New design philosophy permeates this year’s big errata. There are literal hundreds of erratas, many for effects, balancing, styling, evo-boxes, and especially art. This time, I won’t be able to list them. Instead, I’ve prepared a set of highly important changes plus some new art samples. By the way, the Tumblr had explanations of these art while we worked on the release. So if you don’t know, the VMundi Tumblr is where we do the “making of” and let our hair down a little. Check it out. Now that we can do a lot of much better, more expressive, higher-fidelity, and more varied art, the game will be shifting focus in that direction. There are 3 types of errata showcased below: changed identity (name or concept), art synchronization (to the original PS1 concepts), or upgraded art, usually from something bad or randomly found.
The all-important identity changed cards have name changes, which is very important. Consult this list so you’re aware of these changes. This is similar to the “Mugendramon”, “Atlaskabuterimon”, et al changes before.
The first medium-sized set in almost 2 years! TOY marches in 50-cards strong, packed with new strategies, tough choices, a new card type, and new mechanics.
50 New game cards
New card type: Mastery, 2 cards
New mechanic keyword: Turbo
Upgraded art style from old cards
9 Level R
7 Level C
9 Level U
3 Level M
16 Option cards
3 DATA cards
Powerful effects but opponent choice
Card types and abilities are reinforced from prior releases!
6 Grudge attack ability
6 Attach cards
4 (all) Dark Masters by popular request
1 Firewall themed for each Dark Master
DATA cards for each Dark Master
2 new Ruler Digimon
5 Mamemon family cards
19 share a Digimon name with others
Effects that passively apply from the DP zone
Gone are the days of sparse evolution-boxes, or generic DP cost bonuses; in with more names, and more unique bonuses. The DOT style returns for 2 cards and the art is better than other sets overall, I hope. Within the theme, TOY features many Digimon that are puppets or have a connection to puppets and toys. A secondary, yet intersecting theme is a completion of the Dark Masters from Digimon Adventure: Pierrotmon, Pinnochimon, and DATA and Firewall cards themed on each Dark Master. A tertiary theme is mutant Digimon, because artificial Digimon and mutations coincide. Finally, the missing members of the Mamemon family make their Debut: Metalmamemon, Bigmamemon (twice each) and Catchmamemon returns in 3D glory.
If you’re still getting used to them, the 3 new symbols make a return as well.
— Attach. Signifies a card that can be attached. All magenta text after this symbol is active when attached.
— Permanent effect. When you see this on a Mastery or evolution box, it denotes a permanent effect which continually applies until voided or removed from its zone. Some cards may specifically void this symbol, in which case permanently void permanent effects, as though they were cards. Armadillomon and Clear Wall will remind players to void effects with that symbol permanently.
— Opponent. This is simply the word “opponent” compressed for space and ease-of-reading. It is intended to resemble a target and the letter O, for “target opponent”.
1 Mastery may be optionally included in a player’s Destiny Zone during deck construction and counts toward the deck size limit. Apply all permanent and passive effects at all times unless being voided or is removed from the zone. These bring some immediate effects to decks that want a certain play style, with an upside and some downside trade-off.
I hope everyone’s still excited from the late October promos. As we welcome the harsh winter with solemn contemplation, let’s also celebrate that the Pendulum Zs have made their way into the hands of many happy people. Hopefully, they can be little packets of joy. I know I got a full set of wave 1 and they’re very fun! So here’s a super-early card for the Pendulum Z wave 2, Tropiamon! It’s a harsh, poisonous monstrosity that makes certain attack abilities completely unusable. Tropiamon is a vote for a more nail-biting game with counters and to-zero, and shuns self-satisfying nonsense like Jamming, Draw, and Crash. Look out Mystimon… And on top of that, it sports the new Grudge (hypocrite), and has a devastating bonus stopping all opponent HP recovery effects; plus being able to recycle any 1, which is super powerful and nicely sets up supporting from the top of the deck with your best trashed card, even if it’s your ACE!
Yesterday, I hinted that the pointy hats may not be over. It’s still Samhain, so let’s go. Stepping over the hedge of the Otherworld as a complete wizard, Mystimon makes its appearance! Mistymon? Mysticmon? Whatever, it’s mystical and from Witchelny! Let’s dive right into the new stuff it has.
