Anna - True-Hearted Art by Leonardo Giammichele

The 21 Most Important Cards in Ursula’s Return

Oftentimes in sets the best cards are not the flashiest. There are cards that are simply necessary to allow strategies to work. They may be super powerful or they may be complete build arounds, but they are often not thought to be the most powerful and flashy cards in the set.

So today, I want to focus on the cards that are the glue that will hold decks together in the Ursula's Return metagame. Oftentimes these are related to Shift lines or Singing, unsurprisingly given the power of these abilities in Disney Lorcana. Let’s dive in!

Julieta Madrigal

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Julieta Madrigal is "Rapunzel - Gifted with Healing Light." The fact that she comes down a turn earlier is important for many of the self-damaging cards in the vein of Mother Gothel - Withered and Wicked. Playing that Gothel on two into Julieta gives you a virtual 3/3 for two ink that can challenge and you drew a card off of Julieta, making her a virtual 1/4/1 Maleficent - Sorceress.

You are looking to set up three for one situations with her:

  1. The healing two allows an additional trade that would otherwise banish the target,
  2. The card draw off the heal,
  3. And Julieta herself.

Even past turn three with Gothel, she is just “another Rapunzel” or a “Sorceress with upside.”

Ursula - Vanessa

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This is clearly the best Singer 4 for two resources with a 1/4 statline. Most importantly she is an in-color shift target for Ursula - Eric's Bride, who I think is flying under that radar as a key answer for much of the metagame.

People are focused on Shifting her onto to Ursula - Deceiver, but if you want to have the “The Bare Necessities on a stick, oh who can also Sing and Quest for More” in-color, Ursula - Vanessa is where you want to be focused on.

Miracle Candle

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If Amber aggro continues to even be anything, on the back of Piglet - Pooh Pirate Captain and various Lore adders (whether it is Lucky - The 15th Puppy, Philoctetes - No-Nonsense Instructor, Anna - Braving the Storm, Anna - True-Hearted, etc.), Miracle Candle could see use as additional Reach. It is at odds with playing a character on turn two, but combined with Sapphire’s item focus, I could see this helping spawn an aggressive archetype around Anna - True-Hearted and this Candle!

Jetsam - Ursula's "Baby"

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If the Shift 004-044 is going to be a real card, likely in an Amethyst-Steel shell, it will need a reasonable target to shift onto. This 004-046 is a fine target. The four willpower means it will be hard to deal with the turn before you want to Shift (if you do not want to have the larger body be unable to act for a turn, you can of course simply Shift immediately also). The Challenger two makes this not an embarrassing card to have in play if you do not have the larger body in hand also.

Magic Broom - Illuminary Keeper

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Arguably the most important role player in the set.  We needed a one drop broom so that Yen Sid - Powerful Sorcerer can activate right away on turn two. It is also becomes a “free” play when you have a Mickey Mouse - Wayward Sorcerer in play. Mickey Mouse - Playful Sorcerer also will need a critical mass of Brooms in play when he is played. The main issue is within that very viable deck, you needed a one-cost Broom to make it all work, and this Illuminary Keeper fits that bill exactly.

Diablo - Maleficent's Spy

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Similar to the discussion on Ursula, you need an in-color Shift target again. 004-071 does double duty, oftentimes allowing  you to decide if you want to follow up your Diablo - Devoted Herald with an Ursula - Deceiver or a Bucky - Squirrel Squeak Tutor. If your opponent has no songs, you’ll know to run Bucky out there pre-Shift with no question. You will also know if your opponent can answer the Diablo (with say Let the Storm Rage On) so you act accordingly (by playing Ursula, waiting it out, etc.)

Jaq - Connoisseur of Climbing

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Handing out Reckless is proving to be powerful, especially against other Emerald decks who like to play lower power, high impact “when challenged” characters like 003-070 and 001-074. Jaq stops all of that nonsense and comes with a 1/4/2 body to boot for three. Most importantly his ability is on-play, not when questing so you gain value right away!

Prince Philip - Slayer of Enemies

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If Emerald control is going to be a real deck, it will be off the back of this Prince Phillip. I do not even think  you need to Shift him, as the smaller Phillips are pretty weak (but you could use Morph - Space Goo in a pinch!). Being able to Banish all opposing characters with damage on them is very powerful, and leaving behind a 6/6 evasive body is nothing to sneeze at. I think if Emerald can finally enter the realm of control decks, it is because this Phillip (and the Muses) exist.

We Don't Talk About Bruno

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Playing this before turn five will be devastating for opponents, and in the right shell this will oftentimes be an inkable Dragon Fire. I am seeing the pieces of Emerald based control shaping up, and this Oscar wining song fits right on theme!

Ursula's Garden - Full of the Unfortunate

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Emerald control maybe centered around locking opponents from acting in addition to simply controlling the board. This is similar to Mother Gothel - Selfish Manipulator who saw very little play during The First Chapter metagame. Placing a character here is a lot of investment, but if you have ways of also keeping this location around, it does gain passive Lore and will make it nearly impossible for your opponent to race you.

