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Disney Lorcana’s new location cards don’t work anything like Magic’s land cards

A similar narrative conceit used for an entirely different mechanical purpose

The goddess Tefitti holds Moana and Maui in her hand in Disney’s Moana. Image: Disney
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

When Disney Lorcana launched over the summer, the majority of consumers seemed mostly into it for the bling — big shiny cards filled with their favorite Disney characters. But with the arrival of Ravensburger’s second set of cards in November, titled Rise of the Floodborn, it’s obvious that many of the game’s most basic mechanical elements still have yet to be revealed. Case in point are the all-new location cards, which will roll out with the game’s third set titled Into the Inklands beginning on March 8. A new card was revealed Thursday, and it’s clear that the mechanic could have the potential to greatly alter the strategy of the game.

In Disney Lorcana, players take on the role of illumineers — powerful spellcasters that use magical ink to summon beloved Disney characters to the battlefield. Once Into The Inklands arrives, illumineers will be able to summon locations as well. But, unlike land cards in Magic: The Gathering, location cards are very much open to attack. Each one has a willpower value, representing its health, and all can be damaged by virtually any unit on the other side of the table.

Maleficent’s castle, atop forbidden mountain, is rengered in purples and greens. The 6 willpower location has a move value of 1, and a lore value of 1.
A location card in Disney Lorcana has a casting cost in ink (upper right corner) along with an icon showing if it can be turned into ink. It also has a willpower (middle right) and a lore value (lower right). Characters, called glimmers, can be moved to the location for its move cost (middle left). They can’t leave unless they pay the move cost listed on the next location that they visit.
Image: Ravensburger and Disney

Once in play, location cards will add lore, which represent victory points in Disney Lorcana, at the beginning of each round that they remain in play. This makes them valuable as reliable sources of income throughout the game, and important targets for opposing player attacks. However, because they have no intrinsic attack rating, there’s no downside to attacking them — they simply can’t fight back on their own. That means location cards are actually more vulnerable to attack than regular character cards.

An image shared on the Disney Lorcana website featuring Jim Hawkins, Space Traveler, a 4/4 card with two lore and some interesting special abilities that relate to locations. Image: Ravensburger and Disney

On Thursday, Ravensburger revealed Jim Hawkins, Space Traveler. This new hero card has a unique ability, which is among the first to directly interact with locations. When the character is played, a location with the cost of four or less can be played to the table for free, as well. Hawkins’ Take The Helm ability, on the other hand, allows him to move to any new location that you play. That means players may be able to mount a defense for locations as they are played, so long as they keep this character alive.

Ravensburger is making this sort of defense even easier to do, potentially, noting in a news release shared with Polygon in December that characters that have just been played — which would normally need to sit out a round while their ink dries — can be moved to a location straight away.

The effect during play could be to break up what was originally a monolithic front line of battle into several different lanes. If that’s the case, players going up against a deck with lots of locations will need to determine not merely if they will attack the other player, but where they will make their attack based on the what cards are present at each location.

Bear in mind that some of this analysis is speculation: We still don’t have final complete rules on how characters and locations will interact. Expect more concrete details to be revealed later on down the line.

Several more location cards are expected with Disney Lorcana’s third set, including Motunui from Moana and the Jolly Roger from Peter Pan. Into the Inklands will debut at local games stores beginning Feb. 23. Mass market retailers, like Amazon and ShopDisney, will start selling them on March 8.

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