Greetings, rulers! Welcome to the Force of Will Beginner’s Boot Camp! In these articles we’ll be looking at the game from the perspective of a brand new player, learn how to design and build decks, get involved with our local Force of Will community, and ultimately compete in tournaments!
Before we begin today’s discussion, keep in mind that these articles assume that you are a beginner, but have a basic understanding of the game’s core concepts and rules. If you have yet to learn the rules, check out the Rules Sheet section under the Rules tab of the main website. You don’t need to be a rules expert just yet, but knowing the basics will help you understand and utilize the information in these articles more effectively, as they will make use of terminology in the Force of Will trading card game.
So, you’ve just started playing the game after the release of Legacy Lost last weekend. Perhaps you participated in a pre-release event, or you simply bought some booster packs. But where do you go from here? How can you use the limited collection of cards you’ve amassed thus far to work towards creating the ultimate deck? Today, let’s start by taking a look at each of the new rulers in Legacy Lost and their basic stratagems.
The new Faria ruler is not a very adaptable one. Her abilities do not lend themselves well to varied kinds of deck construction. She’s about one thing, and one thing only; rushing in and dealing damage to your opponent with Inheritance cards providing support. That doesn’t necessarily make her easy to build for though. In fact, she might be the most challenging as most decks can rely more on stall and control tactics where this deck cannot. The Glorius ruler side does however, provide something most aggressive decks really benefit from, hand cycling.
It’s doubtful that you’ll want to run every card with Inheritance in a Faria deck, and more likely you’ll want to stick with the strongest of them plus the standard aggressive cards from other sets (which we’ll look at next time) along with some interference to handle the likely threats you’ll be going up against. Even with the best deck, sometimes you really don’t need a card in your hand and you’d rather dig for something else. Most decks need to rely on search or draw spells, and while it still may be prudent of you to do that here as well, Glorius has a cycling ability built right in. Once on your turn, you can chuck an Inheritance card to draw something else. This becomes increasingly infatuating once you realize Amaterasu (one of the stronger Inheritance cards) can be revived from the grave.
Faria is also the only J-ruler in the set to not sacrifice a stone by using Judgment. She’ll let you nab one from your magic stone deck when she hits the field. In a lot of ways, Faria is all about low costs. She’ll let you play Inheritance abilities without paying for them, and her God’s Art, while not a win condition, is free and will keep Faria safe.
If Faria is going to be our J/ruler we’re likely going to want to make good use of her signature magic stone! Pricia’s Memoria won’t enter the field rested with Faria as your J/ruler, and you don’t even have to pay the 300 life! The card will produce the two major attributes of will your deck is likely to focus on, and can even be rested to beef up Faria, Ruler of Divine Beasts. That said, it isn’t a spectacular effect, but can be useful should you need her to deal just a bit more damage to take the win for yourself.
Undoubtedly, the two strongest Inheritance cards are Amaterasu and Fiethsing. As mentioned earlier, Amaterasu can be revived from the graveyard, making her a good target for Glorius’ cycling ability when the need arises. It also reduces the impact of having to discard her for her Inheritance ability, as you won’t lose her as a body on the field as long as you can pay the revival cost. She’s got a fairly average power for her cost, and will even heal you when she starts dealing damage. Her revival ability coupled with the healing makes her an excellent card to run defense. She can be expended numerous times, plus you’ll gain life from blocking with her.
Fiethsing is kind of like a multi-tool. She’s got good power for her cost and Quickcast, so you can keep your will open for a counter and then drop her at the end of your opponent’s turn if they’ve got nothing worth stopping. She can be played to bounce a resonator back to your hand, good for protecting it from a destruction or damage effect, but also good for bouncing a resonator who’s entry effect you’d like to abuse. Once on the field, she’s little more than a 600/600 Vanilla though. Her Inheritance ability will pump something up by +600/+600, but perhaps more interestingly, it will let you search and field a copy of Fiethsing’s Monocle (below), a very handy card that will help you generate more will.
Other resonators to strongly consider are the Divine Beast of Attoractia and Kaguya, Lunar Researcher. Both can provide some muscle for your deck and will help you dish out the damage. Divine Beast is a standard 600/600 for two will, but gains the ability to leech life and 200 extra ATK and DEF whenever you play an Inheritance ability, and that’s coupled with any bonus to damage the actual Inheritance ability would give you, so this card can easily deal well over 1000 damage and heal you for that same amount. Its also got an Inheritance ability of its own, should the need arise.
