Getting Started With The Digimon Card Game - Part 1
After years without an English language Digimon TCG, we finally got a global release of the latest version of the Digimon Card Game! There have been many different iterations of Digimon TCGs over the years, but this current one looks to be sticking around for a long time as it draws on all series and games in Digimon’s 20 year history.
The aim of the game is to attack your opponent’s Security Stack until they’re all gone, then hit a final time to claim victory while their defences are down.
To do this you create a 50 card deck of Digimon, Tamers and Option cards. You can have 4 copies of a card number, so you can build a deck around your favourite Digimon as there are a lot of different versions of them with different abilities. You also have a Digi-Egg deck made up of 0 - 5 special cards easily noted by their different designed back.
Both players have a Memory Gauge from 0 - 10 which they link together. As you play cards you pay the Memory Cost shifting the Gauge towards your opponent. If at any time during your turn playing a card causes the Memory Gauge to shift past 0 to your opponent’s side, your turn ends. However, since you can attack and play cards at any time during your Main Phase, there is nothing stopping you from attacking first then playing a card to end your turn.
One of these cards is flipped over into your Breeding Area during your Breeding Phase if the area is free. It becomes a level 2 when flipped face up (level 1 being the unhatched egg) but it has no Digimon Power (DP) which is the attack and health of a Digimon. So what’s the point of them? Well you can Digivolve onto this card and when it’s got DP you can shift it up into the Battle Area. Some Digi-Eggs and Digimon have Inherited effects that are only activated when Digivolved over, so you might find a certain egg with an ability you want to build your deck around. The Breeding Area is also a great place to build up your Digimon to their most powerful form as cards in this area cannot be targeted by effects.
Note: You can Digivolve the turn a Digimon comes into play.
The core piece of any deck, Digimon are what you need to attack your opponent. They have different colours and levels that are important to Digivolving.
You can only Digivolve onto a Digimon the next level up or if it allows that colour to Digivolve (normally they share the colour but some more powerful Digimon can be played onto one of two colours as they “DNA Digivolve” like Omnimon). You’ll find the Digivolution Cost and requirements at the top of the card below play cost.
You can also play a Digimon card into the battle area without Digivolving. The higher the level, the higher the Memory Cost. This is a helpful strategy when you have nothing you can Digivolve onto, but also some Digimon have On Play abilities that only activate this way- not if they Digivolve.
These are the human characters from the Digimon world who act as support to your deck. They have a Memory Cost, are played into the Battle Area and have either activated or passive abilities. As you build your deck you’ll want to look out for the abilities that match your play style.
Single use cards that can help you out in a jam, Option cards have a wide range of effects from deleting your opponent’s Digimon, to buffing your’s and some crazy effects. As always, you pay the Memory Cost, but just watch the Gauge as you may buff your Digimon for the turn only to end it before you can attack. Most competitive decks are only playing a few Option cards so if you buy a starter deck and plan to edit it, look to remove the excess here.
Your opponent swings in to attack, but not every Digimon can defend you. Make sure you add some Blockers to your deck to help keep you in the game. About 4 or 5 should be ample. Try to look for level 3 cards that are cheaper to play out, or high level cards that will stay out for a long time.
When your opponent attacks your Security Stack, the card is flipped. Think of this as your firewall if we’re in the Digital World. If the revealed card is a Digimon, the two battle and your Digimon may take down the attacker. If it is an Option card or a Tamer, nothing will happen unless they have a Security Effect. This may delete the attacker or help you out in another way and Tamers get played into the Battle Area for free. But since you have no control over the cards that end up in your Security Stack, make sure they’re playable normally with the rest of your strategy.
More To Come
So far there are 4 expansions of the game in English and 6 Starter Decks. The numbering system may be slightly confusing as we had the Japanese sets 1 - 3 split over 2 expansions over here (ver 1 and 1.5).
I definitely recommend picking up a starter deck as it comes with everything you need to start playing: a deck, Digi-Egg deck, Memory Gauge, rules and even a booster. But if you prefer constructing your own each booster comes with a Memory Gauge too. You can see the range Toasted Magic has HERE (feel free to use the promo code BINGLEBANGBANG at checkout for 5% off your order!)
Check back soon as I get into the different colours and tactics for the Digimon Card Game as well as deck construction with deck lists.
Who’s your favourite Digimon? Personally I love Gabumon so I’ve built a deck around him.