TCG-Scrubs
FOW NEWS
If you prefer a video version of the news, click below:
 
 
 
 
Not a lot of news, but a couple big items that we will go over.
 
 

WILL POWER REWARDS:

If you guys remember, after the last set of Will Power Rewards, they ran one last short campaign for some more promo cards. We were pretty excited about this, but hadn’t heard anything at all since Eiji and Jeff were kicked out.
 
 
 
Well, it looks like we may finally be getting something! The above image was posted to the Force of Will Global Facebook group. This tracking information is identical to what is usually used for the WPR cards when they ship out.
 
 
 
If that’s the case, we are getting these cards randomly really soon! Not sure why there has been no word from the company about his, even just announcing the shipment of them. We also have no confirmation on what these cards even are.
 
 
 
Last we heard is they are indeed the remaining 5 Rulers that we didn’t get before. However they are still the original art, just a different print style. What exactly that means, we will find out.
 
Keep in mind, like I said there are no guarantees or word from the company regarding this, so take this with a grain of salt until we hear from the company or see pictures of product!
 
 
In the meantime keep an eye on your email and mailbox if you qualified for these rewards and there may be something!
 
 
 

WGPQ NEW YORK IN TROUBLE:

So this news was brought to everyone’s attention by Todd Dreisbach in the Global Facebook group. The corresponding images will be posted below if you want to read it all, but he had an exchange with the owner of Kirwan’s Game Store (The store hosting the WGPQ) asking why there hadn’t been promotion of the event recently. The owner responded letting him know that he hadn’t had any contact with the company really since the exchange of ownership happened. He was supposed to have a call with them on Monday, but never received the scheduled call. He finished with saying the event would likely be cancelled. 
 
 
 
Now, I had a chance to talk with Martin May and  Andy Schroeder about this. They are both players on a team that have attended events at the store before. They actually had put together a proposal (Images below as well) to pay for the invite to Worlds themselves, with just a little bit of help from the store. The owner never responded to this proposal for various reasons. In a conversation the store owner had with Andy, he mentioned not getting promised prizing for the event from the company that was already agreed on. We haven’t gotten exact details yet (I reached out to the owner, and will update this if I hear back).
 
 
 
So it sounds like a case of the company not communicating again (surprise), and also a store that probably can run the event, but may not want to. Talking with Martin, he said the store owner doesn’t seem to enthusiastic about the game. Not seeming very into events like ARG, and having the store change hours to close when FOW meetups used to happen, which cut the attendance in half.
 
 
 
The simple fix to this is the company getting into contact with the store. If that doesn’t happen, Todd had raised this awareness in hopes that player demand would convince the shop to still run it. People already have bought flights, hotels, requested time off work, and more for this event. If it didn’t happen it would be the fault of the store, and company (unless one steps up). But at least we as players can try and keep it going by raising this awareness. 
I’ll keep you guys updated on what happens here and when it resolves, hopefully soon. There was a comment about there being an update from the company regarding it soon. Not sure where that information came from or when that update will happen (wasn’t able to get a reply in time). Pictures with more information below:
 
 
 

Todd’s Exchange

Andy’s Exchange

 

Well that does it for today! Just the two bigger stories. Let us know your thoughts, and see you next week!

 

 

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FOW NEWS
If you prefer a video version of the news, click below:

We got news for lots of things, including other games! So let’s go!

HLHF UPDATES:

So there were several cool updates with Happy Little Hug Factory you guys should know about! 

First, they are now  carrying pre-constructed Pauper decks! These are really cool, easy ways to get people into the game, or yourself into Pauper. There are currently 3 decks, each with their own theme, following the rules of Pauper. You can pick one up off of the HLHF website for only $10, which includes an energize token (a simple, but effective one) and relevant dice where necessary.

Be sure to use our link when you go to the website to get some (just by clicking on any of the HLHF banners on this website).

The second thing is, as you guys may have seen, they are currently sold out on Caster Chronicles Starter Decks. However if you want some be sure to click on the backorder button! They are currently in the process of getting more, and you want to click that to guarantee some before they sell out again. You can watch us open a box of this starter deck HERE.

SPOILERS ARE RANDOM:

In case you guys haven’t been following, spoilers started! But this time, I genuinely have no idea how they work. If you’ve been following the Facebook pages, some languages get them at random times before others. 

In addition, the amount of cards varies day to day that are spoiled. There may be a pattern, but it ranges from 1, to 2, to 5 etc. As such, our spoiler videos will be a bit more random, as we won’t be making entire videos dedicated to single cards.

There are some cool stuff though, such as an Atom Master Rune so stay tuned for all of that!

PROMOS REVEALED:

Speaking of spoilers, one of the spoiler days was used randomly to show the promos we will be getting! These are all promos of cards we have yet to see spoiled in the set. But we got our Pre-release promo, Buy-a-box promo, Buy 2 boxes promo, and playmat for pre release.

If you are wondering how and why there is a buy 2 box promo, we have no idea. Obviously to enforce this they will have to go back to the old way of just giving distributors loose promos and hoping for the best. Does this mean the regular buy-a-box promo will be out of the box as well? Probably not (at least we hope so).

We will keep you guys updates as we go along for any information regarding this.

PODCAST GIVEAWAY:

If you guys missed the podcast, be sure to check it out HERE. In it, we started what will be a weekly giveaway for the next couple podcasts!

We got  3 New Valhalla starter decks, courtesy Happy Little Hug Factory! These will be given away one at a time to Continental US residents each podcast until all 3 are gone. Be sure to tune in (at least to the beginning) of the podcasts to enter in!

WILL POWER REWARDS UPDATE:

The above email was sent from the new Force of Will Global group’s Ryan Dempsey (Join that new group HERE as well). This was in reference to the second batch of Will Power Rewards that we hadn’t heard any updates about. 

