Rise of the Floodborn Set Review: Emerald

With Disney Lorcana's second set only days away from release, it's time to take a look at the full set and evaluate all the cards. In this post, I will be reviewing all the Emerald cards coming in Rise of the Floodborn.

Introduction

With Disney Lorcana's second set only days away from release and all the cards now revealed, it's time to take a look at the full set and evaluate all the cards. Since there are over 200 cards, we will be breaking this series of reviews down by ink color. In this post, I will be reviewing all the Emerald cards coming in Rise of the Floodborn. Emerald has so far been the color of choice for aggressive and tempo decks, with a lot of characters that come down early and quest for high lore amounts. Will that continue in set two? Let's take a look at the cards and find out!


Rise of the Floodborn 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.


Arthur - Trained Swordsman

First card up for Emerald is this Arthur. Lovely art on this card, too bad it's just a vanilla. If we ever get a Floodborn Arthur, which would be sick, then this card could be a nice Shift target for it. Until then, enjoy looking at this one in your binder but just be sure to leave it there.

Rating: 1/5

Beast - Relentless

Emerald's first of two legendaries in Rise of the Floodborn, Beast - Relentless is an absolute monster of a card. The 4/5 body with 2 lore for 6 isn't anything special but look at that Second Wind ability. Every time an opposing character takes damage, you can ready Beast. That means you can quest with him, challenge with another character, ready him and quest again, ping something, ready him and quest again, and so on. You can also use him to challenge multiple characters in a turn as he would ready himself after dealing damage to an opposing character. With some healing, or maybe by giving him Resist, he could take out an entire board by himself!

It's also noteworthy that his ability does not specify "on your turn" so Beast can ready on your opponent's turn. That means they can't challenge him with two characters to banish him because he would ready himself after he takes damage from the first challenge.

This card is just super flexible, able to be used as removal/board control or a straight-up win condition. And it pairs well with just about every other ink, so it can fit into a lot of decks. This Legendary Beast is simply a powerhouse of a card and definitely a contender for best card in the set.

Rating: 5/5

Belle - Bookworm

Belle is the first card we've seen here that follows a theme for Emerald where you are wanting to discard cards from your opponent's hand. And as a 2/4 for 3 that can quest for 3 lore when your opponent's hand is empty, she is pretty strong. She is uninkable though and Emerald, in particular, has quite a few uninkable cards that you will want to run. You'll need to be careful when deck building that you don't cram too many of those uninkables into your deck and end up with a hand full of them. But as a payoff for the discard deck, I think this Belle is pretty good.

Rating: 4/5

Belle - Hidden Archer

Here's another Belle and Emerald's other Legendary for this set. Belle - Hidden Archer obviously wants to go into the discard deck with her Thorny Arrows ability hopefully forcing your opponent to discard all their cards. And at 3 lore, she is a great quester that your opponent will need to remove. They can, however, get around the forced discard by removing her with direct damage or hard removal.

As a Floodborn, she is Shiftable, but you don't really want to Shift her onto the other Belle as then you lose that discard payoff. It's also awkward to have her at Shift 3 when all the other Belle cards in the game currently cost 3 ink or more. So I'm not sure how often you will be paying the Shift cost to play her. She's also uninkable and occupies the 5-drop slot, which is already full of great cards in Emerald.

For those reasons, I think she is in a bit of an awkward spot. She's a great card and that Thorny Arrows ability is amazing, but there isn't currently a way to smoothly fit her into your curve. If we ever get a 2-drop Belle, this card will improve a lot. Until then, she is still good but maybe not great.

Rating: 4/5

Bucky - Squirrel Squeak Tutor

Yet another "whenever you play a Floodborn character, do X" card and for Emerald that X, of course, equals forcing your opponent to discard a card. The 1/1 body isn't great though, but at least he has Ward, so he can't be pinged to be removed. The deck that wants this card will need to have a bunch of Floodborns to really take advantage of his ability. Are there enough of them to make it worth playing Bucky? I think discard decks will have other, less conditional ways to force discard, so I'm not sure Bucky has a home.

Rating: 2/5

Cheshire Cat - Always Grinning

It's a vanilla Cheshire Cat. Love the art on this one. 3/2 isn't bad for a 2-drop, at least it deals with Simba effectively. But the real reason you run this is because he's a Shift target for the Floodborn Cheshire Cat and his value mainly depends on how good that Cheshire Cat is...

Rating: 3/5

Cheshire Cat - From the Shadows

And it turns out the Floodborn Cheshire Cat is amazing. At 8 ink, he is pretty pricy but with a Shift 5, you are hoping to get him out on turn 5 most of the time. And on turn 5, a 5/6 Evasive body is very good. Plus he quests for 2 lore, which isn't bad.

But you probably aren't going to be questing with him very often, because of Wicked Smile. This ability is great, it's repeatable removal that costs nothing! It is conditional, so you will need to damage your opponent's characters, but it basically turns every one of your small characters or ping cards into free Dragon Fires. And if you can ready him during your turn, you could utilize his ability multiple times.

For that reason, you might want to pair him in a deck with Ruby and their character ready abilities. He also would fit well with Steel, with their multiple ways to ping opposing characters. Emerald/Steel is already a good deck coming out of set one and this Cheshire Cat may just push it over the top. Fantastic card.

Rating: 5/5

Daisy Duck - Secret Agent

Daisy Duck is a great option for discard decks or any deck really. She is similar to Flynn Rider from set one, which is a great card. You get her down and start questing with her and forcing your opponent to lose cards. They have to deal with her soon or else they will quickly be out of cards.

Rating: 4/5

Donald Duck - Perfect Gentleman

A new card draw engine for Emerald, Donald here is a perfect gentleman as he doesn't just let you draw a card but all players can draw a card. This sort of symmetrical effect seems like it might not be that good but the advantage is you will get the first chance to use the extra card every time. You can also make the draws asymmetrical by putting Donald into your discard deck and forcing your opponent to discard the card they just drew.

But he honestly could go into any deck that just wants some additional draw power and is confident that their card quality is going to be higher then their opponent's. And he's Floodborn, so you could Shift him out as early as turn 3, if you pair him with Ruby and their 2-drop Donald. Very good card and, at only an uncommon, you will see this card a lot.

Rating: 4/5

Donald Duck - Sleepwalker

Another Donald Duck here and this one is, putting it mildly, not as good. 5 Willpower on a 3-drop is decent but we've seen that before in the vanilla Mr. Smee. But Donald's ability means you have to work to get him up to 2 Strength. Yes, you can pump him up even higher but we just don't have enough good actions to make it worthwhile. I'd rather just have the vanilla 2/5, to be honest.

Rating: 1/5

Dr. Facilier - Fortune Teller

Dr. Facilier makes his first appearance outside of Amethyst in Dr. Facilier - Fortune Teller. A 4/4 Evasive body with 3 lore that also has the Jasper effect is really good! But 7 ink is very expensive. You will need to put him in a deck with ramp but he could be a decent option for those decks.

Rating: 3/5

Enchantress - Unexpected Judge

If I gave you three guesses would you be able to tell me which movie Enchantress is from? Me neither, but turns out she is the sorceress that curses Beast in the beginning of Beauty and the Beast. She has about 15 seconds of screen time, and only appears as a stained glass window, but despite that she's a decent card. Especially at home in aggro decks, which want to quest every turn and then force your opponent to deal with your characters. She does that with aplomb, hitting for 3 when she is challenged, which takes out pretty much every 1 and 2-drop in the game. At only 1 Willpower though, she does die to a swift breeze. But if you are playing an Emerald aggro deck, you'll definitely still run her.

Rating: 3/5

Flynn Rider - Confident Vagabond

A new vanilla Flynn Rider that serves primarily as a Shift target for the Floodborn Shift Flynn. And as a 1-drop with 3 Willpower, he will almost certainly survive a turn to let you get the Shift out.

Rating: 2/5

Flynn Rider - His Own Biggest Fan

And here is what you want to Shift out. A turn 2 play that quests for 4 lore, whoa, that's insane! Oh wait, "this character gets -1 ♢ for each card in your opponents' hands". Well you are never playing this in a multiplayer game, that's for sure. And even in 1v1 games you are unlikely to quest for more than 1 or 2 with Flynn until later in the game. As an early game play, this card is mostly there to soak up removal from your opponent, which is probably fine. And then later in games, he can threaten some big lore gain for you. He's a solid card for discard decks, but that's all.

