Madam Mim - Fox

Amethyst/Ruby Bounce Control Deck Guide

Learn how to play the Amethyst/Ruby Bounce Control deck for Disney Lorcana.

Whether you look at what is played on Pixelborn's high MMR ranks, or the most represented deck in tournaments top 8 or 16, you should see plenty of the Amethyst/Ruby control archetype. Indeed, since 003-067 came into the game, the location has made the deck an absolute powerhouse.

As time passed, some players have started not running the card anymore, as it is the target of many in the metagame. 003-198 in particular, gained a lot of momentum, limiting how effective a deck relying on important locations can perform. Yet, whether you decide to run 003-067 or use other tools as a lore or draw engine, the Bounce Control deck has proved it is a force to be reckoned with in Into the Inklands.

In this guide, I'll do my best to illuminate the deck's various builds and play patterns, so you can unleash the power of the Amethyst/Ruby combination as well.

Decklist & Card Breakdown

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Key Synergies

002-049 and 002-046 gave the deck its "Bounce" name, allowing to trigger the abilities of 002-052, 002-051 or 002-050 multiple times for value. In this particular build, you could also replay 001-P1-032 as an additional control mechanic. Plus, while our expensive cards often don't have time to be replayed, the bounce ability can also serve as a heal, if you are willing to pay five to replay 001-114 once bounced back in hand.

With the value aspect covered mostly thanks to our Amethyst cards, let's discuss the control tools, mostly represented by our Ruby inclusions. 003-112, 001-114 and 001-P1-005 should all go two-for-one, able to take down a character the turn they are played, and requiring a card from our opponent to be answered then.

We also have 001-128 to clear the board. It is especially helpful at taking out multiple cards that our opponent isn't exerting, hoping to keep them on board. I could definitely see the deck using only three copies of the card, especially as the card cannot be inked, and we have 001-P1-032 to help exert opposing cards. Yet, just running our opponent out of cards is a win condition for the deck, so you never want to lose just because you didn't draw into 001-128.

003-067 is the last card we need to discuss, and probably the most controversial one in the deck lately. From a pure value standpoint, the card is huge, and you can ink it if you've deemed the situation not being favorable for it. With it, you have a way to gain lore every turn, while also drawing some extra cards to make sure you keep answering your opponent's cards turn after turn.

However, as the metagame slowly adapted to reduce locations' impact onto a match, several players have found success without the card in their deck. Personally, I would still run the card if you are able to identify the match-ups you should ink it, and the ones you can abuse it. Otherwise, a list without it, just like the one featured in the "alternate builds", is absolutely fine as well, and has posted great results in tournaments.

What to Ink?

001-P1-005 is a card we will ink fairly often if we draw into it early in the match, which is the benefit of running four copies. 002-051 is another card we won't use too much until we start closing in on the win, so it can be inked early on.

Another on the list of cards you can ink without much remorse is 001-052, especially if you find 003-054 or if the game has progressed and a 1-cost isn't so useful anymore. Keep in mind, though, 001-052 isn't so bad to attach to 003-067 later on for extra draw, as three health can be annoying to take out for the opponent.

The other cards are more match-up or hand based when it comes to being inked. 003-067 against an opponent you know will easily take care of it, 001-064 if you already have enough cards to use and 003-132 if Maui is nowhere to be seen, or you won't need the ability.

Alternate Builds

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Removing 003-067 naturally opens more slots, which are taken by 001-049 as we need to keep a strong draw engine. Similarly, 003-036 comes in for even more draw at the cost of an easier card to remove for our opponent. The control tools are also a little different, with four copies of 002-110 instead of 001-P1-032, which makes sense as we require less of the cheap cards to attach to our locations.

Alternate Cards to Consider

Maui - Whale

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There is a synergy with 003-132 and we have the ink available late in the match to pay the cost to ready it. Otherwise, it is a big bodied character to take out locations or other late game bombs. Worse case, we ink it.

Jim Hawkins - Space Traveler

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The card has obvious synergy with our location. However, as the metagame progresses towards playing less of these cards, synergistic options around them also lose some value.

Scar - Vicious Cheater

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This could replace 001-128 for a more flexible card, but a worse removal. Probably a better idea if you want some extra help against locations rather than just characters.

Minnie Mouse - Stylish Surfer

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A nice card to help you gain lore towards the end of the match. If you decide to remove the location, this could help mitigate the lost potential lore.

How to Play

Bounce Control has two main ways to win the game, but both go through controlling the pace of the match. Indeed, once we've built our card advantage, we can become a midrange, lore-oriented deck, looking to maximize 002-051, 002-068 while keeping 003-067 safe. The other route is to keep controlling the match, simply running our opponent out of resources and taking the lore when it is safe to do so.

Key Turns

Because this is a reactive deck, aimed at running the opponent out of resources, there aren't any particularly important turns for us. Rather, we'll be looking at cancelling our opponent's most significant turns. When the situation doesn't require anything specific, we'll just use our bounce cards to gain value, either from their abilities, or to heal characters we used to trade.

