The latest expansion for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena has been released, it’s called At the Ready and features one of Disney’s most popular characters: Robin Hood.
Read on to find out what you get in this new expansion and our thoughts on all three of the new characters including Robin, who actually ended up not being my favourite.
Disclosure: Thanks to The Op for letting us bring home a review copy of this small box expansion from Origins. No other compensation was provided. Links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
At the Ready requires the Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances Core Set
The At The Ready expansion for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena is fully compatible with all of the previous expansions, letting you freely mix and match characters. You are going to need a copy of the Core Set to be able to play though as that includes the board, tokens etc.
While this is the fourth expansion for the Sorcerer’s Arena board game, it could be the first one you purchase. There’s no need to purchase them in order. However, if you are curious about the other expansions you can check out my reviews of Turning the Tide, Thrills & Chills, and Leading the Charge.
If you happened to come here without knowing the base game you can also check out my Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances Core Set Review.
What you get with the At The Ready expansion
Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances and the At the Ready expansion for it were designed by Sean Fletcher and published by The Op just this year in 2023. It officially released at GenCon 2023.
This expansion gives you three new characters to battle with but doesn’t change any of the details from the base game like the player count, game weight, or playtime.
Those three new characters are Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast, Robin Hood, and Mulan.
Get a look at these new characters, their standees and cards in our Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances: At the Ready Unboxing Video on YouTube.
In the video, you can see that what you get here matches the previous three Disney Sorcerer’s Arena expansions. There are standees and bases, and a ten card deck, for each of the new characters. The expansion also comes with some extra status trackers and a short folded sheet of rules.
The quality here is what we’ve come to expect from Disney Sorcerer’s Arena and I have no complaints.
As for new rules, you won’t find anything we haven’t seen before. If this is your first Sorcerer’s Arena expansion you will be introduced to the Constant Ability rules. These have been presented in every expansion so far.
The rules for Constant Abilities are simple. Constant Abilities are in play any time that the character with the ability is in the arena and take effect on all turns while that character is present.
A look at each of the At The Ready characters
As mentioned above, the new characters you will find in the At The Ready expansion for Sorcerer’s Arena are Mulan, Mrs. Potts, and Robin Hood.
Let’s start with Mrs. Potts. I would call her a support character. She has a basic move of two and provides two cards, but only has a basic attack of one and also has pretty low health at seven.
Her deck is a real mixed bag, with most card abilities being dependent on what her allies are doing. These include multiple cards that reward her for being next to an ally on a crown space. She also has a number of cards that let you draw more cards from your deck.
This is a nice ability, as having more cards gives you more options. With these cards, you don’t tend to get that thing where part way through the game you only have a hand of two or three cards to work with.
To go with this she has a skill that you are going to want to use every turn that lets you draw a card from the top of your deck and then place a card from your hand either on the top of your deck or the bottom. This is the most hand management and deck control we’ve seen in Sorcerer’s Arena so far.
Speaking of drawing cards, Mrs. Potts has a constant ability that goes off any time you draw any card on any of your character’s turns. Any time you draw a Mrs. Potts card you get to move the active character one square.
Finally, we get to one of the most interesting parts of the Mrs. Potts character. Most of her her cards have abilities that go off when they are discarded. These cards make perfect move and attack boost cards to use on other characters’ turns and combo well with anyone who has you discard cards to power their own cards, skills, or abilities.
Next, we have Robin Hood. As expected Robin has a number of ranged attack cards. Even his non-ranged attack cards and his basic attack can be given Range 2, by discarding an attack card because of one of Robin’s skills.
Robin is a very good hit and run character who can also be a pretty good tank. He is very good at hiding and can spend most of the battle with the Stealth status effect on him.
Some of this comes from his cards but the main way you can generate this pool of Stealth is from his constant ability that grants him Stealth 1 whenever you gain exactly one crown. This means that he works very well when paired with characters who are good at holding victory point hexes.
Then we get to the most thematic part of this character. Robin Hood is all about stealing from the rich to help the poor both thematically and in the game. This is reflected on almost every card in his deck which have some form of additional effect if played when your opponent has more crowns than you do.
Stat wise Robin gives you two cards. He has the standard two move and two attack (which can be made into a range-two attack with his skill) and a chunky nine health, which, when combined with stealth, can make him really hard to take out.
That leaves us with Mulan who plays like a front-line support character. She has the standard attack and defence of two but has nine health and a large number of high-damage attack cards. She also has abilities that give her either the Tough or Strong conditions to back up that front-line role.
