We’re still a couple of months out from the release of Disney Lorcana’s second expansion - the more experimental Into the Inklands, but that hasn’t stopped publisher Ravensburger from rolling out the spoilers. The latest reveal includes several variants on 101 Dalmations’ eponymous stars that can nearly fill a deck with the appropriate amount of puppy power.
Every new Lorcana set introduces a few more characters from beloved Disney films, and Into the Inklands is no exception. Amongst its exploration theme are the main cast of space-faring pirates from Treasure Planet and mallard-like mogul Scrooge McDuck. The popular trading card game also offers different versions of existing cards, such as proud puppy papa Pongo, and this time he’s bringing the kids.
The adorable troublemakers are represented on Dalmation Puppy - Tail Wagger, a 2-cost Amber card with 2 strength and 3 willpower, and it can be tapped for 1 lore. It’s a decent enough card until you get to the lil’ barker’s one ability - Where Did They All Come From - that allows a player to include up to 99 copies of the card in their deck. Normally, Lorcana decks can only include a maximum of 4 copies of any one card.
Beyond a cheeky reference to the source film, Dalmation Puppy’s ability allows a classic deckbuilding strategy that Magic: The Gathering players have enjoyed since 2004, when the Fifth Dawn set introduced a card called Relentless Rats. Like the puppies, a deck could cram as many copies of relentless rats into its list as possible - unlike Lorcana’s version, the rats powered each other up as more vermin flooded the battlefield. Lorcana apparently wants to keep a lid on its power scaling for now, as the wee spots don’t activate any kind of pack strength. The new version of Pongo - Determined Father does synergise a bit with his brood, as his ability could easily surface pup after pup after pup if a player has the ink.
Instead, Dalmatian Puppy will play to collectors’ wallets, enticing them with seven different possible illustrations of a dog rolling around on Roger and Anita’s yellow chair - all created by artist Kapik. Otherwise, the cards are virtually identical except for their collectors number (4a through 4e). MTG did something similar with the nine Nazgûl in 2023’s Tales from Middle-earth set, and those cards retained an impressive price on secondary markets well after release.
There’s one more wrinkle to talk about regarding the Dalmation Puppy - why 99 copies and not 101? The official Lorcana deckbuilding rules only specify that standard decks contain at least 60 cards. Could this be a hint at an impending format similar to MTG’s Commander, which uses a deck of 99 singleton cards and a leader character? Relentless Rats is a fun, if not exactly viable, strategy for building a Commander deck, and the same might be true for the pups if Ravensburger officially supports their own version in the near future.
The publisher has previously stated that their teams quietly plan years in advance when creating space for future keywords and card designs, but we won’t know for sure until Into the Inklands launches on February 23rd in local game stores and March 8th online and in larger retail locations. Be sure to check out Dicebreaker’s other coverage of Lorcana, including lists of the best cards in every ink colour for the current set, Rise of the Floodborn.