Here are a few ones to keep in mind:

  • 003-169 on turn four from Ruby/Sapphire Pawpsicle Control can give them a lot of lore if we can't remove it fast enough. Being aggressive onto the board early to prevent that from happening can be nice. 001-114 boosted by 003-132 can one shot it. Plus, this isn't a match-up we'll typically win in the long run.
  • Most Steel decks will run 003-198 currently, so don't play 003-067 unless you are far ahead, or you saw them ink a couple of removals already. Also, have 001-114 at the ready for 002-173 and 001-193, it is a great tempo gain.
  • 002-036 and 002-183 are must remove cards against Amethyst/Steel Jafar Wheel, so keep 001-P1-032 in mind to exert these two when they hit the board.

Long Term Planning

One of the key elements of playing a control deck is to know where we are headed in a match, which requires knowing some important information:

Who would win a race to the finish line?
If we do, we can start gaining lore slowly to build a lead, and start aggressively gaining more whenever 003-067 or 001-P1-005 sticks onto the board. Then, our turns would focus more around bouncing 002-051 rather than removing our opposing cards. If we have enough ink to leverage 003-132 through granting Evasive to 001-P1-005 or use 002-068 every turn in addition to our control duties, this is a sign we can start the race.

In case we don't, we need to stay in control mode a little longer, focusing on our opponent's resources, and making sure they can't gain lore as they wish while getting a bit for ourselves whenever possible. This should make the race more manageable once it starts.

Who is most likely to run out of cards first?
We have a great draw ability in this deck, so running out of cards means we were under tons of pressure, and couldn't use 002-052 or 001-064 properly. Most of the time, this will be due to letting our opponent develop rather than taking care of their synergies before they got out of hand. Indeed, even if we have a control oriented game plan, we are looking to seize the board early and suffocate our opponent, not let them develop and hope 001-128 gets us back in the game.

How does my opponent deal with 003-067?
Two lore per turn is good already, but the draw we can get is the true difference maker. While Steel has a few ways to deal with it from hand, other colors will have to attack into our location to get rid of it. First, ask yourself how long they might take to deal the necessary seven damage. Then, also consider whether them being forced to exert their characters to remove your location helps you take out those characters, which might make the control part of your game plan much easier to accomplish. Based on these deductions, you could use 003-067 as a win condition, a bait to force their cards into being vulnerable, or just ink it if you can't find any value from playing it.

What do I need to remove?
This one is particularly important to figure out whether you can ink 001-P1-005 or 001-114 whenever you draw it, or if you should keep a copy to answer a specific threat. The word "need" is critical here. Indeed, if you anticipate the game to be a race, you might as well ink those cards and start gaining lore rather than slow the pace down and give your opponent more time to find their key cards. 003-165 is a great example of a card you can't really deal with except through gaining lore faster than your opponent.

Weaknesses to Be Aware Of

Overall, Amethyst/Ruby Bounce Control deserves to be part of the discussion for best deck in the game. However, with Steel packing location removal, or 001-114 being a very popular card in most Ruby decks, we can't always rely on 003-067 to be our lore and draw engine.

While some players have decided to cut the location altogether, the fact we can ink it makes it a fine keep in the deck in my opinion. Yet, we need to accept the fact that we can't rely on the card, and instead focus on leveraging 002-052 for draw or 002-051 later for extra lore in those instances. In those games, 003-132 also becomes more important, as it will grant Evasive to some of our cards, allowing us to quest without putting them at risk.

Another concern in the current metagame is Sapphire running 003-165, which gives them the edge in a race to twenty lore. Currently, the Ruby/Sapphire Pawpsicle Control represents possibly our worst match-up, as they will beat us in a control-based battle. If they weren't using 003-165, you could consider running them out of cards as their draw will get them to the end of their deck eventually.

In those encounters, we need to rely much more on our Amethyst side to seize the board and control the tempo of the match early on. Indeed, the midgame will go towards who is most able to remove the opponent's location, as both 003-067 for us and 003-169 for them can be a ton of value if they stay on the board, but aren't so hard to remove if you have some characters in play or 001-114 in hand.

To create a favorable position heading into those clutch midgame turns, we have to be aggressive with our development. This will force their hand towards a reactive style, limiting their ability to play items, ramp or draw without consequences. It might not seem like much, but once the inevitable race begins, these extra lore points you gained because you were in the lead early will go a long way into being able to beat 003-165 plus 001-159 to the finish line. Sapphire/Steel Ramp Wheel presents a similar challenge, and rewards us for being aggressive even more, as 001-195 will discard our current hand anyways.

Generally speaking, with the threat of location removal, 003-165 in Sapphire control decks or 001-195 cancelling our card advantage down the line. I would focus on building the lead through the bounce synergy in most match-ups. This will alleviate the pressure of being forced to answer every card perfectly, while we can keep the lore gains under control as well.

If this trend keeps on going, we could consider running less of 001-128 to focus more on that midgame portion of the match, or improving our ability to gain lore late in the match. This is also why you will typically see a copy of 002-068 in most lists nowadays.

Closing Words

I'm not a big fan of the pure control playstyle. It can often turn into very linear game play, especially in Lorcana, a game where you can find yourself with few cards in hand rather quickly. However, Amethyst/Ruby does it based on a lot of synergies, and actually packs a real early game punch with a proactive mindset attached to it.

As such, I recommend this deck if you enjoy a reactive playstyle, based on understanding what your opponent wants to accomplish, but don't want to simply be reacting through the whole game.

I hope this guide was helpful in mastering the intricacies of the deck. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out through my Twitter page.

Good Game Everyone!

Den
Den

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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