LTN’S TABLETOP REVELATIONS
Mechanics: Closed Drafting, Deck Management
Players: 2 – 6
Play Time: Varies
My son and I managed to get spots for a Learn-to-Play event at our FLTS (Friendly Local Game Store) for Lorcana. We’ve also been attending the weekly casual league. After a few weeks with the casual league, my son is hooked on Lorcana.
The rules are fairly easy to follow and were explained to us in about 15 minutes. After that, we were left to play on our own. The instruction booklet has a turn order that we primarily relied upon.
Constructing your deck will take some time. There are six inks in Lorcana: Amber, Amethyst, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, and Steel. When building a deck, you’re going to select cards from one or two different inks. Decks consist of a minimum of 60 cards and can contain up to 4 copies of a specific card.
There are three kinds of cards: Characters, Items, and Actions. Character cards are just that; Disney characters that have a Strength and Willpower value to determine how much damage they deal, as well as how much damage they can take. They also have a Lore value. Characters can quest and gain lore equal to their lore value. Characters may or may not have abilities and/or effects. Items are played just like characters and can be saved for use later. The nice thing about items is they have ongoing effects. Action cards are used immediately when played. Within actions, there is a subset of cards called Songs. Songs are unique in that they can be paid for with ink or you can exert a character and have them sing the song without paying the ink cost.
Any of the cards can be used as ink, provided they have the inkwell symbol around their cost. If it’s just the plain hexagon, that card cannot be inked.
There are two ways to win: gain 20 lore or your opponent runs out of cards. I’ve never had a game go long enough for someone to run out of cards so winning by lore is the primary winning condition.
The turn order is pretty simple. You start by drawing a card and then taking a number of actions before passing the turn to the other player. You can add a card to your inkwell, but you must show your card to your opponent prior to inking it. Ink is the resource you need to bring cards into play. Characters are unable to do anything the turn they are played unless the card has an effect or has the keyword Rush. If a card has been in play, you can use it to gain lore or to attack your opponent. Play passes back and forth until one player runs out of cards or gains 20 lore.
The starter decks come with everything you need to get playing. Outside of the 60 cards, you get damage tokens, a Lore tracker/play mat, and a booster pack. Honestly, these are no different than the damage tokens one would get in a Pokémon starter box. Places already have acrylic tokens if you are looking to upgrade. I personally like the look of the ones from BuyTheSameToken.
Now, as far as the artwork goes, these cards have some of the best artwork I’ve seen for a TCG as of late. The characters are well-drawn and just fun to look at. Previews for Rise of the Floodborn continue with the overall aesthetic of the game. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a wizard Winnie the Pooh?
The biggest issue right now (at the time I am writing this) is the supply issue. I think Ravensburger didn’t consider just how popular Lorcana would be. It’s been five weeks since the game was released, and I’ve only been able to get my hands on the starter decks. Yes, I purchased a few cards from my FLGS, but I’ve not been successful in getting a hold of a box of booster decks. And I’m not about to pay too much over MSRP for them. That said, Ravensburger has stated that there will be a shipment sometime in October and there will be a reprint in Q1 2024. My personal hope is that they learn from this release and make sure your FLGS has sufficient stock when Rise of the Floodborn drops in November.
If you can get your hands on a copy of a starter deck, I would not hesitate. I know enough about Magic: The Gathering to be dangerous, and I’ve had little success getting my son interested in Pokémon. Lorcana is the first game that we’ve both really gotten involved with and we are having a blast doing so. Supply problems aside, this is a fun game.