Force of Will Boot Camp! Part 2 ~ Improving Our Decks!
If you haven’t read the first article, click here to read it first!
Greetings, rulers! 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, learn how to design and build decks, get involved with our local Force of Will community, and ultimately compete in tournaments!
It’s been a while since our first article, where you took your first steps into building a deck, while we looked at some basic synergies within the Legacy Lost booster set itself. This week, we’re going to branch out and look at how the rulers can benefit from cards from other sets in the New Frontiers format.
Firstly, for those not in the know, New Frontiers is Force of Will’s premiere competitive format. Essentially, all cards from the most recent two clusters are legal four tournament use. Currently the Alice and Lapis clusters are Legal in New Frontiers. This currently includes the following sets:
Alice Cluster Starter Deck: Faria, the Sacred Queen and Melgis, the Flame King
The Seven Kings of the Land
The Twilight Wanderer
The Moonlit Savior
Battle For Attoractia
Vingolf 2: Valkyria Chronicles
Lapis Cluster Starter Decks
Curse of the Frozen Casket
This, naturally greatly increases our options and can be a little daunting. After all, without experience and knowledge of every card in these sets, how are we to know what’s best? As long as you stick to the fundamental strengths of each ruler, and are willing to experiment and change your deck build as you grow and gain experience, you’ll be fine. Remember, no one is an expert when they start, and we learn best through error.
That said, let’s take a look at our Legacy Lost J/rulers!
Even when expanding our deck for Faria/Glorious, we’re going to mostly be uses a lot of Inheritance cards. Since Inheritance is a new ability introduced to Force of Will in Legacy Lost, that makes building for Faria a bit easier. A lot of your main deck cards are going to be the same. However that doesn’t mean we can count out what other sets have to offer entirely.
Faria is going to be running plenty of wind attribute cards, so Sacred Elf is a no-brainer. You’ll be thankful for a first turn card that can help keep your resources plentiful enough to make good use of Inheritance abilities from the hand while still having enough will to keep your field presence strong. Late game this resonator isn’t going to be doing too much for you, unfortunately. However, Faria needs to rush down and beat the opponent into the asphalt quickly anyway so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue anyway.
Another handy first turn wind drop, Tama Familiar of Holy Wind will help you keep your hand full of cards to play by letting you draw a card when this cat enters the field. While not much of a fighter, this card can be banished to deal 200 damage to a resonator, which can come in handy at times when you need just a bit more damage to take down a threat.
While Sacred Elf and Tama are rather common choices for most standard decks running a good amount of wind will producing stones, one that might not be so obvious a choice is Ratatoskr, the Spirit Beast of Yggdrasil.
Many of the Inheritance cards are wind attribute, meaning they can gain Quickcast from this card, making them that much more threatening for your opponent. This card also provides protection to itself and other beasts during your opponent’s turn. Unfortunately, most Inheritance resonators are not beasts, but rather divine beasts, so they won’t gain this benefit. However the real benefit is Quickcast. Now you can keep your will open during your opponent’s turn, keeping them wary, as they’ll be unsure whether your waiting to play a resonator or a counter spell on their turn.
Another unlikely, but powerful contender for your deck is Pricia, Beast Queen in Hiding. This card enters with an ATK and DEF of 700, which is somewhat low for a total cost three resonator. However! This card benefits greatly from any deck running spells or abilities with power up type effects, which our Inheritance deck has in spades. Any spell or ability that would increase this card’s ATK or DEF increases it by double that much instead! This resonator can become absolutely massive, making it something of a stealth bomber. Your opponent has no idea whether or not you’ve got an Inheritance card in your hand, especially if you’ve got Faria on the field as a J-ruler, allowing you to play that Inheritance card for free. The second your opponent makes the mistake of not being able to block this resonator, pump it up to maximum overdrive and deal incredible amounts of damage. This resonator is also a beast, so unlike your other resonators it will be protected by Ratatoskr’s ability.
We mentioned the usage of counterspells like Final Breeze last time, and while that card is certainly good, with access to all cards in New Frontiers we’ve got a few other options to consider as well. Most notably Seal of Wind and Light, and Wall of Wind.
Seal of Wind and light is the standard basic “cancel spell”. It is a standard cancel without and hang ups. It can, however, be made un-chaseable by paying its Awakening cost of one moon will. However, you’re unlikely to be running moon will in this type of deck and it’s not too much of a loss to not be able to pay this card’s Awakening. The card’s normal cost is one wind and one light, Faria’s two main attributes making it a great choice. Inheritance decks don’t have much in the way of removal, so you’re going to want to rely on cards like this to stop threats before they hit the field.
Wall of Wind is another option. A cheaper card in terms of will cost, this spell will cancel any target spell like Seal of Wind and Light. However this effect can be cancelled by your opponent paying one will. As such, you’ll want to make sure they either can’t pay that one will or that paying that one will keeps them from playing whatever else they wanted to play that turn, or else this spell won’t be very effective.
