Box-Breaking and You

Trading Card Games can be an expensive hobby, and FoW, at times, is no different. There are chase rares in every Attribute, and oftentimes cracking open a pack in the hopes of finding one can spell disappointment. So in order to lessen the costs, frustration, and raising the percentage of getting the cards which you need or want, we do a fairly simple process called box-breaking. Here’s how it works:

1) A box costs Php4800, which is a way better deal than buying individual packs at their regular price of Php160.

– Php160 x 36 (the number of packs in a box) = Php5760
– Php5760 – Php4800 = Php960
– Php960 / Php160  = 6

So you’re basically getting 6 free packs with every box. That’s on top of getting a 100% chance to find 4 Rulers in Crimson Moon Fairy Tale or 2 Rulers and 2 True Magic Stones in The Castle of Heaven and The Two Towers.

2) Find two or more friends, and pick your colors (attributes).

– Ideally this is done with 5 people – each paying only Php960 to get all of the cards of the colors that they want.
– 4 people sharing a box costs Php1200/person, 3 would cost Php1600/person, and 2 people would cost Php2400/person

3) Be sure to have an agreement on the Dual Magic Stones, other Attributes, and other excess stuff beforehand.

– Excess cards are usually draft-picked, starting with the player who gets the supposedly least value from his color. Other methods can be used too, such as rolling the dice to determine the picking order.

4) Enjoy and Good luck!

– The rest, at this point, is up to luck! But at least you’ve eliminated the chance of not getting colors you don’t needed, reduced the cost of getting into the game, and have helped your fellow players with their needs as well!

– There are other modified forms of box-breaking too. Sometimes, players look into two or more colors and will only need a couple of other breakers to take the colors they don’t need. Others offer lower box-breaking costs per player, but they claim the Rulers, specific cards, and/or Special Magic Stones. As always, try to search for a box-break that suits your needs and always come to an agreement on how it will be divided.

Until then!

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See You Tomorrow!

It’s official: We’re at TamaCon 2015 tomorrow! 😀

Tutorial sessions start from 11am onwards, feel free to ask any of our staff to teach you how to play the game. 🙂

Rulers’ Gauntlet starts from 1pm onwards, and pits you against one of our staff, where you each pick from a selection of five different decks and play against each other. Prizes await the winner!

Finally, packs and single cards will be sold at discounted prizes, so whether you’re new to the game, or a veteran, we have something in store for you! 🙂

TamaCon2015 Update!

I’m happy to announce that we’re finalizing plans for a Force of Will TCG Philippines booth at the Tamashii Convention 2015!

Our goal there will be to promote the game to the Japanese culture-loving community, and that we’ll be working hand-in-hand with Neutral Grounds Philippines to present one of the most awesome Trading Card Game booths around.

We plan to have demo sessions, contests, giveaways, (possibly) a beat-the-Ruler side-event, and of course, Force of Will products for sale.

Hopefully we’ll be able to fully confirm the good news on Wednesday.

Until then!

The Turn Guide

Amid all the calls for deck requests, card evaluation, ruling discussions, hype about the upcoming set, and the ever-present desire to win, we tend to forget one of the most fundamental concepts that you need to master (or simply enjoy) the game.

Your own turn.

I know, I know, you’ve read the manual and the comprehensive rules, and you’re pretty sure that you’ve got this thing covered right? Well maybe this guide isn’t for you.

But the next time you’ve forgotten a key play that you should have done at some point in your turn. Feel free to come back and read on.

For those of you who have stayed, here are the things you should remember once your opponent says done:

Before your Turn

Once your opponent says he’s done, it’s not immediately your turn yet. You can always say “wait, before you end your turn…” and cast Instants or Activate abilities that you can. This is important for a couple of reasons. Strategically speaking, you’re maximizing any of your remaining resources in order to draw out and exhaust more of your opponent’s. This means that if you cast Stoning to Death at the end of his turn, and he uses Absolute Cake Zone to cancel it; sure it sucks, but more than that you’ve forced him to use two more of his resources on his turn – meaning that he has less resources to work with during your turn. In effect, you limit the plays that he or she can make during your turn. Meanwhile, those two resources you’ve used to cast Stoning to Death will refresh themselves once your turn comes around.