For those that don’t  know, the WPR system had set out a batch of rewards. However WPR was discontinued, so to help people who may of  had points built up (among other things) they decided to release one more batch of WPR cards, of which the point redemptions ended in December.

Ever since then we hadn’t heard a single thing regarding the program. Luckily this email finally sheds light on it! Middle of April is the new date, which is literally coming up on us real quick!

We have no idea what these are, how many cards there will be, or anything. Hopefully we find out before they start sending them out, but be on the lookout!

CRYPTOSPELLS IMAGERY:

We reported previously in the news that My Will Studio was working with CryptoSpells to give them FOW artwork for their digital game. Now we finally have a look at it! 

Naturally Pandas are being used. But it is very interesting to see official FOW art being officially used in another game. This is a digital game that somehow is incorporated with crypto currency.

Seems interesting enough. They have plans at some point to bring the game to other regions/languages, but for now it is just Japanese.

You can see the full list of cards (and try spotting FOW artwork) at their website HERE.

US FACEBOOK GONE:

In case you missed it all, the US Facebook group (the largest FOW Facebook presence outside the official FOW page) has been shut down. This was part of efforts of several people behind the scenes for various reasons.

Shortly after this group was shut down, an EU Facebook group was completely deleted (unrelated to the people who shut down the US group). It wasn’t an effort to kill the game, but rather bring attention to aspects of the company.

You can watch a more detailed breakdown of this and come to your own conclusions HERE. For now, be sure to join the new official channel for Facebook FOW HERE called Force of Will Global! 

We will  have more information regarding this (hopefully) at a later date.

TRANSFORMERS TCG:

Now we haven’t covered Transformers TCG in a while, but there is some pretty cool stuff going on there, especially in promotion of the new set!

Firstly, they introduced mini cards! I thought this was cool because the game officially has, normal size cards, big cards, giant cards, foldable cards that combine into bigger cards, and now mini cards! It feels like what a Transformers TCG should feel like.

The new set is also introducing essentially a ‘Stealth’ mechanic for some cards.

In addition, as seen in the image above, they are doing a launch day event with store promos!

So if you want to partake in that, be sure to contact your store about following the necessary steps to obtain them! There are lots of other details coming out for the new set, so if you’d like us to continue covering this let us know!

That’s all the news for today, thanks for reading and see you next time!

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FOW NEWS
If you prefer a video version of the news, click below:

 
Also if you missed it, we did a podcast with J-Ruler! You can catch that HERE
 
Tons of news finally so let’s get going!
 
 

PROMOS:

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These promo leaks come courtesy of Chris Weekly FOW Update, who’s page can be found HERE. These are from the Wanderer League, and are two older, but popular cards.
 
 
The first is Cthugha, the Living Flame! A very popular and powerful card, that now has a much cooler version of it available!
 
 
The second is the versatile Xeex the Ancient Magic. This time getting a face lift right into Red Riding Hood!
 
 
We haven’t gotten anymore information on if the US will get these or when, but hopefully so because they look cool.
 
 

EIJI AND JEFF’S PROJECT:


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We got official confirmation of the first project in Jeff and Eiji’s new company, My Will Studio. Be sure to follow their Facebook page HERE.

They have announced they are teaming up with CryptoSpells! This is an up and coming digital card game that is based on crypto currency.

What that exactly entails I’m not sure. My Will Studio is not in charge of the game, they are simply leasing the IP. But they promise this is the start of many more projects to come. Check out the full statement below:
 
 
 


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ARG DONE:


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So if you guys follow ARG, you may have noticed their upcoming event in MA does not have FOW as a listed event.
 
 
When asked about this, Jim (Owner of ARG) said they would love to keep doing FOW, but there is no communication. When asked further, he said:
 
 
FOW has been told recently we will run their events and had an opportunity to meet with me in Vegas. They did not take that opportunity.

 

So as of right now ARG is not hosting future FOW events (outside of the the upcoming store-run Easter event). Though they are still open to it, granted the company communicates anything at all. So we shall wait and see.
 
 
 

GAMES N GEEK:

If you guys missed it, we did an interview with Svitlana Young of Games n Geek! In it we talked about the upcoming MN GP, the state of the company and her conversations with the new head of the game. You can watch that HERE
 
I’ll summarize a couple of the stand out points here:

-The MN GP at Games n Geek will have awesome tiered prizing (shown above). You can get the normal entry for the playmat and Glint of Insight promo. The next tier includes the exclusive Chibi coins. The final tier includes an exclusive mini plaque type of thing with the chibi art! (and also for free includes one of the old monthly promos most stores didn’t get).

-Kim and his company are the new owners of FOW.

-When she contacted Kim he replied quickly and answered all her questions.

-They met in person, where he said they were planning on doing company run GP’s again next year (possibly around 8, but they are still in the planning stages).

-She submitted a tournament structure proposal to them that includes regional prizing.

-She is optimistic about the game after speaking with him.


For more details and other information be sure to watch the interview!


 

NEW FORMAT:


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There’s a new format in town! FOW Italy did a post announcing an officially recognized legal format in the game, effective April 1st. 
 
In this, you use the most recent 4 sets (Including starter decks and extra sets).
 
So for example, if you were to play this right now the sets that are legal are:
Strangers of New Valhalla
New Dawn Rises
All 5 NV Starter Decks
Winds of the Ominous Moon
The Lost Tomes Starter Deck
Time Spinning Witch

As soon as a new set comes out, an old one rotates. So, when Awakening of the Ancients comes out, Time Spinning Witch and The Lost Tomes Starter Deck will rotate out. And this will constantly be happening with each set release.

It’s a pretty interesting idea, and I’m curious how it will exactly play out. The game already has a ban list, and like I mentioned, is legal as an official format.

You can read up the full information on the Italian website (with Google Translate) HERE
 
 

SPOILERS STARTED:

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So, as you can see above, spoilers apparently started! This is much earlier (in relation to the release date) than spoilers usually begin.
 
