At the end of the day, FoW is decided by damage. All the plays, tricks, tactics, and gambles happen for the purpose of one thing: to be able to put 4000 damage on the guy opposite to you. I”ve looked around the block, and listed five of the Resonators which I think are most likely used to get into the opponent’s face.
I’m all praises for this Resonator simply because he’s (or rather, they’re) all upside when played in an aggressive strategy. The normal stats for a 2-drop seems to be 500/500. This guy’s 700/700, which means he can beat most Resonators of the same cost (and even some 3-drops) in combat, or force them to fight him via Duel of Truth. You even get a decent blocker on the turn you cast him. Finally, although the dwarfs can be collectively killed by Rapid Decay (lol), they’re outside the range of Thunder. All of these combine to make a resilient, aggressive threat that hits hard early on, and is perfect for any deck that doesn’t plan on playing a long game. The problem with Seven Dwarfs, besides Rapid Decay, is that they can only carry the offense until the mid-game. They still can’t match toe-to-toe with the bigger monsters that appear when the game drags on, making their (errata’d) ability a huge liability.
5) Athos, the Three Musketeers
In the tradition of my constant Snow White question, I ask the same about Athos: How do you deal with an 800/800 monster which cannot be targetted, on turn 2? What if it turns to a 1200/800, and gains First Strike and Pierce the next turn, and then 1600/1200 with two friends – a 1100/800 Pierce, and a 900/900, on the next? That’s the power of Athos (and to an extent, the Musketeer deck) – to snowball from a decent, resilient threat, to an unbeatable monster-slaying Resonator over the course of a few turns. His weakness lies in the same vein though – an opponent who’s aware of your plan will know how to disrupt it by either killing off your Elvish Priest (that’s used to get Athos in the field on turn 2) thus delaying him for a turn, or Chasing a removal on Athos in response to his Enter ability. In a way, he is the representation of the Musketeer deck itself – weak when disrupted and incomplete, but really strong when it gets going. Outside of Puss though, Athos finds employment in Grimm decks as a way to fetch important one-of additions such as Rat-Catcher’s Pipe.
4) Mephistopheles, the Abyssal Tyrant
Most decks with Darkness as one of their main colors end with this behemoth. 1500/1500 makes him the biggest monster on the block, Flying ensures that almost nobody can go past him, and Target Attack enables him to pick off anyone in the field. Should an opponent attempt to answer him with removal, Mephisto gets the last laugh, dealing 500 damage to their face. Left unanswered, he can end the game in three attacks. Simply put, he’s a huge bargain for his cost of 4 despite his downside (which you can play around with). There are a couple of things going against him though: first is that he’s a Demon, which means that although he gains an advantage from spells like Summoning Art of Alhazred, there’s a hard-counter against him in Sacred Scepter of Exorcism. Longinus, the Holy Lance also gives him problems, as the opponent can equip it on a Flying Resonator and it’ll tank Mephisto all day. Second, having an Attribute of Darkness makes him an easy target for Grimm, the Avenger of Fairy Tales. Sure, the opponent takes damage in most of the ways to answer him, but as long as it keeps him in check, it’s well worth it.
3) Gilles de Rais, the Golden Dragon
Back in Magic, I had the privilege to play with Thundermaw Hellkite, which is basically a huge, flying dragon that has swiftness. It was a very good feeling to slam one of those majestic creatures on the field and attack for huge amounts. It’s very offensive, it strikes fear, and it exudes power. I look at Gilles de Rais in the same manner – they are both representations of pure damage and aggression, and will go a long way in fulfilling their role as the finisher in aggressive and mid-range strategies. Mixed with other colors, the Golden Dragon comes out at 1000/1200 minimum, but in a pure Flame deck it rampages out of the gates as a 1400/1200 Flying monster that grows stronger if left unchecked. A very interesting way to “cheat” him into play is via Jeanne d’Arc, the Awakening Purity’s Awakening ability (Gilles is a Fantasy Resonator). Not only does this allow him to enter play as early as turn 4, he gets a bit of protection from being able to prevent the first damage that comes to him via Jeanne’s Continuous ability. Gilles is not without weakness though. He’s big, fast, and damaging, but not resilient, so spending six Wills only for him to die by instant removal is as good as skipping the turn.
2) Carmilla, the Queen of Vampires
Carmilla is the oddball of my list. Despite having smaller ATK and DEF than most of the Resonators we’ve discussed so far, she more than makes up for this shortcoming by hitting hard from a different angle – board advantage, by being able to immediately kill any non-Vampire Resonator the opponent has when she enters the field. As an added bonus, she even recruits them to your side if they’re Human and your Ruler is Alucard/Dracula – all while leaving an 800/800 body that’s still a decent threat. If they do spend a card to get rid of her, that’s a 2-for-1 card advantage right there! Even without the recruitment bonus though, Carmillia is well-worth her cost and will easily find her way into decks that are looking for more ways to kill. Her main weakness is that there are dedicated anti-vampire tech that’s floating around on the sideboards since their race is pretty popular. Silver Stake, Crucifix. Longinus, the Holy Spear, and Christie, the Windtracker all give her (and all Vampires in general) problems.
1) Hamelin’s Pied Piper
To be at the receiving end of the Pied Piper’s ability without being able to do anything is to experience hopelessness. A well-protected Pied Piper (as seen in Grimm decks) can single-handedly render the opposing field helpless – unable to attack or defend as your Resonators charge in. The Pied Piper is no pushover himself, boasting ATK and DEF that’s on par with some of the powerful J-Rulers. His biggest advantage however, is related to his race – as a Fairy Tale, he can be “cheated” into play by Tell A Fairy Tale if your Ruler is Grimm. An opponent caught unawares by this will have a hard time recovering, at might even be forced to a 2-for-1 trade. Either way, the Piper always makes sure you come up on top. The catch to his ability to dominate the field is that you protect him well, so an opponent that manages to break down a Fairy Tale setup will have a much easier time with Piper. Also, his use becomes limited against control decks with little to no Resonators, though he’s still a huge threat, even when he’s not using his pipe.
Not every deck needs a beatstick, but they are still an essential part of the game so it’s good to have knowledge about what you can possibly face against, and how to umm… beat them. Should you be the one using them, it’s nice to know what they are and aren’t capable of, and maybe maximize their use by making up for their weaknesses. Hopefully this short guide helps, and may the beatdown always come from your side of the field!