Speaking of removal, although we didn’t touch on it last time, it might be prudent of you do include Invisible Flame in your deck as well. This card is a basic 600/600 in the field, but can be played via it’s Inheritance effect to deal 600 damage to a J/resonator instead, providing a helpful method to remove weaker threats. Including this card means you’ll also want to run a few copies of either Magic Stone of Heat Ray or Magic Stone of Blasting Waves so that you have the necessary fire will.
However, more than those two magic stones, you’ll absolutely want Magic Stone of Gusting Skies. We talked last time about how Pricia’s Memoria is Faria’s Key stone and can produce both light and wind will, making it key for Faria/Inheritance decks. Well Magic Stone of Gusting Skies is basically the same thing, minus the little support ability to buff Faria in her J-ruler form. Ideally you’ll want four copies of both this card and Pricia’s Memoria in your magic stone deck.
If you happen to include some fire will producing magic stones in your build you might also want to consider Laevateinn and Lightning Strike.
Laevateinn should be considered regardless of your magic stone deck, honestly. The powerful regalia can be rested to increase your J-ruler’s damage by 200, but more importantly it grants your J-ruler Swiftness. While Faria is not likely to be your focus on dealing damage, she is most certainly a good secondary fighter and Laevateinn makes her a threat much, much faster. The regalia can also be banished to grant Faria Imperishable should your J-ruler ever come under threat of destruction. The regalia even helps you deal with when you draw extra copies of the card, as the extras can be discarded from your hand to produce fire will, providing a little (if rather inconsistent) support via will ramping.
Lightning Strike might be worth considering if you find that Invisible Flame isn’t working out for you. While weaker in damage, Lightning Strike only costs one will to play and can toss its 500 damage at a J/resonator or a player, making it viable for the killing blow on your opponent should their life be low enough. You’ll have to try for yourself and see which you prefer over the other, or if you prefer both!
Lumia can take some very interesting directions when exposed to the new Frontiers environment. As we discussed previously, you want to take advantage of her removal ability as much as possible. Though we previously focused mostly on removing cards with powerful “when this card enters the field” type effects, we’re really going to be exploring the true depths of that power this time around.
Celestial Wing Seraph has, undoubtedly, one of the most powerful entry type automatic abilities. She’ll let you summon another Angel from your deck for free as long as it has total cost four or less. The prime target for this is Fallen Angelic Destroyer, Lucifer. He forces your opponent to banish a resonator, has Flying, and sports some alright ATK and DEF. Seraph herself isn’t too shabby a combatant either. She’s also got Flying and 1000 ATK and DEF. She’ll also heal you whenever you attack with an Angel resonator (Which Seraph and Lucifer both are). But here’s the kicker; once you’ve got a Seraph on the field, you can keep summoning Lucifers every turn. Just remove then return Seraph with Lumia’s ability and the resonator’s ability will trigger again, allowing you to summon another Lucifer to the field and force your opponent to banish another resonator. You can easily overtake the field with these two cards, removing your opponent’s cards while increasing your own forces at the same time. You can even remove then return Lucifer to trigger his banish effect should you have no more copies of him to summon from your deck via Seraph’s ability.
The trouble is, of course, that Seraph has a total cost of five, which is rather chunky. So let’s look at some ways to help with that.
Since Lumia is more than likely running fire will, you’ll absolutely want to include Guinivere, the tried and true draw engine for fire decks. She’ll require you to banish a resonator, but she’ll allow you to draw two cards and then discard one. But wait! We don’t want to discard our precious cards, we need those! Well, that’s where Dance of the Shadows comes into play. This card can help us turn our negative into a positive. This spell revives a resonator from the graveyard, but will force it to be removed “at end of turn”. So we can discard Seraph, and use Dance of the Shadows to get her into the field a turn early. Now here’s where things get a bit tricky, friends. In Force of Will “at end of turn” is actually not the last thing that happens in a turn. It is a specific point during the end phase when these types of effects all trigger. However, there is a priority sequence, that is to say, a chance to play Chant-Instant cards (these are the same as Chants with Quickcast) AFTER “at end of turn” effects would trigger and resolve. So you’re going to have to be sneaky and play Dance of the Shadows during the priority phase that comes after “at end of turn” effects trigger during the end phase. Still confused? Let’s look at an example;
Let’s say we’ve got Celestial Wing Seraph in the graveyard, it’s the opponent’s turn, and we’ve got four magic stones ready to play Dance of the Shadows. Your opponent declares they want to end their turn, so the game moves to the end phase, all “at end of turn” and “until end of turn” effects trigger/end respectively. Then you declare that you are playing Dance of the Shadows to revive the Seraph. Now, you revived Seraph during your opponent’s turn. At the absolute last second, but still, during your opponent’s turn. The next time “until end of turn” effects trigger is at the end of YOUR next turn. So that means you’ve now got a whole turn to attack with Seraph. And if you attack with Seraph, Seraph will become rested, and if she becomes rested, she can be removed via Lumia’s ability. Now, when a card leaves the game for a non-field zone in this way and then re-enters the field. It is considered a different card, thus any effects on it before are now gone. Get it? by removing Seraph we eliminate the “at end of turn” effect of Dance of Shadows that would permanently remove Seraph! it’s a bit tricky, but try playing it out with your own cards and you’ll get the hang of it.
