In the first set of the new year, The Strangers of New Valhalla, our beloved Alice finally returns to her friends and arrives with Schrödinger and Dark Alice. However, something is different. Did the defeat of Dark Alice by Gill Lapis perhaps change her in some way? Furthermore, everyone is happy about Alice’s return except for Atom Seikhart. What does this mean? Is something bad about to happen?
The Strangers of New Valhalla provides support for the main Rulers that will be accompanying us throughout the meta of the New Valhalla cluster. Previously introduced races, such as Machines and Angels, are also being pushed even more to reach the next level of gameplay. For example, the new Precision-Guided Munition, Sky Beat can empower Machines with [Flying], a very powerful effect making Machine decks even faster and more aggressive.
As what usually happens when new Force of Will expansions are released, power levels become stronger, and we can best see this in the card, Athenia, Sealed God of the Ruins. Compared to the other 5-drops in previous sets, Athenia has three different powerful effects that help retain board control as well as contain aggressive decks. She can (1) banish a Resonator, (2) banish a non-J-Ruler, and (3) subtract at least 200 ATK / 200 DEF from your opponent's Resonators.
New Master Runes are also introduced in this set – one for each Ruler. As previously announced by the company, we will not be receiving new Rulers in the next foreseeable future expansions, but we will be getting one Master Rune for each Ruler in every set: Watch out for Table Flip, The Three Kingdoms Partition Plan, Soul Prison, and Skynet. The introduction of new Master Runes will change the strategies adopted by some colors, so be ready to refresh your game plan. Unfortunately, players are restricted to only one Master Rune per deck, so you will have to smartly decide which one will you want to play.
The biggest news about this expansion is the release of the new Additions called Ancient Ruins. Rules about these Additions have not yet been fully disclosed, but we can already see some of them. These cards are entering the metagame as their power level and game plan fit perfectly in already existing meta decks. For example, Ruins Beneath the Sands can burn your opponent for 200 or 400 life points, depending on how many Runes have already been played. Burning your opponent is the current strategy of red decks in the format, so expect this card to see play.
The guidelines followed in this expansion are the same as in New Dawn Rises. There may not be new Rulers, but players still get 100 different cards divided into 10 Super Rares, 20 Rares, 30 Uncommons, and 40 Commons. An unknown number of Secret Rares is also contained in the set. Each booster pack contains 10 cards (with one foil) and each booster box contains 36 packs, including a bonus box containing Sealed format Rulers, basic Magic Stones, and a promo card. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of The Strangers of New Valhalla is 4,00 € available beginning 18 January 2019.