Compare this to casting Stoning to Death on your turn and having the opponent Cake-cancel it. You both lost two resources, but the opponent benefits from it more, because he limits your options for the turn by having you go through with it two resources less. Now when I say resources, I usually mean Magic Stones, but these things could be anything that represents any strategic advantage.

The other reason to do this is to make use of “once (or twice, or more) per turn” effects such as Grimm’s or Abdul’s. Because they are a limited quantity per turn, you will want to use them on the opponent’s turn whenever applicable to get the benefit of retaining that additional use when your turn arrives.

Your Draw Step

Wait! Before your draw a card. Know that there’s a priority window wherein your can (again) cast Instants or use Abilities. As the turn player, you get to decide first if you’re gonna do something during this time, then the priority passes to the opponent. Usually, the turn player does nothing during this priority window (and it’s often skipped because hey, we wanna draw cards ASAP), so if your opponent has Law of Silence in hand and wants to use it before you gain an additional option from the top of your deck, they’ll use it at this point.

Thus, the famous “Wait, before you draw, Law of Silence.” line and its variants.

If either player has no more effects to add (chase) at this point…

You May Draw Your Card

Yay. Now take a good, hard look it at it.

Before Your Recover Step

Another priority window! Again, you can play Instants and Activate Abilities. This window is used a lot more by the turn player because it’s his or her last chance to use any unused resources that he has before they recover.  Note that any Will that’s unused after this window vanishes, so don’t expect to “float” any excess Wills into the Main Phase at this point.

This window is also infamous for setting up Rapunzel’s killing turn, wherein the turn player uses Rapunzel’s ability on herself, then rests any of his or her recovered Resonators to repeatedly cause Rapunzel to recover and buff herself repeatedly before their Recover step. Since it’s technically their turn, Rapunzel retains all of the benefits of her ability.

When both players choose to pass priority, we move on to the…

Main Phase

Call a Magic Stone right? WRONG! Before resting your Ruler to call a Stone. Take a second to consider your board state. Invest a few moments to look at it. Is there a play that you want to do that can be accomplished by your current field? If not then that’s when you consider if adding a Magic Stone will enable you to make a better play, or if J-Activation is a better course of action. In more casual games, take-backs are okay. So if you find yourself regret about calling a Magic Stone earlier with your Ruler rather than J-Activating, then it’s fine. In tournament play however, you have to plan more carefully since your opponent won’t allow that. So take time to look at your field first before doing anything.

Unless you’re playing Grimm, in which case calling a Magic Stone is the first, best thing you can do on your main phase.

Here are the things you can do in your Main Phase:

1) Call a Magic Stone (you’ve assessed your board state right? No need to J-Activate right?}
2) J-Activate (make sure your Ruler hasn’t called a stone, isn’t rested, and the Chase area is empty)
3) Attack (the finer details of combat needs an entire article for itself and will be tackled at a later article)
4) Cast a Spell:Chant, Standby, or Addition (as long as the Chase is empty)

Note that you can do this in any order, so it’s very important to sequence your plays properly. Here are some general plays that you might want to remember:

– Play all of your Addition buffs before attacking. (e.g. playing Realm of Evolution before attacking with Cowardly Lion)
– Calling a Magic Stone (you’re sure about this right?) to ensure you have all the resources you need should a Chase sequence happen mid-combat, or in response to a play you’re making.
– J-Activating your Ruler to get any additional benefits (e.g. Crimson Girl, Puss in Boots) before making any major plays.
– Resting any potential blockers (you can do that too before the opponent declares blockers in combat) before attacking.
– Using any Activate Abilities that might invoke a response from your opponent before doing anything else.
– Sequencing your attacks in an order that maximizes each of your Resonator’s abilities.

Always keep in mind that during the course of your turn, you have priority, and your opponent can only respond with an instant and Activate ability if and only if you have passed priority after doing something. Otherwise, he can’t go out of his way to do something first during your turn.

Ending Your Turn

Once you say that you’re done, the turn doesn’t immediately pass to your opponent. Just like you, he or she can play any instants or use abilities by saying “Before you end your turn.”

