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How To Play Solo And Co-Op In Disney Lorcana

Disney Lorcana Illumineer's Quest Box

It’s fair to say that Disney Lorcana has really shaken up the Trading Card Game (or TCG) scene in a big way, which can only be positive for players, collectors and fans of all things Disney. Publishers Ravensburger could quite easily have rested on their laurels after such a phenomenally successful launch, churning out new cards and sets with little innovation, because, let’s face it, Lorcana would have sold in huge numbers to countless fans regardless.

Yet instead, they’ve evolved the game at a really impressive rate, yet it’s still retained an air of welcoming accessibility. Not only have they added new keywords and card types, such as Locations, but they’ve done so in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or make Lorcana too complicated.

The latest, innovative development that’s been brought to Lorcana is the addition of solo and co-op game modes, thanks to the Illumineer’s Quest set that was launched alongside the Ursula’s Return expansion. Naturally, this is played in a slightly different way to standard Lorcana (which you can learn how to play here!).

Let’s take a look at how to play the solo and co-op modes of Disney Lorcana.

What Do I Need To Play Solo and Co-Op In Disney Lorcana?

The most important thing to know is that you can’t play the solo or co-op modes of Disney Lorcana without the Illumineer’s Quest: Deep Trouble box set. Part of the product range for Ursula’s Return, it tasks players with taking on, and defeating, the Sea Witch of the set’s title: Ursula.

It’s self contained, so you don’t actually need to buy any more cards or even wait to have another player available, seeing as it can also be played as a single player experience. It’s an entire game in a box; feeling more like a board game than an add on for a TCG, it just happens to also be compatible with your entire Disney Lorcana card collection.

What’s In The Illumineer’s Quest: Deep Trouble Box?

Disney Lorcana Illumineer's Quest Box Contents

Within the Deep Trouble box, you’ll find everything you need to start playing. First up are two 60 card Lorcana decks (which are built with cards from all Disney Lorcana sets that were available when Deep Trouble itself was launched), and these are Amber & Ruby (headed up by Mulan) and Amethyst & Sapphire (led by Yen Sid).

Disney Lorcana Ursula Card
 and Back

Ursula herself gets a Scenario Deck, made of 50 all new cards that are unique to (and only usable in) the Illumineer’s Quest. These also have a unique, light coloured card back, which is a stark contrast to the standard back of Lorcana cards.

Lorcana Entangled Characters

Notably, the characters all have glowing eyes and a new type: Entangled. This replaces any Storyborn, Dreamborn or Floodborn classification they’d normally have, representing the fact that they’re under Ursula’s spell.

They have a special rarity symbol that we haven’t seen in Lorcana before, which we’ve circled in green, in the below image, for clarity. This symbol also appears on the oversized Ursula card, which is placed on the play area to show who you’re up against.

Disney Lorcana Illumineer's Quest Rarity Symbol

Ursula also has her own play mat, which has some really useful features, including her own Lore Tracker, spaces for her decks, discards, hands and cards in play, and rules reminders for her turn order too.

Battleground cards are included too; you’ll use one of these as the scenario you play, with each having a different level of difficulty, when you begin the game (two double sided cards are included, with a choice of four difficulty levels). Lastly, you’ll also get all of the lore trackers and tokens you need to play the game. Wait; did I say lastly? There’s actually one final item included in the Deep Trouble box, and we’ll take a look at that now!

What’s In The Golden Booster Pack?

Disney Lorcana Secret Victory Pack

Perhaps most excitingly and intriguingly of all, inside the Illumineer’s Quest: Deep Trouble box, you’ll find a sealed, gold coloured booster pack. On the front of the pack, the text reads: ‘Only the victors shall unseal this packet and claim the prize within, or this treasure becomes property of the sea witch Ursula, for all eternity.’

Somewhat frustratingly, the rules don’t mention the gold pack at all, though it is included in the list of contents on the back of the box. Here, it’s referred to as a ‘Secret Victory card’. Given this description and the text on the pack, note that you must not open this pack until you have beaten Ursula at least once! Whether or not you want to save it for yourself until after you’ve beaten her at all four of the included scenarios, for the ultimate victory, is up to you.

