Rise of the Floodborn Set Review: Sapphire

With Disney Lorcana's second set upon us, 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 Sapphire cards coming in Rise of the Floodborn.

Introduction

With Disney Lorcana's second set now upon us, we are taking a look at the full set and evaluating 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 Sapphire cards coming in Rise of the Floodborn.

Sapphire was one of the stronger inks in set one. It's ramp abilities and removal tools made it a very strong ink choice when deck building. But how will it fare in set two? Will we see strengthening of existing archetypes or will some new decks rise up? Most importantly, will the item deck finally become a thing? Let's have a look!


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.


Alice - Growing Girl

We are starting off Sapphire with a bang with this Legendary Alice card. I absolutely love the flavor of this card. Alice doesn't seem like the type of character to want to get into challenges, but when she is big enough, she becomes a fantastic quester. It just seems to fit her so well.

So her What Did I Do? ability is obviously amazing, letting you quest for 5 lore! But how consistently can you pull it off? That's where her first ability comes into play. Good Advice makes it so you don't even need to run any Support characters in a deck with Alice. Which is good since most of the Support cards are quite weak. You just need two or three medium sized characters on board with her and they will all be able to transfer their strength to Alice. Or even just one very large Goofy - Knight for a Day. It's also important to note that if you have two Alices on board, they give each other Support, so you can quest for 5 with the first one and then give her Strength to the second so she can quest for 5 lore as well!

All in all, Alice is a fantastic finisher. You are going to close out games quickly if you can get her out on the board and questing. My only hesitation is she does require a good bit of setup to get her online. Setup that your opponent will see coming and will attempt to disrupt if they can. I'd love her if she was Floodborn, so you could shift her out and immediately get that lore without your opponent having a chance to stop it. As it is, I think she is amazing but the setup required to use her means there is some counterplay to her, which will keep her from completely dominating the meta. Still a great card though and one that I expect will see play.

Rating: 4/5

Basil - Great Mouse Detective

The first of three Basil cards, this Floodborn Basil is a great draw option for Sapphire decks. Sapphire has had the weakest draw options of all the inks, so this is a welcome sight. You aren't getting a large discount on the Shift cost but it's still fine. Stitch - Carefree Surfer has proven that getting a draw 2 on a decent body is playable. And since Basil is Floodborn, he can come down as a Shift, draw you 2 cards and immediately quest for 3 lore. Very good card.

Rating: 4/5

Basil - Of Baker Street

A "french vanilla" card that comes with arguably the worst keyword in the game, this Basil isn't even a great Shift target either. If you really want to ensure you get the Shift off on the Floodborn Basil, you can run maybe run this, but you aren't thrilled about it.

Rating: 2/5

Basil - Perceptive Investigator

This is the Shift target you want run. It's only a vanilla, but it curves right into the Floodborn Basil and has decent stats for its cost.

Rating: 3/5

Caterpillar - Calm and Collected

3 Lore on a 3 cost character is the most we've seen yet. Compare this to Hans - Scheming Prince, this card costs one less ink and has -2 Strength. But for a lore battery you don't really care about the Strength, just the Willpower. So this card seems better than Hans to me. Hans saw a decent amount of play in aggro decks, so I expect Caterpillar will as well.

Rating: 4/5

Cogsworth - Grandfather Clock

Resist is the new keyword in Rise of the Floodborn, that so far is only showing up in Sapphire and Steel. So this is the first time we have seen it on a card in our set reviews. Resist, as it says on the tin, reduces damage dealt by the resist value. And that is ALL damage, not just damage dealt in challenges. Cogsworth's Unwind ability is very strong. Giving all your other characters Resist +1 means Tinker Bell - Giant Fairy does nothing to them, Grab Your Sword deals only 1 damage, you can't ping them with Hans - Thirteenth in Line, etc.

On top of that, Cogsworth also has Ward. So if you leave him unexerted, your opponents will have a hard time getting rid of him. There are only a handful of ways to interact with unexerted Ward characters in the game right now. So once this clock is down on the board, he's most likely going to stay there. Oh, and he has Shift 3, so you can get him out as early as turn 3! And if you ever get 2 or more Cogsworths out, the Resists will stack, so you would be giving Resist +2 or +3 to your whole board. Disgusting.

