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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!


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Force of Will
- Alliances

Reviewed February 22, 2016

Constructed: 4.50
Casual: 2.00
Limited: 3.75
Multiplayer: 3.00
Commander [EDH]: 3.55

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale:
1 - Horrible  3 - Average.  5 - Awesome

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Card of the Day Reviews 


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Force of Will
 
It's very hard for me to pick one era of Magic to call my favorite. Every era has had things I loved, things I liked less, and things I didn't appreciate until years later. Eternal Masters is coming soon, and perhaps you will find yourself saying the same thing when it comes out. Even repackaged and facelifted and given modern card frames, Magic's history is rich and still holds as much wonder and mystery as it did when Alliances was the current set.
 
Back then, I knew somebody who was fortunate enough to open Force of Will in a booster. I know I find myself saying this a lot when we discuss old cards, but we didn't really know what it was for. Oh, we certainly knew what counterspells were for, but it didn't feel imperative to be able to do that effect when you were tapped low; it didn't feel that imperative on any of Alliance's pitch cards, come to think of it. This was before we knew what tempo meant, and even before Cadaverous Bloom opened people's eyes to the concept of a combo whose pieces must be disrupted at all costs. 
 
As the number of cards increased, the number of such combos increased; and thus Force of Will has held up especially well over time, even if it's slightly less ubiquitous in eternal settings than it used to be. It can be rough for control decks to have to exile another card, and although most such decks hope to make up for it by using cards like Thirst for Knowledge and Ancestral Vision, it's easy to cost yourself a game by exiling something you could have used on the next turn. As a subtle skill tester and an important part of Magic's history, I'm glad to see it getting a new version in Eternal Masters.
 
Constructed: 4/5
Casual: 2/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 2/5
EDH/Commander: 3/5

BMoor

Force of Will

Historically, this has been almost universally recognized as the most abusively powerful counterspell-- even more so that the original Counterspell, despite that one not even getting reprinted anymore. Why? Very simply, this can be used to counter a spell even when you have no mana remaining. The hardest thing about playing countermagic is finding the right opportunities, knowing what cards are worth spending a counter on, and when it's safe to tap out in order to play your own win conditions. FoW takes all the guesswork out of that, because it's always safe to tap out with one of these in hand. Add to that the fact that you can counter your opponent's turn one spell, before you've even played your first land and you have a major force to be reckoned with in the Turn One Nuke metagame of Vintage and Legacy. In less cutthroat formats, the fact that FoW doesn't even require you to have access to blue mana means that you could in theory splash it into a nonblue deck along with appropriate hybrid cards-- although any format that could support such an offkey strategy is almost surely popluated by players who don't want to spend the money for Force of Wills (Forces of Will?) and operate under a gentleman's agreement not to.

Constructed- 5
Casual- 2
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 4
Commander- 4


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