Disney Lorcana Meta Report: Into the Inklands – Week 2

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

Well, this is a familiar sight. Amethyst/Ruby Control is once again pulling away from the rest of the field and establishing itself as the BDIF (Best Deck In the Format). And this is not simply a case of online play being different than tournament play. The deck is once again dominating on the tournament scene. The most recent large tournament was a $5k with 175 entrants held in Philadelphia. Out of the top 8 decks, five of them were Amethyst/Ruby Control decks. The deck is once again asserting its dominance.

Elsewhere on the tier list, we see the rapid rise of Sapphire/Steel Ramp from the dregs of tier 3 all the way up into the second spot. This is what topping a prominent tournament will do for a deck. As I mentioned last week, this deck is obviously still very good and was only in tier 3 because the player base was experimenting with other builds. Similarly, Amber/Steel Steelsongs has risen out of tier 3 and is on the cusp of breaking into tier 1. Steel/anything is proving to be good right now and Amber still pairs nicely with it as they are the only ink with the Singer keyword.

The other major development this week is the return of Ruby/Sapphire Pawpsicle Control to the tier list. It just barely missed the cut last week but this week comes in at a respectable 5.2% meta share. This archetype is basically the same Pawpsicle deck we know and love, with a mini-package of McDuck Manor - Scrooge's Mansion and Jim Hawkins - Space Traveler added. And it is doing quite well for itself, both on ladder and in tournaments.

Lastly, some decks that have fallen off in meta share this week include the Ruby/Steel Pirates list and the Emerald/Steel Beast OTK list. Both are now down in tier 3 and, given their declining played rate and lack of tournament results, look like they may settle in as "fun but not super competitive decks". However, the meta is still shifting, so only time will tell their ultimate fate.

Now, onto the tier list!

Tier List

TierDeck NameMeta ShareWin Rate
Tier 1 Amethyst/Ruby Location Control15.1%50.2%
Sapphire/Steel Ramp Wheel7.9%50.2%
Amethyst/Steel Jafar Wheel7.1%50.2%
Emerald/Steel Control6.7%49.8%
Tier 2 Amber/Steel Steelsongs6.1%50.0%
Emerald/Steel Discard6.1%49.7%
Amethyst/Emerald Tempo5.8%50.2%
Ruby/Sapphire Pawpsicle Control5.2%49.9%
Tier 3 Amber/Amethyst Hyper Aggro3.4%50.4%
Ruby/Steel Pirates3.2%50.0%
Amber/Ruby Red Mufasa2.6%49.2%
Emerald/Steel Beast OTK2.2%49.8%
Data is from games played on Pixelborn between Mar 4 - Mar 10

Tier 1

Amethyst/Ruby Location Control

Once again we are staring down a meta where Amethyst/Ruby Control reigns supreme. And while last week we noted that the deck was running a location package with Jim Hawkins - Space Traveler and The Queen's Castle - Mirror Chamber even that has been pared down. Most decks have cut Jim entirely and some aren't even running The Queen's Castle now. It's almost exactly the same deck as the previous meta.

The reason the location package has been trimmed is to make room for Rafiki - Mystical Fighter and Pinocchio - Talkative Puppet. These two cards are this deck's best answer to an Ursula - Deceiver of All. Pinocchio can also help deal with, in combination with Madam Mim - Fox, the Shift targets for Jafar - Striking Illusionist.

This deck from George Gebhardt was the winner of the $5k tournament at StarCityGames Con in Philly over the weekend. As you can see, there are no locations in his list and, outside of the cards I mentioned above and Madame Medusa - The Boss basically being a like-for-like replacement to Lady Tremaine - Imperious Queen, this list is remarkably similar to the old Bounce Control decks. One exception being that many are teching in Maui's Fish Hook as a way to deal with high Willpower locations. But as locations begin to fall out of the meta more and more, this new card may also end up being cut.

