The Lorcana TCG ‘The First Chapter’ starter deck: Emerald and Ruby brings an aggressive play style and flexibility which will frustrate your opponent.
This starter deck contains 60 cards from the Emerald and Ruby glimmers. There are a total of 32 Emerald cards and 28 Ruby cards.
Full card list:
Characters: 2x Aladdin – Prince Ali, 1x Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw, 3x Aladdin – Street Rat, 2x Captain – Colonel’s Lieutenant, 1x Cruella De Vil – Miserable as Usual, 2x Donald Duck – Boisterous Fowl, 2x Duke of Weselton – Opportunist Official, 3x Horace – No Good Scoundrel, 1x Iago – Loud-Mouthed Parrot, 2x Jasper – Common Crook, 1x Lefou – Instigator, 3x Mad Hatter – Gracious Host, 3x Megara – Pulling the Strings,, 3x Mickey Mouse – Steamboat Pilot, 2x Peter Pan – Never Landing, 3x Pongo – Ol’ Rascal, 3x Rapunzel – Letting Down Her Hair, 3x Sergeant Tibbs – Courageous Cat, 2x Scar – Fiery Usurper, 1x Stitch – Abomination.
Actions: 3x Dragon Fire, 2x He’s Got A Sword! 3x Mother Knows Best, 2x Stampede, 1x Steal From The Rich, 2x Vicious Betrayal.
Items: 2x Shield Of Virtue, 2x Stolen Scimitar.
One of the best characters in the game is Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw. His ability ‘Daring exploit’ can really turn the game with a massive 4 lore swing – Whenever this character banishes another character in a challenge during your turn, you gain two lore and each opponent loses two lore. There are ways to reset him too which can be devastating for your opponent.
Characters such as Aladdin – Street Rat and Rapunzel – Letting Down Her Hair can also frustrate your opponent by forcing them to lose one lore when they are played.
This deck has some decent evasive options which the other starter decks lack: Pongo – Ol’ Rascal and Peter Pan – Never Landing. Ruby and Emerald does lack card draw options, though Mad Hatter – Gracious Host allows you to draw a card every time he is challenged. He also quests for three lore which makes him a worthwhile inclusion.
There are several ways to control your opponent with some pretty decent action cards. For the cost of five ink, the popular Dragon Fire can banish a chosen character.
Mother Knows Best is a song that can slow your opponent down by returning a chosen character to their hand. You could even play it on your own characters such as Aladdin – Street Rat or Rapunzel – Letting Down Her Hair. Simply sing the song with one of these characters to bounce them back to your hand and play them again to make use of their on play ability again.
These action cards work whether the characters are exerted or not. They are both non inkable cards taking up half of the non inkable cards in this deck.
He’s got a sword and Vicious Betrayal are cheap action cards adding extra strength to a chosen character for the turn. Even better if you are utilising cards to ready characters and challenging twice in a single turn.
There are only two types of item cards in this deck, but they are pretty good ones.
The Shield of Virtue allows you to ready a chosen character, though they can’t quest for the rest of this turn. Play this after your character has either quested or challenged this turn for a second use out of that character. You will need to exert the item and spend three ink to be able to use the ability.
This has several advantages. Firstly if it is a character you wish to protect, playing this defensively allows you to ready the chosen character to avoid being challenged in your opponent’s turn. This does not stop them from dealing damage from hand though.
If you prefer a more aggressive play, challenging with them after they first quest or challenge can really utilise their strength or ability. Be careful though as they will then be exerted which will leave them open for a challenge by your opponent.
The Stolen Scimitar gives a chosen character +1 strength, or +2 strength if a character named Aladdin is chosen. With three Aladdin variants totalling a number of six playable cards, it is likely you will be able to use this optimally.
Combos / Synergy
Shifting Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw over Aladdin – Street Rat or Aladdin – Prince Ali is super beneficial. Firstly because it will allow you to play him for two less ink. Secondly, provided you haven’t played Street Rat or Prince Ali this turn you won’t have to wait for big Aladdin’s ink to dry before using him. Lastly you would have already benefited from Aladdin – Street Rat’s on-play ability and he is not hugely useful after that.
Resetting Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw with either the Shield of Virtue or Lefou – Instigator will give you a massive 8 lore swing should you challenge and banish a character each time. Playing He’s Got A Sword and/or Vicious Betrayal before a reset will give you the best opportunity to pull this off.
There is only one copy of Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw in this deck which minimises the chance of seeing this combo.
There are a total of 48 inkable and 12 non–inkable cards in this deck. This seems like a standard split. Too many non-inkables will clog your hand.
There are no cards here that will allow you to get extra ink down. You will need to ink the standard one card each turn. Keeping parallel with your opponents lore count and character count is important as you gradually build up your inkwell. Frustrating and slowing your opponent down is a sure way to keep a level playing field and cards like Aladdin – Street Rat, Rapunzel – Letting Down Her Hair, Dragon Fire and Mother Knows Best are good ways to do this.
Your main focus should be to frustrate your opponent while you build up your inkwell to eventually play your big characters and resetting them to utilise their abilities. Force them to lose lore with Aladdin – Street Rat and Rapunzel – Letting Down Her Hair and control their board with Dragon Fire and Mother Knows Best.
You are looking to eventually build up to play Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw and resetting him with either Shield of Virtue or Lefou – Instigator or both! If I saw Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw in my opening hand, I would be tempted to keep him as he is a game changer. Shield of Virtue is a good card to have early on in the game. While you are not benefiting from the ability until you have three ink in your inkwell, it can protect even some of your cheaper characters from turn three onwards.
As there is only one copy of Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw in the deck, keep an eye out for Mad Hatter – Gracious Host and Stitch – Abomination as these are your biggest questers.
Playing Evasive characters like Pongo – Ol’ Rascal is a good plan B as they will be harder to target and he quests for two lore.
Playing against an Emerald and Ruby deck can be super frustrating – having your characters banished and losing lore that you have built up during the game. Take note of when your opponent reaches five ink in their inkwell as Dragon Fire will be online.
Take out any Aladdin characters as soon as possible. You certainly do not want them shifting into Aladdin – Heroic Outlaw. If they do drop big Aladdin down, he needs to be taken care of ASAP!
This deck has ways of resetting characters so make sure to save any cards that deal damage from hand in case you are unable to challenge them normally.
The lack of card draw may be an issue and they will possibly be top decking at times. Try and take out Mad Hatter – Gracious Host in one challenge or better yet damage from hand to stop them from drawing cards.