Alrighty, next on the block we've got both the Falkow and Refess Sphere decks. Why do I combine them? Mainly because more often than seeing them as the mono color files that we've seen with Lawtia and Gowen these two spheres make more appearances as splashed colors. That's not saying that they cannot be played mono, (all of you Refess nay sayers pipe down!) however the most frequent decks I've seen containing these colors have splashed them. So enough explanation, let's get down to the nitty gritty and see what these things can do!
First off, let's look at Falkow. With only 6 out of 20 of their units having less than 3 AGI this puts them right on par with Lawtia's speed, and that's disregarding the oh so fun little Sylph and her vindictive sister Undine. Quite possibly one of the most fun tricks I've seen with this decks is the Witch + Sylph combo. Bring out the Witch turn one, then it's pretty much a banishing game from there. If you feel the need you can crank up her AGI with Sylph, but the general gist is to disrupt their gameplan early, all the while setting up your own board and at the cheap cost of but 1 SP a turn this is an incredibly viable strategy. Another great opening play is to bring your Falkow level to 2 first turn and open up with Witch Queen, Toolbox...I mean Catherina. Not only does she have an opening ability that increases your Falkow level by 1, but she's an amazing stat booster for whatever the situation calls for! Falkow is a little unbalanced as far as the early game's concerned, they have quite a few stat boosters but not much meat to 'em. If you can survive past the fast strikes they dish out, they have a tendency to sorta roll over. However, they really shine in the late game with cards like Sea Hunter and the powerhouse that is Deep Squid who on their own are a force to be reckoned with, however if you've maintained your support crew from the start they become absolute monsters. Two phenominal cards I want to point out before I finish looking at Falkow are the Eagle Soldier and the Magic Scythe Soldier. Both are aggressively costed at 3, both have decent starting attack values, and both have the ability to allow you to choose who they do damage to. How many times have you furrowed your brow in anger as your Shade tossed his attack away at a heavily defended Moonlight Warrior when the already wounded Magic Doll was just a square away? Well furrow no more! Quite possibly even more powerful than the ability to do pinpoint damage with grimoire cards and soul skills is the ability to do pinpoint damage with units due to the simple fact that units'll stick around and the other two are one time effects.
Speaking of Grimoire effects let's take a look at the most prevalent one I've seen: Return. At 3 SP cost it's a bit high (unless of course you've got Witch Queen, Catherina in play), however it's totally worth it. This game is all about who can keep control of the field longest, and the usefulness to simply bypass all stats on a critter and just banish it from play cannot be denied. Plus, as opposed to the reusable Witch, Return is cast before character abilities come into play so wave bye bye to that pesky little Eskatia. I've seen quite a few Falkow players start a turn that way, then decimate a board of unsuspecting lycanthropes due to the sun being up.
And now onto what will no doubt be the most controversial of my writings as this is the section of my breakdown where I don't bash Refess. I will say that they don't get off on the same foot as the other spheres, they lack speed in most units, and not a one of them comes into play with an attack value over 35 but I'll be dead and buried before I count out a Refess player. What these cards have in spades (ha! card pun) is support. Two of the major themes of Refess are the ability to heal your units and the ability to increase defense. Now while these two abilities are fantastic and incredibly useful, neither one of them has a way to really seal the deal. Despite the fact that acquiring a draw is not a loss, I still won't advocate the build of decks that stretch the game out to irritating lengths just to force a draw. Mainly because it eliminates the fun of the game for both players, is slightly based off of luck in that you have to wait for the other person to leave the game, and from what I've heard is quite possibly one of the most difficult decks to pilot. I'm not saying you shouldn't pilot this card file, if you consider it fun then by all means play it (this is a game after all), however you won't be receiving any help from me in its construction.
What I do want to examine in Refess are a few choice cards that I've seen really showcase the sphere as a whole, and that make for amazing splashes in the right kind of decks. First off, we'll start simple with the grimoire card called Cure. Simple, to the point, absolutely beautiful. At the low cost of just 2 SP you can completely heal the HP of a unit. Granted you've gotta know what you're doing to play this, but it can really save a star player in the endgame. Trust me, if you've got your last Brave Soldier out there and you're all out of Panther Souls healing up the little guy is just the shot in the arm that the opponent won't see coming and save your bacon. The Folrart Shield Knight is also a very nice defensive two drop turn 1, sure he can't attack, but damned if he ain't a nice wall. An interesting card that isn't exactly splashable, but is just a wonderful Refess unit would be the Dragonrider, Wasseir. While I won't advocate the stalling of a game to a draw, what is a fantastic counter to weenie decks is stopping them dead in their tracks in the early game with the FSK, then cranking up your SP via a few Kesaran Pasaran to an early Dragonrider. Continue ramping up that SP so you can use his ability and it's possible to give a nice one sided boardwipe (though not particularly easy).
So there we have it, the most frequent decks I've seen being played and a few tips on how to counteract the heavy hitters. After reviewing these last two spheres I can't help but notice how they work well with each other and I'd really love to see the growth of a nice Falkow/Refess card file floating about. By no means do I discredit the value of playing these two mono-sphere, however I really think the cards themselves shine when splashed with the two other more prominent spheres. I look forward to adding more to this thread as more decks become prevalent in the metagame, and look for my review of the angel cards on August 7th as I dig into my wallet (and my brainpan) to theorize how these packs'll influence the meta. Thanks for all your comments and I hope I've helped!