Amber Ruby Challenge Deck Guide

Learn how to play the Amber/Ruby Challenge deck for Disney Lorcana.

Ursula's Return naturally saw a lot of the decks from the previous metagame make the first splash, as those were much closer to a refined build heading into the new set. Ruby Amethyst, Emerald Discard, Ruby Sapphire or Amber Steel, all those decks are part of the new metagame.

What about some new, or returning color combinations, however? They aren't doing so bad and this is exactly what we will look at in this guide with Amber Ruby Challenge, a midrange, challenge-oriented deck.

At its core, the build is trying to dominate the board with the Ruby characters and songs, while constantly finding cards through the various draw cards Amber offers. The deck is still in its infancy, and various lists have popped up online, with significant differences from one another. In this guide, I will focus on the song heavy list, which plays less top-end characters, but has more sustain when it comes to drawing cards.

I've said the archetype is still being refined as we speak, yet the feeling piloting it is great already. Let me tell you why.

Decklist & Card Breakdown

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Key Synergies

  • 001-018 and 004-013 serve as double supports, drawing us cards while keeping our characters alive. 004-116 and 002-116 damage themselves to create targets, but we have several high Willpower cards which will we can heal after a challenge as well. Also, we can use 002-130 to hurt our own cards against an opponent who would be avoiding challenges.
  • 003-132 is used to challenge Evasive characters, but can also be used to protect 004-107 from being challenged. The same can be done with 001-002 if we need her to sing multiple times. Lastly, you can buff 004-114 to bolster her ability.

  • 002-130 (and 004-130) allow us to deal with the very popular 004-070, yet, the song also just makes sense in a deck filled with three or four Willpower characters

What to Ink?

This deck has a great amount of inkable cards, with 52 out of the 60 cards in the deck, so we should have always something to throw into our inkwell. Ideally, we want to get to at least five ink, which is what we need to play 001-114 or shift 004-114. We might need seven to pay for 001-128, but we aim to sing this one most of the time.

When it comes to knowing what to ink, outside of holding multiples copies of cards with the same role, it is very situational. For example, 001-116 can be inked whenever we have something else to play early. Also, we have a lot of 3-cost cards in the deck, so these typically represent good ink targets, as they have the least chance of hurting our curve. Meanwhile, Emerald decks will target our songs most of the time, so it might be a good idea to ink those against that particular color.

Early in the match, we are looking to dominate the board, which makes 002-113 or 003-028 difficult to leverage and decent ink targets. 001-002 can be inked when behind if you know your opponent can remove it before you get to sing with it, but drawing a song is never bad with the on-play ability.

Later on, the opposite applies, especially if you have the board under control. Then, you want to keep characters able to lore for two to start progressing towards the win. 002-130 and 004-130, being control tools, might not be needed any more past turn four or five, especially if you've built your lead.

Alternate Cards to Consider

Mulan - Enemy of Entanglement

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I found 004-114 wasn't a mandatory win condition, but a nice bonus when you manage to keep a Mulan on the board by turn five. You can ink it, so many lists are running it, but with a song-heavy list, we can't afford as many Mulans in the deck.

If you wanted to emphasize on this mechanic, you can include the Ruby 2-cost, and even try running 002-016 for some potential song high rolls. I would replace 001-006 then.

Sleepy's Flute

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Control decks can always use a little help when it comes to gaining lore for cheap, which this card does in a deck with 16 songs. Right now, just dismantling our opponent's board is enough to win in many match-ups, particularly against Emerald decks. If you were to face other control decks a lot, this is a great card to consider.

Beast - Wounded

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A staple for many players, but I found 004-124 to be great, even if it doesn't synergize with 001-018.

However, due to the amount of cards being run in the meta to deal with 004-070, I found 004-103 coming in at two Willpower got removed immediately too often for my taste. 004-124 on the other hand, is big for its cost, and entices the opponent to empty their hand, never a bad outcome.

Gaston - Despicable Dealer

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A good way to cheat ink in the mid-game to gain some momentum, the card's four points of Willpower also make it quite resilient, frequently able to be used twice.

In the featured list, we tend to focus on answering the opponent's development rather than speeding our own, and looking to run them out of cards as they can never get set. This slot, then, is occupied by 001-006 for sustain, rather than the tempo Gaston would bring to the table. 004-131 is another card you could consider in that role, or 002-005 as well.

