Force of Will Boot Camp! Part 1 ~ The first week of The Moonlit Savior
Hello there friend! Welcome to the Force of Will Beginner’s Boot Camp! In these articles we’ll be looking at the game from the perspective of a brand new player and learning how to design and build decks, get involved with our local Force of Will community, and ultimately compete in tournaments!
Before we begin today’s discussion keep in mind that these articles assume that you are a beginner, but have a basic understanding of the game’s core concepts and rules. If you have yet to learn the rules, check out the How to Play section under the Rules tab of the main website. You don’t need to be a rules expert just yet, but knowing the basics will help you understand and utilize the information in these articles more effectively as they will make use of terminology in the Force of Will trading card game.
So you’ve just started playing the game after the release of The Moonlit Savior last week. Perhaps you participated in a pre-release event or simply just bought some packs or even a starter deck. But where do you go from here? How can you use the limited collection of cards you’ve amassed thus far to work towards creating the ultimate deck? Let’s start by taking a look at what you have.
In my case I opened ten booster packs, a good number for someone curious about getting started with the game, but who isn’t sure they want to commit to buying a box or two just yet. From these ten booster packs of Moonlit Savior I sorted all of the cards into piles based on their respective attributes.
Since a main deck is going to require you to have at least forty cards, and many decks utilize one attribute with a few splashes of others, it would be prudent of you to sort your cards based on attribute and choose aim to start working on a deck with the attribute you have the most cards of. This is not the only way to go about building a deck, but if you find yourself without direction, this can be a good way to get started.
So out of the packs that I opened, the three attributes I found myself with the most of were darkness, water, and fire.
Darkness is all about destruction (both of your opponent’s field and occasionally your own), life sapping, and working of the graveyard by turning it into a resource. In my packs I was very fortunate and picked up some of the best darkness cards in the set.
The card Nighttime Raiders might be a common, but don’t let that fool you, this card is a great way to bust out your biggest resonators. It’s a chant-standby, so you can play it by paying its printed cost after it’s been triggered or put it face down for two void and play it for free once it’s trigger has been met. Likely you’ll want to put this card down for two void as it is the cheaper option, but don’t feel bad about hard casting it from your hand if you have a better card to spend your magic stones on during turn two. So Nighttime Raiders can get a cost five or lower darkness resonator into our field, but what good darkness resonators are there?
Well thankfully I was able to pull one of the best darkness cards, Fallen Angelic Destroyer, Lucifer. This guy is a great addition to many darkness focused decks (and even some non-darkness decks). He flies, forces your opponent to banish a resonator upon entry, and can sap life by paying two will. Lucifer is a great choice for playing with Nighttime Raiders (remember his effect will go off even when put into the field by a spell card). The potential of having Lucifer on your field as early as turn two is something that should worry your opponent, and it’s a simple combo we’ve already got access to.
With Raiders and Lucifer we have an idea of what some good second or third turn plays are, but what about first turn? Have we got any cards that can really advance darkness’ destruction fueled strategy on the first turn? Thankfully, we do! Witch of the Night and The Executioner.
Witch of the Night might not seem all that great, with her zero ATK, but she can block most early and mid-game threats, and anything she can’t block can be easily sapped of ATK with her activated ability. You can even use it to weaken cards blocking your attackers! Witch of the Night can be good at stalling out the game against decks that throw faster threats at you.
The Executioner can be played normally on turn one, but since he is really only useful as a stealth card you’re better off paying two void to put him into the chant-standby zone. He can destroy a resonator with a cost of 3 or less when he hits the field from the chant-standby zone, meaning that from what we’ve got so far, Witch of the Night is our ideal turn one play.
The rest of our resonators all cost two will, giving us lots of options. Fallen Hero has some good stats for a second turn play and can’t be damaged by light resonators, he can also beef himself up for one moon will. Demon of the Black Moon, Lilith has some near equivalent stats and can be awakened to destroy a resonator and help you gain life. Auspicious Bird is…a bit lackluster compared to the other two, but can grow into a strong flying card at the expense of a moon will. Izanami, (an errata’d card, check the list for her new text) is also a fair second turn play. She’s packing the same stats as Fallen Hero, and spits in the face of her enemies when she dies, as she has two abilities that can be used from the graveyard.
