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Taking Down Lorcana's Top Meta Deck with Sapphire/Steel Control


Do you hate Goats? How about Foxes? How about a particular song from Jeremy Irons from the critically acclaimed movie The Lion King? Well do I have something cold as steel for you. We're going to look at a pretty popular deck profile for Sapphire/Steel. This particular list made 1st place in a recent event:

The main goal of the deck is to ramp to 10 ink and use Belle - Strange but Special to close out the game by questing for a significant amount of lore from her ability My Favorite Part - When you have 10 or more ink in your inkwell, this character gets +4 lore. Now, 10 ink does seem like a lot but you can hit 10 ink as soon as turn six with the right line of play and no interaction from the opponent:

Turns 1 and 2 into a playing Pawpsicles or Nothing to Hides (2 ink)

Turn three into a Fishbone Quill, with activation (4 ink)

Turn four into a Beast - Tragic Hero, activating Fishbone Quill again (6 ink)

Turn five into singing A Whole New World with Tragic Hero, playing Belle - Strange but Special and inking twice, while also activating Fishbone Quill) - (9 ink)

Turn six ink (10 ink)

Obviously this is ideal, but you get the point. 10 ink isn't hard when playing Sapphire. Let's go into some of the other tools that give this great ink pairing the resources it needs to compete at top-level play.

The Plan for the Early Game

Early game is all about getting your critical pieces on board for the signature turn five play; Singing A Whole New World with Beast - Tragic Hero. A seasoned opponent will expect this play and be pressured into playing high value cards before they ultimately end up in the discard pile. The more cards you've played, the more value you get from singing the song. This is why cards like Pawpsicle and Nothing to Hide are in the deck; you get some additional draw for inking or finding your missing pieces if you didn't draw them initially or get a better mulligan.

The Plan for the Mid Game

The Mid Game gives you more versatility to navigate to the End Game with cards like Hiram Flaversham - Toymaker and Pawpsicle to draw up to 3 cards, getting you more of what you need for closing the game out. Oh, if you need to answer some immediate threats, you have access to the song Let it Go for targeted removal, or Tinker Bell - Giant Fairy and the song Grab Your Swords for a potential one-sided board clear. If you're dealing with a Steel mirror match, you can look for and play Cogsworth - Grandfather Clock to grant Resist +1 to all other characters. Having two of them on the board could be disastrous for the opponent as well.

The Plan for the Late Game

Late game is all about dropping our bomb, Belle - Strange but Special. If you've had great board control and tempo, you should be able to at least quest with her once or twice, sometimes ending the game. Playing Belle at the right time is critical because it forces your opponent to answer it. Playing it too early might bait removal, but with only 3 in the deck, your chances are a bit limited. Make sure you have protection on the field for her by means of Cogsworth or targeted removal, such as Hades - Infernal Schemer or Let it Go.

Situational Cards

Prince Eric - Dashing and Brave is great at dealing with early game threats from aggro type decks. With Challenger +2, you can expect to make one to two favorable trades in the right situation. It's also inkable in the event you may not need it for a particular matchup.

Cruella De Vil - Fashionable Cruiser and Cruella De Vil - Perfectly Wretched allows you to deal with evasive characters with a decent shift to Perfectly Wretched that can quest for two lore. Her ability, which reduces a character's attack by two, can increase your chances of making a favorable trade with another one of your challengers to save them for a future turn.

Wrapping Up

Overall, we're seeing a solid deck list here with a lot of staying power in the current meta. With the ability to play into the inevitable Be Prepared, you'll be well suited for maintaining card advantage which is key in the late game. This deck isn't just for dealing with one of the top meta decks though, as we have great support with keywords like resist against other Steel opponents. For future iterations, we might want to look into answers for dealing more with the early game aggro decks since they seem to be coming back now both online and in paper.

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