Keyforge: a Procedurally Generated Card Game From the Maker of Magic

Keyforge: a Procedurally Generated Card Game From the Maker of Magic

Each Keyforge deck is unique and competitively viable at a $10 price point, meaning you don't need to spend a ton just to play in a local tournament.

We don’t write about card games too often. We’ve got the occasional Hearthstone or Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links piece here and there but it takes something really special to get us to write about a physical card game. Keyforge is just that: special. It’s the first unique deck playing card game where each set of 37 cards is generated algorithmically and no two are alike. It may sound like a proof of concept, that is until you hear it’s created by the same person who created the wildly successful Magic The Gathering–Richard Garfield.

Keyforge is attempting to do something different in the card game industry. It has removed the need for booster packs and deck building altogether. While it may not sound fun to lose your creativity, personally, I often wound up playing top-tier decks in ranked play in other card games anyway. In exchange, the game promises that each deck is balanced, just like a game should be *insert Thanos meme here*. If a deck is found to be over-performing then the starting hand size of that deck is limited more and more.

Each deck costs roughly $10 USD and includes a unique deck with a combination of 3 out of 7 possible factions and 37 cards. The deck list is printed on the back of the “Archon” card for which the deck is named so that no one can make alterations to their decks. All it takes is a simple scan of a QR code to see where a particular deck stacks up in the meta and exactly what cards should be in it.

There are a lot of mechanics in the game that I honestly do not fully understand as of the moment but I’ve purchased two decks already. For me, Keyforge is attractive because I can spend as little money as possible and be able to compete at any level of play. In other words, my success is earned through skill and not the size of my wallet.

It turns out that the game is not without its flaws. Multiple players have reported that the randomly generated titles of their decks include some less-than-perfect combinations of the English language. HeavyPunch has been uploading some of these decks which you can check out below. They include “The Emporer that Pays for Boys,” “Titanflayer, the Farmer of Racism,” and a few more strange combinations. Though at the end of the day, this might even draw more people to the card game.