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Understanding Ruby-Amethyst Control with Rise of the Floodborn

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New sets define the lifeblood of competitive games, keeping tournament scenes fresh. With a third set on the way, Lorcana is sitting in a unique spot that card games go through these days; it's first meta defining season. After the release of Rise of the Floodborn tournaments all over the nation saw the new Merlin/bounce mechanics and created a fun control deck. In these early days there's also more reliance on localized metas that aren't just different from city-to-city, but from store-to-store.

Which is that much more exciting to see Ruby/Amethyst Bounce Control in different variations popping up at different stores. Other large tournaments all over the world have seen the deck refined, including Lorcana Day 2 hosted at the Grand Magic Hotel near Disneyland Paris. According to tournament reports Ruby/Amethyst Bounce Control landed over 25% of the entire turn out and claimed 4 of the Top 8 slots.

Our control pieces meddle in some lore loss with Lady Tremaine - Overbearing Matriarch and Ursula - Power Hungry, who made my ranking of the best Super Rare and Legendary cards of The First Chapter. It might take a few turns for our key pieces to get set in place, so we need a way to buy an extra turn or so.

Our key pieces in this deck are eight copies of Mim, split between Madam Mim - Snake and Madam Mim - Fox. Try your best to find them in your opening hand, and don't ink them unless necessary. Other cards to see in your opening hand are The Sorcerer's Spellbook, Merlin - Goat, or Merlin - Rabbit. By now you might be able to see where we're heading. We're trying to optimize the number of times we play Characters with enter play effects, particularly Goat Merlin who gains us lore without questing. The same is true for the Spellbook, which allows us to grab a lore without the risk of leaving a character exerted.

We also have quite a suite of cards to help us find our key pieces including Kuzco - Wanted Llama, which finally finds a good home. Friends on the Other Side can help us dig through our deck for the right cards while saving some ink if we can sing. Finally, Maleficent - Sorceress and Merlin - Rabbit both fit in with Mim's ability to bounce to keep digging if we become desperate for our key pieces.

This is a low interaction deck which races to 20 lore through unconventional means. To pick off our opponent's questers we have some spot removal in the form of a Big Bad Dragon (who can conveniently quest for 2 in a pinch) as well as Maui - Hero to All who can pick off a quester or two. And if all else fails, we can wipe the board and approach the rest of our turn with a clean slate after singing Be Prepared.

If all our party tricks fail, we have a handful of questers we can rely on to get us over the line. Ursula has 3 lore which is the highest in our deck, but the true star of the show here is Minnie Mouse - Stylish Surfer which brings a little survivability with Evasive. She'll need that considering many of the characters in your opponent's deck will be waiting at attention for someone to challenge.

All of this comes together in a package that plays differently from decks in the first set - and that's the sign of a developing meta. The game is meant to evolve over time, and the design team has said that the first few sets will create a foundation for the game to add new elements and become more complex over time (something we're seeing with the inclusion of Locations in Into the Inklands) which makes sense. The addition of a true control deck that doesn't turn sideways and wins in strange ways was something that we were always going to get. Taking up half the meta and a quarter of the participation is extreme. Here's to seeing control evolve and vary over time, and then answers we'll probably have for them in the next set!

In the meantime, we can start preparing for all the new regional and national tournaments that Ravensburger announced last week. Starting in May, Ravensburger will being the Disney Lorcana Challenge, a competitive circuit in North America and Europe which all leads to a World Championship in early 2025. Before that we dip our toe in the water of competitive play with Set Championships in April organized at your local game store with an Enchanted Stitch - Rock Star up for grabs.

So, start tuning your decks, and keep your eyes on the Into the Inklands spoilers to start tech decking and rocking your local store.

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