Mikey Mouse Club #23 – Ursula’s Choice

I didn’t even preorder Ursula’s Return, I just strolled into the local gameshop and casually bought it like it was nothin’. I’d like to say that all the supply woes are through but try finding a playmat or the Illumineer’s Quest boxed game. I’m not quite sure how there’s always plenty of Magic and Pokemon playmats to go around but Ravensburger is still shipping only a handful of these prized accessories.

In the last column I expressed some ennui about the new set and after opening another 32 packs of this game and still not getting an Enchanted (at least we didn’t get that god-awful Sisu), I am somewhat more excited about some of the new cards. Having made a couple of decks I am definitely on the singles market for a couple of cards, especially to augment my Hercules and Pirates decks “The Meta”, such as it is, is still emerging although “Sisu Iceblock” seems to be where everyone is going. There’s some excitement over Diablo and every other game on Pixelborn sees a turn 1 Diablo shift.

But- friendly reminder- this is not a Meta column and I’m not a competitive player so I don’t really care about all the TCGbro tittering. I keep an eye on that area and do have opinions to share from time to time but I am into this game chiefly for the Disney love and also because it is a crackerjack TCG that has become my second favorite of all time. And I do think Ursula’s Return, despite some ho-hum initial feelings, has some cards that are worth a look. Here’s a couple from each ink color.

This card is an absolute menace. Turn 5, she can sing almost any song in the game including the dreaded Be Prepared. Amber Ruby builds aren’t terribly common, but with more Ruby cards leveraging the “come into play damaged” thing and the various healing functions like Rapunzel in Amber, I think we may see an uptick in this combo and 3-4 Ariel, Singing Mermaids in almost any variation. I’ve picked her over Cinderella, Melody Weaver who actually has Singer 9 and a +1 bonus to other princesses solely because Arial comes in a turn earlier- and that can make a huge difference.

I love that this card shifts by discarding a song card, and I love that it augments Amber’s increasing role as the “other” discard heavy color. Any Amber deck is going to have plenty of songs in it, and as songs are often a conditional utility this is a great way to slough off songs that aren’t useful – or are uninkable. Solid body and quests for two along with a hand reveal and discard- this is a good one and god knows there are plenty of Ursulas to shift her onto now.

This card is super iffy, but I’m here for the Madrigals and I think it could be super impactful, leading to big satisfying lore plays. “Ladies First” grants her +3 lore if no other character has quested and you can’t quest with any other characters for the rest of the turn. In an Amethyst Ruby build, this could be a key card- use your Ruby beatsticks to control the board and Isabela to take care of the Lore generation. Think about playing her alongside cards like Shere Khan or Aladdin that give Lore for banishing characters- you get the firepower and the lore generation without giving up either. The card fits into that Really Good 5 Ink Card slot for Amethyst very well.

Broom decks have been a thing from the start but with this card, they could become a serious concern. This Fantasia deep cut plays for free with two more Brooms in play and then you get to draw a card if a Broom is in play. This has that “replaces itself” thing that many metawatchers like to see in a card, and in a focused tribal deck it should be very easy to play. The downside is that this is a Legendary, but I think it will wind up being more like a $5 Legendary than a $50 one.

A terrific common with a new ability, I love to see it. Unexpected Treasure allows you to treat all cards in hand as inkable. This is huge, especially considering that every Emerald deck I build I wind up having to trim out too many uninkable cards. It has a draw-on-play as well and is only two ink to play. This is a tremendous utility card, but I don’t see it as a four-of- one or even two will do for most decks. In Emerald Sapphire this could be a great supplement to the usual ramp package.

“Here’s The Trade Off” is huge. This means on turn five you can drop a Monstrous Dragon, Brave Little Tailor, Spirit of Winter, Tamatoa, or other high-ink character for just a little sacrifice. The kicker is that it’s exert ability rather than a when played one, and at 4 ink this is borderline ridiculous. This makes everything virtually shiftable. He’s not very sturdy at 3/3, but I can see this card in a lot of Emerald decks. I think this is a better card than Morph.

Hey look, this may not be the ultra powerful meta card you want to see here, but I love it. I love the art, I love Goofy, and I love Super Peanut Powers. Gaining 2 lore on a challenge is great- especially with a Shere Khan or two out there. He’s not super strong with only 2, but some support would do him wonders. This is a fun card and I am all for more “challenge to get lore” options. Pairs great with the Snuggly Duckling and a couple of +1 strength buffs.

I love Flynn Rider and so far he’s had some of the best cards in the game. His Own Biggest Fan is still probably my favorite card in the set but this one may give it a run for the money, just like in the illustration. This is a straight up hard tech against aggro decks that pile on the weenies and it’s another great example of how the game is exploring passive lore generation more and more. I think this card will be a staple in Ruby decks.

I love that this card takes your land dweller junk and throws it away. I forsee a lot of Pawpsicles consigned to the depths in the coming months as this ability grants a whopping three lore for every item banished in such a way. This card could be very significant for Sapphire- imagine your ramp deck when you are up to 10+ in the Inkwell. What good are those two Fishbone Quills then? King Triton will tell you- six lore. Unless players are teching heavily against items, this could be a game winner for item-heavy decks.

This was the very first card I pulled from an Ursula’s Return booster and well, I wasn’t impressed. Flipped through the pack, got the Legendary Ursula out of it, and under it was a foil ice block. I groaned. But then I realized how handy this 1-drop item is. It doesn’t look like much, but that -1 strength could be a life or death decision in a challenge situation or it can be used to knock a character down to be eligible for effects like Brawl or Madam Medusa’s removal ability. As a first turn play, it can help control the board against low cost characters in the early game. It’s unassuming but effective, and it is going to be a very common common in winning decks, I believe.


Speaking of teching against items, here is Be Prepared for Items. This card has been a long time coming and although it is never going to be as impactful as Be Prepared, it is a much-needed counter to Hiram Flavisham-driven shenanigans. Almost certainly the next set will have a Be Prepared for Locations, right?

I’ve been running this card in my “Jerkules” deck, which is mostly Hercules cards, and it’s been a powerhouse lore generator. Since I have a lot of Hercules in the deck to support the Titans/Hades package, I’ve found that being able to gain a Lore for playing a Hero is quite a nice advantage- especially with two of this great card on the board. The statline is average and he dies to Smash, but he can quest for two in a pinch. The Dreamborn.ink cost for my deck went from like $15 to over $50 overnight once folks started playing this card in Pixelborn [More on the Pixelborn front next week, when our column catches up with the news].

Next Week – Who are we missing now?