Resist, in my opinion, is a very strong keyword and Cogsworth granting Resist as an aura effect is going to be absolutely busted. This is an amazing and meta defining card.

Rating: 5/5

Cogsworth - Talking Clock

And here is your Shift target for Floodborn Cogsworth. His Wait a Minute ability is actually kind of interesting and maybe in another set could become relevant. But right now, you are playing him to Shift out your Cogsworth as early as possible and that's good enough.

Rating: 3/5

Cruella De Vil - Fashionable Cruiser

This Cruella de Vil is a decent early game option for dealing with cheap Evasive characters like Pascal - Rapunzel's Companion or Minnie Mouse - Stylish Surfer. But that's about her only role. If Evasive cards are prevalent in the meta, this card will see play. Otherwise, she'll just be draft chaff.

Rating: 2/5

Cruella De Vil - Perfectly Wretched

You could also play the previous Cruella de Vil as a Shift target for this Floodborn Cruella. But unfortunately I don't think this Cruella is very good. Even as a straight up 3-cost 4/3 with 2 lore this card would just be OK. We have lots of 3-cost 3/3s that barely see any play. So her stats alone don't warrant her inclusion.

What about her ability? Reducing an opposing character's Strength is an ability we have seen on other cards already. And those cards see absolutely zero play. Her's is at least a repeatable effect, but I'm not rushing to include her in my deck for that reason. Overall, mediocre stats and a mediocre ability equals a mediocre card.

Rating: 2/5

Duke Weaselton - Small-Time Crook

Duke Weaselton is one of the all-time great cross-IP references in Disney Animation history, so I love that he is a card. And despite being simply a common, he's not bad at all. 2-cost characters with 2 lore are playable in an aggro deck. Plus he's got Ward, which means you are nearly guaranteed to get one quest off with him. If Sapphire aggro decks can become a thing, this little guy will definitely be included.

Rating: 3/5

Gaston - Intellectual Powerhouse

One of the most flavorful Floodborns we've seen yet, Gaston - Intellectual Powerhouse is what happens when Gaston actually learns to read. He has developed his brain enough that you get to play a better version of Develop Your Brain when you play him. And he's Shift 4 so you can get him out early, get your card draw and then start questing for 3 lore a pop.

Only downside to this card is there are no Sapphire Gastons to shift him onto. You will need to pair this card with a Gaston from another ink. Right now those inks are Amber, Emerald and Ruby. I think Gaston - Baritone Bully is the optimal choice since it curves nicely and is probably just the best card out of the three. Overall, this Gaston is a solid card and I think it will see play in Sapphire decks paired with one of those three inks.

Rating: 4/5

Grand Pabbie - Oldest and Wisest

Grand Pabbie is Sapphire's alternate lore gain option this set and he looks like a good one. Healing is not a great standalone effect, but when paired with something else, it can be really good. This is why Rapunzel - Gifted with Healing is so good. You get the tempo gain of healing one of your characters plus the card draw on top.

Grand Pabbie turns healing into lore gain. Sapphire has a number of healing options that this combos well with, including Coconut Basket and the new cards Gumbo Pot and Jasmine - Heir of Agrabah. There are also lots of healing options in Amber, of course, and I expect if Grand Pabbie is going into a deck it will be an Amber/Sapphire healing deck. He is a strong build-around card for that deck archetype and I suspect a healing deck will see a lot of experimentation and possibly be a top meta contender.

Rating: 4/5

Hiram Flaversham - Toymaker

From healing synergies to item synergies, we go from one of Sapphire's themes this set to the other. Hiram Flaversham is card draw, which Sapphire wants and needs, and works well with a number of items in Sapphire. Especially the new Pawpsicle card. If item synergy decks become a thing, this card will be a staple.

Rating: 3/5

James - Role Model

James is a bigger Gramma Tala - Storyteller. Gramma Tala is a great card but that's because she comes down early in the game, when you want the ramp. James comes down a little late to be an effective ramp card. Plus his stats are a bit weak for a 4-drop and he's uninkable. If you just want as much ramp as possible, maybe you run this card, but I think you can do better.

