Pongo - Determined Father Lorcana Card Art

Ursula and Friends: A Deeper Dive Into This Week’s Into the Inklands Cards

Reveal season is so exciting for Disney Lorcana. With new sets launching every three months, it can be a daunting task to evaluate cards as they drop, especially when the full set is not revealed until usually a week before LGS launch. To mitigate that shock, I plan to look at the new cards that drop each week to prepare you for February 23. When we start to get more “giant card dumps” (which should start when “Into the Inklands” is added to the official app) I may update these more frequently.

New cards continually introduce fresh dynamics to the game and “Into the Inklands” is no exception, with the new Locations card type. We went over the Locations rules here but as we get more actual Locations, and the cards that interact with them, revealed, their full impact will be more understood.

This week we were shown five new cards so let’s dive in.

1. Heal What Has Been Hurt: A Mini Rapunzel?

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Heal What Has Been Hurt is a three-cost song with a distinct ability to heal and draw a card, whose cost can be mitigated by exerting a three-cost character (as all Songs). Drawing parallels to Rapunzel - Gifted with Healing, this card can be considered a miniature version of the famed character. Although it provides cycling and a potential advantage, it faces challenges in finding a place within the current metagame. I am not sure it actually *does* enough to justify inclusion, maybe as a one-of, but unlike Rapunzel you do not actually need to remove damage to draw the card.

2. Stitch - Little Rocket: Rushing Into the Metagame?

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Stitch - Little Rocket enters the scene as a two-cost, uninkable character with three strength, one willpower, one lore, and the Rush ability. The Rush ability combined with three strength gives it some strong numbers in our current world dominated by “twos.” The problem is this card is uninkable, which means you have to find room for it instead of just typically auto including.

If you look at Stitch like a “two cost, three damage removal action” he is fine any time throughout the game, the problem is you will need an exerted target. I am not sure he is that much better than Queen of Hearts - Impulsive Ruler at the same cost with inkable status, so time will tell if you can find room for him in lists.

3. Ursula - Deceiver: A Key Meta Cog for Emerald

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Ursula - Deceiver, a two-cost inkable character with one strength, three willpower, one lore, and a unique ability, takes center stage of this week’s reveals. She favorably forces opponents to reveal their hands and discard a Song card of your choice (calling back to taking Ariel’s voice as part of her bargain in The Little Mermaid).

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Emerald Steel represents a powerful spot in the current metagame, oftentimes keeping Ruby Amethyst down when paired against it. The weakness the deck has is to Steel, specifically to Grab Your Sword. Ursula answers that problem, and while many decks may only run 8-12 Song cards, they often represent the most problematic cards against Emerald decks.

Ursula also pairs perfectly with Lucifer - Cunning Cat, often clearing the way for his enters play ability to hit two cards, since typically the single action your opponent would discard is a Song. It is currently close to impossible to find an Action in the metagame that is NOT a Song. Obviously, the future of a whole new set is impossible to know, but if the past is any indicator, a non-Song Action needs to have a tremendous impact on the game to see play. The only ones that immediately come to mind are Smash, Hypnotize, and Dragon Fire off the top of my head.

Of all the cards revealed this week, I feel that Ursula - Deceiver will have the greatest impact on the “Into the Inklands” upcoming metagame.

4. Distract: Limited Fodder

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Distract is a card that should only see limited/sealed/draft play. It is nice to slap “Draw a Card” onto Control Your Temper, but you still need to take up too much of your available ink in any given turn to make Distract playable in full constructed play.

5. The Sorcerer’s Hat: Cheap Repeatable Draw Engine?

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First, it is important to see Steve Warner’s ruling on this card:

Remember - Card names are just the name, not the version, so, if you say "Magic Broom" it'll get any Magic Broom card regardless of version.

Naming has to be accurate to the name of the card. So yes, you need the whole name (saying mouse won't let you get Mickey or Minnie) but saying Mickey Mouse will get "every" Mickey Mouse.

Yeah, because it came up, I will clarify, you can't just say "Broom" then reveal and get Magic Broom. But you don't need to say "Magic Broom - Bucket Brigade".

Just saying "Magic Broom" will succeed with any Magic Broom card.

This really increases the power level of this card, as you could realistically play a deck centered around one to two characters and name them and hope to hit. There are currently two ways to consistently hit: Ursula's Cauldron and Reflection. The Cauldron was a staple during The First Chapter but is simply too slow for the current metagame. While a two-card combo to guarantee a card draw each turn may seem inefficient, ultimately it does become “draw a card for one ink” each turn, which is extremely cheap. Since The Sorcerer's Hat is inkable, some of the pressure the Cauldron puts on your deck construction is mitigated.

