Disney Lorcana Card Game Beginner’s Guide

Disney Lorcana is the new trading card game by Ravensburger. The only problem is that it’s almost impossible to find, with decks selling out instantly and releases being plagued with other problems. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can preorder three new starter decks for release this month and join a virtual queue for the newest set. (Updated February 16, 2024.)

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Lorcana is basically Disney’s answer to Magic: The Gathering and the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG). It’s a collaboration with game publisher Ravensburger, and is meant to be broadly appealing and approachable, playable by everyone from newbies and kids to hardcore collectors and competitive TCG players.

At Disney Lorcana’s most basic level, it’s a two-player dueling trading card game where the best of three rounds wins. Each round is a race to 20 points. The game is sold primarily in two different ways, either as 60-card starter decks or as 12-card booster packs. To begin your journey you’ll want a starter deck, which should cost $16.99. That is, if you can find them, and if you can find them for MSRP. We’ve seen starter packs selling for exponentially more.

Starter decks are constructed with a curated collection of cards that will work well together and offer a shared strategy. If you’re new to Disney Lorcana and all you care about is an entry point into the game, starter packs are it. As the name suggests, you should start here and not worry about anything else until you know whether you enjoy and want to get more serious about playing the game or collecting the cards.

It can be intimidating at first if you look at all of the markings on a single card, but once you break through that, the rules for Disney Lorcana are surprisingly straightforward–and fit on a single sheet of paper. You can find those rules inside the box that came with your starter deck. You can also download the rules from the Disney Lorcana website.

February 16, 2024 Update: The newest Disney Lorcana TCG set, Into the Inklands, hits hobby stores (as well as Walt Disney World and Disneyland) on February 23, 2024. It will arrive at all other retailers on March 8, 2024.

Into the Inklands will offer two starter decks, over 200 new cards to collect, as well as new playmats and deck boxes. The two new starter decks are designed to play out of the box and feature a combo of two Ink types: Ruby & Sapphire and Amber & Emerald. Each starter deck comes with a deck of 60 cards that includes two foil cards, 11 damage counters, 1 paper playmat, 1 paper Lore tracker token, game rules, and a booster pack with 12 cards.

Lorcana promises that the Into the Inklands set will change up your game with a brand-new element: location cards! Discover new landscapes as you venture across the Inklands in search of lore that was scattered by the recent flood. These locations add a whole new dimension of gameplay and a fresh new spin to every deck.

Into the Inklands also introduces new looks for beloved characters (and infamous villains), as well as more beloved Disney properties, such as DuckTales, TaleSpin, and Treasure Planet. You can send Disney’s Kit Cloudkicker questing through the air on his airfoil, draw a solar sailing Disney’s Jim Hawkins card into your hand, and more.

When it comes to buying Disney Lorcana: Into the Inklands…uh…good luck? The release of the last set of cards did not go so smoothly, and was ultimately delayed. If you’re reading a beginner’s guide, chances are that you’re casual or just getting into Lorcana. So my advice to you would be to wait rather than attempting to buy on day one at a hobby shop or even Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

For what it’s worth, Amazon took an unprecedented measure for Disney Lorcana: Rise of the Floodborn. Due to the aforementioned issues, Amazon used a virtual queue (or invitation system) for those cards when they first launched last holiday season. Potential buyers were able to sign up for the virtual queue/lottery on the product pages for Lorcana: Rise of the Floodborn.

You can see Amazon’s Ravensburger Lorcana Storefront, which still indicates those purchases are by invitation only. That’s incorrect. If you actually click on the product pages, not only are they available to add to your cart, but the Rise of the Floodborn sets are currently (as of February 16, 2024) discounted: ~$14 each instead of $17. It’s a small win, but we’ll take it–especially after these cards were so difficult to acquire just two months ago!

Our expectation is that Into the Inklands will be added to the Ravensburger Lorcana Amazon Storefront sometime in late February or early March 2024. We also suspect that it will use the invitation system once again.

Expect the first ‘phase’ of the Into the Inklands lottery/virtual queue to remain open for a few days. Once it closes, customers will be chosen at random to purchase the products. Invitations will go out via email, and the lucky few (thousand) will have a 72-hour window to purchase the cards. If they don’t act within that time, the slots will be assigned to someone else.

Amazon has never done this for any card games, and last did it (to my knowledge) for the Playstation 5. If my experience losing out on the PS5 several times over ~2 years via Amazon’s invitation system is any indication, my advice would be requesting an invitation for all Lorcana products that you might want to purchase, as it will presumably increase your chances of success. Here’s hoping everyone has better luck than I did with the PS5!

Here are other Lorcana: The First Chapter sets that are now available on Amazon for $19.99 each:

Ravensburger Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter TCG Starter Deck Sapphire & Steel – Contains 1 starter deck of 60 cards (including 2 foil cards), 11 damage counters, 1 paper playmat, 1 paper tracker token, 1 Quick Start Rules sheet, and 1 BONUS booster pack of 12 randomized cards. Featuring cards from the Sapphire and Steel inks.

