With the New Year rapidly approaching, what better time to run down the best cards that Force of Will printed this year? For this list, I’m going to be talking about what I think are the 5 best cards from this year in our favorite card game. As a disclaimer, I’m going to be excluding banned cards, so no Pricia, no Captain Hook, and no Griphon. Also no J/Rulers.
On to the list!
5SHADE, ENVOY OF DARKNESS
Starting off our list at number 5 is none other than “Shade, Envoy of Darkness”. This card is the bread and butter of any dark control list for many reasons. It has spot removal, it has lifegain, and it has built-in recursion to boot. The only thing it lacks is a solid defense stat, but we can’t have everything, especially when we already get this much for just two Will. Shade has shown its worth in Fox decks, Alhama’at decks, Zero decks, Reiya decks, and I assume it’ll see play well into its rotation in New Frontiers, not even to mention Wanderer.
4SYLVIA, BLADE OF THE SUPREME KING
Up next at number 4 we have “Sylvia, Blade of the Supreme King” (a.k.a. the best aggro card in the game, in my opinion). What’s not to love about this card? It’s got average stats, swiftness, and that pesky little combat trigger that prevents target J/resonator from blocking. All of this for TWO WILL!? With the playerbase having already been comfortable with playing fire/wind aggro, Slyvia was instant 3-4 of in any red-green deck going forward.
3MARIABELLA, THE MACHINE HEARTED
Speaking of red green aggro, we have our number 3 pick: “Mariabella, the Machine Hearted”. What is there to really explain when it comes to this card? It’s just stupid good at everything. It’s easy to play in green decks, it has a big body, it pings J/resonators, and it can create extra Will taxes on chants. Oh, and it also ramps a basic stone for you. Even outside of Pricia, which worked wonders for this card, it’s still strong in any deck that can play it. Especially when you can load up 8 fire/wind dual stones for both resonance triggers.
2THE FINAL BATTLE
For our runner-up, we have the number 2 card of 2017: The Final Battle. Much like Shade, this card worked its way into every dark deck along with decks, even just splashing black just to play this card. Having a card like this is absolutely crucial to swaying the game in your favor or even winning the game for you. This card is nothing short of meta defining. It shifted how players set up strategies because your entire board presence could be gone for only 1 black Will and some life. The card has waned a bit in play, but nevertheless, it’s still an ever-present fear in players when they stare down 1 open black source.
Our number 1 pick should come as no surprise to anyone, but it’s Severing Winds. Now, this is the prime example of a meta defining card. Being able to cut off any combo play is just way too good. The card fits into literally every single deck because it’s just free to play. Final Battle made players think a little harder, but this card caused a major paradigm shift in every aspect of the game. The card has only gotten stronger with cards like “Otherworld Dreams” that bait players into playing other cards and I doubt it’s going to suddenly disappear from deck lists until it rotates out.
All in all the year has been great, or not so great depending on your outlook, for strong cards. We’ve seen so many staple cards printed that it’s hard to pick just 5 from this year. Needless to say, these cards are going nowhere fast and when they do finally rotate they’ll find a nice hole in many Wander decks for the foreseeable future. If anything, these cards forced players to play smarter all around. We had to be aware of card counts, open Will, and what we could put in our decks to eventually one-up them to victory.
Have a great New Year’s Eve everyone! Stay warm and safe.