Deck of the Week – Episode 2

Is This the Worst Deck Ever Opened?

September 2019

Hello and welcome back to the deck of the week column! Each Friday, I’ll highlight a new deck: a recent winner of a premiere event, a deck that personally intrigues me, or maybe even a deck suggested by you, our awesome reader! Leave comments below if you have any deck suggestions.

This week, I’ll mix it up a bit by looking at the deck with the WORST SAS rating according to That lucky winner is Halfshakio Horne-Lambert, Enchantress (link to DoK) with a whopping 39 SAS. Those of you who are familiar with Decks of Keyforge know that SAS is based on 3 scores: card rating, synergy, and anti-synergy. It seems that what really brings down Halfshakio is its anti-synergy: an INCREDIBLE score of negative nineteen.

All Upgrades and No Creatures Makes Halfshakio…Bad?

Looking through the details, the reason for this anti-synergy becomes very obvious: this deck has a lot of creature-based value cards (actions like Smith or Warsong, upgrades like Armageddon Cloak) but very few creatures. Nine, to be exact. One of those creatures is hilariously Wardrummer with NO other Brobnar creatures. None, zip, na-da.

Oof. There are a couple cool things going on with this deck: a mavericked Ember Imp (normally Dis, in this deck it’s in Sanctum) is very cool. The deck also has double Loot the Bodies with a Coward’s End. The aember generation score (which is a part of AERC) is not bad: 24. Our plan with this deck, if we were unfortunate enough to be handed it in a reversal tournament or some other bizarre scenario where we are choosing to play with it, is to simply rush. We have almost no aember control and no creatures with which to control the board. This deck is what I like to call a “big oof.”

Let’s See it In Action!

But enough hypothesizing! Let’s see what this thing does in action. To do that, I took the deck through three casual games on (usually in this column I will play competitive, but I’d like the games to at least have a chance at being interesting). Let’s see if things play out as expected. For those who are not interested / able to watch the videos, I’ll provide a brief written summary of each match on how the deck played out in our matchup. Note: Sorry that you can totally hear my squeaky chair in the audio *sigh*.

Game 1:

Game Summary: I get the amazing Wardrummer + zero Brobnar creatures combo early. Luckily, the opponent also has slow start, although he does get off to a one key lead pretty quickly. I’m also pretty fortunate to draw a lot of Sanctum creatures early on and use them to control the board for most of the game. I’m able to reap for 4+ a couple times to pull even in the race. A well-timed Loot the Bodies + Coward’s End + Smith pulls me to 15 aember with two keys left to forge. Total Recall puts me to 14 aember with one key left to forge. Unfortunately, Key Hammer comes in for the second time to stop me from crossing the finish line. One key and twenty aember prove to be too much for my opponent to race against, and I’m fortunate to pick up a W with my opponent at 2 keys 5 aember.

Game 2:

Game Summary: I start off with 4 of my 9 creatures in my opening hand which is very fortunate, since that is basically our only way to win. I discard five cards over the course of two turns which is AWESOME (including one misplay of discarding EMP Blast when I shouldn’t have). Our opponent has some curious plays as well – possibly either playing around Coward’s End or just having some awkward draws as well. If I seem very confused around the 8-10 minute mark, it’s because I definitely am. This was a super weird game and I don’t think it was a very good reflection of how the deck actually plays. I learn a hard lesson about Ulyq Megamouth (it allows you to use, it does not ready ☹) – the sequel to this lesson is in game 3. Ultimately, we power through the weirdness and win.

Game 3:

Game Summary: You’ll note that this video is much shorter than the others. Yeah…this is probably closer to the average for this deck. Another thing I noticed watching these games back is that I sigh A LOT. That’s because Sir Marrows (and many other cards) feel impossible to beat with this deck. Opponent establishes a dominant board state and my Coward’s End is nowhere to be found for several turns. After I finally clear the board, my opponent pull their archive – which at this point is like 7 cards – and plays an incredible Untamed turn culminating in a game-winning Key Charge. So at least the game was mercifully short.

Conclusion: 2-1 is much better than I expected and I certainly attribute a lot of that to chance and also playing to very specific outs.  Brobnar is the most interesting house in this deck because it contains your best outs (Loot the Bodies + Coward’s End) but also the most useless / situational cards in the deck (3x Warsong with 1 creature, Wardrummer with no other Brobnar creatures, 2x Smith with very low creature count). The exception to this, of course, is Phosphorus Stars. That’s the worst card in Keyforge – change my mind.

If I played this deck 100 times against an average deck, I think I would win maybe 10 times or less. The bright side of a deck like this in Keyforge is that it actually has a ton of value as a reversal deck. I would LOVE to see the look on my opponent’s face after handing them this. Side note: TCO should definitely have reversal – that would be incredibly fun.

So, now we’ve done a great deck and a…not so great deck. Next week: a weird deck? Drop me the weirdest decklist you can find in the comments and please let me know what you thought about this week’s deck.

Thanks, and go forge your weekend!


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