Force of Will Boot Camp ~ Echoes of the New World ~ Part 2

Greetings once again, rulers! Welcome back to the Echoes of the New World Boot Camp articles. It's been a few weeks since you took your first steps into the world of Force of Will with your Echoes of the New World cards. Now that you've had time to play some games and become more familiar with your cards, it's time to expand our view to the scope of the game's premiere format, New Frontiers. Specifically, we'll be looking how opening up our deck to this larger library of cards can improve the strategies of the five Echoes of the New World J/ruler cards.

Before we do though, the most important thing to cover is exactly what New Frontiers is;

New Frontiers is one of several game formats in Force of Will and is the main format for tournaments. Usually when people play Force of Will, they're playing New Frontiers. New Frontiers is a format consisting of the two most recent clusters of cards. A cluster comprises a year's worth of cards (from September to August of the following year) including any booster packs, boxed sets (like Vingolf) or premade decks released at that time. Currently, the Alice Cluster and Lapis Cluster are legal for use in New Frontiers. To break it down even further, here's a list of all sets released in these clusters

Alice Cluster 2015-2016

Faria vs Melgis Dual Deck - VS01
The Seven Kings of the Land -SKL
The Twilight Wanderer -TTW
The Moonlit Savior - TMS
Battle For Attoractia - BFA
Vingolf 2: Valkyria Chronicles - VIN002

Lapis Cluster 2016-2017

Lapis Cluster Starter Decks - SDL1, SDL2, SDL3, SDL4, SDL5
Curse of the Frozen Casket - CFC
Legacy Lost - LEL
Return of the Dragon Emperor - RDE
Echoes of the New World - ENW
Vingolf 3: Ruler All Stars - VIN003

Whenever a new cluster begins, all cards in the older of the two clusters in New Frontiers rotates out and becomes illegal for use. In the case of an upcoming practical example, the Reiya Cluster will begin later this year. When it does, all cards in the Alice Cluster will rotate out of legality in New Frontiers. However, since we've still got some time before that happens, and since we don't know what the cards in the Reiya Cluster are yet, we'll be looking at cards in the current New Frontiers that can benefit the Echoes of the New World rulers, including Alice Cluster cards.

In addition to going over cards that can help each of our individual J/rulers, we should also touch on some cards that can be of value in multiple decks. This doesn't mean you should bend over backwards to make these cards fit in your deck, but they are worth considering for various reasons. Let's have a look.

First up is a tried and true light card, Zero's Magic Light. This card is a total cost two Quickcast chant that can remove an attacking or blocking resonator from the game. It's low cost, and Quickcast, make this card very accessible removal for any deck running light producing magic stones. It can be used both offensively and defensively as well, as you can remove an opponent's attacking threat, or remove a blocker that is stopping your J/resonator from dealing lethal damage.

Another valuable card is Amaterasu's Foresight. Think of it like the card equivalent of the panic button. This total cost two Quickcast chant prevents all damage that would be dealt by J/resoantors this turn. Take note that includes your own J/resonators, so there's not much point in playing this on your turn. Rather its meant as a way to keep yourself alive on a turn when your opponent would deal a large amount of damage to you or even attack for the kill. Obviously all this card can do is essentially buy you time, but sometimes all you need is one more turn, and this is the card that can make that happen.

Lightning Strike is the quintessential damage chant in New Frontiers. It's a total cost one Quickcast card that can deal 500 damage to a J/resonator or player. Use it to pick of low DEF J/resonators or to claim the last 500 life points of your opponent and win the game! Either way, this card is versatile, and useful for most any deck that's running fire will.

Guinevere and Rukh egg sort of work hand in hand. Guinevere is a total cost one resonator with 200 ATK and 400 DEF, though its highly unlikely you'll be attacking with her very often. Rather, by resting her and banishing a resonator you can draw two cards, and then discard a card. What resonator you banish could be anything, including Guinevere herself, making this card a very powerful draw engine. Her other ability costs one more file will, and doesn't require you to banish a resonator. It boosts a resonator up by +400/+400, but that resonator gets banished at the end of the turn. Usually you'll want to be abusing her draw ability as often as you can. And there is no card that works better with that ability than Rukh Egg.