Rating: 2/5

Jasmine - Heir of Agrabah

This Jasmine is a color swapped Timon - Grub Rustler. She also serves as a good Shift target for Jasmine - Queen of Agrabah, who didn't see much play in the set one meta, but maybe with a good Shift target might become playable. If healing decks centered around Grand Pabbie become a thing, this Jasmine and the Floodborn Jasmine will certainly make the list.

Rating: 3/5

Judy Hopps - Optimistic Officer

Zootopia makes its first appearance in Lorcana with this Judy Hopps card. She has just OK stats for her cost but her ability is interesting. Don't Call Me Cute allows you to banish your own items for a bit of card draw or, in a pinch, she can be used as item removal against your opponent. She works best with Pawpsicle, which is a huge flavor win, but really any item can be a good target for her. Especially since you'll likely be running Tamatoa - So Shiny! in the same deck as Judy. Solid card for item decks.

Rating: 3/5

Mrs. Judson - Housekeeper

Sapphire gets their "whenever you play a Floodborn character, do X" card in Mrs. Judson - Housekeeper. Ramping is pretty good but Sapphire has a lot of options for it. Will this one displace those options? She's pretty expensive compared to the other "Floodborn matters" enablers and she's uninkable. I don't think she's quite good enough.

Rating: 2/5

Nick Wilde - Wily Fox

Nick Wilde makes his Lorcana debut in Sapphire. At 4 cost 2/4 with 2 lore his stats are not great. But his ability enables some item recursion, which is great for those item decks. It is only specific to the Pawpsicle item but that is an item you are definitely going to be running. Again, if item decks are a thing, Nick will see play.

Rating: 3/5

Noi - Orphaned Thief

Here we have more item synergy in Noi - Orphaned Thief. As we've mentioned already, 2-cost 1/2 with 2 lore are playable. Plus when you have an item in play, Noi gets Ward and Resist +1. So he's a better version of Duke Weaselton as long as you have an item in play. He's definitely one for item decks, but he could also slot into aggro decks that run just a handful of items. Maybe an Amber deck with Lantern? I think he has potential in a few decks and will most likely see play.

Rating: 3/5

Owl - Logical Lecturer

Owl is a new 1-cost 2/2 for Sapphire. Those have been playable, so he's not trash tier. But why would you run him when you can run Flounder - Voice of Reason instead?

Rating: 2/5

Prince Charming - Heir to the Throne

The yin to Hans - Scheming Prince's yang, this color shifted Prince could definitely see play in aggressive decks. Sapphire has gotten a few good aggro cards this set, so Sapphire aggro decks might become a thing.

Rating: 3/5

Rabbit - Reluctant Host

I love how annoyed Rabbit looks in this art and how it seems to be a snapshot of the moment before I'm Stuck! happens. But I think that's the most I can say about this otherwise boring vanilla card.

Rating: 1/5

Sisu - Divine Water Dragon

Sapphire's second legendary in this set makes for Sisu's debut in Disney Lorcana. She quests for 2 lore and has a 2/4 body on a 4-cost uninkable card. That's not the most exciting stat line, to say the least, so surely her ability will be very strong and unique? Well, no. It's just Develop Your Brain on a stick. It's not even as good as Gaston's version since it's slower and only lets you look at two cards instead of three. It is repeatable though, so I guess that's something. But at only 4 Willpower on her, you are unlikely to have Sisu survive more than a turn.

Overall, she's just fine. You are getting card draw from her, which is never bad. But I can't help but feel like this is a very underwhelming card for a legendary.

Rating: 3/5

The Nokk - Water Spirit

The Nokk is an obscure character to feature on a card, appearing only briefly in Frozen 2. He's a relatively unexciting "french vanilla" card that fills a similar role as Donald Duck - Strutting His Stuff from set one. Ward is useful as keyword but best paired with higher lore characters. With only 1 lore on this card, it feels pretty bad.

Rating: 1/5

Winnie the Pooh - Having a Think

Winnie the Pooh - Having a Think is the character version of Fishbone Quill. That item has seen play in Sapphire ramp decks so Pooh Bear could certainly find a spot. He competes with Mickey Mouse - Detective in the 3-ink slot but since he's inkable and quests for more and gives you that repeatable ramp effect, I think he may replace Mickey as the 3-drop of choice. He is a very good ramp card and I expect he will see play.

