Reviews

Disney Lorcana: Into the Inklands Starter Decks review — A whole new world

Disney Lorcana is a trading card game from publisher Ravensburger that features everyone’s favorite Disney characters. If you are brand new to the game, you can check out our original review here. With Chapter 3, Into the Inklands, Ravensburger is shaking Lorcana up with new Location type cards. The available starter decks are designed to introduce you to the new mechanics of Locations and tease how the chapter is going to use them with the full range of available cards.

The first deck is a Ruby/Sapphire deck and features Moana and Duck Tales. The Moana cards explore her journey in new cards like the Kakamora and a shapeshifting Maui. Scrooge McDuck is a welcome bit of 90s nostalgia and the highlight here is Huey, Duey, and Luey buffing each other if you can get them all out at once. The second deck is an Amber/Emerald deck, which features the 101 Dalmations and Peter Pan along with a few TaleSpin cards sprinkled in. The spotted pups can flood the board, while the cast from Neverland loves to interact with the new Locations. Overall, it’s a great group of classic and reimagined characters to add to your games.

Location cards add some new rules, but are treated like normal cards. They still have an ink cost to play and importantly are still vulnerable to being challenged if the card is horizontal. The thing is, they are always horizontal. Locations are, in a word, dangerous. Some have abilities and some don’t, but they always provide the player with their full Lore amount at the start of the turn for absolutely no cost. Once a Location has been played, it becomes a Lore generating battery unless it is dealt with. Add in movement-based abilities that can further manipulate the Lore of either player or buff characters, and they are a real threat on the field.

The strength of Locations is countered by their permanent vulnerability. They come out horizontal and stay that way, making them exposed to potential attacks from the moment they are played. Locations have a Willpower (health) value and can be challenged and banished in the same way as a normal character can. They also feature a new icon and stat for movement cost. You will have to pay resources to move characters to and between Locations. There is no limit to the number of characters that can be at a Location and characters are not lost if a Location is banished. So why move them there and what do they do? Beyond the Lore generation mentioned above, Chapter 3 is full of locations and characters that interact with the new movement trigger.

Characters like Peter Pan generate bonus Lore when moving to a Location, while Cubby gets a big buff to his Strength value. Motunui turns banished characters into resources and Vault Door makes all of your characters at locations harder to banish.  

The Chapter 3 cards have the potential to really shake the game up and change player considerations when building decks. The potential for Locations to snowball Lore is huge if they can’t be dealt with, but too much reliance on them can be fatal if you can’t keep them alive long enough to pull off your strategy. 

Lorcana starter decks have proven to be a great investment for players that plan to dig into the game more with further products, but don’t stand on their own as well as other games. The comparison to Star Wars: Unlimited is unavoidable, with both sharing the Disney IP. The Star Wars starter decks feel incredibly well-tuned and cohesive compared to the Lorcana decks that feel more like a sampling of what the wider chapter has to offer. I’d really like to see Lorcana adopt the Unlimited method in future chapters so that those not interested in the full TCG aspect of the game can have a deck that feels good to play with long term. There is so much more to discover in Chapter 3, but the starter decks remain a great way to get a taste of what is available. 

Lead Tabletop Editor | [email protected]

A life long video gamer, Mark caught the Tabletop itch in college and has been hooked ever since. Epic two player strategy games are his favorites but he enjoys pretty much everything on the tabletop, just no Werewolf please. When he gets a break from changing diapers and reading bedtime stories he can usually be found researching new games or day dreaming about maybe one day having time for a ttrpg. Some of Mark's favorite games are Star Wars: Rebellion, A Feast for Odin, and Nemesis.

85

Great

Disney Lorcana: Into the Inklands

Review Guidelines

Into the Inklands is an exciting new phase for Lorcana with an entirely new mechanism being added to the game with Location cards. The starter decks are still the best way to introduce yourself to what the chapter has to offer, but the deck lists are starting to show weak spots compared to other games.

Mark Julian

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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