Judge of Will – Priority and the Chase

Hello fellow ForceofWillains, and thank you for reading this newest installment in the Judge of Will Series, covering Priority in Force of will and how to resolve a chase.  The Overlord of the Seven Lands, in preparation for the coming of the Primogenitor, has demanded that the citizenry be fully informed of the rules they are expected to follow when engaging in duels of Will.  We, the humble supplicants to her beauty, do submit the following knowledge unto you, the populace.

This is a long article, split into the following sections:  The chase, definitions of terms, actions by category, performing a priority sequence, and finally a breakdown of the phases and steps in which the priority sequence occurs.

BEFORE I GO FURTHER, A WARNING: There is a site with rules from before the game came to the US, http://force-of-will.com/ , is often referenced by new players.  Several rules were changed or updated since that site was posted, and it is not yet up to date.  If you know of people still citing that site as a reference, please point them to this site or the database at db.fowtcg.us for current rulings.

 

The core of interaction in this game is the Chase, a zone where actions are placed and wait to resolve.  When anything is added to the chase, the player who added it will get the next chance to add again, until they are satisfied and pass.  it requires both players to pass consecutively for anything to resolve from the chase, however, so stacking all of your abilities does not mean the opponent cannot do something between resolutions (This is a change from an older version of the rules where everything resolved once both players passed.)

When resolving anything on the chase, resolve the last thing added to the chase before anything else. This is the Last-In-First-Out rule.

Once a single thing resolves from the chase, The turn player receives priority in case they want to add things to the chase.  This means a single thing that started the chase may wait for several plays and resolutions before it can resolve.

I will be using some terms that are not in the CR 5.2 for this article, that are merely here for conceptual use.  The CR will define actions you can do, but doesn’t have a clear category name for the timing of these actions.  The following categories can be referred to as Connor’s Taxonomy of Actions in Force of Will TCG (CTAFoWTCG for short).

For this purpose, I will be using the following terms:

Turn Player: Player whose turn it is when the actions are being taken (from the CR)
Opposing Player: Any opponent of the Turn Player in the current game.

Chase Actions – These actions can create or be used in a chase,
Solitary Actions – These actions do not create a chase, or prevent anything from being added to the chase until they resolve.

Each of these actions have two subcategories:

Primary Actions – these are things you can do on your own main phase that require an empty chase area.
Response Actions – These can be done as primary actions or in response to other actions, except Solitary Actions, as long as you have priority.

Finally there are a couple of Unique actions that so not interact with priority normally:

Unique Actions:  These actions occur when requirements or triggers are met, and sometimes allow you to interrupt priority.


What actions are in each category?

Chase Primary Actions:

7.1. Play a Resonator or Regalia
7.2. Play Addition (Requires targeting)
7.3. Play [Spell:Chant] (May require targeting)
7.5. Do Judgment

Solitary Primary Actions:

7.4. Initiate Battle
7.6. Put a Card in the Chant-Standby Area
7.11. Call a Magic Stone

Chase Response Actions:

7.7. Play [Spell:Chant-instant] (May require targeting)
7.8. Play [Activate] Ability (Specific restrictions exist on rest abilities. May require targeting).
7.9. Play [Spell:Chant-Standby] (This action is slightly more complicated because of triggers. may require targeting.)
7.10. <<Valhalla>> Perform lifebreak (Not used in the US, unless you have valhalla starters and promos and want to try the mechanic)

Solitary Response Actions:

As of now, playing Flames of Outer World represents the only card that prevents futher interaction.  Cards of this type restrict further play on the chase until they resolve, forcing players to resolve triggers then pass in response.

Unique Actions:
7.12. Pass : This action is done to allow the opponent priority.  If both players perform this action in a row, resolve the last thing added to the chase.
9.6 Revealing a (Spell: Chant-Standby) on its trigger : Revealing the card in your hand or in the chant-standby zone causes it to go on the trigger queue, and then the card is played so long as both players have finished revealing their triggers to the event.  This interrupts normal priority sequence when the Opposing player has a trigger but the active player does not, meaning the triggered card must resolve before the chase is empty allowing the Active Player to execute further primary actions.  More on this in the triggers section below.
9.7 Will-producing abilities: These are done with priority or when a cost must be paid, and do not use the chase at all.

Do NOT confuse these categories of player actions with the section on action resolution (CR5.2 Sec 10).  That section explains how to resolve an effect listed.


Ok, we now have an idea of WHEN we can do certain actions.  The next issue is the priority section, which defines WHO can do the next action.

In a turn, there are a series of sequences and phases. Sequences are when actions may be done by players and there are up to 8 in any given turn, with up to an additional 9 per battle sequence performed.  In each sequence, the Turn Player is given Priority before the sequence begins  This means that they have the right to take actions first.

To start a sequence, you must perform all rules processes(Sec 13), deciding if a player has lost the game, destroying things that need to be destroyed, adjusting the additions that may be in illegal states, and IN <<Valhalla>> adjusting the life break area.

Following this, triggered automatic abilities may be revealed and played.  This process is done by the Turn Player until they have resolved all triggers, and then by the Opposing Player.  If an ability is played begin at perform rules process and then trigger automatic abilities again.  The original triggering situation is usually still occurring at this time, so both players can respond to the original event.

Once all triggers have been resolved, the player with priority can now perform actions.  If the chase is clear at this time, they may perform Primary actions.  Otherwise, they may only perform Response actions.  If an action is added, the sequence begins again at performing a rules process and adding triggers.  If the action was to pass, then the player who had priority has relinquished it for the next sequence.  If both players have passed without any other actions being taken, then resolve the top of the chase and return priority to the turn player.

