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Disney Lorcana Ursula’s Return: 3 Cards To Have (And To Fear) For Next Set Championship


Ursula's Return”, the fifth set released for Disney Lorcana since its launch in August 2023, has been a massive hit among all the fans. There are a number of reasons for this huge success including the amount of support that this set provides to many great archetypes, in particular to those that proved very successful in the meta-game.

For those who may not be aware, a series of competitive events known as “Set Championships” started with “Into The Inklands”, the set released just before Ursula’s return. These events are scheduled in the last weeks before the release of a new set and have been well received among the players as an opportunity to test their skills against each other. The prizes for these tournaments are special Enchanted Promo cards that can only be obtained by ranking among the top four of any tournament hence the high competitive profile of these events.

As the start of Ursula’s Return Set Championship is right upon us, I think it would be interesting to look at the three cards from this set that have influenced the meta-game the most. Considering that anyone attending the championships is likely either to be using them in their decks or to have to face them, I have tried to include a few suggestions on how to deal with these powerful cards together with the explanation of why they can be great additions to your decks. I hope you will enjoy the read and if you think there are other cards that should be included in the list below, please reach out and let us know!

Diablo, Devoted Herald

We kick-off our list with what has been the most discussed Legendary card from the fourth set and the one with the highest price on the secondary market since the release of the set. I know the title spoils it but I think most of the players could have guessed we are talking about the Emerald 3-Ink cost “Diablo, Devoted Herald”.

This newer version of Diablo is a great addition to almost any Emerald deck due to its ability to make the player draw a card every time the opponent does. The full potential of this effect is incredible as players can take a card when opponent draws at the start of their turn or when they use “Let the Storm Rage on”, two cards when they sing “Friends on the Other Side” or even seven cards when they sing “A Whole New World”. In this last case, yes, the player will draw a new hand of seven cards and then they may draw another seven to match those drawn by the opponent. It goes without saying: Diablo can provide a strong card advantage to any player once it gets to the field.

The only condition required to trigger Diablo ability is that the character has to be exerted but its Evasive ability would come in hand to keep it on the field for long. Considering the Devoted Herald is one of the characters using the newer shifting ability, the best way to use this card is to also have a few of the Emerald 1-ink cost “Diablo, Maleficient’s Spy”. With a bit of luck, this last one can then be played on your first turn to check your opponent hand for any threat. On the next turn, when the Spy is dried, the player can shift it into the Herald by discarding any action and then exert the new Diablo by either questing or singing a song. As these actions do not consume ink, players can still place a new card into the Ink to play any card up to a cost of 2. The most dreadful use of Diablo is in combination with Bucky as this last one can be played before shifting Diablo to have the opponent discarding a card. This combination can therefore kick-off the Bucky Discard mechanic, provide constant card draw and the possibility to sing any 3-cost song right from turn 2 that is a massive improvement on the tempo of previous Bucky-discard decks.

Considering its many advantages, Diablo, Devoted Herald rapidly became a staple in all Emerald decks and the Diablo/Bucky Emerald/Steel deck is among the most played Meta decks at the

moment. When planning your deck for a competition you should therefore think of how you may be able to deal with it. The two main weakness of Diablo you may exploit to achieve this are its low willpower of 2 and the need for him to be exerted in order to activate its ability. The first one can be exploited easily by any Steel decks by having cards dealing direct damage like “Fire the cannons” or “Let the storm rage on”. Other Ink colours may struggle a bit more but cards like the Ruby “Teeth and Ambitions” or “Brawl” or even the Emerald “Mama knows best” may still provide a mean to deal with the green menace.

On the other hand, banishing Diablo by challenging him may prove more difficult considering you either need an Evasive character or an effect that can force Diablo to challenge your characters. Being more versed in dealing damages, Steel decks may not have many alternative to achieve it while Emerald decks will likely have a few good Evasive Characters that can challenge Diablo. Ruby decks, on the other hand, may need to resort in using “Maui’s Hook” to make a character evasive while Amethyst decks can exploit either some good Evasive characters or “Peter Pan’s Shadow” to make any character evasive.

Overall, there are a number of good strategies you can exploit to deal with Diablo but it is very important to consider this threat when building your deck for any competitive event. Considering how likely is to face an Emerald/Steel deck, planning a strategy ahead will not only improve your chances to win this match-up but also eventual turn a threat into an opportunity to rank higher in the competition.

