Breathing Life into Old Staples: Past Lorcana Cards that Stand to Gain the Most from Inklands’ Release

One of my favorite things to do when a new set drops in a trading card game is to go back and assess how the new set affects the playability of already existing cards. A whole new set is bound to create new archetypes, but that does not mean that old cards will not be key ways to use the newest cards to their fullest extent. Today I want to look at some of the cards from the previous two Disney Lorcana sets that by early indications seem to point to increased play during the Into the Inklands metagame.

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You can use this non-exhaustive list as a guide for either cards to go purchase early on from other sets before they see a spike in playability, or simply as a way to understand how a new set changes the perception of already existing cards in a new light. Some of these cards have already seen an increase in prices, some of which I mentioned in previous weekly Finance reports, some that are new.

Some of these cards are not even Super Rare or Legendary, so prices may not skyrocket, but this is more of just an overview of older cards you can expect to see increased play based on shiny new objects!

1. A Whole New World

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A Whole New World was already a staple in the metagame, being the star engine of two powerful decks in Amber/Steel and Sapphire/Steel. Now you throw in combos with the upcoming non-interactive lore gaining engines like Jafar - Striking Illusionist or Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean needing the infusion of cards to win the game, and you see why this wheel of a Song will see a spike in playability. This is despite two powerful ways of interacting with it in The Bare Necessities and Ursula - Deceiver! So many deck builds are just starting with four copies of A Whole New World that it is going to be even more ubiquitous in the metagame than it already is!

2. Beast - Relentless and Beast - Tragic Hero

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A lot of this is the rich get richer, but these two versions of one of Disney's greatest characters from the 1990s is not going anywhere soon. Beast - Relentless was the biggest mover in the market last week due to him being part of the combo finisher in the the Emerald/Steel deck (with The Bayou - Mysterious Swamp and Sheriff of Nottingham - Corrupt Official). The prices on him have skyrocketed, but we will need to see if this combo is for real once the set is released. I think the combo itself as the focal point of the deck is overhyped, but as a finisher in an already decent archetype, I can see his inevitability combining with already playable partner cards keeping him in the limelight. I think this is great for a Legendary from Rise of the Floodborn, because the playability of the Legendaries in that set for a time stopped and started with...

Beast - Tragic Hero is the premier card in the second set of Lorcana, but the reason I think he is going to see even more play is simply because of how prevalent Steel seems to be in early testing results from the new metagame. Beast remains the premier Steel card draw (outside of the aforementioned A Whole New World) and is also just a very solid character. Another card that has more answers to it, but the questions always remain the starting point for deck building.

3. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo and Mother Knows Best

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The increase in play around these two cards will be directly tied to one question: how good is Ursula - Deceiver of All?! Ursula is just so powerful throughout the course of the game, and getting double use out of any song that costs three or less is going to be very key. I think if you are able to sing with her once, depending on the current game state, the game may be close to over on the spot. Ursula combos with any Song that costs three or less (ok maybe not ANY, sorry Reflection), but Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo and Mother Knows Best are both within Emerald, her starting color, so I expect them to see the most play overall.

4. Jafar - Keeper of Secrets, Jafar - Royal Vizier, and Jafar - Dreadnaught

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I already mentioned Jafar - Striking Illusionist when I talked about A Whole New World but you need smaller versions of Jafar to Shift onto right? Well, here are your options! I think as we get deeper into the format, the numbers and types of which Jafar you want to run will shake out. It comes down to whether or not you "need" the Lore bomb from A Whole New World or we can also just run the new Jafar as a win condition in any Amethyst shell. If that is the case, Keeper of Secrets will see more play, since in a vacuum the Steel versions of Jafar are just better Shift targets. If the deck "has to be Steel" then both the versions of Jafar from Rise of the Floodborn will take center stage. Either way, expect the sorcerer from Agrabah to have an uptick in play, so you will see these older versions pop up at tables.

5. Captain Hook - Thinking a Happy Thought and Captain Hook - Forceful Duelist

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I talked about the power of the Pirate engine in my recent article so I have to include early versions of Captain Hook as older cards to see more play right? These Captain Hooks really matter for 003-184, needing to see a Captain to avoid taking extra damage each turn. Mr. Smee brings so many stats to the table, and virtually no downside. In fact, it can be an upside in some cases with cards that heal characters!

Overall as Pirates see increased play, even though John Silver may be leading the pack, you cannot leave home without Captain Hook!

6. Maui - Hero to All

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I know, saying Maui - Hero to All will see more play is actually not possible.. but trust me, he is even more important in a Location based metagame. Maui remains the premier way of dealing with Locations, and while his six Rush damage may not be enough to take out some of them in one shot, they will look like the buildings in Rampage near the end game when he is done with his first challenge!

Maui just remains one of the main reasons to play Ruby at all. Now, you have alternate win conditions in the powerful Locations, and you may not even need to pair Ruby with Amethyst to succeed! Either way, when you see Ruby, you will see this Demigod coming out from hand to wreak havoc.

7. Belle - Strange but Special

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Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean can win games on her own, but Belle - Strange but Special is going to be her trusty sidekick! I am working on various lists that can "turn on" Belle in the mid game, as getting to ten ink will simply not be difficult with all the powerful ramp you have available to you in this set. The best part is, now you have multiple payoffs for ramping, as you will gain Lore from Gramma's ability. I think it is Belle's often overlooked ability to ink multiple times a turn that will rise in playability once Gramma hits the tables. It will simply be easy and consistent lore gain, if you can keep up in cards (gee..there's that A Whole New World again!)

Belle will be a much more consistent finisher than she was in the past, and will finally be the staple in any competitive Sapphire list.

8. Doc - Leader of the Seven Dwarfs

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Doc has been a staple in Amber decks for the second half of the last metagame, with key roles in both Mufasa-based lists and more traditional Amber/Steel decks. I think Doc is the key play you want to make after playing Pluto - Friendly Pooch on turn one. Having a Doc ready to go means that even if Pluto is dealt with, the ability basically persists. If Pluto says on the field, after you have Doc in play, you are able to gain Lore with Doc AND play a five drop on turn three..I cannot see how you would not be in a winning position in those games. Doc flew under the radar early on the Floodborn meta, but I see him persisting at top tables in the Inklands meta!

Conclusion

I wanted to start the look at Into the Inklands with a look backwards as to what is improving. If we do not look to the past, we are doomed to repeat the missteps we took. I know I missed a lot of good cards that rose to the top in Rise of the Floodborn, so I want to make sure you all knew about the early testing results with existing cards on the Rise (pun intended) continuing this journey Into the Inklands!

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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