10 (more) Keyforge Combos you may not have heard of
About a month ago, I posted an article about less popular combos. Little did I know that it would be my most popular article by far, and would even help inspire Jupiter and drazkor to do a combos article on their podcast. As any Hollywood studio will tell you, a popular effort requires a sequel, so this is going to be my second combos article. If this one proves popular as well, maybe there will be a third in the series. Without further ado, let’s get into the combos.
#1: Decadence and Ol’ Paddy
Credit for this one goes to my friend Turtle and his deck Tight-pursed Jagusiege. Ol’ Paddy is a huge threat, potentially able to throw down three creatures just by reaping. However, oftentimes on the turn after you play Ol’ Paddy, you don’t want to call Untamed again because you don’t necessarily have Untamed cards left in your hand.
This is where Decadence comes in. Decadence lets you ready and use a creature off-turn just by exalting it. Thus, you could call Saurians, and still be able to activate your Ol’ Paddy. Even better, if you have double Decadence, you can do it twice. I have seen Turtle make some crazy plays with this combo, and throw down a huge battle line just a couple of turns into the game.
There are a couple of other combos that are similar to this one. Instead of Decadence, you could use Unity or Discord to activate Ol’ Paddy. The upside is that Ol’ Paddy won’t have to be exalted. The downside is that you can only do it once in a turn, given that Unity or Discord doesn’t ready the creature.
Another similar combo would be to use Decadence and Youngest Bear, getting two reaps for the price of one exalt. Even better would be to put Ol’ Paddy next to Youngest Bear and get the best of both worlds.
#2: We Can All Win and Interdimensional Graft
This combo is kind of like the younger sibling of the famous BRIG combo. The downside is that it is in two different houses, which means that it requires an enabler in order to make it work. Typically, that enabler would be Com Officer Kirby. If your opponent is about to forge a key at seven Æmber, it’s not really worthwhile to play your Interdimensional Graft, because it will only net you one Æmber. However, if you play We Can All Win, suddenly key cost drops down to four Æmber, and then you’re netting three Æmber from the Graft. Even better, your key cost will be four Æmber on the next turn, so you can forge for two Æmber less. That means that you gain two Æmber and pay two Æmber less, for a net gain of four Æmber.
A similar combo exists in COTA and AOA, where you could play Interdimensional Graft and then drop down Titan Mechanics on the flanks, reducing key cost. Of course, the downside of that combo is that it is easier for your opponent to respond to, as they would be able to remove the Titan Mechanics before you can forge. On the plus side, it’s all in one house, so it doesn’t require an enabler to work, and Logos usually has the archiving to set it up.
#3: Make It So and Lay of the Land
This combination seems like one that the designers intentionally inserted to work together. Lay of the Land lets you stack the top cards of your deck, and Make It So allows you to draw the top cards of your deck if you can guess what they are. It’s a fantastic way to draw three cards at a minimum. It requires a legacy card, but if you could find a legacy Navigator Ali with Make It So, that would also be amazing.
As an aside, I have seen a lot of people misplay Make It So. Unless there’s an external factor affecting your draws (such as the aforementioned Lay of the Land, or maybe a Together! sitting in hand), you typically want to guess Star Alliance with Make It So, thus allowing you to play cards that you draw immediately. I also love the Star Trek: The Next Generation flavor of Make It So. Picard > Kirk.
#4: Sir Bevor and Bull-Wark
“Fight me, you coward!” As I am sure Cloggin would agree, Sir Bevor has one of the best and most quotable pieces of flavor text in Dark Tidings. However, the downside of Sir Bevor is that while he is great defensively with his five armor, he has almost no attacking power. This is where Bull-Wark comes in. Put Bull-Wark next to Sir Bevor, and suddenly he can attack for a respectable three while taking no damage in return. Put a Bull-Wark on both sides of Sir Bevor, and he can attack for five. The downside, of course, is that Sir Bevor’s taunt is then protecting creatures that don’t especially need to be protected.
I have seen this combo be effective in DT sealed games. It has the additional advantage of the fact that the assault damage that Bull-Wark gives to Sir Bevor allows Sir Bevor to take out annoying elusive creatures like Daughter.
#5: Effigy of Melerukh and Waste Not
Xenos Bloodshadow is not a good card, and certainly not worth getting saddled with Toad. This is because it’s a really strong creature, but that’s all it is. It doesn’t really affect the game state except to fight or reap once each Untamed turn. Effigy of Melerukh is a similar idea. It sounds really powerful with its hundred power and hundred armor, but it doesn’t really do anything except fight or reap once per turn.
If there was a way to get more use out of the Effigy so that it did affect the game state, that would be pretty good. How about if there was a way to get the Effigy to allow you to draw your entire deck? That would be amazing. Well, it just so happens that Waste Not does exactly that. If you use Waste Not on Effigy of Melerukh, that will allow you to draw 50 cards. Of course, Keyforge decks only have 36 cards, so you will draw your entire deck.
