Episode #7 – Mr. Garfield, Tear Down This Prize Wall!

It happened.  Again. The first time around, I had painted a beautiful mental landscape chock full of KeyForge characters to illustrate the absurdity of the then-current Archimedes ruling.  Then, less than a week later, the ruling update is released and the original ruling of our favorite robotic owl was overturned and deemed to work as all of us logic-based players had seen it functioning initially.  Then, just this past week, I decided to push out my latest article early, a speculative piece on what the major KeyForge announcement would be, in which I cited my yearning for larger incentives to find tournaments and weekly events to play in along with my wanting for a local vault tour in my home state of Minnesota.  Mere hours after last week’s episode hit the interwebs…poof! The KeyForge World Championships were announced to be taking place in the Twin Cities in May of 2020 and the Vault Warrior tournament series was announced with some hefty cash prize pools as a grand incentive. And it was at this point I realized I may very well be the chosen one, the ones the Archons have written about for eons…I may very well be a descendant of our beloved Timetraveller.

I already know what some of you may be thinking: you look nothing like the Timetraveller, you have never traveled through time, and wouldn’t you know if you could?  Well, you are probably correct in your assumptions on all of those statements…but still. It’s as if I know things, things that I can’t quite explain, and yet I have no true connections that would divulge this information into my consciousness.  Therefore, some part of me must be channeling the future as I write out my thoughts each and every week. While there is a good chance that my random thoughts coincidentally played into what the design and organized play teams had already been developing for some time, it’s so much more fun to think that I have some type of unharnessed prophetic prowess hidden deep within my subconscious due to a long-forgotten bloodline connection to the Timetraveller himself, so that’s what I’m going with.  Now, I just need to find a way to reach this power’s full potential in order to dominate the rest of the field as the push for the World Championships begins…

Hello and welcome one and all to this week’s episode of The Random Ramblings of Raspberry Eyes!  I’m your host, the crazy clairvoyant Raspberry Eyes, and in this week’s episode, I’m going to keep it light and fun, as we are going to delve into something near and dear to my own heart: KeyForge prizes!!!  With some recently announced prize support unveiled just a few days ago on The Crucible Cast, I figured I would spend some time discussing another part of the hobby that appeals to collectors such as myself. Plus, I get to talk about my own personal KeyForge collection, in which I am in no way referring to anything deck-related, so let’s jump right into it!

First and foremost, yours truly is a collector.  When I get into something that I enjoy, I go after everything available, and that seemingly unquenchable hunger engulfs my soul until I complete a collection.  I’m not entirely sure that my collecting habits are healthy, but they are a part of who I am, so I’ve just embraced it over the years. I also justify my addictions, er, collections by telling my lovely wife that they can be viewed as investments, as at least 90% of everything that I collect could easily be turned around and sold for far more than I ever spent on those items.  So, it’s at least good to know that in an emergency situation, I would be able to turn my beloved possessions into actual cash, but I hope with all my being that day never transpires, at least not until I am old and have no use for the keepsakes I have acquired.

Some of you may be wondering what exactly I collect, aside from the obvious answer of KeyForge collectibles.  Well, not be brag (but I’m definitely going to), my The Legend of Zelda collection is one of my pride and joys.  I own a copy of each game, preserved nice and neat in the original box with all of the inserts (we game collectors call that “being complete”), including all of the various special editions and rereleases from the United States.  I had to limit myself to the U.S. releases, at least for the time being, so I could keep at least a small part of my sanity intact. I also have an entire bookshelf packed with almost every action figure ever released for the game, mint in the package, along with all of the Nintendo Amiibo releases and an assortment of various other Zelda goodies that would take far too long to mention here.  And that is just my Zelda collection, which takes up a small modicum of space in my apartment.

