Exploring Atlantis and More: A Deeper Dive Into This Week’s Into the Inklands Cards – Part 2

With new Disney Lorcana sets launching every three months, it can be a daunting task to evaluate cards as they drop, especially when the full set is not yet revealed. To mitigate that shock, we plan to look at the new cards that drop each week to prepare you for release day.

Reveal season is so exciting for Disney Lorcana.  With new sets launching every three months, it can be a daunting task to evaluate cards as they drop, especially when the full set is not revealed until usually a week before LGS launch.  To mitigate that shock, I plan to look at the new cards that drop each week to prepare you for February 23. When we start to get more “giant card dumps” (which should start when Into the Inklands is added to the official app) I may update these more frequently.

New cards continually introduce fresh dynamics to the game and “Into the Inklands” is no exception, with the new Locations card type. As we start to get more actual Locations, and the cards that interact with them, revealed, their full impact is beginning to be better understood.

On Friday alone we were shown 14 (!?) new cards, several of which are pretty vanilla so they'll be fast, but let's dive in! Here are the end of last week's reveals organized by Ink Color!

Kida - Atlantean

Kida is a vanilla 2/2/1 for one which hopefully signals a Flooborn version in this set or soon! She is also a Princess which is not irrelevant. Cool flavor text!

Heart of Atlantis

Heart of Atlantis is a double Lantern in all ways: Cost, effect, uninkable. The question is what type of payoff are you getting on playing this in the mid game instead of as early as turn two? You can immediately play a two drop off of the Heart, which is nice, but assuming you play this on turn four and ink on five, you are really ramping from five to seven, which sets up a really nice Stitch - Carefree Surfer turn. Is this necessary? The issue I have is any deck that would want to run this is going to have to play it over two Lanterns in deck building, and I am not sure it is worth that or even possible to do. I think this is fringe and if we continue to see Amber/X go larger, I can see this as a 2 of in those types of lists, subbing out two of its smaller cousins.

Milo Thatch - Spirited Scholar

There are payoffs for moving to locations that are awesome, and then there are those that make you have on-curve stats. I am not sure that this version of Milo does either of those things honestly. This is the second card we have seen with this similar payoff (along with Minnie Mouse - Funky Spelunker). You need to look at these cards like delayed gratification: you are eventually paying the full cost, but it is spread over multiple turns (or you may never chose to pay it). The payoff on Milo going to a 4/2/1 is simply not impactful enough. If he received Willpower, then we are talking, but still being vulnerable to the plethora of two damage removal means he is a limited star only (punching well above his cost)

Prince Eric - Expert Helmsman

I am going to go out on a limb and say that beyond Locations, Prince Eric - Expert Helmsman is the most impactful reveal we have seen so far this season. I have seen him downplayed and compared to Cheshire Cat - Not All There and nothing could be further from the truth! If you've been following me since the start of Lorcana, you know I cannot stand that Cheshire Cat or Kuzco - Temperamental Emperor because they need to be banished in challenges and it is extremely difficult for them to ever be relevant beyond their cost. Eric does not have these restrictions. Your opponent's one-sided removal like Lady Tremaine - Imperious Queen or even Grab Your Sword are a lot more even when Prince Eric is on the table.

Sure, you can simply play him on the field and hope to quest for him until your opponent choses to deal with him, but no matter how they chose to deal with him, if they have another Character in play, it is going down with him! Not to mention the combos you can run with Eric yourself, the most important being Teeth and Ambitions. Will that be simply a two-for-two? Sure, but it is all on your terms, and you are getting a virtual Dragon Fire along with the Teeth payoff for less total cost. Remember, even without the combos he is still doing a Kuzco impression at worst! If there are other mirrored effects, Eric will also get the job done. Maybe we will finally get more Prince synergy.

Just as a card on its own, I think the new Prince Eric is poised to take a spot in Ruby control decks, and I hear those are pretty good..

Sumerian Talisman

Sumerian Talisman just requires too much to make it work. If you are looking to benefit off of challenging, just play Queen of Hearts - Sensing Weakness. This is simply too expensive, requires you to actually banish your own characters, not simply challenge with them, and has no real effect on the board. Another trap semi-card drawer, even in a color without much card draw this does not make the cut.

Milo Thatch - Clever Cartographer

Another one cost Goon that is meant to be a Floodborn target for the Legendary Milo. Only play this if you plan on using the larger one to Shift.

Milo Thatch - King of Atlantis

Our third Legendary revealed from Into the Inklands! I wanted this card to be better, but in reality I think it is going to fall short. A three lore 4/4/3 for only Shift 4 can gain you a lot of Lore, but his ability requires him to be banished and at times can actually HELP your opponent by sending ALL of their characters back to their hand. The game is centered around Characters with "when you play this" type effects and rarely is there some giant board you are trying to win with. Even if that was the case, your opponent has the most say about when this ability is used to their advantage (if any). Unlike Price Eric, I do not see a scenario where you would want to use this as sacrificial fodder to proc this ability. Maybe if we get some type of King synergy that allows for that? Even so, another huge Uninkable continues to be Emerald's downfall.

