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Amber Highlights from Lorcana Ursula's Return

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Looking at the current deck lists that rule over tournaments and local stores, there's a lack of Amber. Amber/Steel Songs and Amber/Ruby Mufasa are the only sources of this undervalued ink color - and both rely on Amber only for very specific cards. It's safe to say that Amber, overall, has some lackluster packages. That's not to say there aren't fun cards, like the Seven Dwarfs from Rise of the Floodborn, but those don't see a lot of play outside of sealed and draft. Unfortunately, Amber continues to take hits in Ursula's Return with the fewest cards drawing attention. Hopefully Amber will have some sleeper hits that manage to surprise us in a few weeks. For now, let's take a look at those exciting new Amber cards from Ursula's Return.

The elephant in the Amber room is Mickey Mouse - Musketeer Captain. There have been musketeer cards in the game ever since The First Chapter and players have wanted to make a functional deck since then. Other musketeer cards have come and gone in the sets between - but none as useable as the captain himself. Mickey is iconic in this card, even to the point that in his art he looks larger than life. Unfortunately, that's not reflected in his stat line. 6 Willpower is good for most characters, but for a Bodyguard it feels a little weak. Thankfully Mickey makes amends for that with Support and a Shift cost to get him out on turn five, a pivotal turn that makes Bodyguard nice. If he ends up in a deck with his fellow Musketeers, or even just friends that make use of Bodyguard you can utilize MUSKETEERS UNITED and fill your hand up. Card advantage is something Amber sorely needs for remaining competitive, and doing this in a way that leans into mechanics they already have feels great. This then begs the question of how playable the other Musketeers are and what other ink to pair the Captain with to make that happen. There are other Musketeers in Steel already, and thankfully Steel has other Bodyguards. More importantly, Steel has access to cards with Resist that makes Bodyguard so much more valuable and with Mickey using Support, it's likely that a Musketeer deck of some kind or another will try to climb from the kitchen table to tournament tables everywhere.

On her own, Minnie Mouse - Musketeer Champion might be a playable character with built-in removal. At 5-ink she's low enough to be playable, but her lack of an inkable icon makes me nervous to add too many into a deck. The Bodyguard here doesn't mean much except when paired with the Captain himself. However, getting a free banish of a strong enemy is great in certain matchups. Unfortunately, this doesn't let her target most of the characters in the Amethyst/Ruby Bounce Control, which is where Amber needs help the most.

A card that you don't have to bet on is Cinderella - Melody Weaver. One of the best Singers in the game, and that's what Amber is best at already. Cinderella will find her way into the existing Amber/Steel Song deck and turn it on its head. Cinderella wants to have plenty Princess pals to make them all bigger - and there are already some good Princesses out there who are also team Amber. With enough Princesses and Songs, Cinderella could easily find her way climbing up the tier list to win faster than Bounce Control. Unfortunately, Cinderella is an easy target for your opponent since she'll be singing every turn and with 5 Willpower she won't survive very long.

The gap between Cinderella and Gaston - Despicable Dealer feels like the distance between Aladdin and Inside Out 2. While Gaston is a convenient discount for playing characters, he's likely to get banished before you use him a second time. If you get one use out of him, then you invested 3-ink for a 2-ink return. Of course, this all means your opponent invested actions into defeating him Gaston isn't strong enough to make that a difficult decision. On the other hand, if for some reason your opponent leaves Gaston on the board for longer the discount he provides becomes an incredible asset to your position. This return for your investment goes down further if you spend ink and actions trying to keep Gaston alive, but with all of Amber's Bodyguard (and our new Musketeer Captain) maybe there's something here.

In another world Prince Eric marries a human-form Ursula, and maybe in that world Ursula - Eric's Bride is a top tier choice. Getting to see your opponent's hand every turn gives you a lot of information, and having the opportunity to discard an action or location might give you the advantage from time to time - assuming there are actions or locations for you to choose from. I want Ursula - Eric's Bride to be a secret hit in this set, but having discard outside of Emerald and Steel might not be as useful as I want it to be. The reality of this card is in how efficiently it can be played - by discarding a song. This means the second copy of Be Prepared you draw can be put to better use in playing Ursula - Eric's Bride for free. Just within the theme of this set I have faith Ursula will attempt to claw her way up and out of the kitchen table without much success, but I hope to be proven wrong.

Have fun with the new releases in Ursula's Return and try your best with the new Amber cards. You can check out all the fun talking about the new set and the new cooperative mode of the game in our other articles. Good luck on release week, may the pulls be ever in your favor. Share your new pulls with me on Twitter or Instagram@wlsobel.


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