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Steel Highlights from Lorcana Ursula's Return

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Steel has truly found itself riding the coattails of other ink in the meta, trailing along as the support color. That's not a bad thing - in fact, I think that Steel is overall the healthiest spread of cards in the game so far. So many powerful decks utilize Steel in different ways - including one of the best support cards from Rise of the Floodborn with Beast - Tragic Hero. Let's see what buzz we have with the new Steel cards from Ursula's Return.

Ripping off the first bandage, let's dive into the card I've been waiting for since The First Chapter and our first real shot at making a Broom deck viable. Mickey Mouse - Playful Sorcerer can hit the table as early as turn three with his cheap Shift, although you may not want to play him so early. The big synergy here is being able to take a pot shot at any opponent's character with damage equal to the number of Brooms. Other than that, Playful Sorcerer is a pretty average character with 2 lore, but he also gets to utilize my favorite Steel ability: Resist. Is Playful Sorcerer enough to make a Broom deck? Yes, I think so. Is that deck going to be good? It'll be a fun enough deck to play at the kitchen table now, certainly. It won't be winning any tournaments without some better lore generation.

With that out of the way let's look at the true Steel hero of this new set. Donald Duck - Buccaneer is so powerful and interesting he'll be taking Steel from utility to mainstream overnight. Utilizing other ink, like Ruby, for Donald Duck to defeat enemies means the rest of your team gets a lore bonus. More characters equals more lore, in a very healthy increase. This means that lower cost utility Steel characters become 2 lore machines that can swing the game with one good turn. I'm very interested to see how this new bomb spills into the meta, but my guess is that we'll see decks with Donald trying to pump out characters at rate faster than Amethyst/Ruby can handle. And seeing that Donald only costs 4 ink, it might not even be that difficult.

Ariel - Sonic Warrior will bring the current Amber/Steel Song deck to the next level. With an especially large Willpower and a Shift cost of 4, you can start controlling the enemy board with every song by turn five. This 2 ink cost isn't much of a burden in that deck since you're primarily using your characters to sing songs for free - allowing you to deal 6 damage with 2 songs on your very next turn. Paired with some other Steel songs you'll have board advantage in no time, all you need to do is make sure you keep your hand filled with those sweet, sweet songs. If you read my Amber article regarding the new Princess subtheme, it's also worth noting that Ariel is a Princess, and can take advantage of Cinderella's new ability. Ariel - Sonic Warrior is one of my favorite cards from the new set, and will pad all song-related decks with some much needed help.

One of the stranger approaches to Steel in this set comes from a new rare character from the film Hercules. Philoctetes - No-Nonsense Instructor is themed around the Hero category. He doesn't have much survivability, which is a problem for cards like him, but being in Steel it's fairly easy to protect him. With YOU GOTTA STAY FOCUSED all your Hero characters get Challenger +1, making them better at taking out problem characters from across the board. Where our satyr friend really shines, though, is his second ability. SHAMELESS PROMOTER gives you a lore every time you play a Hero character, meaning we could gain a lot of lore just by playing a bunch of cheap Hero characters. Ever since Amethyst/Ruby took over the meta, I've been in search of other strategies that can win games without questing. So far, this is the best one I've encountered, but given Philoctetes' 3 Willpower it's going to be impossible to keep him alive to win the game.

One of the more overlooked characters from this set is Lefou - Opportunistic Flunky. Once you defeat an enemy character in battle, Lefou is free. There's not much else to him, there's no key ability he has - but a full character without paying ink is an incredible value that shouldn't be overlooked. There are plenty of decks out there that could utilize Lefou to optimize their ink curve with surprise characters. And given that he's a Floodborn it's a perfect companion to Bucky - Squirrel Squeak Tutor for extra discards. Personally, I'll be adding this to my Emerald/Steel discard deck for free discards as well as an extra body to get an extra lore or deal additional damage. Alternatively, Lefou is also best friends with Donald Duck - Buccaneer who just needs cheap bodies to benefit from his ability.

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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