So as I alluded to yesterday I’m pretty much done with Force of Will. I’ve had 0 desire to invest anymore into this game, much less play it on any competitive level and barely can resist selling my collection. I place all of the blame for these feelings on the terrible decisions that the company managing the game has made over the course of the last year or so, specifically in regard to one obvious card. Let’s take a quick look.
Disclaimer: The following is actually just a rant. Read at your own peril
Tackling the Nightmare of Reflect/Refrain
Problem 1: Too Many Abilities
I wasn’t kidding when I said Reflect ruined this game for me (and I assume many others). This card was (and probably is) too powerful for the game. It provides more free utility than any other J-Ruler. While some rulers if they’re lucky have 1 effect on their Ruler Side, Reflect here has 3. Did I mention it J-Activates for 0? Did I mention it can return to the Ruler side also for 0? They had to print a card for the other rulers to have such a luxury. Forget that everything Reflect does it already amazing, Refrain bounces creatures, counters spells and tutors any card from the deck. Sure you need a few magic counters to do it, but we cares? You get counters for using Reflect’s busted filter ability to fix your hand. If you’re not convinced that this is the broken, let me tell you it’s gets worse. They had to errata this card mid-season just because it was so overpowered.
Now I want you to recall all of the stupid abilities I just mentioned (on Reflect) can you imagine doing them on both player’s turns? Then take it a step further and imagine both players using Reflect both tossing broken effects back and forth racking up counters for Refrain. I played this format, it was the highest form of card gaming cancer.
Problem 2: A Community Divided, A Meta Controlled
Reflect warped the competitive scene of this game. The “Wonder Twins” became the only general to consistently win any tournaments (here’s some anecdotal evidence however, please keep in mind that Reflect taking 15 of the top 16 slots at a tournament is a fairly common occurrence). Soon every event was generally 70% Reflect players who easily crushed the one to two scrubs still playing Grimm, Slyvia or Lumia.
Now other rulers saw play and still topped, but an incredible wedge grew in the community. There were the people like me who saw one ruler controlling the meta as a bad thing and called for a ban on Reflect (probably all of those with a ygo background can understand that feeling). However, the rest of the community was divided into players who either didn’t care and wanted to play with their broken ruler or players who thought that Reflect could be beaten by simply “brewing” a better deck. The problem was that Reflect can’t be beaten by “brewing”. Reflect just provides more free utility than any other ruler making it the safest choice for competitive play. Also due to Force of Will ingeniously not putting any freaking mana costs on anything Reflect does, you can play it in any deck shell. Aggro, cool Reflect pumps Lancelot. Control? Cool Refrain bounces creatures and counters spells! Combo? Refrain tutors your combo piece for you.
Problem 3: We screwed up and can’t fix it…
If all of this wasn’t enough for you understand why Force of Will is dying then let me show you the lasting effects of printing Jace, the Mind Sculptor in a Standard set and quietly walking away. No ruler has been as popular as Reflect on the competitive scene nor have they printed a ruler close to Reflect’s power level. I still remember the night my playgroup first read Gill Lapis. We all thought he was broken. I mean he taxes regalia essentially taking 28 regalia out of the meta and he steals up to 3 cards from the opponent’s deck?! That’s broken! He’ll be tier 1 right? No. Gill Lapis is and has been garbage alongside almost every ruler since Reflect. I’m not saying I dislike any of them as cards. I love all of the rulers from Alice block for their flavor and effects, it’s just that Reflect is better than literally all of them.
So maybe Force of Will could print a card that hates on Reflect to give the other rulers a chance? Well they tried that to…
and what we got was this nonsense:
So on the plus side this can kill Refrain and she can’t flip back! 😀
But it also kills every… other…J/Ruler…
So when we finally get a card that could stop Reflect (by which i mean literally just Refrain if the player using it has gone completely dumb) it comes with the caveat of making literally every other ruler unplayable as they all just auto-die to this trash. I don’t know what on earth they were thinking printing a card like this. It actually makes Reflect better as you can just use the ruler side abilities and never even bother flipping.
And so I’ve come to decent stopping point as to why this game is awful, the direction its taking is awful (This can be a rant for another day as to how all of the new art designs and mechanics are just a joke) and why I no longer want to collect it.
Now just to be clear I really liked this game and still do like it. This is basically just Magic the Gathering with no mana screw and cuter characters. Still I can’t overlook the damage that one poorly thought out card managed to the entire game as a whole. I hope to continue to play this casually, but that’s about it.