How Disney Lorcana Compares To MTG & Pokémon

Disney’s venture into the trading card game industry with Disney Lorcana owes a lot to Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon TCG. The word ‘Lorcana’ is a combination of “lore” and “arcana,” suggesting the set’s storyline and characters will be exploring plenty of mysteries. Set to release in the fall of 2023, Lorcana aims to create a deck that can defeat any opponent. Though information on Lorcana is still scarce, what is known is up to par with the most popular TCGs, Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon.


Disney Lorcana is already avoiding Pokémon TCG’s biggest problem by prioritizing fans and the availability of cards. During the 2022 D23 Expo, seven limited-edition foil promo cards for Lorcana were released. These cards included “Cruella De Vil, Miserable As Usual,” “Robin Hood, Unrivaled Archer,” “Stitch, Rock Star,” “Maleficent, Monstrous Dragon,” “Elsa, Snow Queen,” “Captain Hook, Forceful Duelist, ”and “Mickey Mouse, Brave Little Tailor.” The character names are reminiscent of creature and planeswalkers cards in Magic: The Gathering. However, as the only cards revealed thus far for Lorcana, fans expressed concerns that Disney was going to continue releasing hard-to-get promos that, ultimately, become egregiously expensive to collect later on. Unlike other major TCGs, such as Pokémon, Disney announced there are no current plans to continue that trend, trying to instead focus on affordability for players and fans.

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From the release of Disney Lorcana to a new generation of Pokèmon to every Magic: The Gathering set release, 2023 is going to be a big year for trading card games. The promo cards released for Disney Lorcana still leave many questions unanswered. For example, the promo cards feature different colors: purple, blue, yellow, red, green, and gray. Two of the cards (Mickey Mouse, Brave Little Tailor, and Maleficent, Monstrous) are red, potentially meaning there could be a color system similar to MTG’s own, though it might not be directly related to mana cost it could still reference some sort of synergy among certain colored cards. Another big question mark surround the diamonds on the right side of the cards; most of the promos had one, two, or three diamonds, which must mean something about the gameplay or character. While the official rules for gameplay have not been released for comparison, there are still many clear similarities between Lorcana and other trading card games.

Magic: The Gathering & Pokémon Seem To Have Inspired Disney Lorcana

collage of the seven promo cards for disney lorcana

As some players build a Pokémon TCG deck around favorite Pokémon, it’s likely that Disney Lorcana players will want to build decks around their favorite characters. It seems that combat in Lorcana will resemble Pokémon’s combat, where cards themselves battle one another, as evidenced by the captions for cards like Maleficent, which highlights “Dragon Fire” as if it is a special ability, and then says “When you play this character, you may banish chosen opposing character.” Similar to Magic: The Gathering, each card also seems to have a card type, with differences such as “Dreamborn” or “Storyborn” and “Hero” or “Villain” being noted under the characters’ names. How deeply Lorcana will resemble MTG or Pokémon TCG remains to be seen, but the inspiration or crossover seems to be there.

Just like the best 30th anniversary MTG promos, the promos released for Lorcana are exciting celebrations of a new TCG. All of the similarities prove that Disney has done the proper research to make a potentially huge impact in the TCG world. Disney Lorcana is certainly something to look forward to. Taking inspiration from MTG and Pokémon TCG could prove to be either a huge success or display a lack of unique vision to seasoned card game players, but it certainly has all the parts to become a strong addition to the tabletop genre.