Keyforge and Thinking Strategically

Written by Michael Georgiou

Crazy Killing Machine Network

I am really interested in what makes for an effective strategic approach to playing traditional and non-traditional CCGs such as KeyForge. I also know that as a player, I need to be a learner - I need to learn from the games I play and the opponents I face, but I also need to carry out research that will help me sharpen my own skills.

The below threefold approach to an effective strategy is based on Professor Richard P. Reumelt's book, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters (Profile Books Ltd., 2012). I came across this as I was researching different strategic approaches and thought that it would be a good place to start. I apply this approach to my own strategic planning when playing KeyForge.


The initial stage of formulating an effective strategy involves diagnosing the weaknesses and issues in your own deck and considering your opponent's deck - addressing what is preventing you from reaching your goal.

Guiding Policy

The next stage of formulating an effective strategy requires you to develop a plan that will enable you to overcome the problems set out in the diagnosis.

Coherent Actions

Finally, you need to identify a set of coherent actions that will enable you to implement your guiding policy. This will ensure that you can realise your strategy effectively.

Devising a strategic approach using these three key steps puts you in a strong position to make the most of your deck and, ultimately, win the games you play. Let's consider what this might look like in practice.

The Diagnosis.

Look at your deck for example:


Here is your opponent’s deck for reference: 


You can’t say you have a strategy if you don’t diagnose the problem. Examine the opponent’s deck list. What are going to be the key cards in this match that your opponent will utilise? Auto-Encoder (which may be the best card in set), two copies Bo Nithing with Safe House, City State Interest with Spoils of Battle and Axiom of Grisk will be a problem.  Fighting will also be tough with Charybdis and Scylla