Echoes of the New World ~ Preview 3 ~ Unhappily Ever After

Salutations once again, rulers of the world! Welcome back to another Echoes of the New World card preview article! Alright, so for the last two articles we've looked primarily at cards focused around the new Will of Hope keyword and their unifying J/ruler card, Book of Light/Re-Earth, New World Fairy Tale. As many had realized from Book of Light, however, we are not only getting Will of Hope as a new keyword, but Will of Despair as well. And that's exactly what we're going to be looking at today! Unlike with the first Will of Hope article, we'll be kicking this one off looking at some fun cards from several attributes, so let's get started!

Well of course we'd be remiss if we didn't start out with the ruler itself, though you've likely already guessed its effects. Book of Dark is a darkness attribute Fairy Tale Ruler. It's got Energize for darkness of course, giving the player going second a little boost. It's two continuous abilities work as the sort of mirror version of Book of Light. One allows you to play Will of Despair cards with will of any attribute, opening up your deck to explore lots of strategies and experimentation to see what attributes synergize best with your Will of Despair Cards. However, Book of Dark cannot tolerate any Will of Hope cards in your deck, so don't expect to run the new Zero, the King's Blade with this J/ruler. Book of Dark also has a Judgment ability with a total cost of X. That means, of course, you can play it with any number of will, even 0. However it's very ill-advised to play this ability for 0 as you will soon see once we take a look at the J-ruler side of this card.

Once you play Book of Dark's Judgement ability, it will enter the field as Lapistory, Subjugation Fairy Tale. While Re-Earth's art was pretty understandable, Lapistory's might be a bit more head-scratching. There are a few characters on the Will of Despair side who don't quite seem like they should be there, right? What're Wukong and Scheherazade doing there? All in good time, rulers. All in good time. Anyway, let's have a look at the card's actual effects! First up, Lapistory cannot be destroyed. Always nice to know that your opponent's copies of Black Moonbeam are made useless, though be sure to watch out for FInal Forfeit which will remove this ability. It's not a particularly common chant card, but you never know who might be running it as a sneaky tech card. It is also worth noting that Lapistory does not have any ATK or DEF. This means that it cannot participate in combat, so you should always be resting the J-ruler to call magic stones whenever you can. Of course, Lapistory retains the ability that allows you to play Will of Despair cards with will of any attribute, which is hand to keep all cards in your hand and deck accessible and playable even after Judgment. It's the J-ruler's third ability that makes paying a value higher than zero worth it for the card's Judgment ability. When it enters the field, Lapistory will let you play a Will of Despair resonator from outside the game. Remember that "Outside the game" means "In your sideboard" during competitive play. This means you can keep resonators who are useful but are not necessarily always useful in every game, in your side deck. Then you can use your Judgment to call them in as specialists when you need them. Lastly, when the resonator that has been played with Lapistory's entry ability leaves your field, Lapistory will close its pages and return to its ruler form, Book of Dark, ready for you to play its Judgment ability again and summon another resonator!

So what kind of Will of Despair cards are there? All sorts! So we're going to look at some fairly varied ones today, just to get a taste. First up is Ahriman, The Wicked Spirit Eye. This is a total cost two Will of Despair water resonator with 500 ATK and 700 DEF. 700 DEF is pretty fair for a total cost two resonator, allowing it to successfully wall off most second and even some third turn resonator cards with 600 ATK, allowing Ahriman to function as an early game defensive card if need be. That's not all the resonator does, however. It's got an activate ability with a total cost of zero. By playing this ability, you force your opponent to reveal their hand, allowing you to see what cards they have, making it incredibly easy to know what their next move is. The only catch is that you can only play this ability once per turn and only during your own turn. Still, this ability is handy for checking to see if your opponent has a counter spell or the like ready to mess with your plays that turn.

Next up is our old friend Abdul Alhazred. He's a total cost three Will of Despair darkness resonator with 700 ATK and 800 DEF. His stats are alright of course, but it's Alhazred's ability that really defines the card's value. He's got a Resonance ability, the first one we've seen in Echoes of the New World. It triggers whenever a darkness magic stone enters your field, and when it resolves it will force your opponent to discard a card. This effect stacks with any additional Alhazred's you control, so with a couple of these out in play you can easily force your opponent to discard a good portion of their hand every time you call a magic stone (assuming all your stones count as darkness magic stones). Alhazred is a resonator that may easily find use outside normal Will of Despair decks in control/discard decks as it can force the opponent to discard simply by calling magic stones, leaving your resources available for other control cards in your hand.

