I had a long discussion with angelspawn recently about falkow in chat. One of the intresting arguments he made was (hope my citation is more or less correct) "falkow has a too strong early game".
I need some time for this and i would say today that this is true. Falkow Need a strong early game because falkow CANT COME BACK. Because there are no standalone units in this sphere on rush level (lvl4 under) once falkow lost the sp game against the opponent he lost(there are a few exeptions though like dio, but hey i think its quiet clear what ppl think about diondora).
I know this from my games: gosh I can usually determine even the turn when I lost and it doesnt matter that the game last 5-10 turns longer, I loose that turn and I could push the give up button in that very moment. Falkow is the sphere that can loose the most early out of all spheres.
This situation of not being able to come back, creates the pressure for falkow to try to finish things fast and have a strong early game. which automatically leads to owl. Many deck types can't work without owl and can't work without return.
Considering the the so called "dominance of falkow over refess".
I would say that during the last releases it become clear for me that this dominance is mainly of psychological nature.
a, There are still too many refess players who do not loose to falkow because of the return/owl, but because they make very clear mistakes either during game or during deck design (things we made tons of threads about in the past, but hey what does it matter if noone acutally read them??). people actually absolutly miss the potential of simple things like a skip or a rest or not attacking. Though admited a partial reason for it is buncles which is played like lawtia'/gowen by many ppl for obvious reasons.
b, many refess players still don't get that IF YOU FIGHT AGAINST A DIFFERENT SPHERE YOUR GOALS ARE DIFFERENT.
c, I can clearly identify anti falkow units released in refess in the last few sets. I also recognize more and more gowen like units there (though there are some in falkow too now) or even units with the attack of gowen and the tankiness of refess.
I play falkow decks. I use return in many of my decks. And yes against a well designed and played refess file I can and I will loose repeatedly, and not because I made a mistake. But there are also players who simply dont want to change or accept the weakness agianst another decktype for the benefit of beating falkow, and just come nagging instead about imbalances which do not exist.
I think if we touch return then it should be in relation of multisphere. outside of falkow these cards are clearly too much but within this card is needed just like owl. The issue is that there is barely any other card for which ppl would multisphere into falkow, which is very representative for the sphere and that such a step would render falkow multispehre generators useless and destroy 2 filetypes.