Caster Chronicles: The End of Tengu Lock
Hello everyone. Today Force of Will has announced they are banning “Play Nice” from play as of February 1st.
《Reason for suspension》
・This card has the potential to be endlessly cycled to make it impossible for a player to lose.
・Direct counters to this card are few and their necessity would hurt deck diversity.
It is for the above reasons that this card stands out among others in the game’s pool, and it is why it has been suspended.
To explain why this ban has taken place, I figured I would explain my version of Tengu Lock, the deck that abused “Play Nice” to this extent.
To start, let’s explain how each caster benefits itself to the deck.
- Rafina Soa: Allows you to stand any other caster and use its ability a second time or lets you use it again for Aether.
- Luna Esperansa: Lets you draw cards to replace any discarded by an opponent trying to reduce your hand resources (the deck is almost entirely focused on keeping key cards in hand), combined with Rafina you can actually get a net positive increase in cards by using it again.
- Eli Superior, Glory Butterfly, Princess Papillon, Loura Harie, Louise Bayli, Miu: These are each ran as a single copy because purple is the color you need to see the most consistently, the actual caster ability is not relevant as long as they have unique names.
- Mona Styla, Tricker Heather: These are additional sources of Orange, although in certain matchups Mona can prevent servants from being recycled from the grave.
- Sunny: Sunny is another source of Orange and allow you to draw cards off of paper eating virus.
- Ran Berfield: Easily the most powerful Caster, Ran allows you to return Servants to hand as a cost, allowing you to save any Servant from death without counter play. This works well with Tengu as you can pick up a Conjure and then return it to hand where it is safe from removal.
- Clara Shurei, Almeria: These casters are purely there to allow you to cast “Play Nice” with consistent access to pink.
- Cestria: Very useful in its ability to tap down opposing casters, but it can be played around by a skilled player.
Now that we have gone over the Caster line up, let’s explore the deck’s main combo.
Simply put, the deck’s goal is to draw the game out to the point where you have 9 casters in play. It does this through a variety of break effects and discard cards. After you reach 9 casters you can cast Tengu, pick up “Play Nice” from grave, and use Ran to return Tengu after it attacks. Then on your opponent’s turn you can cast “Play Nice” to keep your orbs safe from attack. As your amount of caster continues to grow you can play Lucifell to take powerful swings at your opponent that they can not respond to without removal cards like Total Eclipse (and Ran can save Lucifell if she is not tapped).
This deck is very non-interactive once you hit the end game as the opponent has no way to remove your cards or damage you which means that after enough time you will win the game regardless of what they do.
Overall, “Play Nice” is a card that is too good at what it does in a format where it can be used over and over again. Although I feel that Ran is actually the real issue as she prevents any meaningful interaction with servants, I understand that there is still a lot of room for the game to grow as we are only a single set in with set 2 just weeks around the corner. Only time will tell if removing “Play Nice” from the format will prevent un-interactive decks from becoming a powerful presence in the metagame.
Dylan also manages the day to day administration of the webstore and server.
He enjoys playing Yugioh, Force of Will and Weiss Schwarz.
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