Disney Villainous Strategy for Ursula – Character Villain Guide

Ursula is the sea witch from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Ursula is also one of the characters you can play in the Disney Villainous board game. This article looks at the best strategy for Ursula in Villainous.

When you play as Ursula you have very few allies. Instead, you rely on your spells to trick heroes into entering contracts with you so that you can take their souls.


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Ursula Disney Villainous
Ursula from Villainous surrounded by her cards

In this strategy guide I look at:

  • The Ursula Villain Guide
  • Strategy to win as Ursula
  • Ursula’s cards
  • Important cards in Ursula’s deck
  • Ursula’s board
  • How to stop Ursula from winning

The Ursula Villain Guide

Before taking a deeper dive (hah!) into the strategy for playing as Ursula, let’s see what we can learn from the Ursula Villainous Villain Guide.

Objective

Start your turn with the Trident and the Crown at Ursula’s lair.

The Trident and the Crown must be on your side of the board. So watch out for a hero taking them from you!

Special setup

The Palace location on Ursula’s board is locked at the beginning of the game.

Changing form

The lock token stays in Ursula’s realm for the whole game. Each time you use Change Form, the lock token moves to either The Palace or Ursula’s Lair. It alternates between the two.

Plan ahead so that you don’t lock yourself out of a location you want to use!

The Trident

When you play the Trident, King Triton is immediately played at that location. He then takes the Trident from you! The Trident attaches to King Triton on the heroes’ side of the board.

You need to defeat King Triton to get the Trident back to your side of the board.

Binding Contracts

Ursula can’t vanquish heroes from her realm like the other Villains. Instead, she uses Binding Contracts to defeat heroes.

Binding Contracts are played directly onto heroes. All Binding Contracts defeat heroes when they are moved to a specific location in Ursula’s realm.

Strategy to win as Ursula in Villainous

Discard to find the Trident and Crown early

You need to find the Trident and the Crown to win. That’s all you should be focussing on at the start of the game. They could be at the very bottom of your deck.

To find the Trident and the Crown quickly, use the discard cards actions and use deck churn cards that allow you to search through your deck.

Divination is a great card to search through your deck for Binding Contract and put all the others on your discard pile. They might include the Crown and the Trident. Then you can use Opportunist to get an item or effect from the discard pile and put it in your hand.

Act like you’re losing

Because at the start of the game you’ll be searching through your deck for the Crown and the Trident it will look to the other players like you’re not going to win.

Let them think you are behind. Just shrug and tell them that you keep drawing badly! Then you will put them off playing fates on you until later in the game.

Use your discard pile as an extra hand

In Ursula’s deck, the Opportunist card lets you search your discard pile for an item or an effect to out into your hand.

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Ideally, from mid-game onwards keep an Opportunist card in your hand so you can replay some of your best effects or get a Binding Contract to deal with a hero.

Play the Trident to Eric’s Ship

The best location to play the Trident to is Eric’s ship. Then ideally use the green Binding Contract on King Triton which defeats him when he is moved to Ursula’s Lair.

That way, you only need to move him one location over to defeat him and the Trident is then exactly where you want it.

Don’t rush to defeat all the heroes

All heroes apart from Ariel, Max and King Triton have actions that only come into effect when played. After that, they block actions on your board but don’t impact you.

Ursula’s fate deck contains three cards called Return to Form that can bring heroes back from your fate discard pile. Clearly, you don’t want the heroes playing again who have an action when played. Instead, just leave them.

Lock Ursula’s Lair to keep the Trident and Crown safe

Ariel is in your fate deck. When played she can move an item to her location and while she is in play you can’t move any items. However, the Villainous rules say:

You may not move an Item or Ally into or out of a locked location.

So if you keep Ursula’s Lair locked, then the Trident and the Crown are safe from Ariel.

A close look at Ursula’s cards and board

The strategy is a useful overall guide, but to use the strategy effectively, it helps to look more carefully at Ursula’s cards and board.

Ursula’s cards

Ursula’s cards by type

Type of cards in Ursula's deck

Looking at Ursula’s cards by type, it’s clear how she’s meant to be played. Just like in The Little Mermaid, Ursula doesn’t have many allies, her only two being Flotsam and Jetsam.  

Instead of relying on your allies to deal with heroes for you, you’ll be using a combination of your spells (effects) and binding contracts (items).

Ursula’s cards by ability

Ursula's cards by ability

Analysing Ursula’s cards in more detail we can see even more clearly how she is meant to be played.

There are 6 main actions that you can use as Ursula.

