Ravensburger's new trading card game, Disney Lorcana, has taken the gaming world by storm. With product flying off the shelves, many people around the world are now getting to try the game for the first time. And thanks to the Disney IP, many of those people are playing a trading card game for the first time. If that describes you, have a look over this guide, which will give you a quick rundown of how to play Disney Lorcana. Let's begin!
Disney Lorcana is a card game played between 2-4 people. The goal is to acquire 20 Lore before your opponent(s). To do that, you compile a deck of at least 60 cards (maximum copy of any one card is 4) utilizing two of the six Ink colors.
The six Ink colors each have their own strengths and weaknesses, so a lot of the strategy in Lorcana happens before you even play the game. Building a deck with two Inks that complement each other well and which has a clear gameplan is one of the key elements of not just this, but most, trading card games.
But if you are a beginner player, any one of the starter decks can get you playing right away and then the deck building strategies can come later.
How To Play
To start, each player shuffles up their deck and then draws 7 cards. You then have the option to mulligan any cards you drew by discarding them and drawing replacements. Shuffle the cards you discarded in this way back into your deck. Now you are ready to start!
On each player's turn they ready any cards that are exerted (turned sideways) and then draw a card. They then have the option to perform several actions in their turn, in any order.
One of the actions you can perform is "inking" a card from your hand. To do this, you show a card from your hand to your opponent which has the ink symbol around its cost and then place that card face down in front of you. This card is now ink and can be used as a resource to play other cards. You can only ink one card per turn.
There are three card types in Lorcana; they are Characters, Items and Actions. These cards will often have additional text which explain what the card does, as well as a cost, which is how much ink you need to spend to play the card.
A character card is a card that can be played onto the board and has inherent stats, an offensive stat called Strength, a defensive stat called Willpower and a Lore value. Once a character has been on the board for a turn, you can perform actions with them, either challenging an opponent's character or questing to gain lore. As we mentioned, to win the game you need to gain 20 lore. So you will need to do a combination of challenging, to keep your opponent's characters off the board, and questing to gain lore to win the game.
When you challenge an opponent character, you compare your character's Strength to your opponent's character's Willpower and if your Strength is equal to or higher than the opposing Willpower, you then banish that opposing character. But be careful, because your opponent's character also deals damage back to your character in return! It may be that both characters end up being banished in the same challenge. Any damage done to a character is persistent so it may be that you need to challenge a high Willpower character multiple times over two or more turns before you can banish them.
If you don't wish to challenge, you can quest by exerting your character (to signify this, we turn the card sideways) and gaining lore equal to the amount of lore symbols on the card. Doing this gets us closer to a win, but it also leaves your character open to being challenged by our opponent!
The other two card types provide other ways to affect the game. Actions are one-time-use cards that perform the action described on the card. There are also special actions called Songs which can be played for free, provided you have a character of the required cost already on board that you can exert to "sing" the song. Items are cards that are played on to the board and stay there permanently, providing some type of bonus or repeatable effect.
And that's how to play in a nutshell. The rules are simple but there's a lot of strategic depth to the game. Knowing when to quest, when to challenge, when you use your actions, etc. all have huge impacts on who will win each game. There's also the deck building that is a key component as well.
If you are ready to graduate from the simple starter decks, and you've managed to get your hands on a nice selection of cards, be sure to check out our tier list for an idea of some strong decks you can play!