“Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again.”
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror

The Key and the Gate is the fourth deluxe expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game , introducing 165 cards (three copies each of fifty-five individual cards) that open portals to all-new terror in the fictional word of H.P. Lovecraft.

With nearly two-thirds of its cards serving to develop the identity of Yog-Sothoth and its mysteries and minions, The Key and the Gate is an excellent expansion for fans of the Ancient One and players who like the faction’s strengths in discard, recursion, and control rooted in arcane knowledge. Meanwhile, each of the other factions gains a powerful support card and a character with the new Fated keyword.

The All-in-One

Yog-Sothoth, the All-in-One, is an all-seeing and all-knowing Outer God that resides coterminous with all Space-Time. Accordingly, in Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game , the Yog-Sothoth faction does more than any other to blur the distinctions between the physical zones of play and the temporal ideas of cards that exist in play, cards that could be put into play, and cards that have been played and discarded. All are one in Yog-Sothoth, and the faction enjoys an undisputed mastery over the discard pile.

This strength of the Yog-Sothoth is further explored and enhanced throughout The Key and the Gate with a number of cards like Mists of Lethe ( The Key and the Gate , 32) that feature abilities that can only be triggered from the discard pile. Many of the cards that possess such abilities place themselves back on the bottom of your deck once their abilities are triggered, thus further erasing the boundary between states of “in play” and “out of play” that means less to Yog-Sothoth than to any of the other factions.

The Key and the Gate also adds other options to Yog-Sothoth’s mastery of the discard pile. Yog-Sothoh excels at the “mill” strategy that wins by discarding all the cards from your opponent’s draw deck, and The Key and the Gate introduces several new cards and tactical options to support such strategies.


H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional world is one of terrifying truths that lie just beyond the grasp of most humanity. Humans do not live alone in the universe as the sole sentient race with great technological and cultural heritages. Other beings fill the dimensions that lie just outside our reality, ever threatening to break through small tears or rifts and forever alter our existence. Some of them, like the Ancient Ones, can grant knowledge and strange powers to those who would serve them.

It should come as no surprise that many of the individuals who discover the secrets of Yog-Sothoth should turn into supplicants, seeking the limitless understanding of the Outer God that spans all Space-Time at once. Most of them find madness, but some few gain profound insight into the nature of reality. Their knowledge permits them to perform acts thought impossible by the many, and these Sorcerers form one of the themes developed in The Key and the Gate .

The expansion conjures up a handful of Sorcerers , each of which brings powerful abilities to the table, able to control and shape the flow of play. It also gives players a new version of Yog-Sothoth , All-in-One ( The Key and the Gate , 8) that breaks into our reality more easily the more these Sorcerers draw from its power! Of course, where there are Sorcerers their Spells must follow, and The Key and the Gate warps reality with more than half a dozen new Spells .


As the All-in-One understands, some individuals burn faster and brighter than others, heavily influencing events that shape the destiny of entire people or continent. Some may lead those around them to an era of prosperity. Some may live unsung, even though through their actions they stave off the ruin of humanity.

The Key and the Gate introduces a new keyword, Fated X , that calls attention to these individuals whose fates and destinies are larger and more important than those of others around them.

By forcing cards to the bottom of the deck, the Fated keyword creates room in the game for powerful characters like the Decrepit Wizard ( The Key and the Gate , 13) and other cards with abilities that might prove too powerful if left unchecked over multiple turns. Of course, the faction dedicated to the all-knowing, all-seeing Yog-Sothoth gains an early advantage from these Fated cards, but each faction finds at least one Fated individual in The Key and the Gate to help shape its destiny and guide it through future struggles.

Yithians, Mad Science, and Strange Support

The Key and the Gate offers players much more than the Fated keyword and extended control over the discard pile.

With its discard manipulation, Fated keyword, sorcery, Yithians , Scientists , powerful support cards, and more, The Key and the Gate brings new life to the horrifying struggles and eerie, Lovecraftian setting of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game .