Her role as front-line support is reinforced by her level-up ability which gives her a number of Tough tokens that she can spend to defend allies next to her.
As a support character, she can pass off Strong to other Princess characters. She can also heal almost dead characters with her skill, giving two health to an ally with two or fewer health.
Mulan has one of the most powerful damage based skills in the game. It lets her do two damage to an adjacent rival as long as that rival is next to two non-token allies. This can be huge. It’s rather hard to pull off (especially if your opponent is watching for it), but when you do manage to get this skill off, and then combine it with one of her more powerful attack cards, you can take out several rivals in one turn.
This ability makes her great to pair with characters who can move allies and or rivals in order to get them into the right space. Just remember that token characters don’t count for this ability (or I would totally be pairing her up with The Horned King).
Another aspect of Mulan, which I personally haven’t managed to use to any good effect, but which seems powerful, is her ability to remove Status effects. A few of her cards do this in addition to doing damage.
The problem I have found is that damage is done first, so the ability to remove Status effects wasn’t very effective in the games I played where I was dealing with Invulnerable, Tough, Stealth, and No Pushbacks. However, I could see this being a very useful ability against the right characters.
Is At the Ready worth picking up?
I think I’m going to start off by sharing my thoughts on each of the characters in this set.
I really enjoyed playing Mrs. Potts. She ended up being my favourite character from this set. What’s most interesting here is that she is not a Disney character that I have any attachment to, but I love the way she works during the game.
She’s a fantastic support character that includes some never-before-seen deck and hand management abilities. I also adore the way you get rewarded for discarding her cards from your hand. I think that fits the theme of having Mrs. Potts be about serving others, and I also get a feeling that you are “pouring out” her cards.
I love being able to get to the later part of the game and still have plenty of cards in my hand. The game feels much less luck based at that point.
Robin Hood is my second favourite character from this expansion. He’s a great ranged damage dealer as expected, but I was surprised to find just how well he also works as a tank. Stealth can be a real pain in the butt for your opponent.
What will annoy them even more though is when you keep doing extra things to them when they are in the lead. I’ve found my opponents especially hate it when I steal their crowns from them.
That said Robin, will change your overall strategy. Due to his rob from the rich abilities you want to spend most of the game just a bit behind on points. You have to watch that you don’t fall too far behind though and end up losing the game.
Robin Hood is among my favourite characters that have been released for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena so far.
That leaves us with Mulan. So far she seems like a solid enough character but that’s about it. I get the feeling that with the right team, she could be fantastic but her abilities just didn’t excite me.
I just didn’t find her to be as fun to play as many of the other characters. It’s highly possible that she may be one of the best characters in the game and could be perfect for use during organised play or tournament style events. But for the casual games I’ve been playing, she just didn’t wow me.
I am interested in trying her on some other teams, especially since she has cards that trigger off of the Princess keyword. At some point soon I need to try out an all Princess Team (but I also want to make sure I’m not facing Mother Gothel at the time).
Overall this is another solid set of characters for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances, a game we are still enjoying and playing regularly. I always enjoy trying out new characters for this game and seeing how the game is evolving over time.
While part of me wishes this expansion included something new for the game, like a new character token (maybe for Chip to pair with Mrs. Potts, or some Merry Men for Robin), or a new type of terrain tile (Sherwood Forest tiles would have fit well), I do appreciate that there’s nothing new to learn here. There aren’t even any new status effects included with this particular set.
This makes At the Ready a great first expansion for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena. I think it would be great for new players or players who may not have been keeping up with the expansions released so far. Based on the buzz online it seems like a lot of people are hyped for Robin Hood in particular and I don’t think anyone picking this up just for Robin will be disappointed.
If you enjoy Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances at all, pick up this expansion at some point. If you aren’t a Sorcerer’s Arena fan already, you can skip it. This expansion doesn’t change the game in any significant way and I doubt it would make someone who didn’t enjoy the original game suddenly like it more.
For me, I was very pleased with the new characters in this set and was particularly impressed by Mrs. Potts. At this point, if you sit down to play Disney Sorcerer’s Arena with me you have twenty different characters to choose from, which is quite impressive for a game that was only released last year!
I can’t wait to see what’s coming next and how the game will continue to evolve.
There you have my thoughts on the latest expansion for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena Epic Alliances. Have you had a chance to try out At The Ready yet? What did you think of Robin, Mulan, and Mrs. Potts? If you have any tips for using these characters (especially Mulan), I would love to read them in the comments below.