Force of Will – Echoes of the New World

This weekend past saw many stores across our fair land run an Echoes of the New World pre-release event for the Force of Will trading card game. In the fourth and final part to the Lapis Cluster we can now enjoy a very extensive ‘New Frontiers’ format with complete Alice and Lapis clusters. That is until September when the new cluster is released and Alice cycles out.

If you haven’t tried the game yet now is a great time to get involved. I know that Australian distributor Oz Animart have been very proactive in running demonstrations and the like. I spotted them recently at the Madman Anime Festival in Brisbane. If you are jumping on board now avoid Alice cluster as much as possible and focus on buying up on Lapis cluster cards. Play the game, get familiar with it and get ready for the rotation in September.

Force of Will learn-to-play area at the Madman Anime Festival – Brisbane 2017

If you’ve played Magic: The Gathering at all then you’ll have no problems playing Force of Will. At my local store on the weekend a new player who had only played one or two games prior to the pre-release performed a clean sweep, winning every one of his matches.  He had extensive Magic: The Gathering experience.  In fact for many MtG players Force of Will can be very satisfying, with the removal of ‘mana’ from the main deck into a secondary deck it alleviates many of the problems that Magic players complain about.

But enough of that, we are here to talk about Echoes of the New World!  As always with a new release we see five new J/Rulers; one for each colour.  For Limited Format (Draft / Sealed) you are probably going to want the ‘Book of Light’ or the ‘Book of Dark’ and the corresponding ‘Will of Hope’ or ‘Will of Despair’ cards.  With these rulers you can cast certain cards without having to colour match the attribute cost, allowing you to use more (and hopefully better) cards in your deck.  You’ll see plenty of ‘Will of Hope’ and ‘Will of Despair’ cards pop up so they are the most viable.  The other rulers are good, but I feel very difficult to build for in a Limited format.

For New Frontiers (Constructed) format there is a lot of potential here to get silly with both the Book rulers of course but I’m really looking forward to some over-the-top Wanderer decks thanks to the new Fire Ruler ‘Swordsman of Fire’ / ‘Dimension Brigade’s Leader, Adelbert’.  His judgment into a 1200/1200 is fairly cheap at F3 but I think timing is going to be absolutely paramount here, because when he flips he is going to lose the ‘You may pay the attribute cost of Wanderer resonators with will of any attribute’.  You’re also going to want a relevant Wanderer in hand when you judgment him as well to proc the ability on the J-Ruler side, likely Light or Fire but it could really depend on the situation.

Oh! And make sure you splash a little Wind so you can play Interdimensional Space – ‘You may pay 1 less to do the judgment of Wanderer J/Rulers.  You may pay 1 less to play Wanderer resonators.  Wanderer J/Resonators you control gain [+400/+400]’.  An amazing addition for this deck and priced at only two Wind!

Likewise ‘Dragon Shrine Maiden / Flute, Time Altering Princess’ and ‘Yggdrasil, Malefic Verdant Tree’ (which has no judgment or J-Ruler side) aren’t bad but are going to require some very careful deck construction.  Yggdrasil calls on some very specific cards, however with his damage mitigation ability favouring a large deck size I feel this particular Ruler may do quite well in the Genesis format of the game (a singleton format much like Magic: The Gatherings EDH / Commander).  In all of my boosters from the pre-release weekend I saw very few Water cards with Seal abilities. I can see that the Ruler is designed to be flipped back and forward to continuously proc those Seal abilities.  How well it works is going to depend on how many awesome Water cards you have with the Seal keyword.

As for the rest of the set there are a lot of nice cards, too many for me to cover all of them.  So flipping through the cards I got with my boosters this weekend, here are a few to look out for –

  • ‘Strange Miracle’ (Rare) – A nice little one drop (Light) spell that’ll hopefully set you up for the finishing blow. Initially you receive ‘You cannot be targeted by spells or abilities until the end of turn. Draw a card’, however if you have ‘Seal 7’ (control seven or more Magic Stones), you’ll also get a field of indestructible J/Resonators for a turn and can perhaps swing to victory, or at least a heck of a lot of damage.
  • ‘Melfee, Child of Refarth’ (Rare) – If you play Elves you’re going to put this in your deck.  She’s a one drop (Wind) 100/100 with the fantastic ability ‘Whenever another Elf enter your field -> Put a [+100/+100] counter on this card.’  Watch your opponents throw everything they’ve got at this one trying to get rid of it.  Which is fine, it either lives and becomes huge or it sucks out all the control/burn and allows you to get on with other things.  Not a bad distraction for a one drop.
  • ‘Red Riding Hood, Rainbow to the Heaven’ (Rare) – Great economy here, another one drop (Fire) for a 400/400.  Once you hit Seal 3 (three or more Magic Stones) she gains Flying and Swiftness. Nice.
  • ‘Rainbow Arrow’ (Common) – This isn’t a bad burn spell in it’s own right, one Fire for 400 damage to a J/Resonator, it gets a little more oomph though when paired with the aforementioned ‘Red Riding Hood, Rainbow to the Heaven’.  If she is under your control this card deals 400 damage to each resonator your opponent controls other than this cards target.  Value.
  • ‘The Final Battle’ (Uncommon) – Talk about a ‘get out of jail free’ card!  For one darkness and X you get ‘J/Resonators your opponent controls gain [-X00/-X00] until the end of turn.  Even better ‘You may pay 200 life rather than pay 1 up to X times to play this card’.  The only drawback here is that it isn’t instant, but if your opponent has just dropped an army in front of you this may be what saves you.
  • ‘Neo Barrier of Shadows’ (Uncommon) – ‘Your opponent pays 1 more to play activate abilities of resonators they control.’  And then at Seal 8 (Control eight or more Magic Stones) ‘Your opponent can’t play activate abilities’.  While competitively priced at only D1, it’s not going to really have a huge impact until you have eight stones. I like this card a lot but I see it being more beneficial in multiplayer Genesis matches.

There are going to be a bunch more amazing cards in this set that I haven’t touched upon, I didn’t even look through the SR cards!  Did you participate in a pre-release?  What are your thoughts on this release?  Any cards in particular that are worth pointing out?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Meanwhile if you are looking for a place to purchase or play Force of Will in Australia, take a look at this list here.

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