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Last week, the Lorcana community was abuzz with the revelation of 27 new cards from the upcoming expansion, Into the Inklands, slated to grace the scene in less than three weeks. Amidst the flurry of excitement, I took it upon myself to sift through the revealed cards, identifying those with the greatest potential to influence the metagame.
Note: Sorry for the timing on this, I was attending SCGCon for Lorcana last weekend, playing in multiple high level cash prize events for the game! Later this week I will review my pick of the litter for cards revealed this week because we already have a bunch as of the time of writing this.
Let's embark on a journey into the heart of these revelations, examining the standout cards and envisioning their impact on gameplay.
Voyage is a one-cost inkable action in Ruby, offering the ability to move up to two characters to the same location for free. Best used as a mid-game asset rather than an early-game play, Voyage can enable location-based decks to utilize their locations' effects without you losing too much tempo. Its ability to circumvent high movement costs makes it an important tool for those decks, saving you valuable ink while delivering immediate value.
Cursed Merfolk - Ursula's Handiwork
Cursed Merfolk is a one-cost Emerald character that boasts an intriguing ability called Poor Souls. This ability ensures that each challenge directed at Cursed Merfolk results in your opponents discarding a card, reminiscent of the beloved 2-drop Flynn Rider - Charming Rogue. And at 2 lore, Cursed Merfolk is a threat that demands attention, putting pressure on your opponents while simultaneously fueling Emerald discard decks. Whether as a lore generator or a disruptive tool, this card has a lot of versatility, making it a very powerful 1-drop.
Tiana's Palace - Jazz Restaurant
Amidst the revealed locations, Tiana's Palace - Jazz Restaurant stands tall as a bastion of defense. At 8 Willpower, it will be hard to remove this location. And, while it is up, its ability to shield characters from challenges is a strong effect, reminiscent of Bodyguard characters. Expect to see Tiana's Palace featured prominently in aggressive decks, as they can move their cheaper characters with high lore values there during the midgame to keep them around. Cards like Voyage, above, will be key in reducing the move cost to Tiana's Palace, so if an aggressive Amber/Ruby deck emerges, these cards could be the centerpiece.
Rise of the Titans
Rise of the Titans looks like it will be a potent tool in the arsenal of Steel decks, offering the ability to banish chosen locations or items. Its inkable nature ensures deck flexibility; if you are up against an opponent with no locations or items in their deck, you can just ink it. If location decks become a thing in the Inklands meta, Rise of the Titans will be a powerful tech option. Item decks also seem to be improving with various cards in the upcoming set, so I don't expect this card to be without targets in any given metagame.
Scrooge's Top Hat/Belle's House
In the realm of items and locations, a rivalry emerges between Scrooge's Top Hat and Belle's House. While both offer cost-reducing benefits for items, the Top Hat's efficiency and flexibility overshadow its counterpart. With the ability to exert and reduce the cost of the next item you play, Scrooge's Top Hat provides a powerful ink acceleration effect, perfect for item-heavy decks. In contrast, Belle's House, while offering passive cost reductions for items, suffers from higher setup costs, relegating it to more of a niche role.
These pair of Plutos are a powerful combination. The Friendly Pooch will always be an immediate "deal with me" threat that can allow you to gain a massive ink advantage if he stays around. While not as hard to deal with as a card like Lantern, the fact that this Pluto comes down a turn earlier and can still quest or help in other ways (drawing cards off Stitch - Rock Star, for example) makes him very useful. As for Pluto - Determined Defender, while Shift 5 may seem a bit expensive, he will often only cost four since you will likely use the Friendly Pooch's ability to play him for cheaper. And since he has Bodyguard, he still affects the board in a positive way, even when he comes in exerted.
The Boss Is On a Roll
The Boss Is On a Roll looks to be a versatile tool in the arsenal of Amethyst decks, offering the ability to sculpt future draws while gaining some lore. While initially hailed as a potential linchpin in control strategies, I think its true potential lies in facilitating combo-oriented decks. Think of decks like future Broom-based strategies which will need Mickey - Wayward Sorcerer as the lynchpin of its engine... well, this song will help you find it.
You can also use The Boss Is On a Roll to "cheat" the math for cards that key off the top card of your deck. For cards like Mufasa - Betrayed Leader or Mulan - Reflecting, you can get away with running less characters or songs than you normally would, as you can now set up the top of your deck when needed. I also think a midrange aggressive deck that can use cards like this and The Sorcerer's Hat to refill your hand more consistently could work. Songs, in general, often seem to find their way into decks and I expect this flexible card is no exception.
Another versatile Steel card, I think Ba-Boom! would see play as a baseline inkable two cost/two damage action. You can think of it as a Teeth and Ambitions. Yeah, it's not a song but you do not need to damage your own characters to use it either. Now, you add the versatility of being able to damage locations, and you have almost no downside to running this card in some quantity in any Steel list. Even with the metagame based around three Willpower or more characters, Ba-Boom! should still find a place if locations are as ubiquitous as I expect them to be.
Map of Treasure Planet
I had the pleasure of being able to reveal this card on The Forbidden Mountain's Youtube channel and my excitement over this card has not dwindled! I love that it has an active ability to get out locations cheaper, but that the passive ability to reduce move costs is "always on" even if you used the first ability. In any Steel-based location deck those cost reductions are going to add up quickly, easily making back the initial three ink you spent to play this. I see this as a key cog in the wheel of those types of decks, we simply need to see more of it to fully understand the potential!
What a week! There were a ton of cards I did not highlight this week as I feel, for various reasons, they will not see serious play in the future metagame. We have them all displayed on our site though, so make sure to check them out.
We've had lots more reveals in the past few days, so I expect before the full set is revealed I will want to highlight some of the stand out cards in another article later this week. Stay tuned!