I’ve reviewed card game stuff here before with the Nicol Bolas Archenemy set. Plus, I’ve also talked about Digimon a few times too. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a Digimon TCG currently out so let’s go talk about that.
Before we begin I must point out this is not the first Digimon TCG. When Digimon first hit it big back with the original anime series a rather haphazard and quickly thrown together TCG came out. Pokémon had a TCG that was hugely popular so making one for what was then their biggest competitor made sense. This version even was talked about in the 3rd series known as tamers. BUT as said was kind of rushed together and didn’t last.
In 2020 however, as well as the rebooted version of adventure (the first series) a new TCG of the Digimon franchise came out, roughly the end of the year mind you we were having a global pandemic going on.
I don’t know WHY I decided to start collecting the card game, but I did. It was probably just the nice art and that I was back into Digimon at the time since I didn’t have anyone to play against. There rather wisely was a free app demo to learn how to play the game for mobile devices and all the rules could be found on the official website with it. But anyway, to dip my toe in I bought one of the starter decks and 6 boosters. And to my luck inside one was one of the rarest cards in the set in its alternate art, while my main decks don’t run Beelzemon, I keep him protected because, rare.
Since then I would buy a booster box of a new set when it comes out and after opening them and sleeving the cards that are above rare and storing the rest in the box afterwards for safety. After that I look into what decks I could build. I currently have 3 main strongly built decks but to say what they are I’d have to explain how the game works.
The game has two different decks. A small one containing 4 or 5 Digi egg cards and your main deck of 50 regular cards. after shuffling you put the top 5 cards of your deck up as security. To win the game you must first destroy all your opponent’s security then do a direct attack to them.
Your main deck will contain mainly Digimon but also some cards called options and some of tamers. There are 7 different colours of cards. Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Purple, black and a few white.(white are usually special) Each of these colours has a standard theme. Yellow often involves using the security deck while purple has lots of interactions with the trash pile (discard/graveyard.)
I find the main unique element of the game is not the digivolving of Digimon into stronger forms but the use of the memory bar. Rather than having your own resource bar for playing cards, the memory bar is shared by both players. Playing cards or digivolving has a cost which is paid in memory. What is strategic is that if your memory goes below 0 it ends your turn and your opponent starts their turn. As such you can affect how much your opponent can do in their turn depending on what you play, and then vice versa. This can create a critical Risk Reward scenario.
While I, as far as I’m aware, know scant few people who play the game in Orkney I still make the decks in hopes of getting a few games to play with people as those times I did get to play with others I had so much fun. The real tension in later game is what could be an end game move faces another, as the last few shields remain. I was Very lucky in a trip to Aberdeen for Comic Con this year I stumbled upon some people playing the game and just in case this happened I brought one of my own decks. The joy of being able to play against others. Even when losing I enjoyed it as the game got so tense and it did feel like it could swing from who was winning to the next rather than someone blasting out an early combo that just gave them too much a lead to make the game unfun (cough.. Magic the Gathering Commander… cough).
For the sake of this review I played against myself as the photos should show and even in that game a deck that I initially thought was far behind at the start managed to turn around and win, facing down multiple copies of the other decks big Digimon, both playing at full.
While watching videos on the mistakes of TCGs I learned that there was often a fate that most TCGs only last 2 years. Digimon is well into its third and I do hope it keeps going. The game having advanced from admittedly basic but fun, to now having far more complicated strategies, Hybrids that digivovle from Tamers. Digimon that digivolve for free by combining two Digimon already on the table, some decks that play completely differently from normal like D Reaper and Royal Knights. As more sets come out with New versions of previously printed Digimon and some old obscure favorites showing after years. I want to see more, I want to play more. I have plans for two more decks boiling in my brain as I write this. How good will they be? I don’t know but I know I’ll have fun.