Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
The Star Alliance House in Keyforge
Introduced in the Worlds Collide expansion (alongside house Saurian), the Star Alliance shares the space theme of Mars, but where Mars cards work best off each other, the Alliance excels at utilizing other factions.
While SA creatures aren't very tough, and the faction has limited removal options, you won't find anyone better at swarming the field thanks to their ability to play other, non-active houses. The faction also bears many upgrades to bolster their somewhat frail creatures—which effects reign supreme? These are the ten best Star Alliance cards in Keyforge!
10. Galactic Census
Galactic Census will provide anywhere from 1-4 amber, meaning at max it grants 2/3 of a key! Playing it grants one amber, and its effect gives another if there are 3-4 houses among creatures in play, two bonus if there's 5, and three if there's 6 or more.
So definitely better once both players have fielded some factions, but that's pretty easy considering the Alliance lets you play cards from other houses, and unlike some action cards, Census won't clog up your hand, as you'll play it for the base amber if nothing else.
9. Com. Officer Gross/Com. Officer Hings
Gross and Hings both find each other from deck when played, meaning each can provide two creatures in one, both with a low but not terrible power of three. From there, after fighting or reaping, both Gross and Hings will draw a card for each creature between them in your battleline.
Admittedly, this effect requires both Hings and Gross to still be alive, and works best when you get to play other creatures the same turn as the pair (so you can separate them as much as possible), but when it works, it works. You can also deploy creatures between them to exploit the effect.
8. Information Officer Gray
Four power is pretty high for the Star Alliance, and Gray's nice because his effect triggers both on being played and after fighting or reaping, revealing and archive a non-Star Alliance card from your hand.
Remember, archived cards can be accessed at the start of your turn, and since you draw up to six at the end of every turn, they're effectively bonus cards to access when needed.
7. Hapless Cadet
Hapless Cadet only has three power, but his taunt trait prevents opponent from attacking his neighbors, great for protecting Star Alliance allies who need time to maximize their abilities.
Even better, when destroyed, Cadet makes your opponent lose three amber, a devastating penalty in most situations (try not to have Cadet die right after a key is forged to ensure max disruption).
6. Crash Muldoon/Diplomat Agung
These cards are pretty similar, both effectively letting you use a non-Star Alliance creature. With three power, Muldoon enters ready, and as an action, he'll let you use a neighboring non-SA unit. Plus, with deploy, you can put him wherever you like in your battleline.
Diplomat Agung is weak at two power, but when played and after reaping or fighting, he has a friendly creature belong to an extra house of your choice for the turn, letting you make something Star Alliance and immediately use it.
5. Chief Engineer Walls
Walls is certainly weak at two power, but unlike many of his SA comrades, he does have some protection via elusive, meaning the first time he's attacked each turn, neither combatant takes damage.
This helps him stay alive long enough to keep using his next effect, which returns an upgrade or robot card from your discard pile to your hand when Walls is played or reaps/fights. The Star Alliance definitely has some good ones to recover, but you can even pick robots or upgrades from other factions.
4. Com. Officer Kirby
Kirby only has three power, but when played or after fighting/reaping, he lets you play a non-Star Alliance card that turn that isn't a creature—so an upgrade, action, or artifact. What can I say; this helps you field multiple factions at once, ensuring you'll have multiple factions to pick from on your next.
When played, three-power Daemo-Alien looks at the top three cards of your deck, adding one to hand, one to top of deck, and one to bottom. Unless you're really unlucky, this usually means you'll find another SA card to play, an immediate +1 advantage.
As if that weren't enough, Daemo steals an amber when destroyed, making him the gift that keeps giving.
2. Medic Ingram
Ingram has three power and an amazing effect that triggers on play, fight, and reap, healing up to three damage from a creature and warding it. Damage healing is nice, and warding is an amazing defense that negates the next damage, destruction, or field-leaving effect a creature would suffer.
It's also nice that Ingram can target both Star Alliance and non-SA cards, even herself if you wish.
1. Captain Val Jericho
Finally, a Star Alliance creature that can actually compete in battle, Val has five power with one armor, making her surprisingly sturdy. More than that, as long as she's in the center of your battleline, you can play one card from another faction each turn.
Cool thing is, this works even if you didn't pick the Alliance that turn. Sadly Val's a rare, so she won't be in every deck, so count yourself lucky whenever you find the captain.
Where to find the Star Alliance
If you want your own Alliance decks, remember they didn't exist in Call of the Archons and Age of Ascension, so look for them starting with the Worlds Collide set and onwards. I recommend beginning with a two-player starter set, which contains two decks plus paper playmats and tokens.
Of course, you never know what three houses you'll find when you buy a new deck, but Star Alliance pairs well with houses that can handle aggro, whether that's via the bigger creatures of Saurians and Untamed or the control of Dis and Unfathomable. Shadows is always a welcome sight, because it's, well, Shadows, but for now, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Keyforge countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill