Still have questions about gameplay after going through the Game Trade Magazine? We now have alot more in-depth information on how to play Lorcana!
TheGamer article is an extension of what we found out earlier from the Game Trade Magazine. As such I will only list out the new information that was not mentioned in the Game Trade Magazine article.
Lorcana has 3 types of cards
- Character glimmers that can be sent on quests or into challenges.
- Item glimmers that stay in play when you play them and give you special abilities.
- Actions are 1 time use and are then discarded.
A brand new sub-type of cards, Songs has just been announced!
- Songs are a type of Action and can be played just like any other action card. By paying its cost and resolving its effect
- However characters can also sing the song for you so you do not have to pay the Ink cost!
- You will need a deck, damage counters and a way to track how much lore you have.
- At the start of the game, you will:
- Shuffle your deck.
- Set your lore tracker to 0.
- Draw 7 cards for your starting hand. You can look at the cards in your hand, but not anyone else’s hand!
- Alter your starting hand if you choose (see below). Skip this step in your first game.
- Determine the first player by flipping a coin, rolling a die, or so on.
Altering your starting hand
Before the game begins, each player can alter their starting hand one time, beginning with the first player. (Usually, a player does this if they don’t have very many cards with inkwell icons on them or if too many of their cards have a high cost.) To do this, put any number of cards from your hand on the bottom of your deck without revealing them, then draw cards until your hand has 7 cards again. Finally, reshuffle your deck.
Playing the Game
A turn is divided into two parts. Each player takes their whole turn before passing the turn to the next player.
On your turn, take these steps in order.
1. READY– Ready your exerted cards by turning them upright.
2. SET – Check for effects that happen at the start of your turn and follow their instructions.
3. DRAW – Draw a card from the top of your deck. The first player skips this step on their first turn.
Once per turn, you can put a card facedown into your inkwell at any time.
Additionally, you can take any actions listed below, any number of times, in any order you want. This allows you to take full advantage of what your cards can do in combination with other effects.
- Play a card.
- Use a character ability that doesn’t require them to exert. Use an item ability.
- Take an action with a character that’s been in play since the start of your turn. These include:
- Challenge an opponent’s exerted character.
- Use an ability that requires them to exert.
What Are Ready and Exerted Cards?
Some game rules and card effects require you to exert or
a card in play. To exert a card (or), turn it sideways. Once a card is exerted, you can’t exert it again until it’s been readied by a game rule or card effect. To ready a card, simply turn it back upright. Remember to ready all your exerted cards at the beginning of your turn.
Your inkwell is where you’ll put your ink cards, facedown. You’ll use the cards in your inkwell to pay the costs of cards you play from your hand.
You may put a card from your hand into your inkwell once each turn. The card you choose must have the inkwell icon around its cost in the upper left corner. The more ink cards you have, the more you’ll be able to do.
To put a card in your inkwell, show the card to your opponents and then put it facedown into your inkwell as ink. Every card in your inkwell represents 1, no matter what’s on the front. Choose wisely! Cards put into your inkwell stay there for the rest of the game. Once you put a card in your inkwell, nothing on the front matters-including its cost and ink type. It’s simply ink.
Many items and characters have abilities you can use during your turn (and only during your turn). These normally affect other cards in play. Cards in a player’s deck, discard, hand, or inkwell aren’t “in play,” so they aren’t affected by other cards unless the card says otherwise.
If a card ability has a cost, that appears before its effect, with the two separated by a dash. The cost might include an exert cost , an ink cost , text that explains the cost, or a combination of any of these. You must pay every part of an ability’s cost in order to play the ability.
A character with a particular ability can’t be granted that ability again.
Remember, you can’t use the abilities of a character you played this turn.
Example: Beast’s Mirror has the ability Show Me, which reads “,3-If you have no cards in your hand, draw a card.” On your turn, you may play this ability by exerting the card and paying 3 (by exerting 3 cards in your inkwell). Because the Mirror is an item, you can even play its ability the same turn you played the card!
Playing a Card
Playing a card just means taking it from your hand and putting it faceup on the table. Each card has an ink cost in a hexagon in the upper left corner. To play the card, you must exert that many cards in your inkwell.
When you play a character card, put it on the table above your inkwell. Characters enter play in the ready position, but you can’t do anything with them until your next turn. You need to wait for their ink to dry
When you play an item card, put it on the table above your inkwell. Unlike characters, you can use items right away.