My wife and I both have a pretty good Funko collection as well, with her area of expertise being The Lord of the Rings and mine encompassing my favorite movies and television shows, with my current collection focusing on The Office, Parks and Rec, Labyrinth, and Jaws (with my assortment of Jaws collectibles being currently worth a small fortune).  Oh, and I would be remiss to fail to mention my Prince Funkos, situated perfectly next to my record player and my Prince vinyl wall art.  Last, but definitely not least, would be my Topps Chrome football card collection, and while this might be a statement I may have to back up someday, I strongly believe that particular collection is unrivaled throughout the world.  The amount of time and money I have put into piecing together sets, acquiring autographs and other rare cards, and tirelessly scouring eBay once or twice a day to make sure there is nothing I missed is incomparable, and I am really banking on that collection as being my retirement fund someday.

Long story short, I take collecting far too seriously, and I know that my KeyForge collecting habits are only going to progress as the game continues to evolve for many years to come.  I made mention in a previous article about my love of playmats, and at this point, it would definitely be a collection all on its own with more than twenty different mats packaged nicely underneath my bed as I type this.  In fact, as a new set is announced, at least with the first two expansions, I have pre-ordered each and every basic mat along with an Ultra Pro playmat tube the moment they went live for pre-order, even though they tend to lower in price after release, and I have spent a substantial amount of money to acquire all of the Vault Tour playmats as well.  The ironic part of all of this is that in every event I have ever played in, I have used my lucky Nerve Blast playmat, so the vast majority of my collection is untouched and preserved in mint condition. I’m not sure if there will ever be any true value in that particular collection or any of my KeyForge items in all honesty, but I enjoy obtaining new playmats so I am going to keep doing it.

I feel that my playmat discussion from above is a great segway into a particularly unnerving development in the area of KeyForge prize support, and that is the fact that there are certain items that are now only being offered up as prizes for winning or placing highly in certain championship tournaments.  Now, I’m sure I will be able to track down the majority of these playmats through avenues such as eBay and Facebook, but with the prestige that comes with procuring these incentives in the wild, I will have to pay quite a bit for some of them. Which for me is okay, at least that is what my completionist mentality tells me, and I do still give myself limits, so I feel the addiction is kept in check.

My affinity for all things KeyForge doesn’t stop at playmats, oh no, not at all.  I have a copy of each and every chain tracker card that has been produced up to this point, along with many copies of the mini promo cards from each and every seasonal kit that has been released.  I have quite a few sets of metal keys as well as various other token offerings that FFG has fashioned, many of which are held securely in my extra token tackle-style organizer, and as of this week I recently purchased the final house pin I needed to complete that set, a set that I definitely didn’t really need, but once you have one pin, it’s tough to stop there, right?  There are very few pieces in my collection that I would want to part with at the moment, even if I have duplicates (or triplicates in some instances), but far and away my Vault Tour collection of goodies is the pride and joy of my KeyForge memorabilia.

Having not yet had the opportunity to attend a Vault Tour of my own, everything I own with that Vault Tour brand has been attained through purchasing or trading.  Now with the World Championships on the horizon giving me the opportunity to finally do so, I am probably just as excited to finally get the opportunity to spend some of my hard-earned shards on a few new pieces as souvenirs as I am to actually play in some actual KeyForge competitive events.  I have complete collections of playmats and chain trackers as previously mentioned, a pile of yellow aember tokens along with a small smattering of blue ones, a Vault Tour 2019 metal key set, and the be-all-end-all of my current collection: the GameGenic Vault Tour 2019 Onyx vs. Opal Knight dial-style chain tracker!  That last piece looked so cool when I first laid eyes on it that I had no problems whatsoever spending nearly five times what the dial trackers retail for, and that one will be very hard to replace in my arsenal of competitive tokens.

As for the prize wall itself, I can’t wait to see what updates are made to it in the months leading up to the World Championships.  While I am not a huge fan of spending my shards on clothing items, and I am pretty particular when it comes to card sleeves so the full-art designs that are being released don’t really appeal to me as a player, but it does seem that with each and every Vault Tour something new is being added.  The first-ever World Championships seems like it should be a no-brainer when it comes to unveiling new additions to that ever-elusive prize wall as well, so I couldn’t be happier about the location that was chosen, and my guess is I am going to have to bring my wallet to supplement my shard supply in landing some of those new items, but I still have plenty of time to secure those funds for that adventure.

