The Moonlit Savior – Top Ten

dan musser

Exciting times lie ahead, fellow Force of Willionaires.

A new set, new tricks, new rulers, and a new metagame (hopefully) await us in the following weeks. I want to share with you the top ten cards I believe will most impact competitive Force of Will.

Before I actually delve in to my list, I should quantify that I chose to leave Rulers, Regalia, and Stones off of the list. If I had not made this decision, the list would probably be taken up by mostly those cards, leaving little room for anything else. Furthermore, I am of a pretty strong belief that Reflect, Child of Potential will remain the King of all Rulers for the foreseeable future. But that is an argument for another day.

First, some honorable mentions!

Muse, Celestial of MusicMuse, Celestial of Music
A two will 400/600 is a respectable body, and as long as you are playing the Songstress of Shangri-La you will be drawing a card when this enters your field. After the Muse is in play, all your Resonators essentially need to be one-shotted. This enables you to block with reasonable confidence that you won’t just have your Resonators die to additive combat damage or get finished off with a silly Thunder thrown in. The Muse gets Water just a step closer to seeing widespread play, but falls short enough to keep the color drowning.

Valentina, Puppet Monarch
Everyone loves Valentina…If you ever play Magic: the Gathering, this card is essentially Sower of Temptation, same will cost and everything. Here you are paying four will for an 800/800 and whatever you steal. The dream is to steal something like a Lancelot, the Knight of Mad Demon and attack it into a copy of Cthugha, the Living Flame or something similar. This would negate the drawback of them getting their Resonator back if they happen to deal with Valentina. Therein unfortunately lies her greatest weakness, if they kill or even bounce her back to your hand, all your work is undone.

Huanglong, Leader of the Four Sacred BeastsHuanglong, Leader of the Four Sacred Beasts
So you play Huanglong, paying at least Wind, Fire, Water, and Light will to cast it, then you get to search out four other enormous beasts netting a card, bouncing a Resonator that costs four or less, gaining 800 life, and finally shooting another Resonator for 800. Five total Resonators for six will as long as there of copies of each of the Four Sacred Beasts in your deck. Six will and four different colors of will is a ton to ask for, but the payoff is so huge! I definitely want to try this guy out, unfortunately I believe he is just too slow to get there when people are playing 1200/1200 fliers on turn two…

Enough honorable mentions, let’s get to the actual top ten list. I will be ranking the following cards in the order which I believe them to be most playable. The number one card on the list will be, what I believe at least, the most playable card in The Moonlit Savior. Heeeeeeeeeeere Weeeeeeee Gooooooo!

10. Avatar of the Seven Lands, Alice
Wow. This card is powerful. The reason it comes it at number ten instead of somewhere a little more luxurious is because the card requires “work”. You either have to have six will and not be dead to a Reflect bounce, or be playing the new Ruler Yggdrasil, the World Tree with the new Regalia Blade of the Seven Lands, Excalibur X in your deck. Having so much restriction on deck building and needing to trigger Yggdrasil are not things that happen for “free”.

That being said, there are some sweet combos with Alice and she is certainly a monster to get off the field. Unfortunately, an intelligent opponent just won’t trigger Yggdrasil when you want them to, ultimately regarding Alice to the number ten spot on my list.

Tsukuyomi Noble9. Tsukuyomi Noble
Hellooooo Noble. A two will 500/700 is already quite the deal. Shutting off all of copies your opponent’s Elvish Priest, Guinevere, the Jealous Queen, and any number of other Resonators all the while randomly being able to destroy Barriers and other pesky additions. Again, if I were to equate this to a Magic card we would be looking at Linvala, Keeper of Silence. In certain metagames, Tsukuyomi can be quite devastating and if I knew were headed in that direction she would place higher on my list.

8. Angel of Wisdom, Cherudim
This manly Angel comes in at number eight. Being a two will 500/500 flier is not entirely impressive. However, a three will 700/700 flier that also snipes a Lancelot is big game. Being able to answer Lancelot without falling too far behind is clutch when nearly 70% of decks run him. Unfortunately, at only 700 health, Cherudim is quite vulnerable to the trigger from the next Lancelot, and as we all know there is never just a single knight.

Being a near blank versus Alice’s World also prevents this wise Angel from ascending any higher on my list.

The Executioner7. The Executioner
Obviously a one will 300/300 is not ideal. This lonely Zombie really needs to be set into Stealth mode to shine like he was truly meant to. Being on the play and setting this before they are able to deploy their Lancelot (a common benchmark for success in Force of Will) is an unreal swing in tempo. Not that the little body of this Executioner is impressive, but being able to essentially cancel their play and end up with some semblance of board presence is kind of a big deal.

