Game Review: “Disney Lorcana: Rise of the Floodborn”

At this point, it’s pretty safe to say that Disney Lorcana is a phenomenon. First launched during GenCon this summer, the game debuted nationwide worldwide to great popularity — perhaps even a bit too much popularity. But, at the same time that The First Chapter is restocked, a second chapter is also joining the game.

Titled Rise of the Floodborn, the new installment not only brings more versions of characters already found in the game but also brings in more properties. This includes Raya and the Last Dragon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Zootpia, and Winnie the Pooh among others. In total, this expansions features more than 200 new cards,

For The First Chapter, there were three starter pack options: Ruby/Emerald, Sapphire/Steel, and Amber/Amethyst. This time around, there are only starter pack options. What’s more, there’s a bit of a swapsies situation as the two boxes are Amethyst/Steel and Amber/Sapphire. However, this isn’t to say that Ruby and Emerald are completely left out of this expansion. Instead, these two color sets will appear in booster packs. As a reminder, Lorcana rules state that players can use any two colors in their deck.

Having had a chance to check out the new cards included in the two starter decks (which I received courtesy of Ravensburger), I can say that the art once again shines. In fact, I mean that literally as each starter deck contains two cold foil cards. In the Amethyst/Steel pack, the two foils are Merlin and Tiana while the Amber/Sapphire foils feature The Evil Queen and Gaston.

Going back to the art itself, like with The First Chapter, there’s a solid mix of classically interpreted character designs alongside unique and fun depictions. For example, speaking of that Gaston card (named Intellectual Powerhouse), the version we see of the brawny and braggadocious villain adds an element of steampunk. Another early favorite of mine ¸— and one I’ll be chasing down — is “Hunny Wizard,” which I can only describe as a cross between Winnie the Pooh and Doctor Strange.

Meanwhile, this new chapter also includes some other creative and daring choices, such as with the Seven Dwarfs cards. When they were first unveiled, clever fans noticed that they could be placed in order to create a single panoramic image. You can actually hear artist Kendall Hale discuss the process of crafting those cards on this recent Let’s Talk Lorcana episode from The Illumiteers.

Turning to the gameplay, while I’ll admit that I’m not as well-versed in the intricacies of the TCG that I probably should be at this point, I’ve definitely seen rumblings about the new dynamics and possibilities that this latest chapter brings. An example that comes to mind is, once again, the Seven Dwarfs, where Dopey’s banishment can basically be avenged by any other Dwarfs you have out as they’ll gain 2 bonus Strength until your next turn. Even if you’re not a Lorcana expert, it’s pretty easy to see how these post-mortem action and teamwork elements could make for some interesting opportunities. To be sure, this is also just one example of many — meaning that top Illumineers will surely be reevaluating their decks upon Rise of the Floodborn’s release.

I should also mention that this chapter adds a new game ability called Resist. As Ravensburger explains, this indicates how much additional damage a Glimmer can take. So, Resist + 2 would equate to a damage reduction of 2. Pretty cool, right?

All in all, Rise of the Floodborn is a great expansion for an already well-received game. For those like me who enjoy collecting the cards for their artistic appeal, this installment only brings even more awe. Meanwhile, those who are focused more on actually playing the game will surely find new favorite powers and develop new strategies thanks to these latest additions. What’s more, with the world of Lorcana growing quickly, surely we have even more to look forward to in the months and years ahead.

Disney Lorcana: Rise of the Floodborn will be released to local game stores on November 17th before hitting major retailers on December 1st.

Kyle Burbank
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book "The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels" is available in paperback and for Kindle.