Why I’m Quitting Force of Will and why you should too!

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

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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.

errata

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:

Black_Moonbeam

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.

CaptureSP

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Reflect/Refrain killed Force of Will, A Whole TCG ruined by one overpowered card…

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted about the Force of Will card game in over a month, despite the fact that used to closely follow the meta, go to tournaments and maintain a “meta-ish” deck.

 

Well the reason for all that is this,

 

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Misguided Optimism for the Eternal Masters PPTQ

I’m going to an Eternal Masters PPTQ tomorrow. I’m very excited for an opportunity to open some of the best cards in Magic and hopefully have a fun experience. Now there are some things to worry about, namely that this tournament costs a lot to enter and that only a few of the rares/foils pay for each pack. Now the cards that are expensive are absurd (especially cards printed in foil for the first time) so this could be a very lucrative trip. My other regret is missing a Philly Yugioh regional for the first time since coming here.

There are many cards I hope to open for EDH (Any Tutor), many cards I’d love to pull just to sell (Karakas) and many bulk rares cards I pray to never see (Call the Skybreaker).

Similar to that Standard tournament I went to over a year back, I’m just going to wing it and see what happens.

Thanks for reading as usual.

4 Reasons Why Magic the Gathering Modern is just Yugioh, Why I’m quitting and so should you!

As the regrettably click-bait name implies, yes I am effectively quitting Modern and yes after many years of following the format over YouTube, Twitch and at regional events I’m 100% certain that the Modern Format is synonymous to the game of Yugioh. I hope my hastily prepared evidence is enough to make you consider my argument. Using this logic I’m going to try to justify selling out of Modern (since I did the same with Yugioh). Anyway, let’s get this travesty that I’m using to justify selling cards I worked very hard to get.

 

The Top 4 Reasons Why MTG Modern is Yugioh

 

The Speed

Modern is a format where kills by the 4th turn of the game are not only allowed, but seen as fair. As long as no deck can achieve a consistent kill before turn 4 its deemed safe for Modern. That being said certain decks like Goryo’s Vengeance, Storm or Infect can still win on the 2nd or 3rd turn of the game, just not very often. In Yugioh, the game has recently gotten so fast that certain decks win on their first turn going second. Mermail decks for example have an easy  OTK combo by combining Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince with Instant Fusion. Similar results can be seen with the Kozmo deck that OTKs by using Kozmo Dark Destroyer to destroy itself to allow for extra attacks by floating into smaller Kozmo monsters.

 

The Cost of Staples

Modern is an expensive format. Most of cards needed to build each archetype are very expensive. Similarly Ygo has expensive staples each format, the difference being that Yugioh’s ban list combined with its amazing power creep causes the price of each staple to eventually drop once they’re no longer relevant to the format.

Tarmogoyf is a Modern Staple for Jund/Abzan decks (To be fair, this card also sees play in Legacy and Vintage). This card has seldom cost less than $100 per copy despite multiple reprints.

Gofy

Kozmo Dark Destroyer is a staple for the Kozmo deck. This card reached a height of $140 per copy before a recent reprint demolished its price.

Dark

 

The Price Fluctuations

Whenever a new archetype or combo piece appears in Modern, it can cause older magic cards to spike in price. This same process occurs in Yugioh when an old card suddenly sees play in the current format, usually in a new deck.

This card is seeing play in a new list for Jeskai Control. As a result it’s price has greatly risen.

Wheel

Here’s a card that was released in May 2015 in the Crossed Souls set. On release it was worth a few quarters, but today it’s risen to almost $15 thanks to the recent Blue Eyes White Dragon support.

melod

 

The Ban List

There is no greater relationship between Yugioh and Modern than the presence of the ban list. Now the uses of the ban hammer in both of these games are very different. In Yugioh the ban list is merely a tool to ensure that the older decks cannot fight the newest archetypes that they want to sell. In Magic however, the goal is to keep the Modern format balanced (or as aforementioned to prevent turn 1-3 kills). However, the effect of the ban list is that while the game improves people lose their decks and their investments. I’ve watched close friends lose a great deal of money as a result of the Splinter Twin ban and the Adjusted Ban List to name only a few recent events. Obviously, it’s for the greater good to shake up the format, but people get hurt along the way regardless.

Splinter Twin after being reprinted in MM2, and then subsequently banned in Modern has dropped to about $5 from it’s height of $25.

twin

The Pre-release hype card Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer was $99 during the BOSH sneak peek and remained at $60 until the Adjusted Ban List hit. As a result it’s price dropped to about $30, and now is $18 after an an all time low of $15.

Sorc

 

My Opinions

I love watching Modern matches and the format overall. There always an interesting race and the format is so diverse that there’s usually a cool match-up to watch on YouTube. While many would take from this article that my comparison between Modern and Yugioh is a negative thing, I don’t mean it to be. I personally love watching both formats. The key difference is that I play Yugioh weekly, while I haven’t actually played Modern in almost 5 months. When my friend who played Splinter Twin lost his deck (and also moved away) I had no one to play with. I didn’t think my Elves deck was strong enough to fight my local stores meta and I had absolutely no plans to play while Eldrazi dominated the format early this year. Now I’m at the point where my modern deck has wasted away in a deckbox on my floor. I personally believe that if I’m not using a card I should ensure someone who will use it receives it.

