10 Cards to Fight the Keyraken
One of the most fun ways to play Keyforge is cooperatively. As far as I know, Keyforge is the only major CCG with a cooperative mode. Right now, there are two scenarios in the cooperative Keyforge Adventures line. The second one, The Abyssal Conspiracy, I quite frankly find to be a bit underwhelming. It’s very creative, but too easy. The first scenario, Rise of the Keyraken, is a totally different story. It is very challenging and very fun. However, what if the Keyraken proves to be a bit too challenging? Today I wanted to go over ten cards that work especially well against the Keyraken. This list is in no particular order. I hope you enjoy.
1. Ember Imp
This slot could just as easily have been Kaupe, as the two cards have fairly similar effects. If the Keyraken is playing two cards per turn, it is usually manageable. The Keyraken tends to start running away with the game when it starts archiving cards and then playing three, four, five, or more cards in a turn. I have seen the Keyraken play as many as eight cards in a turn. Needless to say, I lost that game. However, Ember Imp limits the Keyraken to two cards no matter how many cards it has in its archive. Even better, the Keyraken doesn’t know to specifically target Ember Imp like a real player would, so the Imp can often stay on the board for quite a while.
The Keyraken tends to generate Æmber fairly quickly between the cards it plays, the reaping from its creatures, and its own constant reaping. That means scaling Æmber control tends to work very well against the Keyraken. There are other cards that can capture everything the Keyraken has (ANT1-10NY jumps to mind), but Deusillus represents a triple threat. It captures the Keyraken’s Æmber, damages the Keyraken’s creatures, and swings into the Keyraken for twenty damage (minus armor), taking only three in return. It also conjures up fantastic images of Godzilla fighting a Kraken, which is pretty awesome. After all, everyone comes to Hub City eventually.
3. Marshal Ewer
If you’re playing one on one against the Keyraken, it’s pretty easy to raise the tide, as it costs only two Æmber. However, if you’re playing against the Keyraken in a big group, it can cost a lot of Æmber to raise the tide. Not only is that Æmber you might not want to spend, but it’s Æmber you might not even have. Thus, it’s great if you can have a recurring way to raise the tide without spending Æmber. Enter Marshal Ewer. The Marshal can raise the tide when it enters play, and it can fight the Keyraken, taking only one damage in return, to raise the ride. Obviously, this becomes even better with Shoulder Armor or Lærie of the Lake.
Æmberspine Mongrel has the same basic effect here, but I went with the Unit because I think that drawing cards is generally more valuable than generating Æmber against the Keyraken. This comes back to the fact that the Keyraken isn’t as intelligent as a player, and doesn’t know what it should or shouldn’t be doing. A player would likely kill the Unit before they reap, but the Keyraken doesn’t know to do that. Thus, you can reliably draw a couple of extra cards on the Keyraken’s turns if it has some creatures out. However, remember that the Keyraken itself isn’t a creature, so you can’t benefit when it reaps.
Most creatures in Keyforge are not six power or higher. However, many of the Keyraken’s creatures are that big, and even the ones that aren’t, generally get to that size pretty quickly if the Keyraken has Ascending Jet in play. Thus, Regrettable Meteor has a good chance of wiping several of the Keyraken’s creatures at the cost of none of yours (unless you have dinosaurs in play). This will both clear the Keyraken’s board out and deal a bunch of damage to the Keyraken. It’s a win-win (for you).
I know, I know. Infurnace is always good, and it’s no exception here. One of the reasons that Infurnace is so good against the Keyraken is because it has several cards that you don’t want coming back. For instance, Race to the Surface is often pretty harmless in the early game, where it just generates an Æmber. In the late game, though, it can be devastating and archive two or three cards for the Keyraken. Purging it with Infurnace keeps it from coming back and controls the Keyraken’s Æmber. Zealot’s Revelation is another card you don’t want coming back, even if it doesn’t have an Æmber pip on it. Creeping Oblivion, Noname, and other discard pile purge cards are also quite good for similar reasons.
7. Etan’s Jar
Probably the most dangerous card in the Keyraken’s deck is Primordial. Even worse, it’s an upgrade, which makes it very hard to get rid of. You can get rid of it by forging a key, but once it comes out, Primordial tends to exert so much pressure on your team that you simply don’t have the ability to generate the six Æmber necessary to forge a key. So, why let the Keyraken have Primordial in the first place? Get Etan’s Jar out, name Primodial, and most of your problems will be solved. You could also hit Race to the Surface, but I think that Primordial is generally the better choice unless you have already dealt with both the Primordials.
As I mentioned earlier, Primordial is almost certainly the most dangerous card in the Keyraken deck, and it’s an upgrade, which makes it hard to get rid of. Two other Keyraken cards that can ruin your day are Whirlpool Eddy, an artifact, and Shield Arm, an armored creature. You know what all three of those cards have in common? Corrode kills them all! As one of the most versatile cards in Keyforge, Corrode can be extremely valuable against the Keyraken.
TMTP is good against the Keyraken in solo, but it really shines in multiplayer. That’s because of the Keyraken’s cost to advance. At one player, the Keyraken only needs six Æmber to advance at high tide. Thus, TMTP can’t pull it off a key. However, in three player, the Keyraken needs eighteen Æmber to advance at high tide. Thus, if the Keyraken is getting ready to advance, TMTP can steal twelve Æmber and force the Keyraken to spend several turns building back up. Doing so also gives your team a substantial pool of Æmber to use to keep the tide high and forge keys to remove Primordial. Does it feel a bit cheesy? Yes, and I could see using a rule where TMTP steals down to twelve in a two-player and eighteen in a three-player, but with the rules as written TMTP is devastating against the Keyraken.
10. EDAI “Edie” 4×4
The Keyraken doesn’t actually forge keys, but it is affected by key cost increases. One of the most reliable key cost increasers in the game is Edie. Unlike something like Lash of Broken Dreams that will give you a one-turn key cost increase, Edie is active whether you call Logos or not. Faust the Great will do a similar thing, but with Faust you have to have Æmber on your creatures, and the Keyraken might eventually take that Æmber. Edie increases key cost without being a liability. Edie also helps you build an archive that you might eventually want to access if the Keyraken gets Edie off the board.
There you have it, ten cards that work really well against the Keyraken. What do you think of the above list? Do you have other cards that you have found are really beneficial against the Keyraken? If so, I would love to hear about them. I am also thinking about writing an article about cards that are especially ineffective against the Keyraken, so let me know if you have any ideas for that article. I can be reached on most Keyforge Discords as jfkziegler or on TCO as SecondAct. Good luck on your Keyforge Adventures!