The fact that drawing Executioners after they have already pulled ahead in board presence is really awkward keeps this zombie in the worse half of this countdown.

6. Athena, Titan of Revenge
Snow White, Valkyrie of Passion already sees a reasonable amount of play and Athena is quite similar. Both cost the same to get into play and both have swiftness. But later in the game I believe Athena becomes quite the monster. Being able to grow to nearly any size and threaten to burn out the opponent are some scary abilities.

Imagine a scenario where your Reflect opponent has stabilized at a low life total and they are keeping Refrain open at all times to bounce any resonator you play or cancel any burn spell you peel off the top. Well, if you are making your stone drops, then at some point you can just start playing Athena, activating it a few times, forcing them to bounce it but still dealing small bursts of damage with her activate ability until they eventually perish.

Fallen Angelic Destroyer, Lucifer5. Fallen Angelic Destroyer, Lucifer
The second Angel on the countdown! Lucifer is a big boy, clocking in at 900/900 and with flying to boot. Upon entering the field, your opponent must banish a resonator, hopefully something of worth and not some silly Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant. The fact that separates Lucifer from his predecessors like Carmilla, the Queen of Vampires, is that he can actually get you back in the game with his life gain ability.

The banish clause instead of a dedicated target removal and being just a bit will intensive keeps Luci-Lu perched at number five.

4. Space-Time Anomaly
And we come to the first card on the list that isn’t a Resonator! I can tell you that the first time I saw this card I said, “Dan, that doesn’t kill Lancelot, it can’t possibly be playable.” Yes, I was talking to myself and yes, most of my card evaluation is based around Lancelot. However, the first time I saw this spell cast it blew my initial evaluation out of both Space and Time. It was an Anomaly really…

Think about it. You kill a resonator and draw a card. Then you kill another resonator and draw another card. That’s like, two cards for zero? I can’t even math how many cards you are up now after killing two resonators with this, and I have more than one math degree…

If this Anomaly wasn’t multi-attribute or if it could kill a Lancelot in one go, it would certainly place higher, but alas.

Moonbreeze Elf3. Moonbreeze Elf
Elvish Priest this is not. But thank goodness, because that card is far too good. With the increase in the amount of Moon will being required on all these new cards, and the fact that will ramp is a proven and powerful strategy AND being able to use Moonbreeze and not worry about it being picked off by an attack, all put this card on a mighty pedestal. Producing Moon will is probably not as good as producing Wind will, but it is close.

Unfortunately the Alice’s World deck is not going to be able to take advantage of this. But I could see some sort of turbo ramp deck involving a varying number of Gretel, Elvish Priest, Moonbreeze Elf, and Wind Sprite to power out giant threats.

2. Pricia, Pursuant of Exploding Flame
Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Lancelot 2.0. Pricia has a wall of abilities granting her an extreme amount of power. Granted that power comes at a cost, three total will among two different attributes, but you certainly get what you pay for.

You get to cast Pricia, attack their Lancelot whether it’s recovered or not, kill their guy, and keep your girl. Then, if they do try and answer her, Pricia will likely kill their resonator and if they happened to deal with her without losing a dude, at least she sends 500 right at their head. Finally, once you have a little bit of extra will lying about, you can send her soaring over their field dealing 700 and then in a flourish banish her to Cthugha dealing another 500-1000!

Yes this girl packs such a punch that I think she is nearly the best card in the set, but there is literally a wall separating her from the top spot.

Wall of Wind1. Wall of Wind
Out of all the flashy cards on this list, Dan, you pick this…This spell…as the best non-Ruler, non-Regalia in the set?!?

Yes. It might even just flat be the best card in the set.

Force of Will has a crap load of action going on in the first few turns of the game. People are always spending every ounce of will they have at their disposal to cast turn one Elvish Priest, or Rukh Egg into Cthugha, or running their Regalia out so they can hopefully call their first Ruler’s Memoria.

On turn two the options are even better. Lancelot after they banish their Guinevere to discard their Necromancy of the Undead Lord. Adombrali, the Unfathomable gets cast on the incarnate when they have spent all their will casting Morgiana, the Wise Servant into Cheshire Cat into Familiar of Holy Wind, now THAT is a blowout.

I could literally write an entire article on how amazing it is to have cheap counter magic. This game would benefit greatly from having access to a free cancel spell. The amount of powerful resonators in this game far outnumber the efficient answers available. Finally having the Magic equivalent of Force Spike is a great start to hopefully finding some balance between the insanely powerful Resonators and altogether mediocre spells.

And that brings my top ten list to a close. I hope you didn’t find it too anticlimactic. I truly believe Wall of Wind to be the hottest card in the set. At least for the sake of competitive tournament play.

Let me know what you think of my list in the comments below! Thanks for reading and keep Willing on.