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Lorcana’s first card reveals definitely look like a Disneyfied Magic: The Gathering

Next year’s debut set Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter will star Elsa, Maleficent, Cruella de Vil and other iconic characters.

The first cards for Disney Lorcana, the upcoming trading card game starring characters from the House of Mouse, have been revealed at D23 - and there’s more than a touch of Magic: The Gathering to them.

Disney Lorcana was unveiled last month as a brand new collectible card game drawing from the titanic movie company’s almost century-spanning catalogue of animations.

While hard details at the time were sparse, publisher Ravensburger clearly has big plans for the game, announcing four yearly sets and a “robust” organised play programme for the TCG’s competitive scene.

Thanks to last weekend’s Disney convention D23, we’ve now had our first look at actual cards from Disney Lorcana’s first release, planned for fall 2023, as well as confirmation of a name for the debut set: Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter.

Revealed at D23 were six cards that will appear in The First Chapter, showing off classic villains such as 101 Dalmatians' Cruella de Vil, Sleeping Beauty baddie Maleficent - appearing in her dragon form - and Peter Pan nemesis Captain Hook, as well as heroes Elsa, Stitch and Robin Hood. The six cards offered in a D23-exclusive collector’s set were unique foil variants of the cards due to appear in The First Chapter.

Also shown at D23 was a separate promo card for Disney mascot Mickey Mouse in his garb from 1938 short Brave Little Tailor, which will also appear in The First Chapter.

While gameplay details for Lorcana are still largely under wraps - Ravensburger’s initial release promised “thoughtful and unique gameplay”, while co-designer Ryan Miller told Dicebreaker at D23 that specifics would be revealed next year - the game’s first cards will arguably do little to fend off assumptions that the card game is effectively Magic: The Gathering in Disney cosplay.

Lorcana’s cards show the cost required to play them in the upper left, appearing to use a single resource in contrast to MTG’s use of five mana colours.

Each card also displays a separate value for offence and defence in the bottom right-hand corner of its artwork, bringing to mind the power and toughness stats of MTG creatures.

In the card’s text box, additional text lays out unique abilities - with many based around shared keywords. For example, Robin Hood’s ‘Good Shot’ ability allows him to challenge - the game’s parlance for resolving battles - rival characters with the Evasive keyword. Evasive appears to work in a similar manner to Magic: The Gathering’s Flying keyword, requiring cards to have the keyword in order to block or attack other cards that have it.

Image credit: Ravensburger/Disney

Other terminology includes ‘banish’, which refers to a character leaving the field - presumably being placed in a discard pile or graveyard equivalent. Maleficent’s Dragon Fire ability allows her to banish a chosen character when played, while Cruella de Vil’s You’ll Be Sorry power allows her to return a chosen character to its player’s hand when she is banished.

The alien Stitch, meanwhile, can ‘Shift’ to be played for a lower cost - four instead of six - on top of a Stitch card already on the field.

Each card has some associated tags listed under its artwork, which may tie into specific gameplay effects, as well as Lorcana’s shared setting or deck construction restrictions. The tags include standard descriptors such as “villain” or “hero”, alongside more thematic keywords such as “sorcerer”. Elsa and Captain Hook are both “Dreamborn”, while Maleficent, Robin Hood and Cruella are all “Storyborn”. Stitch, meanwhile, is “Floodborn”.

The team discuss Disney Lorcana on the Dicebreaker PodcastWatch on YouTube

Even the cards' names are somewhat reminiscent of MTG’s planeswalkers, adding a specific variant to each title to distinguish them from other appearances of the same character.

The full titles for the seven cards revealed so far are Stitch - Rock Star, Elsa - Snow Queen, Cruella de Vil - Miserable as Usual, Maleficent - Monstrous Dragon, Robin Hood - Unrivaled Archer, Captain Hook - Forceful Duelist and Mickey Mouse – Brave Little Tailor.

Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter will be released next autumn. A price for the set is yet to be confirmed. Ravensburger said that further details on the game’s gameplay, release format and organised play programme would be revealed during 2023.

Thanks to Tiffany Babb of Dicebreaker sibling site Popverse for her contributions to this story.

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