Kaguya costs three, or two if you control a Moon. Sadly there are no moon cards in Legacy Lost, but even playing her for three isn’t too bad. She’s got Flying, which is always fantastic, and she can recover whenever you bestow something to her. So attack with Kaguya, bestow Fiethsing’s Monocle (or another such addition), recover Kaguya, and then attack with her again!
Naturally we also don’t just want the opponent doing whatever they please, so we’ve got to run some interference. Final Breeze is a phenomenal example. It will return any card on the chase (cards are ‘spells’ while on the chase) to it’s owner’s hand, preventing that card from resolving and taking effect. Plus, if you’ve got Torrent active (This merely requires you playing any card before playing Final Breeze) it will lock up your opponent, stopping them from planing anything other than abilities for the rest of the turn. Perfect for securing a turn of unfettered attacking.
Gale Force is also quite beneficial, but it might be prudent of you to only run a few copies, or better yet, keep this in the side deck. The spell will destroy any resonator with Flying. This can be an absolute life-saver, especially since it only costs one wind will, but only if your opponent is running the right kind of deck. You’ll have to see what you’re up against first.
Unlike Faria, Lumia has a bit of a broader spectrum when it comes to building a deck for her. Sure the light/fire dual attribute cards in Legacy Lost are geared towards her, but her unique abilities make her viable with all myriad of cards. Lumia is all about abusing the automatic abilities of your cards when they enter the field. On both her ruler and J-ruler side, she’ll remove a card and then return it to the field rested, though via different conditions. Since these abilities return the resonator rested, it won’t be able to double attack. So it’s clear we’ll want ‘when this card enters your field’ type effects that we can abuse the heck out of.
Lumia herself isn’t too shabby of a combatant either. For a Judgment cost of three, she hits the field with 1000 ATK and DEF, along with the coveted Swiftness, which enables her to attack immediately. While not quite strong enough to rely as your deck’s main source of damage, she shouldn’t be counted out as a good supporting attacker. She can also gain the ability to leech life and Imperishable whenever she deals damage as long as you removed a Nyarlathotep, the Crimson Radiance from your hand when Lumia enters the field. This makes attacking with her even less of a risk, as with Imperishable, she won’t lose the ability to do Judgment should she be destroyed.
Lumia is best built as a sort of supporting ruler and secondary attacker. Your deck will want to focus mostly on the most powerful ‘upon entry’ effects in the game. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got to work with in Legacy Lost.
Two key cards for most Lumia decks are definitely going to be Nyarlathotep and Awakened Magic Stone, The Earth. Nyarlathotep is not only necessary for one of Lumia’s own abilities, she’s a useful card in her own right! With 700 ATK and DEF she’s ahead of the usual curve for total cost two resonators, however her Limit 1 ability ensures she’ll only be able to attack or block once before returning to your hand. However, let’s consider Lumia’s ruler side ability for a moment. If you attack with Nyarlathotep, lose her limit counter, remove her from the game with Lumia, then return her to the game with the same effect, Nyarlathotep will enter the game with that Limit counter back! The Cthulhu isn’t just a beat stick though, she’s got two Awakening abilities as well. For one light will, you can remove a resonator from the game for as long as Nyarlathotep remains in the field. Unfortunately, even if you remove her with Lumia, it means the removed resonator will return as well so we can only rely on this for temporary removal of an opposing threat, but even a single turn without the opponent’s biggest threat can make a big difference. You could also use it to remove one of your own cards to abuse another ‘upon entry’ effect though this may not be optimal in certain situations. The second Awakening ability costs one fire will and will allow you to play a light or fire chant with a total cost three or less without paying it’s cost! Now that’s some good value! Pay three to drop an awakened Nyarlathotep and get a total cost three chant to boot!
Awakened Magic Stone, the Earth is Lumia’s signature stone. It will come in recovered with no caveats thanks to Lumia being your J/ruler and can produce light and fire will, which are likely to be your main attributes. While Faria granted you a magic stone when she entered your field, Lumia has a bit of a different option. Instead, all of this kind of magic stone will automatically recover when you do Judgment with a light ruler, which could (with the right setup) make doing Judgment essentially free! When to use Judgment is always a tough decision and this ability makes it a little less painful in terms of resources.
Priest of Divine Protection is a kind of secondary option when Lumia’s momentary removal effects just aren’t cutting it. As long as she’s played from the hand, she’ll essentially trigger the same effect, removing a resonator you control from the game and then returning it to the field rested. She’s also got Quickcast, which is a nice touch. This way she can be played as an emergency blocker if need be, or dropped on your turn after you draw, but before you recover your magic stones to set off an ‘upon entry’ effect of one of your other resonators.
