Ursula’s Return Set Review: Amethyst

Disney Lorcana's fourth set will be releasing to local game stores very soon, so we are taking a look at the full set and reviewing all the cards. In this post, I will be reviewing all the Amethyst cards from Ursula's Return.

Introduction

Ursula's Return is the fourth set of Disney Lorcana. With 200 plus new cards coming into the game, the meta is sure to be shaken up. But which of these cards are worth their salt and which are just fool's gold? We will be attempting to answer that question for all the cards in the new set in our series of set review posts. In this post, I will be reviewing all the Amethyst cards from Ursula's Return.

Amethyst has been one of the best ink colors in the game, thanks primarily to their very strong Rise of the Floodborn cards. The bounce package has been a key component to a number of tier 1 decks, including Amethyst/Ruby Control and Amethyst/Emerald Tempo decks. Will the new cards measure up to this high standard? Or will Ursula underwhelm? And will the Broom deck finally become a thing? Let's find out.


Ursula's Return 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.


Ursula's Return Amethyst Cards

Antonio Madrigal - Animal Expert

Kicking things off with this adorable Antonio Madrigal card. He's unfortunately just a standard 3-drop vanilla card but he does have the Madrigal tag, so could find a home in the Madrigal deck. But, as we covered in our Amber review, I don't think a full Madrigal deck will be very competitive, so this card isn't likely to see any serious play.

Rating: 2/5

Belle - Accomplished Mystic

A Floodborn Belle, who is a sorceress, is a cool concept and this is some amazing art. But how good is the card? For a Shift cost of 3, you get a 4/4 body that quests for 2 lore. That's not great. But she has an enter the battlefield ability, allowing you to move up to 3 damage from one character to an opponent's character. However, these damage moving abilities have not been very good in practice. It can be hard to have a character in play with damage on it and an opposing character that you want to move it to. It's a bit too situational. The best use for this card is probably pairing it with Ruby's self damage cards, of which there have been a few new ones this set, to ensure you always have some damage to move. But even then, there is still quite a bit of setup required to get her ability online.

Still, we've seen how good just any 5-cost Shift character can be, if you can consistently get them out early. Even if they don't have a relevant ability, just Shifting out a 5-cost character can be strong, as they allow you to sing all the powerful 5-cost Songs earlier in the game. The problem is there are no 1- or 2-cost Belles that you can Shift this onto. You would have to rely on Morph - Space Goo to get this card out on turn 3. That's not ideal.

Ultimately, I think this card won't make any competitive lists. Its clunky ability and lack of good Shift targets are holding it back. In the future, with better Shift targets or more support for this damage moving mechanic, this card could be quite powerful. But for now, I'm not too high on it.

Rating: 3/5

Belle - Inexperienced Mystic

This Belle really needed to be 2-cost. I'm not sure why they made it cost 3 when the Floodborn Belle wants to Shift on turn 3. Its stats and ability aren't even good enough for a 3-cost character. You are trading one lore off a vanilla character for an ability that has so far been too situational to see any play.

Like it feels like this had to have been 2-cost at one point in the development process, but then they moved it to 3-cost for whatever reason later in development. And now both this and the Floodborn Belle are basically unplayable. Bleh.

Rating: 1/5

Bruno Madrigal - Out of the Shadows

Should I say the joke? Everyone has already made this joke already, right? Oh, who cares, I'm going to say the joke... we have to talk about Bruno. *crickets*

Aaaaanyway, this Bruno is an uninkable 5-cost 4/5 with 1 lore. He has an ability where you can give another character "when this character is banished in a challenge, you may return this card to your hand". You can look at it as pseudo-card draw, where you get to target the card you will draw, but with the condition that it needs to be a card already on board for you and which can be banished in a challenge. This pairs best with Rush characters or characters with an enter play ability. Getting instant impact and value from the card you return to your hand seems good.