Furthermore, Modern just feels like Yugioh to me. It’s not about cool brews and innovation as much as the same tested consistent decks being used over and over again. Yes there’s an aforementioned diversity in the format, but there’s also a clear tier level. Yugioh is the same way wherein you either play the meta or desperately struggle running a rogue deck. Elves isn’t exactly a meta modern deck. It’s a strategy that resonated with my early days of playing mono green ramp after cracking a 2013 Intro pack. Sadly those days have long past and it’s time to get out once and for all for the safety of EDH (the only magic format I can rely on).

 

My Plan

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Using these likely hard to move Japanese copies of Ezuri and Heritage Druid I’m going to build Ezuri EDH (or Tiny Leaders). This way I can keep the spirit of my elves deck in a format where I’m likely to actually play it. It also lets me keep the Pendelhaven and Okina that were the gifts from my friend who used to play Twin. This decision actually hurt me more than quitting Standard and quitting competitive Yugioh since this deck cost me almost as much as Nekroz did to build. What I do know is that I still play my Nekroz deck whenever I get the chance even at the risk of easy losses to the meta, whereas I never even bring my Modern deck when I head to Magic events. Anyway I’m on the verge of rambling now so it’s time to stop. I hope you found this list of comparisons if not convincing, at the very least interesting.

Thanks for reading as usual.

 

Weedle Grows to Lv 3 (Suddenly playing all the old games)

So Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-Release is literally a few hours away, but I wanted to mull over how deep I’ve gone into Pokemon in the last few days.

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So this was the first wave of cards I ordered after a friend of mine started to explain this game to me. Despite all my preconceptions Pokemon actually appears to be a balanced game (though reading any given trainer card makes the MTG/Ygo player in me squirm in terror).

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This was the second wave of orders (with the earlier ones underneath). My current goal is to build 2 decks for my favorite Pokemon Beedrill. One in Standard and one in Unlimited, which are literally just Standard and Legacy from Magic.

The reasons for this are multifaceted:

  • These cards are very cheap. The staples of the current format cost me a mostly quarters.
  • The recent errata of Reflect/Refrain (I got to play it at full power for one event) has got me once again confused about what to do in FoW. I really like playing R/R, but I’m tempted to go back to Bahamut. I’m also testing a weird combo deck with a friend, but more on that later.
  • Yugioh is approaching  a tier 0 meta with Performage Pendulums (PePe/EmEm) poised to dominate for the next few months. I decided I gave up on Infernoids too quickly. For that reason I acquired the following cards in preparation for the format.

SDC16124

More specifically I got a 3rd Harmadik and Raidan alongside the fusion monster and an Electromagnetic Turtle. I want to get 3 Twin Twisters for the deck (which I might actually do with how cheap it is right 0_0), but its not really pressing at all. The abysmally low prices of BOSH cards has me somewhat worried though about cracking my box in general. However, that’s a topic for another time also.

Magic: I literally have become one of those people who only plays EDH and goes to Pre-Releases. I don’t have a problem with this, but it’s become rather apparent that’s the only time I play MTG at the moment. I stopped drafting because BFZ felt like an Expedition Lottery and the cards in the set didn’t have much value. I’m sad to say my Modern deck has been gathering dust, though with the sudden banning of Summer Bloom and Splinter Twin-

 

Moment of silence…

 

Maybe elves can ascend to a higher tier in the format.

So onto the other stuff before I keel over and wake up just in time to open Inverter of Truth in Sealed.

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I started brewing a 4-color Madoka deck after being gifted 2 Level 3 Mamis. I have no idea if it will work, but I’m really excited to try and make a single coherent deck (The To Loveru is a work in progress, but darn I have no idea where to go with that set).

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I’ve come to learn that while I was completely ignoring this game that multiple sets dropped and that the next set features new support for Iona (the only girl whose mechanics I totally remember). I am very tempted to buy into this set.

Anyhow, I hope the pictures were ok. I need to get some sleep before pre-release, which I’ll ultimately post about later today. Here’s to not seeing any of the following cards:

  • Call the Gatewatch
  • Hedron Archive
  • Inverter of Truth
  • Hero of Goma Fada (And pretty much any other BFZ rare ally)

and other course my most hated card Prison Array…

Thanks for reading as usual.

The Consolidation of Cards

I’d like to give a belated Happy Thanksgiving to anyone reading this. I took this holiday as an opportunity to bring the vast majority of my card collection back to college.

The Bulk

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Why you may ask?

Well every once in a while an old Yugioh card will spike in price and I would rage over having that card being back home. I’ve already found multiple cards to sell for profit or add to a deck. Speaking of which:

The Remaining Decks

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I somehow stuffed all of my remaining decks into a suitcase. I’ve evolved somewhat though. I now know I don’t need all of these decks (or more accurately the no longer standard legal, but too weak for Modern Magic decks) to be happy.

