We finally have the full spoiler for Lorcana, The First Chapter! Just the other day, Ravensburger released the official Lorcana companion app, which includes a complete, searchable card database and deckbuilder. And now that we can see all of the cards side-by-side, it’s time to break them all down and see what makes them tick.
There are six ink colors in Lorcana: Amber, Amethyst, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire and Steel. Think mana types in Magic: The Gathering or energy types in Pokémon. Like those other TCGs, the ink color of a card plays a big part in deckbuilding. At minimum, your deck has to contain sixty cards, and you can only have four copies of a given card. Unlike those games though, Lorcana deckbuilding rules strictly limit you to one or two colors. That means it’s more important than ever to understand what each color has to offer, so you can make sure your deck has everything it needs to get you to 20 lore before your opponent.
Steel Ink Identity
Officially, Steel is the ink of the strong and powerful. The heavily armored. The large and in charge. Here you’ll find Beast and Maui, Kronk and Gantu. Plenty of brawn to go around. You’ll also find heavily armed characters like Captain Hook and Hercules. Simba, Returned King is the face of Steel in the Sapphire/Steel starter deck, opposite Aurora.
Mechanically, Steel lives up to its description. At low ink costs, it is unremarkable, but at higher costs you find cards like Maui, Demigod – an inkable 8/8 for 8 who quests for 3 lore. You also get Simba, Rightful Heir and Te Ka, Heartless, who both allow you to gain lore through challenging
Lorcana’s Brute Squad
As a challenge-oriented ink, Steel has plenty of removal. What’s unique is that a lot of this is item-oriented. Beast, Hardheaded, has an ETB (enter the battlefield) ability that lets you banish a target item. Steel also has item removal in the form of Break, a two ink action that is exactly the sort of cheap answer you need to halt Sapphire in its tracks.
The other things Steel really does well, other than smash faces, are card draw and direct damage. Three of Steel’s six actions deal direct damage to opposing characters. Smash, for instance, deals three damage to target character for three ink. Direct damage frees you up to quest, if you are light on ways to re-ready your characters.
Since it was spoiled, there has been a lot of buzz about Steel’s song A Whole New World. Not only is the art gorgeous, but it’s the only mass discard/draw effect in The First Chapter. (You’ll hear this referred to as wheeling, a reference to Magic: the Gathering cards which do the same thing.)
Not only does having to discard a full hand disrupt your opponent in a big way, but wheeling lets you refill your hand if you’re playing a lot of cards on your turn. Or if you just don’t like the hand you’ve got.
I would be remiss in not mentioning that Steel is the ink of the Three Musketeers. Both the Donald and Mickey musketeer characters appear in Steel, as does the item Musketeer Tabard. The third Musketeer, Goofy, is found in Amber. All three carry the Bodyguard keyword, and each has an ability that buffs other Musketeers. Amber/Steel seems like it would be a strong defensive deck, and a Musketeer-theme is definitely flavorful. It’s something you can expect to see a lot of, for that reason alone.
A solid foundation
With strong offense and decent utility, Steel is a great ink to consider for the foundation of your Lorcana deck. It partners well to support Sapphire’s hunger for cards and items. Paired with Ruby, you can leave your opponents scratching their heads as you gain lore through challenging rather than questing. If your local meta is heavy on Sapphire decks, it will make an excellent second color for its item destruction alone. The ink that has the least to gain from Steel is Emerald, since a lot of the challenging tools seem to be redundant.
Got a Lorcana deck that runs steel ink? Drop a comment below or tag me on Twitter. We just might feature it in a video!
Lorcana releases in local game stores August 18, 2023.