Three Reasons KeyForge’s New Set, Mass Mutation, Should Make You Excited for the Game’s Future
The recent announcement of Mass Mutation, KeyForge’s fourth set, has been met with mostly positive reception, but some people have doubts about some of the new mechanics and cards that have been revealed. You can check out the details of the official announcement here.
Since there will be 250 new cards in a total pool of 422, and only a handful of cards have been revealed, we really don’t know much about which keywords and mechanics from previous sets will reappear, or which will be more or less frequent than before.
Whether you’re on the fence about Mass Mutation or already sold on the theme, you have plenty of reasons to be excited for KeyForge. Here are the top three, in no particular order:
Dark æmber and mutations – thematic and familiar
The official FFG announcement referred to dark æmber as “the game’s biggest shake-up yet”. This little nugget makes you wonder how much more there is to learn about dark æmber that hasn’t been revealed. Is it simply a thematic basis to have mutated creatures or will there actually be dark æmber in games?
Would it come with a drawback or curse other than mutation? Maybe a player gets a chain for every dark æmber in their pool, or your dark æmber can’t be stolen and/or captured. Considering the increase of æmber on creatures with exalt from Worlds Collide, maybe dark æmber affects creatures in some way, but it could also affect æmber in your pool. Or, maybe this is all way off here.
Even if it’s nothing more than part of the theme for mutants, the addition of these creatures should be enough to get people excited. Mutants will come in various forms, from re-imagined old staples such as Rad Penny (Bad Penny) and Snarette (Charette) to the Logos bots (Dino-Bot, Lyco-Bot and Umbra-Bot) which will combine elements of houses together. This is a smart way to bring new life to many old favourites going back to Call of the Archons, and it will be interesting to see what other mutants get revealed in the coming weeks and months.
It’s worth noting that FFG’s announcement page states: “These mutations are not inherently good or evil, though House Sanctum would certainly argue otherwise.” Take a look at these Sanctum cards as proof:
Even though it seems they’ll have cards to combat mutants, Bull-wark is a nice example of Sanctum still having mutants too.
New card symbols, the enhance keyword, and what this means for KeyForge
Now that it has been announced, it’s surprising this didn’t appear in earlier sets. However, it makes sense why they waited to include this.
Since the first set, Call of the Archons, there has only ever been one icon that appears in the top-left corner of specific cards, enabling you to gain an æmber as soon as the card enters play, before any other abilities resolve. Mass Mutation heralds the inclusion of three new symbols: one allows any creature of yours to capture an æmber from an opponent’s creature, another deals 1 damage to a target creature, and the final one lets you draw a card.
This does wonders for KeyForge. Even though these might feel insignificant at times, drawing a card, capturing an æmber or pinging off a pesky opposing creature can sometimes be the difference-maker you need to forge a key.
The fact that these can appear on cards from the enhance keyword is just the cherry on top. This is absolutely brilliant, and arguably the best part of all mutations. Take a look at Armory Officer Nel.
Unlike any other keyword in the game to appear on a card, enhance takes place in the algorithmic construction step of your deck. In other words, when the algorithm puts Armory Officer Nel into your deck, he will randomly enhance one card in your deck with the “draw a card” enhancement. This means you could have a card in your deck that is the only one, or one of the only ones, in the world that also allows you to draw a card in addition to its regular abilities.
It’s entirely in the spirit of the unique aspect of KeyForge, which is what makes it so special and intriguing, as it adds a lot of variety to decks. What about a card that destroys a damaged creature being enhanced with the “deal 1 damage” enhancement? The damage would trigger before the destroy effect, so this enhancement would essentially now upgrade this card into “destroy any creature”, unless they are warded. Adding a “draw 1 card” symbol to a card that allows you to archive cards could also give you the perfect card draw at the perfect time before archiving.
Once people start seeing these unique possibilities in their decks, how could they not be excited for what else is out there?
Gigantic creatures – how impactful will these things actually be?
First, just take a look at this monstrosity:
If you manage to get both of these cards and actually play Deusillus, you could swing the game in your favour if it wasn’t already there. This might even be the only move you have left to not lose, as your opponent has you on the ropes. So, will this and other gigantic creatures be as valuable as they look?
Well, to play a gigantic creature, the player must have both cards in their hand and play them together at the same time. So, you might see one early in the game and hold onto it, essentially treating it as a chain, as it sits in your hand. Then, once you have both cards, your opponent might make you discard a random card, or even purge one, and you might lose one half of your gigantic creature, rendering the other half useless.
Maybe having gigantic cards will make purging and discarding cards more powerful. What if the set has more cards with the ability to archive cards? This would help get both gigantic cards together without reserving a spot in your hand.
Ignore all that for a moment and just imagine what sorts of possibilities this opens up for the future. Imagine having creatures or artifacts that require more than two cards. Perhaps those can be added on to an initial creature once it has been established. Maybe you have four cards in a deck, but the left and right borders of the cards all line up in identical fashion, so any of the four can be mixed and matched interchangeably with one another to be played as a duo.
The possibilities are endless, and that makes this another prime example of why people should be so excited for this new set, and the future of KeyForge in general.
HONORABLE MENTION: Seven Sins, which was compared to the Four Horsemen. Will this actually be a group of seven cards that appears together in a single house, accounting for more than half that house’s presence in the deck? Or will the seven houses in Mass Mutation each have a Sin card, similar to the Shards in Age of Ascension?
Do you think there’s more to dark æmber than we’ve been told so far? Any cool unique enhance combinations come to mind? What do you think of gigantic creatures? Let us know in the comments below!
For more on Mass Mutation, be sure to check out FFG’s live stream on February 27th. You can find more information about that here.