02 August 2019
Mars and Sanctum out, anomalies and exalting in
The third set of cards for KeyForge is the most significant shift for Richard Garfield’s ‘unique deck game’ so far, rotating out two houses and introducing some new mechanics that have the potential to really shake up matches.
Worlds Collide follows last year’s Call of the Archons and this spring’s Age of Ascension in bringing several hundred new cards – over 250, to be exact, making the total card pool more than 400 – to KeyForge. That means a lot more one-of-a-kind decks, adding to the more than one million that have been registered in the game's companion app so far.
Although Worlds Collide decks can be used against decks from the previous sets, the set marks the first time that KeyForge’s card list has been rotated. Two houses, Mars and Sanctum, are being removed from the mix as two new houses, the Saurian Republic and the Grand Star Alliance, enter. For what it’s worth, publisher Fantasy Flight has left open the possibility of Mars and Sanctum returning in future sets, but for the time being they’re being set aside.
Worlds Collide also adds a brand new type of card: anomalies. Framed with crackling electricity, these rare cards can be aligned with any house and appear to have even more powerful abilities. The first anomaly card detailed is The Grim Reaper, a creature that enters play ready if a player is ‘haunted’ by having ten or more cards in their discard pile and removes both a friendly and enemy card permanently from the game (‘purge’, in KeyForge’s lingo) when it gains an æmber by reaping.
There are a number of other new mechanics and keywords, too. Warding allows creatures to gain shield-like tokens that are discarded in place of damage or being removed from play. Enrage, meanwhile, is a new type of status token that can be used in a number of different house-specific ways, from hindering an opponent’s ability to reap or use actions or buffing friendly creatures with more power.
Exalting puts a different spin on the existing capture mechanic. Instead of capturing æmber from an opponent and placing it on a creature, exalting claims æmber from the main supply. As with capturing, the æmber counts towards that player’s stash of the key-forging resource until the creature leaves play – it then goes to the opponent, making it a risk-reward decision.
Worlds Collide will make its way to KeyForge in Q4 2019, with a new $25 (£21) two-player starter set (which comes with two unique decks and the rest of the bits you need to play) and the typical standalone archon decks. Deluxe versions of the archon decks – coming in at $15 (£12) versus the regular $10 (£8) price – will come with enough tokens and counters for just one person.
Totally new is a $40 (£33) premium box, which comes with two decks, deck boxes, a token box and a fancier spinning chain dial to replace the basic chain tracker card and token. You’ll also get some stickers, which are apparently just for showing your preference for one of the houses.