When you play an action card, do what the card tells you to do, then put the card into your discard pile. Always put cards into your discard pile face up so everyone can see them.
Songs are a kind of action card, but there’s a special rule that gives you another way to pay for them. Each song says “(A character with cost X or more can sing this song for free.)” If you have a character with the listed cost or higher, you can exert that character to play the song card instead of exerting cards in your inkwell to do it! Using this approach still counts as playing the card. Rules for when you can exert a character still apply, of course, so characters can’t sing songs the same turn they come into play.
Lorcana is a fun 2-player game, but there’s nothing stopping you from playing games of 3 or more players!
The game rules remain the same except that at the end of a player’s turn, the player to their left takes the next turn.
Whenever an ability requires more than one player to do something at the same time, start with the player whose turn it is, then proceed to the left until each affected player has done their action.
To quest with one of your characters, exert them and gain lore equal to their lore value. Remember, you can’t quest with a character the same turn you play them.
Questing is how you win the game, but sometimes you need to slow your opponents down. This is where challenging comes in. First, exert one of your characters to send them into the challenge. Then choose an opponent’s exerted character to challenge. You can’t challenge a ready character! Both characters in a challenge deal damage. Look at each character’s Strength and put that many damage counters on the other character.
Characters damage each other in challenges, and some card effects deal damage as well. Whatever the source, damage counters stay on a character until an effect removes them or the character is banished.
A character is banished when they have damage counters on them that reach or exceed their Willpower. Put the character card into its player’s discard pile.
Captain Hook – Captain of the Jolly Roger is challenging Donald Duck – Boisterous Fowl.
Captain Hook has 3 Strength and Donald Duck has 2 Strength. At the same time, Captain Hook deals 3 damage to Donald Duck, who gets 3 damage counters. Donald deals 2 damage to Hook, who gets 2 damage counters.
With only 3 Willpower, Donald is in trouble. Because his damage is equal or greater than his Willpower, he is banished and goes to his player’s discard pile. Hook wins the challenge! He needs to watch out, though. His own is 4 Willpower, so if he takes 2 more damage later, he’ll be banished too.
Building a Deck
Making your own deck is part of the fun of Lorcana! You get to choose which characters you want, which abilities you include, and the strategies you want to employ.
There are two ways to approach building a deck. The easiest is to switch out cards in an existing deck, like one of the ready-to-play starter decks. You can also build a new deck from scratch using the cards in your collection. This method is more work, but it can be a lot of fun!
Each Lorcana deck must follow these rules:
◆ Your deck must have at least 60 cards in it.
◆ Your deck can’t contain more than 4 copies of any single card.
Example: You can’t have more than 4 copies of Elsa – Snow Queen in your deck. Different versions of a character count as different cards, so having 4 copies of Elsa – Snow Queen in your deck doesn’t keep you from adding up to 4 copies of Elsa – Queen Regent!
Your deck can only contain cards from 1 or 2 inks.
TURN ORDER AT A GLANCE
1. READY – Ready all your cards.
2. SET – Start of turn effects happen.
3. DRAW – Draw a card. (Skip this on the first turn.)
Choose as many as you like (except as noted), in any order:
♦ Once a turn, add a card to your inkwell.
♦ Play a card.
♦ Activate an item.
♦ Play a character ability that doesn’t require .
♦ With a character that was in play during the Set step: Quest -OR-
♦ Challenge an exerted character -OR-
♦ Use an ability that requires .
One Jump Ahead
2 Cost | Sapphire | Action · Song
(A character with cost 2 or more can to sing this song for free.)
Put the top card of your deck into your inkwell facedown and exerted.
Gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat –
Tell you all about it when I got the time
Captain Hook – Captain of the Jolly Roger
4 Cost | Steel | Character
Power 3 | Toughness 4 | Lore 1
Storyborn · Villain · Pirate · Captain
DOUBLE THE POWDER!: When you play this character, you may return an action card named Fire the Cannons! from your discard to your hand.
“A pretty sight, Mr. Smee. We’ll pot ’em like sitting ducks.”
Donald Duck – Boisterous Fowl
2 Cost | Ruby | Character
Power 2 | Toughness 3 | Lore 1
Source from TheGamer