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Sapphire/Steel Ramp Wheel

Sapphire/Steel Ramp Wheel had the biggest jump in meta share this week. It took a little longer for players to come back to this deck but now they have and the deck looks poised to remain in tier 1 for the foreseeable future. The power of ramping and then restocking your hand with threats and answers to threats is potent. And then you add Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean to the mix as a win condition and you have a mighty strong deck.

We will highlight another deck from the Philly $5k for this archetype. This list from Collin Rupert landed in the top 4 at the tournament. The combination of Captain Hook - Forceful Duelist and Mr. Smee - Bumbling Mate is really strong early game tempo for a deck that can also compete well into the mid and late game.

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Amethyst/Steel Jafar Wheel

The Jafar Wheel combo deck continues to see a good amount of play online. Personally, I've found it to be one of the harder decks to stop when playing Amethyst/Ruby Control, as you don't have great ways to deal with unexerted early game Jafar Shift targets. If Amethyst/Ruby Control continues to maintain its spot atop the tier list, Jafar should not be far behind.

Surprisingly though, outside of Frank Zheng's top 8 in the Pixelborn tournament, the deck has not had any other notable results to speak of. Hard to know if this is because it's struggling in that format or because players aren't bringing the deck. It is viewed as a pretty high variance deck, so it could be that players are simply preferring to bring more consistent lists to offline tournaments. But I do think the deck has potential as an Amethyst/Ruby killer, so maybe that will change.

Here is a list from David L. that came in 2nd place at a recent 29-player local tournament in Calgary. As the tournament organizer notes in their recap video, the deck can be swingy but it did take down two Amethyst/Ruby Control decks in the top 8 before succumbing to the Amber/Ruby winning deck in the finals.

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Emerald/Steel Control

Emerald/Steel rounds out the top tier of decks in this week's meta report. This version of the Emerald/Steel list is one that doesn't have any of the discard stuff like Bucky - Squirrel Squeak Tutor or Prince John - Greediest of All. It just wants to hard control the game and win by out valuing the opponent at every turn.

We are highlighting this deck from Jesse Brandt which came in 5th place in a 32-player tournament in Missouri. This list even runs 4 copies of Lady Tremaine - Wicked Stepmother allowing it to go with a mill strategy by recurring A Whole New World or just bringing back powerful songs to sing with Ursula - Deceiver of All.

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Tier 2

Amber/Steel Steelsongs

Amber/Steel Steelsongs is another classic deck that has seen a resurgence on the tier list, as players return to the strong decks from the past. Steelsongs in particular has been a popular choice in tournaments as well as on ladder. It is a deck that takes full advantage of arguably the best Legendary from Into the Inklands: Robin Hood - Champion of Sherwood. This Floodborn Robin Hood is a terror in the mid-game, devouring anything that was played up to that point and gaining you two lore in the process. It's also a great early-game target to sing any song in your deck. For these reasons, Robin Hood has completely supplanted The Queen - Commanding Presence in Steelsong lists.

This deck from John Ruml came in 5th place at the 110-player 1k tournament at SCG Con Philadelphia. This is a fairly late-game oriented Amber/Steel list, but it is likely necessary to compete with the other control decks in the meta.

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Emerald/Steel Discard

We have yet another Steel deck to make it onto the tier list, this one Emerald/Steel Discard. (Do you think Steel might be a bit too overpowered as an ink color?) Unlike the Control version, this deck runs Bucky and friends. And if tournament results are any thing to go by, I'd say this version of the deck is better.

This list from Bryan R. came in 2nd place in a 42-player tournament in the US recently. Helga Sinclair - Femme Fatale is an interesting inclusion but she does synergize nicely with Chief Bogo - Respected Officer. If you can Shift her onto a Morph, while the Chief is on board, you can immediately trigger her ability.

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Amethyst/Emerald Tempo

The Amethyst/Emerald Tempo deck falls out of tier 1 and down into tier 2 this week. The deck is still quite strong though, so don't take this as an indictment of the deck's ability. I suspect it will remain in the meta for good, since Emerald and Amethyst together is just a collection of very powerful cards.