Okay, so we've looked at two lower cost Will of Despair resonators, and be assured there are plenty more of them. But now let's have a peek at some really high costing ones. The first of the two is the long time fan favorite, Yamata-no-Orochi. The resonator is a massive total cost eight Will of Despair fire attribute resonator, but you may be surprised to see that while it has 1600 DEF, it has 0 ATK. This doesn't mean that it's unable to deal damage though, as we'll soon discover. The card enters the field with Swiftness, which again, we promise is actually useful for it despite the whole 0 ATK thing. Upon entering the field, Yamata-no-Orochi will deal 800 damage to every other resonator. This makes it perfect for late game board control, allowing you to wipe the field of most weaker and even mid power level threats. It doesn't stop there though, if 800 damage just isn't enough to clear the board, whenever Yamata-no-Orochi attacks, it deals 800 damage to your opponent and every other resonator. Essentially this means that on the turn you play Yamata, assuming you also attack with it, you're dealing 800 damage to your opponent, and 1600 damage to every other resonator, which is more than enough to clear the entire board of threats in near any circumstance. The only trouble is that Yamata deals damage not only to your opponent's resonators, but also your own. It is a calamitous monster after all. As such, Yamata is best called in when you already have no resonators to lose, or the potential gain of wiping your opponent's field outweighs losing whatever other resonators you currently control. This card is a big will investment though, so be sure to scope out your opponent's magic stones or even use Ahriman to check their hand if you think a counter spell could be in your future.

Our second high costing resonator is Umr-at-Tawil, whom you may remember from back in Curse of the Frozen Casket as the human form of Yog-Sothoth. This handsome fellow is a total cost seven Will of Despair water attribute resonator with only 800 ATK and DEF to show for it. Umr-at-Tawil does have an entry ability that helps make up for his low relative power though. Upon entry you'll be able to search your deck for up to three non-chant cards. One with total cost one, another with total cost two and finally, one with total cost three and put all of them into your field! This is where the true strength of this card lies. Where Yamata-no-Orochi is meant to clear out the board. Umr-at-Tawil is meant to fill it up so you can prepare your final offensive strike against your opponent. It still is a shame that the resonator has to cost so darn much. Seven will is pretty hard to reach during the course of the game and even harder to justify committing to. If only there were a way to get this resonator into the field substantially earlier so you could easily overrun your opponent. (HINT HINT)

Alright, that's enough resonators for one day. Let's have a look at a couple chant cards now. Tell a Dark Fairy Tale is essentially the inverse version of Sacred Record of Fairy Tales from the first preview article. This is a total cost one darkness chant card that allows you to look at the top four cards of your deck and snag a Will of Despair card from among them and put it into your hand. The rest of the cards will have to go on the bottom of your deck though. As with it's Will of Hope counterpart, this cheap chant card is very handy for sifting through your deck to pluck the exact card you need that turn or for the turn after, while also putting some cards you may not need at the moment on the bottom of your deck so you won't have a dead draw later. 

Our other chant card for today is a bit more unique. The Final Battle is a darkness chant card with a total cost of one plus X. Now you can pay X with will of course, however the card presents a different option, should you so desire. You may also pay any amount of life in multiples of 200. Doing so counts as if you had paid X that many times. So 200 life increases X by one, 400 by two and so on. When this chant resolves it gives all J/resonators your opponent controls -X00/-X00 until end of turn. Now this card doesn't have Quickcast which means the only real value of this chant is if you manage to use its effect to reduce most or all of your opponent's J/resonators to 0 DEF, which causes them to be destroyed. This chant is terribly vicious at controlling the field, and the ability to pay life for X instead of just resting a bunch of magic stones means that you can play this card while still keeping your resources open to play other cards, play a counter to your opponent's possible counter spell, or even play this card very early in the game to stop aggressive board states. Sure it might cost a lot of life to do so, but any amount of life is worth it if you manage to live and completely cripple your opponent's field! This card is fantastic when it's late game and you need to push for a win, or early game when your opponent foolishly overextends their aggressive strategy.

That's all for today, but Echoes of the New World previews will be posted on every Monday and Thursday at 10PM EST/7PM PST, so check back soon for more new cards! And don't forget to look for Echoes of the New World in stores, June 23rd, 2017!

4th Set「Echoes of the New World」