 

The following will highlight when a sequence is done within a phase:


 

5.1. Draw Phase

  • “At the beginning of turn”, “at the beginning of draw phase” and, if this is the first turn of the game, “at the beginning of game” trigger conditions happen. THIS CAN CAUSE AN ADDITIONAL PRIORITY SEQUENCE.
  • Turn player gains priority and performs a priority sequence.
  • Turn player draws a card from their main deck. However, if this is the first turn of the game, the player doesn’t draw a card.
  • Turn player gains priority and performs a priority sequence.

5.2. Recovery Phase

  • If this is the first turn for the turn player, skip the recovery phase. Ÿ  “At the beginning of recovery phase” trigger conditions happen. THIS CAN CAUSE AN ADDITIONAL PRIORITY SEQUENCE.
  • Turn player gains priority and performs a priority sequence.
  • All produced wills are cease to exist.
  • Turn player recovers all cards in his or her play ground.
  • “At the end of recovery phase” trigger conditions are happened. Ÿ The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.

5.3. Main Phase

  • “At the beginning of main phase” trigger conditions happen. THIS CAN CAUSE AN ADDITIONAL PRIORITY SEQUENCE.
  • The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence. In a main phase, the turn player can perform several specific actions (I called these Primary Actions).

5.4. End Phase

  • “At the beginning of end phase” trigger conditions are happened. THIS CAN CAUSE AN ADDITIONAL PRIORITY SEQUENCE.
  • The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence. Ÿ
  • “At the end of turn” trigger conditions happen. THIS CAN CAUSE AN ADDITIONAL PRIORITY SEQUENCE.
  • The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.
  • As a final step, all the following actions are performed in this order:

▶ All damage on resonators or J-rulers becomes zero.
▶ All continuous effects applied until end of turn end.
▶ All produced wills cease to exist.
▶ If the turn player has a maximum hand size and they have more cards than that in their hand, they choose any cards in their hand and discard down to the maximum hand size.
If there are any rule processes or any abilities triggered, perform a priority sequence and repeat this final step again. Otherwise, finish this final step.

  • The player not currently the turn player becomes the new turn player and starts the new turn.

Every time a Battle is declared, additional sequences are performed.

8.1. Beginning of Battle Step

Ÿ   “At the beginning of battle phase” trigger conditions are happen. Ÿ The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.

         8.2.      Declare Attack Step

  • “At the beginning of declare attack step” trigger conditions are happened.
  • The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.
  • Turn player chooses to attack or forfeit the attack. If they forfeit, the battle ends and they proceed directly to the end of battle step. If they choose to attack, they choose one of each of the following:

▶ A recovered J/resonator with ATK and DEF they have continuously controlled from the beginning of this turn. If they control any J/resonator required to attack, you need to choose one of them.

▶ For an attacked object, an opponent player, a rested J/resonator with ATK and DEF in the opponent’s field or a card legal for attacked object due to any effects.

  • To attack, the player must choose them legally. If they cannot choose any of them, he cannot attack and must forfeit.
  • Rest the attacking J/resonator. If they must perform any action to attack, do it at this point. If he cannot, they may not do that attack, and rewind the game situation back to choosing to attack or forfeit. From this point, the chosen J/resonator is considered the attacking J/resonator and it battles.
  • If the non-turn player played no spells or abilities in this battle and the turn player chose to forfeit, the turn player may not initiate battle again this turn. Ÿ The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.

         8.3.      Declare Block Step

  • “At the beginning of declare block step” trigger conditions are happen.
  • The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.
  • The non-turn player chooses to block or forfeit to block. To block, the player chooses recovered J/resonator he or she control that can block the attacking card.
  • To block, rest a J/resonator with ATK and DEF non-turn player controls other than attacked object. If they must perform any action to block, do it at this point. If they cannot, they may not block and rewind the game situation back to choosing to block or forfeit. From this point, as long as that J/resonator is in a field, it is considered the blocking J/resonator, and the attacking J/resonator is the blocked J/resonator.
  • As long as there’s a blocking J/resonator, the attacking and blocking J/resonators battle each other. If there is no blocking J/resonator, the J/resonator chosen as the attacked object and the attacking J/resonator battle with each other. Ÿ The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.

         8.4.      First Strike Battle Resolution Step

  • If there are no attacking J/resonator at this point, go directly to the end of battle step.
  • If the attacking J/resonator has [First Strike], it deals damage equal to its ATK. This damage is battle damage.

▶ If there’s a blocking J/resonator, the damage is dealt to it.
▶ If there is no blocking J/resonator, the damage is dealt to the object chosen in the declare attack step.

  • The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.

         8.5.      Normal Battle Resolution Step

  • If there are no attacking J/resonator at this point, go directly to the end of battle step.
  • If the attacking J/resonator didn’t deal any damage by rules in the first strike battle resolution step, it deals damage equal to its ATK. This damage is battle damage.

▶ If there’s a blocking J/resonator, the damage is dealt to it.

▶ If there is no blocking J/resonator, the damage is dealt to the object chosen in the declare attack step.

  • If there’s a blocking J/resonator, or if there is no blocking J/resonator and the attacked object is a J/resonator, it deals damage equal to its ATK to the attacking J/resonator.
  • The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.

         8.6.      End of Battle Step

  • “At the end of battle phase” trigger conditions happen.
  • The turn player gains priority and performs priority sequence.
  • As a final step, all the following actions are performed:

▶ All the continuous effects applied during this battle or until the end of the battle, end.
If there are any rule processes or any abilities triggered, perform a priority sequence and repeat this final step again. Otherwise, finish this final step.
Attacking and blocking J/resonators stop attacking or blocking and battle ends.

 

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