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What’s the best Lorcana starter deck? The Disney TCG’s first three starters, compared

Find out the best place to jump into the new trading card game.

Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

There’s no wrong choice when it comes to choosing the best Disney Lorcana starter deck. The three prebuilt decks launched as part of Lorcana’s debut set The First Chapter are all designed to offer a balanced and fair experience if you’re looking to jump into the trading card game as fast as possible.

That said, which Lorcana starter deck is best for you may depend on how you like to play and how familiar you are with other trading card games, such as Magic: The Gathering. While the three decks are carefully balanced against each other, they each focus on differing play styles - corresponding to their different combinations of two ink types from the six card colours in Lorcana - so some may be easier to handle or more satisfying if you prefer to play a certain way. Others reward players committed to learning their more complex gameplay elements, opening up slightly more advanced strategies and concepts once you’re up to speed.

Best Disney Lorcana starter decks

Of course, while the starter decks are designed to help you learn how to play Lorcana and pick up the basics of the game quickly, there’s a good chance they won’t stand up to custom decks built using the very best Lorcana cards from The First Chapter’s full selection.

Once you’ve mastered the basics using these starter decks, we’d recommend trying to build your own Lorcana deck and refining it to suit the way you like to play. Like these starter decks, your own Lorcana deck must include 60 cards of up to two ink colours. You’ll get a booster pack of cards with each starter deck so they’ll help you on your way to - you could even start with just swapping out a few cards from the starter deck to try out something new.

Each Lorcana starter deck includes a prebuilt 60-card deck, a booster pack and the tokens you need to play. | Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

It’s also worth noting that while the starter decks all offer different gameplay styles, if you’re a more casual fan just looking to enjoy a Disney card game, there’s nothing wrong with picking a starter deck based on whether it has your favourite Disney characters in it. Enjoying yourself and having fun with the card game is much more important than building a deck built to win. Plus, you’ll get foil versions of the characters featured on the front of each starter deck, which is nice!

With all that said, let’s get stuck into which Lorcana starter deck is best for each type of player.


The best Lorcana starter deck for complete beginners: Amber and Amethyst

Simple, but effective

Amber and Amethyst's star cards Mickey Mouse, Wayward Sorcerer and Moana, Of Motunui combine the power to quest for lore and to quickly flood the board with characters - making it the best Lorcana starter deck for those who like to hit fast and hard. | Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

We’d recommend Amber and Amethyst as the best Lorcana starter deck to use if you’re brand new to trading card games, or just looking for something simple to help you learn the basics of challenging your opponent’s characters and questing for lore without wrapping your head around anything too complicated.

The deck is built around Mickey Mouse, Wayward Sorcerer and Moana, Of Motunui, two of the very best Lorcana cards in The First Chapter. Moana, Of Matunui offers up a strong defence as you quest for three lore each turn - and pairs perfectly with other Princess cards, as she can ready them each turn whenever she quests. Mickey Mouse, Wayward Sorcerer, meanwhile, is a solid card by itself thanks to balanced strength, willpower and lore stats, but becomes even more useful when used together with the Magic Broom, Bucket Brigade cards found in the Amber and Amethyst deck, as they will cost one fewer ink to bring out and then return to your hand (instead of the discard pile) when banished while Mickey is on the field.

Other cards in the starter deck such as Hades, Lord of the Underworld and Dr. Facilier, Agent Provocateur similarly bring banished cards back to your hand, making Amber and Amethyst the ideal deck if you love playing lots of low-cost cards and don’t want to see them lost to the discard pile for the rest of the game.

If you plan to play aggressive, summoning lots of cheaper characters to constantly challenge and hinder your opponent without worrying if they’ll be returned to your hand in a turn or two, Amber and Amethyst is the Lorcana starter deck for you. It’s simple, but highly effective.

Buy the Amber and Amethyst Starter Deck for Disney Lorcana on Zatu.


The best Lorcana starter deck if you've played a TCG before: Sapphire and Steel

Control the field as you ramp up your power

Sapphire and Steel is the best Lorcana starter deck for fans of Control decks in other card games, such as Magic: The Gathering. The strategy centres on ramping your ink toward affording powerful characters such as Simba, Returned King, using the protective effects of cards including Aurora, Dreaming Guardian to keep your precious characters on the field. | Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

Sapphire and Steel is Lorcana’s best starter deck for players who are already somewhat familiar with trading card games, especially those who like to play Control decks in TCGs like Magic: The Gathering. It’s a deck built around steadily adding cards to your inkwell - granting you more resources to bring out more powerful cards as early as possible - while protecting your characters from opponents’ challenges.