Remember that any “at the end of your turn” Continuous abilities trigger priority windows which either player can Chase into (the turn player gets first priority to chase). If multiple “at the end of your turn” abilities trigger, the turn player has to make clear on the order that these triggers are happening to avoid confusion.

Once everything’s clear and resolved, check if you have more than seven cards in your hand. Discarding is the very last thing that will happen at the end of your turn, and there’s no priority window after it.

And that’s it, congratulations on surviving your turn! I hope this guide helps you in making the most out of your turns. Remember to communicate with your opponent regarding what you’re going to do and when to avoid confusion and any misunderstandings.

Until then!

The 5 Best Resonators in Grimm Cluster (so far)

We are currently at the dawn of a new expansion, but before Kaguya goes to the moon, the Six Sages arrive, and the Cthulu (or Cthuli?) run rampant, let’s visit five of the most powerful Resonators in the Grimm Cluster.

5) Gilles de Rais, the Golden Dragon

The biggest beatstick this side of the Cluster is a dragon, and it’s as fiery, explosive, and powerful as you can expect a golden dragon to be.

At his weakest, Gilles is a 1200/1200 Flying monster that could swoop down and take out any J/Resonator that isn’t named Bloody Snow White, Abdul Alhazred, or Mephistopheles. But it gets better from there. If you build your Magic Stone deck to take advantage of his power, he enters “normally” on turn 6 as a 2000/1200!

I say “normally” because there are a lot of ways to put him into play earlier – you can ramp him up with Elvish Priest and Gretel, Awaken him with Jeanne d’Arc, or set him up with Humpty Dumpty! Regardless of how he’s summoned, Gilles is sure to put the hurt on whoever is on the other side.

Did I mention he 1-shots players at full health if you have 6 Fire Stones, Refarth, and Little Red, The True Fairy Tale in play? Just saying.

4) Carmilla, Queen of Vampires

In a format that’s focused on Resonator combat, board advantage plays a major role in winning most matches, and no other Resonator does it better than Carmilla.

Depending on whom your Ruler and her target is, Carmilla can grant up to a 4-card advantage: when she enters play (+1), kills a Resonator (+1), resurrects it to your side if it’s Human and your ruler is Alucard/Dracula (+1), and if your opponent spends another card (or more) to kill her/them (+1). These seemingly small, one-sided advantages eventually pile up – each one putting you closer to winning.

Never mind that she can singlehandedly fulfill Alucard’s J-Activate condition. Most of the time, you’d be more than happy just to have her kill something – which happens more often than not, as there are very few Vampire Resonators, and none of them short of another Vampire Queen is so threatening. That means Carmilla has a whole buffet of targets to feast on whether it’s the usual Human, the huge Dragon, or the occassional Demon Lord.

This huge range of targets also means that Carmilla is never a useless card. She’s a great draw when you’re playing catch-up, and she helps pull the game out of the opponent’s reach when you’re ahead. The 800/800 body is just adds insult to the injury.

3) Hamelin’s Pied Piper

Chances are that you see the Pied Piper on only one deck, but the role he plays there is of great importance.

Hamelin’s Pied Piper is in unique position right now as a Resonator, in that he has all the tools to win the game by himself, and at the same time in a deck that’s designed to protect him while he does his role. While Gilles and Carmilla also fulfill similar roles, they aren’t usually under the protective umbrella of Aesop, or within the Realm of Pure Spirits, or backed up by Absolute Cake Zone.

1000/1000 means that Piper can finish the game in quick fashion should the coast remain clear – and it’s a relatively  easy task, considering his ability. He’s both a great offensive and defensive tool that can eventually lock the opponent out of the game as long as he remains protected.

Perhaps the most fearsome of his characteristics is that he can be played through Tell a Fairy Tale on turn 3 (or as early as turn 2 with Elvish Mystic), which demands a very precise answer from the opponent, or he risks losing on the spot (or at least be at a very huge disadvantage). Cries of Tell a Fairy Tale being overpowered usually stem from a very early Piper that was left unchecked.