Evo-box first: The odd thing you may notice is “Wi-mon” and “So-mon” both Level C. The rules for quotation names is that you substitute the “-” part for anything or nothing. So “Wi-mon” for example would be Witchmon or Wizardmon. If it had “Devi-mon”, then Devimon and Devidramon work. The actual permanent effect allows you to change its cross ability every Strategy phase, right at the start. You can pick from any attack ability in the DZ. So if you had BIT-006 Hyogamon in there, you could change your ability into Counter (of course, your Power is now 0 as usual). Bear in mind, that change is a lingering effect and will dissipate at the end phase. But this works to your advantage in case you want its x3 VS back! You can always pick another ability next turn. Here’s a list of what Digimon exist that you can use this with:
All with pointy hats of course. Rulers can’t evolve from normal types, so using names is necessary. Don’t forget they also can’t be played as Abnormal (hence no stat block).
Support effect and Active effect: You may notice some odd stuff going on here. The bubble number ① and ② were added to help with clarity because its box is a bit confusing without them. Both the numbers and the cyan text denote a break in effect. If you SUPPORT, you get ①, and both players will have their power become the same as their HP. Basically, more powerful Crash but…for everyone. So play it at the right time. This is very much the feeling of Nightmare effects!
For effect ② (cyan text), use this from the Active spot like any other Passive ability. When your active is Mystimon, you’ll be able to Discard 1 Option as a cost to then draw a different option from your trash. Spellcycling! You can only use this during times on your own support phase when you can play a card though, so right at the start of the phase and when you are supporting that turn too. Try to think of some interesting combos and bear its limitations in mind.
If you want to know the interesting story behind how I did this art, tumblr post.
SIX! Six Samhain holiday promos. Who is on sixth? It’s Wizardmon, just popped through the gateway from Witchelny and ready to try a new array of spells. It has a pretty special lineup of effects. Firstly, it has two attack abilities which aid in casting. Wizardmon’s is lightning elemental, for critical damage against airborne types. But the is “Magical Game“, its card-throwing ability that messes with randomness and entropy—appropriately giving you some nifty corruption to control your opponent’s draws. Its evo-bonus signifies Wizardmon having some time to cast enchantments and wards after evolving, including the unique ability to create a magical barrier voiding all effects (evo-bonuses), though it’s only strong enough to ward off Level C Digimon.
The real draw is its Support. Both players get Grudge and pick any attack for their new grudge. Nightmare type has a tendency to use powerful effects but…on both players. In this case, you try to guess what attack your opponent used, both attack orders don’t meaningfully change, and then if you guess right you get doubled power and set revival equal to that power. Normally the power and revival are either/or. But the effect continues! “KO’s don’t end Battle this turn.” means what it says. If either Digimon is KO’d, don’t immediately skip to the Battle Phases’ “Check for a Digimon KO” step. Instead, you proceed with any remaining attacks that weren’t skipped due to Counter. Yes, bear that in mind—Counter doesn’t let you double-dip on attacks if you also succeed with Grudge. In fact, only 1 attack would occur that turn (using the opponent’s damage against them). So let’s see what fun and creative ways you can use Wizardmon!
This concludes the Samhain pointy-hat promo run. Or does it?
Only 4 days till Samhain! And with that, we have a fifth holiday promo—Blue Comet. Witchmon’s broom from the world of Witchelny is an incredibly fast, dimension-crossing transport. If you need a new partner right away, just air drop one in! Blue Comet lets you pretend a Level R you have is like a partner. If you’re out of DZ evolution targets, it’ll still let you use it as a very limited Digivice for Level C evolution from hand (that’s the small text). Since its so similar to Data Hijack, you could potentially have both in the same deck and really flesh out your partner-like experience. Bear in mind, while Hijack looks through the deck and gives DP, this ignores type and gives an evo-bonus.
