishable and resistant to accidental modification.
  • Tokens and counters are of a reasonable size and do not unnecessarily obscure card information.
  • Each set of keys includes one each of the colors blue, red, and yellow. Keys must have a distinct and easily-discernible difference between their unforged and forged sides.
  • Chain trackers clearly show the number of chains a player currently has.

References and Notetaking

Players cannot take notes or reference third-party information during a match. However, players may ask a judge for clarification from official rule documents. Official rule documents include the current version of the KeyForge Master Rulebook, the KeyForge Master Vault, this TRG document, and any additional rules documents that may be published by Ghost Galaxy in the future.

Using tally marks, dice, tokens, or similar forms of memory aid to help accurately track the game state is not considered notetaking. Any such materials used to track the game state must be clearly explained and visible to the opponent.

Deck Languages

Event organizers may determine which languages are standard for KeyForge decks used at an event. English is always considered a standard language for all official KeyForge tournaments. Each player is responsible for knowing how to play the cards in their own deck. If a player is using cards printed in a non-standard language, that player must provide their opponent with a deck list printed in one of the event’s standard languages. Event staff may use the KeyForge Master Vault to reference cards during a match to answer questions about cards in non-standard languages.

If there is a discrepancy between the English language version of a card and a the same card localized in another language, the English language version takes precedence.

Maintaining an Orderly Play Area

Players must maintain an orderly play area during a match so that the current state of the game is always obvious. A very disorderly play area creates confusion and can be considered unsporting conduct. An orderly play area includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

  • A player’s Æmber pool is clearly defined, well separated from the common supply, and easily countable
  • The difference between ready and exhausted cards is always clear
  • A player’s deck, discard pile, archives and hand are always distinctly maintained
  • Upgrades are attached to cards in a way that they can be easily identified
  • Purged cards are removed from the play area in such a way that they cannot be confused for cards in play or in another out-of-play zone

Round Times and Going to Time

For all formats, elimination rounds, quarter final rounds, and semi-final rounds last 45 minutes each. The final match (best-of-three) is untimed.

Going to Time

If a match is still in progress when time is called for the round, play proceeds to the following steps:

  1. The player (Player One) who is currently taking their turn finishes their turn. If Player One achieves victory by the end of their turn, the game ends. Otherwise proceed to step 2.
  2. The opponent (Player Two) then takes their turn. If Player Two achieves victory by the end of their turn, the game ends. Otherwise, proceed to step 3.
  3. Player One starts their final turn. This final turn

proceeds until Step 1 (the “Forge a Key” step) has been completed, then the turn ends. If Player One achieves victory by the end of this turn, the game ends. Otherwise proceed to the tie-breaker rules below.

If neither player has achieved victory (forged three Keys) after the completion of this final turn, they must follow the steps below (in order) to determine who receives a win for the current game. That player’s opponent receives a loss for the game. Note: The following steps take place in a post-game tiebreaker phase. While following these steps, neither player is considered to be currently taking their turn, and no card abilities are active.

  1. Each player who has at least 6   forges one Key (removing the six Æmber from their pool as usual). Cards that affect Æmber costs have no effect during this step. Each player can only forge 1 key from this step.
  2. The player with the most Keys forged is the winner. If there is a tie, proceed to step 3.
  3. The player with the most remaining Æmber in their pool is the winner. If there is still a tie, proceed to step 4.
  4. The player with the lowest number of chains is the winner. If there is still a tie, proceed to step 5.
  5. The player with the most friendly creatures in play is the winner. If there is still a tie, proceed to step 6.
  6. The first player is the winner.

Example: Time is called in a game during Player One's turn. Player One finishes their turn and has 1 forged key and 13 .

Player Two now takes their final turn, and after completing that turn has 2 forged keys and 7 , and Player One still has 13  in their pool. Player One now performs one final "forge a key" step; Player Two has a card in play that increases Player One's key cost by 1 , so Player One spends 7  to forge their second key, leaving them with a total of 2 forged keys and 6 .

Because neither player has forged three keys, the game proceeds to a tiebreaker phase: Both players simultaneously perform a “Forge a Key” step (no card abilities are active, so the key cost is 6 ). After this step, Player One has 3 forged keys and 0  and Player Two has 3 forged keys and 1 . Since both players have the same number of forged keys, they compare Æmber pools. Player Two has the most Æmber in their pool and wins the game.

Official Formats

This section describes the four approved formats for official KeyForge tournaments.

Archon

The Archon format pits a player’s single Archon deck against their opponent’s chosen Archon deck.

Each Player Uses: One KeyForge Archon deck from any set deemed legal by the event organizer.

Registration: Each player must register themselves and their Archon deck at the event HQ. The Archon deck must be complete and unmodified.

Deck Lists: Decklists are open information. Players must allow their opponent time to review their decklist prior to the start of the match, and at any time during then match if requested.

Qualifying Rounds: Archon format tournaments use the Playstile 2LO structure and are played over a series of qualifying rounds, with each round featuring any number of two-player matches, and each match consisting of one game. The winner of each match is responsible for reporting the match result to the event HQ.