Our deck highlight for this week is this list from Zach Weaver, which placed in the top 8 of the 175-player $5k tournament at SCG Con Philly.

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Ruby/Sapphire Pawpsicle Control

Ruby/Sapphire Pawpsicle Control returns to the tier list in all its glory. As we noted in the overview, the list is quite similar to last meta's Pawpsicle deck, with the big inclusion being McDuck Manor - Scrooge's Mansion and Jim Hawkins - Space Traveler to cheat it out. Playing this prior to a Be Prepared ensures you still have something on board to pressure your opponent with.

For our deck highlight, we have another top 8 deck from Philly. This list from David Cleveland includes the Jim/McDuck package along with the usual Pawpsicle and control cards. In addition, he has one copy of Lucky Dime, which is a fun inclusion that can occasionally steal you a game out of nowhere.

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Tier 3

Amber/Amethyst Hyper Aggro

The hyper aggro deck of Amber/Amethyst falls a bit this week from the bottom of tier 2 to the top of tier 3. Honestly, given the amount of Steel decks in the meta, I'm surprised the deck can survive at all. But it manages to win games at a reasonable clip, even in this hostile environment. Sometimes just going all-in on an aggro strategy can pay off.

This deck from Tanner Y., which came in 2nd place in a 28-player local tournament in Utah, does just that. Pinocchio - Star Attraction and Piglet - Pooh Pirate Captain are both 2-drops that quest for 3 lore, while 4 copies of Kida - Protector of Atlantis can keep your board safe from combat.

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Ruby/Steel Pirates

Ruby/Steel Pirates may have dropped in meta share and down into tier 2, but it is tier 1 in our hearts. The deck is likely too dependent on Jolly Roger - Hook's Ship to be truly competitively viable. But the flavor and theme of the deck is so good, that people are still going to want to play it, including me.

I am highlighting this Pirate deck list from popular Lorcana deckbuilder RMB. The inclusions of Stitch - Little Rocket and Maui - Hero to All give the deck some reactive Rush cards even when the Jolly Roger is not on board.

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Amber/Ruby Red Mufasa

Mufasa decks are having a tough go of it in the new Inklands meta. Mufasa decks were once present up and down the tier list, but now we have only one with the meta share to make the charts and it's barely hanging on. That being said, I think the deck is still viable. Mufasa - Betrayed Leader is still one of the few (only?) cards that doesn't trade 1-for-1 with removal most of the time.

This list from Purphoros came in 2nd place at a large, 125-player tournament in France over the weekend. This deck actually makes for a good home for Hydra - Deadly Serpent, a card that I think has the potential to be quite strong, albeit a bit slow. When you can pull it with a Mufasa for free though, that is a scary threat for your opponent to have to deal with.

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Emerald/Steel Beast OTK

The third and final Emerald/Steel deck, and the final deck on the tier list for this week, is the Beast OTK deck. This deck has really started to fall out of favor amongst the player base. The combo is just too unreliable most of the time. You are better off running other, all-around good cards in place of the combo pieces. Hence why Emerald/Steel Control and Discard are doing much better online and in tournaments.

But if you do wish to get your Beast - Relentless infinite lore chain going, this list from streamer Specimen looks like a solid option. You'll want plenty of draw to dig through your deck to find your combo pieces and this deck has that in the forms of Beast - Tragic Hero, A Whole New World and the new Emerald Song Strike a Good Match.

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That's it for the meta report this week. We are two weeks into the Inklands meta and already the top of the tier list is beginning to take shape. And it looks a lot like the top of the last meta's tier list, with the usual suspects just adding one or two new cards and being just as good as before. (Looking at you, Amethyst/Ruby Control...) Although I do think that the Amethyst/Steel Jafar Wheel deck has a chance to become a real meta-breaking and possibly meta-defining deck.

Until next week, good luck and have fun!

gutshot
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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