10 Keyforge Combos You May Not Have Heard Of, 3rd Edition
Back in the fall, I wrote a popular article about lesser-known combos, and the response was so great that I wrote another one. I always said that I would write a third article when I had enough combos to write about. I have been collecting combos since then, and I finally feel like I have a good amount, so let’s begin.
#1: Com. Officer Hings and Rocketeer Tryska
I don’t actually think this combo is lesser-known anymore, but it’s worth mentioning here in case people haven’t heard of it. I think this is likely the chase combo of Dark Tidings, just like Genka was the chase combo of Age of Ascension. In fact, it even has a name that’s a play on Genka – Hingska. In order for the combo to work, you first have to have the tide, and preferably a substantial battle line. First, you drop down Rocketeer Tryska on one of the flanks. Then, you proceed in one of two ways. If you have Com. Officer Hings in hand, you drop Hings next to Tryska, and then fetch Com. Officer Gross and place it at the other end of your battle line. If you have Com. Officer Gross, you do the opposite. The important thing is that Hings winds up next to Tryska so it comes in ready. You then reap Hings, and draw a bunch of cards. At the very least, you will draw one for the Tryska, but preferably you will draw a bunch more for a large battle line. It’s worth noting that Hings and Gross only fetch from your deck, so don’t get one of them killed early or the combo won’t work.
#2: Animator and Font of the Eye
Based on the precedent set by [REDACTED], Æmber on artifacts doesn’t go to your opponent when the artifact is destroyed. It just goes away. Thus, Æmber placed onto artifacts is effectively removed from the game. If you have Animator, this changes Font of the Eye from capturing Æmber to burning Æmber. When both artifacts are in play, call a Logos turn. Use Animator to animate an artifact, and then kill something on the opposing battle line. This will trigger the Omni effect on Font of the Eye, and you can capture onto your artifact. It’s best if you use a third artifact for this, as it will also allow you to reap with that artifact. If you have more Fonts, this combo gets even better.
Another similar combo was suggested to me by hafnium. If you put Amphora Captura together with Animator, then you can turn all of your bonus pips into burning Æmber. That can reduce an opponent from six Æmber to zero pretty quickly.
#3: Potion of Invulnerability and Plague Rats
Want a one-sided board wipe? Here’s an effective but unusual one. This one was suggested to me by jtrussell. Potion of Invulnerability is an Omni effect, so activate it on a Shadows turn. Your creatures are now all immune to damage, so they are unaffected by your own Plague Rats. However, your opponent is still very much affected. Play out three Plague Rats, and you have dealt six damage to every one of your opponents’ creatures, and no damage to any of yours. Four Plague Rats is obviously even better, as very few creatures are surviving ten damage. One-sided board wipe, indeed.
#4: Tolas and Three Fates
Tolas is one of the worst cards in Keyforge. On a recent episode of the Help From Future Self podcast (Episode 139), ScuzzyGruen went into detail about why he dislikes Tolas so much. To summarize, it gives an opportunity to your opponent, because they usually get to take advantage of it first. They will usually kill a bunch of your creatures, and then kill Tolas so that you can’t use the effect on your turn. Even worse, Tolas dies to a board wipe, so even if you wipe the board and your opponent has more creatures than you, you don’t get any benefit. I have legacy Tolas in Duke H. Gauntvision, my deck I used at Albany, and the only thing Tolas ever gets used for is to feed E’e on the Fringes.
However, there is at least one card that can make Tolas useful, and that card is Three Fates. If your opponent has the three biggest creatures on the board, you can drop Tolas, play Three Fates, and then your opponent not only suffers the injury of losing their three biggest creatures, they also suffer the insult of you gaining four Æmber for it (the fourth Æmber being the one on Three Fates). Of course, after that it’s wise to get Tolas off the board as soon as possible so that your opponent can’t then take advantage of it.
#5: Infurnace and Ritual of Tognath
Here we have my obligatory mention of Infurnace in every one of my articles. You’d almost think that it’s an impactful card in Keyforge or something.
The problem with Ritual of Tognath, Virtuous Works, Fertility Chant, Strange Ordination, and other similar cards is that they’re Infurnace bait. Fertility Chant actually suffers from this worse than any of the others, since it also gives your opponent two Æmber, but they all have the same basic issue. If there was a way to guarantee that your opponent couldn’t Infurnace them, that would help a lot. Well, how about Infurnacing them yourself? It’s harder to do with the other ones, as they are in a different house (or a different set), but Ritual and Infurnace both show up together in Mass Mutation Dis.