1. Move a hero

These 6 cards allow you to move heroes to an adjacent location or any location on the board.

Two of them are your allies Flotsam and Jetsam. Their activated ability is to move a hero at their location to an adjacent location. To be able to move a hero whenever you want is amazing. Never use Flotsam or jetsam to vanquish heroes.

Poor Unfortunate Souls allows you to move all heroes to an adjacent unlocked location. A very powerful move.

The three Whirlpool cards the final cards in this group. They allow you to move a hero to any location.

2. Additional action

All three of these cards are Grow Giant. For a cost of 1 power you can take an extra action on your turn from an adjacent location even if that location is locked. A useful trick to pull out, given that the lock token will move between The Palace and Ursula’s Lair for the entire game.

3. Scry deck or discard pile

There are more cards in Ursula’s deck that help you to find cards from your draw pile or discard pile, than any other card type. And there’s a reason for it. You need the Trident, the Crown, and a Binding Contract to win.

Divination allows you to search for a Binding Contract from your deck. But more than that it lets you reveal all the cards along the way and discard them. If the Trident or the Crown are in there, then you can use the next card in this group to get them – Opportunist.

Opportunist allows you to search your discard pile for an item or effect card and put it in your hand. Trident or Crown most likely.

Arrogance is a condition card. You can play this at no power or action cost whenever another player defeats a hero of strength 4 or more. You get to draw 3 cards and then discard any 3 cards.

4. Move the lock token

All three of these cards are Change Form. It costs 1 power and allows you to move the lock token to Ursula’s Lair of The Palace.

5. Binding Contract

Being the only way you can get rid of heroes from your realm, it makes sense that there are 6 of these in your deck.

Each Binding Contract defeats a hero as soon as they move to the location stated on the card. There are two each for The Shore and Eric’s Ship, and one each for The Palace and Ursula’s Lair.

6. Reveal fate cards

Two of these cards are Trickery. If another player has 6 power at any time, you can play a fate card on them. Hopefully, you can use this play a hero of strength 4 or more on them. Then when they defeat it you can use your deck churning card Arrogance to draw 3 cards and discard 3 cards.

The ability is the activated ability on the Crown. When you have the Crown in play, you can activate this at no power cost to get a sneak peek at what is coming up in your fate deck. Then you can either discard both cards or put them back on top in the order you choose.

It’s a nice little way to see what’s coming up if you have an activate ability going spare on your turn.

Other

The two remaining cards are Cauldron and Trident.

Cauldron has an activated ability which means you gain 2 power for each Binding Contract in your realm. With a potential of 6 Binding Contracts in play, this is a nice way to earn some power.

When you play Trident, you play King Triton and attach it to him on the heroes’ side of your board. When you defeat King Triton, the Trident is returned to you at that location.

Important cards in Ursula’s deck

Ursula's important cards to use strategically to win
Ursula’s important cards

Whirlpool

There are three Whirlpool cards in Ursula’s deck.

Moving a hero to any unlocked location is very powerful. If you bind a hero in one turn and then use this card to move it to the next turn, it is a very fast way to defeat them.

Binding Contract for Ursula’s Lair

Play the Green Binding Contract on King Triton and move him to Ursula’s Lair to defeat him. Boom! King Triton is defeated and the Trident is exactly where you want it.

Trident and Crown

You need both of these cards in Ursula’s Lair at the start of your turn to win. Spend the early stages of your game discarding cards, collecting power and searching through your deck to find them.

When you find them, play the Trident to Eric’s Ship and play the Crown to Ursula’s Lair.

Divination and Opportunist combo

Use Divination to search through your deck to find a Binding Contract. As you do, pay attention to what cards you discard along the way.

It may be that you discover the Crown or the Trident, then use Opportunist to search your discard pile and put them into your hand.

Poor Unfortunate Souls

This card is pretty cheap for what it can do. Imagine you have several heroes in your realm, each with a Binding Contract on them.

It would take a lot of turns to move them to where you want them to be. With this card, you can move all of them to one adjacent unlocked location for only 2 power.

Ursula’s Villainous Board

Ursula Realm board
Ursula’s board in Villainous

At the start of the game, The Palace is locked. As you play, either The Palace or Ursula’s Lair will be locked at any one time. So which locations are the most useful?

Ursula’s Lair

Ursula’s Lair is an ok location. It has a play a card and move action on the lower half of the board so they will never be blocked by a hero. However, you won’t be spending much time there.