Another Digimon, another witchy hat. This is the fourth Samhain holiday card, rising from the grave with an army of magically-enchanted souls is…well, Soulmon! This is not quite as weak as the other version of Soulmon, nor as cheap. Grudge makes another return, as the necromantic magicks embedded in Soulmon’s code are highly appropriate for such an ability. But since it’s a master of death magic, many enhancements and wards are set up around its presence. When KO’d (during an evo-bonus), it is worth -1 point as long as it has revival set. Grudge provides easy access, but so does Miracle Ruby, Neodevimon, and others. While you may not plan on losing with this Digimon, but such a threat is always in use even when it is not being played, and can therefore influence opponent choices when they have an easy KO with circle. For the Support ability…no comment. Find your own fun!
The third promo for the Samhain holiday is… Sorcerymon! Fine-tuned caster joins us from the alternate Digital World of Witchelny. Their sorcerers use a programming language that’s abstract enough, it basically resembles the spoken and written word. Spells. It’s spells. Sorcerymon loads up its spellbook with the support ability, straight from your Destiny Zone! Choose your effects wisely, since it means every decked copy of this sorcerer could be any one of up to 3 different spells.
A new Samhain holiday promo card has arrived, pointy hat included! Ghostmon crawls out of the shadows of ruined buildings in a decaying forest. This is a new Digimon from the Pendulum Z, but we created our own DOT art anyway. Yeah, it was teased in the evo-box of the last promo. It’s quite loaded up with a high-endurance body, the ever-present new Grudge ability to revive from death and hit hard, an unprecedented Crash power on Level R, the ability to wipe out an opponent’s attachment, and a constant flatten source. To top it off, the section at the top makes Ghostmon able to fit in any decks that could use Candlemon!
In the weeks leading up to everyone’s favorite holiday, here’s a special promo. Question: Since Witchmon’s magic is a programming language, does her capability still increase during this time of year when the barrier between the Other World gets weaker? She is from Witchelny.
If you’re looking for how Flatten works, check this article.
How it all started
In Digimon World, you could inflict an LCD status effect on an enemy Digimon called “Flat”. It reduced their 3D model to a DOT sprite like in the v-pets and caused them to use a weak attack. It seems pretty appropriate to include for any 3D Digimon game that wants to include DOT sprites as with set Bit Depth. At the time, I already had this mechanic planned but no theming. So reducing the opponent’s dimensions one by one until they pop out of existence made a lot of sense. Originally, the balance was centered around having to obtain 4 instances of flatten. This didn’t test well. It took far too long to 4-hit-KO even when it can pierce evolutions. The next step was to tweak that number until it felt right in many many games. There was one point where I was torn between requiring 3 flattens and a regular damage hit versus 4 flattens and I ended up just including both due to how supports could be used to add more flats. The 3 flats with damage requirement was slightly too powerful while 4 as a fixed amount was way too slow without a constant supply of support-based flatten.
The case of 3+Damage was easy to fix: simply turn off the ability to KO from the damage unless that player attacked first. Being able to guarantee a 3+Damage flat on second attack meant the opponent was doomed and you could effectively play a support or two and guarantee a win without interacting much. That’s the kind of thing I hate most in games unless the opponent was already at an advantage to start with. They shouldn’t still guarantee that KO if I have the advantage! But of course, that weakened flatten in so many cases where you happened to start the rhythm of adding flats such that you get second attack on that damage turn. In the end, the perfect solution was to allow both situations. If you ended up giving 3 flattens and have the second attack, now is the time to try and get that final flatten by adding in a support.
Small note: Because I know someone will ask, the flatten happens after damage is dealt. So if you have the cross ability at the start of this post, you would deal the damage first then flatten after. Meaning you can’t go from the opponent having 2 flats and simply hit them with your cross for a win!
For some reason, at the last minute I made a huge mistake and changed the number of flats required to 3 or 2+damage as was the final rule. I had been very worried about the balance of such a mechanic for some time and flip-flopped many times during development. But I think it could also be because a playtester came across a fast-evolving deck they absolutely couldn’t beat with the requirements and always lacked enough flats to get any KOs before its actual damage would’ve caused the KOs. They tracked what would’ve happened if they supported with Power boosting and used deadly attacks instead of their special but weak flatten attacks. This was a bad move on my part because it was close to release and made flat a bit too fast for some matchups. This is a very hard mechanic to balance since HP is a variable factor that makes some Digimon harder to KO than others. Flatten is the great equalizer. If your opponent is a huge tank, flatten is great. If they’re a tiny flea, flatten sucks compared to damage. The thing is, your card actually has both. Meaning you can always use whichever is most advantageous! But this person was maybe approaching it in the wrong way. I was later able to test the same matchup (and many similar ones) by simply pivoting to damage when necessary. I found two things wrong with the original test report: you can’t always just pivot to your deadly attack and that means flatten attacks had low risk with high reward (so the “if I used damage” tracking wasn’t accurate); and you can sometimes pivot to deadly attacks which meant getting more KOs (which means they should’ve just done it). It does suck to lose your flat progress during the game by switching to damage. But a KO is a KO. You take it if you can.