Speaking of which, Blessed Knight will destroy a target rested resonator your opponent controls when it enters the field. So basically every time your opponent attacks with a resonator they’re putting themselves at risk as long as you’ve got this in your hand. Even if Blessed Knight is in your field and your opponent attacks with something to powerful, you can play Priest of Divine Protection via Quickcast, remove then return Blessed Knight to the field, and immediately destroy that rested opposing resonator!
So we know that Nyarlathotep’s Fire Awakening ability can let us play a total cost three or less light and/or fire attribute chant without paying it’s cost, so let’s take a look at some prime examples. Lumia’s Purification is like an advanced form of Blessed Knight. It will simply destroy any rested non-magic stone card, even a J-ruler! (though not a ruler as this is only possible when a card specifically says “destroy target ruler”). While this card does not have Quickast, making it playable only during your main phase when the chase is empty, it does have Remnant. This means you’ll be able to cast it a second time from the graveyard and then remove it from the game. Having up to four cards that can work up to eight times, coupled with the fact that this is some pretty non-specific removal makes this a good card for maintaining advantage on the field.
Another spell that’s good with Lumia is Meeting of Light and Fire. This spell presents two chooseable options, but if you control a light J/resonator and another fire J/resonator, you’ll be able to choose both. You’ll reveal the top card of your deck, gain life equal to its total cost times 100 and add that card to your hand, then reveal the next top card deal damage equal to its total cost times 100 and add that card to your hand. While you never know what you’ll top deck, a little life gain, and a little damage plus two extra cards in your hand (possibly for free with Nyarlathotep) is pretty good. This card has Quickcast as well, so you’ll be able to cast it before your recovery phase if you didn’t have to expend your recovered stones during your opponent’s turn.
We’ve seen that Lumia support involves a lot of removal of rested cards, so here’s the coup de grace. Lumia’s Judgment will remove all non-J-ruler/non-magic stone cards with a total cost X or less from the game. This is a late game killer that can suddenly leave your opponent (and yourself!) with a completely empty field, opening the possibility for your counter attack when all seemed lost. Remember that this will remove your cards as well, so if you want to clear the way for an attack to win the game, make sure your attacker’s total cost is higher than what you paid for X!
Next up is the demonic body stealing ruler of Shangri-La herself, Valentina. She is all about controlling your opponent’s field via destruction and harassing resonators. Her ruler side abilities are the first of their kind. The first will sap a resonator’s ATK based on the total cost of the water chant you play. The second will sap a resonator’s DEF based on the total cost of the darkness chant you play. And if you happen to play a chant that is both water and darkness, you get to set off both effects! Note that, since these effects are separate from each other, if you play a chant that is both water and darkness, the ATK and DEF loss do not need to target the same resonator.
Valentina’s Judgment cost is a total of three, and unlike the other two rulers we’ve looked at thus far, there’s nothing to lessen the resource expenditure of this cost, and depending on how the game is going you may not even need/want to use her Judgment if you’re able to control the field with your main deck and Valentina’s ruler side abilities. However, should you need more direct field control, Valentina, Released Terror is ready to provide it. By banishing two of your own resonators you’ll be able to either draw a card or destroy another resonator. While having to banish two of your own resonators sounds like a hefty cost, it’s not quite as bad as you think, as we’ll soon see. What’s more, Valentina, Released Terror will reduce the cost of all water/darkness dual attribute cards by one void. While the J-ruler side loses access to the sapping powers of the ruler side, this is certainly a nice replacement. Saving a will on the dual attribute spells you play leaves stones open for Quickcast spells on your opponent’s turn.
Valentina is very much a control ruler. She’s meant to work in conjunction with control decks and add even more punch to the spells of your main deck.
Remains of Attoractia is the signature stone of Valentina. It will entere recovered with no extra life cost as long as she’s your J/ruler and the stone can produce both water and darkness will. Additionally you can rest the stone to boost up a resonator token by +100/+100. Wait, resonator token? We haven’t seen any of those yet. But you’ll quickly see that resonator tokens are what water/darkness cards, and Valentina, are all about. A +100/+100 boost to a single token isn’t particularly anything to start foaming at the mouth over, and usually you’ll just want to use the stone to produce will. However, it’s a nice extra ability to have when this stone is still recovered just before the recovery phase of your turn. Rest the stone to boost a token, and then immediately recover it.