Even without the Data Forge, if you can ever pull this combo off, you will almost certainly win, as it’s hard to lose a Keyforge game when you have drawn your entire deck into your hand.
#6: Help from Future Self and Z.Y.X. Researcher
I found this combo in a deck I bought recently, and I have been taking advantage of it every chance that I get. After you play Help from Future Self to fetch a Timetraveller from your deck, HFFS is definitionally the only card in your discard pile. Z.Y.X. Researcher allows you to archive the top card of your discard pile, thus allowing you to stash away HFFS and use it again.
I love this combo for its own merits, allowing you to re-use the very powerful HFFS and Timetraveller. However, there’s another aspect of it that I love. It also foils Infurnace (obligatory Infurnace reference completed), as it leaves your discard pile empty. This can be a great play if you think your opponent is about to lay down Infurnace on their next turn.
#7: Lieutenant Gorvenal and Gizelhart’s Zealot
This is a pretty simple combo, but it’s effective. Everyone knows that Lieutenant Gorvenal is effective Æmber control, but of course, the problem is that he can’t do Æmber control straight from hand. If your opponent is on check for their third key, simply playing Lieutenant Gorvenal won’t pull them off of check. There needs to be fighting as well. That’s easy if there are Sanctum creatures on the board, but what if there aren’t?
In a recent sealed tournament, I faced this exact problem. I had three Lieutenant Gorvenals in my archives, and no other Æmber control on the board or in hand. My opponent was on check for their third key. I needed a way to cause some fighting to get my Gorvenals to activate. Enter Gizelhart’s Zealot. The Zealot was able to come down, fight once, and that was enough to cause all three Gorvenals to activate.
There are, of course, other ways to trigger this combo. You could also use a Grey Rider or a Smite to trigger the fighting. The important thing is that you have some way to trigger fighting so that Gorvenal can do its Æmber control thing and keep your opponent off check.
#8: Gambling Den and Book of leQ
This was the first Worlds Collide combo I ever found, as it was in the second WC deck that I ever opened. There are lots of good ways to activate Book of leQ, such as Lay of the Land, Navigator Ali, or just dumb luck. However, Lay of the Land is a one-time action card, Navigator Ali is fairly easy to kill, and dumb luck won’t always work.
Gambling Den, on the other hand, will always show you the top card of your deck. Sure, it might cost you two Æmber to find it out, but nonetheless, it will let you know whether Book of leQ is safe to use or not. My policy is that I will almost always call Star Alliance on the Gambling Den. That way I gain two Æmber and learn that I can’t play Book of leQ, or I lose two Æmber and get to play another house on my turn. Either way, I win.
#9: Bad Penny and Soul Snatcher
This combo is a COTA classic. No creature combos better with Soul Snatcher than Bad Penny. This is especially true if you have things like Seeker Needle or Nerve Blast in your deck that can allow you to kill Bad Penny multiple times and send it back to hand. This can quickly get out of control and allow just this combo to generate six or more Æmber on a turn.
However, there is a third piece of this combo that makes it even better – Autocannon. If Soul Snatcher and Autocannon are in play, then Bad Penny automatically generates six Æmber before the Rule of 6 stops you from playing it again. Of course, that doesn’t do anything to stop you from generating another six Æmber next turn. I have never seen this combo pulled off all in one deck, but I have seen it a couple of times where one player plays Autocannon and the other player has Soul Snatcher and Bad Penny, or one player contributes the Soul Snatcher while the other player has the Autocannon and the Bad Penny.
#10: Wardrummer and Phoenix Heart
This last combo was graciously submitted by UltimoFox after the last combo article. COTA Brobnar is full of good play effect creatures that you want to use multiple times such as Ganger Chieftain and Bumpsy. Wardrummer is great because it lets you do that. However, one of the problems with Wardrummer is that you can only use it once.
Phoenix Heart, however, allows you to bring Wardrummer back to your hand after you use it, and thus allows you to bring all your Brobnar creatures back to your hand for more smashing fun. This combo works especially well because the Phoenix Heart damage is typically not enough to kill your big Brobnar creatures, so they should survive to be bounced by Wardrummer. With enough Brobnar creatures, this combo can easily turn into a one-sided board wipe coupled with the opponent losing a bunch of Æmber. Bonus points for this combo if you have a Punch to trigger it on the Wardrummer yourself instead of letting your opponent decide the timing of it.
I don’t think I have this combo in many of my decks, but I do have a deck with a similar combo that I like a lot. That deck uses Arise! to bring back all my Brobs, plays them all down, and then Wardrummers to do it all again. I am pretty sure that the algorithm limited Wardrummer to one in a deck, and that was probably a very good thing.
There you have it, ten more lesser-known Keyforge combos. Hopefully, you have some of these in your decks, and you can go give them a spin. I already have a couple of combos in mind that I didn’t get to use in this article, so there will probably be a third combos article if people want to see it. Definitely let me know if you want to see it, or if you have any other thoughts, by contacting me as jfkziegler on most Keyforge Discords, or as SecondAct on TCO.