Simba - Future King Disney Lorcana Art by Nicholas Kole

Ruby Steel Control Deck Guide: Grinding in A Whole New World

Are you looking for a potentially fun alternative to battle the current metagame? Do you like all your cards to control the board? A friend of ours has been working on a unique ink combination since the launch of Rise of the Floodborn and this is a treatise on it. So if you are looking for a fun alternative for your League nights, check this out!

When we look at the combinations of inks in the game of Disney Lorcana, one combination of inks seems to have gone undeveloped. Is it not powerful enough? Does it only do one thing? Why play it? These are all questions I feel have caused people to overlook the combination of Ruby and Steel and have stunted its development as an archetype all together.

Core Cards and Why to Play Them

Both Ruby and Steel have incredibly powerful cards, turning them into the best support colors in the game currently leading to decks like Ruby Amethyst control and Amber Steel songs dominating the metagame.

What happens when you take two support colors and smash them together? Well, that’s how you end up with Ruby Steel Control, a deck that thrives against character-based archetypes with varied removal options as well as multiple sweepers to reset the board state in exchange for card quality over the card quantity that more traditional decks get to run.

When Rise of the Floodborn released, the colors received a ton of cards that focused on gaining value from challenging, however given the current state of the game, challenging is rare making those cards much less appealing to the point where they became “traps.”

Although the specific numbers of each are debatable, the cards above form the primary core of the Ruby Steel control archetype. These cards make up the heart of the deck: besides being just good cards they all progress our gameplan one way or another either by answering our opponent’s plan or by helping us dig for the correct answers for any given match up.

Consistency

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Simba - Future King and Cinderella - Knight in Training give us early ways to smooth our mulligans if we do not find the cards we are looking for as well as being cheap bodies to get into play against aggressive decks.

Since the deck does not have a ton of pure card draw, we need the ability to sift through our deck to draw what we need to each game, and these two really help sculpt a more perfect hand for the mid to late game.

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Tinker Bell - Tiny Tactician gets a lot of use from her exert ability by being a repeatable looting effect while having utility of being a shiftable target for Tinker Bell - Giant Fairy if the loot effect is not needed, threatening the opponent from going wide just by coming down on turn 3.

Removal

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Lady Tremaine - Imperious Queen gives us a way to clean up individual threats that tend to follow up a sweeper effect or have higher health pools then the damage-based removal can clean up.

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Smash and Let the Storm Rage On give us ways to answer problematic cards that either are played alongside bigger threats in an attempt to defend against the sacrifice effect of Lady Tremaine as well as answer early aggressive cards or evasive characters that could be a problem.

Three health is a major break point at the moment so Smash hitting that breakpoint while being inkable makes this card a four of every time, whereas Let the Storm Rage On can have numbers trimmed depending on your flex cards but should be here in some quantity because of being a Song it gives you so much Tempo early on.

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Maui - Hero to All is still arguably one of the best things to be doing for five ink in the game, often trading up for higher cost cards or multiple small cards while having the durability to survive all of Steel’s removal.

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Maleficent - Monstrous Dragon is a guaranteed two-for-one since it answers a card immediately on play while also demanding an answer itself with a good body and threatens two lore a turn. Being inkable circumvents the nine ink cost in more aggressive matchups.

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Benja - Guardian of the Dragon Gem gives us a cheap efficient body that answers would be problematic items on play while also giving us a potential two lore a turn.

Board Control/Sweepers

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Tinker Bell - Giant Fairy on turn four with a Shift effect is a huge tempo play where we can pick off aggressive characters with lower health pools, especially if anything is exerted she can challenge.

She is also being able to immediately sing Let the Storm Rage On or Grab Your Sword depending on the board state or even A Whole New World if we need to refill our hand.

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Grab Your Sword can be played as early as turn four to clear out multiple two health characters on its own or in combination with Giant Fairy allows us to hit the crucial three health breakpoint which takes out almost every card playable at that stage of the game.

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Be Prepared is just a seven-cost reset button that helps us climb back into the game or answer any character we may not have the tools to deal with at.

Card Draw

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Beast - Tragic Hero is a way for us to potentially draw an additional card a turn and even against Steel he forces additional resources from them to just damage him to prevent card draw.

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A Whole New World is a way for us to just refill our hand. Since the deck is mostly answers we can often win the card trading despite giving our opponent more cards since many of our cards deal with multiple cards at once. It also becomes a very real win condition versus Ruby Amethyst control decks since chaining multiples allows us to shift plans and play for a mill victory (removing all cards from their deck).

Final Decklist

The rest of the deck is fleshed out with powerful questers and Lore controlling options leaving us with this current decklist:

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The End Game: Why Play This Deck?

You get to play two very realistic win conditions in both mill and lore but knowing which is appropriate for any given game state is extremely rewarding. The deck also is a way to reward you for overall game knowledge such as shifting cards like Lady Tremaine - Imperious Queen on top of another Lady Tremaine for a discounted removal effect, allowing you to extend your turns in ways you otherwise might not have been able to. The deck also rewards you for knowing when it is appropriate to turn the corner and start gaining lore to win versus stopping the opponent from gaining lore.

With the archetype being relatively unexplored as well, in closed deck list formats you can have the advantage of knowing what is in a known deck versus the opponent not knowing what is in yours and potentially overextending right into your hand. While the Ruby Amethyst Bounce matchup is definitely difficult, the core of the deck is good into the rest of the metagame, giving you upwards of ten flex slots to work towards improving your bad matchup.

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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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