🎵 Under the S3a 🎵 Top 3 Ursula’s Return Cards For Each Ink

With the release of Ursula’s Return rapidly approaching, a group of Toledo locals are ready to detail the top three cards of each ink color. Read on for our hot takes!

Toledo, Ohio has a thriving Lorcana scene, and people have THOUGHTS on what the most impactful cards will be from the newest set. I solicited feedback from four other competitively minded locals, and together we’d like to present the Top 3 cards for each ink from Ursula’s Return, Toledo style. While you wait for those sweet sweet booster packs to crack open, have some fun reading through and (dis)agreeing with our flaming hot takes.

Let’s get into these absolutely definitive, completely indisputable card selections!



Ursula – Eric’s Bride

Do you like the card The Bare Necessities? What if for two extra ink you added a 2/4/2 character who could potentially repeat the effect? Ursula – Eric’s Bride looks to be one of the strongest cards in Ursula’s Return. With the release of set 4 there will be a 2 cost inkable shift target in Amber, Amethyst, and Emerald, giving players plenty of options to play Eric’s Bride even earlier.

When played with Bare Necessities, opponents will be praying to hold onto valuable action cards, items, and locations long enough to ink them. This card also allows character-based Mufasa decks to get the Bare Necessities effect without diluting their deck with non-character cards. This card is a very strong addition to the Amber character pool.

Julieta Madrigal – Excellent Cook

At first glance Julieta doesn’t appear to be one of the most powerful cards in Amber’s set 4 toolbox, but she definitely is. Given that her “Signature Recipe” ability can also be used on opposing characters, Julieta Madrigal is very often the Amber version of Amethyst’s Maleficent – Sorceress, a very strong set 1 card that still sees play, with a statline that might help her survive more than one turn after singing or challenging a character.

However, her ceiling is pushed so much higher in Amber Ruby Mufasa decks. Redfasa will look to add set 4’s Mulan – Injured Soldier and Beast – Wounded to its arsenal of self-damaging characters; these characters serve as targets for Rapunzel – Gifted with Healing. Currently the deck is very reliant on drawing Rapunzel to keep up with card advantage, and now four additional payoff cards can be added to the deck in Julieta. Cards that draw cards are almost always good, and Amber is happy to add Julieta to its toolbox.

Gaston – Despicable Dealer

You know what sounds disgusting? Playing one of the following cards on turn 4: Madame Medusa, Lady Tremaine, Perdita, Sapphire Gaston, Genie – On the Job, the list goes on. Doc – Leader of the Seven Dwarfs sees quite a bit of play in non-Steel Amber decks, and Gaston – Despicable Dealer is comparable. The possibilities become even scarier when paired with Pluto – Friendly Pooch or Lantern to cheat high ink cards out even earlier. While Sapphire is still the king of ramp, Amber now has several nice ramp options that mostly also come with a character who can quest.

Overall impression of Amber: I do think Amber got one of the weaker sets in Ursula’s Return.  In particular, the two legendaries, Cinderella – Melody Weaver and Mickey Mouse – Musketeer Captain, do not line up favorably into the premier removal of the format (Maui, Madame Medusa, and And Then Along Came Zeus). However, Amber does expand upon its class identity of being the best singing color, and character-based Mufasa decks will continue to see play. – Josh


Ursula – Sea Witch Queen

Ursula has returned, but did she ever really leave? The Sea Witch Queen enters the fray as a powerful boss monster capable of stopping your opponent in their tracks if left unchecked.  “You’ll Listen to Me!” is one of our first unconditional floodgate effects, preventing any other character from exerting to sing songs. Although most powerful against Amber or Steel, a majority of decks include at least a few songs, and with their high cost, the new “Sing Together” cards would be near impossible to use. 

If the floodgate effect was not enough, she acts as a Pinocchio – Talkative Puppet every single time she quests. This is comparable or even stronger than Cinderella – Stouthearted, another 7 cost inkable / 5 cost shift. Both characters help you deal with a ready character, but Ursula does it without the song requirement and gets you 3 lore along the way.  All of this is backed up with a strong 4-7 stat line, keeping her out of range for Madame Medusa, World’s Greatest Criminal Mind, and And Then Along Came Zeus. Ursula – Sea Witch Queen has potential to be an easy inclusion in any non-aggro Amethyst strategy!

Isabela Madrigal – Golden Child

The Golden Child may as well be the “Golden Quester”! She is very picky about other questers and shines the brightest when alone in the spotlight. Isabela quests for a total of 4 lore if no other character has quested that turn, and nobody else is allowed to quest after she does. What this means is that you have a consistent source of steady lore while the rest of your cards can keep your opponent at bay.