How do we stop this crazy train?
After the last minute change, I did at least add a rule where you could remove flats from your Digimon by evolving at a higher cost. This worked well in some late testing and may have been the only mitigating factor that stopped the launch from being awful. But two radical wrong moves do not perfectly cancel out to a right move. I just got lucky this time. The big problem was it broke the DP tuning in every deck it faced. Most players just evolved by DP at the time and largely ignored Evolution cards (my fault—the evolve phase was complicated and those cards were sometimes underpowered). But I do consider this an overall net positive for me as a designer because I was able to quickly find the stress points in the game where it breaks down. This was never meant to be a game so heavily reliant on perfect DP tuning. It’s just one mechanic in a field of so many. I saw why it was breaking down and that gave me insight into how evo-boxes were overused and how the DP cost reduction bonus was also over-used. Once players had to add that reduced 10 DP cost back in, decks essentially evolved at the speed they were meant to without evo-bonuses. This made games a lot closer and reduced snowballing significantly…except versus flatten decks. So now, my goal is to make cards and erratas that do something other than pure DP cost bonuses and make flatten a bit slower as was originally intended. This game isn’t intended to be super fast, flashy, and have tons of effects flying around everywhere!
Digimon Battle Evolution is a game where the most common number of powerful effects you get per turn is 1. There are ways to extend it such as with evo-bonuses, Evolve phase card play, and Any phase card play, but the absolute most common and intended experience is one major effect per turn. In TCGs with alternate win conditions, you usually suffer a failure if any of the following happen: The opponent plays a bunch of cards that tilt the game’s favor away from you; you brick combining your cards for the alt-win due to chance; or it was designed poorly. This makes alternate win conditions in most games either overpowered (when those factors are eliminated) or unreliable.
For this reason and many others, I tend to shy away from creating game wins that weren’t originally intended. Games tend to systemically fail if you don’t go with the flow. But in DBE, Flatten doesn’t actually provide an alternative win, just a new method to the existing win condition. It’s like if HP didn’t reset on evolution. If that were the case, you’d need some complicated process to take the difference between your old printed HP and new printed HP and add that to your current HP. This could obviously be very annoying to figure out in-game. Plus it could cause very swingy games as players get hammered. That might lead to lots of decks being played that primarily stall. Stalling is not fun. Just as alt-win conditions are often not fun to have played at you, too much stalling also means you don’t get to play. For every “take that!” mechanic in these sorts of games, there has to be some negotiating factor on behalf of the designer to make sure the game stays fun for both players. Flatten is a mechanic that can pierce through a stall deck because screw those things.
So it feels good now (as it did up to about a month before release) but the way you actually track flats in-game…ugh. You used to pull a blind card from the top of your deck and that was your flat token. Neither player could look at it. Why did I do this? Because I was desperately trying to avoid adding auxiliary tracking tokens into the game. I like when a game is simple to carry around and repurposes its cards for many uses. DBE already does this with Digimon cards: They have stats for battle, evo-bonuses for small effects, supports for big effects, and +P to help evolution. I try to put as much of the games work on the card itself so players can get to the good stuff. But flat wasn’t built into the game at first, so I didn’t have an intuitive way to track it. That irrational hatred of little coins or tokens to track flatten became an annoyance to decks that recycle, recode, or otherwise mess with the top of their deck. And it essentially made flatten incompatible with corrupt as a mechanic and half the card “Lucky Banquet”. Plus, you’d go to take a card from your deck with some search effect and figure out a key component to win was stuck face-down as a flat token.