Players are eliminated after losing two matches, also known as “two loss out (2LO).”

Qualifying rounds continue until a predetermined number of players make the top cut (usually eight players). The size of the top cut and the number of qualifying rounds needed to reach it depend on the number of players at the beginning of the tournament. The event organizer will make these determinations prior to the start of the first tournament round.

Finals: After concluding the qualifying rounds, the remaining players who have qualified for the top cut proceed to the finals. The finals consist of single-elimination matches until only two players remain.

The final match is played as a best-of-three series. In other words, for the match to be resolved, players continue to play games until one player has won two games. The player who lost the previous game chooses which player will act as “first player” for the next game, if necessary.

You can read more about the Playstile 2LO tournament structure at keyforging.com/playstile-2lo-tournaments

Sealed Archon

The Sealed Archon format challenges each player to win with a single KeyForge deck.

Each Player Uses: One sealed KeyForge deck. A sealed deck is one that is unopened and sealed in its original packaging prior to the start of the tournament. Event organizers may choose to provide one or more sealed decks to each player as part of registration. If the event organizer provides multiple decks, each player must choose a single deck to use for the tournament prior to the start of the first round.

Registration: Each player must register themselves at the event HQ and either present their sealed deck (as proof that it is sealed), or obtain the sealed deck from the event organizer.

Opening Decks: At least 15 minutes prior to the start of the first round, all players simultaneously open their sealed decks. Each player may study their own deck up until the start of the first tournament round. The event organizer will determine whether this is done prior to the first round pairings, or after.

Deck Lists: Decklists are kept hidden from the opposing player during a match. Players can choose to make their decklists visible to spectators but are not required to do so. Players must show their decklist to event staff whenever requested.

Qualifying Rounds: Sealed Archon format tournaments use the Playstile 2LO structure and are played over a series of qualifying rounds, with each round featuring any number of two-player matches, and each match consisting of one game. The winner of each match is responsible for reporting the match result to the event HQ.

Players are eliminated after losing two matches, also known as “two loss out (2LO).”

Qualifying rounds continue until a predetermined number of players make the top cut (usually eight players). The size of the top cut and the number of qualifying rounds needed to reach it depend on the number of players at the beginning of the tournament. The event organizer will make these determinations prior to the start of the first tournament round.

Finals: After concluding the qualifying rounds, the remaining players who have qualified for the top cut proceed to the finals. The finals consist of single-elimination matches until only two players remain.

The final match is played as a best-of-three series. In other words, for the match to be resolved, players continue to play games until one player has won two games. The player who lost the previous game chooses which player will act as “first player” for the next game, if necessary.

You can read more about the Playstile 2LO tournament structure at keyforging.com/playstile-2lo-tournaments

Alliance


The Alliance format challenges both a player’s gameplay skills and deck-construction strategy by allowing Alliance decks to be created from up to three different Archon decks from the same KeyForge set.

Alliance Deck Creation: Prior to the start of an Alliance format tournament, each participating player must create an Alliance deck. An Alliance deck consists of three house pods from up to three different Archon decks from the same KeyForge set. Each selected house pod must be from a different house.

Additionally, each Alliance deck cannot contain more than one card by name from the Alliance Restricted List, and that card cannot appear in the Alliance deck in a greater quantity than specified in the Alliance Restricted List. If a player chooses to use a single unmodified Archon deck in an Alliance format tournament, that deck is not subject to the Alliance Restricted List.

A house pod is the group of 12 cards dedicated to a single house within a single Archon deck (each Archon deck always consists of three house pods of three different houses). For the purposes of resolving any card abilities, the list of cards in the house pod (as well as the houses of those cards) is considered to be on the deck’s Archon card.

If an Alliance deck is constructed from the Dark Tidings set, the deck must include the Tide reference card. Decks constructed from other sets cannot include the Tide reference card.

If an Alliance deck is constructed from the Winds of Exchange set, it must include exactly one token creature reference card from an Archon deck that contributed at least one house pod to the Alliance deck. Decks constructed from other sets cannot include token creature reference cards.

Each Player Uses: One KeyForge Alliance deck consisting of three house pods from up to three different Archon decks in the same KeyForge set. Alternatively, a player may bring one unmodified Archon deck.

Registration: Each player must register themselves and their deck at the event HQ. If a player is registering with an Alliance deck, the deck list card from every Archon deck used to construct the Alliance deck must be presented to HQ for inspection, and the player must register which house from each deck list was used to construct the Alliance deck. Alliance decks constructed from the Winds of Exchange set must also register the deck’s chosen token creature.

Deck Lists: Decklists are open information. Players must allow their opponent time to review their decklist prior to the start of the match, and at any time during the match if requested.

Qualifying Rounds: Alliance format tournaments use the Playstile 2LO structure and are played over a series of qualifying rounds, with each round featuring any number of two-player matches, and each match consisting of one game. The winner of each match is responsible for reporting the match result to the event HQ.