Alright, let’s talk token resonators. Valentina’s J-ruler side lets you banish two resonators to either draw a card or destroy another resonator. Token resonators are perfectly acceptible for the cost of this effect and they’re the most expendable. So how do we go about producing them? Well a lot of ways, as it so happens. First let’s look at some resonator methods. Illusion Wizard will let you put a 400/400 Fantasy resonator token into your field when she enters the field, essentially giving you 900 ATK for three will, which isn’t too shabby. Once on the field, the wizard and the token aren’t anything more than vanilla attackers though, but this single card can be useful for gaining back lost ground on the field, as it generates two bodies. Remember, if you’ve got Valentina, Released Terror on the field, this card will only cost two to play!
Illusory Projection is a similar resonator, but for one will less. Instead of producing the token when it enters the field, it will grant you one when it is sent to the graveyard. This means you won’t get all the banish fodder you need for a usage of Valentina’s effect just by playing it. However, this card is also less of a risk in the case of, say, your opponent using a spell that wipes the field and destroys all resonators. With Illusory Projection, you’ll still have something on the field even after such an event.
Now for some Chant methods of generating tokens. Fishing is a particularly interesting card. For only one will it will generate a water/darkness Fantasy resonator token, however the ATK and DEF of that token depends on the card you reveal off the top of your deck and put into your graveyard. While this is somewhat of a gamble, this is not a spell you should be counting on to produce a capable fighting fit resonator anyway. This is a cheap way of generating a token to be used for Valentina’s or other such similar banishment costs. While you may also be concerned that the top card you have to discard may be a waste (and you’re not entirely wrong) it’s not quite as bad as you think, as we’ll see in a short while.
Another great spell to include is Plot of Water and Darkness. This spell, like others we’ve seen, gives you the choice of two options, but will let you choose both if you control a water resonator and another darkness resonator. You can either destroy a resonator, or put a 400/400 water/darkness fantasy resonator token into your field. Destroying a resonator and getting a token for only three will (or better yet, only two if you’ve got Valentina on her J-ruler side) is some very nice value. To make it even better, this chant has Quickcast so you can even play it on your opponent’s turn or before your recovery phase!
This is the card that helps make up for using Fishing. Muul, the Town that Never was allows you to turn your graveyard into a token factory. Once this addition is on the field, you can pay two will and remove a resonator in your graveyard from the game to generate a 400/400 fantasy resonator token. Remember that activated abilities like this one are Quickcast speed, so you can even do it during your opponent’s turn. This addition is truly a marvel for Valentina decks…assuming you don’t draw more than one copy of it. You do not benefit by having more than one of these on the field, and with the lack of much addition destruction you’ll likely not want to be running too many copies of this card in your deck. Normally that would mean you wouldn’t be drawing this card too often, however…
Thanks to Fated Reunion, that shouldn’t be a problem. Fated Reunion works similarly to Plot of Water and Darkness, but is really only best used when you have the needed J/resonators to choose both options. When you do, this spell becomes a simple search card, allowing you to search out a card and put it on the top of your deck, then draw that card immediately. This fantastic chant is how you make sure you have access to card like Muul, which you won’t want to be running too many copies of.
Finally we have the ace resonator of the deck, along with her signature spell. Moojdart is what turns your resonator tokens (and other water/darkness cards) into a terrifying threat. She’ll boost all other water resonators by +200/+200 and all darkness resonators by the same. That means water/darkness resonators gain an extra 400 ATK and DEF, turning all your tokens into 800/800s, making them far more dangerous to your opponent, but just as easy to generate for you. Moojdart herself also has Flying and 800 ATK, which is some fairly decent damage that’s going to be difficult for your opponent to block. Now it is more than likely your opponent will be doing their best to take her out, so she’s got an ability to help protect her. By banishing a fantasy resonator (fantasy resonator tokens are, of course, good too) she’ll gain Barrier against all chant cards for the rest of the turn. That doesn’t protect her against J/resonator abilities though, so be careful.
However, Magic Rebound does protect Moojdart, and indeed anything else, agains both spells and abiliites…as long as they have a single target. This two cost Quickcast spell will change the target of a spell or ability, allowing you to redirect direct damage or destruction spells or pretty much anything else, right back at your opponent. Or if you’re feeling sneaky, you could also redirect a beneficial effect your opponent wants to put on one of their own J/resonators to one of yours. As icing on the cake, this chant will let you draw a card upon resolution, replacing its spot in your hand.
