How To Play Disney’s Lorcana Trading Card Game (TCG)

Lorcana is a collectible trading card game using Disney characters, published by the game company Ravensburger. Lorcana cards will be released in August 2023 and will be sold at local game stores and major retailers like Walmart Amazon, and Target as well as at Disney stores and similar retail locations.

The following post will explain the rules of Lorcana, steps for how to play the game, and how to win a game of Lorcana.

Winning A Game Of Lorcana

The goal of each Lorcana game is to collect 20 or more pieces of “lore” before other players in the game. Players earn lore in Lorcana by using their cards to earn lore points and to prevent other players from winning lore.

Lorcana Decks And Cards

Each player in a game of Lorcana plays from a deck of 60 cards. A deck is built using cards purchased in Lorcana starter decks, collector sets, booster boxes, and booster packs.

There are three types of cards in the game: Characters, Items, and Actions. In the world of Lorcana, these cards are also called “glimmers,” which are summoned by players who are called Illumineers.

Every player begins a game of Lorcana with zero points in their Inkwell. Points are scored by playing cards from your hand, putting them on the playing field, and earning points based on the point totals from the cards.

Players will use their cards and the actions described on those cards to earn points or prevent other players from increasing their lore points.

You start a game of Lorcana with seven cards in your hand. You can add or subtract to the number of cards in hand during the course of a game but there is no maximum to how many cards you can hold.

Step By Step Lorcana Game Play

Each player brings a 60 card deck to the game.

Each player shuffles their deck.

Each player draws 7 cards from their deck to form a hand.

A player can do a “mulligan” if they do not like the cards they have been dealt. This means returning their cards to the bottom of the pile and shuffling the deck. After a mulligan, one of the 7 cards must be discarded to the bottom of the deck and the deck reshuffled. After a mulligan, the player will have one less card in hand as penalty for getting to choose a new set of cards to start with.

Players begin each game with a Lore counter (either an official Lorcana Lore counter, paper and pencil, or a 20-sided die counter) which begins at zero.

Players should also have damage tracker tokens on hand, to subtract from the Lore score as the game progresses.

Decide who goes first by flipping a coin, just choosing, or some other method of your choice.

Steps For A Turn Of Lorcana

Here is what happens on every turn in a game of Lorcana:

Ready your cards: Players turn all their cards – including cards in play and in the inkwell – upright.

Set Conditions: Cards placed in a previous turn, that could not be played before, are placed alongside other cards that can now be used. Check the text on cards in play for effects that occur at the start of a turn.

Draw a Card: Players draw the top card from their deck and place it in their hand. The player going first in a game will not draw on their first turn.

Then players can do the following:

  • Place a Card: Take a card from your hand and put it on the playing area, then turn the corresponding inks sideways depending on the ink cost of the card.
  • Quest for Lore: Turn a character card to the side (exert). The number of Lore marked on the side of the card is added to the Lore counter.
  • Challenge: Turn a character card to the side (exert). Pick an opposing character card that is being exerted. Characters deal damage to each other equal to the Strength on the card. Place damage counters on each card to show how much damage they have taken. Damage is subtracted from the character’s willpower. If willpower goes to zero, the card is banished to the discard pile. Damage is permanent and continues to the next round if it is above zero.
  • Use Card Abilities: To play an ability card, turn it to the side and also the required number of cards that are in the inkwell. Then follow the instructions on the card.
  • Put A Card Into The Inkwell: Place a card face down in the inkwell so it can be used as ink for characters, ability or song actions.

After that, control is turned over to the next player who repeats the steps. The first player to reach 20 Lore wins the game.

Lorcana Card Phases Explained


Cards placed upright on a Lorcana playing surface are in the “ready” position. When in this position, cards can be played, or exerted.

When a character card is first placed in play – readied – the actions on a card can not be triggered (exerted).

An item card can be played on the same turn it is put in play.


Exerting a card in Lorcana is the action of turning a card sideways to use the actions on a card. Most times, a card can only be exerted once per turn.

The Inkwell

Lorcana cards with a gold swirl around the numbers in the upper left hand corner have the ability to be used as “ink.”

To add ink, a player takes a card from their hand and shows it to the opposing player. Then the card is placed on the playing surface, face down, in the “inkwell.” No matter what is printed on the card, one card in the inkwell counts as one ink.

Cards placed in the inkwell are not returned for the rest of the game.

Once per turn, cards are added to the inkwell. This adds to the total ink, allowing cards in hand to be used, depending on the ink power listed in the upper left hand corner of the card.

Players are not allowed to look at cards that have been placed in the inkwell.

Types Of  Lorcana Cards That Can Be Played

There are three types of cards that be played in a round of Lorcana: Characters, Items, Actions.

Characters are the main cards that players will use to score Lore, so most cards in a deck will be character cards.

Item cards usually add some sort of bonus to assist the character card(s) that have been put in play.

Action cards are single use cards that do not stay in play. After the actions on an action card are followed, the card is placed on the discard pile.

Lorcana “Shift” Mechanic Explained

Shifting is a card mechanic in Lorcana that allows a card to be played on top of another card, replacing its statistics and abilities for a reduced cost.

When Shift is played, all of the existing damage and conditions from the original character remain in play. So if a character was exerted, it is still exerted after shift is invoked. Similarly, if a character had damage from combat, the damage from that combat remains after a shift.

You can challenge or quest after a character has been shifted.

You can shift on a character that has already previously been shifted.

The ink cost to cast shift can be reduced with cards like Lantern, which reduces the ink casting cost by 1.

When a shifted card has been defeated in a battle, it is put in the discard pile.

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