You can push even more aggressively by pairing her with non-questing sources of lore such as Robin Hood – Champion of Sherwood, The Sorcerer’s Spellbook, and the new Bruno Madrigal – Undetected Uncle. Her 3-4 stat line is susceptible to Madame Medusa and And Then Along Came Zeus, but she makes up for this by being evasive. As a 5 cost inkable, she is another strong consideration for midrange Amethyst strategies.

Magic Broom – Illuminary Keeper

One would think that Yen Sid – Powerful Sorcerer is the obvious choice for spotlighting the new Broom support, but he would be completely worthless if not for our first 1 cost Magic Broom character. On its own, the Illuminary Keeper is a decent 1 drop, essentially Chernabog’s Followers with a flipped stat line. Even better, it lets you use Yen Sid’s “Timely Intervention” ability on curve, drawing 1 to 2 cards on turn 2 depending on if you banish Illuminary Keeper. You can also leave it in play to enable Yen Sid’s “Arcane Study” ability.

Furthermore, this card helps gain the most value out of the new Mickey Mouse – Playful Sorcerer, who deals damage to a character equal to the number of Broom characters you have in play. You could deal the damage and then banish your Illuminary Keeper(s) to draw!

Overall impression of Amethyst: Going into set 4 Amethyst will continue to be a strong pairing with any other color you choose, whether it’s for aggro, control, or midrange purposes. Its core identity as a value-oriented strategy with high draw power remains fully intact. The biggest change is the addition of several strong characters to be used on turn 5 when traditionally most purple packages cap out at 4 ink cost (except for the occasional Yzma or Elsa). Expect to keep running into plenty of Amethyst decks in your upcoming tournaments! – Matt


Prince Phillip – Slayer of Enemies

Emerald finally has received an answer for opposing wide boards in the form of Prince Phillip – Slayer of Enemies. His “Strike to the Heart” ability states: “When you play this character, banish all opposing characters with at least 1 damage counter.” Paired with Steel, particularly Grab Your Swords or Tinkerbell – Giant Fairy, this is Green’s version of a board wipe.

On top of that, Phillip comes down with a 6-6 stat line, evasive and quests for 3 lore. While his 9 ink may seem pricey, Phillip has received some leniency with a 6 shift cost. Set 3 provided 1 shift target, Morph, and set 4 has brought in a 4 cost Prince to help get this card on the board sooner. This will help Emerald push into a mid to late game contender.

Heihei – Clumsy Rooster

Everyone’s favorite rooster finally makes his way to Emerald, and he splashes in a big way.  Heihei comes down with a modest 2-3 stat and quests for 2, but the real value comes from his ability. His “Let’s Fatten You Up” ability is the first of its kind in Lorcana. This ability states: When you play this character, if an opponent has more cards in their inkwell than you, you may put the top card of your deck into your inkwell facedown and exerted.

This makes Heihei a great turn 4 (or turn 3 against Sapphire’s Fishbone Quill) play when going second. Going first gives you a better likelihood of winning your game, but this card could be the card that really helps even the odds when going second. Look for more cards with these types of abilities to follow in future sets.

Hidden Inkcaster

Lastly, we have an item that will change deckbuilding as we know it. This is another first of its kind in Lorcana. Hidden Inkcaster can come down at 2 ink, recycle itself by letting you draw a card, and makes all future cards in your hand inkable while in play. What does that mean for deckbuilding you ask? Most meta deck builds run around 25% of their deck as uninkable cards.  This card could help Emerald see those numbers go up. As an Emerald player who has run into this issue many times, this card helps move your other uninkable cards that you might not currently need into the inkwell instead of sitting in your hand for several turns without seeing play.

Overall impression of Emerald: Emerald has had a core identity of discard from the very beginning of Lorcana. Ursula’s Return has now given Emerald so many more tools to play past the mid-game. Narrowing it down to 3 cards was extremely tough; I could have switched them out with 4 or 5 other cards easily. The set brings more card draw with the legendary Diablo card and the Signed Contract item. It brings more aggro play with the Floodborn Pegasus, which gives you a free turn of questing by giving everything on your board evasive.  Emerald also gets to fight back with the Cri-kee card. The set also helps expand on what Emerald does so well with the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, by combining “Mother Knows Best” with yet another Lorcana first, random discard. The future is very bright for Emerald thanks to Ursula’s Return. – Anthony.


Goofy – Super Goof

Alright! Let’s talk about Goofy – Super Goof. This card is CRAZY. A four cost inkable 2/4 with rush isn’t too bad already, but add in his ability “Super Peanut Powers” and this card jumps to a whole new power level. This card is a straight game ender when you think you aren’t going to lose to an empty board. The first place my mind goes to is how to best abuse this busted card. Obviously being able to challenge more than once in a turn is huge, so Shield of Virtue being on color and a reusable ready chosen character option is an auto include in Super Goof strategies. 