Of course that combo is going to take a few turns to actually set up though so in the meantime you’ll want to run some other useful resonators to keep your opponent on their toes.
The Seven Dwarves makes for a surprisingly good resonator for both offense and defense with Lumia. This card enters the field with seven +100/+100 counters and prevents all damage that would be dealt to it, but removes a counter each time it does. This makes this resonator very annoying to kill. What makes it harder to kill is that every turn, you can remove this resonator with Lumia’s ability. When it returns to the field it will enter the field with a full seven +100/+100 counters again, making this resonator even more irritating to remove from the field.
Snow White of the Crystal Apple works in a similar fashion. She also enters with +100/+100 counters based on how many light magic stones you control she can also remove counters from herself to put them on other light J/resonators (like The Seven Dwarves!). This resonator is a bit less durable than The Seven Dwarves, but she can power up your field, and then you can remove her with Lumia’s ability to give her a bunch of counters again!
Since you’ll be running Awakened Magic Stone, The Earth, which can produce fire, it might be a good idea to consider the classic aggressive fire attribute cards. We’ve already seen Guinivere, here are the other pieces.
First is Rukh Egg. This total cost one resonator lets you search your deck for a fire attribute card when its put into the graveyard from your field. Ideally this is done via Guinevere. You’d use Guinevere’s draw ability to banish Rukh Egg, allowing you to search out a fire resonator and draw two cards (while also discarding one, of course). This helps thin your deck immensely, while keeping your hand full. Even though you can only search out a fire card and draw two, frequent use of this combo throughout the course of the game will quickly thin your deck and greatly increase the probability of you pulling key cards you need to win.
So what resonators should you try to search out? Lancelot is certainly one of the ideal targets. This total cost two resonator is a 600/600 with Swiftness, making it a very aggressive and powerful card. This resonator will also be able to deal 700 damage to another resonator when Lancelot has 1000 ATK or more. This can be achieved by Lancelot’s ability to increase its ATK by 100 by paying one fire will. However that would mean that we’d have to pay four fire will, not exactly ideal.
That’s where Hector comes in. Hector is a total cost two resonator but will drop to a total cost one when you’ve got Lancelot on the field. Upon entry, this card enters your field you can boost a resonator’s ATK by 400, perfect for boosting Lancelot to 1000 ATK which will be enough for Lancelot’s ability that deals 700 damage to trigger! To make things even better, Hector’s power boost happens when the card enters the field. You know what that means; we can abuse it with Lumia’s temporary removal abilities!
You may also want to consider Azathoth as an alternative to Celestial Wing Seraph and Lucifer. Azathoth, is a fantastic target for Dance of Shadows and is more powerful than the two angels. The resonator enters with six limit counters, which are removed whenever it attacks or blocks. This card also uses the limit counters to prevent destruction, somewhat like The Seven Dwarves, but more powerful as it prevents all manner of destruction, not just damage. In addition to being durable, this resonator destroys a J/resonator whenever it attacks or blocks, providing some incredible field control. The trouble is, once this resonator runs out of limit counters, it is destroyed and it deals 2000 damage to you! But I’m sure you already know the trick to fixing that, don’t you? Yes, it’s Lumia! Remove this card with her effect and when it returns to the field, it will enter with all of its limit counters restored! The downside is that, unlike Seraph and Lucifer, this card doesn’t have Flying and it’s cost is so high the only way you’ll be able to play it is with Dance of the Shadows. Celestial Wing Seraph, while it has a high cost, is still possible to play normally in the course of a game.
In addition to running Lumia’s signature stone, Awakened Magic Stone, the Earth, you’ll want to consider running other dual attribute producing stones that can produce attributes you’ll be making common use of. Depending on whether your deck leans more towards fire or light you’ll want to choose between Magic Stone of Scorched Bales or Heaven’s Rift as you’ll likely want a darkness producing stone to make use of Dace of the Shadows (should you choose to use it). Magic Stone of Heat Ray is your other version of the Earth. It produces the same attributes, though it lacks the extra abilities, making it great as the second stone you run four copies of in your magic stone deck. That way, you are nearly guaranteed to have access to both fire and light will on your first turn, which are likely the two most dominant attributes in your deck.
