Hello again, fellow Archons!
In our last piece, we took a brief look at the metagame of each set currently available. This time, let’s go into detail! Let’s discuss the strategies available for each house in Call of the Archons (CotA) as mains and supports.
Each house is represented in your deck by 12 cards. The kinds of cards shown will change the way you use these 12 cards, and how they will lead you to victory. It is important to identify if these 12 cards are mostly going to lead you straight to victory, or assist and guide you towards those keys.
Let’s start with Brobnar; the giants are quite versatile, despite their seemingly one track mind focused on combat. As a main house, Brobnar’s strengths lie in their board presence which leads to extended aember generation. Their often larger than life creatures last longer than other houses’, so they can wait out a turn or two while you build up and eventually reap out for the win. As a support, they have somewhat reliable non-combat removal and aember control if your opponent is overloading. See Lomir Flamefist, which is aember control and a big body at the same time.
The demons and imps of Dis are one of the “big 3” from CotA when the game first came out. As a main house, their strength lies in utter “domination”. Meaning, as soon as they have the upper hand or somewhat of board presence, the house can bury the opponent in value or even make them play poorly, putting them in a lose-lose situation. See Dust Imp for example, which if you allow to reap just sticks and if you kill gives aember regardless. As a support, Dis has one of the most reliable board wipes and hand disruption tools in the game.
As for Logos, the second in the “big 3”, excels in action-based aember generation and card draw as a main house. Because of cards like Time Traveller and Library Access (RIP), the house is capable of creating a ton of aember and drawing cards despite starting with just 3 or 4 playable cards in a turn. As a supporting house, Logos is actually capable of anything because of out-of-house play effects, allowing for unexpected and untimely interactions for your opponent.
Mars is quite an interesting house. Touted as the all or nothing faction in Keyforge, Mars turns are very rarely called down the middle. As a main house, if you can stick the landing, Mars often takes over with unbelievable aember generation and board presence. Cards like Zyzzix the Many and Uxylxx the Zookeeper are perfect examples. As a support, Mars has a good suite of aember and creature control at their disposal.
Sanctum is the house of honorable knights and sacred spirits. As a main house, they do well to make their creatures stick due to armor and healing - which then leads to effective creature combat, reaping, and aember control via capture. They also have odd explosive effects such as those found in Epic Quest and Oath of Poverty, so watch out. As a support, Sanctum has solid aember control via large loss mechanics and capturing, as mentioned earlier. They also have non-combat removal options available.
Shadows, the last of the “big 3” in CotA, comes in strong with a strong focus on aember control. As a main house, Shadows does one thing (in many ways) very very well - stealing. Shadows has a plethora of tools to steal your opponent’s aember, and a lot of them also come with bonus aember of their own. Given the set’s focus on “nickel-and-dime” stealing (See cards like Routine Job and the Urchin family), Shadows can just completely ruin a game’s aember economy and win via hoarding against non-Sanctum and Brobnar opponents. As a support house, there’s a healthy amount of board control and artifact interaction available for the house of thieves.
And last but not least, Untamed, is the house of nature and the wild. It is mentioned in many Keyforge resources, even before the game’s release, that Untamed is the undisputed champion in raw aember generation. As a main house, this is still very much true. With cards like Hunting Witch, Full Moon, and Dust Pixie, Untamed can make use of its key cheating cards to great effect. As a support, Untamed has access to creature and artifact removal effects, as well as recycling effects that allow you to reuse your cards sooner than usual. See the notorious Nepenthe Seed.
What other strategies do these houses have in CotA that we may have missed? Which houses are stronger as mains and supports?
This one was a bit longer, but it should be a good look at what strategies and cards are out there if you’re facing these houses in an Archon or Sealed tournament.
In the next piece, we’ll talk about these houses’ strategies as mains and supports in Age of Ascension!