In addition, we also got a spell: chant-instant card and a field card. Call of the Primogenitor is a one cost that will let you recover a resonator in your graveyard, and can be awakened to search for an extra resonator from your main deck. Darkness has slight difficulties maintaining it’s hand so this cad can help us keep our resources plentiful. The other card is Pitch Black Moon, which will beef up our J-ruler and by paying one moon will and discarding a resonator we can salvage a different resonator from our graveyard. This is great for swapping out cards you don’t need with ones you do. Its particularly great when you consider a card like Izanami has effects that incentivize you to put her in the graveyard, making her the perfect card to pay the cost with.
The last really useful darkness card I pulled was Black Moon’s Memoria. This will allow me to generate darkness will, but also moon will which is needed for many of the abilities of card’s we’ve looked at thus far.
As for ruler choices, the only darkness ruler in Moonlit Savior is Lapis, and he’s not a bad choice. He’s fairly strong and works well with Pitch Black Moon. Ruler cards can be a bit hard to get from packs, but your local card store will likely have single copies of the card for sale, so you can get your mitts on one fairly easily!
Let’s move on to our water card pile.
Water, up until recently, has been an attribute that has lacked focus. Drawing cards and annoying ticks were the name of the game, but they often felt themselves outclassed by other attributes. However Moonlit Savior does a very good job of rectifying that by providing some fantastic cards that interact with the game in a unique, new way.
This time we’ve only got a few resonators, but their strategy is easily recognizable. The first resonator we’ve pulled is Peasant Revolt, a card that, upon entry, will let you drop a total cost one water resonator into your field for free. Sadly I didn’t actually get any one cost resonators to use with this, but that can always be rectified later. This angry soldier will help you build quick field presence to deal with early threats as you establish your field. Peasant Revolt is a little weaker than other turn two resonators, but the fact it gives you an extra buddy more than makes up for it.
The second water resonator just might be one of the biggest MVPs of the entire set. Muse, Celestial of Music. This card does so much work it, deserves a pay raise. When Muse hits the field you guess a card type (resonator, spell, addition, regalia) and reveal the top card if your deck, if you guessed the right card type, you add this card right to your hand. This might seem like a gamble, so we’ll come back to this part, the important thing to take away from this is that it helps keep your hand plentiful and full of cards to play, which is key to victory in any match. The true power of Muse is her continuous ability. This protects all resonators you control from being dealt damage that is less than their DEF. This provides outstanding defence, which in turn can help your offence by enabling you to attack with less fear of your resonators being picked off. If you are interested in building any type of water heavy deck, you would be wise to consider Muse.
Now let’s have a look at the spell cards I pulled. Since water relies a lot on technical tricks, it should be no surprise that water spell cards can be just as critical as resonators.
The first is an addition card, Magic Conductor’s Baton. A very cheap play at one water will, this will also let you draw a card upon playing it, helping you keep up your resources. The added resonator will gain the ability to rest itself to recover a different card. This means you can rest a weaker card to recover one of your stronger ones, potentially allowing it to attack twice.
Coupled with this is the spell: chant-instant card Dance of Inspiration. This card also costs one will and will allow you to recover a water resonator and give it an extra 400 DEF. This can be good for emergency defence, but you can clearly see the potential for repeated jabs at your opponent with the same strong resonator. These two spells, used together can make for a nasty one hit KO situation when used with the right resonator.
We’ve also got another instant card, Valentina’s Resistance. This is a versatile spell that can run offense or defence. It will bounce a resonator back to its owner’s hand, or two if you pay the awakening cost. This can be a lifesaver when your opponent swings with a powerful card and you’ve got nothing to block with. It can, however, also be used for offense. If your attack is blocked, you can remove the blocker using this spell, and without a blocker your opponent will be forced to eat the damage.
Shion’s Hymn, our last spell, can also bounce a card, but not at instant speed sadly. However this will put the resonator back on top of the opponent’s deck, making their next draw useless as they’ll just be drawing a card they already had. Additionally you’ll reveal the top card of your deck, and if it’s a two cost or lower water resonator, you put it right into your field. This combos incredibly well with both Muse and Peasant Revolt, who will set off their own effects upon entry from this spell. Once again the trick is knowing what the top card of your deck is going to be.
The last water focused card we drew is Hymnal’s Memoria, a water will generating magic stone that, upon entry, let’s you name a card. Then reveal the top card of your deck, and if you guessed the card right, you add it right into your hand. This is absolutely phenomenal as it is essentially an extra draw, just for calling this magic stone. The only trouble is that your J/ruler needs to be Shion. Shion, however, turns out to be the exact remedy to this whole “top card of the deck” issue.
