This guide outlines best practices for participating in Premier KeyForge events. It is written to be as comprehensive as possible to prevent misinterpretation and minimize player error.
Decks used in competitive play must be complete with 36 cards that match the Archon identity card.
For Premier events, a deck must be sleeved in opaque sleeves.
Sleeve your decks in a fresh set of opaque sleeves or verify that your sleeves do not possess any potentially disqualifying marks. Bent corners, dirt smudges, and creases are the most common signs of wear and tear that can be interpreted as a ‘mark’.
Bring enough identical sleeves to replace any sleeves damaged during the event or be prepared to buy fresh sleeves at the venue.
The recommended minimum token count is:
- 3 Double-sided key tokens – that have a clear forged and unforged side – colored Red, Blue, and Yellow
- Chain Tracker Card & Token / Chain Dial / Tokens to be placed on top of your draw pile
- 10 One Damage Tokens, 4 Three Damage Tokens, 2 Five Damage Tokens
- 20 Æmber Tokens
- 12 Stun Tokens
- 12 Power Tokens
- 9 Ward tokens
- 9 Enrage tokens
- Unique Tokens for special counters such as Doom and Glory
- Armor Counters
- Card Effect Reminder Cards/Token for effects like Stealth Mode, Foggify et cetera
- Counting Aids for Rule of 6 during a turn.
- NOTE: The use of dice of any kind is not permitted in KeyForge Organized Play.
Arriving at the Play Area
Be at your seat on time. Being 5 minutes late will potentially result in a game loss.
Greet your opponent, and introduce yourself if you’re comfortable doing so.
Place your tokens in a spot removed from the play area, so they will not accidentally be introduced into play.
If you are not using official tokens, tell your opponent what each token signifies, even if the design is clear to you.
Count your deck making sure no cards are missing.
Fully randomize your deck. Make sure the bottom card of your deck is facing the game area and cannot be seen by either you or your opponent during randomization.
Place your randomized deck at your opponent’s side of the table, offering them the opportunity to cut or randomize your deck.
If your opponent begins drawing their hand before offering you an opportunity to cut or randomize their deck, kindly remind them to do so.
When offered to cut or randomize a deck, always randomize their deck. Do not riffle shuffle your opponent’s deck.
This is not about trust. They may have forgotten to shuffle, didn’t do so adequately, or used bad technique.
Having your deck shuffled by your opponent also ensures that if a particularly good draw happens, both players feel it was adequately randomized.
Before passing the deck back to your opponent, place it on the table, and cut it by placing a random portion of the deck to the side, and then placing the bottom portion on top of it.
Before the Clock Starts
Randomize the starting player. Whichever method of randomization you choose, clearly state what the result will mean. Wait for your opponent to acknowledge or offer an alternate method of randomizing the first player. If you cannot agree on a method, call a judge.
Example: Ted takes a damage token and a stun token into their hands, saying: “Damage token starts?”
Lucy prefers using a 12 sided die, saying: “High roll starts?”
Deal out your hand onto the table, showing and verbally stating your starting hand size, so your opponent may correct it if there was confusion regarding the starting player.
Wish your opponent good luck, and you may offer to shake their hand.
Start of Turn:
- Execute any start of turn effects such as Gambling Den or Director of Z.Y.X.
Step 1: Forge a key.
- Keep your hand face down on the table.
- If you have sufficient Æmber to forge a key, announce out loud the amount of Æmber at the beginning of your turn, the current key cost, and your remaining Æmber.
- Move the paid Æmber back to the common supply of tokens.
- After the forge a key step is complete, pick up your hand of cards.
Step 2: Choose a House
- If you have an archive, look at it now.
- Whenever you are looking at your archive, make sure your hand is face down on the table.
- Announce the house you’re going to play. If you tend to confuse house names, point at the house symbol on your archon card while doing so. This will help prevent arguments in case you announced the wrong house. If you do make a mistake, try to correct yourself as quickly as possible.