Finally, there’s the Rat Catcher’s Pipe which, with enough Water Stones, can Rest the opposing field and kill the opponent in one fell swoop.

2) Gretel

Gretel is cheating-on-a-stick. While she doesn’t have the raw power of the first three Resonators on our list, she affects the game on a more fundamental level – resouce ramping.

In a game where resources and seperate from the main deck, decks tend to be consistent in their game plan (barring disruption), and the sooner that a player can reach the resources to execute that plan, the more likely they are to pull ahead and win the game. Having one more resource than your opponent means you can play defense faster, go on the offense earlier, or play something bigger while their still stuck on their 300/300s and 500/500s. It’s like fighting someone from the stone age.

Normally, a ramping card won’t be considered powerful (e.g. Elvish Mystic), but Gretel has a number of things going on for her that puts her over the top:

First, the Magic Stone she puts into the field is enters play recovered. This means that you can use it immediately for additional plays. This also means that she essentially costs 1 Wind. That in itself really, really good value.

Second is that she’s Human and Fairy Tale. While this makes her a typical Jeanne/Carmilla target, her former race makes her a good Banish target for Voice of the False God, and the latter makes her a great addition in Grimm decks, where additional copies of her can be discarded for the Ruler’s ability.

Third is that she provides a 200/200 body which can be used to chump block (very important in a format where Pierce is rare), or used for other Banish effects such as Cinderella or Charles.

Finally, her interaction with Hansel and Absolute Cake Zone are nice bonuses to have. The former might not get much of the spotlight, but the latter is seeing play in any deck that has a hint of Wind.

Gretel’s single flaw (which thankfully keeps her from appearing in every single deck) is that she needs to reveal a Wind Stone (or a Special Magic stone that can produce Wind), for her to ramp. That means that in order to have a full 100% hit rate with her, you need to plan your stones differently, or add Wind as a 4th color which binds them all. For example, in a Light/Fire/Darkness deck that wants to utilize Gretel and a few other Wind cards, their Magic Stone deck becomes 4 Wind/Darkness, 3 Wind/Fire, 3 Wind/Light despite Wind just being a splash on the deck. If you thought that it’s easier in a three-Attribute deck with Wind as main and X & Y as your other two, you’re mistaken too! Since 4 Wind/X and 4 Wind/Y only amount to 8 Magic Stones, and you’ll have to decide if putting 2 remaining X/Y Stones is worth reducing your chances to ramp by 20%. The alternative of course, is to put 2 copies of Wind/Z.

Of course, one could always argue that the fact that Gretel puts a Magic Stone 100% of the time on a 4-attribute deck offsets the chances of being color-screwed by offering more chances to get the much-needed color, and I think that it’s best to leave it to a player’s preference and risk assessment. Regardless, the value of being ahead in Magic Stones cannot be denied, and in that aspect, Gretel truly delivers.

1) Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant

Despite the fanservice-oriented art (we’re pretty sure that Cheshire’s the one in the background while the girl in front is actually his tail), Cheshire’s power as a drawing engine is probably the best in the Cluster because she does everything for a measly cost of 1 Water. You get to sift through you deck two cards deep, while being able to put back one card on top (safe from discard), and still have an untouchable 0/200 blocker that simply shuffles itself back into the deck when it dies, netting you more cards when you draw her again.

And all of these abilities find use for different types of decks.

Strictly speaking, Cheshire won’t leave your hand gushing with cards. But being able to dig for that crucial removal card, or combo piece and still play it on the same turn can mean the difference between a win or loss. The fact that she can play defense is just icing on the cake. Her most important power (and will always be) is that she changes the quality of cards in your hand, and generally for the better.

Paired with Voice of the False God, splashing Water (lol) to any two or three-colored deck can easily be justified by the card advantage that those two cards provide.

As a Fairy Tale, Cheshire finds a natural home in Grimm decks in any number, and can easily be searched by pitching any irrelevant Fairy Tale to Grimm’s power. Her other big role is working in tandem with Yamata-no-Orochi, and Humpty Dumpty, where she sets up Yamata on top of the deck so it gets put into play when Humpty cracks. One buff to the Nightmare-Dragon later and it’s game over for the opponent. Outside of the combo, she acts as an invaluable part of the engine by digging through the deck for the combo pieces and stalling the enemy’s offense.

