Into the Inklands Set Review: Sapphire

Disney Lorcana's third set will be releasing to local game stores very soon, so we are taking a look at the full set and reveiwing all the cards. In this post, I will be reviewing all the Sapphire cards from Into the Inklands.

Introduction

Disney Lorcana's third set will be releasing to local game stores very soon, so we are taking a look at the full set and reveiwing all the cards. With so many cards to go through, we will be breaking this series of reviews down by ink color. In this post, I will be reviewing all the Sapphire cards from Into the Inklands.

Sapphire has been arguably the weakest ink so far in Lorcana's lifespan. The Pawpsicle deck had a lot of hype at the beginning of the last meta, but ultimately failed to deliver results. Sapphire/Steel lists have been better, but are really carried by how good the Steel cards are. Could Into the Inklands offer Sapphire a few stand-out cards of their own? Only one way to find out!


Into The Inklands Set Review

Rating Scale

Each card will be rated from 1 to 5. Here is roughly what each rating means:

1 = Garbage - These cards are unplayable in nearly all circumstances. You would never consider adding these cards to your constructed deck and probably don't want to see them in limited formats either. Also sometimes known as "pack filler". When you get these cards, add them to your binder and leave them there.

2 = Kinda Bad - These cards are generally unplayable under most circumstances. They may be good in very specific or very niche situations but you would almost never seriously consider putting them in a competitive deck. They're just too awkward or clunky to see use realistically. They can sometimes be serviceable options in limited formats though.

3 = Fair. These cards are not powerful enough to be deck-defining cards in playable decks nor are they bad enough that you would never consider them. They're somewhere in the middle of the road, and cards in this range could jump in and out of the meta depending on how it changes, either within the current set or possibly even future sets. These cards are never worth dismissing out of hand because it's always possible that they could be good enough to see play if the meta calls for them.

4 = Very Good. These cards are powerful enough that they become staple cards in competitive or serious decks. Cutting it from a competitive deck and trying to swap in something else would almost never be recommended because the card is too important to the deck's overall strategy.

5 = Insane. These cards are the most powerful cards in the set. The meta can shift by their very presence. They are the superstar cards of the best of the best decks. They may be able to singlehandedly move the power of a deck a couple tiers higher in the meta reports than they would otherwise. When people think of the defining cards of the set, they think of these cards.


Into the Inklands Sapphire Cards

Audrey Ramirez - The Engineer

Audrey Ramirez is a 5-cost 2/5 that quests for 2 and has Ward. It's a solid stat line, the same one found on Cogsworth - Grandfather Clock. And her ability Spare Parts allows you to ready an item every time she quests. This ability can be great with something like Fishbone Quill, allowing you to ink two additional cards from your hand each turn. But the real combo with Audrey seems to be Lucky Dime. Getting multiple activations of Dime off in a single turn can be game-winning. All in all, a decent card for item decks.

Rating: 3/5

Captain Amelia - First in Command

This card is strange. Her ability signals that she wants to be used offensively, to take out opposing Evasive threats. But her stat line is all defense, high Willpower and only 1 Strength. What Evasive threat can she even deal with? Pascal - Rapunzel's Companion and Blue Fairy - Rewarding Good Deeds are the only two that immediately come to mind. Are you really playing her just to deal with those two specific cards? I don't think so. She needs Support or some other way to gain Strength to really do anything. And I don't like playing cards that need additional help just to be "okay".

Rating: 1/5

Dewey - Showy Nephew

Speaking of Support characters, we have Dewey here, who is a 2/3/2 for 3 ink with Support. Pretty boring card. Questing for 2 is nice, but Support on a card with just 2 Strength isn't going to do much. And Support as a keyword has been mostly irrelevant in Lorcana so far. Maybe with high Willpower locations being added to the game, it could finally find some use? But I think I'd rather have higher Strength on my Support character than this Dewey provides.

Rating: 2/5

Flintheart Glomgold - Lone Cheater

Here we have another Evasive hate card. With 3 Strength, Flintheart at least has a better stat line than Captain Amelia - First in Command, but not enough for me to want to play him. He's basically a vanilla 4-cost 3/4/2 with a very slight upside. Meh.

Rating: 2/5

Genie - Cramped in the Lamp

The art on this card is amazing. The card itself, however, is not that exciting. We've seen this stat line before on Aurora - Regal Princess. That card saw some play in the First Chapter, but has mostly fallen out of the meta since. You really need your cards to do something these days. If we ever get a good Floodborn Genie, this one may make for a nice Shift target. Until then though, just admire this card's art while it's safe in your binder.