Rating: 3/5

Gaston - Scheming Suitor

Another discard payoff card, this Gaston gets a Strength buff instead of a Lore buff like the Belle he is planning to woo. This makes it already a worse card, since gaining Strength isn't progressing your win condition like gaining Lore is. Plus, playing this on turn 2, he is never going to be getting the Strength buff, so he is just a 1/3 in the early game. Later in the game he might have the buff, but that's when you want to be questing for lots of Lore with Belle and Flynn, not challenging mid-sized characters with this Gaston. This card just doesn't fit any where.

Rating: 1/5

Little John - Loyal Friend

Little John makes his first appearance in Disney Lorcana. Unfortunately, he's unlikely to appear in any games. He's a vanilla rare and he's competing in an ink slot with the best card in possibly the whole of Rise of the Floodborn, plus some good cards from last set like Genie and John Silver.

Rating: 1/5

Lucifer - Cunning Cat

Lucifer is your high end discard card for your discard deck. Forcing an opponent to discard two cards or one action is pretty punishing. But, ouch, that 2/2 body for 5 ink. And it's uninkable. The only reason I'm considering this card is playable because Bibbiddi Bobbiddi Boo is a thing. Playing this and then bouncing it back to your hand to drop a Kuzco or Ray - Easygoing Firefly will be a strong play.

Rating: 3/5

Pain - Underworld Imp

Pain is the first of a few characters this set that gets a buff of Lore when he gets more than a certain amount of Strength. This feels like the devs giving Support a bit of, uh, support as it currently is the least impactful of the set one keywords. In the right deck, this could be a very good card as a 2-drop with 4 Willpower and 3 Lore is nothing to sneeze at. He also synergizes perfectly with his partner, Panic, as we'll see in the next card.

Rating: 3/5

Panic - Underworld Imp

Panic is the counterpart card to Pain. These two can team up for a pretty big burst of Lore on turn 3. Panic gets much worse without his partner though, as a 2/3 for 3 that gives +2 Strength isn't really what you want to be doing on turn 3. Megara from The First Chapter had the same effect on a cheaper body and she never saw play. And, to make matters worse, Panic is uninkable. This card just isn't as good of a standalone card as Pain, so I'll rate him accordingly.

Rating: 2/5

Pete - Bad Guy

Another card that gains Lore when his Strength hits a certain threshold but this one cares about actions being played. I still don't know if an "actions matter" deck is going to be a thing but you could use other ways to buff him such as Support. Or maybe you just pair him with Vicious Betrayal? He also has Ward, which is a strong keyword. I feel like this card is on the cusp of playability and will only become better as we get more and better actions.

Rating: 3/5

Prince John - Greediest of All

Now here is a discard payoff I like. Card draw in Emerald has been hard to come by, so this is a welcome sight. Curving Prince John into You Have Forgotten Me is a 4 card advantage swing, which is massive. Plus he has Ward, so as long as you keep him unexerted, he is almost impossible to remove. Great card in discard decks and possibly just a decent card draw engine in general.

Rating: 4/5

Queen of Hearts - Quick-Tempered

This Queen of Hearts card is a ping, which we like, especially in an ink that has Beast - Relentless. But the condition can make things a bit awkward. She doesn't turn on Cheshire Cat - From the Shadows or Beast if there are no opposing damaged characters on board. She also does literally nothing against Resist characters. It does quest for 2 on a 2-drop, which might make it playable in an aggro deck. But I'm not in love with this card.

Rating: 2/5

Ratigan - Criminal Mastermind

A 4-cost Evasive for 2 lore is good. Tinker Bell - Most Helpful saw quite a bit of play. But that 1 Willpower is rough. If you want a 4-cost Evasive, just play Tink.

Rating: 1/5

Ray - Easygoing Firefly

Ray is another Evasive common card for Emerald but I like this one a lot more. 5 ink is a crowded spot but I do think this card may edge out Mad Hatter as the inkable 5-drop of choice in a lot of Emerald decks.

