Reflect/Refrain, also known as “the twins”, is a new ruler from the set The Twilight Wanderer that has taken Force of Will by storm! In last weekend’s ARG Nationals event, 15 of the top 16 players used this card as their ruler. I am no unique snowflake, as I too chose this as the ruler for my blue/green/black control deck.
The nice thing about Reflect/Refrain is that it enhances almost every deck type, from control to aggro, to burn and midrange. Since the judgement cost is 0, a player is not forced into playing wind stones in their deck. While many players may say the current meta is stagnant from Reflect/Refrain saturation, a quick look behind the curtain will reveal that there is more than one deck-type using this ruler.
For nationals, I chose to pilot a control version that begins with discard as the early game tactic, followed by board control mid game. An unexpected Pumpkin Witch and Servant of Reflect combo finishes off my opponent as a great win condition. Let’s take a look at the list:
This deck is definitely not like the ones we saw in the top 4 of ARG Nationals, but Void and Moon member and L1 judge Ken Robert did take this same list to the win-and-in round of swiss, fighting for his spot in day 2. He ended up just shy of top 16, in 19th place, so this list is definitely one you should try at your next event!
My favorite part of the main board is this deck’s discard package. The combination of The Scorn of Dark Alice and Spiral of Despair is good against rush or control match ups. On the play, you should try to mulligan aggressively to get both of these cards in your opening hand. You can also use Reflect to filter an extra card if need be on turn one. The Scorn of Dark Alice works great against rush decks, and can handle an early game Lancelot, the Knight of Mad Demon before it hits the field. Spiral of Despair will set you ahead in a control mirror-match up, even if they are also using Reflect/Refrain as their ruler.
One of my personal favorites is Dark Faria, Shadow Princess of Ebony. If your opponent has Refrain, Child of Convergence in play, it can be difficult to answer those big nasty resonators like Gwiber, the White Dragon or Susanowo, the Ten-Fist Sword. Dark Faria gets around Refrain’s counter-spell ability, does not have any restrictions on targets (like Carmilla, the Queen of Vampires), and leaves you with a body on board that has the potential to gain life back. Against mono red rush decks, I quickly realized that a resolved Dark Faria has to be answered, or the game will quickly swing in my favor.
There are many cards that are similar among Reflect/Refrain decks, such as Hera, Goddess of Jealousy and Change the World, Orb of Illusion. Let’s spend some time talking about the game finishing combo that sets this deck apart.
Servant of Reflect is a 1-will costing common from The Twilight Wanderer that a lot of my opponent’s overlooked. Everyone I played against picked up the card to read it’s not-so-common abilities, so I knew they were in for a treat! Combined with four copies of Change the World, Orb of Illusion, my J/ruler builds up a lot of counters in a short amount of time. It doesn’t take long before Servant becomes immune to Flame of Outer World, which is its only threat. Any other removal spell can be responded to, and Servant goes right back to my hand.
I spend the majority of the game controlling my opponent’s hand and board state, until I have enough counters on my J/ruler for a one-turn kill. With my Refrain, Child of Convergence side up, I safely cast Pumpkin Witch to give all my resonators flying and swiftness until the end of the turn. This is a blanket affect that lasts for the entire turn, even if Pumpkin Witch leaves play, or I cast other resonators after her. This means I can attack with Servant, remove a counter to return him to my hand, replay, and attack again. This can happen as many times as needed so long as enough stones and/or Fiethsings are available. Make sure to do your math ahead of time, and protect your combo from counter spells with the J-ruler! Only one Pumpkin Witch is played because it can be searched for with Refrain.
The side board is very cut and dry for the most part. Blazer Gill Rabus comes in only against Valentina, Plotting Lord of the Seas, along with two Glimpse of Kaguya to cancel any God’s Art abilities. Additional copies of Dream of Juliet are included to combat the combo with Realm of Pure Spirits and Yamata-no-Orochi, the Eight Disasters. Alice’s Pursuit helps banish any large and fast threats that can sneak by Flame of Outer World, such as Gwiber, the White Dragon. Unseen Pressure and Deathscythe, the Life Reaper can be supplemented where necessary. Finally, Barrier of Shadows is brought in to combat both Valentina and opposing Reflect/Refrain decks. The extra cost makes casting all those God’s Art abilities difficult for Valentina. In the Reflect mirror, even one Barrier of Shadows will quickly set you apart from your opponent as you race ahead.
I hope you enjoyed this installment of Deck Tech! Please leave comments in the section below. What would you change about this deck? What is your favorite idea in it? We’ll see you next time on Void and Moon!