One of the biggest barriers to entry for anyone hoping to start playing FoW locally has been the price and rarity of the Rulers, and in all honesty, I still can’t understand why that’s the case. I was told that in the earlier Cluster, there has been a printing run of Uncommon Rulers, and I think that would have been a better standard to follow through – they are part of the game mechanics (like WoW TCG’s Heroes), so they should be more accessible, and not limited to 2-4 pieces per box. This severely limits the number of players who can gain access to the game, especially without any up-to-date starter decks in sight.
The brute-force solution is to always buy more and hope to open the ones you need (or simply get them all), but not everyone has the time, disposable income, and commitment to do so. Besides, we’re growing the community first, and to tell interested players to shell money from the get-go might not be the best way to entice them into the game.
It’s always my philosophy to try to ease someone in when they want to try out something first rather than asking them to jump the gun. Ease creates comfort, produces less pressure, and generates trust. Surprisingly, the knowledge that they can back out at any time without any big consequences actually drives them to invest deeper into the game once they experience how fun it is.
That’s why I’m a fan of “Common and Uncommon cards only” formats. WoW TCG has their “Lazy Peon”, and M:tG has “Pauper”. They’re relatively cheap formats so players aiming to try the game out can easily join in, the power levels of the cards are generally balanced, cards are more accessible, they have a different metagame from the standard formats, and they are generally good environments to learn the mechanics of the game without committing too much resources.
Which is why I’m irked that FoW rulers are very very rare.
Nevertheless, last month a number of local players and I had a discussion about making a similar format for FoW. Despite this being completely unofficial, they have expressed their interest in trying it out, and voiced their opinions to make it a fun and balanced format.
For now, let’s call it Little Rulers.
Little Rulers follows the same rules as a normal FoW game:
40-card minimum Main Deck
10-card minimum Magic Stone deck
However, there are two major changes in the Little Rulers format:
First is that all cards in both the main deck and magic stone deck must have Common and Uncommon rarity only. That means no Promotional Cards, R, SR, Dual Stones, and True Magic Stones in them.
The second difference is the Ruler selection. Rather than using the standard Ruler/J-Ruler card type, players must select a Resonator that will act as their “Little Ruler”. This particular Resonator is bound by the following rules:
1) It starts off on the Ruler area, face down. The opponent should not know who it is prior to the start of the match.
2) The Resonator acting as the Little Ruler should not have any additional copies of itself in the main deck and sideboard. For example, I picked “Seven Dwarfs” as my Little Ruler, I shouldn’t have any other copies of Seven Dwarfs in my Main deck and Sideboard.
3) The face-down Little Ruler is treated as if it were a Ruler card. That means that it cannot be affected by effects that target Resonators.
4) You can pay the Little Ruler’s Attribute cost to “J-Activate” it – turn it face up and put into your field. This follows the rules of J-Activation – the chase area should be clear, it should be in a recovered state, hasn’t called any stone during the turn, and can only happen once per turn. It retains all printed abilities that it has.
5) A Little Ruler that’s in the field is treated as if it were a J-Ruler card. It can only be affected by spells, abilities, or effects that can target J-Rulers. It can also call Magic Stones.
6) If the Little Ruler dies, it’s returned back, face-up into the Ruler area, and loses all of its abilities. It’s still treated as a Ruler card, and Players can still use it to call Magic Stones.
7) A player cannot change his Little Ruler at any time during the tournament.
8) Each player must have a way to distinguish his Little Ruler card from his Main Deck, Sideboard, and Magic Stone Deck.
And that’s basically it – an accessible format for new players getting into the game, and a new territory to explore for veterans.
Community Development and Moving Forward
Our community grew a little, thanks to the interest of the guys from CIIT (which is an awesome art school btw), but of course, it doesn’t stop there, and I hope this format will help generate more interest into the game and make it more accessible to other people.
Especially with plans for a Little Ruler League.
The Little Ruler League is a bi-weekly tournament series that aims to help newer players get into the standard Force of Will game by having a Ruler as part of the prize structure. A typical Little Ruler looks something like this:
Format: Little Rulers Grimm Cluster (or Origin)
Entrance Fee: Php150-Php300
Prize Structure: Modified Draft Pick (additional details below)
A Draft Pick prize structure is where the prize packs are opened, the R, SR, Ruler, Special, and True Magic Stone cards are taken out and presented as the prize pool. Players then take turns picking a card they want depending on their final tournament standing. After the last-place player has picked, the order reverses, with him or her picking first until it reaches the first-place player. The process is repeated until all of the prize cards are gone. The opened packs containing commons and uncommons are randomly distributed.
Here’s the major change for the modified draft pick prize rules, exclusive only for Little Rulers League:
– In the event that additional Rulers have been opened from the prize packs and added to the prize pool, the Grand Champion CANNOT get them as his first pick.
– He can however, trade the Ruler that he won from the Tournament for any of the other Rulers in the prize pool, in addition to still being able to pick (a non-Ruler card) first from it.
This change is done in order to uphold one of the goals of the League, which is to provide an alternative way for everyone to acquire the Rulers that they need.
Stay tuned for the first leg of our Little Ruler League, to be announced soon.