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Exploring Lorcana's Into the Inklands - Sapphire

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Into the Inklands brings with it a major shake-up to the game. Not just with the addition of Locations that changes the way of thinking - but an additional 204 cards. For the next week or so join Stefan and I diving into all the new cards. Today we're looking at all the new Sapphire cards.

Heart of Te Fiti

At the top of my list of Sapphire cards is what Fishbone Quill should have been from the beginning. A lot of my locals swear up and down by the Quill - my problem with it is that it reduces my card advantage. Playing extra cards into my inkwell is awesome, but taking the card from my hand creates more stress of which cards to waste. Heart Of Te Fiti fixes this problem by taking cards from the top of my deck. The 2-ink cost seems negligible in the late game. In the mid-game it could be a struggle to decide when and how to use it - but with other Sapphire ink ramp we make that decision easier.

Tinker Bell - Very Clever Fairy

We want more ink. Always more ink. Very Clever Fairy is our 6th version of our winged friend. This Super Rare version takes advantage of using our items by giving us more ink. More than that it doesn't take cards from our hand to give us ink and instead uses cards that would otherwise go to our discard pile. This Tinker Bell has optimization written all over it - especially in the same colors as known combos like Pawpsicle and Hiram Flaversham - Toymaker. Now we're not just drawing cards but ramping our ink at the same time. Of all my choices in this list, I think Tinker Bell has the best chance at finding a home in a meta deck.

Mama Odie - Mystical Maven

With the right pairing, Mama Odie could also be a standout hit from this set. Unfortunately, Sapphire is somewhat lacking in the song department. We get One Jump Ahead to double down on our ink ramp, but other than that we're left wanting. Pairing with Steel, on the other hand, gives us A Whole New World, Grab Your Sword, and Strength of a Raging Fire. There are already several Sapphire/Steel decks in the works - so Mama Odie is a shoo-in for those already depending on these songs. If nothing else changes in Sapphire/Steel control - we'll definitely see her pop up.

Lucky Dime

One of the most interesting new combos to look forward to is more item strategies. With Scrooge McDuck - Richest Duck in the World and his Lucky Dime we can take advantage of our items like we could with Tamatoa - So Shiny! Unfortunately, this combo takes two somewhat expensive cards that you'll want to run multiple copies of but are uninkable. However, with some ramp and luck Lucky Dime becomes a game winning card.

Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean

This might be the card I'm most excited for in all of Into the Inklands. We can get Gramma Tala - Spirit of the Ocean out by turn five if we're utilizing our Shift. The good news here is that Gramma Tala - Keeper of Ancient Stories lets us dig deeper for Spirit of the Ocean or other key pieces in whatever deck she ends up. But with all the other ink ramp, Spirit of the Ocean is a card to build a deck around. Much like the Amethyst/Ruby control deck running amuck right now, Gramma Tala doesn't need to exert or interact with other cards to win. She relies on your natural ability to ramp to make 20 lore out of nowhere. However, unlike Mim and Merlin she comes with a big defense that lets her take out or dish a few hits if necessary. Playing around with different decks focusing on Gramma, I find her utilizing some of the same functions I wanted from Belle - Strange but Special without having the fragility that comes with leaving characters exhausted.

Locations

Of our locations the one I have my eye on the most is Motunui - Island Paradise. One lore a turn isn't a big incentive, but turning your questers into ink presents a heck of a choice to your opponent. With only 5 Willpower the location can be defeated - but until then you'll enjoy some free ink or some free lore. Then let's tour McDuck Manor. Two lore a turn and a very cheap movement cost - this is a no brainer. The fact that it's a formidable Willpower is just icing on the cake. After that, Belle's House can certainly find a place in the Tamatoa item deck that fell from the meta in Rise of the Floodborn. While it doesn't give any lore, we find ourselves a discount on items - and as long as we pay more than 2 items, we break even on the movement cost.

Summary

During most of spoiler season I found the Sapphire reveals to be lackluster - right up until the last week or so. The only interesting cards were Scrooge and his Lucky Dime. However, that never seemed to spark excitement. Perhaps someone will prove me wrong (please do) but the other cards on this list turned me around and made Sapphire the strongest color to look forward to in the new set.

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