Lyle Tiberius Rourke - Cunning Mercenary

Why is this Uninkable? Sure, you could argue that his abilities together are above curve, but his stat line still leaves him to be banished to most played on curve three drops and is laughed at by the best three drop in Madam Mim - Fox. Even if somehow that was not the case, I still do not think this justifies a mid costed Uninkable in your deck. Lore removal needs to be in the game, but it needs to stop being Uninkable!

Friend Like Me

Friend Like Me is very powerful, very dangerous, and very skill intensive. Since your opponent can make use of the ink before you (since they come into play exerted) you need to make sure you are using this against decks unlikely to take advantage of the free ramping, whereas your deck is obviously built to take advantage of it. The bottom line is, unless there are items or other on-board threats that require ink usage each turn, your opponent may not have a great use out of the ink to begin with. If they are low on cards in hand it is the same argument. You can sing this very early in the game (you COULD do it as early as turn two with a Shifted The Queen, but I would not suggest that..) but I think you want to use it when you take take more advantage of it versus your opponent. You certainly should be playing things like Be Prepared but as long as your threats or answers a turn later are better than your opponents, you should be dropping haymaker after haymaker while they are scrambling to even USE the extra ink effectively. I think this card is a powerful build around and I think dismissing it simply because "your opponent can use it first" is not a true understanding of how to build your deck to maximize mirrored effects. If it is not the right time to play it, just ink it!

If you want a benefit right away, just make sure you pack a playset of Belle - Strange but Special (which I cannot imagine you are not already) and start questing for FIVE well before your opponent expects it!

Tinker Bell - Very Clever Fairy

I really want to like Tinker Bell - Very Clever Fairy but I am not sure she is actually needed. Clearly as a turn five play in preparation of questing from Hiram Flaversham - Toymaker gets you extra benefit from the item he banishes, but typically that is a Pawpsicle that you need to eventually get back into play. I am just not sure that a 3/4/2 that essentially gains you one ink when she is played is actually good enough, when you oftentimes can just get more use out of the item. We will see, but I think she is just a bit too expensive to make an impact on the game compared to better options.

Audrey Ramirez - The Engineer

The best use of Audrey Ramirez - The Engineer is with things like Eye of the Fates, The Sorcerer's Spellbook, and Sleepy's Flute. The problem is she needs to actually Quest to use her ability, and while her Ward keyword helps her stay around, it will not protect her from various popular board clears. This means you have a one to turn window to use her ability before she is taken off the field regardless. You also need a target to make her work. I would not write her off completely as her ability can be very powerful in an item based combo deck, but she is likely just too slow to make an impact.

Lucky Dime

Our first non-character Legendary in Lorcana! Lucky Dime is Scrooge McDuck's first dime he ever made and wow is it a doozy. Is this expensive? Yes. Is it uninkable? Yes. Gaining Lore outside of questing is very powerful, just go look at how ubiquitous Merlin-Goat is in the metagame.

Does this have a massive target on its back against Steel opponents? Sure, but when Locations are added to the game you are now presenting threats on three levels or opponents to deal with: Characters, Locations, and Items. They cannot have all the answers all the time, and ramping to nine ink (to play and use Lucky Dime right away) is not a tall task for Sapphire decks.

Once this is in play, your characters essentially have "Rush for Questing," because you can use the Dime to immediately gain their Lore. Oh, by the way, it was confirmed with Steve Warner that it is current lore on the character, so bonuses from Belle - Strange but Special, Tamatoa - So Shiny!, or Alice - Growing Girl occur for the Dime's ability (although if you get Alice's Lore bonus, are you not winning already?). I think this card is a perfect addition to these Belle lists, along with Friend like Me above, and while strategies based around her have been solid Tier 2-3 in the meta, I think the Rush type nature of Lucky Dime allowing that to occur right away, may help push her closer to the top.

Since you are likely playing Fishbone Quill anyway, you can always "ink" this card through that ability and present additional Items for your opponent to deal with. They can only have so much item removal, but you can present too many item threats to deal with. Might as well include one that is a win condition right?!

Helga Sinclair - Right Handed Woman

Unfortunately, we end this week with a likely unplayable. She boasts a decent stat line, especially when challenging, but if a character has no non-challenging type abilities and still loses to Madam Mim - Fox on curve, you need to look in other directions for playables. Solid limited staple!

Conclusion

What a week! We got part of the story of Into the Inklands, and a slew of reviews from large media outlets. Reveals are going to heat up in the coming weeks, and I will be here to guide you through these messy waters!

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.

Articles: 26