Dan Rowland: The Doom of Force of Will?

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?

8 thoughts on “Dan Rowland: The Doom of Force of Will?

  • April 13, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    The fact that your article basically starts with “IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH ME QUIT THE GAME” is ridiculous. I know you never claimed to be an unbiased writer, but this is completely over the top with bad analogies and points. You should probably read the criticism to the reddit post made about this article for feedback.

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Yes I basically say that, and why not? The real question is why are you still playing? My opinion is R/R will not kill the game, so if you don’t agree with me your stance it that the game will die because of one card. So based on that you are playing a dying game that will end soon, which if you do believe that then why are you still here?

      And yes I read the Reddit users. And they are whining about my intro and it is condescending, which again goes back to my point. If you think this game won’t be around soon, why stick with it? I think it is just because some people want to stick around and say I told you so. Its kind of like saying the Titanic would sink and you buy a ticket anyway, then laugh at all the idiots that said it was unsinkable while you drown with them.

      • April 14, 2016 at 3:45 am

        People can think reflect is ruining the game without thinking the game is dying. People think it’s ruining the game to a point where they think another errata or ban should come because it’s not healthy for the game as it currently exists. But you’re acting as if people who think it’s ruining the game are automatically screaming “THE GAME IS DYING”. The amount of people playing it might gradually drop the longer it’s untouched, but I haven’t seen anyone say that it’s going to kill the game.

        But hey, keep writing incredibly biased and uninformed articles that hurt the credibility of the website. I know I and many others won’t be visiting again for informative articles.

  • April 13, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Hi, good morning.

    I totally agree with this article.

    I have been part of so many discussions and you’re right, there is a variety of cards for every single deck that tops big tournaments.

    If they Ban or Errata R/R again, then the problem will be Baha Blast again, or people will find a new problem… It has always been the same way with every single card game.

    I feel it helps the game have more options, and like you stated above, makes unplayable cards be played.

  • April 13, 2016 at 12:40 am

    (basically a repost from my reddit comment)

    You’re right that there’s a fair variety of decks going around. That doesn’t change that seeing R//R every deck isn’t interesting at all, or that “play R//R and your deck would be better” gets depressing to hear. The rulers are what makes this game fun and unique, and having the same ruler in every deck completely destroys that part of the game. Also, R//R red aggro is the most dominant deck, and part of red aggro’s dominance is the interactions with R//R. R//R might not be broken, but is is more powerful than other rulers… and it is *boring*!

    Just because it’s not a broken card doesn’t mean it’s healthy for the game. In Yugioh, theres a card called raigeki that clears your opponents field for free. Being yugioh, and powercreeped to hell, the meta decks all recover with no problem, and even “plus” off of raigeki – it’s a minor setback usually. So it’s not “unbalanced” or “unfair” – everyone can run it and it doesn’t really affect the meta, some don’t even play it. The problem is it absolutely destroys rogue decks. Most rogue decks have to just tap out after a raigeki basically. It pushes them even further out of the game, and so it’s not healthy for the game at all.

    I feel the same about R//R.

    Would love to hear your responses and opinions.

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:09 am

      I am not saying it is the best thing for the game, I am essentially making a counter to the nay sayers that say it will kill the game. I do not think a week goes by that there is not some thread, post, etc saying that R/R will Doom FoW. This article is just stating that I think it won’t and that is is a step up from the time of singularly dominate decks. Is this saying that R/R is the best thing for the game? Far from, I see it as a stepping stone from a company that is still finding there way in both the market and the power levels of the game.

      • April 13, 2016 at 1:04 pm

        Yeah, well, you don’t make that very clear. It is silly to think R//R will be the death of the game. It won’t. I mean goodness DBZ trading card game is still running. But R//R won’t rotate out till next september. Not this coming one but like… NEXT september. It needs to be banned. The only other outcome is: R//R dominating for another 18 months… which hoo boy will not be good for the game. Or powercreep pushing R?/R out of the way. We don’t want that either. Well. I don’t.

        • April 13, 2016 at 11:46 pm

          And maybe they will do something, it is not a total wash yet. Next September is a ways off. Cards can be printed to assist in hurting R/R, Rulers that can give it a run for its money, etc. Flat out banning is not out of the question either, but it seems drastic at this point when there are other options too. I think Gil was an attempt to combat R/R, they just didn’t print very good support cards, maybe some good one will pop up in A4 to help make him a more viable Ruler.

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