Ya, I’m all about deck building as well. I don’t want to completely bag on the game it does have good qualities, I just don’t think it’s my cup of tea for a variety of reasons that has to do with skill and balance versus chaotic and random. I.E. Tournament Netrunner type play versus Hearthstone. Hearthstone is wacky RNG goodness with a coat of strategy, while Netrunner, I feel, is the opposite. Mostly skill based plays and out skilling your opponent as opposed to ‘top decking’.
From a magic background, basically think of Keyforge as having 7 colors instead of 5. Each deck consists of 36 cards. 12 of 3 different colors. During your turn, you announce what color you want to play. You can only play cards (Including activating creatures) from that color. (I like this overall mechanic) You then refill your hand after your turn. There is no ‘mana’. Any card can be played by itself and there are ZERO counter reactions from opponents. (I.E. they can’t play/interupt your turn) You can do whatever actions during your turn in any order. Once done, everything is untapped and play switches players and you draw up to 6. If your deck runs out you reshuffle it.
You don’t have health, instead the object of the game is to forge 3 ‘keys’. Each key takes 6 aember to assemble. You get aember by playing some cards that give 1 and then do a card effect, the card effect itself (I.E. your gain 2, or you steal 1 etc…) and creatures can either fight (You choose which creature will be attacked the opponent doesn’t) or you can ‘reap’. Reap means you tap it like normal and get 1 aember. At the start of your turn if you have 6 or more aember you can forge a key for 6 aember. Any leftover is kept.
Thats the basic game. It does some things right but other things I feel are not great. Whats worst is that since you can’t build your own decks, if you get a deck that is just subpar (Because there are major balance issues imo) then you are screwed and need to buy an entirely new deck. It’s like booster packs but you have to play with what is inside. Blech…