Disney Lorcana Meta Report: Into the Inklands – Week 1

Welcome to Lorcana.gg's weekly meta report! Each week we analyze the state of the meta using data from the previous week of online and tournament play. This meta report will go over what it all means, as well as highlighting some particularly strong and interesting decks in each archetype.

Introduction

Welcome to Lorcana.gg's weekly meta report! Each week we analyze the state of the meta using data from the previous week of online and tournament play. Our tier list is updated with the latest data, while this meta report will go over what it all means, as well as highlighting some particularly strong and interesting decks in each archetype.

The tier list is separated into three tiers. Tier 1 has the strongest decks that boast a high meta share (percentage of games played) and often a high win rate as well. Tier 2 and Tier 3 decks are a notch below the top tier, with these decks usually having one or two weaknesses keeping them from dominating the meta.


Meta Overview

Into the Inklands is here and the meta has been officially shaken up. We have a wide range of decks being played on ladder right now, with no deck really head and shoulders above the others in terms of meta share or win rate. I'm sure things will coalesce around a few top tier decks, but for now, the meta is varied and it is glorious.

In tier 1, we see a familiar color combination at the top of the tier list. Yes, Amethyst/Ruby is number 1 again. But at least this time it is just barely topping the meta, not completely running away with the top spot. We shall see if that holds going forward. Rounding out the top tier are three new decks in Emerald/Steel Control, Amethyst/Emerald Tempo and the Amethyst/Steel Jafar Wheel combo deck.

In Tier 2, we see the emergence of the fabled Pirate deck in Ruby/Steel Pirates. This deck is leading the way amongst the tier 2 decks and could be making its way into tier 1 at some point. The other decks in tier 2 are some old classics in the Emerald/Steel Discard and Amber/Amethyst Hyper Aggro decks, alongside another combo deck in Emerald/Steel Beast OTK.

Down in tier 3, we find more decks from previous metas now trying to remain relevant in Inklands. Sapphire/Steel Ramp decks are still doing their thing but no longer are they up near the top of the tier list. Same with Amber/Steel Steelsongs and Amber/Ruby Red Mufasa. These decks could definitely climb more in coming weeks though as players tire of trying to make new stuff work and want to go back to the tried and true decks from past metas.

For now though, players are experimenting with new and varied decks and it is great to see. Let's take a look at the decks being played most often on ladder and some example lists.

Tier List

TierDeck NameMeta ShareWin Rate
Tier 1 Amethyst/Ruby Location Control9.8%49.8%
Emerald/Steel Control8.2%49.8%
Amethyst/Emerald Tempo6.3%50.1%
Amethyst/Steel Jafar Wheel6.2%50.1%
Tier 2 Ruby/Steel Pirates5.0%50.1%
Emerald/Steel Discard4.1%50.4%
Amber/Amethyst Hyper Aggro3.9%49.9%
Emerald/Steel Beast OTK3.7%50.1%
Tier 3 Sapphire/Steel Ramp Wheel2.8%49.4%
Amber/Ruby Red Mufasa2.7%50.6%
Amber/Steel Steelsongs2.2%49.4%
Data is from games played on Pixelborn between Feb 24 - Mar 3

Tier 1

Amethyst/Ruby Location Control

You didn't think we would get rid of Amethyst/Ruby Control that easily, did you? There were a couple of days on Pixelborn where everyone was trying new stuff and Amethyst/Ruby was nowhere to be seen. But eventually it made its return and is now the top deck in meta share after this first week of Into the Inklands.

It always seemed like just a matter of time that the deck would resurface though. Locations have made an impact in the early Inklands meta and one of the best answers to location-heavy strategies are Rush characters. Many times, they allow you to immediately remove a location the turn it is played, either just on their own or in combination with a character you already have on board. And which deck runs the best Rush characters in the game? Yup, Amethyst/Ruby Control.

The deck isn't just a complete carryover from the last meta though, as it includes a location package of its own with Jim Hawkins - Space Traveler and The Queen's Castle - Mirror Chamber. These cards work both as a strong tempo play but also provide yet more card draw for the deck.

Here is a list that best illustrates this deck's current strategy. It's a deck that Jebas piloted to a top 4 finish in a field of 178 players during the most recent, large Pixelborn tournament.

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Emerald/Steel Control

Emerald has gotten some shiny new toys and with that some new deck archetypes are now possible. As we highlighted here, Emerald's two new Ursula cards have really empowered the ink and allowed it to compete with the best decks in the meta. The ability to disrupt your opponent's hand with Ursula - Deceiver is very powerful while the amount of tempo or card draw you can generate with Ursula - Deceiver of All is game-winning.

Those two cards alone have made Emerald a fantastic support ink color and when you can pair it with arguably the best all-around ink color in the game in Steel, you have a strong combination. Emerald/Steel has a number of decks on the tier list and it's easy to see why. This Emerald/Steel Control list has the best meta share out of all of them though.

