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What’s the best Rise of the Floodborn starter deck? Disney Lorcana’s latest starters compared

Amber and Sapphire versus Amethyst and Steel.

Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

Disney Lorcana’s latest set Rise of the Floodborn introduces two new starter decks to the Disney TCG. As with debut set The First Chapter - which had three different starters to introduce new players - there’s no wrong answer when it comes to the best Rise of the Floodborn starter deck.

Each of Rise of the Floodborn's two starter decks offers a unique gameplay style and combination of classic Disney characters that will suit players looking for different ways of enjoying the card game and its connection to the iconic movies. Both have 60 cards, built in two of Lorcana’s ink colours: either Amber and Sapphire or Amethyst and Steel.

Best Lorcana Rise of the Floodborn starter decks

The decks feature some of the best character cards in Rise of the Floodborn, with Amber and Sapphire led by Snow White’s The Queen and Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston, while Amethyst and Steel is headed up by The Sword in the Stone’s Merlin and The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana. The starter decks will give you shiny foil versions of their respective headline cards: The Queen, Commanding Presence and Gaston, Intellectual Powerhouse or Merlin, Shapeshifter and Tiana, Celebrating Princess.

If you’re brand new to Disney Lorcana or trading card games in general, either of these starter decks is a good place to start learning how to play Lorcana and get its basics under your belt without having to worry about putting your own card combinations together or searching through booster packs for the cards you need. Once you’re confident with the rules and have a better idea of how cards in different colours can work together, you can then go on to build a Lorcana deck yourself, using your starter deck as a starting place to swap in new cards before you build something entirely from scratch.

Watch Rise of the Floodborn's starter decks in actionWatch on YouTube

With just two decks to choose from this time around instead of three, working out the best Rise of the Floodborn starter deck for you is a slightly easier decision if you’re looking to jump in with the newest Lorcana set. That said, you’ll want to check out our rundown of each deck below to make sure it’s going to fit with how you like to play, and give you the strongest foundation as you evolve and improve your deck with any new cards you collect.


The best Rise of the Floodborn deck for beginners: Amber and Sapphire

Play as many cards as you can and watch the numbers go up

Spphire can help you get the ink you need, with amber cards supporting each other with passive effects. | Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

Rise of the Floodborn’s Amber and Sapphire starter deck is built around characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As well as The Queen, Commanding Presence - a powerful amber card that ranks as one of the set’s top picks by itself - you get Snow White herself and all Seven Dwarfs, making their first appearance in Lorcana.

The amber cards are designed around supporting each other, meaning they work best when you have as many characters as you can out on the table. The simplicity of the deck’s strategy makes it the best Rise of the Floodborn deck for beginners, as you can’t really go wrong by just getting out characters as quickly as you can.

In particular, many of the Seven Dwarfs help each other by boosting their power the more Dwarfs you have out. Playing cards such as Dopey, Always Playful; Grumpy, Bad-Tempered; and Happy, Good-Natured will steadily increase your other Dwarfs’ strength, while Bashful, Hopeless Romantic requires another Seven Dwarfs character to be able to quest. Once you do, though, he’ll bring hope a whopping three lore, sending you on your way to victory.

Totally new to Lorcana? Start with our tutorial!Watch on YouTube

Of course, Snow White is here to help too. Snow White, Lost in the Forest will remove up to two damage from a chosen character when she enters play, helping you keep your line-up of Dwarfs (who form a lovely panoramic bit of artwork when their cards are literally placed side-by-side) in play for as long as possible.

On the sapphire side, cards such as Winnie the Pooh, Having a Think will help you to build up your inkwell quickly, giving you more resources to play cards on your turn. There are multiple blue Beauty and the Beast cards in the likes of Gaston, Intellectual Powerhouse - which will help you to search through your deck for the cards you need by, for example, finding those Dwarfs to combo together - and song card Four Dozen Eggs, which will use Rise of the Floodborn’s Resist keyword to reduce damage your character take for the next turn.

Amber and Sapphire’s strength lies in playing characters quickly - helped by ramping your ink - and having them support each other to form an impregnable defence while you run away with the victory before your opponents can slow you down. Thanks to its straightforward gameplay mechanics and the pleasure of watching numbers go up, it’s the best Rise of the Floodborn starter deck for beginners looking for a simply satisfying introduction to the TCG.

Buy Rise of the Floodborn's Amber and Sapphire Starter Deck on Zatu.


The best Rise of the Floodborn starter deck if you’ve played Lorcana before: Amethyst and Steel

Massive combo potential if you play your cards right

These amethyst cards will benefit from cycling to your hand and back, while steel provides some options for drawing through your deck. | Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

Rise of the Floodborn’s second starter deck Amethyst and Steel leans into the new set’s expanded possibilities for exciting combos and game-winning setups. The way its cards chain together makes it that smidge more complicated than the Amber and Sapphire deck above, so it’s recommended for those players who already know the basics of Lorcana and are looking to dive into its more advanced strategies.

Key to Rise of the Floodborn’s Amethyst and Steel starter are the many forms of The Sword in the Stone characters Merlin and Madam Mim, who each appear in various animal guises - from foxes and rabbits to goats and snakes.

Cards such as Merlin, Goat and Madam Mim, Fox trigger their effects as they enter or leave play, requiring a bit more forethought in when to play them to make the most of their magical powers. Madam Mim in particular can be trickier for new players, requiring the player to banish one of their own cards to bring out the shapeshifting witch - if you don’t plan ahead, you might end up discarding one of the cards you needed.

Rise of the Floodborn has just two starter decks, compared to the three released for The First Chapter. | Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

Paired together, though, Merlin and Madam Mim form some of the strongest combos in Rise of the Floodborn. Madam Mim’s ability to bring cards back into your hand or into your discard pile combos perfectly with Merlin’s ability to generate lore, grant other characters additional strength or draw cards as his cards enter and leave play. Lay down Madam Mim to cycle Merlin cards into your hand and play them again to rack up the points and leave your opponents unable to stop your game-winning combo.

While the bouncing combos of amethyst are arguably the starter deck’s highlight, steel also has plenty to offer. Tiana, Celebrating Princess’ ability stops your opponents from playing actions while your hand is empty, pairing well with cards such as Cinderella, Knight in Training and The Huntsman, Reluctant Enforcer who provide ways to draw and discard cards, refining your hand to find exactly what you need. Meanwhile, cards such as Kronk, Junior Chipmunk and Beast, Forbidding Recluse are able to dish out damage on top of their own strength, whittling away your rivals’ defences.

With enormous potential for powerful combos and the ability to manipulate both your own hand of cards and the options available to your opponents, Amethyst and Steel is the best Rise of the Floodborn starter deck for those players after something that builds more slowly towards massive game-winning turns. With some of the new set’s most exciting cards ready to pop off when played at the right time, it’s a deck that rewards patience and planning with immensely satisfying victories.

Buy Rise of the Floodborn's Amethyst and Steel Starter Deck on Zatu.

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Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.
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