Ever since offering my Standard deck for Jace, I’ve been slowly but surely taking apart all of my other block decks.

RIP:

  • Sultai Standard (technically sacrificed for Seedborn Muse and Elspeth at Eternal Weekend)
  • B/W Warriors
  • Abzan Dragons (Not dead yet, but about to be)

Though I hope to have these decks live on as janky Modern decks. I’ve already made a Modern legal Sultai Planeswalker deck (where the BFZ Kioras wound up) and I hope to finally build a modern deck for Brutal Hordechief. He’s still my favorite FRF card, though probably the worst MTG investment I’ve ever made as Hordechief’s price has dropped to nothing.

My main goal though is to sell these older decks/cards to afford more FoW (and food/rent!). Especially since someone else probably can get more use out of them than me. Some of these cards belong to my cousin who asked me to sell his MTG bulk for him as well.

Plans for the Future

I’m pretty capable at selling cards at this point (at least Ygo and MTG). I’m not sure it’s a career, but it’s definitely a passion for me. I always keep  in mind when I sell that these cards are all just unconverted money. Now the process of turning a card into money is not easy, but it’s far from impossible. My ebay seller level and tcg rating should be sufficient to prove I’m decent at this. Basically I may try to sell by commission in the future. I really love valuing card collections and selling them. Also I’ll do some posts to give people trying to move their own bulk some tips.

Anyway, that’s enough ramble when homework still exists. Thanks for reading as usual.

When your plans do a complete “Barrel Roll” and it all works out (Force of Will Vingolf Box and FTV Angels)

Ok so remember yesterday morning when I was heading to Eternal Weekend for Standard Magic? Well that didn’t actually happen…

Dun… Dunnn…. DUNNNNNN!

Yeah, not having Abbot of Keral Keep really got to me. In addition, with Hangarback Walker being splashed in almost everything I was on the verge of siding 4 Smash to Smithereens and would likely lose to Abzan (my worst match-up). Instead I began a strange series of events that lead to incredible happiness and potential profit.

It all started when I left work for Eternal Weekend, only to realize that I misplaced my house keys #_# So in order to kill time (until my roommate could save me) I went to my lgs and bought their last copy of From the Vault: Angels at a discount due to the store moving. FTV sets are the Magic Equivalent of every Yugioh Gold Series on a far more refined scale. Essentially, FTVs only reprint a small number of highly prolific cards, this set of course having angels. I got the FTV for $32, when its MSRP is $40. I don’t actually own a deck that can play any of these angels though (bar rarity-bumping the Platinum Angel in the now torn apart Daretti, Scrap Savant edh deck). So I’m going to sit on this set for as long as I can before selling it. The FTV is already selling on Ebay for $60.

After getting this set, I finally found my keys much to my own chagrin in the bottom of my bag after I was let back inside. Once there, I mulled over:

  • The mental stress of losing at a FNM that I already got the prize for (FTV)
  • My own lack of play-testing recently
  • The fact that Abbot does make Mono-Red significantly better despite my strong aversion to buying it

Somehow all of this lead to me looking up the Force of Will Engage Knights Vingolf set and laughing uproariously at how dozens of historical figures were suddenly characterized as anime girls. I then looked up the price online and figured that with the current sale it was cheaper to buy it locally than online O_0

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So I went back, bought the box, opened box and proceeded to check out the cards (also I had to use my camera phone for these pictures, which is why they’re really bad, apologies)

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First of all, this is what the set looked like when I opened the box. Rather than encase the the cards in plastic wrapping (like normal imo), they just placed a plastic brace around 2 piles of cards. This is the goof because it allowed for the cards to slip out as you can see here.

11948038_10206099651628598_582236427_n-001arr

Also this one card (totally not a swamp) came with a worse crease than the MM2 Mirran Crusader I opened awhile back. Luckily, it was just a basic land..err mana stone and nothing pricey.

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However, it’s all good because the cards in this set are hilarious (See above for example) and this game is really fun! I got into a random match with my roommate after and literally picking our favorite J-Rulers shuffling 2 relevant color piles and just playing in the store. A small crowd gathered to watch us and 2 people even bought the Vingolf set on the spot to get started. It was a really fun experience as both the store clerk and another customer taught us how to play, rulings, etc.

And if that wasn’t above average enough I then proceeded to get a turn 7 kill over all my opponents in EDH, along with ANOTHER promo Serum Visions!

(Scary Picture incoming)

.

..

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*Spooky Scary Serum Visions*

It was actually the best. I got the optimal set up with Bruna, and not Oloro, Jarad or Orzhov, Ghost Council could stop her. (Also that white box is FTV Angels btw)

After which I crashed a free food event on campus before chatting with friends until 2 AM. To make things even more awesome my roommate won a raffle to get his own FTV Angels (a purchase of it at least) and his own 2nd Serum Visions.

And that is the story of how I forgot to attend Day 1 of Eternal Weekend and why I don’t even slightly regret it.

Thanks for Reading as always.