Disney Lorcana’s new item card, Magic Mirror, might establish its TCG bona fides
Magic Mirror on the wall, how much must I tap to draw them all?
Disney Lorcana celebrated Valentine’s Day by revealing another card from its upcoming trading card game. While it’s not the protagonist of a film or even that well-loved of a character, the unsuspecting Magic Mirror reveals quite a bit about the nature of the game.
The official Disney Lorcana Twitter account posted an animated image of the Magic Mirror card on February 14th, which portrays Queen Grimhilde’s loyal artefact amidst a swirl of ominous smoke. But it’s the text below the art that’s key here - this is an Item, a new card type not revealed before this point. Publisher Ravensburger has thus far meted out a handful of classic characters, some in alternate portrayals, such as Micky Mouse, Stitch and Elsa, and this looks like the first from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ classic film.
There’s an apparent cost in the top left corner and rules text below the fold: “Speak!”, the card reads, and is followed by a little symbol that looks suspiciously like tapping a card in Magic: The Gathering and an associated magical ink cost of four… inks? We don’t yet know this proper noun. The result - draw a card.
You might think I’m making a fuss over a very basic and uninspiring card, and it may eventually be true that Magic Mirror is a humdrum common lost amongst The First Chapter set when it releases in autumn of this year. But Lorcana has been insisting that the design of the actual card game will justify the time of cardboard slinging veterans who might otherwise be disinterested in the sheer collectibility of its Disneyana.
Card draw is an important aspect of any TCG that wants to cultivate a serious competitive audience because it can be the engine that drives countless strategies. Tapping the card and paying a cost tells us that players - referred to as Illumineers in Lorcana - can interact with cards they’ve played and that the five-coloured ink economy is used for more than simply playing cards from your hand.
If you’re getting big Magic: The Gathering vibes from Magic Mirror, you’re not alone - and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Trading card game’s venerable granddaddy owes its popularity in part to the complexity of its mechanics, which in turn springs from the granularity of possible card actions. Imagine if there’s a Goofy that triggers every time you draw a card, or there’s another item that you can turn sideways to produce four ink? All of a sudden, savvy players can begin connecting disparate pieces into a unified deck idea.
The mirror never lies! We love all our fans. Happy Valentine's Day!#Disney #DisneyLorcana #TheFirstChapter #TCG #TradingCardGame #TradingCards #TCGCollector #TCGCommunity #TabletopGame #MirrorMirror #MagicMirror #ValentinesDay pic.twitter.com/XuMn1jYNJ0— Disney Lorcana (@DisneyLorcana) February 14, 2023
Ravensburger and co-designer Ryan Miller have remained coy about the fundamental aspects of Lorcana’s moment-to-moment playstyle, saying they want player to pull of combos and “crazy powerful abilities”, but Magic Mirror is concrete evidence that it’s aiming closer to MTG’s style of deep strategy than the faster paced Pokémon TCG or even Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG’s propensity for chaining splashy effects together.
More information about Lorcana will likely drip out as the year continues, but fans are already shelling out tens of thousands of dollars on promotional sets of cards via online auction platforms. Ravensburger previously announced that The First Chapter will be followed by four core sets each year, and the designers plan to support organised play from the jump.