This combo is pretty simple. Play Ritual, gain three Æmber. Play Infurnace, purge from your own discard pile, and purge Ritual and preferably another junk card with it. Your opponent loses three Æmber. Just like that, you have a six Æmber swing.
#6: Subject Kirby and Dark Queen Gloriana
I discovered this combo one time in a sealed deck. Dark Queen Gloriana’s ability is often pretty useless, as it forces you to bounce something to hand that you don’t want to bounce. However, if you call Star Alliance, play down Subject Kirby, and then play down Dark Queen Gloriana using Kirby’s ability, it will allow you to bounce Kirby to hand. Once Kirby is back in hand, all you have to do is play it back down, and then you can use Kirby’s ability again. You can theoretically play creatures from three different houses all in the same turn. This combo gets even better if Kirby is enhanced. It probably won’t win you the game, but it should speed up your deck a bit.
#7: Diplomat Agung and United Action
This combo was contributed by my friend skunktrain. Diplomat Agung in general allows for all sorts of combos. It combos well with Unity or Discord, Grand Alliance Council, Reap or Sow, and other cards. However, I hadn’t thought of this one until skunktrain brought it to my attention. United Action allows you to play cards from your hand from any house, but you must have a card in play that matches that house. That’s where Diplomat Agung comes in. Play down Diplomat Agung, and then have the Diplomat become whichever house you need. You are now free to play cards of that house from hand. It should make it easy to dump your entire hand on a United Action turn, which can be quite a momentum boost in the game.
#8: Imp-losion and Soulkeeper
This is one of my favorite simple combos. It exists in a couple of my favorite MM Dis decks, and of course it’s especially good in MM, as MM Dis has a lot of creatures you want to kill. The combo itself is easy. Put Soulkeeper on one of your own creatures that you don’t mind losing, then use Imp-losion to destroy that creature and an opposing creature that is not the most powerful opposing creature. You get a two for one, as you lose one creature, and they lose two. I believe that this combo will even get around a Voltron built with Light of the Archons and Encounter Suit, which can be one of the hardest types of creatures to get off the board.
There are lots of creatures that make great sacrifices for this combo. Rad Penny and Q-Mechs are great non-Dis options, and Dis has Relentless Creeper, the Fiends, Impspector, and others. My favorite use of this combo is in my deck Winter the Absurdly Wistful. Typically I will play Mark of Dis on an opposing creature, then play Truebaru down. I will put Soulkeeper on the big demon, and then blow it up with Imp-losion in order to gain Æmber, destroy two opposing creatures, and likely force a dead turn for my opponent. It’s usually worth an automatic key.
#9: City-State Interest and Bury Riches
Saurians have now been in three sets, and they have always had City-State Interest available to them. It works for a bunch of combos. It combos really well with Axiom of Grisk, Senator Bracchus, and Curia Saurus, for example. However, DT brought another combo piece for City-State Interest, and it might be the best one yet.
Custodian, one of the Archon’s Corner regulars, suggested this combo to me. City-State Interest allows you to capture one Æmber onto each of your friendly creatures. Then, if the tide is high, Bury Riches allows you to move one Æmber from each creature to its controller’s pool. This combo kind of works like a mini-version of Envy/Gluttony.
It does have some drawbacks, notably that you will be giving your opponent the benefit of moving one Æmber from each of their creatures into their pool. It also requires a substantial board to work well. That said, it should be a big enough swing in the game to make it a worthwhile play once it has been set up.
#10: Key Hammer and The Sting
Key Hammer is justifiably considered one of the worst cards in Keyforge. If played at the wrong time, say from a Wild Wormhole, it gives your opponent six Æmber. I’m actually not sure why they never fixed that problem through an errata like they did with Biomatrix Backup, but that discussion is not really relevant to our combo today. What is relevant is that Key Hammer does have some positive uses. The typical combo with it is with Lash of Broken Dreams, so that you give your opponent back six Æmber for their key, and then make them pay nine to reforge it. However, deadpool_og10 showed me another great combo with Key Hammer – The Sting.
Here’s how it works. Wait until your opponent is about to forge, and then drop The Sting. They forge their key, and you get six Æmber (or more if you taxed their key). After they play their turn, you play Key Hammer on their next turn. Now they have to reforge their key, and you get another six Æmber for it. That two turn combo nets you twelve Æmber, enough for two keys. From there, either play a Shadows turn and destroy The Sting, or just play some Untamed key cheats, and you should forge three keys in no time.
I hope you enjoyed this look at ten more Keyforge combos. I am sure there will be a fourth edition coming out at some point. If you would like to get in touch with me to discuss the article, I can be found on most Keyforge Discords as jfkziegler or on TCO as SecondAct. Thanks for reading!