The deck we are highlighting is from Strog who took home a top 8 in a 64-player $1k tournament in France. It includes both of the Ursulas alongside a number of Steel's most powerful songs, actions and Floodborn characters.

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Amethyst/Emerald Tempo

Another deck where Emerald is a key component is the Amethyst/Emerald Tempo deck. This deck eschews the long-game of Emerald/Steel and goes for an aggressive strategy that looks to dominate the early and mid-game with aggressive questers and strong tempo plays.

Kit Cloudkicker - Tough Guy is a key card in this strategy, allowing you to continue to develop your early board while removing something of your opponent's. Ursula - Deceiver of All is another key card in this Emerald deck (go figure), as she can be a source of big card draw paired with Friends On The Other Side or insane tempo with Mother Knows Best.

Here is a list that landed first place in a 32-player $1k tournament in the US this past week. The list, from Nicholas Wyllie, includes 4 copies of the best location in the game, The Queen's Castle - Mirror Chamber. This location not only provides additional card draw, but its two lore is also a strong way to close out a game.

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Amethyst/Steel Jafar Wheel

The card that everyone was worried would break the game turned out to be, well... a very, very good card. Thankfully, Jafar - Striking Illusionist is not breaking the game. But the deck he empowers is quite good and rounds out our tier 1 for this first week of Inklands.

As the deck's name implies, the objective here is to get your Jafar out and play A Whole New World (also sometimes known as "wheel", thanks to a Magic: The Gathering card of that name that does the same thing). This gives you a whopping 7 lore and if your opponent can't deal with your Jafar, you are likely to be able to do it again the following turn and probably just win the game at that point. The rest of the deck includes cards that allow you to find your combo pieces or setup for you combo or stall until you get the combo.

This list from Frank Zheng made a top 8 in the 178-player Pixelborn tournament. This list definitely leans more onto some solid Amethyst/Steel control options while having the Jafar/AWNW combo as a win condition. This likely will be the best version of the deck, instead of one that is all-in on the combo.

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Tier 2

Ruby/Steel Pirates

The long-anticipated Pirate deck is here! This deck has been speculated about since prior to The First Chapter's release, when one of the game designers said his current favorite deck was a Pirate deck. Since then, players have wondered when we would get enough Pirate cards released to make a full deck. And here we are.

This deck takes full advantage of Jolly Roger - Hook's Ship to make all Pirates into removal spells on a stick. This is especially good when needing to contest opposing locations. Ruby already has a decent selection of Pirates, but adding Steel into the mix, with old standbys like Captain Hook - Forceful Duelist and new stuff like Mr. Smee - Bumbling Mate and John Silver - Greedy Treasure Seeker, has put the deck into overdrive. John Silver, especially, is a key card in the deck synergizing with the locations we want to play anyway and giving him more survivability and, crucially, improved lore generation.

We are featuring this deck from Jessica Johnson, who landed a top 8 in the 32-player $1k tournament in the US this past weekend. Her deck has gone all-in on locations, with 18 total locations in the deck. Not only are all these locations total gas for John Silver, many of them can help you get over the finish line thanks to their passive lore gain.

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Emerald/Steel Discard

Emerald/Steel's second entry onto the tier list is a new spin on the classic Discard deck from the Rise of the Floodborn meta. Bucky - Squirrel Squeak Tutor is a good card and just playing a deck with him as your discard build-around but including the new, good Emerald stuff is going to make for a pretty good list.

This is a deck that can really abuse Morph - Space Goo. Prior to Inklands, you were never going to be able to shift out your Beast - Tragic Hero on 3, but now you can. It also just improves your overall deck quality as you no longer have to run multiple copies of different Shift targets just to have the ability to Shift out your Floodborns. Just run the 4 Morphs and, with the amount of Floodborns already in the deck, you will almost always have something to Shift onto him.

This deck from Mark Brindley managed a top 8 finish in the 178-player Pixelborn tournament. Interestingly, it runs 4 copies of Last Cannon, a card that I would never have expected to see in a competitive list. But it just goes to show the power of locations, as this card is certainly there to help take down the high Willpower locations prevalent in the meta.

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Amber/Amethyst Hyper Aggro

Another deck that continues to see play from past metas is the premier aggro deck in Amber/Amethyst Hyper Aggro. This deck got some nice new cards to help its aggressive game plan. Pluto - Friendly Pooch can enable some really degenerate openings, letting us get out three 1-drops on turn 2. If those 1-drops are Lilo - Making a Wish and/or Maleficent - Biding Her Time, you're set up to gain 7 lore on turn 3! The deck also got another nice lore battery in Piglet - Pooh Pirate Captain, rewarding us for going wide.