Card draw is a very important aspect of the game. In theory, the player who draws more cards than his opponent is more likely to win the game. It’s what gets you both the answers and the threats of your deck, keeps you from relying only on luck (topdecking) alone to pull you from a losing situation, and puts you in the lead by increasing the likelihood of holding answers to ensure that the opponent stays behind when you’re ahead of the game. In a nutshell, it provides options, and having options contributes a lot towards winning a match.

And in that respect, the Cat holds more power than anyone else in the Cluster.

Four Thousand Damage On A Budget

Let’s start with a simple equation:

What’s [(1000 x 2) + 300] x 2?

How about 300 + 1200 + 2000 + 800?

Actually, it doesn’t matter. Those numbers go over 4000, and that’s the potential damage you can deal from nowhere with this Wind/Fire Budget deck. Just make sure to keep their doors open for attack.

4 Refarth, the Castle in Heaven – Php200
4 Evolution of Limits – Php40
3 Duel of Truth – Php30
3 Rapid Decay – Php60
3 Poison Apple – Php30

4 Hunter in Black Forest – Php40
4 Wolf-Haunted in Black Forest – Php80
4 Seven Dwards – Php40
4 Beowulf, the Blazing Wolf – Php40
3 Moon Night Pouncer – Php60
4 Oz, the Great Magician – Php80

6 Magic Stone of Flame – Php18
4 Magic Stone of Wind – Php12

Total: Php730

Crimson Girl in the Sky / Little Red, the True Fairy Tale: Php400+

Little Red, the True Fairy Tale is the Ruler that makes all of this happen, and it is necessary that she J-Activates to make the deck work at full power. Aggressive Resonators coupled with the threat of early J-Activation plus huge damage spikes puts the opponent on a very fast clock, where a simple mistake of not having a blocker or instant-speed removal can mean lights out for them.

Grimm on a Budget

Let’s say that you’ve opened a pack, and that inside is the much coveted Grimm, the Prince of Fairy Tales. Your mind raced with thoughts of commanding an army of Fairy Tales into battle (and beating other players with them). Suddenly, a bit of doubt sneaks in: aren’t Fairy Tales and those fancy-schmancy spells that go with them expensive?

Pied Piper is the cheapest win condition around.

Well worry not friend, we’ve got the answer! Presenting F&F’s Grimm Budget list (with prices!):

4 Tell a Fairy Tale – Php200
3 Realm of Evolution – Php60
2 Voice of the False God – Php20
2 Dream of Juliet – Php20
2 Realm of Pure Spirits – Php40

4 Hunter in Black Forest – Php40
4 Tinker Bell – Php200
4 One-Inch Boy – Php40
3 Aesop, the Prince’s Tutor – Php60
2 Sleeping Beauty – Php100
2 Deadman Prince – Php20
2 Pumpkin Witch – Php20
1 The Emperor in New Clothes – Php20
1 Rapunzel, the Long-Haired Princess – Php100
4 Pied Piper of Hamelin – Php400

3 Magic Stone of Wind – Php9
3 Magic Stone of Light – Php9
2 Magic Stone of Water – Ph6
2 Magic Stone of Darkness – Php6

Total: Php1370

Grimm, the Fairy Tale Prince – Php600+

The key to saving up on a Grimm list is that we cut any fancy Special Magic Stones thanks to Grimm’s power. We just need to find the right ratio of the Basic Stones needed in relation to the spells (or non-Fairy Tale cards) we are running in the deck.

The deck plays as a mid-range deck whose primary game plan is to pump your Fairy Tale Army via Realm of Evolution and Sleeping Beauty, and then do an alpha strike via Pumpkin Witch. The backup plan of course, is to win on the back of Hamelin’s Pied Piper controlling to opposing field while under the protection of Aesop and Realm of Pure Spirits.

And then there’s Rapunzel flying over the enemies’ heads and hitting for 1000 damage multiple times a turn.

So there you have it, a Grimm deck that doesn’t break the wallet.

Until then!