Rating: 3/5

The Queen - Disguised Peddler

Now this is a very unique card. It introduces one of the few alternate ways of gaining lore into the game. It is also the only card in the game that has 0 lore that isn't also Reckless. Discarding one of your own cards is punishing but the reward can be immense. Discard Brave Little Tailor and gain 4 ink on turn 4? Not bad. And you will probably want to play this card with Ruby anyway, so you can take advantage of their readying abilities. This will allow you to get multiple triggers of this in a turn or just keep her safe from challenges.

I'm really curious to see if a one-turn-kill (OTK) deck built around this card could be viable. You will need a lot of card draw and ways to stall out the game so you can amass the necessary combo pieces. I think, for now, there aren't enough tools to enable it. But it could become a thing in the future. Currently this card is probably just ok, maybe even bad, but it might one day break the game.

Rating: 2/5

Tiana - True Princess

Absolutely lovely art on this Tiana however it's simply a vanilla and in the crowded 5-drop slot. I don't think this sees any play which is shame because, wow, that art.

Rating: 1/5

Virana - Fang Chief

Another vanilla 5-drop and this one is even less exciting than the Tiana. She is a Villain and a Queen so maybe she ends up in a Villain Queen deck if that ever becomes a thing?

Rating: 1/5

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo

This card is going to be "bibbidi bobbidi bonkers" in a bounce deck. It has been confirmed by Ravensburger that you can replay the same card you just bounced with this card. So you can sing this card with, say, Merlin - Rabbit to bounce Merlin back to your hand, draw a card and then replay Merlin to draw another card and that all cost you ZERO ink. That's straight gas for the bounce deck.

But this can also be used effectively in other decks. Maybe you have a 5-cost character with a really strong on-play ability but weak stats? Once you've played it, you can sing this to bounce that character back to your hand and play another 5-drop with much better stats giving you strong tempo and the value from the on-play. Lots of versatility from this card. It's going to be a staple.

Rating: 5/5

Bounce

Another bounce action, this one is not as good as Bibbiddi Bobbiddi, but that doesn't mean it is bad. This one only really goes in a bounce deck, of course, letting you bounce one or even two of your own characters. But it's also pseudo-removal for cheap. Unfortunately it's not singable or inkable, which is a bummer, but still probably finds a home in the bounce decks.

Rating: 3/5

Hypnotize

And here's an action for the discard decks. This is discard which cycles itself, which is nice. It's really good if you have Prince John on board, forcing your opponent to discard one card and drawing you two. And it absolutely pops off in multiplayer games. It will be a multiplayer staple, for sure, but still probably a decent enough card for the discard decks.

Rating: 3/5

Improvise

This card really only fits in an "action matters" deck and I don't think that deck is going to be any good, so it's probably trash.

Rating: 1/5

Pack Tactics

This card is probably busted in multiplayer games. Play it right after singing Grab your Swords and you likely just win the game on the spot. I don't think it's going to be good enough in single player though. Too expensive when most of the time it's only going to get you 2, maybe 3, lore.

Rating: 1/5

Ring the Bell

Emerald did not get any actual removal in set one, so this card is sorely needed. It's Floodborn Cheshire Cat's effect in an action. You'd rather have the body and repeatability of Cheshire Cat, but having even more ways to remove things is always good. It pairs best with Steel, for obvious reasons, but could still find a home in any deck that needs spot removal.

Rating: 3/5

Ratigan's Marvelous Trap

Emerald has so far had really bad items and this one is no exception. You don't want to pay 3 ink for this effect. I wouldn't even pay 1 ink for this effect. And it is uninkable? Hard pass.

Rating: 1/5


And that's Emerald for you. I think in general, Emerald got some very strong cards. Beast is amazing, Floodborn Cheshire Cat is very good, the discard deck got a lot of love and could be quite strong and we even got some bounce support. Emerald has been my favorite ink so far and I think it will remain so once Rise of the Floodborn drops.

Next up in our set review series is Ruby. Check back tomorrow for more card reviews!

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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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