How Do Players Win Against Ursula In Deep Trouble?

In order to secure that victory and stop Ursula from taking over the Great Illuminary, each player needs to reach 20 or more Lore points at the same time. However, if you fail to do this before Ursula reaches 40 Lore herself, the Sea Witch will be victorious!

How Many Players Can Play Together?

Even though the box states 1-2 players, it’s possible for four players to take on Ursula together! There’s a good reason for the number of players on the box being smaller: it does only contain enough decks for up to 2 players to take part; each player who wants to take part will need their own deck, but any pre-built or player constructed deck, comprised of any cards, from any set (within the deck building rules, of course), can be used.

How To Play Illumineer’s Quest: Deep Trouble

If you already know how to play Disney Lorcana, you’ll have a big head start, because the basics are exactly the same as the main, competitive format of the TCG. The big difference, of course, is that instead of Challenging other players, you’ll Challenge Ursula herself and work together with fellow players to take her on!

Of course, with there being an Ursula to take on in the first place, that means she needs her own rules and turn structure, which is what we’ll go over here.

Disney Lorcana Setup

Firstly, however, you’ll need to set up the play area. The play mat will be opened and placed on the table, then you’ll need to place a counter on Ursula’s Draw track, according to how many players are taking part. The draw counter will also advance differently, depending on how many players are involved; this is as follows:

PlayersUrsula’s Card DrawsDraw 1 More Card at This Lore Value
2210 and 30
4310 and 30

So as you can see, if you have an even number of players, you’ll increase the number of cards drawn when her Lore reaches the values of 10 and 30, but with an odd number of players it’s just when she reaches 20 Lore.

Disney Lorcana Battleground Cards

Then you choose a Battleground scenario, which range in difficulty from Easy to Extreme; in order, these are The Encounter, A Dark Realm, The Lair and Infinite Wrath. You’ll sometimes see extra requirements on these during setup; for example, The Lair and Infinite Wrath will need you to set the draw counter one level higher than in the ‘Ursula’s Draws’ column above.

Disney Lorcana Ursula's Stolen Trident

You’ll need to locate Ursula’s Stolen Trident from her deck; this is then placed face up in her play area, as the first card in the row. Her deck is then shuffled and placed in the Scenario Deck space on the play mat. Each Lore tracker token is placed at zero on the Lore track; you’ll need one per player, plus Ursula’s Lore tracker too.

Players then shuffle their own decks and deal themselves seven cards each, as per the standard Lorcana rules. Importantly, because the rules skip over this very useful detail, note that Ursula does not start with an opening hand; instead, she draws on her first turn according to the number of cards her draw track shows. Then you’re ready to begin! 

Ursula’s Turn

On each turn, Ursula’s Beginning Phase follows a similar structure to the familiar Ready, Set, Draw turn order that players will follow, only with Ursula, there’s an extra step in the middle. So for Ursula, she readies all her cards (ready), start of turn card effects then happen (set), resolves her row of cards (this is the new step), then draws according to her draw track, though these cards aren’t revealed yet; they go into her hand.

Resolving the row means that you have to action each card in Ursula’s card row, from left to right. If an item has an ability that’s used by exerting, Ursula exerts the card and the ability’s effect is resolved. If a character can Quest, then they do this (as normal, by exerting and then adding the Lore points with Ursula’s Lore tracker token).

Disney Lorcana Ursula's Card Row

Lastly, if they can’t Quest, but have the Reckless keyword, they challenge an exerted character belonging to a player; interestingly, however, the player chooses the defender. If a character under Ursula’s control can’t Quest or Challenge, they do nothing.

Once the Ready, Set, Resolve and Draw actions are complete, Ursula then reveals the cards in her hand one by one. These are then acted upon. Though Ursula has an Inkwell, like the players, she doesn’t exert the cards there to pay for new cards to come into play.

To explain: when a card is revealed, check its Ink cost. As long as Ursula has at least the same number of Ink cards in her Inkwell as the number on the revealed card’s Ink cost, it will go on the end (the right side) of her card row. If it’s an action, rather than a character or an item, it’s resolved and then discarded, in the same way a player’s action card would be.