- If you wish to take your archive, announce it, and do so now.
Step 3: Play, Discard and Use Cards of the Chosen House
- No Card Dumping. Do not play multiple creatures at the same time or discard multiple cards at the same time. Play one card at a time and clearly state you are playing those creatures before going on to other actions.
- When playing Actions.
- Announce their names and briefly state what they do. If the card has no effect, announce you’re playing it for the Æmber.
Examples: “Scrambler Storm, you may not play actions.” or “I play Lifeweb for the Æmber”.
- Take any Æmber printed on the card and place them on your archon card.
- Resolve the Play effect completely.
- Move the card into the discard pile.
- When playing Artifacts and Creatures.
- Put them into play Exhausted, even if you’re not going to use any.
- Take any Æmber printed on the cards.
- Resolve any play effects on the cards.
- When Discarding cards, announce you are discarding the card by name and place it directly in the discard pile.
- When using cards.
- Exhaust the card and announce what it is used for, and any targets.
- Resolve the use fully before moving on to effects triggered by using the card.
- If multiple effects trigger at the same time, announce which one you’re resolving first.
Example: Exhaust a Spectral Tunneler and say “I use Spectral Tunneler on the Archivist to give it reap draw” Then Exhaust the Ganymede Archivist and say “I use my Archivist to reap” Take one Æmber and then say “I draw first from the Spectral Tunneler” Draw a card, then “I archive a card” And archive a card from your hand.
Step 4: Ready cards.
- Ready all your cards.
Step 5: Draw cards.
- Place your hand face down on the table.
- Announce how many cards you’re drawing and up to how many.
- Announce your chains if you have any and how many you’re going down to.
Example: I draw three cards up to five and go down to two chains.
- Card overdraw may be resolved in one of two ways:
- If both players and any present judges agree on which card was overdrawn it will be shuffled back into the deck.
- If no agreement can be reached, a judge will instruct the player to show their hand to their opponent, who will then choose a card to be shuffled back into the deck.
End of Turn
- Announce the end of your turn.
- Resolve any end of turn abilities.
- OPTIONAL: Remind your opponent of any persistent effects that would last throughout their turn such as Scrambler Storm, Lifeward, and Fog Effects.
- Declare check if applicable, and with how much Æmber.
- Creatures with Taunt must be inched forward.
- Maintain your battle line any time a creature dies, so it remains coherent.
- If you wish to read an opponent’s card or see their discard pile, ask for permission before picking it up.
- If any information is not clear to you, simply ask.
- To call a judge raise your hand high in the air and loudly shout “judge” and wait patiently with your hand raised.
Players are expected to follow the game’s rules, remembering to perform actions and use card effects when indicated. It is all players’ responsibility to maintain a proper game state, and to ensure that all mandatory abilities and game steps are acknowledged.
A Gameplay Disruption occurs whenever a game step, sequence, or mandatory occurrence is overlooked or performed erroneously. Essentially, this type of disruption is associated with someone making a single, honest, unintentional mistake during gameplay
The potential for one player or the other to gain advantage by overlooking a step or mandatory occurrence is very real, which is why these disruptions are taken seriously. Even if a player did not intend to overlook a rule, they could still benefit enough to turn the game in their favor. Thus, it is imperative that these disruptions be dealt with in order to restore the integrity of the game. To do this, Judges are encouraged to use one of three main resolutions: play on, resolve now, or rewind.
End of Game
If you wish to concede the game, politely indicate that you wish to concede to your opponent.
When signing the match slip, double check you’re signing your initials on the correct side, and that the winner is correctly marked.
The winner places the match slip in the designated box.
Count your cards to make sure none ended up in your opponent’s deck, and none of their cards ended up in yours.
If you lost and wish for your opponent’s insights about your play, simply ask, most players will be happy to comment if they saw anything. This is a great way to improve your game.
This guide is a product of several members of the KeyForge community. Special credit to Aurore, Big Z, Jupiter, and Mortivas.