Taking pride of place on the starter deck’s box is Simba, Returned King. The seven-ink card is what Sapphire and Steel excels in building towards, before unleashing Simba’s mighty attack power - a whopping eight strength when he challenges - and a tough defence of six willpower. Simba is joined by several other The Lion King cards, including Mufasa, King of the Pride Lands - who can quest for three lore, while withstanding challenges thanks to six willpower - and Scar, Mastermind, who can knock down a rival character’s strength by five when played, before finishing them with his own five strength.

Cover image for YouTube videoDisney Lorcana gameplay first look!
Get a first look at Disney Lorcana's gameplay

The other character on the front of the box is Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora, Dreaming Guardian. While not a powerhouse by herself, Aurora’s Protective Embrace ability grants Ward to all of your other characters, making it difficult for rival characters to take them off the board except by challenging. Combine that with the Bodyguard ability of Hercules, True Hero - which forces challenging opponents to target the card - and you have an effective way of controlling where your opponent’s attacks will land as you build up your lore.

Sapphire and Steel can be a little trickier to manage if you’re brand new to TCGs, due to its reliance on building up ink as quickly as possible - using the abilities of cards like Mickey Mouse, Detective, which allows you to add an extra card from your deck to your inkwell when played - to afford more expensive cards.

If you struggle to build up that ink quick enough, you may find yourself struggling against the early-game attacks of the other decks, but once you settle into Sapphire and Steel’s rhythm, its eventual payoff can make it the best Lorcana deck for pulling off a late-game victory.

Buy the Sapphire and Steel Starter Deck for Disney Lorcana on Zatu.


The best Lorcana starter deck for TCG experts: Emerald and Ruby

Some more complex card effects with lots of potential once mastered

Emerald and Ruby lands somewhere in the middle of the other two starter decks, allowing for a more flexible deck that requires some practice to get to grips with. Once you start using cards such as Cruella De Vil, Miserable as Usual and Aladdin, Heroic Outlaw effectively, though, you'll have one of Lorcana's best starter decks in your control. | Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

Lorcana’s Emerald and Ruby starter deck is arguably the least beginner-friendly of the three options, with some of the more complex strategies and card effects found in The First Chapter’s card selection. For the same reason, though, it’s also the best Lorcana starter deck if you’re already familiar with more complex TCGs or looking to step up your knowledge of what's possible in the game.

In some respects, Emerald and Ruby falls somewhere between the aggression of Amber and Amethyst and the controlled ramping of Sapphire and Steel. Action cards such as Dragon Fire and Stampede allow you to disrupt your opponent’s plans by damaging and banishing their characters, while the Evasive ability of characters such as Peter Pan, Never Landing and Pongo, Ol' Rascal means you can quest safely until your opponent plays their own Evasive character able to challenge the cards.

Cover star Aladdin, Heroic Outlaw embodies the deck’s flexible focus on both defensive questing and aggressive challenging, with the card’s Daring Exploit power taking two lore off every opponent - and giving you two lore to boot - whenever it banishes a character on your turn.

Cover image for YouTube videoThe Story Begins (Disney Lorcana TCG Teaser)
Disney Lorcana's first story teaser

The deck’s other character, Cruella De Vil, Miserable as Usual, is a much cheaper card able to be played earlier on, and can force characters off the field when she’s banished by returning a character to its player’s hand - playing into the deck’s more control-like tendencies.

Emerald and Ruby’s split ability to deal with opponents’ cards while working toward unleashing its own powerful characters makes it a deck that requires some practice to fully understand, needing some careful cardplay - and good luck - to overcome its less forgiving aspects. Once you master it, though, it has the potential to dominate the other two decks by playing to its varied strengths, making it the best Lorcana starter deck for those ready to start building their own decks and capitalising on the game’s more complex card effects and combos.

Buy the Sapphire and Steel Starter Deck for Disney Lorcana on Zatu.

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Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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