Ursula’s Return Card Reveals: New Shift mechanic revealed

One thing that has been missing from the Ursula's Return reveals so far has been an addition of a new mechanic. In the last set we got Locations; in the set before that, the Resist keyword was added. But Return hasn't seen anything new like that introduced... until now.

The Shift keyword has been one of the most impactful keywords in all of Lorcana. Being able to play strong characters at a reduced cost and being able to act with them immediately is very powerful. But what if you could play those characters, not just at a reduced cost, but for free? That's exactly what we are getting in Ursula's Return, as ComicBook.com just revealed a whole host of new Floodborn cards all with Shift costs that aren't just the usual ink discount.

One of the game's lead developers, Steve Warner, had this to say about the thought process behind these new Floodborn cards.

""Shift" is such a powerful mechanic and we thought having a different way for players to leverage that ability added another layer of surprise and strategy," said Steve Warner, Disney Lorcana TCG Co-Designer, in a statement to ComicBook.com. "Getting to upgrade a character but not use any ink for your turn really changes how you prioritize resources and is such a fun effect." 

 "We spent a lot of time making sure the shift costs made sense for players by matching them to the ink color of the Floodborn character," Warner said. "We hope this makes it easier for players to understand and execute while also making play a little more interesting in sealed deck or draft play modes."

ComicBook.com

Card Evaluations

Well this is a really cool twist on the Shift mechanic. Being able to play a character for free is very powerful. Having to sacrifice a bit of card advantage for it does make it somewhat balanced though, especially in Lorcana where card draw is at a premium. One thing this mechanic does is make your recursion cards, like Part of Your World or Do It Again!, even better. These types of cards have seen some play, but if these Floodborn cards become meta, we could see even more of these recursion cards in the metagame, to mitigate the punishment of your discards.

Looking at each card in turn here, I think the best of these are the ones which aren't costing you as much in card advantage to play. Those would be Ursula and Diablo. Ursula mitigates the discard you have to pay to play her by also letting you discard something of your opponent's. And since you get to choose each discard, you can discard your least impactful card while discarding their most impactful card, so it's a decent tradeoff. And then Diablo makes up for the discard by drawing you at least one card. Since your opponent will always draw a card at the start of your turn, you get to draw one as well. And then if you can play Diablo into a turn where your opponent would normally play Friends on the Other Side or Strike A Match, then you can really get some value off of him.

The others seem a bit more niche in value. Aladdin could be a decent item hate card, but Benja - Guardian of the Dragon Gem or Rise of the Titans may be better for that role. Flotsam & Jetsam would only go in a Flotsam & Jetsam deck, obviously. While Olaf wants to go in some sort of Support deck. And Li Shang would go into a combo deck where you try to get a board of 4+ Strength characters and then Shift out Li Shang for a lot of lore gain in a turn.

Overall, I like the addition of a wholly new way to Shift characters. This opens the door for even more ways to pay for Shift down the line. Maybe you sacrifice some lore? Or you banish a character of yours? The design space here is interesting and I hope the developers explore other ways we can pay for Shift in the future.

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gutshot

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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