How to Play Disney Lorcana

All You Need To Know to Play

Disney Lorcana

Author: David Merker-Schwendinger

The new card game Disney Lorcana from Ravensburger is due to be released in autumn 2023. In it, players take on the role of so-called Illumineers, who can animate Disney characters with magic ink.

How The Characters Are Brought to Life

The world in which we move is Lorcana, its center is the great Illuminary, in which so-called lore stars – containing fragments of Disney‘s stories – rain down steadily on an open book, the lore book. Next to it is a small instrument, the inkcaster. This contains magical ink which, together with the light of the Legend Star, can animate the creatures and objects in the tome as glimmer.

The Colorful Ink of Lorcana

Six magical inks exist in the Lorcana universe, which assign different characteristics to the animated characters.


The glimmers, which are awakened with amethyst, are magically gifted. Thus, this ink is able to bring witches and wizards to life, whose fantastic skills bring great power. However, amethyst glimmers must be careful, for if their powers falter, or they become involved with forces too alien, they can reach the limits of what is possible.



Glimmer creatures of this ink are determined and stout-hearted, and among them can be found healers, protectors or strong leaders.


The creatures that spring from the red ruby ink are brave, bold and daring. Their almost unlimited courage means that these warriors, explorers and daredevils can always defy adversity.


The blue ink brings knowledge and wisdom. Their glimmers are smart and educated, but also creative and cunning. Accordingly, they are able to make plans and implement ideas, which can result in art and inventions.


These Disney characters are flexible and have the gift to adapt to their environment at any time. Unlike the Sapphire glimmers, their intelligence does not come from what they have learned, but is a testament to spontaneous ingenuity. Whether physical or social, natural or deceptive, they are always able to adapt to the situation at hand.



Steel glimmers dominate with their strength. They are imposing, well armored (by the stats assigned to them) and have a lot of power. They use this to solve problems with brute force and strength.

How Lorcana Will Work

Similar to already established card game systems, Lorcana can be played from two players upwards.

Each player involved needs a self-made or pre-made deck.

Theories currently circulating on the internet state that a self-made deck must contain 60 cards, no more than four copies of a card and a maximum of two types of ink.

Setting Up a Game of Lorcana

The starter set includes a playing mat on which the different areas of the playing field are marked. The damage markers (which are also included in the starter set) are placed next to the mat. There are several obvious areas on the mat.

At the top right is the predestined place for one’s own deck, opposite to the right the played cards are placed and in the second row discarded or used cards are placed in the Discard or Inkwell pile.

At the beginning of the game, each player draws seven cards from their hand and sets their own lore counter to 0. After that, they can decide to redraw, although this is only possible once.

Any number of cards from the starting hand can be placed under the deck, and this number is then redrawn.

Here is the roughly broken-down procedure for the start of the game:

  1. Shuffle the deck.
  2. Set the lore counter to 0.
  3. Draw seven cards and determine the starting player.
  4. Modify hand cards.

The Goal of the game

The most important aspect of the game is the so-called lore, which can also be understood as “life points”. In a game, besides having fun, the main goal should be to be the first person to reach the 20 lore points in order to win. This is where strategic points come in, as your own characters become vulnerable if you use them to gain points, but more on this later.

The Inkwell: Your Source of Energy

Ink is the source of energy used to cover the cost of your hand cards. Every card with the Inkwell symbol can be placed face down into your Inkwell. The more cards in the Inkwell and in the available pool, the more options you have in your turn. Keep in mind that the cards placed in the Inkwell will not be available for the rest of the game. Each card in the pool counts as 1.

The Structure of a Lorcana Card

The playing cards used always follow the same structure:

At the top left are the costs of the card. If it is surrounded by a hexagon, the card can be used as ink. In the middle is the representation, below that the name and type of the card. In the lower field are the abilities and effects of the card.

Next to the name are the values of the card, strength and willpower, and the lore value (this is relevant to receive lore points).

Card Structure Lorcana

There are currently four known card types for Disney Lorcana: Character, Action, Item and Song.

  • Actions are played once and are placed in the discard pile.
  • Items remain on the board until they are removed and bring long-term advantages, similar to Magic the Gathering.
  • Characters are used to fill the Inkwell, complete challenges or quest.
  • Songs are similar to actions, but can also be “sung” by a character, so you don’t have to pay the cost (ex. A character with a cost of X or more can be used to sing the song).

The Turn Structure

In the game, your turn is divided into two phases: the start phase and the main phase.

In the first phase, you can make the cards that have been exerted ready again, or if you want to speak in Magic jargon, untap them. After that, any effects of the cards kick in and you draw a card.

In the main phase, you can put a card into the Inkwell. This is then used to play hand cards. The abilities of items or characters can also be used. Characters can either quest; challenge an exerted card of the opponent, or use an ability where they are turned into the exert state. The exert function is indicated by a turn of the card. Questing is the way to win the game. A character can be turned to exert to gain lore points if a lore value is given to the character.


Here is a break-down of a turn:

Starting phase

  1. Setting your own cards ready
  2. Dealing with all effects that occur at the beginning of the round
  3. Draw a card

Main phase

  1. Place a card in the Inkwell
  2. Perform any (also any number of) actions: Play a card, use a character ability, use an item ability, quest or challenge.

Playing Cards

The Inkwell is – as already mentioned – the source with which you play your hand cards. The hexagon in the upper left corner of the card shows how many cards you have to exert in the pool to be able to play them. Characters come into play in the ready position, but cannot be used on the same turn unless they have such an ability.

The Combat System

To stop your opponent from reaching 20 lore points and winning the game, you must destroy their characters.

This is done by exerting one of your own characters and choosing a character card of your opponent that is also turned to exert. A character that is ready cannot be designated as a target. Damage is dealt and marked with tokens on the cards involved. All you need is to look at the strength of the characters and distribute the corresponding number of tokens. It should be noted that the damage points caused can only be cancelled by special effects. A character is defeated when the damage taken exceeds their willpower.

Time to Mix Some Ink

That’s it! You are now ready to jump into the world of Lorcana and create your own glimmer! Disney Lorcana will release in autumn this year. Until then, you can preorder the products in our webshop and subscribe to our Lorcana newsletter. That way, you will be kept up to date with everything Lorcana!

About the Author

David Merker-Schwendinger started playing Magic: The Gathering as a teenager. His first Deck was a Mirrodin Preconstructed Deck.

Over the years, he developed an interest in role-playing games, which was sparked during his Archeological studies at university.

The Magic card collection kept growing during his Master studies of Austrian history. Some topics he studied, like heraldic, came in handy for his role-playing storytelling.

He is the host of a YouTube channel (NerdNavigator) where he features the Austrian D&D community and Dungeons’ and Dragons in general.

Booster Drafting with friends and exploring Ravnica with his Dungeon and Dragons party are among his favorite things to do in his free time.

All Articles by David Merker-Schwendinger

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