Due to the subtle decision trees players follow in the game to mulligan, it actually meant that flatten would hit Aces, Firewalls, Partners, and other power cards much more often than if by pure chance. You typically won’t mulligan your hand if those power cards are present and typically will if in a bind and they’re not present. This means your very decision structure sort-of filters the good stuff to the top faster. All a flatten player has to do is hit with flatten during the midgame. This was already a concept used in decks that trash cards but at least that mechanic was designed to achieve that card denial. And it was soft-denial in that there are effects to take stuff out of the trash. In the end, I had to admit I was wrong and just require players to bring flat tokens to each game. It’s not a big deal anyway since flatten is not an effect you throw into any old deck (again, similar to trashing).
Click here to also download a printable TIF at 300 DPI, ~1 inch.
The end of the beginning
Now the only hard parts left are how much to support the damn mechanic! When you introduce a new mechanic into a game, it’s best to try and populate it heavily but also not overwhelm one set of cards with it, or else everything will feel lopsided. Usually, the solution is a big-ish set release with about 20% of your cards being peppered with it uniformly. Since Bit Depth was a big Marine release, it was the obvious primary choice to kickstart the population of the effect—incidentally, BIT has 70 cards with 14 originally printed with flatten, exactly 20%. Nature was originally my second choice since it too was very prominent but I backtracked this immediately during the first round of card tests due to interference with Nature’s normal mechanics—that “master plan” they do with all of the tactical conditions. I ruled Dragon out because smashing things is their deal, not flattening and a good half of the BIT Dragons were also Nature. Jungle was a terrible fit since you’d get so powerful from fast evolutions that you would prefer defense rather than a slower offensive mechanic. It later became the counter to flatten itself once DP-healing was added—making Jungle even worse since it would be its own mirror match counter. Or maybe that’s better. I don’t really know. Enigma is oversaturated with mechanics (especially in BIT which added Static) and should never be allowed to KO that easily with its deliberately weak Level Cs. In the end, Nightmare was the better secondary fit due to its heavy focus on disruption effects and game flow control.
But then more problems. Always more problems. I was designing something that literally flattened the game’s flow after all. A game primarily designed to have variable flow as a primary mechanic, to reverse snowballing and allow players themselves to evolve during the fight! Like if DBE wasn’t free, all that weaving and changing would be the selling point. So the new problem is that I have my 20% (spread among Cross abilities and Support effects) but now every card with a flatten effect is only good in a flatten deck. When I designed “Shatter”, it had the same problem which I fixed by giving it the power reduction effect with the attachment-breaking. Flatten is already too complicated for heaping such extra garbage onto the pile and too bespoke to leave as it is. The solution was actually pretty easy. When you playtest a rough mechanic, always leave multiple alternative rules open to yourself and see which ones you use the most often. Before, I did that with the number of flats required to KO in order to find the right balance. Doing it again, I could just change the Supports into “OR” with some other useful effect! Costing that properly was pretty easy too. It’s just the same as any other OR.
Cross specials had to be changed in a slightly more complicated way. The first thing was removing Flat from ALL non-Marine cross attacks except a couple which I will explain. Since flatten isn’t very good on its own, it needs a huge body to support it in the form of Level U or M—and Level M prefers to guard its precious 2 KO points rather than spend all day trying to get a KO in the slowest way possible. Personally, I also didn’t like how it removed the tense and interesting interactions with trying to decide between a deadly but risky Circle attack and a boring but reliable Triangle attack. You take all the guesswork out with that super-hard to punish but weak special Cross. This can be fine at lower levels, but M? That’s the end of the line. Literally, in Japanese “Kyuukyoku” or upper limit; zenith; ultimate. There’s nowhere left to look forward to, so it’s time to get down to business and really lay on the hurt. Flatten is primarily balanced for the Level C portion of the game and secondarily for fighting against Level U+ or between two unevenly matched Level Us. Since Marine was so populous, it could stay on their attacks as long as their HP was very high (which it is), since that wouldn’t detract too much if they were simply placed into a non-flatten Marine deck. That one card could still KO through Flatten just fine due to its heavy endurance.