We got several cards spoiled, 2 of which you can see above. It was at a much different time of day than usual, starting originally with spoilers in Italian before the English came out later.

We are not sure if these will be daily like usual, or what is going on really.

We should have started our spoiler videos though accordingly so be sure to check that out to hear our thoughts daily (or whenever spoilers do drop).

 
 

COMPANY CHANGES:


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So with the spoilers came a couple revelations. The first thing people noticed was at the bottom of the cards, it no longer reads Force of Will CO. Instead it says Eye Spy Productions.
 
After questions about this, Robert Hebert (former head of US events) commented clarifying this.

He said basically that the company that controls it is Daiko Printing. Eye Spy is Eiji’s company that simply holds the IP rights. We won’t get much information though, as Robert says the company reverted back to the old days now of not communicating with anybody.

You can read his responses below which have a couple other details as well.
 
 

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That’s about all for today. Hope that all is broken down well for everybody, and hope we didn’t miss anything!

 

 

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FOW NEWS
If you prefer a video version of the news, click below:

Alright let’s get started!

JEFF AND EIJI RETURN:


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So much to the delight of everyone, we got a new post from Jeff Finnigan! Jeff, the former FOW Global Liason, shared a post from a Facebook page detailing a project he is working on. This project is being done with the former FOW CEO, Eiji! 

In this he gives hints on what they have planned with their new company, My Will Studio. With this they plan to make varying types of products for us that is very much in sync with the community. The community involvement is something that was stressed quite a bit in the post.

Though we did not get much details on what is in store, it is still lots to be excited for. One side note, Jeff did mention in his discussion  with us that Eiji still owns the FOW IP. So with that he could conceivably make FOW adjacent items and games (possibly).

Be sure to follow their Facebook page for updates! Or just follow us here and we will be sure to follow up. Link for their Facebook is HERE as  well as their post.

PROMOS BACK:


________________________________Link to Site________________________________

We possibly have promos again! In a Facebook post, the official FOW page showed the next set of promos. As you can see above, these are the European stones that usually don’t make their way over here to the US.

This is a pretty interesting idea, though it seems to have mixed reception among the community. Still though, the cards look awesome. These will be the first promos we have gotten since December in the US.

Whether we will get the several months of promos we missed is yet to be seen or mentioned by the company. In an article regarding the promos, which you can read HERE they re-iterate that local stores must start using the software again to qualify for the promos. If your locals have any questions, that website page lays out what to do to contact them etc.

CASTER SPOILERS START:


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Caster Chronicles Spoilers have started! If you haven’t been following, Casters had detached from Force of Will awhile back to do their own thing. This set coming up follows a big gap since the last set, but also the first set the company has done on their own.

These spoilers are the first round for the new booster box. The last set of spoilers were for the starter decks, which are releasing later this month (as opposed to the booster box which is coming out next month).

In one of the posts they also mentioned how there is going to be reprints! We don’t know exactly what these could be reprints of, though new cards from the first set or the Japanese only set would be amazing to get.

We will be getting back into Casters in some capacity here on TCGScrubs so stay tuned for that!

ARGENT SAGA:


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If you missed it, Argent Saga launched the first way to get product for their game! This is through their website HERE  where you can pre order Sketch Alpha Decks, which will be completely legal when the set comes out.

You can also get a free Demo Deck, which is half of a light starter deck. This is a great opportunity to start warming up your locals to get people interested before the Kickstarter comes out, as well as the game.

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As a side note, I thought it was cool that on the Argent Saga Facebook page they are currently deciding the foiling typing that they will do for their cards.
 
You can actually go check out a video of Jim (Owner of ARG) going through all the different options, and possibly looking for feedback. It’s just another cool thing they are doing that really helps involve the community in the process.

That’s all the news for this week. Tune in next time!

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FOW NEWS
As always, if you prefer a video version of the news, click below:

A couple interesting things happened this week so let’s dive into it

PROMOS:

So we got our first look at some promos! This is from Chris Weekly FOW Update again (Link to original post HERE). As you can see above. It is of Donut Drone, and Eir. Both of these cards are from the starter decks, which is really cool to do both for collector reasons (shiny foils!) and because starter decks are hard to come by. They look really cool too!
 
 
 
Unfortunately still no word on when stores will start receiving promos again. When they do start receiving promos, there is no guarantee currently that we will get the promo cards we’ve missed over the past couple months. I hope we do, but currently no word on that end. So for now we will just have to buy from the secondary market if you don’t want to wait.
 
 
 

LOW FOW SALES:


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ICv2, a website that collects a lot of news information for multiple subjects, releases charts tracking the sales of the major collectible/hobby games every quarter or so. 
 
 
 
For reference, here is what the most recent sales were from Spring 2018 that you can see below:


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As you can see, Force of Will is in 7th place. This is roughly where it has hovered for quite sometime now. (For reference ICv2 says “The charts are based on interviews with retailers, distributors, and manufacturers.”)
 
 
 
However, the newest chart came out which reflects Fall of 2018 which you can see below:
 
 


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Now Force of Will is no longer even on the list. Now there are a couple things to point out. 
 
Firstly, KeyForge just came out on this time period. So it’s a hot game that not only pushed a spot out of the top 10, but potentially pulled people away from other games temporarily.
 
The timing of this chart is also not including the newest set release. So there may have been growth that just isn’t accounted for during that time. Though, to be fair it also wouldn’t account for any hits the game may take from the recent circumstances. 
 
Overall, you can draw whatever conclusions you may from this, but it’s a pretty disappointing piece of information that FOW finally moved from it’s spot it’s had for so long. 

 

ARG Charlotte:

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Next we got an update on ARG Charlotte! This is a WPGPQ that ARG is hosting coming up in 2 weeks. (For more information on the website, click the image above). 
 
 
 
As you can see in the above image, they have added some cool prizing slots! These prize packages include everything from promos, to phone stands, to that awesome FOW Lanyard!
 