Oh boy, I hope you’re ready to play a bunch of spells without actually having to rest your magic stones for them! Sol is a energy plant of a ruler. He has the Mana ability, which grants him mana counters which can be removed with his other ability to produce either fire or water will. However, the will produced via mana counters can only be spent to pay for Ancient Magic cards. Thankfully there are quite a few Ancient Magic cards in Legacy Lost (and other sets too, as it happens!), so Sol’s got a plethora of spells to work with. This ruler is all about amassing mana counters and then using them to pay for the powerful and extremely high costing Ancient Magic cards to deal massive blows to your opponent.
While Sol’s judgment cost is three, it’s much less of a hindrance than other rulers, as so many of your cards can be cast via mana counters, leaving your magic stones open for things like using Judgment. And you will most assuredly want to use Sol’s Judgment as it is one of the best ways to gain more mana counters quickly. As Sol enters the field as a J-ruler, he’ll gain another five counters from his Mana 5 ability (note that he doesn’t lose any counters he had on his ruler side) and he can gain another five counters by removing a copy of Runic Commander Demon, Akiot in your hand from the game. As another nice little plus, removing Akiot will also give Sol an extra 600 ATK and DEF, turning him into a 1100/1100.
Speaking of Akiot, we should probably talk about him. Unfortunately he isn’t much help on the field. Sure he’ll grant you a mana counter upon entry, but after that the demon isn’t much beyond a vanilla 600/600 resonator. The card also has an ability that allows you to return it to your hand when you play a chant, which is nice for preparing to remove the card when you use Sol’s Judgment or getting Akiot out of danger. Despite the individual cards weak statistics, it is still a very necessary element to a Sol deck. The extra five mana counters you can gain by removing Akiot from your hand are invaluable, so you’ll want to run a few copies of this handy demon.
Magic Stone of Vaporization is Sol’s signature magic stone and very, very useful. It will, of course, enter recovered without paying life thanks to your ruler being Sol. It can generate both fire and water will, which are Sol’s primary attributes. However, most important of all is that this stone can give you a mana counter by paying one and resting the stone. This, of course, shouldn’t be your main way of generating mana counters, it is incredibly useful for when you just need one or two more counters to unleash your big combo.
So, what do we spend all those mana counters on, now that we’ve spent the game stockpiling them? Why lovely spells like these of course! Steam Explosion is pretty simple. It will deal 200 damage to a resonator and your opponent for each will you pay. By paying 20 for X (Via mana counters of course!) You can deal 4000 damage to your opponent, instantly winning the game! The trouble is if this spell get’s countered, you’ve spent far too many counters to recover, so make sure your opponent is either out of usable will for counters (keep an eye on their sources of wind will if they have any as that’s most commonly the will used for counterspells), or make sure you have a counter of your own to stop their counter.
Conjure Time Bomb is not the instant KO that Steam Explosion is, but also provides some good damage and board control. By paying the normal cost you’ll create a bomb resonator token that will explode at the start of your next turn and deal 1000 damage to your opponent and all their J/resonators. This would be just fine except for the fact that you have to keep the token alive during your opponent’s turn, which might be difficult. However, by paying the Awakening cost (which can also be paid for with mana counters) the token will gain a new ability that causes it to explode at the end of your turn, instead of the beginning of it. This means your opponent won’t have a chance to try and remove the token from the field, making tha damage far more consistent. This is a great spell to keep the board clear of threats so you can continue to bombard your opponent with powerful spells.
World Flame Summoning is a sort of swiss-army knife of an Ancient Magic card. You can choose two of the four options. You can force your opponent to banish a special magic stone, deal 800 damage to all resonators your opponent controls, 800 damage to your opponent, or 1500 damage to a J-ruler. Which choices are best very much depends on your opponent’s field. Removing a magic stone is always an enticing option, especially early game, though if your up against another Ancient Magic user, it may not be too helpful. The other three all depend on what type of field you’re facing. 800 damage to all resonators can wipe a board that’s trying to swarm you, but won’t be too useful against stronger resonators, 800 damage to your opponent is weaker than the other Ancient Magic burn cards, but can certainly help put them within kill range of those cards. 1500 damage to a J-ruler is pretty fantastic and is enough to assuredly destroy most an J-ruler.
