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FOW News! Worlds Top 8, Stickers!?

Hey everyone and welcome to a new week of Force of Will News! There is a lot to cover this week, mainly having to do with worlds. If you prefer to watch videos then click below! (You also will get to see me rant a bit). Quick thanks to DM073 and Stephanie Shaw for answering some questions I had! Quick Caster Chronicles News: We have some slight new information in the form of a picture here below. As you can see the packs are actually black, which is interesting. The playmat actually looks really nice, unclear whether it’s a random playmat or a buy a box playmat perhaps? Oscar also pointed out that it could be one of the booster boxes that come with a deck holder (pictured on the left) made of just cheap materials that you put together. Overall looks like it’s coming along nicely. It will be releasing in Japan before the US so keep an eye out for that! New Learning Decks: So first piece of news, it looks like the updated learning decks are starting to come out! If you don’t remember, they came out with these training decks centered around Hook and Peter Pan. When they came out they still were using the old formatting and terminology (even though it was already outdated). So now we get the new ones! From the picture it looks like they are the same as the old ones, just completely updated for the newer look etc. None of the cards (besides maybe the basic stones) are legal in any format! Just a reminder. Stickers: Right!? That was my first thought when I heard about stickers. So apparently at Worlds they tried a new thing where whenever you went first at the beginning of the round, you got a sticker. And they used that later on to determine who went first (Whomever had the most stickers went second). In the event of a tie you proceeded to roll the dice as usual. This is a weird system for several reasons. 1 – They already fixed the turn system by having the winner of the dice roll go first no matter what. They didn’t have a choice, so this by itself balances out the game for the most part. 2 – If they really want to go with the sticker system, this is completely reverse of how they should do it. By making the person with the least amount of stickers go first, you are inviting people to  (possibly) remove or get rid of stickers to give the appearance of having less stickers than they have. I wasn’t there so maybe they had a system around this. There was a report of at least 1 person cheating with the stickers and was therefore DQed. According to DM073 they were generic stickers as well (not FOW branding or anything unique like that). But simply making the player who goes 2nd get stickers, then whomever has the most stickers go first, you immediately solve this problem. It is a lot harder to add stickers than it is to take them away. Really? No Stream: Another relatively big thing that happened was there was no livestream for Worlds! This was a crazy development, most likely born out of the events of FOW Masters 2017. They announced they would not live stream the single biggest event in the game because (most likely) they are afraid they can’t control what makes it out into the public sphere. We’ve heard of 2 scenarios from organizers. One said they planned months ahead of time to not stream, they just failed to communicate it to the public. The other said they were planning on streaming it up until the very last second, but Jordan (One of the main people at the company) told them not to. In my opinion, the only reason a company would be afraid of something like this is because they are afraid their own organizers/judges/etc cannot handle being competent enough for live viewing. If players act out of line, a live stream would show that! It’s very unlikely that such an act would put the company in bad light. The only times it would do that is when the company reacts incorrectly, or blows it out of proportion. There really is no way for this to look favorably for FOW Company. And it holds back potential new audiences and players from finding out about the game on top of that. According to Stephanie Shaw, while she was there she didn’t see any streaming equipment set up, and that the equipment is usually with Jordan in his office. Also according to DM073 not only were they not streaming (to which he isn’t sure why they didn’t) but they weren’t even planning on filming anything at all. The only reason we got top 8 filmed was because he convinced them to and lent his equipment he had for said filming. So props to him for helping out! But that shouldn’t have been something that came up to begin with. Ruler Breakdown: My hope going into this was that we would have people getting very creative with different rulers, and possibly creating new metas in the game. Unfortunately the opposite happened. This event further cemented that there are only 2 options for rulers if you want to win. I’ll have the top 8 below this breakdown as well. But hopefully FOW fixes this sooner, rather than later so we don’t run into more situations like R/R, Pricia OTK, etc. However, based on what I’m hearing, rather than errata or ban cards they are simply doing what they always do, which is print a ‘counter’ card to the meta deck in hopes that it will balance it out (spoiler, that literally has never worked so far). Here is the Ruler Breakdown: Fox – 34 Pricia – 35 Mikage – 3 Gill Alhama’at – 3 Charlotte – 1 Yggdrasil 2.0 – 4 Lumia – 6 Faerur – 1 Kaguya – 2 Mercurius – 1 Draft Ruler Breakdown: In case you were curious, here were the Draft rulers that were used for the second set of games: Treasure Hunter (White) – 11 Martial Artist (Red) – 25 Mephina (Blue) – 25 Elder (Green) – 5 Bloodsucking Butler (Black) – 21 Pandora – 1 Letoliel – 3 Frayla – 3 So as you can see this year they tried combining New Frontiers format with the Draft format. It’s an interesting idea, especially since the new set lends itself heavily for draft. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there. I am not sure how I feel about this at a competitive level, if anything it could be entertaining to watch (if we could!!). But yeah it seems like it didn’t have too much of an effect on things like top 8 and such   Top 8 Rulers and Lists: Alright lastly we have our top 8 winners and their deck lists. As I mentioned before, not only was this format dominated by Fox and Pricia, but the Top 8 was as well. Fox took 5 spots, and Pricia took the remaining 3. I don’t personally think this is a healthy way to go. It makes the local level feel more toxic, and the competitive level is just plain boring. I remember playing at a GP earlier this year and my opponents literally told me they didn’t want to play Pricia OTK, or that they didn’t have fun playing Pricia OTK, but they had to if they wanted to win. That’s bad for the game as a whole. But anyways, top 8 were (in no order beyond first and second): Frederico Zeppini – Fox Nick Blandin – Fox Luca Barcella – Pricia Giovanni Stanucci – Fox Daniel Voon – Fox Carrara Kevin – Pricia Leonardo Mechilli – Fox Alessio Campagna – Pricia And here are their decklists: Also keep your eye out for our Tutorial on Lackey gaming! Coming soon! Thanks for your time, and I look forward to talking with everyone again soon!