Valentina is all about controlling the field and thankfully, so all the best control cards are either water or darkness attribute (or both!), making them perfect for Valentina. While usually lacking in direct power these cards gain advantage by weakening the opponent in various ways while generating hand advantage for yourself. Let’s see how access to a larger card pool strengthens Valentina.
You’d be hard pressed to find a card that works as well with Valentina as Space-Time Anomaly. This total cost two chant is packing both Quickcast (represented by the old method of card design as ‘Instant’) and Remnant, so it can be played twice, and during your opponent’s turn. This spell’s actual effect weakens a J/resonator by -500/-500. However, since this chant is both a water and a darkness card it will let you weaken a resonator by -200 ATK and -200 DEF. That means, if you target all three effects on a single card, you can weaken something by -700/-700 for only a total cost of two! That’s enough to eliminate many early and mid-game threats, and with Remnant you can play the card twice to take out pretty much anything during the late game scene. Not content with providing some power down and possible destruction, this card also lets you draw a card, which is what really makes this card fantastic. Normally a spell that lets you draw a card to replace its spot in your hand is pretty good, but thanks to Remnant, this card let’s you draw two assuming you play the card a second time at some point.
Another chant with remnant, Charlotte’s Water Transformation is an absolute terror to decks that make the mistake of going up against you with lots of resonators. This spell will transform any resonator into a 400/400 with no abilities until the end of the turn. The fact that this spell can just be cast again from the grave only makes it that much more threatening for your opponent, especially when you consider this card only costs one water will to play. Since this card has remnant and doesn’t generate the incredible draw that Space-Time Anomaly does, you likely won’t want to run a full four copies of this chant. More likely you’ll want to try two or three copies and see which you feel more comfortable with.
Once transformed into a 400/400 Bear, via Charlotte’s Water Transformation Magic, Artemis, the God’s Bow, is how you actually destroy the resonator before the transformation effect wears off. This regalia enters the field with two arrow counters on it and can be rested to deal 400 damage to an attacking or blocking J/resonator. This card is great for picking off weaker blockers that your opponent is using to wall off your attacks and with Charlotte’s Water Transformation Magic, it makes for a simple combo that can easily remove even the strongest of resonators.
In addition to destruction, we can also run spells that will stop enemy threats before they even have the chance to be played. The Scorn of Dark Alice will let you look at your opponent’s hand and force them to discard a resonator in it. Nameless Mist will do the same thing, but for any kind of non-resonator card, and it will let you put a +100/+100 counter on a resonator you control.
Running both of these cards would take up a fair amount of space in your deck, and while it’s doable, we’d recommend you experimenting with both and seeing which works better for you. Since a water and darkness focused deck isn’t likely to run very many, if any, counter spell cards, you may want to opt for Nameless Mist. However you’ll never know for certain until you experiment and make note of what kind of decks are popular with other players. If you find yourself up against less aggressive decks, Nameless Mist will help you out more. Against aggressive decks, The Scorn of Dark Alice is going to do more work for you.
Since you’ll likely be generating a good number of fairly expendable Fantasy resonator tokens, Adombrali might make for a good choice. The card costs a total of three, but you should never, ever play this card via it’s will cost. Instead you play it by it’s Incarnation ability. This requires you to banish two resonators of any attributes. You’ll want to do this because this card sets off different effects based on what the attributes of the resonators you banished were. Resonator tokens make for perfect targets as they’re easier to field that resonators, and their dual attributes mean you’ll get the water ability and darkness ability from Adombrali upon entry. Banishing the water/darkness tokens will let you draw a card and cause your opponent to lose 400 life, very useful for maintaining your resources and weakening (or even KOing) your opponent. Adombrali itself isn’t exactly a powerhouse of damage, but considering how easily it can be played and the usefulness of its effects, it is hardly a problem.
Alice’s Little Scout is a great total cost one resonator that makes for a great expendable blocker or sacrificial fodder after a few turns. This is because the little soldier will let you draw a card when it is put into a graveyard from your field. As such, banishing this resonator for Adombrali allows you to draw two cards (one from this card and one from Adombrali). However, Adombrali isn’t the only thing in our strategy that banishes our own cards, Valentina, Released Terror needs resonators to banish for her effect as well, doesn’t she? Alice’s Little Scout makes for a perfect target for that ability as well, as it helps turn a negative (banishing your own resonator) into a positive (drawing a new card as a replacement).
As some additional removal, you may want to consider either Unseen Pressure or Separation of Body and Soul. Both can provide destruction of a resonator for only one will, but they’ve got some caveats.
Unseen pressure will only destroy a target resonator if its got 400 or less ATK. The trick is here to drain a resonators ATK via Valentina’s abilities first by playing some other water card and then making the most of that drain effect by destroying the now weakened resonator. While this card is a bit harder to utilize than Separation of Body and Soul, it has Quickcast, making it playable on your opponent’s turn.