So aside from Akiot and Sol’s own abilities, how do you go about increasing mana counter production? Well we’ve got a few cards that can help with that in Legacy Lost (and even more in the previous set, Curse of the Frozen Casket!). Catalyst Spirit is a basic 600/600 resonator for a total cost of two that can be banished to put two mana counters on a J/ruler. This isn’t the most optimal resonator, but it certainly has its uses. Play the card down, and attack and block as you please. Once the card comes under any threat of destruction, simply banish the spirit to gain two mana counters. Some may be tempted to play and banish the card immediately, but it is wiser not to. Let the card exist for as long as it can, maybe it can even get some damage in, there’s no need to banish it for counters until you’re actually going to use them.
Sympathy of Fire and Water, is another one of the choose one spells that let’s you choose both if you’ve got the right combination of resonators. However, even choosing one for this spell can still be quite useful. This card will let you either produce three will that is only good for Ancient Magic cards, or grant a chant in your graveyard the keyword Remnant, which allows it to be played from the graveyard. Depending on the situation one choice may be better than the other, though being able to choose both would be nice too. The more consistently useful choice will likely be the will generation, you’re essentially paying two will to get three. That doesn’t seem like much, but you’ll be feeling differently when your one will away from dealing enough damage to KO your opponent with Steam Explosion. The granting of Remnant on a chant in your graveyard is how your deck is going to handle discard cards and counter spells. Red/Blue decks don’t have much in the way of counter magic, so unless you’re willing to splice in some wind cards and wind magic stones, this is how you recover after your opponent plays Nameless Mist and forces you to discard that Conjure Time Bomb you’ve been waiting to play.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Sol’s strategy really falls flat if you can’t draw the killer Ancient Magic cards you need. That means you’re going to want to be able to do two things. Draw/Search and stall for time. These two spells will help you do that. Rune of Sol is a Quickcast spell that can be played with mana counters, but is also cheap enough to be worth hard casting with actual magic stones to conserve your counters. It will let you search out any Ancient Magic card, perfect for keeping the consistency of your deck, and making sure you always have that crucial card.
Ancient Barrier, on the other hand, is total harassment for your opponent. It will force all players to pay two void more for any non-Ancient Magic Chants. This applies to you too, of course, but since you will be running far less normal chant cards than your opponent, its going to slow them down a lot more. That said, this card is still best kept at low copies or even no copies in the main deck, with more copies in the side deck, as going up against another Ancient Magic user makes this spell nearly useless.
While Sol is going to be focusing heavily on Ancient Magic cards we’re still going to need some resonators as well. Twin-Headed Dragon is your muscle. This resonator costs four, which you’ll actually have to pay with regular magic stones. While it has Flying, a basic 1000/1000 for that price isn’t all too great. Interestingly though, this dragon has two awakening abilities which CAN be paid for with mana counters. The fire one will deal 1000 damage to a resonator, very handy and inexpensive removal. The second will let you recover up to two resonators and prevent them from recovering during their controller’s next recovery phase. So essentially hit something for 1000 damage to kill it, and lock down anything for a turn that won’t die to 1000 damage. That’s some nice crowd control for the cost of only two mana counters, and it even comes with a 1000/1000 Flying beat stick to boot!
Altea’s Elite isn’t going to be doing massive damage anytime soon, what with her 200 ATK. However, 1000 DEF for a total cost three resonator is some good stonewalling material and she’ll even let you dig through the top four cards of your deck to look for a chant card and add it to your hand, making her another card that will help keep the consistency of your power plays high.
Our final ruler in Legacy Lost is undoubtedly the most unique one. The Nine-Tailed Fox is all about one thing, summoning Chimeras from outside the game for well below their actual costs and using them to gain advantage and beat the tar out of your opponent. Lilias Petal doesn’t have anything going for him on his ruler side, aside from the standard Energize ability. He’s got a Judgment cost of zero, and you will want to take advantage of that as soon as you are able, though your first turn or two may be better spent getting some magic stones on your field first.
It’s not as though you won’t be calling magic stones every turn you can with the J-ruler side, as the Nine-Tailed fox cannot battle, nor can it be destroyed. However, there’s really no reason to use your Judgment and deny yourself a magic stone that turn until you’ve got all the pieces necessary for the Nine-Tailed Fox’s main ability. You’re going to need one wind resonator, a separate darkness resonator and a Killing Stone on your field. Then you can banish all three to call in one of the three new Chimera resonators which we will look at in a moment. Now that sounds like a rather hefty price, banishing two of your own resonators AND a magic stone just to get one resonator onto the field, but the Chimera’s more than make up for it with their own power, and considering how early they can be summoned, it’s a fair price.
