A little over two years ago I published a Ruler Roulette article on Grimm, the Fairy Tale Prince. My reasons for writing that article was that I loved Grimm decks, and I had piloted one to a first-place finish in some small convention tournament (granted that was a pretty big tournament for 2015).
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for over two years! I think I’ve grown as a player and a writer since then, and coming straight off of last week’s Millium articles, I would like to revisit Grimm throughout the week.
In this article, I’ll be looking at the strengths of Grimm, while in further articles I’m planning to cover some Grimm decks, both new and old.
Ruler Roulette: Revisiting Grimm
Grimm is all in all just a straight up, solid ruler. What he lacks in having a J-ruler side, he more than makes up for by being the most consistent toolbox engine we have in Force of Will.
Honestly, 2015 Alex put these ideas out pretty well, so I’m mostly going to be rehashing my points from that old article. Of course, I’ll be adding to them.
The ruler I used, as stated above, is Grimm, the Fairy Tale Prince. Grimm is one of the strongest rulers in Force of Will. I would even go so far as to say that Grimm is the actual strongest ruler in the game.
I stand by this statement. Competition for the “Top Ruler” spot has been stronger since then, but I firmly believe that Grimm is still the top contender. No ruler (aside from Reflect//Refrain) can quite match up to the sheer utility and flexibility Grimm provides your deck.
His first ability lets you pay to cast Fairy Tale resonators with [Will of any attribute]. This not only makes it so you will never whiff on colors to cast your resonators, but also allows the deck to be incredibly greedy with card choices. My version of Grimm is a Fire/Darkness/Light deck, but I am free to run multiple copies of Water and Wind resonators (if they are Fairy Tales) with no consequence.
While I’m no longer running that sweet, sweet FDL Grimm deck of yore, I totally could. That’s what makes Grimm so strong; he doesn’t care what attributes you’re running in your deck! Any fairy tale of any attribute can fit into a Grimm deck regardless of the actual deck. This lets us be as greedy as we want on colors yet never be color screwed when it matters most.
Grimm’s second ability lets you (once per turn) pay 1 generic will and discard a Fairy Tale resonator to search your main deck for any Fairy Tale resonator and put it into your hand. This ability serves three purposes:
That’s what the ability does. Well put, past Alex, well put indeed. I mean, that was just stating the ability. The reasons this ability is busted follow.
The first is that in letting you pitch unneeded resonators and finding better ones, you will never be stuck with a dead card in your hand. Grimm decks are very consistent due to the ability to just tutor up whatever Fairy Tale you need at the moment. Do I need to draw some cards? Grab a Cheshire Cat. Do I need a Thunder? Grab an Oz.
Haha, boy do I miss using Oz to grab Thunder. What a fun time.
I loved playing a game, realizing I had Opp at 500 life, and then just pitching a Hunter in the Black Forest to Grimm, tutoring up an Oz, and then tutoring up a Thunder for lethal. Keeping dead cards out of your hand by replacing them with better ones will ensure that you always have at least some sort of play you can make, even if that play is to just play a Cheshire Cat and draw into something else you need.
One strategy I loved using with Grimm decks was pitching a Tinker Bell (the original Tink 1.0) to Cheshire Cat and then playing the Booty Cat to draw a card I needed.
At the end of the day, it didn’t even matter if I drew successfully because playing Cheshire Cat instead of Tinker Bell was the right option.
Secondly, you get to thin out your deck. This is a concept that is usually brought up when talking about the fetch-lands in Magic: The Gathering. The idea is that by removing cards from the deck, you have a better chance to draw other cards over the course of the game. So if I discard a Hunter in the Black Forest that I don’t need and search up a Hamlin’s Pied Piper, my chances of drawing a Thunder have slightly improved due to fewer cards in the deck. The concept of deck thinning actually shapes the way we make decks in trading card games. In almost all circumstances, you want to make a deck using the absolute least amount of cards possible, in order to increase your chances of drawing those cards. I want to have the highest possible chance of having a Tinker Bell in my opening hand. Currently, my deck is 40 cards and has 4 copies of Tinker Bell (1 in 10 cards will be a Tinker Bell). If the deck had more than 40 cards, those odds are significantly increased.
Decreased. Jeez past Alex. The odds are decreased.
I don’t believe I sufficiently got my point across in that old article. Let me elaborate:
In a trading card game such as Force of Will, the key to creating a successful deck is to eliminate variance. What this means is that you want to fill your deck with similar effects in order to maximize your chances of finding a card with said effect. Let’s look at Thunder, the ultimate burn and early removal card.
1 Will to do 500 damage to any target was useful for killing smaller, early-game resonators as well as just shaving off 1/8 of Opp’s life total later on. The effect was too good to pass up, so I would add 4 copies to my deck.
Lightning Strike is a card that basically does the exact same thing.
So if I want to make sure I maximize my chances of drawing into it, I can run 4 Thunder and 4 Lightning Strike. That’s 8 of the same effect. That’s what it means to minimize variance.
Now, what does this have to do with Grimm? Well, aside from adding more copies of an effect into our deck, there’s another way to reduce variance. By shrinking or thinning our deck, the odds of us drawing a regular 4-of are increased as well.
I’m not going to get into the statistics and all that jazz right now because it’s 3AM (I wasted my entire weekend playing Civilization 6 like a dummy) and it gets super complicated. All you need to know to understand this is that a 1/39 chance at drawing a card is better than a 1/40 chance.
Third, you get to shuffle your main deck. This actually plays a very large role in what makes Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant so good. Take a situation where I play a Cheshire Cat, draw 2 cards, and then put a dead card back on top of my deck. Normally, unless Cheshire Cat dies before my next draw step, I’m just drawing the dead card again on my next turn. Using Grimm’s ability to search for Fairy Tale resonators means I must shuffle my main deck, effectively shuffling away the dead card that I had put on top of the deck, and giving me a chance to draw a better card on the next turn.
Couldn’t have said it any better myself! I did say it myself. I’ll just pat myself on the back.
Because of all of the listed reasons, I believe Grimm, the Fairy Tale Prince is the best ruler in Force of Will thus far.
And two years later I stand by that statement.
In my next article, I’m going to talk about all the good fairy tale resonators that got left out in Millium week. We’re talking about Wanderer format resonators!