 
 
If you haven’t already, be sure to look into this event, and we’ll keep you updated on any other news regarding it, including the results!
 
 

Easter ARG:

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So we got information on the Easter ARG events! The official post from Jim (head of ARG) is as follows:
 
 
 
2019 Force of Will EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA 
Summer Invitational Qualifiers events APRIL 12TH through APRIL 28TH!!!!
 
 
ARG Easter Circuit Qualifier kits will be open to ALL Stores, Tournament Organizers and players. Unlike states anyone can purchase a holiday Invitational Qualifier kit.

 
I’m pretty excited about this, especially due to the playmat, seen below. Click on either images to go directly to the ARG site to sign up now!

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Giveaway:


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If you guys missed it, we did a box opening of Vingolf 3! Courtesy of Happy Little Hug Factory (Links in the banners on this website). During that opening we announced we would be giving away the whole box to one lucky winner!
 
 
 
Well today is the day we figure out who that was, and the winner is….

 
 
 
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FOW NEWS
If you prefer a video version of the news, click below:  

Alright this is a long one so let’s get started    

CEO IS GONE:

So we’ll start with the big news. This is something we were waiting for confirmation of (but hoping it proved wrong), which is Eiji, the Founder and CEO of Force of Will is no longer with the company.     

This was confirmed in a post on his personal page (which I won’t share here, but was shared in the US Facebook group), where he talked about his love for the game, and how sad he is to leave it. But he wishes nothing but the best for it and everyone.     

While we don’t know the specifics of why he is no longer with the company, you can hear our thoughts and Jeff Finnigan’s thoughts in the first part of our interview with him HERE, or read the article summary of the interview HERE.    

This is very sad and troubling, as Eiji was not only the creator and head of the game, but he was very personally involved it seemed in a lot of what the game did. This includes the new better direction the game took recently.  I hope the best for him, and we’ll see what impact (if any) this has going forward on the game.    

GP INVITES REVOKED:

So this is quite a few different events that happened here, so we’ll go over them in order one by one.

So the first one was in Europe. They were informed that all their remaining GP’s,  including the GP that was (at the time) 2 weeks from occurring would no longer have paid invites. This was not only unfortunate, but extremely short notice for such an announcement (still with no word from the company itself). People already are planning on attending, booking trips, etc expecting the larger prize.

The second instance of this happening came up in Australia, this time the information that there would be 1 less unpaid invite came just 2 days before the event! Here is the full post from Australia:


People were worried so naturally asked if the remaining GP’s were still happening in the comments, FOW Australia confirmed they were. However, all of them would be reduced unpaid invites. This is equally unfortunate. And another revelation that came from this comment section from Australia is that the Worlds Event Venue has been reduced in size, which is the reasoning for the sudden drop in unpaid invites as you can see below:

As you can see, FOW was going to take away the paid invite initially, but Australia’s Distributor had to negotiate and pay half just to keep it (half that they are doing simply to help players essentially). Comments like “the negotiations were not easy and did not go according to plan” do make the situation seem not that great.

Lastly we move over to Taiwan, who posted on their Force of Will page. You can check it out below, though it is harder to follow since it is shown using Google translate.

To sum up, they said most of the operating team at FOW is still at the company. The main thing said is the number of invited contestants will be reduced (as per what we mentioned earlier about a much smaller venue for Worlds). The number of spots for Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainland China may all see reductions (China for sure). 
 
So we are basically seeing a global reduction in invites due to the smaller Worlds event now. This is all happening, once again, with no statement, Facebook post, or anything from the company itself. We’ll keep you updated on anything else regarding this.

As a side note, but also still related, Jim from ARG posted in the Circuit Series shouting out everyone who attended Vegas ARG and letting us know he is working on the Easter ARG events and invitational for Force of Will! This is awesome, however one thing he mentioned is that Charlotte GP (the GP happening mid-March) he is waiting to discuss things with the FOW company before reposting and hosting it. Not sure exactly what that means or entails but felt it was important to include.

 

GP DATES ANNOUNCED:

So GP dates were announced! (Again..) This time it obviously does not include GP Richardson or Collinsville (and no replacements as of yet). You can see the full list of events, including prizing, HERE

All the events are New Frontiers, which is really good at least. A lot of people were hoping for a Wanderer event, but nothing this year it looks like. 

An interesting note is that all the events are $30. This is $10 more than any GP’s last year, even though these are all smaller and not one single event includes a paid invite to Japan. The reason for the price increase is unclear and we will probably never know why specifically. 

PRODUCT REVEAL:

So an interesting thing happened, Force of Will released a schedule of their entire product lineup for the rest of the year. This has never been done by the company before, so that’s really great to see. You can see this product list HERE

If you don’t want to look, the note able things are:

The first 2 sets each include starter decks. We don’t know if this is 10 starters total, reprints, some starter decks in set 1 and the rest 2 (similar to Caster Chronicles). So we’ll have to wait and see on this.

The entire lineup of product has been pushed back. Starting with the next set, every single product release has been pushed back from when they have been released for the past several years. How this will impact things like World’s format and date is yet to be seen. 

Because of this push, the pre-release for the next set in March lands on the exact same weekend as a MTG pre-release. Because of this unfortunately we are already seeing stores that won’t be hosting a FOW pre-release that usually do since MTG is what pays the bills. Why this decision was made is unknown, or if there is a way to remedy it.

But yeah it’s cool to at least see all the product and know when to look out for it!

NO STATEMENT:

The last thing I’ll mention is that we still have no statement from the company. As Jeff said in his interview, he no longer was able to make a scheduled statement, and it has been 2 weeks since the company was going to release a statement the ‘Next Day’ in response to Robert Hebert’s official statement.
 
 
I bring this up because it is starting to become quite silly that we are approaching a month since Jeff and Eiji left the company, yet we have yet to hear word back. We have almost had every single GP cancelled, paid invites in the US stripped, unpaid (and some paid) invites stripped around the globe, Worlds shrunk, US head of tournaments step down, Judge program frozen, pre releases cancelled because of poor planning, and more. 
 
