Learn to Play: Disney Lorcana

Disney Lorcana took the world by storm and quickly became one of the most popular trading card games. Not even a year old, Lorcana released its first set on August 18th 2023. 

With the release of the newest set Ursula’s Return and the launch of the Disney Lorcana Challenge event series, players worldwide are asking: how do you play Disney Lorcana?

What is Disney Lorcana?

Disney Lorcana is a new take on TCGs developed by Ravensburger utilizing the intellectual properties of some of Disney’s most iconic characters. In Lorcana, players compete with each other to “Quest” and be the first to obtain 20 Lore. To “Quest” is to have your characters gain Lore equal to their Lore value. One of the best things about Lorcana is just how wide the appeal of the game reaches. People are jumping into Lorcana no matter the age. They could be card game veterans or this could be their first venture into the world of TCGs. They may be Disney fans or people who just enjoy playing card games. Across the board, people are turning out for Lorcana, whether it be at their local game stores or large-scale events like the Lorcana Challenges happening worldwide.

Anatomy of a Card


So, what is Lorcana’s gameplay like and how do you win? The goal of the game is to be the first to collect 20 Lore throughout the game. Lore is obtained through characters questing. There are four main types of cards at the moment this article is being written. We have Characters, Actions, Items, and Locations. We’ll start with character cards. Let’s break down Mickey Mouse Wayward Sorcerer. On character cards, there are four places we want to look for Information. We have the Inkwell symbol in the top left corner, the Strength and Willpower, the Lore Value, and the card’s text box. There are many other details as well but we’ll focus on these for gameplay purposes.

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Characters

The first thing to look at when playing a card is the cost and the Inkwell Icon in the top left corner. A four indicates that, to play this card, you need to spend 4 Ink from your Inkwell to cast it. The full circle around the number is the Inkwell icon. When there is a golden ring around the number, it means this card is eligible to be placed into your Inkwell as Ink. When placing a card into your Inkwell you must reveal the card you wish to put in to prove that it is eligible to be put into the Inkwell.

There are two icons with numbers under the card image. The left circular symbol is the character’s strength and the right is the character’s willpower. When a character challenges another character, they will lower the opposing character’s willpower by the challenger’s willpower. If the above Mickey Mouse were to challenge another Mickey Mouse, they would lower each other’s willpower by three each. When this happens, the damage is recorded on the cards themselves with dice or counters, and they are not removed unless a card or ability specifically says so. This damage also persists through to following turns.

Next, we have a card’s Lore value. Mickey Mouse Wayward Sorcerer has two Lore icons, giving it a Lore value of two. When this character goes on a quest – something we will cover when discussing what characters can do –  he gains two Lore for you. You win the game when you accumulate 20 Lore.

Finally, we have the text box on the card. Most cards have unique abilities that dictate what they can and cannot do, and those abilities are shown here in this area. Mickey Mouse Wayward Sorcerer has synergies with various cards that are Brooms, another type of creature.

Actions and Items

Actions and Items are two other card types in Disney Lorcana. Let’s start with the simpler of the two, action cards. These cards are played very similarly to character cards. You use Ink in your Inkwell to pay the cost and play the card. The difference here is that action cards don’t stick around in the play area, these cards go straight to the graveyard and have an effect. Let’s take a look at two very similar but different action cards –Dragon Fire and Let It Go. Let It Go is very similar except that it has the song card type. Songs are action cards that can be played by resting a character with a cost of 5 or more instead of paying with Ink. That character sings the song and you can play it for “free”. 

Item cards are cards that stay on the battlefield but do not challenge and cannot be challenged themselves. These items can be rested and used the very same turn they enter, without needing to dry. Let’s look at Lucky Dime. This card allows you to rest two Ink, and itself to gain Lore equal to the amount of Lore on a chosen character you control.

 

  

 

Locations

Lastly, we have the newest card type and locations. Locations are similar to Items in that they stay in play when played. However, these locations can be attacked and have a willpower similar to Items. What locations do is they have a cost on the left-hand side of the card that dictates how much Ink it would cost to move a character to this location. Locations also generate Lore at the beginning of each of your turns equal to the number of Lore symbols on the card. And lastly, they also each have their special effects. 

 

Character Actions

 Much of Disney Lorcana will revolve around what exactly your characters are capable of. What can Characters do and how do they win you the game?

Firstly, when you play a character while they are awake when they enter play, they are still “wet”, meaning they have to wait a turn to dry before they can perform any actions. While a character is awake, they are safe from being challenged unless a card specifically states otherwise. Let’s look at The Queen Wicked and Vain. She is a character that costs five Ink and has a special ability attached to her. If you rest The Queen, you may draw a card. But because she has to dry the turn she is played, she cannot use this ability the turn you play her. Some special characters allow you to circumvent the “drying process”, but these characters will have this ability stated on their cards.

After a character has dried, what can they do? The primary action many characters can take is the quest action. You may declare that a character is going on a quest. To do this you simply state which character is questing, rest that character by rotating them 90 degrees or until they are horizontal, and add Lore equal to their Lore value to your score. Remember, you win by reaching 20 Lore.

Sometimes your opponent may have a lot more Lore than you do, in this case, what can you do to slow them down? The primary method is by challenging your opponent’s characters. If your character is awake, you may rest them and declare they are challenging an opponent’s rested character. When this happens, the two characters have a clash of strength and willpower. In this situation, The Queen will lower the enemy’s willpower equal to her strength value and her willpower will be lower by the opposing character’s strength value.

Let’s say your opponent has a large character on the field that’s still awake. The Queen can sing Let It Go allowing you to effectively remove an unchallengeable character without having to pay for the cost of Let It Go. And if there is time and you feel you need more cards, The Queen always has her ability on her card that allows her to rest and simply draw a card.

A Whole New World

Each character provides a full arsenal of options to enhance your gameplay, accommodating all styles, plans, and strategies. You could build a deck focused on flooding the board and racing as fast as you can to 20 Lore. You could focus on incremental Lore gain while slowing down your opponent. You could even have gameplay to set up large combos and get your 20 Lore in just a couple of turns near the end of the game. Lorcana has characters and choices for everyone, and now that you know how to play, you can start jamming games, or even strive to be the next Lorcana Challenge Champion. 

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