Reflection is very interesting. If you have the Hat in play and play Reflection (you can sing it also for free, but one is not a steep price to mitigate) you will then be able to immediate draw one guaranteed off the Hat, then the next draw will be off the top (start of next turn), and you can use the Hat to guarantee hitting the third card (assuming you can easily remember the three cards in order without taking notes). This turns every Reflection played after you have the Hat into a delayed Draw Two cards. That is honestly pretty good value. Is it enough for the oft-maligned Mulan-based song see play? Maybe?

Lastly, The Sorcerer's Hat combos with itself. If you miss with the Hat, the card goes right back on top, so activating the second one will guarantee a hit. You are spending two cards for two ink each, but only spending two each turn to guarantee a card is a very good rate.

Ultimately, I hope The Sorcerer's Hat is a signal that more cards that allow you to put cards on top in the future. There are already additional cards that exist that use this mechanic (Mulan - Reflecting comes to mind) and the Hat is just the tip of the iceberg!

6. Jim Hawkins - Space Traveler: Massive Value Engine?

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As of this writing we have only seen two locations so far, but the potential of Jim Hawkins - Space Traveler is massive. Although the “move to a location” cost is unlikely to really ever be above two (IMHO, we have only seen one so far), you could see Locations themselves that fall under his four cost restriction.

On a podcast this week we said, “Jim is like a singer for Locations” which is interesting. I think most people are thinking of using Jim to play one powerful location and thus discount the overall cost of him down to a free cost 4/4/2 (play four cost location for free with a one movement cost, save his five ink),
but I will be using him to play multiple locations over the course of time, allowing you to build a virtual Treasure Map on board (see what I did there?!).

7. Pongo - Determined Father: Repeatable Card Draw?

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Pongo - Determined Father is an interesting character. I really wish he was a 3/3 to survive all of the two damage actions that see play, but I see Pongo as a later game play instead of on curve. If you can drop him after an AoE or board wipe, you will have the ability to draw yourself back into the game. Playing him a pseudo five cost that is a 3/2/1 that draws you a card when he is played with upside is also solid value. Time will tell if the two willpower keeps the good boy down, but I think he has a place as at least a one-of in most character based Amber builds.

8. Dalmatian Puppy - Tail Wagger: Cute, But Waiting...

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Of course, the five versions of Dalmatian Puppy - Tail Wagger are all extremely cute, but until there is a payoff for having puppies in play, I think it is just a fun theme deck waiting for its payoff. Being a 2/3/1 for two is just unexciting, so I am hoping that there will be a Perdita that gives you a reason to flood the board with her brood!

9. Moana - Born Leader: More Readying Effects!

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Moana - Born Leader is our first Floodborn Moana. The problem is, each other Moana also costs five. Until we see a cheaper one, she is likely to only come into play for full cost. Moana is a Location payoff card, but requires you to have spent ink over time to move her and other characters to a location, then wait a turn to quest with her. I think ultimately her ability will just be too slow to get it all to work, unless we see a location that is free to move to.

10. Scrooge McDuck - Richest Duck in the World: Expensive, but Free Maybe Good Enough?

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Scrooge McDuck - Richest Duck in the World is a hard card to evaluate given the current state of items. Currently the highest cost items cost “four” so while Scrooge may save you that hefty cost in the mid to late game, his stat line and unsinkable nature means even that line of play is unlikely to be good enough.

Belle - Inventive Engineer and Maurice - World-Famous Inventor were never really playable outside of casual decks, and Scrooge unfortunately seems to be more in their vain of card than of the Hiram Flaversham - Toymaker type of item based character. He simply has too many conditions and too low of a stat line to matter in the current game.

11. Maui's Place of Exile - Hidden Island: Locations With Value

Maui's Place of Exile - Hidden Island
Maui's Place of Exile - Hidden Island

This is our second location seen from “Into the Inklands” and the first that gives us a real reason to want to move to it! I think this card is really interesting because unlike Cogsworth - Grandfather Clock, Maui’s Place of Exile - Hidden Island is more limited in how it can be affected by the removal of the characters it is helping. You cannot simply Be Prepared away the Clock and his allies all at once: in this example “the Clock” remains on the table.

In other words, sure you opponent can (ironically) run Maui - Hero to All into this, but that is taking off an entire turn where the characters hanging out in the island paradise are still free to play to their hearts content. Not to mention that unless they have Rush characters, the value generated from having Resist +1 is likely building up over time.

I think Locations will present interesting options for both players and the play pattern of how they play out will determine how playable the ones without Lore (as this one has none) will wind up being.

Conclusion

Phew... that was a lot of reveals this week! I feel it will only increase as we quickly approach February 23! As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of Disney Lorcana new cards bring excitement and challenges to the game. This weekly analysis provides an in-depth look at the strengths, weaknesses, and potential roles of these cards in the future. Whether these cards become staples or niche picks remains to be seen, but their impact on the metagame is undoubtedly a topic of discussion among players.

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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