I could see Goofy being added to most Sapphire Ruby item strategies to help gain lore while also combating those pesky aggro decks. I very much see it taking a slot in Amethyst Ruby as well. It is a perfect tempo mix of a removal character and lore gainer all wrapped into an inkable character. Goofy is going to make waves in the constructed meta. 

Flynn Rider – Frenemy

In the first two sets of Disney Lorcana we really got to see Flynn Rider strategies shine with his green counterparts, and in set four we continue to see an amazing addition, this time in Ruby. Flynn Rider – Frenemy is an inkable 2/2 character that costs two to play and quests for one. If this was a normal card that would make sense for your typical common card. This Flynn, however, boasts the ability “Narrow Advantage”, which states: “At the start of your turn, if you have a character in play with more power than each opposing character, gain 3 lore.” This ability is really going to make your opponents struggle with whether they should remove Flynn or whatever threat you have in play that will trigger his ability from the board.

Being in Ruby easily opens you up to high power characters such as Maui, Maleficent – Monstrous Dragon, Scar, and the newly printed Hercules – Daring Demigod, which boasts a hefty seven power. I could see multiple midrange and tempo strategies that rely on characters that act as removal to help you trigger Flynn’s ability, and quickly run away with a value engine of up to 4 lore per turn just from Flynn himself. 


Vitalisphere is the card I am most excited to see played, and one of the cards from this set that I could see being eternally played. A one cost inkable item with the ability “Extract of Ruby”, which allows you to pay one ink and banish it to give a character Rush and plus two strength that turn. This is going to be HUGE in multiple strategies. This card is an easy addition for Blue Red items, adding an additional one cost item that Hiram Flaversham can banish to draw some cards. It also makes your cards like Hiram even better. Suddenly Hiram is a 4 cost 3/6 with Rush that also most likely let you draw two cards and is now going to take out an opposing character.

Interactions like that are going to be game changing. Vitalisphere also allows you to play Mulan and get the benefits of her ability the turn she is played, without having to shift her in. This card is going to impact a lot of Red strategies that were either too slow or just not quite good enough if the card in question had to survive a turn first. I’m very excited to see where this card is going to be used. 

Overall impression of Ruby: I think that Ruby has received the Queen’s share in Ursula’s Return. With hugely impactful cards like Mulan – Elite Archer, and Goofy – Super Goof, we are going to see the constructed meta shift dramatically around these cards. Ruby also received two additional pieces of removal this set in the action Brawl, and the song Be King Undisputed. Add in a couple of excellent items in Vitalisphere and Imperial Proclamation, and I think we will see Ruby shift to being the color most affected by the additions that Ursula’s Return is bringing to the game. – Tristan


Scuttle – Expert on Humans

Currently in the Lorcana metagame, Sapphire is centered around two concepts: items and ramp. Of these, the strongest thing you can be doing in Sapphire currently is turn 3 Fishbone Quill. Most Sapphire decks will mulligan looking for this card, as the jump from three to five – or maybe even 6 if activated twice – ink gives you a huge advantage in tempo and ink over the other colors. This card is essentially four more cards you can keep to help look for that turn three Quill. On top of this, Scuttle also has the ability to sing One Jump Ahead, meaning in your Ruby Sapphire shells, this can actually set you up for turn 4 Be Prepared!

On top of essentially being more looks at Quill, this card does hunt for other items as well. It can find your Pawpsicles to set up for that juicy turn four Hiram Flaversham draw two. Late game this card isn’t dead either. It digs for more Pawpsicles or Quills to sacrifice to Hiram Flaversham, as well as helping you look for those ever important Lucky Dimes to close the game out. But this card isn’t just all about the items! It is also a really good body to help slow down those pesky aggro decks. The 1/3 stat line lets Scuttle trade into multiple Maleficent – Biding Her Time and Lilo – Making A Wish, while still having the body around to help take out other characters, sing songs, and progress your main gameplan. All in all, I think this card will be a staple in item-based Sapphire decks moving forward.

Dig A Little Deeper

As opposed to adding to the current color identity of Sapphire, I think this card has a prime opportunity to resurrect a previously dead archetype: Amber Sapphire. This card pairs perfectly with Ariel – Spectacular Singer, and gives you an insane draw of 1 drop, 2 drop, Ariel, Sing on 4. This is a really strong curve, and when backed with some other powerful Amber Sapphire payoffs in this set, like Mickey Mouse – Musketeer Captain, there are many options to play this card ahead of the curve.

