The Great R/R Nerf and You

A few days ago, it was officially announced that beginning on February 1, 2016, Reflect’s abilities can now be only used only your turn, and only once per turn. This means no more turn 1.5 Fiethsing (and by association, turn 2 Arthur), shenanigans since our favorite Child of Potential can no longer do anything on the opponent’s turn.

While is sounds like a minor change, the hard fact is that Reflect loses 50% of his powers with this change. For the uninitiated, what makes Reflect so powerful is that he provides an endless stream of incremental advantage that eventually overwhelms the opponent if they’re using any other Ruler.

  • The +200/+200 ability helps dictate combat by either helping your Resonators survive situations where they normally wouldn’t, or allow smaller resonators to trade up to bigger ones.
  • The card filtering ability gradually improves hand quality by allowing you to see more cards, and therefore having more options.
  • The last ability which recovers a Resonator at the end of turn can either be used for defense, shenanigans (like the Elvish Priest into Fiethsing on the opponent’s turn), or maximizing activated abilities that require resting such as Viviane’s.

This means that after the errata…

  • You can only get the combat advantage while on the offense, and won’t be able to use is to save your Resonators on your opponent’s turn.
  • You’ll see far less cards throughout the course of the game.
  • While the recover ability is still good as a means of defense, the shenanigans associated with it are toned down. This means that there are far less chances of getting blown out by some unfair combo utilizing it throughout the course of a tournament.
  • The magic counters you gain are essentially halved. which means Refrain becomes a lot less powerful. This also indirectly nerfs Servant of Reflect. On the other hand, drawing Change the World becomes more essential if you want to get ahead stockpiling magic counters. Familiar of Refrain also becomes a more attractive prospect for some decks.

So what happens next?

Despite being powered down, I think that Reflect still remains as one of the better Rulers in the current metagame. His abilities are still good, and Refrain is still very strong once she gets going. Still, the three best decks associated with R/R (Knights, Fairies, and Alice’s World) are all going to take a huge hit and will see a decrease in power and consistency.

On the other hand, this opens up the floor for the other Rulers. Next to R/R, Valentina 2.0 and Dark Alice are seeing some success, so we can expect more of these two in the coming months.

Overall, I think the errata is a quick and fair one, and commend Force of Will Co. for recognizing how R/R can potentially be harmful for the game. It’s quite exciting to see the direction the metagame will take from here, and I hope that this encourages more players to experiment with the other Rulers and explore the game further.

Until then!

Card image from http://fowtcg.com

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