Rating: 2/5

Gramma Tala - Keeper of Ancient Stories

Gramma Tala - Keeper of Ancient Stories is a 4-cost 3/3/1 that has the Sisu - Divine Water Dragon draw effect, but it is on play, instead of on quest. This is arguably better since you are guaranteed to get the draw every time you play her. In addition, she works as an on-curve Shift target for the Floodborn Gramma Tala. I like this card and think that it will definitely see play.

Rating: 4/5

Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean

The Floodborn Gramma Tala is one of Sapphire's Legendary cards this set. As a 4/8 that quests for 2 and costs 7 ink, you aren't thrilled if you have to play her at her base cost. Although 7 ink for Sapphire is not as costly as it is for other colors, due to all their ramping effects. But Shifting this out for 5 ink is quite strong, especially if you can manage to do it as early as turn 4.

Once this Gramma Tala is on board, she makes all your ink ramping effects into something that also advances your win condition. Normally your ramp effects, such as One Jump Ahead get much worse as the game goes on. Ramping from 11 to 12 ink is not nearly as beneficial as ramping from 4 to 5 ink. With Gramma Tala out, you at least get the additional benefit of gaining a lore each time you gain an ink.

Now this Tala doesn't have the explosive potential of Jafar - Striking Illusionist. There is no A Whole New World for ramping. The closest would be Friend Like Me but I'm not sure that card is worth running, even in a Gramma Tala deck. The best thing to run her with is probably Mama Odie - Mystical Maven, a very powerful new ramp tool for Sapphire decks.

Sapphire decks desperately needed a way to close out games that isn't just hoping a Belle - Strange but Special sticks to the board. And now they have it. This card will be a Sapphire staple.

Rating: 5/5

Gyro Gearloose - Gadget Whiz

Gyro Gearloose is another item recursion card in Sapphire. He is much cheaper than Tamatoa - So Shiny! and doesn't target only Pawpsicle like Nick Wilde - Wily Fox. The downside is you don't get the item directly into your hand, it goes to the top of your deck. And his ability is also not triggered on play, you have to exert him. That makes him very slow. Even if you play him on turn 3, you aren't getting the item back into your hand until turn 5, unless you have a way to draw a card during your turn. Those downsides plus his weak body leaves him pretty underwhelming over all.

Rating: 2/5

Huey - Savvy Nephew

Huey very appropriately synergizes with his brothers, Dewey and Louie. His Three Nephews ability lets you draw 3 cards if you have both the other two on board when you play him. That is a lot of card draw. But the other two nephews are pretty bad cards that you don't really want to put in your deck.

The curve is also all backwards here. Huey, Dewey and Louie cost 2, 3, and 4 ink, respectively. So you would think that the 4-ink nephew would be the one that benefits from the other two being in play, that way you are rewarded for playing the nephews in turn and keeping them on board. Instead you have to hold the 2-drop until after you've played the 3 and the 4-drops. Turn 5 is an important turn in Lorcana, a lot of very powerful cards happen to cost 5 or have Shift 5 on them, so playing this 2-drop then instead of the many other good cards is not what you want to be doing.

Rating: 2/5

King Louie - Bandleader

King Louie is Lumiere - Hotheaded Candelabra with one extra lore. Lumiere is really bad, but adding one extra lore is not enough to make this card playable. It's ok in limited formats, but terrible in constructed.

Rating: 1/5

Kit Cloudkicker - Navigator

Kit Cloudkicker is fairly basic, as far as Floodborns go. A 2/5 body that quests for 3 lore, can Shift for 3, and has Ward is fair enough value. It's basically Cogsworth - Grandfather Clock, without the Resist ability but with an extra lore. I guess if you are playing a very aggressive deck, you may want something that can come down as early as turn 3, quest for 3 and be hard to remove. But overall, pretty unexciting.

Rating: 3/5

Kit Cloudkicker - Spunky Bear Cub

This is the Shift target for the Floodborn Kit and, whoo boy, is it bad. You are losing 2 Strength and 1 Willpower over just vanilla 1-drops and in return you get the Ward keyword. Nah, that's not worth it at all. If this had 2 lore, it would be a very playable aggro card. As it is, it's closer to being one of the worst cards in the game.

