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Popping Freshies: Getting the most out of new KeyForge decks

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It is a lot of fun ripping through a display box of new KeyForge decks. The high and lows of looking over a decklist, possibly in search of a chase combo. But that high is short-lived. Can you stretch out of the joy of popping a new deck? You certainly can. And in more than one way. Here are a few ideas.

Blind Sealed

Playing sealed with new product is one of the best ways to get the most out of them. You ensure you’ll get to play each deck at least once, and so might discover something you would have missed by just looking over the list. That is true for any sealed game. Blind Sealed is when you don’t look at your list before playing. That way you stretch out the process of discovery throughout the game. Great if you have a friend who is also popping freshies, share your collection with your SO, or just know someone that loves sealed.

KeyForge and Cuddle – Techslut

Slow Popping

You can slow down the discovery in many ways. One way is to simply not look at the Archon Card and pop one card at a time. The thing is, you might speed through them without some kind of speed bump. One rather extreme way to slow down the process of discovery is popping one card a day. I haven’t tried it, but I hear good things. It forces you to really take in every card and think about all the cards already in the deck and how they might work together.

KeyForge: Dark Tidings Archon Deck Display (12) - Game Nerdz

Content Creation

You could also write your thoughts about the cards as you pop the cards one at a time. If you have a blog, many people would enjoy reading your stream of consciousness as you write about the deck opening. Another way of course is to record it in video or audio. People enjoy this kind of content as they can share in the excitement of discovery.

blvdblake popping freshies on youtube

Live Blogging

Championed by Tutenkharnage on the Sanctumonius-Timeshapers content, live blogging has become one of my favorite ways to pop freshies. We have a small community of live bloggers and spectators. The popper will slowly reveal their deck, one card at a time. And everyone will join in the discussion of how the card might work with existing cards. And there is also the guessing. When slow popping you can look up which cards are still possible in the deck based on the order of the cards in the deck. Later sets have them by rarity and then alphabetical order. Earlier sets by card type then card number. This makes for a whole other exciting aspect of guessing and wishing for specific cards.

If you want to participate, find the #live-blogging-deck-opening channel, and you can ask me to add you to the public tag @live-popping-spectators to be notified when people plan on popping freshies. Also, you can tag @live-popping-spectators yourself if you want to do a live popping.

Minimum # of games

A lot of players like to play their decks at least 10 times. Setting yourself a minimum number of games to play before moving to the next freshie is a good way to get the most out of a deck. Really dig deep into a deck and find out what it can do. This works a lot better when popping new sets, as players are usually highly familiar with the card pool of older sets and don’t need the deep dive to figure a deck out. Playing a minimum number of games with new sets also helps you familiarize yourself with the card pool and is a great prep for sealed play.


You could run a local tournament with friends, but that might prove a little challenging. Far more accessible are online events. The Final Swindle occasionally runs sealed tournaments on the honor system. Pop a freshie an hour before the event and play. Right now there is a Sealed reversal event coming up.

Another option from The Finals Swindle is using the leaderboard. There is a sealed slot that you can challenge. Pop a deck right then and there and play a sealed game with whoever is occupying that slot!

Random KeyForge cards | A pile of KeyForge: Call of the Arch… | Flickr
Mikko Saari on Flickr

Those are a few ideas for how to enjoy freshies. Of course, sometimes you just want to rip through a box and that’s fine too! If you have any more ideas, be sure to share them in the discord, and I might add them to the article!


Aurore is a competitive KeyForge player and the founder of Timeshapers. She's a content writer by trade and aspiring game designer. Follow @Timeshapers1