It's a decent ability and one which comes on a solid body. At 4 Strength, it crucially dodges all the Strength-based removal like Madame Medusa - The Boss and Minnie Mouse - Musketeer Champion. If this card was inkable, I'd love it as another value option for Amethyst decks. I still think it could see play, but it being uninkable means you need to carefully consider how many you are putting in your deck.

Rating: 3/5

Bruno Madrigal - Undetected Uncle

Another Bruno card in Amethyst, this time he's a Super Rare that costs 4 ink and comes with a 3/3 body that quests for 1 lore. He's also Evasive and comes with a very unique ability. You can exert him and name a card and then reveal the top card of your deck and if you guessed it correctly, you get to draw it and gain 3 lore. Important to note, that you only need to say the card's principal name, not its subtitle. So if you say "Ursula", for example, it would work on every Ursula card in the game.

So this card screams build around to me. You want to build your deck in such a way that you are always guessing the top card correctly. You can do this with cards like Ursula's Cauldron or The Boss Is on a Roll. There's also a potential Amber/Amethyst deck where you use Alma Madrigal - Matriarch of the Family to bring a Madrigal to the top of your deck and then guess it with Bruno for the draw and lore.

So will this sort of deck be viable? Probably not. You have to sacrifice tempo to setup your deck so you are always guessing correctly. And, even though Bruno has Evasive, he dies to so much removal that all that setup might be for nought if your opponent just immediately banishes Bruno. You really don't want to put all your eggs into one basket.

If we can find a small Bruno package that can go in an otherwise controlling build, that's probably the best home for this card. Maybe this plus The Boss Is on a Roll is enough? Or maybe it's this plus Ursula's Cauldron? This card is strong enough to want to find something that works, because drawing a card and gaining 3 lore each turn is very good. It'll just be a matter of experimenting to find the right combination.

Rating: 4/5

Camilo Madrigal - Prankster

Camilo Madrigal is a shapeshifter in Encanto and they've translated that ability into Lorcana with this "choose one" card. You can choose to turn Camilo into a 2/5 that quests for 2 or a 4/5 when challenging. Neither of those are particularly exciting for 4 ink. It's a classic starter deck card.

Rating: 2/5

Dolores Madrigal - Easy Listener

Dolores seems like it could be a better version of Maleficent - Sorceress. For one more ink, you get +1 to her Strength and Willpower and, more importantly, one more lore. Now, her draw is conditional, but it's pretty often that your opponent will have an exerted character in play, so you can expect to hit this reliably. Card draw is good and any card that offers it will see some play.

Rating: 4/5

Elsa - Storm Chaser

Elsa has been one of those characters that Ravensburger loves to print a lot of, and yet most of the Elsas have not seen very much play. This one may buck that trend. As a 3-cost with 1 Strength and 4 Willpower, you aren't playing this for the stats. No, it's her Tempest ability that is intriguing. Giving your 4-drop Rush and Challenge +2 has some very useful applications. Imagine turning Merlin - Rabbit into "deal 4 damage and draw 2 cards"? Or Merlin - Goat into "deal 6 damage and gain 2 lore"? And that's just two examples from within Amethyst. There will be lots of ways to abuse this ability throughout all the ink colors.

And there is also the fact that this is easily the best Elsa we've gotten that can be a Shift target for Elsa - Spirit of Winter. Spirit of Winter is a very powerful card that has drifted in and out of the meta, despite never being really Shiftable. With this Elsa being strong enough to see play, it's going to make Spirit of Winter a much more viable option. Love this card.

Rating: 4/5

Flotsam - Ursula's "Baby"

Flotsam is another in a series of Flotsam and Jetsam cards that work to buff each other. This one has a pretty nice ability in that when it is banished in a challenge, it goes back to your hand. It's like HeiHei - Persistent Presence but on a character with a decent amount of Strength. The main issue is with only 2 Willpower, this eel dies to a lot of damage removal and when it does, you don't get to return it to your hand. That's probably enough to make it unplayable, but it's definitely one of the more intriguing Flotsam and Jetsam cards.

