Chapter two of Disney Lorcana has arrived and with it come two brand new starter decks. The chapter is titled Rise of the Floodborn and features a wave of never before seen Floodborn variations of our favorite characters as well as storyborn classics.
If you are brand new to the game, a starter deck is a complete 60 card deck that allows you to dive straight into the game without the need for buying random booster packs and building a deck yourself. The starter decks come with the rules, some tokens, and a play mat to get you started right out of the box. You can read our full Lorcana review here, but in summary, the starters are the best way to get you started and that doesn’t change with the new releases. In fact, these two new starter decks might be even better than the first chapter.
The Amber-Sapphire starter deck features two classic villains on the box, the Queen from Snow White and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, but in new Floodborn forms. Floodborn “The Queen”, is seemingly content to combat Snow White directly with magic rather than through disguises and poison apples. Floodborn Gaston is depicted as an “Intellectual Powerhouse”. Whether that is in contrast to his normal level of intelligence or a sarcastic joke about his perceived competence is unclear. Either way, the artwork by Matthew Robert Davies on this card is one the best in the set.
Despite the great new takes on the featured villains, the highlight of the deck for me is the inclusion of Snow White and all Seven Dwarfs. All are in their classic storyborn form and are dripping with thematic intent baked into their design. Snow White heals, while Sleepy comes into play already exhausted, and Bashful is too afraid to quest unless he has a buddy with him. The remaining Dwarfs are all similarly well designed to bring the characters to life on the table. While I’m sure we will see other Storyborn and Floodborn variants of these cards in the chapter, I really appreciate the inclusion of the classic characters to offset the new Floodborn designs. Ravensburger could have made getting a full set of Dwarfs a collectible challenge through boosters, so including all of them in the starter deck (at least 1 of each, not a “full” playset) is just really cool of them.
Opposite the villainous deck, the Amethyst-Steel deck features two heroes on the box. A Dreamborn Tiana as a full on fairytale princess, and a Storyborn Shapeshifter Merlin ready for a battle of wits. As a “Celebrating Princess”, Tiana demands all of your opponents attention while shrugging off damage and blocking their actions. Merlin is poised on one foot mid spell as if waiting for you to make a move. His Battle of Wits ability enables a bounce playstyle (bouncing cards back to your hand to be played again) that is a blast to employ.
The meat of the deck is definitely built on Merlin and his shapeshifting battle with Madam Mim. The deck features four different animal Merlins and two Madam Mims. They all combo together to bounce cards back and forth, powering up others and generating free lore with well timed combos. Nailing the correct flow of cards can be tricky, but when executed correctly, you really feel like you are seeing Merlin and Mim battle across the table as they jump between forms.
Hidden within the Amethyst-Steel deck are two of my new favorite cards. Dreamborn Heihei, Persistent Presence, has Heihei drawn as if he is some kind of chicken-phoenix hybrid, majestically spreading his wings as he returns to your hand again and again. While he works well in the deck with Merlin’s ability, I just love the idea of the death defying chicken reimagined as a phoenix. The artwork by Ellie Horie juxtaposes the silly chicken with spirit-like phoenix feathers in an extremely satisfying way. The second card is my favorite for two reasons. One is that I am a sucker for Winnie the Pooh, and Owl’s line, “I say, are you stuck?”, is a household favorite saying for my family. The other is that the ability is crazy good: “Chosen exerted character can’t ready at the start of their next turn”, it only costs one ink, and it’s inkable itself. Don’t sleep on Pooh Bear. This card is going to be a menace.
Both decks are great additions to the game or anyone’s collection. Whether you are new to the game or a returning player, the starter decks remain the best way to get a taste of the new card pool or a jump start on building full playsets (4 cards) of key cards included in the starters. Ravensburger has improved on the deck lists with the chapter two decks feeling more thematically put together than the previous chapter and playing like a more complete deck.
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.
Disney Lorcana: Rise of the Floodborn
The Rise of the Floodborn decks improve on the starter deck formula with tighter lists that feel more thematic and focused. The new Floodborn characters are creative and exciting additions to the game. Either deck is a joy to play and discover and the set includes more than a few cards that are likely to be mainstays for the chapter.