 
Yet through all this, not even a 1 sentence Facebook post saying “Hey guys, don’t worry we will come up with a statement in the coming weeks”. It’s unfortunate. And I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but it’s important to be honest about what is (in my opinion) sheer lack of awareness for any players and stores outside of the bubble where the company resides. I sincerely hope they fix this, and they still have time to before more damage happens. But it’s important for everyone to be informed about these situations.
 
That about does it for today, thanks for reading and see you next week.

 
 
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All Articles, FOW NEWS
Here is the bullet point summaries of the Interview we conducted with Jeff Finnigan. I highly recommend watching the videos for the full responses, as well as fun interaction that won’t be in this summary. Links below:
HERE for Part 1
HERE for Part 2
Is Eiji going to be okay?
Yes he’ll be fine. He does have the normal royalties and stuff financially. Eiji still wants FOW to do well.
Would you (Jeff) want to still work at FOW post-management change?
He would if the philosophy of the company stayed the same. As an aside though, he was crazy busy working at the company. Not only was he Global Liaison to all the different countries, companies, and social avenues, but also did tons more internally since he was the only English speaker. Which can lead to burnout.
He loves the game but he doesn’t want to work there if he can’t do anything. Also wouldn’t if he doesn’t understand them completely, or doesn’t agree with their philosophy.
Would you recommend the game to new players at this current time?
Hopeful side says yes, the game is still fun and super cheap. As long as you enjoy it, that’s the main thing that matters regardless of financial incentives etc.
If you are looking for investments, probably not, but that isn’t (in his opinion) a really a good reason to get into a TCG to begin with.
What’s going on with Starter Deck availability?
It kills him because he told them last year, about this time, that they have to reprint those decks every set. They said that’s no problem. But problems ensued, Jeff kept telling them over and over again they have to get these decks out but it seemed they didn’t pay much heed.
Also as an aside, was told Ruler would be the Will Power rewards, but was not told it’d only be half the rulers.
With you gone, will things like pre-errata Table Flips (Overpowered cards) be more likely to surface more often?
Unfortunately, yeah. The issue is nobody besides Jeff had the power to really alter the power of the cards. Without him there to tell them what’s strong and what’s not it will happen. They don’t think too much about that, they are more focused on lore related flavor etc. and less how the power affects the game. Their belief is in the “fun”, not necessarily the balance. 
His biggest concern is without him he doesn’t know how they’ll do ban lists. He did everything and heavily pressured them to even do ban lists. Without him those may not continue.
When will the management changes take effect as far as power levels?
He left after V3 was already done, though it is very strong. He only changed a couple cards (including sprout). He was hoping sprout was going to be much weaker than what it turned out to be.
They were complaining for awhile that Jeff was making cards ‘Too Fair’. The sales team thinks people just want to buy broken cards, and the sales team blames poor sales on sets not having broken cards in them. The sales team loves cards like Sherry, R/R, etc. They only focus on the initial reaction of people buying the set in order to get cards just to not lose. And they don’t think about the future repercussions.
Jeff’s philosophy became letting them do what they want a little bit, and then just banning it afterwards. So without him there is no barriers blocking these cards. He’s hopeful though, because he still knows people behind the scenes that he can appeal to update ban lists if it’s really needed.
Will you continue your original plan for an online tournament?
He wants to, but was postponed due to the other online “GP” that took place. And now he is very busy among other things. So he still wants it to happen, just not sure when at this point.
Do you think the game is still worth collecting in the West?
Absolutely. No matter what happens, he loves the artwork. He loves collecting and it’s still worth it.
Are you going to take a break from card games?
Probably. Force of will was his baby. At this point he is just tired after all the work he’s been doing the past year and more. He was disappointed with leaving, but it does at least give him a chance to breathe and catch up on other things as well.
What happened to Casters?
Different Philosophy. Eiji and Jeff wanted to focus on FOW and the World, and Casters is more popular in Japan. Casters is a more focused game, with harder deck building etc. The companies working on it together weren’t getting along super well either. They are going to be run/owned by the same company now though as FOW.
What happened to Architects?
They still want to make Architects. The designs and artwork are all done. They just don’t have future plans. They are already short staffed and needed to prioritize FOW. There was interest, but it was a bit hollow. If it’s not going to last you should wait until it’s perfect then set it out. They wanted to make 3 card games for 3 levels of players such as casual level, normal level, and competitive level, which Jeff disagrees with how card games work on that level since these levels are represented in all card games no matter what.
What happened to ‘Bestow’ mechanic?
Jeff was trying to bring back Addition:Resonators. He likes Bestow, just thought it was boring. It was just Artifacts but in FOW. He prefers Additions to have global effects etc. Bestow is pretty low on his likes.
The cluster he was working on had ‘Milling’, ‘Self Milling’, ‘Burn’, ‘Creature Based Combos’, and he was bringing back ‘Stand by’ cards.
Did you know you were leaving ahead of time?
He knew about 3rd week of January (he did his post on leaving on Feb 1st). Eiji was in a board meeting that Jeff was unaware of. After he called and told Jeff “Something terrible has happened” and told him about him leaving. Jeff wasn’t sure if he’d be affected, but he was. It was a shock, but also expected. Analogy used was in a Civil War, usually in history you get rid of Everyone associated with the losing side, in this case that’s Eiji being the losing side and Jeff being apart of that.
What does the game need to do if it wants to continue supporting the US?
Hire him or someone like him to communicate to the Japanese company in some capacity. And not just as a face, have to have the same power as Jeff did before. He had a relationship with the CEO to make things happen. Everything Jeff did he stands behind, and is always informative and honest with everyone about what’s going on. Which is different than right now where the new company is doing things in secret. A good company that he can get behind is acknowledging mistakes (such as his Rudy video) and being honest. He hopes they recognize that in order for America market to succeed.
Thoughts on cancelled GP’s/Revoked invites?
The person running the company right now doesn’t think very highly of paid invites and that it eats up money. He doesn’t see it as PR, just as pure cost with no benefit. Jeff has experienced at stores around the world that locals sell more and see more traffic when events happen. Which is why he tried expanding to more events. Since those 2 GP’s were run by FOW directly, they were marked as pure cost and therefore cut (unlike WGPQ’s). Which is probably why Jeff and Rob were cut as well. Just financial cuts.
 