Rating: 2/5

Flotsam & Jetsam - Entangling Eels

Amethyst's discard Shift card is this Flotsam & Jetsam. It counts as two cards in one! Unfortunately, to play it you have to discard 2 cards which is a huge cost. When you consider that you also have to Shift this onto another Flotsam or Jetsam, you are investing FOUR cards into playing this out. I don't care how many buffs you are able to stack onto this, there's no world in which that is going to be worth it.

Rating: 1/5

Isabela Madrigal - Golden Child

Isabela is potentially the best Madrigal character in the game. As a 5-cost 3/4/1 with Evasive, she doesn't look great on the surface. But her ability allows her to gain 3 lore if she's the only character that quests in a turn. A 4 lore character with Evasive? Yes please.

At first you might think this could be a great aggro card, but that's not really the case. As an aggro deck, you want to have a wide board of characters that can all quest and Isabela's second ability locks any other characters from questing in the turn.

But she fits very nicely into a controlling build, that wants to use their other characters and actions to clear stuff, leaving Isabela safe and able to quest away freely. Ruby/Amethyst could definitely fit her in as their win condition over something much slower like The Sorcerer's Spellbook. Very good card that I fully expect to see play.

Rating: 4/5

Jetsam - Ursula's "Baby"

Jetsam is the counterpart to Flotsam - Ursula's "Baby" who is a 4/4 when challenging, decent stats for 3-cost. He's Helga Sinclair - Right-Hand Woman with some upside. But to get that upside, you need to play him with his Flotsam counterparts. And I think overall you are making your deck weaker playing these cards instead of ones that are just standalone good cards.

Rating: 2/5

Luisa Madrigal - Magically Strong One

Luisa Madrigal is a 4-cost Madam Mim - Fox that is also uninkable. Honestly, she's not even a bad card, which sorta highlights how broken Fox is. But unless Fox gets banned at some point, Luisa won't see any play.

Rating: 2/5

Magic Broom - Illuminary Keeper

The Broom deck keeps getting more and more support each set. Certainly it will be playable eventually? This Broom is actually a pretty good one. As a 1-cost Broom, it means that when you have a Mickey Mouse - Wayward Sorcerer on board, you get play this Broom for free. And its ability is similar to Chernabog's Followers - Creatures of Evil, allowing you to cycle it for card draw when its board presence has less impact. This card will be core to any Broom deck and may even be good enough to see play outside of those decks.

Rating: 4/5

Magic Broom - Lively Sweeper

Another one for the Broom deck. Unfortunately, this one is just a plain ole vanilla Broom. Not much to say about it. You definitely aren't playing it outside of Broom decks and may not even play it in a Broom deck.

Rating: 1/5

Magical Maid - Feather Duster

This one looks like it could be a Broom, but it's not. It's a vanilla 2/2 that quests for 2. At one point, this stat line was good enough to see play, but not any more.

Rating: 1/5

Marshmallow - Terrifying Snowman

Marshmallow is a 3-cost Jafar - Keeper of Secrets. But he's uninkable, has 2 less Willpower and 1 less lore. Yeah, that ain't it.

Rating: 1/5

Mrs. Potts - Enchanted Teapot

Mrs. Potts has a vanilla statline for a 4-cost character but with a bit of card draw. It is however very situational. Right now, the only one of Lumiere or Cogsworth good enough to include in a deck is Cogsworth - Grandfather Clock. I don't think you are running Mrs. Potts when she is only drawing for you with one other character in the deck. In the future, if there are more playable Cogsworths and Lumiere, maybe she will be worth. But not now.

Rating: 2/5

Pepa Madrigal - Weather Maker

Pepa Madrigal has a shockingly bad stat line for a 5-cost uninkable character. A 1/5 with only 1 lore? Yikes. Her ability is going to do some heavy lifting here. And I don't think it gets there. Yes, "freezing" a character out for a turn is strong (it's safe to assume you will always have a target not at a location). But not strong enough for me to want to play an uninkable character this weak.

