15 April 2020 | KeyForge

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Remembering Your First KeyForge Deck with Blake Powell


Whether you started playing KeyForge on the very first day with Call of the Archons, or you only joined recently by picking up some Worlds Collide Archon Decks, every player had a first experience with KeyForge. Today, guest writer Blake Powell takes a moment to reflect back on the beginning of his KeyForge journey!

Blake Powell on His First Discovery of KeyForge

Do you remember the moment when you fell in love with KeyForge? Can you recall that moment you cracked open the flap of that cardboard deck box, anticipation building to have your very own, one-of-a-kind, unique deck? Do you remember the excitement of seeing the unique Archon art specific to your deck, looking over the decklist, realizing you don’t know most of the cards listed, but a couple of the names pique your excitement with recognition? It’s that memory of when you ripped off the plastic and the air was filled with the unique smell of fresh cardboard that only a card gamer truly understands, and you looked through your own deck that only you possess. For me, that was a special moment: the original discovery of a game of discovery which led me down a path that is hard to believe, now looking back.

During these past few weeks when I have not been able to play KeyForge like I’m used to, I can’t help but reflect on the time when I first discovered this game and tested out the contents of the Call of the Archons starter kit. I still have the first deck I opened from that kit, and I can also clearly remember the first time I played with those two pre-built “learn to play” decks: Miss “Onyx” Censorious and Radiant Argus the Supreme.

Part of what inspired me to take this trip down memory lane is getting the chance to preview the upcoming collection of KeyForge short stories, Tales from the Crucible from Aconyte Books. Reading that opening story was a shot of nostalgia. It instantly took me back to that first experience of playing KeyForge, and I wanted to write about my thoughts of those first days interacting with the game, and where we are now.

I can still remember the feeling of the first time I picked up a deck, shuffled it up, and dealt myself that first hand I ever played. I can remember looking at Hunting Witch (Call of the Archons, 367), seeing that stunning art, reading the passive effect that Hunting Witch creates, and just falling in love with that card. Then I looked and saw Library Access (Call of the Archons, 115), playing it and getting to draw card after card. What a unique discovery those two cards held for me.

And what’s more, the overall drawing mechanic for the game was incredible! The ability to cycle through your deck just by playing cards and then drawing up to a maximum hand size was revolutionary compared to other card games I had played. Looking back, cards like Library Access and Hunting Witch were such amazing first experiences for me playing KeyForge, they have left a lasting impression when they are played, even still to this day. I personally did not have anyone to play with when I first picked up the game, so I had to two-hand both starter decks to learn different aspects of the game. Even though I was testing out how the game played by myself, I knew this was something that was going to be very special moving forward. 

This leads me to today. It’s easy to overlook the original decks you opened and the prospect of a new discovery on the horizon with every unopened deck in your possession. That excitement of a new deck and the possibility of new combinations of cards you have never held before, all sealed within that small cardboard Archon box is extremely alluring. But how about those memories of your first interactions with the game? 

Your Day 1 decks may have not seen any action in some time, but take a moment to revisit those original decks, and reflect on what they held for you. I find it so interesting to look back on those familiar decks that you may not have played for a little while and see them now with a view that has had more experience. You might be surprised to discover new lines of play that come from having played the game more, or the evolution of old combo favorites, now reinvigorated with the new meta and the injection of new cards and mechanics that did not exist before. That is the beauty of KeyForge! Old decks can rise and fall with new cards, so don’t forget to take some time to see how those Day 1 decks evolve within the game as it grows.

In closing, here I am now, just over a year from when I first picked up the game, looking back on this incredible journey that has been KeyForge and just feeling gratitude. Even though we’re in isolation right now, I am grateful for the friendships I have made in this community, the people I can reach out to and connect with all over the globe, all with the common interest of KeyForge. That is what is special about this game. It’s not just the discovery of decks and the way cards interact, it’s the discovery of people like yourself that love this game, and how easy it is to connect with those people through KeyForge.

Hopefully, as you take some time to look back on what made you fall in love with this game, you’ll also look back on who you met through that process—people you met the very first time you went to your local game store to play the game, played in a competitive tournament, or even just met through a conversation on Discord or a social media channel! Take some time to reach out to them and stay connected. Even though a distance may be between us, we are all still connected by this game and our original discovery of it. So please take that to heart, and as always, may your æmber never be stolen, and your keys forged promptly. 

Have a good one!

Blake Powell, or blvdPAPERFIGHT, is a co-host on the Help From Future Self podcast and the United Archons podcast. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Blake has made Day 2 at the Vegas Triad Vault Tour and attended the first KeyForge Grand Championship in the US at NOVA. Look for more content from Blake on his YouTube channel and on social media @blvdPAPERFIGHT.

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