Separation of Body and Soul will destroy any resonator with ATK or DEF different from its actual printed ATK and DEF. Unfortunately you cannot play this card, then let Valentina’s ATK sapping ability weaken a card and then use this spell to destroy that card all for one will. This card needs a legal target before you can play it, so like Unseen Pressure, you’ll need to play something else first to alter the resonators ATK and/or DEF before you can destroy it with this spell. While this card can destroy a resonator with any change to its ATK or DEF, including an increase to either, it does not have Quickcast, making it slower than unseen pressure.
While Valentina decks are typically less aggressive than other decks, that doesn’t mean we don’t needs some beefy resonators that can dish out high amounts of damage. Since we’ll be generating extra resonators via resonator tokens, Titania makes for an obvious choice. While this card has a total cost of seven, it can reduce its cost by resting resonators you control. By resting three, you can bring this card’s total cost down to only one water will. Once on the field, this queen of the fairies will increase the power of all your other water resonators by +200/+200, if you’ve got a Moojdart on the field, all your water/darkness Fantasy resonator tokens will be gaining +600/+600! Titania herself is nothing to be looked over either, having easy access to a a resonator with 1200 ATK and Flying is always nice and the fact that this card can be played somewhat quickly depending on your field only makes it better.
Of course we’d be remiss to not mention Captain Hook. This all-star of the water attribute enters the field with 1000 ATK and DEF for a total cost of five. However, the true value of this card is the fact that when it enters the field it can bounce up to two resonators back to their owners’ hand or it can bounce up to two special magic stones back to their owners’ magic stone deck. Bouncing two resonators isn’t too bad, but removing two special magic stones from your opponent’s field can be absolutely devastating. The trouble is the card’s cost. Valentina decks aren’t very likely to be running much, if any ways to ramp up your will production to get this card into your field quickly. Even so, this card can be instrumental in helping to regain control of the field.
Endless Night is a great destruction card to be played in tandem with Separation of Body and Soul/Unseen Pressure. It let’s you destroy a resonator (with Quickcast no less!) and then you’ll sap all resonators of 200 ATK and DEF, plus an extra -100 DEF from Valentina’s own ability.
Soul Hunt also makes for a addition to many control decks. This chant forces both players to banish a resonator they control and discard a card. At first this sounds a little disappointing, we don’t want to have to sacrifice our own stuff, right? Well consider this; playing this spell on your first turn, if you go second, means you have no resonator to banish. If you don’t happen to be the second turn player on their first turn, you can always banish Alice’s Little Scout to draw a card. As for the forced discard, why not toss a card with Remnant, like Charlotte’s Water Transformation Magic, or Space-Time Anomaly. These cards can be played from the graveyard, so its hardly even a negative!
As with the other rulers you’ll want to run four copies of the magic stone that produces the same two attributes as Valentina’s signature stone. In this case, that’s stone is Magic Stone of Dark Depth. Since Valentina is likely to be extremely focused on water and darkness you may find that you don’t need to run a stone that can produce a third attribute, though you should still experiment with the possibility. If that’s the case, don’t feel bad about running some basic water or darkness magic stones.
With access to New Frontiers, much of Sol’s expanded repertoire actually comes from the set just prior to Legacy Lost, Curse of the Frozen Casket. That doesn’t meant that Sol is without sufficient support though. Given the ancient magics in Legacy Lost, the most obvious way to build a Sol deck is to build a deck focused on dealing direct burn damage via chants and the like. However its not the only way Sol can achieve victory, so let’s explore our options, shall we?
If we’re building a burn deck, it’d behoove us not to consider Lightning Strike. We’ve already discussed this card so there’s no need to go into detail. This card’s versatility in a burn deck is invaluable providing some weak removal against resonators or a good amount of damage to your opponent.
Other burn spells like Blood Boil might also be worth considering as well. This Quickcast chant costs one will more to play, but deals a little extra damage and prevents your opponent from gaining life for the rest of the turn. While it can’t deal damage to J/resonators this spell can instead buff up a resonator by +800/+800, but as penance that resonator will be destroyed at the end of that turn. This card is quite versatile allowing you to play it for some damage, extra muscle, or even as removal if you play this chant and target an enemy resonator as that resonator will still be destroyed at the end of the turn.
A somewhat unexpected, but valuable asset to a Sol burn deck is True Successor of Certo, Volga (also known as Santa Claus). This total cost two resonator isn’t much of a combatant. Which is fine, because for our purposes, he’ll never be attacking. Instead it’s his ability that makes him such a great card for Sol. You see, whenever Volga is dealt damage, he deals that much to your opponent. Still confused? Remember Steam Explosion? That Ancient Magic card with an X cost? It deals 200 damage times X to both your opponent AND a resonator. Since that resonator can be one of your own resonators, all you have to do is pay 10 will for X (which is fairly easy if you ramp up mana counters with Sol) and then deal 2000 damage to your opponent and Volga, Volga will then toss another 2000 damage at your opponent and bam! That’s a one hit KO. The trouble is, the second you play Volga, your opponent is likely to know what you’re up to. So you’ll want to hold off on playing him until the actual turn you can pull of the one hit KO combo.