Rukh Egg is a total cost one resonator that can't attack and has 0 ATK and 200 DEF. Pretty bad stats, but that's kind of the point. It's an egg. When Rukh Egg is put into a graveyard from your field though, you'l be able to search your deck for any fire resonator and add it to your hand! And what card effect puts a resonator in your graveyard? That's right, Guinevere. So use Guinevere's ability to banish Rukh Egg. Draw two cards, discard one, and search out any fire resonator you want! That's some very powerful hand advantage and can be done extremely early in the game.

Charlotte's Water Transformation is a great card for decks that need a way to deal a deck that can play aggressive resonators very quickly. This total cost one Quickcast chant lets you turn a resonator into a 400/400 Bear with no abilities for the rest of the turn. True, it won't destroy that resonator, but severely crippling a powerful card this way at the right time can mean that card will be destroyed anyway. For example, block your opponent's toughest resonator, then play this. As long as your blocker has 500 ATK, their resonator will be destroyed. To make things better the card has Remnant, so you can play it a second time from the graveyard. That means even if you're forced to discard this card or the like, it's still completely usable.

Artemis, the God's Bow makes for the perfect combo with Charlotte's Water Transformation magic. Unless you're running Arla as your J/ruler (and in this instance we assume you aren't), the card enters with two arrow counters on it. By resting this regalia card and removing an arrow counter, you can deal 400 damage to an attacking or blocking J/resonator. See the synergy? Change something into a 400/400 with Charlotte's Water Transformation Magic first, and then pick it off with Artemis! It makes for a very efficient (the whole thing only costs one will to pull off) and oppressive form of field control for your opponent.

And now for everyone's favorite subject, counter spells! Force of Will has many counter spell type cards, but these are are by and large the most popular and easiest to incorporate into a deck. First is the most basic counter card, and arguably the most useful. Seal of Wind and Light. This total cost two card simply counters a spell (remember, every card is a "spell" while on the chase!). That's pretty much all there is to this card. Technically you can awaken this card by paying a moon will to make it unchaseable, but you shouldn't hamper your magic stone deck just to include moon will for this card.

Wall of Wind, similarly is pretty simple. This chant only costs one will and counters any spell, unless your opponent plays one will of any attribute. That means if they have an open magic stone, or other will source, they can stop this card.  As such, this card shines the best in the early game, when players are still trying to build up their resources and magic stones are more scarce. In the late game, your opponent is far more likely to have a magic stone or two they can expend to stop this card, so be liberal with using this card early on, or wait for a situation where your opponent is out of usable magic stones.

And speaking of will resources, say hello to Sacred Elf. This card is quite easy to grasp the meaning of. It's a resonator that can be rested to produce a wind will. That's all there really is to it. She's got 200 ATK and 300 DEF, which is alright for her cost, but its highly unlikely you'll be attacking with her since her use as a will source is far more useful. Remember that Book of Light, Book of Dark, and Adelbert all have abilities that let you play certain kinds of cards with will of any attribute, meaning the will produced by this card can be used for more than just wind attribute cards in those decks, making Sacred Elf very valuable.

Another pretty hand first turn card is Tama, Familiar of Holy Wind. When this resonator enters the field, you'll be able to draw a card. That doesn't seem like much, but replacing this card's spot in your hand ispretty valuable. Once on the field, the card is a 200/200 isn't anything spectacular, but the card only costs one will so it's alright. Thankfully the card does have another useful ability. By banishing the resonator can deal 200 damage to a resonator. This makes the card useful for picking off resonators with low DEF.