Scar - Vicious Cheater

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There are plenty of removal tools in the deck, but 001-002 wants us to play lots of song. However, you could consider another direction for the deck, and cut some copies of 004-129 to include characters able to gain some lore when the board would already be under control.

002-110 and 003-112 can also be considered in that role. I would prefer the one able to lore for two personally.

Lumiere - Fiery Friend

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A good addition against other challenge based decks, or to play around 004-125 or 004-095 if you expect these to be popular.

How to Play

When playing Amber Ruby, you need to have "resiliency" in mind for most of your decisions, as this deck focuses on grinding out the opponent.

We want our characters to be resilient, so we can build around those over multiple turns, through heals or just leveraging their base high Willpower. We have plenty of draws through 001-018, 004-013 or 004-028 to make sure we don't run out of gas. Lastly, we also want consistent lore gains, with 002-113 protected by her Evasive ability, or 004-107 bringing lore while challenging opponents.

Ideally, we want the three components to follow each other during the course of the match. First, go for maximum tempo onto the board, seize initiative and leverage your chunky cards to dominate challenges. Once installed, you can sing songs to deal with bigger characters, or refill your hand with 004-028. Finally, start getting your lore engines in play once you have a good grasp on the board. You want to send them on quests routinely, as we don't have a big combo to gain lore in one turn. Apart from 002-113, we can play our other characters on curve, as they contribute to board control, even if they can quest for two lore, such as 004-124 or 001-018.

This deck isn't playing a ton of late game, so keep in mind you aren't trying to out-value your opponent, run them out of cards, and only then start gaining lore. This is a midrange build aimed at transitioning smoothly from board control to lore gain, as the cards we need to do it are either cheap, or in play already.
Then, see each phase as a potential set up for the next one, same as each character a potential challenger, lore gain, or singer for 004-028.

Don't go into the match with a definitive long term game plan. Aim to grab the lead early, and earn the right to be flexible in your decisions. Only then you will be able to decide what is the best course of action to make sure the game can't escape your grasp.


Amber Ruby is definitely looking to play on curve for the first few turns, so we are looking for cheap, yet impactful cards early on. Plus, we have a lot of inkable cards, so don't feel forced to keep a card just because you can ink it.

004-116 or 002-116 plus 004-013 or 001-018 are ideal to start, giving us a clear direction.

002-130 and 004-130 are important cards against Emerald decks to remove 004-070 or 003-091. You could also consider them against Amber decks for influential singers, or to stop certain shifts, such as 003-190 in Steel.

Weaknesses to Be Aware Of

Even with 001-128 in the deck, Amber Ruby isn't trying to play from behind. Indeed, if we are fine assuming a reactive role against proactive builds we know we can run out of cards, we can't match the lore gains of most control builds.

This rule is particularly important against decks able to gain a lot of lore at once, such as Ruby Sapphire. Not only do we have little disruption outside of 003-028, we can't race them back if they start gaining big chunks of lore.

So, we need to have in mind the need to start gaining lore incrementally. When you have an opportunity to do so, get 002-113 in play, or try to challenge with your one lore cards instead of those able to quest for two. 001-018 is also excellent in that regard, as the card holds little value once in play, so getting two lore while forcing the opponent to exert cards to challenge it is good enough. Even if this means we aren't as dominant as we could be on the board, we have 001-114 to rush, or songs we can sing with the characters we played to gain lore in the first place.

These are tiny details, but unless your opponent is playing a tempo oriented deck, unable to function once you took the board away from them, don't offer them a backdoor opportunity due to still being low on lore.

Closing Words

I would recommend this deck to anyone fancying a tempo, board focused gameplay, as Amber Ruby might turn out as one of the greats of that category.

So far, although item-heavy decks can be a pain to deal with, as this is the one hole in our control package we can't really solve, the deck looks solid against the early metagame of Ursula's Return.

I hope this guide was helpful in picking up this returning archetype in set 4. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out through my Twitter page.


Den has been in love with strategy games for as long as he can remember, starting with the Heroes of Might and Magic series as a kid. Card games came around the middle school - Yu-Gi-Oh! and then Magic: The Gathering.

Hearthstone and Legends of Runeterra has been his real breakthrough and he has been a coach, writer, and caster on the French scene for many years now. He now coaches aspiring pro players and writes various articles on these games.

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