Lilias Petal is a very unique card, not built at all like other rulers. He is built to do one thing and it requires a player to think very critically about the opponent’s board, what the board will look like next turn, and what might be waiting in the opponent’s hand. But played well, the deck can also be an absolute nightmare to play against. Especially for decks that run a popular resonator named Captain Hook, who loves to bounce his opponent’s magic stones back to the magic stone deck.
Killing Stone is not only useful for Lilias Petal, producing wind and darkness will which are the attributes he’ll be using the most, it’s also necessary for the deck to work. This is the stone you need to banish in order to summon Chimeras. While you can only have up to four of these in your magic stone deck, fear not, as the Nine-Tailed Fox has an activated ability that will let you recover one of these cards from your graveyard and shuffle it back into your deck. Since this card is meant to be banished it’s also got a fun automatic ability for whenever it gets sent to the graveyard from your field. It will sap 100 life from your opponent and heal you for 100 life. Nothing game ending, but every bit counts and if you’re banishing a several of these over the course of the game, it does begin to add up. Note that it uses the phrase “loses life” and not “deal 100 damage”. Loss of life is much harder for an opponent to prevent than being dealt damage.
Alright so here are the three aforementioned Chimera resonators. What’s great about these cards is that, thanks to the Nine-Tailed Fox, you don’t need to put these in your main deck, allowing you to keep its focus on supporting and control cards. Instead you’ll likely want to put a few copies of each of these in your side deck, as the Nine-Tailed Fox can summon them from there (that’s what “outside the game” means). The dilemma is, naturally, “how do I know which one is best to summon?”.
Griphon, Racing Across Darkness is likely to be your go to guy for early game. As previously touched upon, banishing your own magic stones is kind of a scary prospect. So you’re going to want to nabbing more stones from your magic stone deck when you can, especially because after banishing a Killing Stone, you’ll need to dig for another so you have the required materials to banish and summon another Chimera. This is why Griphon is key in the early game. When this guy hits the field, a feet that could be accomplished as early as second or third turn, you can put the top two cards of your magic stone deck into your field, which more than makes up for the loss of one stone. Beyond that this guy is a simple vanilla 1200/1200 with Flying, which makes him somewhat bland for mid and late game, but an absolute terror in the first few turns of the game when your opponent is less likely to have methods of handling such a force.
Ammit is your demolitions expert. It is the most powerful of the three, though it lacks the Flying that the other two have. Upon entry the glutton will destroy another resonator and heal you an amount of life equal to that destroyed resonators DEF. Obviously you call in this guy when your opponent has dropped their big powerful resonator. In one movement, you remove their greatest threat, bolster your life, and now you’ve got a 1500/1500 on the field that your opponent will have to deal with.
The Manticore is your technitian. It’s there to handle other tricky situations and provide control. Upon entry this card will let you choose to either destroy an addition or regalia card, or look at your opponents hand and make them discard a card. The weakest of the three, although still packing Flying, the Manticore is what you play when you’ve already got good control of the field going and you want to protect that dominance. Remove your opponent’s recovery card from their hand and secure your victory. The option to remove an irksome addition or regalia is also good, meaning you don’t have to commit cards that can accomplish such a thing to your main deck, giving you more room to put other things in.
So we know we’ve got banish Killing Stone, but what are our prime targets for the wind and darkness resonators we’ve got to banish. Within Legacy Lost along we’ve already got some good candidates. Magic Stone Life Form is prime banish material. The little creature produces a single will of any attribute when its sent from the field to the graveyard, allowing you do cope somewhat with the loss of a magic stone.
Lilias Petal’s Assistant, as if the name wasn’t on the nose enough, is another particularly useful card for setting up your ingredients. Upon entering the field, she’ll let your resurrect a wind or darkness resonator with total cost one from your graveyard and put it into your field. Since this card is both wind and darkness, she can fill either ingredient’s spot, so she makes a perfect combo with Magic Stone Life Form. Play Lilias Petal’s Assistant, revive the Magic Stone Life Form, then banish both along with a Killing stone to summon an Chimera, you’ll even get a free will from the life form to boot!
Aside from our resonator materials, we also want to increase the consistency of getting Killing Stone into our field. four cards in a ten card magic stone deck is just not consistent enough. We don’t want to leave it totally to chance, we’ll want to influence and increase the probability of getting a Killing Stone. Obviously Griphon can help us out, but we need a Killing Stone in order to even play that card, so what about before we can play Griphon? Enter, Grusbalesta and Messenger of Lilias Petal.