The two play lines in my head currently are the Ariel line listed above, then something along the lines of Simba – Protective Cub on two, Mickey Mouse – Detective on 3, into Shift Mickey Mouse – Musketeer Captain on four, draw two cards, then use Mickey and another character to sing Dig A Little Deeper. Both this and the Ariel line are insane card advantage, that can easily set you up for the mid to late game.

Triton – Champion of Atlantica

This is another card I can see either redefining an archetype, or potentially developing its own. Ruby Steel Pirates was a fringe deck in Into the Inklands, and Sapphire Steel has been an archetype in Lorcana since the beginning. This card I image will re envision the two archetypes together, giving us a Sapphire Steel style ramp deck that also focuses on items, as the items package gives this deck the efficient card draw that Pirates was so desperately needing, as well as the valuable shift target of Triton – Discerning King. Pair these along with multiple locations, and famous location payoff John Silver – Greedy Treasure Seeker, and your opponents will watch as you draw cards, gain lore, and make their characters irrelevant. I think Triton – Champion of Atlantica gives the location based pirates of Steel a new home that will help boost the fan favorite archetype to the next level.

Overall impression of Sapphire: Overall, I think Ursula’s Return does a good job at developing Sapphire’s identity. The set continues to grow the item and ramp themes, while adding on new ways for Blue to potentially pair with colors we haven’t seen it succeed with in quite some time, while also reimagining fan favorite archetypes of the past. I think Sapphire has a good chance to be a prevalent color that you will see and want to keep your eyes on as the ever evolving metagame of Disney Lorcana continues to grow and develop with the inclusion of Ursula’s Return. – Richie


Philoctetes – No-Nonsense Instructor

This is the flashiest card Steel received in Ursula’s Return, and there is huge upside to Philoctetes – No-Nonsense Instructor. This card gives Steel needed reach to generate lore from hand without having to wait to quest. There are so many Hero characters in the game already; many of them are cheap 1 or 2 cost characters that can easily be chained together with Phil for burst lore.

Phil can give you chip lore throughout the game as you play the cards you were already going to put in your deck anyway, or he could be paired with Stitch – Rock Star and Pride Lands to form an explosive chain of card draw and instant lore. Expect to see a lot of players try to make this card work in the early days of set 4.

LeFou – Opportunistic Flunky

Is this guy serious? Yes, LeFou – Opportunistic Flunky is actually a crazy good card. There is a reason singing is one of the most powerful mechanics in Lorcana, because as is true in just about every card game, playing cards for free is one of the best things you can do. A 3 cost 2/3/1 is terrible when you have to pay for it. With a turn 2 trade – maybe a forced one when paired with Pinocchio – Talkative Puppet – you get to keep the board in your favor.

The 3 cost liability now becomes a strength, in that Lefou can sing songs like Strength of a Raging Fire and Let the Storm Rage On turn 3. This card is great as a throw in off a A Whole New World or Hiram draw. This unassuming card could be a strong player in Steel tempo decks.

          Fortisphere                        I Find ‘Em, I Flatten ‘Em

To close out the Steel cards I wanted to mention two cards related to items. Fortisphere is the Steel Pawpsicle. Pawpsicle is one of the strongest blue cards, cards that replace themselves (particularly when they cost 1) are powerful, and Sapphire Steel now has Hiram redundancy with 8 copies of a 1 cost draw 1 items. This card is boring but undeniably strong. I Find ‘Em, I Flatten “Em is a 4 cost song that banishes all items (yours and your opponents). As set 4 cards were being revealed I thought it was going to be Sapphire’s day in the sun, as the set has a ton of strong item synergy cards. Now, if that deck ever becomes too powerful, we always have this card to fall back on. With it being inkable, there’s hardly a downside to slotting in 2 copies in a hostile meta.

Overall impression of Steel: I like the set of cards Steel received in Ursula’s Return. In addition to the cards listed above, Steel received some well-statted characters in Chien-Po and Chi-fu, and Steel is confirmed as the definitive second color for a Broom deck with Mickey Mouse – Playful Sorcerer and Magic Broom – Brigade Captain.

While I’m not in love with Piglet – Sturdy Swordsman (Piglet – Dies to Red Removal as it were), Donald Duck – Buccaneer may see some play with his helpful Hero/Pirate/Captain tags. Ariel – Sonic Warrior was one of the most difficult cards for me to evaluate.  I could see her being a top 3 Steel card easily in a song based deck … or, she could be the definition of a win more card.  In closing, Steel will continue to vie with Ruby as the dominant support color in Lorcana. – Josh

Good luck to everyone with their early season Ursula’s Return brews!  Happy deck building! 

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