Madam Mim - Fox

Shades of Ruby Amethyst

What are the best builds of Ruby Amethyst in Disney Lorcana and how can we optimize the different builds? Find out your options in this strategy article.

The Rise of the Floodborn metagame has been settling in the last couple of weeks and Ruby Amethyst has undoubtedly risen to the top of the heap. What is interesting about Ruby Amethyst is there are several viable builds of the deck, often different from up to fifteen to twenty cards, that simply share an amazing, arguably over tuned core.

Let’s dive into the different decision points you make when building Ruby Amethyst (will now be shortened to RA) and how these decisions affect the overall deck. Has anyone found the perfect build?  Is there still room for innovation in the archetype?

The Staples

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The core engine of the RA deck revolves around the Madam Mim + Merlin package. This gives you a plethora of cards to work with in hand, as well as adds powerful threats to the board that typically have combat stats well above similar options for their cost. The “downsides” of playing the Madam Mims are mitigated in three major ways:

  1. The Merlins give you a benefit when they are removed from the field and played.  If your opponent is not presenting any immediate threats, you can easily take the time to refill your hand (Rabbit) or push a lore gain (Goat) while maintaining board presence.
  2. You can replay your powerful “when enters play” threats like Lady Tremaine and Maleficents in the late game to set up dominating board states.  You can also simply “full heal” and “ready” threats like Minnie Surfer or Maui.
  3. Taking an early game one drop into hand as early as turn two is not really a downside: you are adding an answer to potential early aggression and then simply are able to ink the card after returning it to hand. Essentially at no cost in tempo or resources to you.

Playing into the strength of the Mim/Merlin package with the most powerful board control options is the most powerful thing you can be doing in the current Rise of the Floodborn metagame. The following cards showed up in each and every Top Eight finishing RA deck from last weekend:

  • Minnie Mouse - Always Classy
  • Olaf - Friendly Snowman
  • Pascal - Rapunzel's Companion
  • Madam Mim - Snake
  • Madam Mim - Fox
  • Maleficent - Sorceress
  • Minnie Mouse - Stylish Surfer
  • Maleficent - Sorceress
  • Merlin - Goat
  • Merlin - Rabbit
  • Maui - Hero to All
  • Yzma - Scary Beyond All Reason
  • Lady Tremaine - Imperious Queen
  • Maleficent - Monstrous Dragon
  • Friends On The Other Side
  • Be Prepared

If you wanted to simply play four of each of these cards, you would have an extremely viable (albeit pretty boring!) sixty card list to work from. But what is the fun in that? The fun is in not simply playing “15 cards, four of each” but instead tuning the list to adapt to an ever changing and evolving metagame.  Finding the “tech” doesn’t hurt either!

Let’s look at some of the decision points in RA deckbuilding that you need to make when you start to deviate from this original shell.

Closing out the Game: Arthur vs. Sorcerer’s Spellbook vs. Late Game Threats

Everything that has a beginning has an end. I see the end coming, I see the darkness spreading. I see death.

The Oracle, Matrix Revolutions

How are you going to close out the game with Ruby Amethyst? The easy answer is “I simply keep the board at a manageable state and quest when I can.”  Sure, but oftentimes you need to establish a harder to deal with end game to finish off your opponents, especially in the mirror. Over the past few weeks several methods of closing out the game have emerged, you need to decide which is best for you, as each has its strengths and weaknesses.

At PAX Unplugged, Steve Silverman played the following deck to the finals:

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As you can see, besides the fact that it is a pretty boring 15x4 (we are friends, he agreed it was boring 🤣), it uses Arthur - Wizard's Apprentice as its stretch win condition. Arthur almost forces you to also play Lefou - Instigator, but unless the metagame adapts to force combat interaction or runs more three damage options, oftentimes Arthur is not vulnerable when paired with Lefou or a Mim.

The ink cost is negligible when you are gaining an easy four lore a turn. He also combos extremely well with Tremaine and Maleficent in the late game to reset them. So, a clear board can also keep him out of harm’s way, though in the mirror you should not rely on that strategy (Foxes and Maui with Rush).