I wanted to highlight this unique deck build from streamer Raven, who wanted to build a deck around Chernabog - Evildoer, and settled on this list. The deck can win by going really fast with aggressive starts and then just when your opponent thinks they've stabilized, Chernabog comes down and closes out the game.

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Emerald/Steel Beast OTK

Emerald/Steel shows up yet again on the tier list. This time it's an OTK (one turn kill) combo deck using the 3-card combo of Beast - Relentless, Sheriff of Nottingham - Corrupt Official and The Bayou - Mysterious Swamp to generate tons of lore. The idea is to get a Beast out on board and then play The Bayou and Sheriff, move Beast to the Bayou and then quest with him to trigger the Bayou effect, which forces you to discard, triggering Sheriff to ping something of your opponents, readying the Beast for him to quest again, and again, and again.

Now, technically, this is not a full OTK since the amount of lore you can gain is dependent on how much Willpower your opponent has on their side of the board. And unfortunately you can't target locations with the Sheriff's ability, so you are limited to only Willpower on characters. Even so, the deck is as close to a viable OTK deck we have seen so far in Lorcana, so we are rolling with the term.

Here is what is likely to be a pretty standard version of this deck from YouTuber QuantumMercury. It has the combo, as well as many of the best Emerald and Steel cards, especially the ones that let you draw to find your combo pieces.

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Tier 3

Sapphire/Steel Ramp Wheel

Sapphire/Steel was one of the better decks in the latter parts of the Floodborn meta but it hasn't seen much experimentation so far in the Inklands meta. It got a new finisher in Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean but compared to the similar card, Jafar - Striking Illusionist, the lore gain is still quite slow. The deck also has access to a powerful new ramping tool in Mama Odie - Mystical Maven but unless you have a Floodborn Gramma on board, all that ramp is effectively wasted as the deck still lacks other rewards for ramping.

All that being said, the deck might still be good enough, even without many new cards added into the fold. Here is a list from Jan Moy which came in 2nd place in the 178-player Pixelborn tournament. The deck is mostly filled with cards we are already familiar with, the one exception being 4 copies of McDuck Manor - Scrooge's Mansion. There's those locations again, helping us close out games!

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Amber/Ruby Red Mufasa

Another popular deck from last season that has fallen off in meta share is the Amber/Ruby Mufasa deck. Again, this may be less a reflection of the deck falling in power level and more that it didn't get as many shiny, new toys to play with. The best new card for the deck is likely Pluto - Friendly Pooch, who can be paired with Doc - Leader of the Seven Dwarfs to get Mufasa out as early as turn 3! That's a powerful start.

The deck is pretty punished by the prevalence of Emerald in the meta though, especially the decks with the bounce cards. Having the dream start of Pluto, into Doc, into Mufasa on turn 3 completely wiped out by an Ursula - Deceiver of All singing Mother Knows Best is backbreaking. But the deck can still be good against many of the other decks in the meta.

This deck from Cesar Reyes took home a top 8 in a recent $1k tournament in the US. It uses not only the new small Pluto, but its Floodborn counterpart as well, Pluto - Determined Defender. Another new card that fits great in Mufasa decks is Pongo - Determined Father, as his ability is nearly always guaranteed to draw you a card.

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Amber/Steel Steelsongs

Amber/Steel makes its first appearance in the tier list and it is the classic Steelsongs deck. Sleepy's Flute has been cut from most lists, the meta is much faster now and Flutes are pretty slow. A new card that has found its way into Steelsongs decks in its place is Robin Hood - Champion of Sherwood. Getting this Floodborn character out on turn 3 is very strong, especially in a deck with powerful 5-cost songs such as Grab Your Sword and A Whole New World.

The deck also got a strong new tech card in The Bare Necessities. This unassuming card can disrupt many powerful strategies, allowing you to force a discard of important locations, actions or items from your opponent. And since it is a song, slotting it into a deck with a ton of songs already and lots of characters to sing them, makes too much sense. Bare Necessities is an important tool that allows Steelsongs to compete with just about every other deck in the meta.

It's no surprise then that Amber/Steel Steelsongs won the large Pixelborn tournament. This showing from Brennan DeCandio really showcases how strong the deck can be. It feels like only a matter of time that players realize this and Steelsongs rockets back up the tier list.

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And that's it for the first meta report for Into the Inklands! It is great to see such a varied assortment of decks being viable in the meta, including new archetypes and old alike. I am looking forward to seeing how the meta evolves from here. Will we see the old decks rising up the tier list as players tire of the new stuff? Or will the new decks display true staying power and hold their spots? And what powerful decks might still be out there, waiting to be discovered? I can't wait to find out.

Until next time, good luck and have fun!

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gutshot

An avid player of card games since he got hooked on the Star Wars CCG back in his teens, Phil "gutshot" Bicking is excited to share his years of expertise to players of Lorcana.

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