Since Sol revolves so much around getting specific burn cards or combo cards into the hand we’re going to want so search/draw power as well. We’ve already seen some cards that can do this in Legacy Lost, but Rune of Sol can only search out an Ancient Magic card, what if we want to dig out non-Ancient Magic cards? Ancient Knowledge and Summon from Memoria can help cover that angle. Ancient Knowledge is a Quickcast Ancient Magic chant of a total cost of four. However, since it can also be partially or wholly played with mana counters, the cost isn’t as hefty as it leads one to believe. This spell lets you look at the top five cards of your deck and put two cards from among them into your hand, then the rest go on the bottom of your deck.
Summon from Memoria is essentially the same thing, but weaker. It doesn’t have Quickcast, nor is it an Ancient Magic. However the card only costs one water will, so it’s not like the price is particularly high. This card will let you dig through the top three cards of your deck and add one of them to your hand and put the rest on the bottom of your deck. You’ll have to experiment to see which of these cards and/or Rune of Sol work best for you. It’s doubtful you’ll have room in your deck for all three, so be sure to test out different combinations.
Here’s another card you might not consider all that useful for Sol. Shadow of Lapis can be banished to create a token copy of another resonator token you control. Seeing the combo? That’s right, we’d want to use it to create a copy of the bomb token generated by Summon Time Bomb. In this way, we essentially double the efficacy of a bomb token, dealing 2000 damage to the enemy player and all their resonators, which is sure to destroy their entire field. The trouble is that you’ll have to run darkness will to make this work. That’s not impossible of course, but since this is likely the only darkness attribute card you’ll be running you won’t want to use too many stones that can generate darkness will and that may hurt the consistency of the playability of this resonator.
We know that Sol can build mana counters via his own abilities and his partner demon, Akiot, but previous sets provide some other ways worth considering as well. Ancient Heartfelt Fire is a total cost one Quickcast Ancient Magic card that can be played to either deal 400 damage to a J/resonator or put three mana counters on your J/ruler. Obviously the counters are a bit more useful in the long run, but having the option to deal 400 damage to a J/resonator can be useful in a pinch too, and the fact that this card itself can be played with a mana counter makes it even better.
Combat Wizard of Altea and Servant of Mercurius are similar resonators. Upon entering your field, both of them will put a mana counter on your J/ruler. The Combat Wizard has a little more ATK than the Servant and can remove a mana counter from your J/ruler to gain Swiftness until the end of the turn. Good for getting in a little damage early on, but sacrificing a mana counter for 300 damage might be a little short sighted. You’ll have to have a good understanding of your deck to know if it’s worth it. Servant of Mercurius is naturally a little weaker, but it can remove a mana counter from your J/ruler to increase the card’s ATK and DEF by 300 until end of turn. Being able to turn this resonator into a 500/500 for a turn can be handy for a little extra damage or a way to block some weaker resonators.
Finally let’s talk about the alternative to a burn deck for a moment. It revolves around the immense power of the water Ancient Magic chant, Rising from the Depths. Normally this card will only return all resonators to their owners’ hands. However, if you pay the Awakening cost (which can of course be played with mana counters) the spell will then let you put up to three water resonators from your hand into your field. This can be an absolute killer of a card. Not only does it completely shift the field in your favor, but with Captain Hook you can completely destroy your opponent’s magic stones. Dropping a couple Captain Hook’s via Rising from the Depths will let you send a good number of your opponent’s special magic stones back to their magic stone deck, robbing them of both all their resonators and the resources to play them. Then next turn, you attack for some massive damage with your fleet of Captain Hooks. Alternatively, Titania makes for a fairly good target for Rising from the Depths as well.
Obviously you’ll be using four copies of Magic Stone of Vaporization, Sol’s signature stone. You’ll also want to use Magic Stone of Hearth’s Core as it produces the same attributes of will as Magic Stone of Vaporization. If you’re using the bomb token and Shadow of Lapis combo you’ll need some darkness will so it would be wise to consider either Magic Stone of Dark Depth or Magic Stone of Scorched Bales, based on whether you’re running more fire or more water attribute cards in your deck.
Regardless of your main deck you’re still going to want to build around Lilias Petal’s only strength. That is, of course, to summon chimera resonators from outside the game. Today we’ll explore two possibilities on how we can take advantage of this unique ability. The first is the traditional sort of method, simple control and beating the opponent down with quick chimera summons. The second is using our chimeras to cheat in other high costed resonators.