Lumiere - Fiery Friend

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Get your characters out of strength based removal range (:cough: Madame Medusa - The Boss :cough: Brawl :cough: Sisu - Daring Visitor)! Get your strength big enough to challenge in “challenging matters” decks!  Let your 1/3s trade with 2/2s and tell the tale! I think this 004-113 will have a huge impact on game states no matter which turn he is played. He is a defensive and offensive threat that has a surprising amount of uses.

Mulan - Injured Soldier

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The most IMPORTANT card in the set!  A great target for Rapunzel - Gifted with Healing and Julieta Madrigal - Excellent Cook, Mulan also has two amazing Shift targets just begging for a one drop in Mulan - Reflecting the standout Mulan - Elite ArcherMulan - Reflecting may be a real card if you can find ways to stack the top of your deck in Amber-Ruby, but having such a cheap Shift target for Mulan - Elite Archer is really where this card wants to be.

I think you are going to see a lot of “Mulan with Julieta (or Rapunzel if you have a way of discounting her) on four, into Mulan - Fiery Archer on five” quite often, and I am definitely here for it!

A Pirate's Life

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A four lore swing on a song! One that can be easily sung by many characters alone (there’s that Medusa again). Oh, and it is inkable so if for some reason it is too early in the game to have a giant lore swing, you always have it as ink.  I think this card is being criminally under rated as to its affect on the metagame, and it would not surprise me to see this a breakout hit for aggro decks.

Sisu - Daring Visitor

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Let’s see, who does this deal with… 003-070, 001-074, 002-149, 001-018, any 1/3, any 1/1s, 004-059, 002-036, 001-053, Ursula - Deceiver, Minnie Mouse - Stylish Surfer, Captain Hook - Forceful Duelist... do I need to go on?  Oh and she is a Hero to boot, how fortunate for other synergies!

Oh she leaves behind a 1/1 Evasive body that is around to sing, quest, etc.?  What a deal?! Brawl seems flashier, and I think both will see play, but I do think Sisu - Daring Visitor is the standout!

Anna - True-Hearted

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A true build around, but luckily there are a ton of Hero characters. Normally I am not a fan of “whenever this Quests” type characters, but she can build a board of gaining an extra 2-3 lore right away, and she does not leave behind an irrelevant stat line in 2/4/2 to help the cause.

Hans - Noble Scoundrel

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Any Lore Gain outside of questing is big, and have a 3/2/2 body afterwards is a solid addition.  There are so many Princesses that see play, both in color and outside of it, that I find it hard for his ability to not occur. Oh Mulan is a Princess? The Queen is a Queen? Anna is a Queen? Elsa?  Rapunzel? Gee, how fortunate for this 004-146...

Triton - Discerning King

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He is essentially a 3/3/3 with upside. Any readying effects you play may allow to gain six to nine lore out of no where in the mid-game and he already has insane built in strategy with 001-135. I think Triton becomes a “banish on sight” type character that will warp the metagame around him (similar to Ursula - Deceiver of All does nowadays). Very powerful effect that will not be hard to abuse.

Lefou - Opportunistic Flunky

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Free is good, and in the ink color that has A Whole New World, it is even better. The body is not great, but if you are playing Steel-X with Sing Together effects, the three cost body that you paid nothing for can chip in with the chorus. He is a perfect singer for three cost songs, and as long as you have access to A Whole New World, he has little down side and should play a key role in those decks.

Triton's Decree

Triton's Decree
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Gets around Ward.  If you can find ways to keep the board clear, this will oftentimes hit the problematic Ward targets like Bucky - Squirrel Squeak Tutor and 002-089. The playability of this card will depend on how the meta shapes up and includes characters like them, as you will usually simply want a 001-197 over it, but if Ward is a problem, this Decree will be the answer.

Fortisphere

Fortisphere
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Not simply Pawpsicle 5-8, although that is the first use of this card in Sapphire-Steel.  Gaining Bodyguard on any character is big to protect your higher value targets.  I think this card will fundamentally change how challenging control works, as you will efficiently and easily be able to protect your exerted characters so easily.

Thebes - The Big Olive

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Very easy to play and move to, with a high willpower. If a Steel based “Challenging Matters” strategy exists, I think Thebes will be the centerpiece of it. Your opponent is unlikely to even touch it since it is a “combo piece” and at seven willpower that is a dedicated commitment to taking it out.

Conclusion

That is a lot of cards that are going to be the glue of the Ursula’s Return metagame. Again, these are not the flashiest, most expensive, most game breaking cards when played.  They are the role-players.  They are not the Quarterbacks, they are the Left Tackles that allow those Quarterbacks to succeed.

AUStarwars
AUStarwars

Scott Landis is a 30-year Trading Card Game professional, and former writer for the World of Warcraft TCG and Transformers TCG among others.  Currently he is an owner of The Forbidden Mountain, a Lorcana YouTube Page and TCG player Store. You can follow them on YouTube and please use their TCGplayer Store (same cost as the marketplace). You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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