At the start of the game, you’ll want to be at a location that allows you to discard cards. Then after you’ve got the Crown or the Trident there you’ll want to lock Ursula’s Lair to stop Ariel from taking them from you.

Eric’s Ship

A useful location in the early stages of the game for its discard cards action. You can also get a fate in from here. The play a card and gain 1 power are hand too.

The Shore

This is your most useful location for the mid-game. 3 power is a nice amount to collect and you’ll need it too.

Ursula’s deck only has 1 power generating card – the Cauldron – so you will want this power. Especially because the Crown and the Trident cost 4 each to play and a Binding Contract on King Triton costs 3.  

Playing two cards from here is nice too until one of them gets blocked by a hero.

The Palace

There is one awesome ability here that you will need. Move a Hero! So even if you haven’t got any cards in your hand that can move a hero, you can still move one. The 2 power is always useful too.

I’d suggest that you play with The Palace unlocked and leave Ursula’s Lair locked if you can.

How to stop Ursula from winning Villainous

Choose these fate cards to annoy Ursula

All the fate cards have a negative effect on Ursula. But there are some that have a larger impact than others.

Some fate cards that are useful against Ursula
Some fate cards that are useful against Ursula

Ariel

Ariel can drive Ursula crazy. The best possible way to play Ariel would be to place her at The Palace and take the Crown or the Triton with her.

For Ursula to win, both these items need to be at Ursula’s Lair and moving one of them from one side of the board to the other will take several turns.

Eric

If Ursula has been smart and played King Triton at Eric’s ship with the Ursula’s Lair Binding Contract, Eric is very annoying. He can move a Hero to any unlocked location. So who will he move? King Triton of course! All the way to The Palace!

Sebastian

Ursula can only defeat heroes using Binding Contracts.

When you play Sebastian you can move a Binding Contract on another hero and play it on Sebastian instead. Ideally, take the Binding Contract from King Triton because Ursula gets the Trident back when she defeats him.

The next best hero to remove a Binding Contract from is Ariel because while she is in play, Ursula can’t move the Crown or the Trident to her Lair.

Return to Form

Return to Form allows you to search Ursula’s deck for any hero apart from King Triton and play it again. This is a great way to get her most annoying heroes in play again.

Fate a lot when King Triton appears

Ursula needs to defeat King Triton to win. As soon as he is in play, play fates on Ursula to boost King Triton.

A Snarfblat played on King Triton increases the cost of playing a Binding Contract on King Triton by 3 Power. When that 3 power is added to the 2 power cost for a Binding Contract, plus the 1 additional cost from King Triton’s ability, it will cost Ursula 6 power to play a Binding Contract on him!

Play a hero at The Shore early in the game

The Shore is Ursula’s best location early in the game because from there she can play two cards, collect 3 power and discard remaining cards.

Early in the game, Ursula will be trying to burn through her deck to find the Crown and the Trident, anything you can do to slow her down will help.

Pay attention to Ursula’s discard pile

Ursula has Opportunist cards which mean she can search her discard pile for effects and items and put them into her hand. If you see that the Crown or the Trident are in there, then Flounder can be a super irritating card to play.

When Flounder is played, all Ursula’s discard cards are shuffled back into her deck. Then she’ll have to start searching for her key items all over again!

Conclusion – Villainous Ursula Strategy

To win as Ursula try this approach.

  1. At the start of the game discard cards and search your deck for the Crown and the Trident.
  2. Play the Crown at Ursula’s Lair and lock it to protect it from Ariel.
  3. Play King Triton at Eric’s Ship and play the Ursula’s Lair Binding Contract on him.
  4. Move King Triton to Ursula’s Lair, the Trident is returned to you at your Lair and you win!

Villainous is such an awesome game! The only thing that lets it down is the flimsy plastic cauldron. But you can get an upgraded Villainous cauldron with power tokens on Etsy! It even fits in the Villainous box!

For more Villainous upgrade inspiration see my article – 7 Wicked Disney Villainous Upgrades and Accessories!

If you found this Ursula guide helpful, take a look at my strategy guides for Jafar, the Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, Prince John, Captain Hook, Dr Facilier, Evil Queen, Hades, Scar, Yzma, Ratigan, Cruella De Vil, Mother Gothel and Pete.

You can check out my thoughts on the character theming and difficulty ranking in my Villainous character guide or check out my thoughts on the game in my review of Villainous.

See what other people are saying about Villainous in the Amazon reviews.

More Villainous articles

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Emily Sargeantson
Hi, I’m Emily, the tabletop gamer behind My Kind of Meeple. If this article helped you, I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.

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