Rating: 2/5

Peter Pan - Shadow Finder

This Peter Pan is the counterpart to Peter Pan's Shadow - Not Sewn On with a similar stat line and abilities. But the Shadow gives your Rush characters Evasive, while this Pan gives your Evasive characters Rush. Shadow has found a home in the typical Amethyst/Ruby deck, giving your Maui - Hero to All Evasive to help deal with your opponent's Evasives. This Peter Pan will obviously go in a much different deck. A heavy Evasive deck could use this Pan to give a lot of their other characters Rush, which is quite powerful. I don't know if the full Evasive deck is there yet, but this definitely would be a big help to getting it there.

Rating: 3/5

Pico - Helpful Toucan

Pico is the toucan that accompanies Antonio Madrigal in Encanto. It would have been nice to see some synergy between the two in Lorcana, but he's just a simple vanilla card.

Rating: 1/5

Tick-Tock - Ever-Present Pursuer

Tick-Tock is a huge Evasive bomb. And at 4 Strength and 7 Willpower, he dodges a lot of removal. Could be one for the Evasive deck with Peter Pan? Certainly this with Rush would be pretty good. Probably not good enough for constructed, but this is definitely a limited format monster.

Rating: 2/5

Ursula - Mad Sea Witch

This Ursula is a color swapped Prince Eric - Dashing and Brave. That card has seen some play and I expect this Ursula may as well, especially since she works as a Shift target for the next card we are going to look at...

Rating: 3/5

Ursula - Sea Witch Queen

The Sea Witch Queen is the big bad of this set and she gets an appropriately powerful Legendary card. As a 7 cost with Shift 5, this card will be coming down in the late game and questing for a big 3 lore. And when she quests, you get to exert a character, allowing you to take it out with a challenge. But even better, she completely shuts down all characters from being able to sing songs. Not only is this a massive flavor win, it's really, really powerful. Singing songs is one of the key ways to gain a tempo lead on your opponent in Lorcana, so shutting them down completely is very strong.

Now this notably affects your own characters as well, but you can build your deck to not be as reliant on songs. Or just hold Ursula back until after you've sung the songs you need to sing. It's obviously a bit of a drawback to this Ursula, but she would probably be broken if it wasn't the case.

And I haven't even mentioned her 4/7 body, which as we've noted a few times already, dodges much of the premium removal in the game right now. Once this Ursula hits the board, she is going to be very hard for your opponent to remove. This is the definition of a meta-defining card.

Rating: 5/5

Yen Sid - Powerful Sorcerer

Amethyst's second Legendary for the set is Yen Sid, the sorcerer from Fantasia. This card is not as big or splashy as the Ursula, but he certainly increases the power level of the Broom deck quite a bit. When you play him, you can draw a card if you have a Broom in play. And then if you have two or more Brooms in play, he quests for 3 lore. That is a lot for a 2-cost character.

There is a perfect line with him where you can play your 1-cost Broom on turn 1, Yen Sid on turn 2 to draw a card, and then a 3-cost Broom on turn 3 to quest for 3 with Yen Sid. This is strong start for the Broom deck and one that should be fairly consistent.

It is hard to evaluate whether the Broom deck is strong enough yet to be competitive. I really need to play test it to find out. But this card is the first time I've thought the deck might just get there. Very strong card.

Rating: 4/5

Poor Unfortunate Souls

This card is Befuddle that costs 1 more ink. But you can target locations with it and, more importantly, it is singable. This looks like the perfect card for the Amethyst/Emerald Tempo deck, which is already a tier 1 deck. Ursula - Deceiver has never really been very useful once she's hit the board, but now she can sing this and bounce something back to your opponent's hand? That's really strong.

Rating: 4/5

Second Star to the Right

Second Star to the Right is Amethyst's Sing Together song and it costs a whopping 10 ink to play. Or you have to exert 10 ink worth of characters to sing it. That is very expensive. But I probably don't have to tell you that drawing 5 cards is really, really good. You are just going to have to build your deck in a way that it's feasible to sing this card reliably. That means using Singers or Floodborns to help you get to 10 ink.

