Angels and Demons
Preview House Sanctum and House Dis in Age of Ascension
“Verily, I say unto thee; bring it on.”
–Rothais the Fierce
In KeyForge, Archons clash in cosmic competition as they vie for control of the Architect’s Vaults and the impossible wealth and power they contain. By unlocking enough Vaults, these ethereal beings hope to uncover the secret of their own existence and ascend beyond this plane of existence. But in order to achieve this goal, they must successfully lead a diverse team assembled from the Crucible’s diverse Houses, discovering their full strategic potential as they lead these creatures to victory.
In Age of Ascension, the lush world of the Crucible grows to fill its landscape with a new set of creatures, artifacts, and technology, drawn from a new cardpool composed of 204 new cards expertly mixed with 166 cards first found in Call of the Archons. In this new set, the Architects continue to draw the pieces of countless worlds to their artificial planet and assemble them into something new and incredible, revealing new corners of once-familiar areas and allowing new wonders to emerge.
Today, we invite you to explore the old and new layers of the Crucible, from the twisting caverns of Dis to the floating islands of the Sanctum as we examine these Houses in our preview for KeyForge: Age of Ascension—now available for pre-order at your local retailer or online through our website!
The Space Between Worlds
Age of Ascension is an invitation to embrace the spirit of discovery that makes KeyForge unique. You don't need to begin with Call of the Archons to reach Age of Ascension, and you don't need to use Age of Ascension Archon Decks to remain competitive, but the introduction of new keywords gives you the chance to further explore the gameplay of KeyForge as new creatures, artifacts, and technology help you explore the many layers of the Crucible. Each of the seven Houses you first met in Call of the Archons finds new implements and allies in Age of Ascension… though whether certain creatures can ever be considered allies is still up for debate.
The demonic beings of House Dis are cursed with a strange form of half-life that is only made bearable through the use of Æmber, which the imps and demons have learned to turn into imprints called “souls”—recorded emotions taken from those who felt them. While it is possible to seal joy or hope, fear and pain are what fascinate the members of this faction.
There are few on the Crucible willing to study these demons, so many of their secrets remain unknown, but with Age of Ascension, new information is revealed as new species emerge from the tunnels. According to the esteemed Demonologist Iona, the Yurks aren’t that bad if you can pay their price. This is high praise for any creature of Dis, yet like a not-so-fine wine, they only get worse with age. While an average Yurk (Age of Ascension, 68) only needs you to discard a single card to summon it, an Old Yurk (Age of Ascension, 77) demands two cards for the price of its increased strength, and a rare Ancient Yurk (Age of Ascension, 88) requires three. But in the tactical battles of KeyForge, this “price” may actually prove to be an advantage—as it allows you to free your hand of unwanted cards that don't belong to your active House. When the Yurks go Yurking, you best not be lurking.
Beyond the Yurks, this new set of KeyForge offers plenty of imps and demons like Gub (Age of Ascension, 60) and the Æmber Imp (Age of Ascension, 53) to fill your ranks. But what of the corrupted members of other Houses who join Dis of their own accord? While it may be easy to imagine one of Untamed’s many-toothed beasts changing alignments, can an angel fall? The Onyx Knight (Age of Ascension, 95) resembles one of the ethereal knights of Sanctum more than the scuttling demons of Dis, yet this soldier is not a Maverick. No one knows what their motives may be, only that they stand diametrically opposed to the Sanctum spirit, the Opal Knight (Age of Ascension, 260). While the Onyx Knight has the power to destroy all creatures with odd power when they are played, the Opal Knight destroys each creature with even power, encouraging you to perhaps hold back your forces and read your enemy’s plans before you act. What will happen when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
Floating Above Reproach
Far removed from the twisting netherworld of Dis, the floating islands of Sanctum hang above the surface of the Crucible. Famously guarded by the Church of the Opened Eye, House Sanctum gains new warriors with previously unseen skills in Age of Ascension. For example, The Grey Rider (Age of Ascension, 226) features the new deploy keyword, which allows you to place him anywhere in your battleline, not just on the flank. This also allows you to make full use of his ability to rally a neighboring creature any time he fights or reaps. Regardless of how the battle unfolds, this mysterious monk will find his way to the heart of the fight and ensure his allies are ready to continue their noble fight.
Sanctum is known to be among the most insular Houses of the Crucible, but they still send ambassadors to every region of the planet on charitable missions to promote harmony, tranquility, and favorable trade deals. In Age of Ascension, House Sanctum adds six of these diplomats to their ranks, like the Dis Ambassador (Age of Ascension, 230)—one for each of the other Houses included in the set. Each Ambassador will only appear in decks with their designated House, and once they come into play, they can use their diplomatic powers to have you use or play a card from their assigned House.
With Ambassadors to help create ties between Sanctum and other Houses of the Crucible, the world becomes opened to new possibilities for peace and profit. While Sanctum may be famous for these angelic monks and their techno knights, that's not all this House is. This faction is also filled with astute merchants like Anahita the Trader (Age of Ascension, 248) who can sell an artifact you have no use for to bring you a total of three Æmber, half the amount needed to forge a key, in a single reaping. If you are aligned with House Dis, you can further guarantee that your opponent won't use the artifact against you, using Tentacus (Age of Ascension, 85) to further increase your profits, or Poltergeist (Age of Ascension, 80) to destroy it altogether.
While Age of Ascension is not a sequel to Call of the Archons, the new set does expound on the stories of key heroes you thought you knew. Duma the Martyr (Age of Ascension, 251) returns to KeyForge after her first appearance in Call of the Archons. But now, you may also catch a glimpse of her fate with Martyr's End (Age of Ascension, 255). This action lets you destroy any number of friendly creatures in exchange for Æmber—the more you lose, the closer you are to victory. This willingness to sacrifice one’s own team may seem more in line with House Dis, but obviously, these two Houses are completely different. Dis only wishes to serve their own ends, while Sanctum serves the greater good. If the Sanctum happen to be the sole benefactors of that greater good, then that is merely a coincidence.
As Above, So Below
House Dis and House Sanctum may appear to be opposites, but perhaps they are not quite so different. As the world of the Crucible continues to evolve, the two factions must learn from one another to make themselves stronger. When the two Houses unite beneath the banner of a single Archon, their combined powers are sure to prove formidable, and if you can unlock their full potential within your team, the full power of the Architects is sure to be yours!
Look for KeyForge: Age of Ascension when it lands at retailers in the second quarter of 2019! You can pre-order your copy of the Age of Ascension Two-Player Starter Set (KF04) and your personal collection of Age of Ascension Archon Decks (KF03a) at your local retailer today or online through the Fantasy Flight Games website here!