We’ve already discussed this card, but Tama is a fantastic first turn card for Lilias Petal. The draw upon entry is valuable in any deck running the right will to play this resonator, and being able to toss 200 damage at something, like a bomb token that’s threatening to deal 1000 damage to you, can be useful in a tight spot. This card is also perfect banish fodder for the Nine-Tailed Fox’s abilities.
Another fantastic total cost one, first turn card, and the other half of the ingredients for a Chimera, is The Monkey Trapped in Life. This card really is the perfect ingredient for Lilias Petal. This resonator will return to your hand whenever its put into a graveyard from your field. This causes you to lose 100 life as well, but that’s hardly an issue. Especially when you consider that banishing Killing Stone heals you for 100 life, so it all evens out anyway. This card doesn’t provide the useful support that Tama does, but if you’ve got one of this in your hand or the field, you never have to worry about having the darkness resonator needed to summon a chimera for the rest of the game.
Another fantastic wind card, Red Riding Hood is a total cost two resonator with some pretty weak stats. She can get stronger if you’ve got more magic stones on the field, but Lilias Petal will likely be sitting at a low number of magic stones for the entirety of the game. Red Riding Hood’s real synergy with the Nine-Tailed Fox comes from banishing this resonator with the Nine-Tailed Fox’s ability. When Red Riding Hood is put into a graveyard from your field, you’ll get to put the top card of your magic stone deck into your field, helping you get to that next Killing Stone all that much faster!
Control cards we’ve previously explored like Space-Time Anomaly, Charlotte’s Water Transformation Magic, and Artemis, the God’s Bow all make for great additions as well. They’ll help you handle more aggressive decks and allow you to take out threats that could potentially block your heavy hitting chimeras. Space-Time and Charlotte’s Water Transformation also both have remnant, reducing the impact of being forced to discard a card from Nameless Mist, Soulhunt, or an enemy Manticore, should such a situation occur. This means you’re going to have to run magic stones that can generate water will to play these cards, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue as most of the resonators you’ll be playing normally only cost one or two wind and/or darkness will. You won’t need to worry about having a good number of water producing magic stones in your magic stone deck. That said you’ll obviously still want those stones to be able to produce either wind or darkness as well, as we’ll see below.
While our chimeras are pretty tough, it’d be unwise to rely solely on them to achieve a victory. What happens when you just can’t seem to get a Killing Stone into the field fast enough? So as a back-up contingency, we’ve got the ever popular Melder and Riza Stealth resonator duo to help close the power gap between us and our opponent.
Both of these cards have Stealth, and that’s how they’re best utilized, so don’t pay their actual costs too much attention. We’ll be playing them both face down in the Chant-Standby area for two will. Once you meet the contitions listed next to their Stealth symbols, you can play this cards to the field for free at Quickcast speed. If possible, Riza is the one you’ll want to field first. You’ll need to have no resonators in the field, and control four magic stones (including at least one darkness magic stone). When she’s played from the field, you’ll have to pay 1000 life, but she’ll let you search out another card from your deck and put it into your Chant-Standby area. Obviously, we want that card to be Melder. Melder can only be played when you’ve got 2000 life or less and a darkness magic stone. Controlling a darkness magic stone should be pretty easy for you, and hitting 2000 or less life shouldn’t be too much of an issue thanks to Riza’s ability. Once he enters the field, Melder will sap a resonator of -400/-400 for each resonator with Stealth you control. With Riza already on the field you can easily give something -800/-800, hopefully killing whatever you’re targeting, and you’ve now got an 800/800 and a 1000/1000 on the field to start attacking with. Plus when/if you ever finally do hit that Killing stone you can always use one of these resonators as the darkness resonator ingredient for the Nine-Tailed Fox’s ability.
Speaking of Chant-Standbies, here’s two more worth considering. Prison in the Lunar Lake and The Executioner. Like Riza and Melder, these two cards are best played in the Chant-Standby area for two void instead of paying their normal costs. Though the Executioner might be okay to play for its normal cost if you simply need it as an ingredient for the Nine-Tailed Fox.
Prison in the Lunar Lake is fantastic against cards like Adombrali and can even win you the game should you be up against another Lilias Petal deck, as this card can destroy any of the chimera cards. As such you’ll also want to be wary of any cards in your opponent’s Chant-Standby area if you’re playing a Lilias Petal Deck.
The Executioner is another cheap darkness ingredient for the Nine-Tailed Fox as well as some weak removal for early and mid game. While it’s more expensive than playing the resonator normally, playing this card in the Chant-Standby area for two will and then summoning this card via its Stealth ability (which requires you to have a darkness magic stone and your opponent to have played a resonator this turn, not too difficult) will let you destroy a resonator with total cost three or less. For Lilias Petal this card is the complete package. Early game control via removal, low cost to make sure its playable in a deck that regularly destroys its own magic stones, and has an attribute that makes it an ingredient for the Nine-Tailed Fox.
