Digimon COTD: ShogunGekomon

ShogunGekomon, Is an Ultimate level Digimon with an exceptional body and a support that searches for a Champion.

What’s good about it: Shogungekomon’s strong combination of a good HP, solid attack power distribution, and the powerful attack being Triangle, makes it a difficult opponent to contend. Adding Drain to this mix means the Shogun can stall and support for quite a while if it becomes outmatched. Generally, any Digimon with a high Triangle is tough to beat since you can’t rely on as many tricks. Combine this with the ability to search out Champions to charge DP, exploit Nature’s tactical, well, nature, and you have yourself a recipe for a solid toolbox.

What’s bad about itHaving Drain is a two-edged sword most of the time; it usually means your printed HP is going to be a bit lower than comparably-costed Digimon. Shogungekomon is no exception here—1400 HP puts him right about where a 40 cost Ultimate with Drain should be and no higher. This means most other Ultimates of the same cost are going to steamroll him if he doesn’t commit to Drain in order to hang on until an appropriate support comes along to assist. Additionally, the Champion you search is one your opponent now knows about, so it could be played around if you choose poorly or get stuck in a bad spot.

Tips: Keep an eye out for “Also counts as  type” in other printed frame colors like Monochromon. Make sure you load up your deck with a few reliable Champions that are hard to punish, such as Drimogemon, Galgomon, or Garurumon. Make sure you set up a clear role for evolving to Shogungekomon—using the DP bonus, DNA or neither; otherwise your Champion selection might interfere. Don’t get caught in a Drain-lock for too long, where you can’t afford to play anything but Drain and nothing is fixing it—take a few mulligans to get out of it and start coming back.

Digimon COTD: Level Crush

Level Crush! An evolution card that lets you evolve downward and double your HP.

What’s good about it: It more than refreshes your HP with very little card investment, keeping you going on the same active far longer than usual. It also lets you use your Mega and then evolve when you get low—forever denying the 2 KO points that Megas provide.

What’s bad about it: This card is practically useless when you’re losing, or stuck on Champion. Using it while behind in points could propel you even further behind if the opponent has a solid evolution strategy. The fact that it takes your evolve for the turn can really slow down your game.

Tips: Level crush is best used when you’re running Champions with a lot of health. It is best to avoid using it until you’re low on HP or are above Champion. Having Champions with good Cross abilities like Jamming and Shatter can send the game spiraling into a never ending slog for your opponent. Mix with the card “Mutate” for best results.

Digimon COTD: Chainsaw

Chainsaw. An Option played in the Support phase that triples your power. Then after the battle, if you’re still alive, you go straight to 10 HP.

What’s good about it: What’s great about this Option is how it really helps come back from an absolute pummeling. Especially if used on the opponent’s turn, so you go into your own turn ready to evolve and heal yourself back up.

What’s bad about it: It’s essentially useless with a Drain ability since the 10 HP occurs at the end phase, and doesn’t work at all with Crash or Counter, but few things do. Meaning Chainsaw is for playing it straight: using Circle, Triangle or an attacky-Cross.

Tips: You can get massive numbers if paired with a Cross that has “x3 VS”, which will sextuple them. If used like this versus a Mega level, you can earn 2KOs for the one you will inevitably lose. Securing a dominant position with Chainsaw can only be done if it’s your opponent’s turn when you play it and you can evolve next turn. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up so they can knock you down.

Lightning Epic Variant

Only read the bullet-point lists if you just came here for the rules themselves. My ramblings are not necessary but provide some insights.

Epic Card Game is a pretty wonderful game and has proven that it’s willing to change over time. But one of the things it seems to encourage pretty heavily is extra variants. They add a lot of replay value to the game while we wait for additional sets. Lightning Epic is a variant that came about by pure accident. Back when I first obtained my original copy of base set in 2015 and read the terrible rulebook, we were pretty confused on many of the rules. Thus, it led us to playing several rules slightly incorrectly for some time. The game seemed to be charged with lightning and amazingly deadly—packed with strategy. When we finally learned the real rules about 10 games later, Epic flopped around like a cold, dead fish. See, the problem was that Epic always favors the defender, by allowing them the last word on practically everything. If you play a card and attack, the defender can respond. If they block and you play a card, they can respond. If they pass and you play a card, they can respond. No matter how you try to wiggle in some extra aggro, the defender can always play the control game perfectly.

Lightning Epic changes this. After playing Epic for two solid years with several hundred games under my belt, I’m confident in saying this is my absolute favorite variant of the rules. Only a few changes were made to the core of the game, most of them extremely play tested for compatibility and balance. After seeing the damage that stalling forever until you win is doing to this game, I think Lightning Epic is needed now more than ever. Let’s eliminate the slog! Read more

Chess: The Emperor Has No Clothes

A very popular consensus among the layperson, the educated, and the autodidact alike is that chess (or Go) is the ultimate game of skill and strategy. Being really good at chess (or Go) makes someone appear smarter, more pensive, and is a great shortcut to establishing that a fictional character should be taken seriously when they say anything remotely academic. But are the tropes about chess (…or Go) actually true? Do abstract lifestyle games like chess, Go, or shogi have the tangible value we place upon them as a society? It would certainly seem that dedicated players believe so. I’m here to tell you the emperor (king) has no clothes. Read more