Disney Lorcana's official card sets and logo.
Image credit: Disney Lorcana

The leaked May edition of Game Trade Magazine brought us something to be excited about, as it shows details of certain rules and mechanics of Disney’s highly anticipated card game – Lorcana. There have been some leaks in the past, but nothing this big. We’ve already had glimpses of the game’s “rush” mechanic, which we touched on previously. This particular leak shows some gameplay mechanics and what certain symbols on the cards mean.

Glimpse Behind the Curtain of Disney Lorcana

The leak also gives us a glimpse at how Lorcana will differ from other popular card games, such as Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, and others. Let’s start with resource generation – the backbone of every trading card game. Each Illumineer (the Lorcana term for “player”) starts the game by drawing 7 cards from their 60-card deck. At the beginning of each turn, Illumineers can then play cards from their hand to create ink.

Think of “ink” as a land color from Magic the Gathering. The difference is that each Lorcana deck can be composed of no more than two ink colors – Magic the Gathering doesn’t have that limitation. In a similar fashion, the ink is Lorcana’s “card cost” mechanic – it is used to cast creatures or spells. The more you have, the more powerful cards you can play. Note that every Lorcana card can either be used as ink or played normally. If a card’s ink cost has an extra border around it, Illumineer can place the card in their “inkwell” and use it as a resource. How does one replenish ink? Much like Magic the Gathering, ink is exerted (used) when paid for a cost but resets each turn.

Now let’s talk about “lore”. Each Illumineer needs 20 lore to win a Lorcana game. How do you generate it? By taking character cards on quests. How do you do that? Well, first you need to play them by paying their ink cost and then “exerting” them (turning them sideways), which signifies they are going on a quest.

This earns the Illumineer the character’s lore value, which is represented by the small diamond-shaped icons on the bottom of their card. Sounds easy enough, right? Not quite. Other Illumineers can challenge those characters with their own. When that happens, both characters take damage to their Willpower. Once it’s exceeded, the character is “banished”. Unlike Magic the Gathering, Willpower doesn’t replenish at the end of the round.

How Big Was the Reveal Actually?

Although this may sound like a major leak, bear in mind that those are only surface-level rules. We still have no idea of the game’s mechanical depth just yet. For instance, it remains unclear whether or not challenging a character impacts their lore generation in any way shape or form.

On another note, we still have no real understanding of what “banished” actually means. For instance, when a card is “banished”, is it removed from the game entirely or can it be resurrected (brought back to the field) with other card effects? Does it go to a card “graveyard” like in Yu-Gi-Oh, can you interact with it in any way? All these questions remained unanswered at this point, and make no mistake – they are major questions.

To expand further – the leak gives no elaboration on card types, deck-building rules, mechanical depth, and resource generation. So far, we’ve seen some mechanical similarities with Magic the Gathering, but there is the possibility that we will see something similar to, say, trap or spell card types from Yu-Gi-Oh (continuous spells, quick-play trap cards, etc).

We certainly have a lot more to look forward to in terms of Lorcana reveals, but there are bound to be more as this August’s GenCon approaches slowly, but surely.

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.