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FOW NEWS
If you’d prefer a video version of the news, be sure to click below:

A huge week of things happened, so let’s get started.

PROMO EU STONES:
As you guys might remember, awhile back Europe created their  own promo versions of all the duel stones. These were really cool looking, putting the fantasy characters against different European landmarks. 
 
 
It looks like they are doing it again! This time, however, they are doing basic stones. This is not only very fitting, considering the format we are in, but is cool because it will make these stones always relevant, as basic stones will never rotate etc.
 
 
So, you can take a look at them all below!
 
 

NO PLAYMAT, EXTRA PROMOS:

Speaking of promotional material, we got some word on the next set. This information comes from Chris Härtl, of Chris Weekly FOW News Update on Facebook. Apparently, according to the distribution form, the next set will not have a promotional playmat that is usually included with buying 6 boxes. 
 
 
We are not sure why this change is happening. It could be related to the small dip in quality we saw with this set’s pre release mat. Or they could be moving towards producing just less playmats in general.
 
 
But with this it was pointed out by someone that it looked like it may possibly be replaced with additional promo cards (though we don’t know what levels or how many).
 
 
CARD PREVIEW:
With this new set’s information, we also got our first preview of a card in the next set, “Awakening of the Ancients”. This happened last set as well, when we got a look at Ruined Earth’s text ahead of time.

This time around we got a look at what could be a very strong card. Below is the full card text/cost:
 
 
Sapling of the Treasure Tree|[W]|AOA-013 SR
Resonator: Treasury Item ATK 0/ DEF 100
• [Rest], discard a card, remove this card from the game: Produce [W][W][W].
• [W], banish this card: Destroy target addition.
-The wills of many have coalesced over the years, giving birth to the treasure tree.
 
 
So there’s the card, basically a re-print of ‘Sprout of Treasure Tree’ as pictured above. At the time (and currently technically) Sprout was a crazy strong card in most formats. This is interesting that they are doing a functional reprint, that is actually super good in things like Brunhild, where it actually wants to discard cards.
 
 
An ideal scenario is turn 1, you play Treasure Tree. Turn 2 you banish for it’s effect, and discard a 3 cost card (like Alice), then use that 3 will plus your 2 stones to play Misteltein, use her free 2 will to play a Rune, then grab that 3 cost out of the graveyard (all on turn 2). Obviously there are counters and such to this, but it’s important to note the power level this could be at.

MONTHLY PROMOS:
This is a weird one. So we had shown you guys the upcoming monthly promos awhile back, that we had obtained in a different language’s reveal of the cards. We then sat and waited for FOW to reveal the English (and also higher resolution version) of said cards.
 
 
We are still waiting on that. Looking back at old posts, these monthly promos are usually revealed between the 10th and 20th of every single month. We are currently on the 6th of this month and haven’t seen them revealed (so several weeks late). Hopefully they are still coming out on time, I just thought it was strange we never had them revealed to us in English.
 
 
QUINN BANNING:
I’ll go over this quick. If you guys haven’t already, I highly recommend watching it HERE  (Which there is also an article here on the site).
 
 
Post the ban I’ve been keeping updates to the situation on the article here on TCGScrubs.com. It’s at the very bottom of the article. The main updates since the video is that there was another instance of cheating I added that I wasn’t aware of, and that Robert (Head of US events) has come out to say he is banned.
 
 
Now we go into more detail regarding that in this week’s Podcast, however it is important to note that as of right now I haven’t gotten full confirmation either way on whether Quinn is still completely banned or not. I got word he is unbanned from the company, and word to the contrary from Rob. The company has yet to fully back what Rob said, or double down on what they said.
 
 
As of right now it seems he may be banned, but I’ll keep you guys updated on the situation.
 
 
Thank you all very much for the great feedback and support for the video though! I’m happy with how that all turned out.
 
 
JAPAN GP CANCELLED:
It looks like the GP that was taking place in Japan was cancelled due to ‘Security Issues’. This was a month away I believe, and was the only remaining GP of the season over there (there is one that has been TBD since the beginning, so we’ll see if that plays out). 
 
 
There has been a lot of concern shown about this on Twitter, but we haven’t heard any details of why it was cancelled outside of ‘Security’ reasons. Hopefully that’s simply the real case, and new dates will be put for either it, or the TBD event.
 
 
JEFF FINNIGAN IS GONE:
In case anybody was living under a rock, Jeff Finnigan is no longer with Force of Will. This is a really sad turn of events and completely unexpected. Especially coming off the success of Jeff’s recent endeavors with Alpha Investments and more.
 
 
This took the community by surprise, with everyone voicing their concern and just generally not happy with this. Even Rudy of Alpha Investments seems generally shocked and upset with this turn of events when I mentioned it to him. It’s important to note we do not know why this departure is happening, however Jeff did clarify some stuff in a post. I’ll post the images of the original, and follow up Jeff did here:
 
 
So before anyone starts speculating, be sure to read BOTH of those! He clearly states that it had nothing to do with him talking to Rudy, or anything he did in general. What all this means, we don’t know yet as he has not done a follow up post as of now (02/05). 
 
 
One big takeaway for me on this was the statement that the company will also not be refilling his position. This is actually very concerning, as we have never been without at least someone literally or figuratively in this type of role before. 
 
