Ariel - Spectacular Singer Disney Lorcana Art by Alice Pisoni

Power of Songs: Why Amber Decks Will Always Be Relevant

Keep an eye out for Song Action cards in Disney Lorcana! Let's explore why they are powerful and how they are played in supporting decks.

Introduction

Amber - Steel decks were undoubtedly the best deck during The First Chapter, and arguably still a top two deck nowadays.

The power of the Steel damage effects, including area of effect damage effects from Grab Your Sword and Tinker Bell - Giant Fairy, combined with the ridiculous hand refill you get from A Whole New World is the power of the deck. The glue, however, comes from Amber, and that is the power of Songs.

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What is a Songs Deck?

Songs as an evergreen archetype in Disney Lorcana pushes Amber – x decks to compete on a Tempo axis. Tempo is a term to describe the pace at which one plays threats and is a fundamental component of TCGs, including Lorcana. Whereas decks that rely on Ruby or Amethyst (or both...) often compete on a Card Advantage axis (typically meaning you either see more cards, whether through hard card draw or simply having more cards that trade for more cards than your opponent), Amber based decks have been able to compete on Tempo because of Songs.

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Why Are Songs So Powerful?

The power of Songs is that you can typically use an on-curve character the turn after it is played to play the action for free. This means you are free to use your ink to play additional characters or actions while still playing the powerful ability of the song “for free.” Obviously exerting a character is not without an opportunity cost, but most of the time you are simply saving too much value to not sing the Song itself, especially if the Song enables additional actions to be taken (through drawing or selecting cards).

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Singing can also change the entire complexation of the card itself.  For example, normally when you are paying full cost for Be Prepared, most of your turn is taken up playing the seven cost Action.  This means your opponent is the first player to begin re-adding threats to the board. If you sing it, however, you get to add these threats in the same turn, oftentimes leaving your opponent with even worse options, since you can drop these characters that must be dealt with, forcing them to now react to you!

So, we agree that exerting an on-cost character is oftentimes the best use of Tempo in Lorcana, what about if you could exert an even smaller character to play the higher cost song? Well, that is where the Singer keyword comes into play, and why Amber will always be at the top of any metagame.

Cinderella - Ballroom Sensation

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The ability of Cinderella - Ballroom Sensation to sing up to a three-cost song as early as turn two is extremely powerful. The most commons plays involve playing a Let the Storm Rage On or a Strength of a Raging Fire (after playing a second character for your two ink) on turn two to take out opposing two willpower characters. In fact, Cinderella enabling these plays is a major reason why two willpower characters are completely falling out of favor in the metagame and three willpower is becoming the standard (see all the 1/3s for one ink in Ruby Amethyst...), along with Teeth and Ambitions (gee, another song?!).

Reaching beyond Steel as a pairing, I have recently seen Cinderella singing One Jump Ahead or Sudden Chill “on curve” (she would allow you to play them on turn two, the turn you would usually play them) and massively discount when you could play Friends On The Other Side or Mother Knows Best. Even within Amber, Cinderella enables you to play Be Our Guest, World's Greatest Criminal Mind, Part of Your World, or even Painting the Roses Red at virtually no cost (exerting a 1/2 for one..).

Ariel - Spectacular Singer

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Then we move into the realm of the three cost singers. Ariel - Spectacular Singer has been a mainstay since day one, and honestly continues to be underrated as to her power level. The ability to dig for a song and then “up sing” it the next turn along with a 2/3 body is just entirely too much value to ignore.

The five cost songs are simply game breaking: Steel bring the amazing Grab Your Sword and A Whole New World, the mainstays of Amber-Steel. The ability of Ariel to sing them as early as turn four (along with all the Shift characters that Amber brings to the table, but that is a discussion for another day...)  is a main reason why Amber – Steel is always a consideration for dominance. If you dip into Sapphire, she allows you to sing earlier Let It Gos, but Amber-Sapphire has really fallen off in the Rise of the Floodborn metagame.

Five cost songs are where you simply gain tremendous value in playing the action for the cost of exerting a character. It is a massive amount of ink savings and either damaging their whole board or refilling your hand before being able to play a win condition in the mid-game (think: Beast - Tragic Hero) or at least not taking up your entire turn in playing the action to play even larger threats.

Gaston - Baritone Bully

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The newcomer to the Singer package is Gaston - Baritone Bully.  He gives you a second three cost Singer 5, continuing the ability to play these powerful five cost songs on turn four without Shift. He is also a 3/3, which is a great stat line in the current metagame.

The three Willpower allows you survive all the powerful two damage abilities (the aforementioned Teeth and Ambitions, Let the Storm Rage On, and Grab Your Sword, then add in Fire the Cannons) and early one drop aggression.

Since he will likely be exerted on turn four, you want the ability to trade with something of value instead of simply being banished by the various incarnations of Madam Mim (for example).

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Having multiple three cost Singer 5 characters really improves the consistency of Amber decks that want to sing five cost songs on four, and upcoming larger Lorcana events will likely show us if playing with various early Shift characters like The Queen - Commanding Presence or Stitch - Rock Star are even needed nowadays compared to all these Singers.

Conclusion

The format has moved to where simply being a Singer is powerful enough, given that both Cinderella - Ballroom Sensation and Gaston - Baritone Bully have no other abilities. If that does not show you the power of songs, nothing will!

Amber decks should always be built with the Singer keyword front and center, and unless you are using Amber to focus on a certain Lion King, the first cards you should start all your Amber decklists with are Cinderella and Ariel - Spectacular Singer... and I do not see that changing anytime soon.

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.

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