The downside of Arthur is that you oftentimes need to play and draw Lefou or a dedicated Mim, and have them survive, to rely on him as a win condition.  The positive is that even one to two full activations of these cards outgains the Lore of other options all at once.

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The Sorcerer’s Spellbook is an easy include for reach for the RA endgame. For a low cost and low activation cost, you get guaranteed Lore each turn, which complements the Merlin - Goat endgame very well. Oftentimes, when the game is stalled, the passive Lore gain from Spellbook will allow you claw back or close out a game, especially in the mirror where it is often to keep any actual threat on the table.

Even simply playing one to two Spellbooks in your deck will really speed up your ability to win games, for such a low deck building cost. Items are on the rise in the metagame, so assuming your Spellbook will be immune to removal is a dangerous gamble, but it is still a very viable option for closing out games.

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Colby Gerrish played the list above to a winning finish (split in the finals) of the Coliseum of Comics $1.5k last week and utilized Ursula - Power Hungry to close out games. This was in reaction to the rise of Amber Steel, as her eight willpower is almost impossible for them to handle. In the mirror she also replaces herself and removes a Lore from your opponent, which can make the difference in a late game Lore race.

Elsa - Spirit of Winter has also shown up in lists, notably in Dusty Hostutler’s finals list from Galaxy Con. She shares the three lore threat with Ursula, and has a more profound effect if there are opposing characters in play to interact with, but oftentimes is affecting a board state that is already well under control. If flooding the board with threats becomes prevalent again, she may see more play, but you would likely need to be running her lower costed Shift targets as well.

How you chose to end the game will determine how you play out the rest of the game, from deck building to what to ink as early as turn one.  RA has so much control and card draw that you can sculpt your late game around a few cards that eventually have a massive impact on the board and your Lore total.

Stemming Early Game Aggression – Teeth and Ambitions? More 1-3 Drops?

The other key decision you need to make in building your deck is how to handle early game aggression.  The popular default option is to run Teeth and Ambitions, as it is a cheap, inkable Song that deals with many threats other decks bring to bear. It has weaknesses in the mirror, so some lists may cut it for other options.

The Arthur lists still run Lefou as discussed above, who can at least trade (or make your one drops better in combat), but honestly, I have seen almost any two drop in the ink colors see play. I have seen lists top eight with Lady Tremaine - Overbearing Matriarch (which I used to top 8 at PAX Unplugged), Magic Broom - Bucket Brigade, Pinocchio - Talkative Puppet, Queen of Hearts - Impulsive Ruler, HeiHei - Persistent Presence, even Kuzco - Wanted Llama.

I have also seen lists playing none of these options, and just relying on the one drops and Snakes to carry that early game. Aggressive mulligans can set you up well without the need to run some of these options, so my advice to run the ones that have a presence throughout the game like Tremaine or Pinocchio, because you ultimately still need targets for Madam Mim - Fox to bounce and not banish herself.

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Merlin - Crab is a very powerful and recently popular three drop to supplement the Maleficent - Sorcerer and Mim - Fox slot, and oftentimes acts like extra copies of Fox. Since you can use the Challenger 3 to buff your early one drops, you are “virtually gaining Rush” on an otherwise empty threat character you already had in play, oftentimes able to take out an opposing one to two cost character as a surprise, sometimes even surviving the challenge!

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You may even chose to be aggressor running Pinocchio - Star Attraction and the like to keep pressure on the opponent throughout the game. This ironically really hurts the lists that are getting away from Teeth and Ambitions, especially in a virtual mirror match.

How you sculpt the early game will allow you to survive to the mid to late game where Ruby Amethyst really takes over every game.  I would make sure that however you approach the early game, it gives a flexible response you can still use later on, possibly even finding Shift targets for your later threats.

Conclusion

Ruby Amethyst is the best deck in the current Rise of the Floodborn metagame. Its powerful core engine can be supplemented throughout its ink curve, and I am not sure any set of players has the perfect answer to this complicated puzzle.

I am looking forward to continuing to iterate on deck throughout the season, and will always be on the lookout for whatever “tech” I can find!

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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