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Disney Lorcana Trading Card Game – First Impressions

Disney Lorcana, a trading card game (TCG) originally released overseas in late 2023 by Ravensburger, launched in Australia and New Zealand earlier this month. This game weaves the magic of Disney into a strategic experience akin to that of Magic: The Gathering, only this time the cards are adorned with highly detailed illustrations of Disney characters, spells, and items. With two distinct starting sets, The First Chapter and Rise of the Floodborn, with more sets on the way, this game offers an enchanting experience for both newcomers and seasoned TCG enthusiasts.

The game transports you to the realm of Lorcana, a world brimming with Disney stories, characters, and even echoes of iconic songs. Here, you take on the mantle of an Illumineer, a mystical sorcerer tasked with safeguarding Lorcana and uncovering lost fragments of its lore. A deck of vibrantly illustrated cards featuring iconic Disney characters reimagined in a captivating new style. This was a cool way for me to show my 7-year-old daughter some of the Disney characters that she hasn’t seen yet, and so we now have a list of movies to watch in the school holidays, as well as more reasons to learn and play Lorcana together.

Each card represents a “Glimmer,” a character you can summon to the battlefield. Mickey Mouse might be a courageous leader, while Maleficent embodies cunning deception, reflected in their card abilities and the “ink” colour they’re associated with. Each of the five ink colours (courage, wisdom, harmony, restraint, and guile) represents a different strategic approach. You’ll need to carefully consider these when building your deck and formulating your battle plans.

From a deck of 60 cards, each player starts with a hand of 7 cards. The core objective of Disney Lorcana is to be the first player to reach 20 Lore points. You gain Lore by using your characters’ abilities to “quest.” This usually involves comparing their attack and defense stats against a designated “challenge” value. If successful, the character earns Lore points, bringing you closer to victory.

You can directly attack your opponent’s characters to hinder their progress or eliminate them from the game. This involves comparing your character’s attack stat to the target character’s defense. If your attack is higher, you deal damage equal to the difference. Characters take damage from attacks and some card effects. If a character’s health reaches zero, it’s banished from the game.

Ink management is crucial, as are learning card abilities and their synergies. You’ll need to balance playing powerful cards with having enough Ink to activate their abilities. Many cards have abilities that work well together, so building a deck with cohesion and planning is important. The first player to reach 20 Lore points through questing is declared the winner. Alternatively, you can win by reducing your opponent’s deck to zero cards or if they’re unable to draw a card when required (deck out).

I was sent a media kit that contained The First Chapter, Rise of the Floodborn and six booster packs. The First Chapter serves as a welcoming introduction into the world of Lorcana. Its core mechanics offer a smooth learning curve for those like me that have dabbled in Magic: The Gathering but am still relatively novice with card game intricacies. I am more inclined to play Magic: The Gathering Arena as most of the mechanics are handled behind the scenes and I just focus on which card will beat an opponent’s card.

Rise of the Floodborn introduces more mechanics that add a layer of complexity to the gameplay with the introduction of “Floodborn” characters. Certain Floodborn characters have a “shift” ability. By discarding a specific amount of Ink, you can play this Floodborn character directly on top of another character in play with the same name. This essentially upgrades the character, granting them new abilities or boosted stats. There are also resist, support and plot mechanics to add to your strategies.

When a character with Resist is attacked, you can reduce the incoming damage by the number specified after the keyword (eg. Resist 2 reduces damage by 2). When a character with Support activates an ability, you can choose another character you control to gain a bonus effect. This creates interesting combos and synergy between characters. Certain cards with the Plot keyword have ongoing effects that benefit you or hinder your opponent if they remain in play. This adds another layer of strategic decision-making, forcing you to consider not only the immediate impact of a card but also its long-term influence on the game state.

Ultimately, Disney Lorcana is about using your deck-building skills and strategic thinking to outsmart your opponent and be the first to unravel the mysteries of Lorcana’s lost lore. Whether you’re a die-hard Disney fan captivated by the stunning artwork and reimagined characters, or a TCG veteran looking for new adventures, Disney Lorcana offers an engaging card game experience.

Booster packs and starter decks of the next three sets will be released in the coming weeks with Into the Inklands on June 29, Ursula’s Return on July 13, and the recently announced fifth set called Shimmering Skies on August 9, 2024. Shimmering Skies features Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph with the introduction of characters like Vanellope Von Schweetz and Fix-it Felix Jr.

This media kit was provided by Disney ANZ and Disney Lorcana TCG products are suitable for players ages 8 and up and more information about the game, including some fantastic introductory videos and gameplay information, can be found on the official website.


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