Hot off the heels of KeyForge’s most recent set, Mass Mutation, Fantasy Flight Games has already announced the game’s next set, Dark Tidings, set to release in February 2021. As with previous sets, this looks to shake things up considerably.
Here are the five biggest factors in KeyForge’s evolution going forward as a result of Dark Tidings.
1. Another new house – Unfathomable
That’s right; Dark Tidings will introduce a tenth house called Unfathomable. This underwater house will be made up of humanoid Aquans and dangerous deep-sea beasts. Unfortunately, Unfathomable will replace Dis in Dark Tidings. Dis has been a staple of KeyForge since the first set, but it makes sense that Dis will rotate out, as Unfathomable appears to be a control-based house as well.
Many of their cards revolve around the state of creatures on the board, whether ready or exhausted. Unfathomable abilities tend to restrict opponents and punish them for imperfect board states. I like everything about the look and theme of the house so far and I look forward to seeing more cards. I didn’t expect any new houses this soon, but I, for one, welcome our Unfathomable overlords.
2. New mechanic – HIGH and LOW tide
With the introduction of anomaly cards in Worlds Collide, we got a glimpse of what was, at the time, a future mechanic called “the tide”. Each deck in Dark Tidings will come with a 38th card called the Tide Card, which starts the game out of play. When someone plays a card that raises the tide, the Tide Card will come into play, with High Tide pointing to that player, and Low Tide pointing to their opponent.
High and Low Tide have no inherent effects on their own, but abilities will either be more powerful or will only trigger if you have the High Tide. Many effects can raise the tide, but even if you have no cards to do so, you can always suffer three chains to turn the tide in your favour. Even though the Unfathomable will have their share of cards to raise the tides, all houses will have ways to do the same. As of now, this tide mechanic will only be part of the Dark Tidings set, and it’ll be interesting to see how it affects the flow of the game.
3. Logos, Shadows, and Untamed refuse to be replaced
The announcement of Dark Tidings confirmed that Logos, Shadows, and Untamed are the only three houses so far (out of ten) to have been featured in the first five sets of KeyForge. And, since we’ve only ever seen, at most, two houses rotate out at once, there’s a good chance that at least one or two of these three will stick around for even longer. So, what is it about these houses that supports their longevity?
Each house does something no other house does. Logos has the most card drawing and archiving, Shadows has stealing, and Untamed have had a strong focus on æmber spikes and key cheating. It’ll be interesting to see how these houses evolve over time, or whether their strengths remain similar even in Dark Tidings. Personally, I could do without Untamed for a set or two, and I could even use a break from Shadows, but please, don’t take away my Logos!
4. …on the other hand, no Mars for the third consecutive set
Speaking of taking away things I love… as a big fan of house Mars, this is really disappointing to me. After they were left out of Mass Mutation, I figured two sets in a row would be more than enough time for Mars to return with a bang, but that’s not the case. I know I’m in the minority when it comes to Mars, as many people have complained about them either being too weak or situational.
While I understand the complaints, I’ve found them to be the most fun house, both in terms of actual play as well as artwork and theme. Maybe they didn’t fit particularly well in Dark Tidings, or maybe they’ve been undergoing a larger overhaul in terms of identity. Either way, the longer they stay out of the game, the higher hopes I have that they’ll return better and even more interesting than before.
5. Evil Twin decks – exciting but too rare?
New to KeyForge, Dark Tidings makes way for Evil Twin decks, which are evil copies of other decks from Dark Tidings. For example, you might get a deck called The Random KeyForger, and somewhere out in the world, there just might be a deck called The Random KeyForger’s Evil Twin. An Evil Twin version of a deck will have the same list of 36 cards, but some of those cards will feature their Evil Twin version, with slightly altered stats and/or abilities. Check out the cards below for what that might look like.
On one hand, this idea sounds really cool, and unlike anything I’ve seen in another game. The idea of running into someone with your Evil Twin deck, or even just knowing it’s out there somewhere, is pretty neat, but there’s a downside to this too. As a more casual player, if you only tend to buy a couple decks each new set, you’re unlikely to get an Evil Twin deck, and you might never even see one. Sure, if you could discover your Evil Twin across the globe and actually meet up and play against them, it would be an amazing experience, but unless you either get lucky or are willing to spend a bunch of time and/or money making something happen, for many of us, the Evil Twin decks could just be something you know exists but don’t really encounter. As it is, I have yet to see any anomaly cards which have been around since Worlds Collide, and I don’t plan to turn to the secondary market or mass buy decks until I get an Evil Twin deck myself.
So, what do YOU think of the announcement for Dark Tidings? Are these changes exciting or disappointing? Let us know in the comments below!