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What are Locations in Lorcana?

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Location, location, location is not just for real estate anymore. In the upcoming Lorcana set Into the Inklands, we're introduced to a new card type called Locations. Let's take a moment to understand exactly how these new cards work.

Anatomy of Locations

Locations are our first sideways printed card. This should help distinguish across the original card types. Here's the layout:

On the top right hand side, we're looking at the cost to play the location. Locations follow the same rules as to whether they're available to ink or not based on the inkwell symbol containing the card cost.

The new symbol to the left of the location name is the costs associated with moving each character to that location. While the cost to move a character can be prohibitive on some locations, it's important to note that some of the locations spoiled so far have abilities, just like the example above. So, granting a character Ward and Evasive on top of other character abilities like Resist could create a really sticky situation for your opponent. Another benefit would be characters that directly benefit from being at a location, such as this new Minnie Mouse:

There are no limits to the amount of characters that can be at a specific location, just as long as you pay the cost to move each of those characters to that specific location. Also, characters have the ability to move to other your other locations if you have them in play as long as you pay the cost to move to that specific location.

The symbol to the right of the location name is the willpower of that location. That means locations can be directly challenged. If a location is a threat to an opponent, especially if that location grants additional abilities to characters at that location, you can almost guarantee that the location will be a target. Once the location has been challenged and banished, characters essentially fall out of the location back into the main play area.

Some locations have printed abilities, just like the example above. We've also seen others that don't:

That doesn't necessarily devalue the location as there's one more symbol we need to talk about, which is the lore symbol, which is located on the right-hand side of the card next to printed abilities and/or flavor text.

The lore symbol represents the value of lore the location generates at the start of your turn. Unlike characters that typically have to quest for lore by exerting itself, locations do not need to do so. One of these locations in play may not be much of a threat, but having 2 or more can definitely apply pressure on your opponent to address the issue.

Potential Impact on the Meta

It's hard to say what impact locations will have at this point because not all of the locations have been revealed. However, with the ones we have previewed so far, it's safe to assume that locations will definitely complement a range of deck archetypes such as aggro, midrange, control, and even combo decks.

Aggro players can take advantage of cheap locations to either gain small amounts of lore over time, or make the opponent decide whether it's more important to challenge your locations or your exerted characters.

Control and combo decks can possibly dive into Emerald ink to use Fang as a location to keep critical characters safe and in play by granting them Ward and Evasive.

There's definitely going to be a need for play-testing to consider the possible changes in tempo. We've also yet to see the rest of the set, so it's unlikely we'll be able to fully understand the value of locations until the remaining cards are revealed.

Expectations for the Future

With location cards making their debut in Into the Inklands, it's exciting to consider the impact for future sets planned for this year. While Rise of the Floodborn showcases a larger assortment of floodborn characters and mechanics that complement the character type, we will most likely expect the same to happen with locations for Into the Inklands. Future sets could Include new locations that help shape the meta even further and give ink colors that are less represented across the format a breath of fresh air.

Wrapping up

With Into the Inklands less than a month away from release at your friendly local game store, I'm curious what your thoughts are on locations. Will they be part of your current deck? Is it too early to tell? What locations would you like to see in future sets? My hope is to see some mechanics of locations act as the keyword Bodyguard to protect characters at that location. That way it can add yet another layer of challenges for your opponent to challenge your high value characters.

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