Unlock LORCANA mastery seamlessly! Begin with this free video tutorial for a swift grasp. Delve into detailed gameplay instructions down below for comprehensive guidance.

Master Lorcana: Learn to Play the Exciting Adventure Game


  Each player needs their own deck. You’ll also need damage counters and a way to track how much lore you have. Both come with your starter deck. 

  1. Determine the first player by flipping a coin, rolling a die, or so on. 
  2. Shuffle your deck. 
  3. Set your lore tracker to 0. 
  4. Draw 7 cards for your starting hand. You can look at the cards in your hand, but not anyone else’s hand! 
  5. Alter your starting hand if you choose (see below). Skip this step in your very first game. 

Altering Your Starting Hand 

Before the game begins, each player can alter their starting hand one time, beginning with the first player. (Usually, a player does this if they don’t have very many cards with inkwell icons on them or if too many of their cards have a high cost.) To do this, put any number of cards from your hand on the bottom of your deck without revealing them, then draw cards until your hand has 7 cards again. Finally, reshuffle your deck.


A turn is divided into two parts. Each player takes their whole turn before passing the turn to the next player. On your turn, take these steps in order. 

Beginning Phase 

  1. READY – Ready your exerted cards by turning them upright. 
  2. SET – Check for effects that happen at the start of your turn and follow their instructions. 
  3. DRAW – Draw a card from the top of your deck. The first player skips this step on their first turn. 

Main Phase 

Once per turn, you can put a card facedown into your inkwell at any time. Additionally, you can take any actions listed below, any number of times, in any order you want. This allows you to take full advantage of what your cards can do in combination with other effects. 

  • Play a card. 
  • Use a character ability that doesn’t require them to exert. 
  • Use an item ability.
  • Use a location ability. 
  • Take an action with a character that’s been in play since the start of your turn. These include: 
    • Quest. 
    • Challenge an opponent’s location or exerted character. 
    • Use an ability that requires them to exert.

Your Inkwell 

Your inkwell is where you’ll put your ink cards, facedown. You’ll use the cards in your inkwell to pay costs, such as for cards you play from your hand. You may put a card from your hand into your inkwell once each turn. The card you choose must have the inkwell icon around its cost {I} in the upper left corner. The more ink cards you have, the more you’ll be able to do. To put a card in your inkwell, show the card to your opponents and then put it face down into your inkwell as ink. Every card in your inkwell represents 1 {I}, no matter what’s on the front. Choose wisely! Cards put into your inkwell stay there for the rest of the game. Once you put a card in your inkwell, nothing on the front matters— including its cost and ink type. It’s simply ink.

Playing a Card

Playing a card just means taking it from your hand and putting it faceup on the table. Each card has an ink cost in a hexagon in the upper left corner. To play the card, you must exert that many cards in your inkwell. When you play a character card, put it on the table above your inkwell. Characters enter play in the ready position, but you can’t do anything with them until your next turn. You need to wait for their ink to dry! When you play an item card or a location card, put it on the table above your inkwell. Unlike characters, you can use items and locations right away. When you play an action card, do what the card tells you to do, then put the card into your discard pile. Always put cards into your discard pile face up so everyone can see them.

Songs: are a kind of action card, but there’s a special rule that gives you another way to pay for them. Each song says “(A character with cost X or more can {E} to sing this song for free.)” If you have a character with the listed cost or higher, you can exert that character to play the song card instead of exerting cards in your inkwell to do it! Using this approach still counts as playing the card. Rules for when you can exert a character still apply, of course, so characters can't sing songs the same turn they come into play.

Shift: You can play a Floodborn character using their Shift ability if you have a character with the same name in play. Pay the Shift cost instead of their ink cost and cover the original card with the new one. (You could play Pluto – Determined Defender on top of a Pluto card, for example.) The shifted character has their own rules but keeps any damage or effects that were on the original. If the original was exerted, so is the shifted one. If the original was able to challenge, quest, or use abilities, though, the shifted character can do those things as soon as they come into play! When a shifted character leaves play, all the cards in their stack go with them


To quest with one of your characters, exert them and gain lore equal to their Lore value {L}. Remember, you can’t quest with a character the same turn you play them.


Questing is how you win the game, but sometimes you need to slow your opponents down. This is where challenging comes in. First, exert one of your characters to send them into the challenge. Then choose an opponent's exerted character to challenge You can’t challenge a ready character! Both characters in a challenge deal damage. Look at each character’s Strength {S} and put that many damage counters on the other character. 


A character is banished when they have damage counters on them that reach or exceed their Willpower {W}. Put the character card into its player’s discard pile.

Moving Damage: 

Into the Inklands introduces the ability to move damage counters from one character or location to another. Moving damage doesn’t count as “dealing damage” or “damaging” the character or location receiving the damage counters. Effects that modify the amount of damage dealt don’t apply to damage being moved.

Location Abilities: 

Some locations have abilities that give you benefits, often based on characters being at the location. These abilities can be used the same turn the location comes into play.

Moving Characters to Locations: 

During your turn, you can move one of your characters to one of your locations by paying the location’s move cost . Your characters can only move to your locations.

A character can move to a location the same turn either one is played. It doesn’t matter if the character being moved is exerted or ready. There’s no limit to the number of characters who can be at a location at a time.

A character can’t move from a location except to move to another location. You can do this by paying the other location’s move cost.

Location Challenges & Damage: 

On their turn, opposing characters may challenge a location the same way they’d challenge an exerted character. A character’s Challenger ability applies when challenging locations. When a location is challenged, it takes damage equal to the challenging character’s Strength {S}. It doesn’t deal damage of its own in the challenge, however.

Locations can also take damage from some actions and abilities. Locations can’t be chosen for actions and abilities unless that text specifies a location can be chosen

When a location has damage equal to or greater than its Willpower {W}, it’s banished and you put that card in your discard pile.

Characters who are at a location when it’s banished simply find themselves abroad again. They’re fine; they’re just no longer at a location.

Using Abilities:

Many items and characters have abilities you can use during your turn (and only during your turn). These normally affect other cards in play. Cards in a player’s deck, discard, hand, or inkwell aren’t “in play,” so they aren’t affected by other cards unless the card says otherwise.

A card ability that has a cost lists it before the effect. The cost might include an exert cost {E}, an ink cost {I}, text that explains the cost, or a combination of any of these. You must pay every part of an ability’s cost in order to play the ability

Remember, you can’t use the abilities of a character you played this turn.


Heart of Te Fiti has the ability Create Life, which reads, “{E}, 2 {I} — Put the top card of your deck into your inkwell facedown and exerted.” On your turn you may use this ability by exerting the card and paying 2 {I} (by exerting 2 cards in your inkwell). Because the Heart is an item, you can even use its ability the same turn you played the card!


The first player to reach 20 lore or more wins. If your deck runs out of cards, you lose the next time you would have to draw a card. 

You can find the complete rules list here:


Embark on an epic journey in the mystical world of Lorcana. Unravel mysteries, forge alliances, and shape your destiny!