Rating: 4/5

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole is a nice form of removal, especially in multiplayer games. In 1v1 games, it's not as good as Let It Go but then again, that card is busted. Interestingly, it would work nicely paired with Amethyst's bounce characters, giving you a bit of value when you have to send your character to the ink well. But I don't think an Amethyst/Sapphire bounce deck will be viable.

Perhaps its most useful application is getting around Ward, since you yourself aren't targeting the character. Playing this when your opponent has only a Kuzco - Temperamental Emperor in play is one of the few ways to remove him before he can quest. For that reason, I think this card is pretty good and will see play.

Rating: 4/5

Four Dozen Eggs

Four Dozen Eggs is another Resist option for Sapphire and I think it's a very good one. It's a song, which is always great, and it's inkable, which is also great. Giving your characters Resist +2 is going to make them very resilient. And it lasts through your opponent's turn, allowing your characters to all quest almost without fear of being banished. Really good card in aggressive decks and really any deck that wants and needs their characters to stay on board. I think this card will become a meta staple.

Rating: 5/5

Launch

As an action that goes into the item deck, this one is interesting. Dealing 5 damage is a lot and can even punch through Resist on a lot of characters. But it's uninkable, which means you are committing to playing this card at some point in the game, if you draw it. And to do that you need to have an item you don't mind banishing lined up with a character on board you want to deal the damage to plus have 3 ink to play the card. All of that makes for a clunky card that may be more trouble than it is worth.

Rating: 2/5

Nothing to Hide

What a neat effect for a card. Getting to see your opponent's hand can be quite useful and this card cycles itself, so only really costs you 1 ink. The opportunity cost here is the thing you have to consider. Is it worth running this card when it doesn't affect the board in any way or give you card advantage when you play it? I'm not sure.

If we had more and better action synergies, these types of 1-cost cantrips go way up in value. But right now, they are really only useful for what they have printed on them. And I don't know if Nothing To Hide offers enough to make the cut.

Rating: 2/5

Fang Crossbow

Fang Crossbow is a highly situational item that just doesn't do enough to warrant inclusion, not even in item decks. If Dragon decks ever start running rampant in the meta, maybe you will want this card but definitely not now.

Rating: 1/5

Gumbo Pot

Rise of the Floodborn's Coconut Basket is Gumbo Pot, a 2 cost item that heals up to 2 of your characters. This one is an on-exert effect, so you can use it as a heal right when it comes down into play. It's only good in Grand Pabbie healing decks, but in those decks, this card will be a 4-of so I'll give it a decent rating.

Rating: 3/5

Maurice's Workshop

Maurice's Workshop is card draw for item decks. But I don't know if it is needed? You already have Maurice - World-Famous Inventor himself plus Judy Hopps and Pawpsicle and Hiram Flaversham. And this one is slow and uninkable. I'm not seeing it.

Rating: 2/5

Pawpsicle

Probably the best item for item decks, simply because it is cheap and cycles itself and can be brought back to your hand by Nick Wilde. You may never need or use the healing ability and that's fine. You just want to use this to pop off with your item synergies and then stack a bunch of them on board and quest for a million lore with Tamatoa - So Shiny!. It's going to be a staple in the item deck.

Rating: 4/5

Sardine Can

A Ward enabler item that reminds me of Aurora - Dreaming Guardian from set one. Aurora gave Ward unconditionally though and this one only gives it to your exerted characters. Which is a bit strange since Ward wants to be on a character that is unexerted, making them wholly non-interactive for your opponent. If your character is already exerted, your opponent can just challenge them, so you aren't really gaining a huge benefit. It also costs 4 ink which is a lot to invest in this effect. This is going to be a no from me.

Rating: 1/5


Whew, that's it for Sapphire. I think they got some very strong and useful options for two different deck archetypes, the item deck and a healing deck. And we already know ramp decks are going to be good. I'm interested to see which of these new decks will get off the ground first and establish itself as a top meta contender. I think, overall, Sapphire is in a very good place.

And that leaves just one ink left to review: Steel! I know we are officially at the launch date of Rise of the Floodborn, so I'm going to try to get this next review out quickly and have you ready to go as soon as you start cracking packs. So stay tuned!

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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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