Grusbalesta provides your magic stones with Barrier, which protects them from nasties like Captain Hook and other spells and abilities your opponent controls. More importantly for our purposes however, when he enters the field, you can banish any number of magic stones you like and then put that many replacements from your magic stone deck into your field rested. Its unfortunate that they’re rested, but we can rest our other stones to produce will before we banish them, so its not a total wash. Obviously we’ll want to banish any non-Killing Stone cards and try to dig for more of them. While this is very helpful, you likely won’t want to run a lot of copies of this resonator as you won’t be in a position to banish your magic stones too often if you’re calling one ever turn, plus calling two from Griphon at least once per game. Grusbalesta also has abilities that power him up the more magic stones you have with different names, but let’s be honest, that’s not going to be super useful in a deck where you are frequently banishing your stones. Plus, most decks don’t run more than three or maybe four kinds of magic stones. Still, the resonator makes for an invaluable resource for digging through your magic stone deck.
Messenger of Lilias Petal is a somewhat slower way of getting a Killing Stone, but also a less painful one. It doesn’t require banishing your own stones. Upon entry, this total cost two 600/600 will let you choose a special magic stone in your magic stone deck and put it on top of your magic stone deck. While you could do this one turn, as a set up for your next turn, it’s important to remember that if you’ve got the will, you can play this resonator first, and then call a magic stone to guarantee you call a Killing Stone. Once on the field this card is just a 600/600 vanilla, which isn’t terrible, and he makes for a good ingredient for the Nine-Tailed Fox as the resonator has both the wind and darkness attributes.
With so much room in your main deck you’ll want to run a good amount of control cards to make sure your Chimeras can stay safe and dominate the field. We’ve already talked about how Final Breeze can stop a single spell or completely shut off your opponent (aside from abilities) for a turn, but this is the first time we’re looking at Curse of the Kyuubi.
This powerful Quickcast spell cancels a spell unless your opponent pays X, so make sure X is more than your opponent can or is willing to pay. If the curse successfully cancels that spell, it removes it and all other copies your opponent has from the game. This is particularly useful against a popular chant cared called Charlotte’s Water Transformation magic, which not only turns any resonator into a 400/400 Bear with no abilities for a turn, but it also has Remnant, so it can be played again from the graveyard. A spell like that can be a real headache for you, so Curse of the Kyuubi is your way of removing all traces of such a problem. This card is fantastic for removing key elements of an opponent’s strategy and completely ruining their plans. That said, it can be somewhat costly to play so you don’t want more than perhaps two or three copies of this card in your deck.
Since you’ll always be needing both a wind and a darkness resonator as ingredients, considering some search cards isn’t a bad idea either. We’ve already discussed how useful Fated Reunion can be, but we’ve yet to see Planting Beans.
This chant card will let you search your deck for a card and toss it into the graveyard. On its own, that’s not too useful. However, by awakening this card, bringing its total cost to three, you also get to take that card you just put into your graveyard and add it to your hand. This card is a good alternative to Fated Reunion because, despite being a little more expensive will wise, it doesn’t require you to have two darkness resonators on the field to fully get the card into your hand. Additionally, you may not even have to pay this card’s awakening cost for it to truly be useful. After all, Lilias Petal’s Assistant revives total cost one resonators from the graveyard, doesn’t she? So if you happen to have to proper targets in your graveyard, play this spell to put one there, and then play the assistant to revive it and bring it into the field for no extra charge! Now you’ve got your two ingredient resonators ready to go!
Another handy spell is Tuning of Wind and Darkness. It is yet another one of these “choose one” spells that lets you choose both if you’ve got the right J/resonators in the field. This spell’s two options are to either recover up to four magic stones (which is more magic stones than this card actually costs) or to put a resonator from your graveyard into your hand. This spell is all about providing the kind of utility that the Nine-Tailed Fox needs. Essentially it costs -1 to play, assuming you’ve got four magic stones, so it provides you with an extra will. Then, if you’ve got the two J/resonators on the field, which should be relatively easy as the Nine-Tailed Fox already fulfills half the requirement, you can salvage a resonator and use it as an ingredient again!
We’ve only just covered the basic strategies of each of the new Legacy Lost rulers. Hopefully with a little bit of our help, you’ll be able to take your first steps into discovering your deck and all it can be. We’ll check back in soon with a second boot camp article, where we’ll move beyond the limited card pool of Legacy Lost and start to take our first steps into the New Frontiers format and see what it offers our new rulers.