If, however, there’s not enough Ink in her Inkwell to ‘pay’ for the card, it is instead placed facedown in her Inkwell to be used as an Ink resource for the rest of the game. This is, overall, no different to the way that Ink works for players, except for the fact that the Ink resource cards are not exerted when they cover the cost of a card that enters play, and can be used multiple times per turn.

The Player(s) Turn

No matter how many players are involved, everyone takes their turn simultaneously, so it’s possible to discuss and ‘line up’ actions in order to affect each other’s characters and abilities as you go. Note that you’re playing as a team, so all characters, items and so on are under your control, regardless of which player played them.

As a refresher, there’s the Ready, Set Draw steps of the Beginning Phase, followed by the Main Phase, in which you may add a card to your Inkwell (only once per turn), then play as many of the following actions as you’re able to each turn: play a card, use an item’s ability, use a character’s ability that doesn’t require exerting, Quest with a readied character, Challenge another exerted character or use an ability that’ll exert your chosen character.

Disney Lorcana The Encounter Battleground Card

There’s also a choice of player abilities on each Battleground card; we’ve circled the abilities, available to players when using The Encounter Battleground card, in green above. Note that this option can only be chosen once per player team’s turn, and the cost for using these is not Ink, but Lore. Given that Lore points are a precious commodity that’ll help you win your fight against Ursula, you’ll need to be very careful with when and how to use these powerful abilities.

Winning Ilumineer’s Quest: Deep Trouble

Disney Lorcana Lore Track

You’ll win a game of Illumineer’s Quest as soon as all players reach 20 points of Lore or more, but you’ll lose if Ursula happens to reach 40 points of Lore first. If you do win, treat yourself and the other players by opening and revealing what’s inside your Secret Victory pack; you’ve earned it!

Is Illumineer’s Quest: Deep Trouble Worth Buying?

We found that Deep Trouble is a set that has a lot to like, as well as lots of content and a decent amount of replay value too. The fact that it comes with two ready built decks, which can also be used in standard games of Lorcana, gives it great versatility; it means that you can play Solo, Co-Op or even standard games of Lorcana, all with just this box set alone. The fact that you can also build decks to take on Ursula (and you’ll likely need to create powerful decks to beat her at the highest difficulty levels), using any of the cards already available across Lorcana’s numerous expansions, is a fantastic touch too. So it means that you have, cleverly but perhaps paradoxically, both a self-contained and expandable experience with this set. 

It’s also a great way for families to get together and experience Lorcana, without them being pitted against each other; uniting against a common foe seems tailor made to get players of all ages together to enjoy the game, without worrying that you don’t understand the rules or might come up against a deck that’ll just obliterate you, which is no fun. Of course, Ursula can still do that if you take her on at higher difficulty levels!

Disney Lorcana Packaging

However, it’s a shame that the packaging is not much use for storing the included cards or components, and the play mat is so flimsy. With the damage tokens and Lore trackers being part of the cardboard insert that also holds the decks, which are wrapped in non-reusable (but recyclable!) packaging, not to mention the fact that the outer box can’t be resealed properly once opened, it feels like Deep Trouble is a board game that’s packaged like a TCG; it’s one element where the overall experience falls down.

Lorcana Acrylic Lore Trackers

You’ll definitely need to invest in some deck boxes; preferably ones that have space for tokens too. Sleeves would be a good idea as well, but do note that you’ll need oversized sleeves for the Ursula card and Battlegrounds. It may be extravagant, but we’d also recommend checking out custom, deluxe tokens (a selection of which are pictured above) if you feel like you’re going to be playing lots of Lorcana too, because they’re a lot nicer and much more robust than the thin cardboard tokens packaged inside the Illumineer’s Quest box.

One thing’s for sure: there’s nothing quite like Illumineer’s Quest: Deep Trouble, for any other TCG, and it gives Lorcana a real edge against even more established games such as Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering. Hopefully we’ll see more Illumineer’s Quest sets as new expansions arrive, so that you can take on new Disney Villains with their own decks and Battlegrounds too.

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