While both these cards have been discussed already, both are worth considering for Lilias Petal as they are his two main attributes and provide low cost control. We lean more towards The Nameless Mist as it can reak havok on Ancient Magic/combo decks, but if you want a card that can potentially stop resonators as well as non-resonators, Wall of Wind might be better. Try out both and see what works best for you!
So we touched on the idea of using the chimeras in two different ways. The first was the conventional way of course. Building a deck that works to summon them as efficiently as possible and use them to help control the field and damage your opponent. The second method remains largely the same, but makes use of this interesting little card to swap the chimera out for something a little stronger.
Alice’s Castling let’s you swap a card in your hand with one in your field as long as they’ve got the same total cost. While the chimeras are fairly strong, there are stronger resonators of the same total cost. Half the reason the chimeras are useful is because of their enter abilities anyway, and by the time you’d play this card, their abilities would have already resolved. As some icing on the cake, this chant let’s you draw a card as well. The trouble is that you can only have four copies of this card in your deck at most and there’s no guarantee you’ll actually be able to draw it and the card you want to replace a chimera with at the right time. Plus if you draw the replacement resonator and can’t manage to pull Alice’s Castling, you’ll be stuck with a useless card in your hand. However if you’re skillful and able to make use of other cards in your deck that help you draw like Space-Time Anomaly, you should easily be able to assemble this combo. So let’s take a look at some good options to bring in with Alice’s Castling.
Captain Hook is an obvious choose as the card to make the swap with The Manticore, the card can kick two resonators out of the field or slow down your opponent’s game by taking two magic stones away from them.
Izanagi is a great choice for the swap card for Griphon, Racing Across Darkness. This powerful resonator may not have flying like Griphon does, but it can remove up to three resonators and/or regalia from the field, a huge negative to your opponent’s field. This card will also gain an extra 300 ATK and DEF for each card removed by its own ability, easily turning this card into a 2000/2100.
Skyscraper Giant is our personal favorite swap for Ammit, Beast of Gluttony. The card has Precision, allowing it to attack recovered J/resonators, and Barrier (Chant) keeping it same from any chant cards your opponent might want to use on it. In addition to hitting like a truck, the resonator can also be rested to deal 800 damage to every J/resonator without Flying, good for clearing out the field, especially if your opponent is running an aggressive deck that makes use of many of the common low cost aggressors like Lancelot.
WARNING: If you use the Alice’s Castling combo you must be sure to remove the chimera from your main deck after the game ends. Between games during a match your side deck MUST be fifteen cards at all times (if it changes during the game via the Nine-Tailed Fox, you’re fine). If you forget to do this, and your side deck isn’t exactly fifteen cards, you risk a compulsory forfeit because of a rules infraction. So be careful!
Now that we’ve talked a little about some ways to start improving your deck for the new Frontiers format, let’s talk about going to your very first tournament! If you’re unsure of where to play, check out our list of stores to find one near you!
Attending tournaments can be a little intimidating, but the best thing you can do is relax and be observant. Don’t go in expecting to play perfectly. It’s your first tournament, you’re going to make mistakes. You don’t have the extensive knowledge that other players have, you don’t know how to deal with certain match ups yet. Its perfectly reasonable to win, of course, but you shouldn’t let losses discourage you. No matter what any blowhard might tell you, everyone loses. Just like we do with our decks though, we want to turn our negatives (losing) into a positive to make us stronger. Take notes during your games, make note of common threats you see that you have trouble dealing with so you can modify your deck later to handle them. Jot down play mistakes you made so you can review them and remember not to make that mistake again. Simply playing frequently is important to building skill of course, but you’d be surprised how much more you can improve when you’re not just playing blindly and actively thinking about what you did wrong and how you can improve.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions of your opponent. Many experienced players will assume you know what a card does, and simply go through the motions of resolving it without giving you a chance to respond or understand what it does. It is perfectly within your rights to ask to read the card, or ask for a moment so that you can think how to respond. It’s also good to just talk to other players in general, make friends. You could spend your entire Force of Will career as a silent lone wolf, but you’ll have a lot more fun, and you’ll improve a lot faster if you’ve got friends to talk to and push you to improve.
Finally, while the majority of players are very amicable, should you ever suspect someone of cheating, report it to a judge immediately. Don’t let someone who appears to be more experienced deceive you. If you truly think they have committed some kind of rules infraction, ask a judge. Hopefully you shouldn’t run into this, but in case you do, it is important to speak up about it so that the cheater does not continue this hurtful behavior.
That’ll be all from us for these Force of Will Legacy Lost boot camp articles! We hope we were able to help you along your way in your first steps to becoming a powerful player! Remember that even our suggestions are just that, suggestions. You never know what truly works best for you until you put it into practice, so don’t take ours (or anyone else’s) suggestions on what cards to use as law. Always be theorizing, crafting, and experimenting! Best of luck to you!