 
Overall, we are very sad to see Jeff go, and hope to find out the reasons soon. It could be as simple as Jeff is too overwhelmed (he is also a University Professor don’t forget, in addition to this job). Though this doesn’t explain FOW not filling his position, as well as them holding out telling us what’s going on. 
 
 
I’ve never done this before, but I will (temporarily) ask if you guys want to be sure to Subscribe to our channel and hit the ‘Bell’ icon, at least for the next week or 2. We will be releasing videos related to this as quickly as we can, and I have heard of things that may be revealed soon that you will want to know about. So stay tuned.
 
 
Thank you very much for joining us this week! 
 
 
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All Articles, FOW NEWS
So I thought I’d share my thoughts on the unbanning of Quinn Kotecki. With these thoughts I am also going to lay out some of the evidence/things I’ve found out regarding this individual, and why this all amounts to why he should remain banned. For those unaware, Quinn was a competitive player in Force of Will, Pokemon, MTG, and more. He went to FOW Worlds and topped many GP’s often placing top 8 in the many games and events he attends.
 
 
 
For anyone unfamiliar with the situation, I will go over the details of how this all started (and include screenshots when applicable).
 
FORCE OF WILL:

Quinn was a competitive player in Force of Will. He attended Worlds and was even made into a promo card that FOW previously used as prizing for Worlds Winners. 
 
 
 
 
This all started with Force of Will in June of 2017 at the Toronto GP. The incident occurred with the late Alex Blandin. He played against Quinn and initially suspected that Quinn had drawn a card from the graveyard against him. At a later point Quinn had tapped the wrong will to play counter cards. Alex said he wasn’t paying too much attention to some of this (not making the assumption that Quinn might be cheating initially). It was then noticed Quinn may have placed a card on top of his deck as well. At this point Alex became more suspicious. 
 
 
 
After this game Alex shared his suspicion leading into top 8. This lead to him and someone else observing gameplay of him where they caught him definitively cheating. One specific play was where Ryan (Quinn’s new opponent) went to play Wind Secluded Refuge. In response Quinn played Rune of Sol to search for Ancient Knowledge (This card lets you draw 2 essentially). 
 
 
 
After finishing his search for Ancient Knowledge they noticed he put a card on top of his deck. Both Alex and his friend saw Quinn put the card on top of his deck, and then shuffle the other cards without moving it. Alex’s friend confirms to Alex that the card that was placed on top was a Seal of Wind and Light (A cancel that would counter the Wind Secluded Refuge).  They did end up calling a judge over, but since the judge hadn’t witnessed the event, he couldn’t do anything at that time. Since Ryan ended up winning the game anyways it wasn’t as relevant, but the two witnesses confirmed beyond any doubt he had cheated.
 
 
 
After that event is when Alex and Quinn both had walked out to the parking lot. Alex saw Quinn and called him a cheater, flipping him off. In response Quinn picked him up and body slammed him. He received a ban that would have lasted until June of this year initially solely for the body slam incident (unrelated to the cheating).
 
 
 
 
FINAL FANTASY TCG:

Following this, he started playing Final Fantasy TCG. In September of the same year (2017) there were reports of him cheating in the Nationals tournament. I looked into this, and while reports of this are near impossible to find for various reasons, I was able to confirm a couple things.
 
 
Firstly, this was his first time playing FFTCG. I only heard this from one person, but it lines up with at least some of what he was accused of (but not all).
 
 
 
The things he was accused of include:
Playing cards that weren’t written on his decklist
Drawing too many cards
Making illegal plays
Misuse of card zones
 
 
Some of these could possibly be excused for being new to the game. The 2 that stand out for me are the cards not being written on a decklist (he was a FOW Worlds competitor, this should be an easy one), and drawing too many cards. This could be a mistake as well, but it seems to follow a pattern.   It is worth noting that this was reported by multiple opponents, and he got one game loss for an illegal play (which sounds like a normal mistake for a new person to the game).    He was not banned, however it looks like he moved on from this game at some point.
 
 
 
POKEMON TCG:

Next he started up with Pokemon TCG. In this game he placed in the top 8 many times at major events, including getting top 4 and 2 spots. In June of 2018 there was a huge set of circumstances that, for all intents and purposes, proved he cheated multiple times.

This was during a tournament that had two separate incidents. You can read the full details in the pictures. In summary, the first incident was during Round 8 of the tournament. His opponent said he was absolutely positive Quinn was ‘palming’ cards into his hand whenever he played Elixer (a card drawing tool) among other cards. If I followed the events correctly, Quinn received a warning after this match.
 
 
The second incident was the following Round. This time his opponent caught him as he was ‘palming’ a card and called a judge over. His opponent said he had “Never seen a more blatant attempt that was so clear, intent to cheat is irrefutable.”

The judge came over and confirmed Quinn had an extra card in hand. However since the judge was not there when it happened, Quinn claimed he must have accidentally drew it at the beginning of the game (or some other scenario). He therefore was not DQ’ed, but rather received a QPL, even though this was the second instance of this exact thing happening.

These were both reported independently of each other. They did not (as far as I can tell) result in a ban due to judges not being present at the time of incident (similar to the other games).

At some point he left Pokemon.

 
MAGIC THE GATHERING:

Last game he was in (and most recently) was Magic the Gathering. He was also competitive in this, topping events etc. This instance happened during a large tournament in September of 2018. During this, he was caught and called out by MTG Pro Player, Oliver Tomajko. 

 

 

He recounted the incident in the provided image, which I will also summarize here:

 

It started during the game while Oliver was playing a combo. During the combo he saw Quinn look at his sideboard, then grab a card out of it. He didn’t say anything at that point because he wasn’t fully paying attention, but noticed his hand size was more then he remembered. He recounts some more specific plays that happened that seemed unlikely considering the deck Quinn was running. It then lead to Quinn passing turn, with definitively 0 cards in hand. Oliver did some plays, and when he looked up, Quinn was back to 1 card in hand. At this point he called a judge over. The judge verifies that Quinn is up 1 card (though Oliver knows there is something he is forgetting that is important). 