Don't you just hate it when your opponent plays some card and it has a powerful effect that triggers upon its entry? Well now you can put a stop to it with Abdul Alhazred, Poet of Madness. This total cost two 600/600 resonator prevents your opponent's resonator's from triggering their own automatic abilities if the trigger is that card entering the field. Basically it means the card stops "When this card enters the field ->" type effects. That may not seem like a whole lot, but those kind of entry effects are the most common ability type in the game and some of the most powerful cards have them, like 《Captain Hook, the Pirate》and 《Griphon, Racing Across Darkness》.

Black Moonbeam is basically the ultimate shut down to an oppressive J-ruler. It's a total cost two chant that destroys a J-ruler, and your opponent can't chase to the card ,making this card nearly impossible to stop (the only card that can stop it is 《Wind-Secluded Refuge》). Since your opponent only has one J-ruler, you don't want to over-commit to this card, after you use one copy successfully all other copies in your deck are useless so only run one or two copies of this chant.

If you're running a deck that has a bit of a slow start, you're going to want some control type cards to slow down your opponent's strategy, while you advance yours. That's where discard chants like these come in handy. The Scorn of Dark Alice will let you look at your opponent's hand and force them to discard a resonator of their choice. This is particularly strong against aggressive resonator based decks as you can pick out their key attacker and have them throw it away.

The Nameless Mist is essentially the same thing, but for non-resonator cards. That means this card works a bit better against decks that rely more on lots of chant and addition cards. The Nameless mist is good when going up against other control type decks. As a nice little bonus, this chant also lets you put a +100/+100 counter on a resonator you control. Not an amazing feat, but a nice little bonus all the same!

For the sake of not cluttering up the article I won't post all of them, but another kind of card you should absolutely consider are the various dual attribute producing stones in the game. There's two common kinds and each combination of two attributes is represented within these two categories. One is just a caveat free dual attribute producing magic stone. The other will charge you 300 life if you aren't using the right J/ruler. If you don't pay the life the card comes into the field rested, but they also offer some other small effect. These cards are absolutely invaluable as most decks will be using at least two attributes. Once you figure out what attributes will be in your deck, get to work picking out which magic stones work best for you.

Here's the thing about Book of Light. Because you can play Will of Hope cards with will of any attribute, it creates a lot of different ways to build a deck. Plus, most of the ruler's best support are cards actually in Echoes of the New World. As such its difficult to pinpoint card's that are uniquely beneficial to this ruler in New Frontiers, as technically any card listed in the general section above could be used with the ruler with relative ease. That means it might be tough for you to build a competent deck with this ruler at first, but it also means you can gear your deck to play exactly how you want without worrying about making your Will of Hope cards unplayable due to your changing magic stone deck. Do you go for ramp with Sacred Elf and play the counter game with cards like Wall of Wind? Or do you favor a more beat down aggressive type strategy by using Guinevere and Rukh egg to search out Red Riding Hood and finish your opponent off with Lightning Strike? The choice is yours.

While you don't need to play Book of Light with entirely basic light magic stones, there are a few benefits. Being immune to the effect of the ever troublesome 《Captain Hook, the Pirate》is certainly one of them. The other is that you gain access to a unique little ramp card known as Sol, Envoy of Light. This is a total cost two resonator with 400 ATK and DEF, which aren't particularly exciting stats. However, when he enters the field you'll be able to reveal the top card of your deck, if it's a non-special light magic stone, then you can put it into your field. Since this effect does not say "put it into your field rested" that means it comes in recovered, and perfectly usable! So you can drop this guy on turn two and still have another stone to play something that cost's one, plus you're now ahead of the curve by one magic stone, which is pretty monumental.