Without question Shion is the ruler to use for water decks. She let’s you look at the top card of your deck at any time, allowing you to make the most of cards like Muse. The card Shion’s Hymn also decreases the cost of Shion’s God’s art, making it free. All this points our water deck in the direction of a Shion focused strategy.
Lastly, let’s have a look at our fire cards. Fire is all about quick moving aggression, but truthfully Moonlit Savior fire cards follow something of a different strategy. Let’s have a look.
This time it’s best if we discuss the J/ruler first, as while I didn’t actually pull one, nearly every fire card in Moonlit Savior is geared only for him. Alisaris, otherwise known as The Observer has a strategy centered around removing your own cards from the game, an act that will reduce his extremely high judgment cost, but also create a toolbox of removed from game cards for you to utilize with other spells and abilities.
First we’ve got a fantastic fire card and an all around staple in any deck using fire cards, Rukh Egg. This card can’t attack, but upon death it will allow you to search for another fire resonator and put it into your hand. Getting this resonator out early means getting the exact fire card you need for a later turn.
The other one cost card we’ve managed to pull is Time Traveling Emissary. This old man, like Witch of the Night, has no ATK. However his effect more than makes up for it. By resting him and removing the top card of your main deck from the game (remember this is a good thing for The Observer) the emissary will deal 200 damage to a resonator. 200 damage isn’t going to be killing much beyond a one cost resonator, but if a tough baddie has a bunch of damage already sitting on him, this card can be just what you need to finish it off. Plus an easy way to remove your own cards is critical to success with The Observer. It also combos remarkably well with a spell card we got in our packs, Demonflame.
Demonflame will deal 500 damage to a resonator or kill a resonator that was already damaged. So by using Time Traveling Emissary to deal damage, you can then take out any resonator you wish by following it up with Demonflame.
Moving from one cost resonators, we were also lucky to get a great two cost one as well. Vell-Savarian Dragon is a flier with 500 ATK and DEF, which is pretty good. But what makes it even better for our purposes is that when it enters the field, and whenever it attacks, it removes the top two cards of your deck. This is one of the best cards for a deck using The Observer, and having an fairly strong flier out early in the game can help you get some damage in on your opponent.
The last fire resonator we managed to draw was Keeper of the Past, Urthr. Upon entry she can remove two cards from your graveyard and then deal damage based on the total cost of those cards, advancing your Alisaris strategy. She also transforms, gaining 300 ATK and DEF as well as Target Attack once you have ten cards removed from the game (which shouldn’t be too hard with all your removal)
So Urthur gains some power from your removed area, let’s see how we can turn your removed from play cards into a resource. We’ve got a spell card called Memory of Disappearance that, for one will, will let you take a card in your removed area right into your hand. So you can now turn your hefty removed from game pile into a pile of cards you can choose from, using this spell to take the needed card into your hand. Since you’ll be removing more cards than you’ll be drawing normally, this is a great way to search out the cards that are key for your strategy.
The addition field card we pulled, Blazing Metropolis, Vell-Savaria is another card that turns usually untouchable cards into resources. With this out, your Spell: Chant and Spell: Chant-Instant cards in your graveyard gain remnant. Remnant is an ability that allows you to cast the card again from the graveyard, but after doing so it is removed from the game. This means you can cast Memory of Disappearance twice as much! With this field card out any card that would hit your graveyard is instead removed from game, helping Alisaris, but making it impossible to add other cards to the grave for the remnant ability. So be sure to play this card only after you’ve got some resources in your graveyard.
Our last card for our fire pile is Orb of Disaster, Ifrit Glass. This is a regalia card, and is totally free to play. Upon entry you remove the top card of your deck from the game, par for the course at this point really. However the real power of this card comes from its activated ability. By paying two will and banishing the regalia you can put a non-regalia card in your removed area into your hand. This, like Memory of Disappearance, turns your removed area into a usable resource. Plus, if you’re using Alisaris you can nab two removed cards instead of one, drastically increasing the value of this card.
And this concludes our first Force of Will Beginner’s Boot Camp article! We’ll be back in a little while to see how’ve you progressed. In the meantime try to see what cards work well together, and try to come up with some deck ideas based on the cards you’ve acquired so far.
Be sure to use our official store locator (found on the main website) to find official stores for easy access to more booster packs as well as singles.
In the next article we’ll see how your basic deck ideas can evolve to become even better, and we’ll cover attending your very first tournament!
Written by Jordan E. Blanco