Meta History: Grimm

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Heyo! So it’s been a hot minute since I last wrote about old fairy tales (life happened, you know how that goes), but I’m back to finish up that Grimm series I started!

Where I left off, I had already looked at why Grimm is the best ruler in Force of Will, and I talked about some of the old fairy tale resonators that used to see play back when Grimm was tearing up the early FoW meta. Now I’m going to be looking at some of the various Grimm decks that were played back then, in the halcyon days of Force of Will.

Anyway, just for reference, here are the other articles in the series thus far:

  1. Revisiting Grimm
  2. The Old Fairy Tales
  3. More Old Fairy Tales and How to Level Up Your Game

One of the best things about Grimm is that he’s just so flippin’ versatile (Not versatile enough to flip, though! Haha!). Since he lets us use any color of Will to play our fairy tales (and can tutor them up), this opens Grimm decks up to many styles of play.

In fact, I can think of Grimm decks that ran the gamut of deck archetypes; from aggro to midrange to control, we saw them all. The only reason we didn’t see any combo decks was that that wasn’t really a thing yet, and even when it was, those combos typically relied on specific rulers that weren’t Grimm.

Do note that most of these decklists were lost to antiquity, so I’m trying my best to recreate them off the top of my head. They’ll be Grimm Cluster only, and mostly just from the United States meta.

The first deck we’re looking at was titled “OddGro”. This was an aggro deck that focused on using cards with an odd total cost. In particular, March Hare was a key card in OddGro, as it had a significant power-to-cost ratio compared to most other cards in that era; it was worth it to shape your entire deck to properly utilize it. While OddGro did make use of various even-costing cards, it was easy enough to manipulate the top of your deck with Cheshire Cat to ensure you would have an odd-costing card to reveal when needed.

Other cards that were used in OddGro were Dreams of Wonderland (one of the best removal spells in the game when used in this deck) and Thunder (because Thunder…). Not to mention the basic line-up of fairy tales like Tink, Hunter, Oz, Piper, Glinda, etc.

While OddGro was quite the aggressive deck, we had just as many Grimm Control decks on the other side of the spectrum. The name says it all: these were control decks that used Grimm. What made these decks cool was that, as always, you could run any color fairy tales you wanted while sticking to fewer color stones to stay efficient in your ability to actually cast your control pieces.

Some cards used in Grimm control decks were Elvish Priest, Fiethsing the Magus of Holy Wind, Xeex the Ancient Magic, and Absolute Cake Zone. Due to you being primarily in Wind for the counterspells and ramp, you were able to use Gretel and never whiff on your stone drop. Cheshire Cat definitely put in work here as well.

Eventually, this style deck switched rulers to Vlad Tepes, but Grimm was the first…I mean aside from all the controls decks that saw play in Valhalla Cluster, but FoW Co seems to have officially forgotten that Cluster even existed.

So enough about control, let’s get back to aggro and look at my personal favorite variant of the Grimm decks: Banzai Grimm, the best Grimm deck. What makes Banzai Grimm the best, you ask? That’s a great question! Banzai Grimm was/is an aggro deck that aims to drop multiple low-cost resonators early in the game and finish with Banzai Attack buffing the board.

Key cards in Banzai Grimm are Fire Stones (this is typically a mono-fire deck), Banzai Attack (of course), Cheshire Cat, Tink, and Hunter. The deck usually ran burn cards like Thunder and Split Heaven and Earth. The deck also used the Little Red Hope of Millennia + Granny by the Fireplace combo to get an extra resonator on board.

What’s cool about Banzai Grimm is that it’s still run in Wanderer (at least I run it in Wanderer), and it gets new toys every few sets. New inclusions to Banzai Grimm come in the form of Wendy (plus Poison Apple), Peter Pan, and whatever other new burn spells are good (like Lightning Strike). This is the deck I personally run if I ever actually get time to go to Wanderer events.

There were quite a lot of other Grimm decks that were used back in the day, but the three builds I discussed seemed to me to be the most popular. Other builds I saw and/or played were Tool-box/Good-stuff Grimm, Light/Dark/Fire Bloody Grimm, Burn Grimm (like a burnier Banzai Grimm), and a horrible version of Yellow Brick Road that used Grimm over Little Red for some inexplicable reason.

Sound off in the comments if you played any of these decks! What was your favorite? Did I miss any?

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Owner, operator, and editor-in-chief of GrinningRemnant. Alex has been playing TCGs since 2000 when he picked up Magic: The Gathering. He started playing Force of Will back in February 2015 and has been hooked ever since.

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