Much like Book of Light, Book of Dark has the same sort of 'problem'. Since you can play Will of Despair cards with will of any attribute you can center your magic stone deck on what non-Will of Despair cards you want to include. As such, it's difficult to point out exactly what cards are best to use. All of the cards that are uniquely beneficial to Book of Dark are the Will of Despair cards we already discussed in the previous article. However, since so many of the key Will of Despair cards tend to have higher costs, it might be a wise decision to focus somewhat on wind will producing magic stones. That way you can use cards like Sacred Elf to help you ramp up your will production so you can play cards like Valetina, Umr at Tawil, and Yamata-no-Orochi more quickly.

 While we've already touched on ways to play the high costing Will of Despair cards, here's a basic way to cheat them into the field much more quickly with some New Frontiers cards. First you'll need to get the resonator you want to play into the graveyard. There's many ways you can do this, but a popular way is to use Soulhunt, a tried and true useful card. This total cost one chant forces both you and your opponent to banish a resonator you control and discard a card. But if you play this card on your first turn (assuming you're going second) and you have no resonator, only your opponent banishes a resonator! You'll still have to discard a card though, so you'll want to discard the resonator you want to play. Not only does this card help us set up our combo, but it also helps control the opponent's field too, it's a very hand card in the right kind of decks.

Once we have our high costing resonator in the graveyard, we turn to the chant card Dance of the Shadows to get it into the field. This chant will let you put any resonator from your graveyard into your field, but it'll be removed at the end of the turn. As such Yamata or Umr make much better targets for this than Valentina does as she need to survive until the next turn for her effect to be useful. This chant has both Quickcast (Chant-Instant) and Remnant. Meaning it can be played at any time and can be played a second time from the graveyard.

As with Book of Light and Book of Dark, much of Adelbert's main support is already found in Echoes of the New World. But that doesn't mean there aren't cards he can specifically benefit from in New Frontiers. The tricky bit is that Adelbert's support is all on Wanderers and Wanderers themselves aren't all that focused in what they do, so you're going to need to experiment more than you might with other rulers to see what works best for you.

While in the first article we pushed 《Valentina, the Crumbling Illusion》as the key card to play with Adelbert's entry ability, (and make no mistake, Valentina is absolutely a good choice.) she's not the only option for a strong play. Black Heart Alice is another solid choice. She costs less to play Valentina natrually, but offers no cost reduction. However she's also much more capable in combat, with some better stats as well as both Precision and Flying, allowing her to attack any J/resonator or your opponent with a fair amount of impunity. She also has an ability that triggers upon entry, allowing you to search out another resonator called Schrodinger, the Cat in Flux, which we'll look at in a moment. Her final ability is an activate one that let's you destroy a non-magic stone, non-J-ruler card. Unfortunately the price to do is is a little high, paying three will and banishing a non-token resonator is a lot to sacrifice, but if it means you can stop your opponent's trump card, it certainly can be worth it in the right situations.

Now then, about Schrodinger. Since this card can be searched and played for free with Black Heart Alice, you likely won't need too many copies of this card and won't need to worry about actually spending will to play it. That's not to say you couldn't though, the card is relatively cheap at a total cost of only two will. The cat's stats aren't great with 600 DEF but a very low 100 ATK, but that's alright, you're going to want to keep this resonator out of combat anyway. This is because anytime a resonator is put into a graveyard from your opponent's field, Schrodinger will remove that card from the game and give you a 500/500 Shadow resonator token. Yeup, the card eats up your opponent's resonators and makes you a Shadow army. If you've got enough on hand removal this can very quickly become a huge problem for your opponent. The trouble is that if Schrodinger leaves the field for any reason, so do all the Shadow resonator tokens, so be sure you have some ways to keep the card safe.

Alice, Dimensional Traveler makes for an interesting inclusion in your deck. This resonator is a total cost three with only 500 ATK and DEF. However, she can be played straight from your deck (paying her cost) any time you search your deck. Remember 《Words of Scheherazade》? Search your deck for one resonator, and play this one as well! Now the tricky part is the card's cost. Even with her handy ability, a total cost of three isn't all that great for what you get. And that's why we have 《Interdimensional Space》to reduce her cost, making her stronger and much more easy to play. This turns Alice from a novel idea into a very accessible body on your field. Since this card is returned to the deck any time it would be put into a graveyard, and you can just play her again when next you search your deck, you probably don't need to include more than one or maybe two copies of this resonator.