Ravensburger Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter TCG Starter Deck Amber & Amethyst – Contains 1 starter deck of 60 cards (including 2 foil cards), 11 damage counters, 1 paper playmat, 1 paper tracker token, 1 Quick Start Rules sheet, and 1 BONUS booster pack of 12 randomized cards. Featuring cards from the Amber and Amethyst inks.

Ravensburger Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter TCG Starter Deck Ruby & Emerald – Contains 1 starter deck of 60 cards (including 2 foil cards), 11 damage counters, 1 paper playmat, 1 paper tracker token, 1 Quick Start Rules sheet, and 1 BONUS booster pack of 12 randomized cards. Featuring cards from the Ruby and Emerald inks.

Again, only these three starter decks are available and that’s as of the time of publication. These have gone in and out of stock, so you might have to check back later if initial preorders sell out. You can see all other Disney Lorcana products here, which includes sleeves and deck boxes (plus puzzles that have nothing to do with Lorcana but are included for some reason?).

As always, we receive a small commission from Amazon for your purchases, so buying through these links helps support the site. However, neither the price you pay nor our recommendations (or lack thereof) are impacted by that. To the contrary, if you click these links and you see inflated prices, please do NOT buy the Disney Lorcana cards. That means you’re purchasing from the secondary market and supporting scalpers. This blog does not condone eBay piracy, or other third party resellers who pillage, plunder, and massively mark-up prices by exorbitant amounts.

As I mentioned in another post, I’ve managed to acquire a few packs of Disney Lorcana cards at various D23 events in the last year. Despite this, I know next-to-nothing about the game. This isn’t for lack of interest. To the contrary, I’m really looking forward to Lorcana–but it quickly became apparent that the game is going to be incredibly popular and acquiring cards wouldn’t be easy.

I’m not one to swim upstream, and am willing to wait until all of the initial excitement dies down and Lorcana becomes more easily accessible and readily available. But I’m also not a child (despite some evidence to the contrary), who perhaps has been anxiously awaiting this game for months and wants nothing more than Lorcana for Christmas. I can contain my excitement and exercise patience until Lorcana isn’t a battle just to buy.

Although it’s slightly annoying that Disney Lorcana has been so difficult to acquire and the releases have been plagued by problems and selling out nearly instantaneously, this is actually (arguably) a good thing. Disney has had a lot of failures in the game space, and even though this is very different in nature from something like Disney Infinity, the outcome could have been the same.

A little hype and scarcity goes a long way in helping cement the popularity of a game and ensuring its longevity. Ravensburger just needs to be careful in threading the needle, as it’s also off-putting. If they’re not careful, instead of clamoring for the cards, Disney fans who are potentially interested in Lorcana might view it as too much of a hassle and give up. So there is a delicate balance, and hopefully it’s one they’ll achieve via these starter packs.

Again, I’m excited for my first foray into a major trading card game. A big part of this is that Disney has partnered with Ravensburger, a 140-year-old game publisher, on Lorcana. Regular readers of this blog will likely recognize Ravensburger for its popular and critically-acclaimed strategy board games, Disney Villainous, which we’ve recommended again and again over the last several years. That series started in 2018 and has exploded in popularity and depth.

With Disney Lorcana, Ravensburger says that it wants to take things to the next level. According to the game publisher, Lorcana is the most ambitious project they’ve ever done, with the largest investment and a multi-year rollout campaign for Lorcana. It’s something that Disney has never allowed any other publisher the opportunity to undertake, and it’s a bold bet for both companies.

For whatever reason, I never got into Magic: The Gathering or the Pokémon trading card game as a kid. I don’t even remember them being “a thing” at my school. And rest assured, the problem was not that I was too cool for these games to be on my radar–they would’ve been right up the alley of my friends.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to Disney Lorcana now in part because I love games and in part because I love the idea of one that is an in-person, communal activity that doesn’t involve screens. A game that involves socializing and stepping slightly outside my comfort zone sounds absolutely fantastic.

My only hope with Disney Lorcana is that it gains mainstream appeal. It’s not hard to envision a scenario where Disney diehards and serious trading card game enthusiasts make the game less approachable. Not intentionally, of course, but by being so obsessed that it creates something of a barrier to entry for the casual crowd and kids who want to dip their toes into Disney Lorcana.

Obviously, that will happen to some extent. It happens with all things that are at the intersection of Disney and collectible. Pin trading is the same way, as was Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. To some degree, it’s an inevitability that this will occur. I wouldn’t be surprised if there ends up being a Lorcana area at Disney Springs or somewhere that draws diehards every weekend.

This, in and of itself, is not necessarily a problem. “Let people enjoy things,” as they say. It only becomes a problem if the obsessives dominate the hobby and make it difficult for others enjoy. I’m optimistic that there will be space in Disney Lorcana for both the diehard collectors and the more casual crowd that just wants to play a fun game and does not care about rare cards or what their decks are worth.

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Have you been able to score Disney Lorcana cards? Already started playing or collecting the trading card game? Planning on picking up the First Chapter of Lorcana and going along for the multi-year ride? Any advice for newbies picking up a TCG for the first time? Have any other accessory recommendations? Any questions? We love hearing from readers, so please share any other thoughts or questions you have in the comments below!

20 Responses to “Disney Lorcana Card Game Beginner’s Guide”
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