Original reporting by Melissa Miller
Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter is a new trading card game that gives us a fresh outlet to play with our favorite Disney characters and create epic crossovers. Would Maleficent and Cruella de Vil be friends or foes? Could Stitch endear himself to the likes of Captain Hook? And would Robin Hood and Elsa make a good team? Those are the six characters that make up the first set of Disney Lorcana trading cards. The game was announced at the D23 Expo, but it will launch in August of 2023, with new sets released four times a year. So far, we know the second set will release later in the fall. The trading cards will show off more original Disney artwork than any other product, and from what we’ve seen so far, the cards are all beautiful.
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Disney Lorcana Character Cards
Disney Lorcana is a partnership with puzzle and game maker Ravensburger, who has lots of other great Disney content. Fans at the D23 Expo were able to buy an exclusive first-edition pack of the cards. They also got their hands on an exclusive Mickey Mouse card called “Brave Little Tailor” that isn’t part of the set. The other characters have their own unique abilities. Captain Hook is listed as a forceful duelist and has a sword for a hand. Maleficent appears in her dragon form in the Disney Lorcana trading cards, while Cruella de Vil’s strongest quality is “miserable as usual.” I wonder how that presents itself in gameplay. There’s also Elsa the Snow Queen, Robin Hood, the unrivaled archer, and Stitch as a rock star. Certainly an interesting lineup.
As for how the game will work, Ravensburger shared the basic mechanics of the Disney Lorcana game. “Players will take on the mantle of Illumineer, a powerful sorcerer, and band together Disney characters from Lorcana’s “The Great Illuminary,” a treasury of all Disney songs and stories ever made.” Additionally, a new Lorcana card revealed introduces the idea of “action cards” to the game.
More Disney Lorcana Cards: From Maleficent to Olaf
The “Dragon Fire” Lorcana card features Disney’s Maleficent in her dragon form, “breathing cursed green fire.” Use of this card will allow players to “banish [a] chosen character.”
We also got a glimpse of another new Lorcana card, which brings a familiar face to the table, Olaf. Warm hugs for all! And most recently, Disney’s Jumba Jookiba and Princess Aurora joined the ranks of Lorcana. We also got a glimpse of a new type of card, the “Magic Mirror” item card. Very mysterious.
A release for the game also teases “Mulan – Imperial Soldier and Hades – King of Olympus” cards.
The TCG’s Story
Disney Lorcana recently released more about its lore. It’s official story shares:
Welcome to the Great Illuminary, the center of a magical realm called Lorcana… The Illuminary summoned you here because of your powerful imagination… Nearby, a unique tool catches your eye. It’s an inkcaster, and when you pick it up, it feels both exciting and familiar. Instinctively, you hold it high above the open book. Magical ink pulsing with energy flows through the mechanism and combines with the light from a story star on a page of the lorebook in front of you, creating an image of a Disney character. With the power of your inkcaster, the image rises off the page. This is a glimmer, a new version of the character that only exists in this world. As an Illumineer, you can create glimmers of characters and items to add to the lore of Lorcana—a treasure that must be preserved and protected at all costs.
Soon, other Illumineers across the globe will be called to the aid of Lorcana. You’ll summon glimmers to quest with you as you search for missing lore in a race against time. Only together can you protect this wondrous realm from threats.
Will you answer the call?
Disney Lorcana’s Rules
We finally have a better understanding of Disney Lorcana‘s rules and gameplay. According to a release, here’s how the trading card game works:
Players become “Illumineers” and wield magic ink to summon a team of Disney characters known as “glimmers,” who appear in both familiar and reimagined forms. In Disney Lorcana, players embark on a search for lost lore with their teams of glimmers. They’ll play characters, actions, and items from their hand and choose whether to “quest” for lore with their glimmers or challenge their opponents. The first player to collect 20 lore wins.
Additionally, Disney Lorcana‘s quick start rules note, “Disney Lorcana is a strategy card game where each player makes their own deck before the game starts, and the decks aren’t mixed together. You can play with one of the available ready-to-play decks, make changes to one of those decks, or build a deck that’s entirely your own! In a game like this, cards can allow you to do things that aren’t normally a part of every turn. If a card’s text ever contradicts the game rules, follow what the card says.”
That all sounds simple enough, but we have a feeling actually playing might get a bit more complicated. Thankfully, the game’s official website has a dedicated “How to Play” page with video guides to walk you through playing your most magical game. These will help you to understand how to generate ink, what different cards you can have in your deck, what abilities each has, and more. And hopefully, the game will leave you singing just a little bit.
Disney Lorcana‘s Release Date and More
Finally, all that Disney knowledge rattling around our brains will win us more than just trivia contests! Disney Lorcana will first launch “at local game stores” on August 18. That will follow with a release via mass retailers on September 1st. Meanwhile, the second set of Disney Lorcana cards will release on November 17 in specialty/hobby stores and on December 1 for the mass market.
The game will release in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg. And the game will come in English, French, and German.
Players will be able to purchase starter decks of 60 cards in “two of the six ‘inks’ — Amber and Amethyst, Emerald and Ruby, or Steel and Sapphire.” These decks will come with two foil cards of the characters on their boxes and also include a booster pack (12 random cards, including one foil card and one card of varying rareness) and game tokens. More robust sets will also be available for purchase. Additionally, “themed playmats, card sleeves, deck boxes, and card portfolios featuring Disney Lorcana art will be available at launch.”
Ravensburger has many other licensed products from properties like Despicable Me and Minions. There are Star Wars puzzles and an Alien board game. Plus, some less obvious partnerships, like a card game for Taco Bell.
Originally published on September 9, 2022.