Rating: 1/5

Louie - Chill Nephew

The last of the three nephews, Louie, like his brother Dewey - Showy Nephew, is barely better than a simple vanilla card. You don't want this in your deck. It's a real shame that the three nephews got such lackluster cards. Hopefully Ravensburger has more exciting cards for these three iconic characters coming in future sets.

Rating: 1/5

Maid Marian - Delightful Dreamer

Maid Marian makes her Disney Lorcana debut in this beautifully illustrated card. She's a 5-cost 4/4/2 with an ability we have seen before on Aurora - Briar Rose. This ability has not been good in constructed Lorcana to date and I don't think that is going to change. Decent limited card though, where character combat is much more important and straight-up removal is much harder to come by.

Rating: 2/5

Mama Odie - Mystical Maven

The newest ramp card for Sapphire is this very spicy Mama Odie - Mystical Maven. Her This Going To Be Good ability allows you to put the top card of your deck into inkwell every time you play a song. That's every time, not just once per turn. It's a repeatable ramp effect which is triggered by playing songs. Not sure if you've played Lorcana recently, but songs are OP. You want to be playing songs, a lot. This card gives you even more benefits to playing a card you already want to play.

Mama Odie, in conjunction with One Jump Ahead, can enable some very quick early game ramp. Play your 2-cost character of choice on turn 2, then on turn 3 play Mama Odie and sing One Jump Ahead to gain two ink worth of ramp. Then the following turn you can ink a card and slam down a 6-drop on turn 4. It's also quite nice that Mama Odie is 3-cost, as she can sing a lot of very important songs herself, including Let the Storm Rage On, Friends On The Other Side, and Mother Knows Best.

It's also important to note that she pulls the card from your deck and not your hand. This makes her better than Fishbone Quill, in my opinion, as you aren't as dependent on card draw to keep up your ramping. In fact, many times you may want to forgo inking a card during your turn and instead focus on utilizing your cards to improve your board, relying on Mama Odie's effect to get you your ink.

Repeatable ramp effects are very powerful, doubly so when they are triggered off of playing cards you already want to be playing anyway. Mama Odie is going to be THE ramp card of choice for Sapphire decks going forward.

Rating: 5/5

Pluto - Mickey's Clever Friend

Pluto gets a third card in Into the Inklands, but this one is just a boring vanilla. I guess it can be a Shift target for Pluto - Determined Defender but that's the only upside I see here.

Rating: 2/5

Rufus - Orphanage Cat

Rufus is a 5-cost character that has the Gramma Tala - Storyteller ability. We've seen this ability on a bigger bodied character before, in James - Role Model, and it doesn't really fit. You want this effect on small characters that are likely to get banished. As it is, this old cat is basically a 4/5/1 vanilla character and that is simply not good enough.

Rating: 2/5

Scrooge McDuck - Richest Duck in the World

Scrooge McDuck joins Disney Lorcana in the form of two new cards. First up, is this Super Rare card, Scrooge McDuck - Richest Duck in the World. He costs 5, is uninkable, and you get a 3/5 body that quests for 1 lore, plus he comes with two abilities. The first one just gives him Evasive on your turn, allowing him to challenge into Evasive characters. This is good though because the second ability triggers any time you banish a character in a challenge, letting you play an item for free.

Now, what items might work with this ability? You want something that costs at least 3 ink and preferably more. Fishbone Quill and Eye of the Fates jump out as potential targets. In other colors, you can maybe look at something like Heart of Atlantis or Map of Treasure Planet. But the big combo piece with Scrooge is to use him to play his Lucky Dime.

I don't know if a Lucky Dime deck is going to work, it feels like a meme deck, but if it does work, Scrooge will be the main reason why. Mostly though, I think Scrooge will find a home in any deck that runs several items of cost 3 or more. He gives you some solid tempo when you can activate his ability, but it is dependent on him banishing something, which may not always be easy to do with only 3 Strength.

All in all, I think he's a solid card for item decks but not something I would look to build my deck around.

Rating: 3/5

Scrooge McDuck - Uncle Moneybags

The other Scrooge card is this 2-cost 1/3 that has the ability Treasure Finder, giving you a 1 ink discount on the next item you play this turn. This is similar to Belle - Inventive Engineer but on a cheaper body.

I'm not too impressed by this ability, in general. Items always felt a little over-costed to me, so this brings them more in line with what I'd expect to pay. But you have to get him on board and quest with him to then be able to essentially play an item for a "fair" cost. Feels like too much work to enable a card type that hasn't really been all that good in Lorcana so far.

