Ravings of a Lunatic #1: The Doom of Force of Will?
If you ever browse the Force of Will US group, you will notice a topic that comes up a lot. That topic, how “broken” Reflect/Refrain is as a ruler, from this point on to be called R/R. There are a couple of points to be made to anyone that says this. First off, get over yourself: you are either a proponent of making your own decks, you hate net decks, or you just want to see a diverse metagame. A couple of those are valid points. The second point is that, so what? Is R/R a good ruler? Darn skippy. But that is where it ends. If you still think it will ruin the game, then maybe you should just bow out, because you really have no idea how this game works and how responsive Force of Will has been.
When R/R first appeared back in December, it was really good, borderline broken. A lot of people pointed this out. The powers that be responded by saying they knew and would discuss it after a couple of large events. After a couple of events, they came out with an errata. This shows that they not only listen, but do not make rash decisions either. They took the players concerns to heart and took a little time to gather facts, then passed judgment, pun intended. This is contrary to some other games that either do something to late or too little.
Now some would have you believe that they did not do enough. Is R/R still the top played Ruler? Yes. The last time I checked though, this game used at least 51 cards to make a deck. 40 cards, a ruler and 10 stones. If at least half of those were the same in every deck that used R/R then I would agree that there was a problem. However, that is not the case and the diversity of decks that are actually being played that just happen to use the same Ruler is large. Not like the Baha blast days.
Look at a deck like Alice’s World compared to the Italian AGP Fire, Dark, Water deck:n aggro and combo deck. You can’t get more different than that. In the cycle of decks control beats combo, combo beats aggro, and aggro beats control, in theory anyway. The mono red Reflect aggro deck is another top deck that runs on Refrain. Four Sacred Beasts, R/R knights and many others. The statement that one card will kill a game is silly when its power level is not that high. Is it a good card? Yes. But so is Cheshire Cat, that is run in more decks than R/R and costs three times as much and you need four of them. So a counter argument could be that Cat will ruin the game, it is card draw, chump blocker and deck shuffler all for one water and it will cost you $100 to get a set as opposed to the $10 for a stamped R/R.
The main point here is that though a Ruler is used a lot, you have to look past ONE card. It is the variety of the cards being used that make a meta healthy or not. At a minimum,a player is using 12 different cards in their deck, 1 ruler, 4 of ten different cards and 1 stone, How many different cards are now seeing play because R/R makes that specific assembly of cards playable? A lot more than the days of just Baha and Grimm. So the next time someone says, “Hey, that last big event had 7 R/R decks in the top 8!”, ask them how many different decks, because that shows a healthy and diverse meta more than just who Rules over them.
Naysayers have been a part of almost every ccg/tcg (and culture) for that matter. Whether it is saying then end of the world is coming at the turn of every century, if World of Warcraft is introducing Pandas, if Magic is adding a new card type or even that Lucky Charms is adding a new marshmallow flavor, don’t get caught up in the mob mentality. Instead, sit back, think and analyze, and take in the big picture. Because in two or three years and beyond, do you want to be part of the reason FoW made it, or one of those left behind when you thought it would fail and miss all the good times?