 

 

During this process Quinn asks the judge if he can just concede the game and move on (which Oliver said was strange since, if Quinn is in the right, he would win next turn). Oliver realized later that night that the thing he hadn’t realized was there was a set of cards in the graveyard that, considering plays that were made, show he drew an extra card in addition to grabbing a card from the graveyard. 

 

From what I understand (and I will update this post when I find out) at a later date Quinn was caught cheating again at a MTG tournament. This time it was witnessed and he received a ban from MTG until later this year.

 

PRESENT DAY:
All this brings us to today, and why this is all applicable. As mentioned Quinn was banned until later this year solely the body slam incident. As I mentioned, I feel the 2 year ban was already low for that. 

 

 

We already have an example of a player verbally assaulting people, and getting a lifetime ban. I personally feel physical assault is worse (in addition to the cheating).

 

During his 2 year ban, he has gone on to cheat in 3 other major card games (that we know of), and in each instance has never apologized or owned up to what he did. 

 

This brings us to now, where we find out that Quinn has been unbanned early! He can officially start attending any FOW event he wants, from locals to GP’s, to Worlds. I find this very troubling.

 

I would already make the case that his original ban should be extended. He is a habitual liar/cheater with no remorse, and is something this game just doesn’t need. FOW is in a great place right now, growing drastically, selling out, and bringing communities that have died back together. To bring in a controversial person like Quinn, who is guaranteed to cheat at some point, is just not what the game needs. So at minimum, I think his ban should be extended due to the continued cheating, and what I think was too light of a ban to begin with.

 

Now compound that with his ban being lifted early, I think this just doesn’t look good for the game, or anyone. If FOW decides to keep him unbanned and you are planning on attending a FOW event, please keep an eye out for him, and don’t be afraid to call judges! They are there to help, and as we’ve seen here, it just takes a split second for a judge to see a play gone wrong to remedy the whole situation.

 

Force of Will has said they unbanned him early due to his official ‘Ban Notice’ saying he would be unbanned in 2019 (with no specific date). So although the original intention was for 2 years, the notice gave the impression he could be unbanned in January. So they decided to unban in January rather than the posted date.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! Let us know your thoughts on the situation as well.

 

UPDATES:

 

So there have been some updates since publishing that I will put here. This will include if any changes happen to his status, as well as new discoveries.

 

Firstly, an instance of cheating I was not aware of. This was in the Pittsburgh GP for FOW. Quinn was playing against Aaron Miles. The short of it is Quinn played Cheshire Cat, drew 2 cards, but didn’t put one back on top. Aaron caught him and called a judge. Quinn said he put a card back on the deck, to which Aaron said Quinn should be able to tell the judge what card he put on top, and the judge could check. Quinn switched his tone and said he might have put it at the bottom instead, and then offered to ‘Put a second card on top of the deck’ anyways, and play continued.

 

 

This was all caught on video, starting at the 5:25

mark
http://www.twitch.tv/arglive2/v/63940784?sr=a&t=457s&fbclid=IwAR04WXrge5kN90Wpgy3DLWZnxBs4PFRuWLbFIf09KyFXknNxCN8nIhS1mqs
 
The second update is, as of right now, Robert Hebert has said Quinn will not be unbanned early, and will continue until the pre-determined date. He said all the relevant TO have been informed of this. This is contrary to what the company says so I’ll keep an eye on this

Third update, I just talked to a MTG player by the name of  Josh Thompson, after reading through replies on Twitter. I contacted him where he relayed this story below, which is a copy paste from something he relayed to the community awhile back (I’ll continue after the image)
I have since personally reached out and confirmed with 2 separate stores that he is, in fact, banned from playing at both of them. One of them also confirmed he is DCI banned (not sure if this is different than his original ban in MTG that we mentioned). 

 

 Fourth Update, I updated the FFTCG section to get rid of the DQ from the event, as it seems that was mis-reported. 

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FOW NEWS
If you prefer a video version of the news, click below:

Okay let’s get started!
 
 
PROMOS:
So just missed these last week, but there were the next promos “released” for us to see! Obviously they are in another language, but they are pretty awesome to look at.
 
First up we got we got a promo of Heaven Thundering Strike! (Below shows the regular and promo art of the card).
Next we have a promo of Wererabbit Warrior (Regular then Promo)
So let us know your thoughts on these promos! Really unique looking, and you can see they are already printing promos for the Starter Decks, which are currently in short supply. So that’s great to see as well.
 
 
ERRATA:

So the story of Table Flip has been an interesting one. It had a broken combo possibility where it could be paired with Sandstorm (as an example) and potentially deal thousands of damage to your opponent.

Then they came out with an errata for it, that helped it get around things like Scarlet’s J-Ruler ability, but still kept the ability for said combo.

Now we finally have a new new errata for it (you can read all the card errata’s HERE).

Table Flip now says it only counters chants with a single target. So now Table Flip straight up won’t work at all with cards like Sandstorm, though it can work with an awakened Prismatic Flame. 

Really awesome the company, and specifically Jeff, were able to quickly follow through with this and fix it preemptively. This could have turned out to be a huge problem, though it is concerning this was able to make it through that easily with that wording. 

The other cards that were errata’ed were Sand Dragon (Now a Sand type) and the Secret Rare Athenia, fixing it’s Defense to be the correct 1000 it should have been.

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES:
Just so everyone knows who might have been looking, the GP Dates page is currently down on the FOW website. No worries though, nothing is happening. It seems they are just having a technical glitch that brought the page down. 
 
Hopefully that resolves soon, not sure why an entire page can’t be posted on a website. If nothing else, just make a new page or post. Hopefully that new website conversion Jeff talked about happens soon, because stuff like this shouldn’t be happening.
 
 
That’s all the news for today, a bit of a slower week. We’ll see you all next week!
 
 
 
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