Disney Lorcana explained: card spoilers, story, price, and gameplay

Disney Lorcana logo with Elsa, Mickey, and Maleficent in the background
(Image credit: Ravensburger)

Disney Lorcana is making waves in tabletop gaming, but what exactly is it? How does it work? And what makes it worth looking into over long-running rivals like Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering? 

There's a lot to chew on. That's why you'll find all the answers you need for Disney Lorcana below, ranging from the sets you can choose from (and why they're unique) to a breakdown of the mechanics we've seen so far. You'll also be able to see when it launches, how much it'll all cost, and where you can pre-order it. Because our price-matching software is always on the lookout for savings (check in with our guide to the best card games if you want an example), you'll eventually be able to get the lowest prices on it here as well.

We've broken down the latest details on the lawsuit against Disney Lorcana publisher Ravensburger as well, along with what it means for the game itself. You can see this further down the 'essential info' section. 

Disney Lorcana - essential info

Disney Lorcana card reveal

(Image credit: Ravensburger)

What is Disney Lorcana?

Disney Lorcana is a trading card game from Ravensburger, the publisher of big-hitters such as Disney Villainous. (It's responsible for the Jungle Cruise Adventure Game as well, so has plenty of experience in terms of Disney properties.) Telling an all-new story that brings together animated favorites such as Mickey Mouse, Moana, Maleficent, and Aladdin, you'll use special abilities to overcome your rivals. Much like Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering, these characters are divided into special 'colors'.

But hang on - what does 'trading card game' mean, anyway? Well, it boils down to collecting and swapping cards so that you can build your own decks. However, 'trading' isn't essential in and of itself; there's no mechanical benefit beyond getting cool cards in return for any duplicates you might have found.

When is the Disney Lorcana release date?

There are two distinct sets on offer from Disney Lorcana, and they're available at different times. Namely, the first set hits shelves between August and September, while set two drops toward the end of 2023. 

Either way, you'll be able to find both in hobby stores a little earlier than the likes of Amazon.

Here's the full schedule.

- Set 1: August 18 (speciality & hobby stores) / September 1 (mass retail)
- Set 2: November 17 (specialist & hobby stores) / December 1 (mass retail) 

What is the Disney Lorcana lawsuit?

June 2023 kicked off with the Disney Lorcana publisher being sued for allegedly "stealing" another card game. In this complaint, rival company Upper Decks revealed that it would be seeking legal action against Ravensburger for reportedly "stealing and copying Upper Deck’s original game," the then-unannounced 'Rush of Ikorr.' 

More specifically, it alleges that designer Ryan Miller had worked on Rush of Ikorr before using that knowledge to help develop Lorcana for Ravensburger. To be precise, the complaint reads that "Miller had direct access to Upper Deck’s confidential, proprietary information, including, without limitation, Rush of Ikorr draft rules, concepts, components, designs, marketing strategies, and plans for implementation. On information and belief, Miller maintained access to these things even after terminating his relationship with Upper Deck and used, referenced, and/or otherwise relied on them to create Lorcana for Ravensburger."

Along with damages, Upper Decks is seeking "injunctive relief enjoining Ravensburger from publicly releasing Lorcana." This means the card game would be prohibited from launching.

As for Ravensburger, the Disney Lorcana publisher calls lawsuit alleging its design was stolen "entirely without merit" in an official response. According to Ravensburger North America Sr. Communications Director Lisa Krueger, "we at Ravensburger stand behind the integrity of our team and the originality of our products. The baseless claims filed this week are entirely without merit, and we look forward to proving this in due time. In the meantime, our focus continues to be on developing and launching a fantastic game in August."

What's the difference between Disney Lorcana, Pokemon, and Magic: The Gathering?

Breaking into the trading card game arena is tricky because it's already home to some very well-established rivals. With that in mind, what does Disney Lorcana have that helps it stand out? Well, the mainstream appeal of Disney characters - and their family-friendly nature - makes it a lot more accessible than the competition. It seems like almost everyone is familiar with these heroes in one way or another (even if they've never seen the films), while Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering are much more niche. Equally, the emphasis on unique artwork doesn't hurt either. Lorcana has been pitched as fun to collect regardless of whether you want to play or not thanks to how pretty its cards are.

None of these seem as complex as your average MTG card

As for mechanics, it has some crossover with the gameplay of both Pokemon and Magic. Namely, its cards are divided into colors (known as 'Inks' in this case) and carry a specific cost you must pay to activate their abilities. Cards are also split between Characters, Items, and Actions. 

However, none of these seem as complex as your average MTG card thanks to more straightforward power descriptions. Beyond a few key terms that have yet to be explained, they're pretty self-explanatory.

Disney Lorcana - Gameplay

Disney Lorcana cards, tokens, and tile on a nebula background

(Image credit: Ravensburger, Disney)

After a lot of waiting and speculation, we finally know how Disney Lorcana gameplay works. And although there are a lot of similarities between it and rivals, it has a distinct flavor that's arguably more reminiscent of the Villainous series than anything else.