Rating: 2/5

The Queen - Mirror Seeker

The Queen - Mirror Seeker is a 4-cost 2/5 that quests for 1 lore and when she quests you can look at the top 3 cards of your deck and reorder them. This effect is basically worthless, so this is mainly just a vanilla. If she was a Shift target for something, maybe she'd see play. But not as a stand-alone card.

Rating: 1/5

Tinker Bell - Very Clever Fairy

This Tinker Bell is ramp for item decks. Item decks and ramp haven't generally had too much overlap, so this card is trying to bridge that gap. The thing is, you generally want your items to go to your discard when they are banished, where you can recur them. Once they are in the inkwell, they are gone for good. So this effect doesn't feel helpful, it feels like it hurts you more than anything. And it's on a 5-drop, so you aren't going to be getting this ramp until the mid or late game, where it is less valuable.

Tinker Bell - Very Clever Fairy is a card that is trying to tie together two of Sapphire's main themes, which I appreciate, but I don't think it does it very successfully.

Rating: 2/5

Wendy Darling - Authority on Peter Pan

Wendy Darling as a 3/1/2 for 3 with Ward and Support is just an okay common card. I guess it can be good in draft... wait, this is a Super Rare? What? I don't understand the thinking behind making this card a Super Rare. Just a plain old card with a weak body and boring keywords. This might be the worst Super Rare card in the game.

Rating: 1/5

Distract

This card is Control Your Temper! that costs 1 more ink but comes with a card draw. The cycle is nice, but still not enough to want to run this card, especially at 2 ink.

Rating: 1/5

Friend Like Me

Friend Like Me is a new ramp card that lets you ramp for 3 ink on a 5-cost Song. That's really good! The problem is your opponent also gains 3 ink. And, since the ink is exerted when you play this, you can't use it right away. Your opponent gets first use of the 3 ink you just gave them, putting you behind in tempo from the moment you play this. There is the ability to use this to gain 3 lore when you have a Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean on board, but unless that 3 lore is winning you the game, you're probably better off not playing it.

Rating: 2/5

How Far I'll Go

This card's lovely art makes me wonder when we get a Te Fiti card whether it will be a location or a character? Or maybe somehow both? Anyway, I digress. How Far I'll Go is another Sapphire Song that ramps you but also draws you a card as well. Four ink is a bit pricy for this effect, but you can sing it with a 4-cost character. And maybe finally get use out of those Singer 4 cards.

Either way, I like the ramp, I like the card draw and I like the fact that it is a song. Overall, a good card.

Rating: 4/5

Repair

Repair is a location and character heal effect in one. But it costs 2 ink and, more importantly, costs you a card. Even if this card cost 0 ink, you wouldn't want to play it. It's bad.

Rating: 1/5

Aurelian Gyrosensor

Aurelian Gyrosensor is an item that gives you slightly improved draws. It reminds me of Ursula's Cauldron, which did see a small amount of play in heavy control lists. This item is inkable though, which is good, because you will definitely only be wanting one of these out at a time since it's already able to trigger multiple times a turn on its own.

The awkward thing about that is that when you find a card you want to keep on top of your deck, the rest of the triggers do literally nothing. In the end, I don't know if I value this effect very highly, but since this card is inkable, I can see it filling a flex spot in some control Sapphire decks.

Rating: 3/5

Heart of Te Fiti

This card is very similar to Fishbone Quill, they both cost 3 ink and let you ramp an additional ink each turn. Quill costs you card advantage though, whereas this card costs you tempo. With enough draw, like in Sapphire/Steel decks that run A Whole New World, the Quill is going to be better. But other decks may prefer the Heart. It works particularly well with Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean, where it effectively reads "pay 2 ink and gain 1 lore". Not a bad card, I can see it finding a home.

Rating: 3/5

Lucky Dime

Lucky Dime is Lorcana's first Legendary item and it is certainly worthy of that designation. It is crazy expensive at 7 ink, but as we mentioned earlier, you want to be playing this with Scrooge McDuck - Richest Duck in the World. Once on board, you can pay 2 ink and choose a character to instantly gain their lore value. It effectively doubles up the lore value of any character who can quest and also provides an immediate lore gain option on characters who are still "wet". You can target them with Lucky Dime to gain that lore in the same turn they're played.

The characters you want to pair this item with are any with a lot of lore, obviously. Cards like Belle - Strange but Special or Alice - Growing Girl can net you 5 lore, if their conditions are met when you target them with Lucky Dime. If you have two or more Lucky Dimes in play, or have a way to ready the item during your turn, you can really stack up the lore quickly.