And this brings me to the final portion of this week’s episode, and the reason I chose this topic to riff away on for the week, and that is the announcement that followed the big announcement this past week concerning all of the upcoming prize support being released over the next few months as World Collide finds its place in the KeyForge universe.  A small part of me may have been just as excited to hear about some of those collectibles as I was upon hearing about the World Championships location and the Vault Warrior series. To start things off, I am a huge sucker for dinosaur-themed ugly sweaters. Oddly enough, I’m not even making that up. My favorite ugly sweater of all-time is a green monstrosity picturing a Tyrannosaurus Rex holding gifts in its stubby little arms wearing a Santa hat.  And what do they show us first in the latest Crucible Cast episode? An entire outfit showcasing the Saurians in that slightly horrendous color of teal done up in true holiday sweater fashion! While I don’t know that I will spend money on those items, I would not be upset in the least if they somehow found a way into my wardrobe by some means, but at the very least it was fantastic to see that those in charge of prize support are venturing away from some of the standard card-based prizes and appealing to a much larger audience.

As you can probably already guess, the new prize items that I am most excited for, especially as an individual who loves collectibles, happen to be the vinyl figures and the plush Fuzzy Gruen.  I’m a man who loves his Funkos, so I will undoubtedly be tracking down each and every KeyForge figure that will ever be released, so that was fairly present surprise to see that those will be coming soon to a prize support system near me.  As for the legendary Fuzzy Gruen, I have been a fan since day one. My favorite house may be that of Dis, as they are dark like my soul, but my spirit animal is Fuzzy Gruen. In fact, I currently hold the record for playing Fuzzy on TCO (at least of this posting) and at one point I contemplated purchasing only decks with Fuzzy Gruen in them until I found the perfect one (which in my opinion I have actually acquired).  So yes, I will be acquiring a Fuzzy Gruen plush of my very own and I am not ashamed to say that I will be displaying that stuffed animal proudly!

With the game of KeyForge still less than a year old and an already exuberant amount of thought and effort going into prize support, the future of KeyForge collectibles is looking mighty bright.  I hate to speculate further on what could be around the corner, but I feel like my opening statements require some type of bold prediction, so here goes! With my all-seeing wisdom as the prophetic prognosticator that I am, looking into my very own Orb of Invidius, I think that a safe prediction would have to include a larger run of vinyl figures.  There are so many great characters in each and every house that would deserve the vinyl treatment, so I’m hoping that there are more than just three figures released and this is an ongoing prize option. Taking a medium-level swing at what could be waiting for us in the future, I would say an increase in clothing options could be fun. Like I stated earlier, I won’t go out of my way for clothing pieces to add to my collection, but if house specific shirts or hats were made available, I would strongly consider changing my stance on that.  And if I were to take one bold, complete shot-in-the-dark would never happen in a million years jab as to what the future of the prize wall will look like, I’m going with a full-line of character and house-infused luchador masks. Imagine the fun of rocking one of those while you stare down your opponent from across the table…and assuming this last one holds true, as it obviously should, maybe the fine folks at FFG will hook me up with a special one-of-a-kind mask of my own, modeled after the great Rey Mysterio, where the cross on his mask is replaced by the House Raspberry Eyes logo…

Well, that about wraps up the madness for this week!  Thanks for hanging in there once again, and I hope at the very least you now know who you can pawn all of your KeyForge collectibles on when you want to part ways with them or make a quick buck.  As luck would have it, I actually can leak out a little information and drop a bit of a spoiler and sneak peek into next week’s episode as I will be discussing the recent rash of leaked product from the upcoming expansion and how something I will be referring to as the Worlds Collide Conundrum can both hurt and potentially help an upcoming release.  Basically, the spoiler for next week is that I am going to be talking about spoilers! And with that, I’m Raspberry Eyes, signing off and reminding you all to ramble on!

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