To start with, each player's goal is to collect 20 'Lore' points. You do this by playing character cards (a process called 'Questing') to your board. However, these heroes and baddies aren't just for hoovering up resources. Characters also have abilities that can delay or make life difficult for your opponent. For example, they can battle other character cards that've been used that turn. If those characters get more damage tokens than their Willpower score (read: health points), they're discarded for the rest of the game.

Rather than there being distinct Ink cards as per Magic: The Gathering, you'll have to discard cards to the 'Inkwell' section of your board

Item and Action cards are similar - they help you out with special abilities. The main difference? Items can be used over and over, while Action cards are a one-and-done sort of deal.

So, how are these abilities powered? It's all down to 'Ink'. Rather than there being distinct Ink cards as per Magic: The Gathering, you'll have to discard cards to the 'Inkwell' section of your board to gain Ink. Each card discarded gets you one Ink point. The more Ink you have, the more powerful the abilities that can be activated.

There are six types of Disney Lorcana Ink in total, and each one comes with specific characteristics that haven't been shared yet. They are as follows:

  • Amethyst (purple)
  • Ruby (red)
  • Sapphire (blue)
  • Emerald (green)
  • Amber (yellow)
  • Steel (gray)

Disney Lorcana price, and what's available

Disney Lorcana cards floating against a nebula

(Image credit: Ravensburger, Disney)

We've now got a good look at everything included within Disney Lorcana set one, and there's plenty to mull over. To help you know what's on the way (and what you should buy), we've listed all the available products below… along with how much they'll cost you.

Wondering what's going to be in set two? So are we - no information is available on it yet.

Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter starter deck(s)

Disney Lorcana Starter Sets on a plain background

(Image credit: Ravensburger)
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The easiest way to get into Disney Lorcana will be these starter decks, and there are three in total - Amber & Amethyst, Sapphire & Steel, or Emerald & Ruby. No matter which one you choose, they all feature pre-balanced decks of 60 cards using two Ink types. You'll get a couple of foil cards depicting the characters on the packaging as well, plus:

  • 1 booster pack of 12 random additional game cards
  • 11 damage counters
  • 1 tracker token
  • 1 paper playmat

Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter booster packs

Disney Lorcana booster packs on a plain background

(Image credit: Ravensburger)
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If you want to shake up your deck, make a new one, or collect cards you don't already have, this is where the action's at. Each booster includes 12 randomized game cards, including one foil card of random rarity level and two cards with rarities of rare, super rare, or legendary. As for the remaining nine cards, they're a mix of common and uncommon.

Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter Gift Set

Disney Lorcana Gift Set box on a plain background

(Image credit: Ravensburger)
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Even though it's not a ready-to-play deck, it does feature a couple of oversized foil cards, two regular foil cards (Mulan – Imperial Soldier and Hades – King of Olympus), and the following:

  • 4 booster packs
  • 2 Lore tracker tokens
  • 32 damage counters

Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter Illumineer's Trove

Disney Lorcana Illumineer's Trove box on a plain background

(Image credit: Ravensburger)
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Collectors will want to take note of this pack. Even though the most expensive Lorcana product, but it's also got the most swag inside. You're getting:

  • Full-art storage box
  • 2 full-art deck boxes featuring Aurora and Mickey Mouse
  • 8 booster packs
  • 15 damage counters
  • 50+ page, full-color player’s guide printed on thick and glossy paper with art from the game, deckbuilding tips, game strategies, powerful card combinations direct from the design team, a checklist for keeping track of collected cards, and a visual guide to Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter

Disney Lorcana spoilers

Sorcerer Mickey prepares a spell in Disney Lorcana

(Image credit: Ravensburger)

Now that launch day is approaching, Disney Lorcana spoilers have begun to emerge. We've listed all of the cards that've been announced below (including our exclusive look at Tinker Bell - Tiny Tactician), so consider this your final warning if you want to go in blind!

Although we'll keep this gallery updated with all the cards that are announced in the coming weeks, it's worth watching out for the Lorcana Twitter account as well if you want to stay up to date. At the time of writing, it's home to the most consistent reveals.

Disney Lorcana story

An Illumineer uses The Great Illuminary in Disney Lorcana

(Image credit: Ravensburger)

Rather than being a hodge-podge of ideas smushed together, Disney Lorcana actually has its own storyline to explain why all of these characters are crossing over. To be precise, you've been summoned to the Great Illuminary because of your imagination. Using a tool called an 'inkcaster', you'll summon various heroes and villains to protect these stories. That makes you an Illumineer - a play on the 'Imagineer' title used by designers and engineers for Disney parks around the world.

A full synopsis has been released for Disney Lorcana, and you can find it below.

"A swirl of colorful starlight appears, growing brighter and brighter until it is all you can see. When the burst of light subsides, you find yourself in a wondrous new place. Welcome to the Great Illuminary, the center of a magical realm called Lorcana.  

You’ll summon glimmers to quest with you as you search for missing lore in a race against time

The Illuminary summoned you here because of your powerful imagination. You follow a pulsing line of light through curving hallways and numerous rooms to emerge into a vast atrium. A mechanism there towers over an open book. Sparkling down from above is a stream of colorful story stars, each containing fragments of Disney stories.  

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?"

Want more tabletop recommendations? Be sure to check out the best board games, these essential board games for 2 players, and must-have board games for adults.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to lists of the very best Lego. I've also been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.