Sisu, Empowered sibling

The second card you will likely see on the tables of any tournament is “Sisu, Empowered sibling”, an 8-cost Ruby Character with a Strength of 5 and a Willpower of 4. Ruby control decks were already quite strong in the meta of the previous set but they potentially struggled against wider board as their only option to deal with them, “Be Prepared”, could easily be removed by cards like “Ursula, Deceiver” or “The Bare Necessities”. Sisu's special ability strengthen the deck by allowing a player to banish all opposing characters with a Strength of 2 when the Empowered Sibling comes in play. Although limited to characters with low attack power, the effect of Sisu can be extended with cards like “Ice Cube” or “Kida, Protector of Atlantis” that reduce the Strength of opposing characters so they can be subjected to Sisu's removal effect. As a character, Sisu can not be removed by the aforementioned cards that can affect Be prepared and it also affects only the opponent characters that is much better than the omni-removal obtained with the song. Cherry on top, Sisu can also quest for 3 Lore and can Sing pretty much any song including Be Prepared for maximum flexibility.

Depending on your play style, the Empowered Sibling can also synergize nicely with

“Sisu, Emboldened Warrior”, a 3-cost inkable character with a Strength proportional to the number of cards in your opponent hand or with the Evasive “Sisu, Daring Visitor” that can banish any character with a Strength of 1 when played. In both cases, the lower-cost versions of Sisu can provide very early support/board control. Moreover, any of these two cards can be Shifted into the bigger Sisu for a slightly lower cost (6 instead of 8) meaning the removal effect can be exploited one or two turns earlier.

Another interesting card from the new set that can add value to your Sisu-based deck is “Flynn Rider, Frenemy” as it can grant 3 Lore at the beginning of every turn if the player controls the Character with the highest Strength. This should be quite easy to achieve considering the above average Strength of both Sisu, Empowered Sibling and Sisu, Emboldened Warrior and can provide a nice way to ramp-up a lot of Lore without much effort. The Location “Snuggly Duckling, Disreputable Pub” from the movie Tangled or “Shere Khan, Menacing Predator” can also be interesting to exploit Sisu's strengths to gain additional lore.

In addition to a very long list of advantages, it is important to note that Sisu has a few weakness. Unfortunately, these are not many thus the reason this card is one of the most sought after in the current meta game. The first main weakness is of course its high cost. Unless you are playing a

Sapphire/Ruby Item deck, it is likely Sisu will arrive to the board too late to make a difference. Sisu's effect also affect only characters with a reasonably low strength therefore its value against other Ruby or Steel-based decks may be limited. In addition, Sisu's effect can only be used once (unless you are facing Amethyst/Ruby bounce decks) making it quite expensive to play unless there are a few good targets for it in play.

Ariel, Treasure collector

The last card making a massive impact on the current meta is “Ariel, Treasure collector”, a 6-cost un-Inkable Character that can Quest for 5 if the player has more Items than their opponents. In general, the impact of this card may not be as massive as the previous two cards mentioned in this article but it has still a very important role in the current meta as it tunes even further the (already) good efficiency of Sapphire/Ruby or Sapphire/Steel decks. In particular, Ariel provides both these decks with more flexibility in exploiting their items to quest for massive amounts of Lore every turn.

Before the release of Ursula's Return, in fact, Sapphire players would either rely on the 4-cost “Belle, Strange but Special” or the 8-cost “Tamatoa, So Shiny!” in combination with “Lucky Dime” to obtain 10+ Lore a turn. The first one, Belle, can in fact quest for 5 if there is at least 10 Ink on the Inkwell while Tamatoa can quest for 1 plus 1 for each item in play. At a cost of 2 Ink, Lucky Dime can obtain the same amount of Lore of these two characters even if they are still drying. Both options proved to be quite powerful but, at the same time, not totally efficient. Belle in fact can be easily banished in a challenge or by direct damage due to its Willpower of 4 while the Popsicle - Hiram engine may reduce the amount of items in play thus the Lore Tamatoa can gain.

Ariel, Treasure collector, however, is a very good balance between Tamatoa and Belle. First, she can generate a minimum of 3 Lore by either questing or by using Lucky Dime. This can also increase to 5 if the player has more items than all the opponents and in many cases, this may just be achieved with one or two items in play. These are much better odds than Tamatoa that would need 2 to 4 items to provide the same amount of Lore. Second, Ariel has a Willpower of 4 and “Ward” making her tougher to be removed as she can not be targeted directly with the effects of Characters, Actions and Songs. The only way to deal with Ariel is then to banish her in a challenge or to use board wide effects to damage her (“Grab your sword” or “Be Prepared” for example).

The only main disadvantage of Ariel with respect of Tamatoa is the lack of the ability to retrieve Items from the discard pile. This aspect can impact slightly more Sapphire/Ruby with respect to Sapphire/Steel decks due to the possibility for these last ones to have the 1-cost item Fortisphere in addition to Popsicle to increase the number of low-cost Items than can be played to power-up Tamatoa. Disregarding the minor limitation, Ariel has became a consistent presence in almost all competitive deck list using the Sapphire Item engine.

This complete our list of very good cards you should have in mind for the upcoming Set Championship tournaments. I hope you managed to pull some (or all) of them already from your and you have been enjoying playing with them!