Gill Lapis is another card that can work as a tech in your Wanderer deck. The resonator's high cost means you'll probably want to play it via Adelbert or summon him from the graveyard with Valentina's ability. He's got 1000 ATK and DEF, but it's pretty much guaranteed that he'll end up having higher stats than that because of his ability. When he enters the field he destroys every non-magic stone card except for himself and a card of your opponent's choosing. Then he gains a+100/+100 counter for each card destroyed this way. Dropping this card when you're at a significant field disadvantage can be a huge upheaval in your favor, but its situational nature means you probably won't want to clutter your deck with too many copies. Run it a low amounts and rely on Words of Scheherazade to pull it out in a pinch.

With access to the card pool of New Frontiers, building a deck for Flute is much easier. If you remember from last time, with just Echoes of the New World on its own, she lacked a strong win condition to really bring things home and deal heavy damage to your opponent. In New Frontiers that isn't the case thankfully. With Flute's draw power she actually has the potential to be one of the most powerful J/rulers, and it's mostly thanks to one little resonator.

Charlotte, Wielder of the Sacred Spirit was practically tailor made for Flute. She's a total cost four resonator with 0 ATK and DEF. Seems kind of strange at first, but hold off on judgment for a moment. The card gains +200/+200 for each card in your hand. What's more, it also gains barrier against all cards that have a total cost equal to or less than the number of cards in your hand. Charlotte even lets you draw a card when she enters the field, replacing her spot on your hand to keep her abilities powerful. As we saw in the first article with cards like The Truth of Time, Flute can draw a lot of cards very quickly, and Charlotte is the payoff. As long as you've got around five or six cards in your hand this card is very hard to destroy, as most removal cards and effects aren't going to cost more than five will and with the resonator's ATK and DEF resting around 1000 or 1200, it's a very big threat to your opponent.

Summon from Memoria is an interesting alternative to something like The Truth of Time. Instead of drawing a card or two, you get to look at the top three cards of your deck and add one of them to your hand, then put the rest on the bottom o fyour deck in any order. While this won't net you as many cards as The Truth of Time will if you have it's Seal released, this card is better when you don't have Flute out as a J-ruler. Which to use, or indeed if you use both is up to you though. You'll have to experiment and see how things feel.

Look, if you're running water as your primary attribute, and you're planning on drawing cards, Space-Time Anomaly is a must have in the current New Frontiers. This card is crazy good. It's a total cost two chant with Quickcast that lets you sap a J/resonator of -500/-500, which can straight up destroy most weaker resonators. But that's not all, the chant let's you draw a card too. But also that's not all either, as this spell has Remnant, meaning you can play this card again from the graveyard by paying its cost again. That means with four copies of this card in your deck, you can play it eight times. It's a very, very good card for water decks that can also afford to run darkness will and you'd be wise to consider running three or even four copies of it.

Magic rebound makes for a pretty good inclusion in a Flute deck too, as long as you're running both water and darkness attribute producing magic stones. This nasty little chant card let's you change the target of a spell or ability as long as it has a single target, while also letting you draw a card to replace it. This means playing this won't decrease your hand size, keeping Charlotte powerful and untouchable. Changing a single target spell or ability can be pretty vicious too. Just imagine redirecting a single target damage chant back at your opponent, or a destroy effect back at your opponent's own resonator!

Yggdrasil is relatively easy to build for, even in New Frontiers. This is because of the card's unique abilities revolving around the removed area. To take full advantage of them in New Frontiers, all we really need to do exploit the best cards that also interact with the removed area.

