Hi and thanks for readng this article covering one of the new themes for Force of will releasing in SKL: 4 Sacred Beasts.
The ruler for the wind faction of the lands has a specific connection to the land, and by lore the center of the seven kingdoms is the giant tree Yggdrasil. There are Beasts, Magical beasts, and 4 Sacred Beasts in this most recent world of Alice’s. Let’s Look at the Ruler and examine her interactions first:
So what makes Priscia so good? Her deck can run ANY SUPPORT ATTRIBUTE SPELLS you want. You need a wind source to do Judgment and activate the beneficial effect of the ruler side, but all of the sacred beasts can be paid with will of any attribute, similar to how Grimm, The Fairy Tale Prince could pay for Fairy Tales. (Reminder: Moon will is not an attribute, and therefore is not valid.)
The Sacred Beasts themselves are what truly improve her god’s art, which gains more effect if you collect them all! Because they all enter at one time, each sees the rest when their enter ability goes on the chase. With a little bit of extra will source, Priscia can drop all 4 at once for an epic 800 lifegain, 800 damage to a resonator, bounce a 4 or less cost resonator, and a card draw, even if you had nothing else on your field. A 1000/1000 flying swiftness Target Attack J-Ruler is good before you add the possibility of a Ragnarok on top.
But what if you use the god’s art but don’t need all of that effect, or you use it to avoid losing to a cancel war late game when all stones are in play? Trigger Xuan Wu’s return to hand effect targeting Bai Hu or Zhu Que to get to recast them for another effect! Priority chasing will be important to take the most advantage of this interaction.
Typical cost for effect in FoW follows a basic curve of 300/300 for 1, 500/500 for 2, 700/700 for 3, and 1000/1000 for 4. By this basic meterstick, the beasts themselves do not seem overly impressive. Their lower stats are paying for powerful abilities, however. The abilities that trigger upon entry and the fact that Qin Long can give a recognizably useful boost to their attack push them over the edge, showing they are meant to work together in a deck.
…But that’s only 16 cards, right? Not enough of a theme to build off of, even if you use re-animator tricks to keep triggering their abilities.
Let’s consider other potential sub-themes. Six Sages take advantage of the same tricks as these Sacred Beasts – the more entry, the better. So maybe a Book of Genesis and a Book of Eibon and a Genesis Creation engine can back up the resonators? Add some cancels and a field addition for maximum effect?
While that is an idea that could be developed, why not examine the options for the less sacred Beasts?
A support card that helps both sacred beasts and beasts out, and provides an opportunity to draw in response to having something destroyed? Is it worth running with beasts?
Given their curve is higher than normal in most cases, sneaking the ancient forest onto the field gives you a great plus for every beast you land, and answers the problem with the sacred beasts being under curve on basic stats. Keen Sense is a great cancel for this deck, because it also answers the threat of stealth resonators and standby cards that could ruin the game plan (Signs to the Future being a concern because creature heavy decks want to build armies and swing).
Rapid Growth may be the key to trading wisely because when its in your hand it can be a sneak combat trick for 1 wind or used twice in a row for two wind, clearing bigger threats with lesser beasts. Guardian of the Forest on board with this spell and three wind will can attack into Mephistopheles and win between its own ability and the potential 1k/1k pump.
Elite Commander seems like a good way to get the extra will needed for a good cancel or to push a threat on board while keeping stones recovered for threatening will. It can also provide a little more control with the draw in exchange for potentially giving away a trick.
But not we’re saying we need wind stones as a source, luckily not an issue because Pricia’s God’s Art requires a wind base to work, and her ruler side lets you set your sacred beast plays up.
We get a decent choice for one drops between a 400/400 that beast basic curve slightly with no drawback (and can benefit from Star Money if you like that card), and the Ratatoskr that protects your beasts from spell:chants that target to destroy. The rat also gives Quickcast to Qing Long and the rest of your normal beasts, potentially also to one of my favorite wind resonators, Glinda.
Even Afanc beats the curve slightly, living outside of Thunder range and bringing a slight boost to another resonator as it enters, potentially letting the rat swing for 400 on turn 2 in addition to all other benefits.
Sprinting Wolf requires more wind stone base than the other beasts who are more splash-able, however it seems worth it with the Target Attack ability and the easy pumps you can get from the field addition and Afanc. Guardian is on curve but jumps past for a will that makes your opponent have to make awkward choices in trades.
Behemoth is perhaps the best reason to play beasts. It’s a game finisher that will be an immediate threat and also benefit from the rat’s protection, the field addition, or Pricia’s ruler ability.
Of course, if your opponent cannot answer your superior numbers anyway, Sprint of the Beast Lady gives all of the beasts such a jump that you may never do Judgment anyway.
So how does beast-centric Pricia look?
Let’s look at a basic shell for this deck, not including the fact you will likely want to alter slightly for your Regalia choices:
3X Gusting Skies
3X Deep Wood
3X Hearths Core
1X Little Red, the Pure Stone
4X Ratatoskr, the Spirit Beast of Yggdrassil
4x Herald of the Beast Lady
3x Bai Hu, the Sacred Beast
3x Zhu Que, the Sacred Beast
3x Zuan Wu, the Sacred Beast
3x Qin Long, the Sacred Beast
3x Sprinting Wolf
2x Guardian of the Forest
2x Elite Commander
2x Behemoth, The Earth Eater
4X Keen Sense
2X Sissei, The Ancient Forest
3X Rapid Growth
2x Sprint of the Beast Lady
Hope this view of the beasts gives you ideas and thoughts for the future. Feel free to throw out this brainstorming as bad advice if you are too pro to play something fun at locals!