Players are eliminated after losing two matches, also known as “two loss out (2LO).”

Qualifying rounds continue until a predetermined number of players make the top cut (usually eight players). The size of the top cut and the number of qualifying rounds needed to reach it depend on the number of players at the beginning of the tournament. The event organizer will make these determinations prior to the start of the first tournament round.

Finals: After concluding the qualifying rounds, the remaining players who have qualified for the top cut proceed to the finals. The finals consist of single-elimination matches until only two players remain.

The final match is played as a best-of-three series. In other words, for the match to be resolved, players continue to play games until one player has won two games. The player who lost the previous game chooses which player will act as “first player” for the next game, if necessary.

You can read more about the Playstile 2LO tournament structure at keyforging.com/playstile-2lo-tournaments

Sealed Alliance

The Sealed Alliance format challenges each player to make the best deck combination from the house pods found in two or three sealed KeyForge decks.

Each Player Uses: Two or three sealed KeyForge Archon decks from the same KeyForge set (quantity determined by event organizer). A sealed deck is one that is unopened and in its original packaging. Event organizers may choose to provide sealed decks as part of registration.

Registration: Each player must register themselves at the event HQ and present their sealed Archon decks (as proof they are sealed), or obtain their sealed Archon decks if they are being provided by the event organizer.

Deck Lists: Decklists are kept hidden from the opposing player during a match, but each player must make their available houses known to their opponent at all times. Players can choose to make their decklists visible to spectators but are not required to do so. Players must show their decklist to event staff whenever requested.

Alliance Deck Creation: After registration is complete, all players simultaneously open their sealed decks. Each player constructs a single Alliance deck by selecting three different house pods from amongst all house pods provided by their sealed decks. Each selected house pod must be from a different house.

Alliance Sealed decks do not need to adhere to the Alliance Restricted List.

A house pod is the group of 12 cards dedicated to a single house within a single Archon deck (each Archon deck always consists of three house pods of three different houses).

If an Alliance deck is constructed from the Dark Tidings set, it must include the Tide reference card. Decks constructed from other sets cannot include the Tide reference card.

If an Alliance deck is constructed from the Winds of Exchange set, it must include exactly one token creature reference card from an Archon deck that contributed at least one house pod to the Alliance deck. Decks constructed from other sets cannot include token creature reference cards.

A player may choose to play with one of their sealed Archon decks in its original, unmodified state.

Deck construction must be completed within 30 minutes.

Qualifying Rounds: Sealed Alliance format tournaments use the Playstile 2LO structure, with each round featuring any number of two-player matches, and each match consisting of one game. The winner of each match is responsible for reporting the match result to the event HQ.

Players are eliminated after losing two matches, also known as “two loss out (2LO).”

Qualifying rounds continue until a predetermined number of players make the top cut (usually eight players). The size of the top cut and the number of qualifying rounds needed to reach it depend on the number of players at the beginning of the tournament. The event organizer will make these determinations prior to the start of the first tournament round. Finals: After concluding the qualifying rounds, the remaining players who have qualified for the top cut proceed to the finals. The finals consist of single-elimination matches until only two players remain.

The final match is played as a best-of-three series. In other words, for the match to be resolved, players continue to play games until one player has won two games. The player who lost the previous game chooses which player will act as “first player” for the next game, if necessary.

You can read more about the Playstile 2LO tournament structure at keyforging.com/playstile-2lo-tournaments

Alliance Restricted List

Each Alliance Standard deck cannot include more than one card by name from the following list. That card is known as the deck’s restricted card. Additionally, a deck’s restricted card cannot appear in the deck in a quantity greater than the Alliance Restricted List specifies.

Decks used in a Sealed Alliance tournament do not need to adhere to the restricted list.

Alliance Restricted List
Updated 18 April 2023
Card Name Sets* Quantity Allowed
Control the Weak CotA Any number
Dark Æmber Vault MM 1 per deck
Ghostform WC Any number
Library Access CotA 1 per deck
Martian Generosity AoA Any number
Restringuntus CotA, AoA 1 per deck
Sci. Officer Morpheus WC Any number
Scrambler Storm CotA Any number
Stealth Mode WC Any number
Timetraveller CotA, AoA Any number
United Action WC, DT Any number

* Sets listed include sets where the card was printed. Legacy versions of any card on the list are subject to the same restrictions.

Example 1: Suppose you have three house pods, all from the Age of Ascension set, that contain the following: Mars with two copies of Martian Generosity, Dis with one copy of Restringuntus, and Logos with two copies of Timetraveller (and none of those three pods contained any other restricted cards). Since all of those house pods contain a card from the restricted list, none of them can be combined into the same Alliance deck. However, any one of those pods could be used in an Alliance deck as long as that pod’s restricted card was the only restricted card, by name, in the entire Alliance deck.

Example 2: Suppose you have two house pods, both from the Call of the Archons set, that contain the following: Dis with one copy of Restringuntus, and Mars with a maverick Restringuntus. Those two house pods could not be combined into the same Alliance deck because Restringuntus is limited to 1 per deck.