Memory of Disappearance is a no brainer. The card let's you take any card from your removed area into your hand. With most other decks, this would be a fairly useless card, and simple draw effects would be much more powerful. However, because Yggdrasil is constantly removing cards as long as you're taking damage, you'll quickly have a huge resource of removed cards to choose from, essentially making any card in your removed area an easily accessible resource for only one will. That is incredibly valuable. 

Vell-Savarian Apparition is another card that fits quite easily into our deck. This is a card you ideally never want to play from your hand. This is because, normally played, the card is a 400/400 for a total cost of two, which is pretty weak. However, when Vell-Savarian Apparition is removed from your deck and put into your removed area, you can put it into your field for free! Again, thanks to Yggdrasil this is accomplished incredibly easily.

Torching the Timeline can function as some great removal for our deck at a low cost of only one will. The card deals 100 damage to target resonator for each card in our removed area. Again, thanks to Yggdrasil, this card can deal some very high amounts of damage to help you clear the field of whatever troublesome resonator your opponent plays. The only trouble is that in the early game, this card won't be that powerful as you likely won't have many cards in your removed area, but once you get ten or so cards removed this spell will be able to destroy most any resonator for a very low cost.

These three resonators are something of a trio, each letting you remove cards for an effect and gaining extra power and abilities if you have ten or more cards in your removed area. Verdandi is a total cost one resonator with only 100 ATK and DEF. When she enters the field, you can choose to remove a card in your hand from the game. If you do, you can draw a card.《Yggdor, Beast of Disaster》is a perfect target for removal with this effect, as are the four resonators Yggdrasil can summon with its own abilities, plus the early game draw is valuable to help gain an advantage. What's great is that this card doesn't even fall off and become less useful as the game progresses, as Verdandi becomes a 1000/1000 with First Strike once you've got ten or more cards in your removed area. With her own effect removing cards and Yggdrasil's abilities, that should be pretty easy to hit.

Skuld is a total cost two resonator with 500 ATK and DEF, slightly better stats for her cost when compared to Verdandi. When she enters the field you can remove the top two cards of your deck from the game and deal 100 x the combined total cost of those two cards to a target J/resonator. While the amount of damage this can reliably deal is rather shaky, this extra two card removal from your main deck can be helpful for digging through your deck to remove cards like Vell-Savarian Apparition and Yggdor, Beast of Disaster. What's more, once you have ten cards in your removed area, Skuld becomes an 800/800 with Swiftness for only two will, which is a very powerful aggressive force that your opponent is going to be forced to deal with.

Last of the trio, we have Keeper of the Past, Urthr. She's the most costly, requiring three will to play and entering the field with 800 ATK and DEF. When she enters the field, you'll be able to remove up to two cards in your graveyard from the game. If you do, you can deal 200 damage times the combined total cost of the removed cards to a target J/resonator. This effects works quite similarly to Skuld's effect except now we can choose which cards in our graveyard to remove rather than blindly removing the top two cards with Skuld. The effect also deals twice the damage Skuld's would. You would think this would make her more valuable than Skuld, but unfortunately for us, she isn't. Her higher cost means she's a little clunkier to play, and removing cards from our graveyard won't trigger Vell-Savarian Apparition's effect. Plus we actually need cards in our graveyard for the effect to deal damage, whereas with Skuld, we'll likely always have cards in our deck to remove. That doesn't mean Urthr is useless, but she's probably not a card you want to commit too hard to. Instead she's better as a salvage card for Yggdrasil. Removing cards like the four resonators our ruler can summon from the removed area or Yggdor so that we may play them from our removed area again. She also becomes a 1100/1100 with Target Attack once we have ten or more cards removed, but considering we can play Skuld for one third of the will for a 1000/1000 that doesn't seem quite enough to justify including three or four copies of her in our deck.

That's all for our second boot camp article. We hope our suggestions could help you as you journey into the more expansive world of cards beyond Echoes of the New World. We'll give you some time to get your deck together and test it out a few times before checking in next week. In the final article we'll discuss attending your very first tournament!