‘Tis But A Token

Published On: August 29, 2022

A brief History of Tokens

How Token Creatures Work in KeyForge: Winds of Exchange

KeyForge is a game that likes to challenge expectations in fun and innovative ways. The next official set, Winds of Exchange, is going to take that concept to a new level with token creatures.

Every Winds of Exchange deck comes with one of 28 possible token creatures and a reference card for that token creature. For example, let’s take a look at the deck Hortensia “Dame Quartz” Rutter.

Archon Card

Card Back

Token Card

Hortensia’s Archon card looks like the typical KeyForge Archon we’re all accustomed to seeing; however this deck also comes with the Mars creature token card Grunt. This card is not a playable card, but rather acts as a reference for all tokens created by its accompanying deck. The card should sit near its player’s draw deck, and may be referenced by either player at any time.

Now, check out the card backs for the rest of the deck (middle card above) — an image of Grunt is included on the back of every card! This is useful because of how token creatures work in the game.

Many cards in Winds of Exchange have effects that make one or more token creatures. For example, an action card included in Hortensia’s deck is Photon Blast.

If you play Photon Blast on your turn, you deal 2 damage to a creature with 1 splash damage. If any of that damage destroys one or more creatures, you make a token creature.

When an effect instructs you to make a token creature, you take the top card of your deck and put it into play, facedown, as a token creature on one of the flanks of your battleline.

Token creatures enter play exhausted. You can have multiple token creatures in play at a time, and they will always be copies of your token creature reference card. Note that making a token creature is not considering “playing” a creature for the purposes of card effects.

This example battleline shows two Grunts already in play, and Groggins. When making a new token creature, the player takes the top card of his deck and puts it into play on either the left or right flank of his battle line. The newly made Grunt enters play exhausted.

“Grunt” Creature Token

The “Photon Blast” Card

Token creatures behave exactly like normal creatures when they are in play. They can be used to fight, reap, or for their printed Action abilities. Each token creature can also be independently affected by damage or status conditions such as stun and enrage. Effects that target creatures can target token creatures.

While your token creatures are in play, you can look at their reverse sides. (Of course, you cannot look at cards still in your deck, and you cannot look at the reverse sides of your opponent’s token creatures, unless an effect permits such an action).

It is possible that cards from several of your Houses in a given deck can make token creatures. For example, the Brobnar action “Brawl In” generates enraged token creatures. If the deck from which “Brawl In” is played is connected to the “Grunt” token creature, the token made from the Brobnar action will then be “Grunts” from House Mars.

“Brawl In” Action

You can take control of your opponent’s token creatures through game effects, just like with any normal creatures.

If you take control of an opponent’s card that makes token creatures, but your deck does not include its own token creature (because it came from a set other than Winds of Exchange), then the “make a token creature” effect does nothing. In such situations, you simply follow the standard rule of “do as much as you can.”

When a token creature leaves play for any reason, it is moved to the appropriate out-of-play zone as if it were a creature—usually this is the owner’s discard pile. Once the token creature is in the out-of-play zone, it reverts to its printed card type and ceases to be a token creature.

“Nyyon Outpost” Artifact

How Token Creatures are Chosen

Every Winds of Exchange KeyForge deck is generated from a set of algorithms and then subjected to validation checks. The full process is quite complex, but here is a simple explanation for how a deck’s token creature is determined:

The algorithm determines which three houses will be included in the deck.

12 cards are chosen for each of the three houses following a detailed set of rules.

If the deck’s list includes a rare card that is paired with a specific token creature (a circumstance known as a token override), then that specific token creature is automatically included in the deck at the expense of all other token creature options.

If the deck contains no token overrides, the algorithm then chooses a token creature from one of the deck’s three houses. This selection is weighted towards the house in the deck that has the most effects related to token creatures.

The deck is then validated to ensure that it is unique and does not contain any card combinations that would be deemed invalid. If a deck does not pass all of its validation checks, it is automatically discarded and will not get printed.

We can’t wait to see what you’ll do with your tokens!

KeyForge is an innovative card game where every deck you purchase is a completely unique combination of cards. The next official KeyForge set, Winds of Exchange, is coming to Gamefound in September ’22.

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