The thing is this deck requires a lot of setup to get the Lucky Dime on board and then have the targets for it also in play. All the while, your opponent is going to be playing the game too and you can't just ignore their board to setup your Lucky Dime wombo-combo. As cool and as fun as this item is, I think there are just too many hoops to jump through to make it work, although I'm sure many will try.

Rating: 2/5

Scrooge's Top Hat

It's Lantern for items. Lantern is a good card, but every deck is going to be playing like 80% characters, so you will get a ton of value out of it as the game goes on. Even the most item heavy decks are only running 10-12 items, so the ability to get lots of value out of this card is significantly reduced. That fact alone is probably dooming this top hat to the binder.

Rating: 2/5

Vault Door

Vault Door is an interesting item for location-based decks. Giving characters Resist is very powerful, as we have seen with Cogsworth - Grandfather Clock. This item lets you give both your characters and locations Resist. Locations with Resist is especially strong as there is only one card that can remove locations without dealing damage, which is Rise of the Titans. In all other cases, your opponent has to push through the Resist to banish your locations.

This can also stack several times. A location with +2 or +3 Resist is going to be very hard to remove and, provided it has some lore on it, will likely be an impenetrable fortress of lore gain for you.

What might be holding this card back is the cost of all of this. You need to play this item, which is an expensive 4 ink, and the locations as well. Then you need to play some characters and move them there to benefit from this effect. That's a large investment and, by the time you have everything in place, your opponent may already be on the verge of winning the game.

Maybe there is a deck that plays this, Map of Treasure Planet, some characters that help you cheat out items and then a bunch of locations? So you use your characters to get your items out cheaply and then use Map to get your locations out cheaply and then move your characters there and they all become virtually indestructible? I like the idea of the deck, but it may just be too slow to get online. Certainly one to watch for, as future sets come out and we get more locations or more ways to cheat out items. Until then, I'm filing this card in the vault, under "maybe".

Rating: 3/5

Belle's House - Maurice's Workshop

Here's a location for that proposed Vault Door deck. At 1 cost, you can play Maurice's Workshop down early, although the 2 movement cost makes it tough to get a character here. But if you have the ink to spend on moving a character here, you get a 1 ink discount on all items you play. To make back the lost tempo of paying for the location and the movement, you would need to play 3 items. That can be hard to do before your opponent just takes out this location or the character on it. For that reason, it's best to pair it with cheap items. Playing Pawpsicle for free sounds pretty good.

Unfortunately the location doesn't have any lore, so you really are counting on the item cost reduction to make this location do anything. I think it's just too much of an investment for not a good enough payoff.

Rating: 2/5

McDuck Manor - Scrooge's Mansion

McDuck Manor - Scrooge's Mansion is a giant vanilla location for Sapphire. With 9 Willpower, it will take a lot for your opponent to deal with this. But if you have to play this for 4 ink you better already be pretty far ahead, since it doesn't do anything else except generate you lore.

Is there an aggressive Ruby/Sapphire deck that uses this plus Jim Hawkins - Space Traveler as its top-end? Throwing out 13 Willpower and 4 lore over two bodies on turn 5 is pretty good. Not sure if a deck like that has enough card draw to be viable though.

In the end, an expensive vanilla location is probably not going to see play.

Rating: 2/5

Motunui - Island Paradise

Motunui has what you want in a location, a solid passive effect and some lore generation. For only 2 ink, you get a 5 Willpower location with a movement cost of 1 and 1 lore. Then on top of that you get Reincarnation, which gives the Gramma Tala - Storyteller ability to any character at the location. That makes this card a powerful ramp tool, that isn't costing you too much tempo to play. In Sapphire ramp decks, this village of Motunui may not be all you need, but it can certainly be a key piece.

Rating: 4/5


And that closes the book on the Sapphire cards in this set. The game designers have stuck to what Sapphire does well in this set, which is ramping and item synergies. I think the ramp cards are much better than the item cards, this time around. Especially Mama Odie and how good she can be with the Gramma Tala Legendary.

Sapphire has struggled to gain a foothold in the meta, outside of decks where it is paired with Steel. I'm not sure that changes this set as their best cards want you to play a lot of Songs and Steel is the color with the best song cards. But we shall see if more new deck archetypes pop up once the Into the Inklands era begins!

Next, we finish up our set reviews, with the Steel cards!

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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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