Is it going to be doable? I honestly don't know. This being uninkable is a huge drawback. It can very easily end up stuck in your hand the whole game with it being literally unplayable. It's definitely a high risk, high reward card. Could it work in a Jafar - Striking Illusionist deck? If you could somehow pull off singing this and A Whole New World in one turn, that's a massive 12 lore gain.

One other use for this is in a mill deck, since you can force your opponent to draw the 5 cards instead. Mill decks have been mostly meme decks so far, but with enough cards like this, they become more realistic. Mill, in particular, loves to face off against control decks, which are very prevalent in Lorcana right now.

I think Second Star may ultimately prove to be too expensive to see consistent play, but I imagine there will be a lot of attempts to make it work.

Rating: 3/5

Swing Into Action

Swing Into Action is a very simple action card that just gives something Rush for a turn. Giving Rush is good, but I don't think you want to spend a whole card on that effect. If this card cycled itself, I'd like it a lot more, but without that, it's dead on arrival.

Rating: 1/5

Ursula's Plan

Ursula's Plan is Freeze and I'm Stuck! squeezed together into one card. It does a bit more work in a multiplayer setting, but in 1v1 formats, it's not doing enough to warrant the card slot or spending 3 ink on it.

Rating: 1/5

Mystical Rose

Mystical Rose is the The Lamp of this set. I like these sorts of items that you can banish for two different effects, depending on which characters you have in play. The Lamp did see some small amount of play and I think this one is on the cusp of playability as well. Its best use currently is pairing it with Beast - Relentless. Giving Beast +2 lore and then having it quest multiple times in a turn is the dream.

But how reliably you could pull this combo off is the question. Ultimately, this item may just be too situational to really warrant putting it into you deck. But I don't want to dismiss it out of hand, simply because of the combo potential.

Rating: 3/5

Rose Lantern

Am I crazy or isn't this just Plasma Blaster with more hoops to jump through for you to activate it? I guess it technically "heals" one of your characters too. And, of course, it's inkable and costs one ink less. But Blaster is a terrible card and only being a slight improvement over it isn't really going to do it.

Rating: 1/5

Triton's Trident

Triton's Trident has been hinted at in many earlier cards' flavor text. So surely it must be a very powerful item with a strong effect! *Reads the ability* Huh?

Yeah, I don't get why you'd tease the Triton as this powerful item that Ursula is desperately trying to get her hands on and then make this. Feels like a missed opportunity not to make this item the second Legendary item in Lorcana and giving it a really cool and powerful effect. As it is, no one is ever playing this.

Rating: 1/5

Casa Madrigal - Casita

Casa Madrigal is a 1-cost location that, instead of having 1 passive lore, gains you 1 lore only when you have a character at the location. It's important to note that that effect doesn't stack: you don't get 2 lore for having 2 characters here. And since you are paying 1 ink to move a character here, you can kinda look at this as basically a 2 cost location with 6 Willpower and 1 passive lore. So it's Forbidden Mountain - Maleficent's Castle... but worse. Oof.

Rating: 1/5

Ursula's Lair - Eye of the Storm

Ursula's Lair is the Dr. Facilier - Agent Provocateur of locations. While getting characters back to your hand is a powerful effect, you are having to pay 5 ink up front to get just one character back. And then another 2 ink after that for each other character. That's pricy.

If I want a location that provides some card advantage, I'd rather just play The Queen's Castle - Mirror Chamber and move characters there for 1 ink cheaper and get 1 extra passive lore to boot. And, while Ursula's Lair's secondary ability is some added flavor, it's definitely not pushing this location into playability.

Rating: 1/5


And those are your Amethyst cards for Ursula's Return. Overall, there are a lot of lows but some highs for Amethyst in this set. The Legendary Ursula looks like it will be a set-defining card. And the Broom deck got a good bit of support and may just end up being a tier 2 or 3 deck this meta.

Some of the other stuff, like Bruno and Second Star to the Right, look like cool build arounds at least. Even if they don't end up working out, it will be fun to give them a try.

Next up, we'll look at the Emerald cards!

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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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