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Exploring Lorcana's Into the Inklands - Emerald

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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 Emerald cards.

Morph - Space Goo

I won't say too much about Morph since Stefan already wrote a whole article about him. But rest assured that Morph is about to mess with the meta if for no other reason than getting Beast - Tragic Hero out earlier. Ravensburger knew exactly what they were doing by choosing him to be Enchanted.

Ursula - Deceiver of All

Copy all your songs? Yes, please. Emerald has seen a few songs making their way into decks on their own. In a vacuum Ursula could find her way into a discard focused deck that utilizes Sudden Chill. Paired with Steel she can duplicate a lot of good removal like Let the Storm Rage On and Strength of a Raging Fire. She doesn't quite have the survivability that a key character like this needs, but taking advantage of doubling songs is all gas. However, there's certainly an interesting combination with all the song utility that Amber also has, perhaps even making a new song deck with Sleepy's Flute.

Strike a Good Match

While we're talking about songs, I want to bring this new common up. It might be one of the most under-the-radar cards that was spoiled. Emerald has had some strange draw cards like Prince John - Greediest of All and Donald Duck - Perfect Gentlemen which either rely on another action or provide draws for your opponent. Strike a Good Match digs through your deck, gives you an opportunity to discard, is only 2 ink, AND is a song that can be utilized with the above Ursula. Most Emerald decks should be utilizing the high impact card advantage of this, and is definitely one of my favorite new cards from the set.

Helga Sinclair - Femme Fatale

While not a game ender like some of the other cards I've chosen, Helga is one filled with utility. I'm not sure that she belongs in every Emerald deck since she's not inkable - but the value of questing for 2 Lore and dealing 3 damage at the same time is quite valuable. Shifting for 3 ink for 4 Strength and Willpower is also a lot of value. Questing with her twice will remove almost any character and new you 4 Lore. I'd love to see Helga make her way into some Emerald control decks.

Milo Thatch - King of Atlantis

Floodborn Milo is a game ender. If you want a free turn of questing without the threat of losing your board all you need to do is destroy your own Milo. With Shift you can get Milo out as early as turn four. Paired with Amethyst you can use characters like Chernabog's Followers - Creatures of Evil to quest with Milo, draw a card, then send every card your opponent has to their hand. Continue questing with the rest of your squad to get a turn ahead of the curve. Since we're already in Emerald we can utilize some discard effects as well to whittle down those threats. Also in Amethyst you get access to Gruesome and Grim allowing you to cheat Milo into play much sooner which will keep your opponent's board clear from the get go.

Cursed Merfolk - Ursula's Handiwork

Perhaps the Emerald card I'm looking forward to the most already has a deck to belong in. The Emerald/Steel Discard deck climbed its way to tier 1 meta in Rise of the Floodborn. Giving that deck some early game lore will give it some needed spice to keep up with other evolving decks. But that extra spice being 2 Lore, or an early game discard will kick some other meta decks in the pants. With as few cards as your opponent will have you'll need to time you Merfolk responsibly so that each time you quest and taunt your opponent they'll have to make difficult decisions about what to get rid of - and if they run out of cards in their hand that decision goes away.

Locations

With all the excitement of a new card type comes a lot of trepidation of using them correctly. There's caution about the practicality of the Location cards themselves, but the design team did us a favor of giving us characters that take advantage of these new cards. Shenzi - Hyena Pack Leader is exactly that. A 3 Strength, 6 Willpower body that gives you card advantage - be precise with your targets and grab a few cards. As for Emeralds Location cards, there's not a lot of excitement. Kuzco's Palace - Home of the Emperor and Fang - River City both protect characters there, and both have high Willpower. The vanilla Location at common is unexcitingly vanilla for 1 ink and 1 movement cost - but at least still has somewhat high Willpower for a Location.

Summary

Emerald might not seem that great of an ink coming Into the Inklands, but what it lacks in cards to build around it makes up for in general use. Cards like Morph, Ursula, and Helga will see play in existing decks. All I can hope for is that someone puts in the time and effort to make Robin Hood - Daydreamer and Starkey - Devious Pirate into a deck that finally makes Rise of the Floodborn's The Queen - Disguised Peddler something to contend with.

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