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That Settles It: Disney Lorcana Will Be My First Card Game

I don’t play a lot of card games. Well, maybe that’s not true. I play all sorts of card games with my wife – Newmarket, Sevens, Golf, Kings in the Corner, Go Fish, Le Truc… you get the picture. These are all card games played using a standard 52 card deck. Despite having been a Pokemon fan since the ‘90s, as well as having a dabbling interest in Yu-Gi-Oh! and being impressed by the art in Magic, I’ve never played a ‘card game’ in the sense that websites like us mean it. We have a resident card expert, and we don’t go to him for tips on Gin Rummy. However, I think Disney Lorcana will break my streak.

When Disney first revealed its card game, I was curious. I have seen every Walt Disney Animation Studios movie (“even [insert weird one]?” “Yep, that’s what ‘every’ means!”), and have always thought Disney would translate well to some sort of action-packed crossover that wasn’t Kingdom Hearts. When I had Pokemon cards as a kid, they were basically collectibles – no one at school knew the rules, we just knew which cards were rare and cool. The closest I got to playing a card game was when the Premier League football stickers became cards with stats on, but we made up our own (probably incredibly stupid) rules to go along with it.

I’m not in it for the collectibles these days. I don’t do Deluxe Editions or anything like that. My office is decorated with a few filigrees of merch, but they’re all cheap postcards pinned to a cork board, or else are something like a jacket I can conceivably wear as part of a regular outfit. It needs to be something I can use and hey, that’s Disney Lorcana. They aren’t just collectible cards with fun pictures of Elsa on, this is an in-depth game, designed for tabletop enthusiasts with relatively complex and rewarding mechanics, and though I’ve never bothered to learn a card game before, I am very sure I could if I took it seriously.

Until now, Disney Lorcana has felt very abstract. We’ve only seen a handful of cards and the rules have been kept under wraps, with just vague hints that don’t mean much to newbies like me. Now though, the roof has been blown off. We have a firm release date (August 18), we know it has a substantial North American and European rollout, and we have more details on the packs themselves. We still don’t know the rules, but more details on how I get cards into my life is welcome.

We also know there will be around 200 cards in The First Chapter, which are available in various forms. There are different starter decks, which each have 60 cards, and well as 12-card booster packs and combinations of individual cards and packs via the Gift Set and Illumineer’s Trove. 200 is a manageable number (and it’s not like I’ll need them all), while both starting and boosting your journey seems straightforward. Cost could yet be a barrier, but it’s yet another piece of news that bumps up my hype.

I probably shouldn’t talk like this about a game designed primarily around pure and joyful childlike nostalgia, but I grew up on the internet, so blame the computers: Disney Lorcana makes me feel like I’m at a bukkake party, on my knees with my mouth wide, already struggling to keep my eyes open from the loads on my face, and every new announcement makes me stick my tongue out further and say “more please!” Basically, I like this game. Every time I see it I like it more, which was probably a better way to say that, all things considered.

Things aren’t perfect. A lifetime of never playing card games and generally not liking people has left me with no friends to play it with, and no desire to make them. I’m only going to play casually, so I could play with my wife in between games of German Whist, but she has decidedly not seen every WDAS movie, and loudly judges me for having done so. She also refuses to watch any new Disney movies unless we do so while babysitting our niece and nephew. Well, I’m seeing the live action Little Mermaid goddamn it, so those kids had better be available on opening weekend at a time that’s convenient.

I’m not going to join my local Lorcana chapter, which probably isn’t a thing, but if the game is neat and simple enough I can probably convince my wife and a couple of other friends to play, even if we all have to use my decks – more excuse to buy cards, I guess. There are also a couple of TheGamers I know will be deep into Lorcana. They’ll know the game far better than me and probably have more cards, but I’ll still be able to have some casual games online with them.

I almost don’t want Lorcana to be released. The anticipation is perfect – there are no complicated rules, no logistical issues, and being excited for a game is free. Buying cards is not. But far more than this desire to hold on to a perfect game in my mind is the hope that after a lifetime of searching, I have finally found a card game for me. Disney, I’m on my knees here.

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