As for the other oddball cases where something isn’t Marine but has the Flatten…remember how its the great equalizer? Well if you’re Level R, it’s similar to getting x3 VS. This means most Level Rs with x3 VS in either Marine or Nightmare could be substituted for a type-based Flatten. There’s tradeoffs. If you wouldn’t stay on the Level R and stick out that full KO, you pretty much lose all your progress without any support. But you do have the opportunity to stick it out with some protection due to how the damage persists after evolution. So x3 VS is preferred against a slower deck since the damage sticks after you evolve. But Flatten is preferred against the faster decks (funny enough) since you have a chance to keep the Flat point or scare the opponent into removing it at a cost. This makes Tapirmon potentially very bad in a deck without protection but potentially good too if you can pull off a bluff that you’re really going for Flatten KOs. Of course, x3 VS is in a similar boat to Flatten already, given that both are conditional on some opposing type or having extra support to finish the job. Because of this, it can be costed similarly but with great caution. The other example was Minotaurmon but it’s special. Firstly, Minotaurmon exists in 3 types so future flatten support scales very well with it. Secondly, it’s an unconditional Flat, so it’s an all-in-one solution. There’s never a dead case for the Flat that wouldn’t be universal to all flats.
So what’s the solution going forward? I initially wanted to sprinkle Flat support into every future set but that’s proving harder than I anticipated. Most sets just don’t have such lopsided release support for one type and are large enough. It doesn’t fit well into auxiliary sets because they’re small. Except for Nightmare or Marine. Nightmare still needs more but more Marine just compounds the problem of lopsided flatten. There are very few large-ish sets planned and those don’t have lopsided types, so I’d have to sprinkle the Flatten in uniformly, hoping to make future support. That makes those cards feel bad in the meantime. It may be that Marine and Nightmare get future Flatten attack abilities but everyone else gets Supports with “OR” clauses. Whatever the case may be, I’m looking forward to solving this puzzle as with so many others during my time designing Digimon Battle Evolution.
The final thing I should say is I hope people have fun with flatten. I saw several players enjoying it even with the rough release. Hopefully that experience is smoother now and can be expanded in the future.
Before the next errata list drops and an upcoming set is released, I’d like to give everyone a couple of cards to play around with that I think are pretty interesting.
There are also 2 new symbols created to make player’s lives a lot easier. In the past, there has been confusion about which evo-boxes give effects permanently (like Power changes) and which are one-and-done. With all new cards (and any that happen to be errata’d in the future), evo-boxes with permanent effects will have the Permanent symbol, denoted by a stylized lemniscate . These are only found in evo-boxes for bonuses, so other permanent effects won’t have the symbol.
The second symbol is to denote an opponent, marked by this target-looking thing . Originally, the “opponent” symbol was only needed for evo-boxes to both save space and clear up confusion about whether an effect is you, your opponent, or both players, but will now also be used in all effect boxes on any new cards. The word is just used so often that unlike permanent effects, I see no reason to make it specialized. This should save a lot of room, clear up a lot of confusion, and increase reading comprehension.
Both symbols’ meaning have also been added to the rules page.
New effect: GRUDGE.
Sounds menacing right? Grudge is the middle answer to threatening a particular attack between “to zero” and “counter”. It works the following way:
/ / Grudge: An attack ability or effect (granted similarly to Counter), which makes you attack second, double your Power against the specified attack, and revive with your Power as HP if you’re KO’d by that attack.
In technical terms, here’s how you play it during the Battle Phase when attack abilities resolve:
Get a stack of 2nd Attack. This is like removing a stack of 1st Attack, including if it’s your turn. It doesn’t make you guaranteed to attack last like Counter.
If used the attack specified on Grudge, double own Power.
If KO’d when an opponent used the Grudged attack, revive with HP equal to your Grudge attack’s Power. Do not revive if that Power is 0. Note, you would not still get to attack after revival since that timing has passed. Revival happens after attacks.
It’s like a real grudge. You predict what attack your opponent will use, get a power boost, and insure yourself against KO. The opponent still receives a KO point as with any revival. In fact, the revive part follows all revival rules including a Level M no longer counting as 2KOs after that revival. Because the 2nd Attack of Grudge is not permanent as with Counter, you can still use the “1st Attack” ability to sort of cancel-out that effect and go by turn order. When you play Grudge, try to imagine your Digimon taking it to the face and having the poise to come back with something fierce, even if it’s from the grave. That should give a clear image of what’s intended. This can severely curb someone’s attempt to KO with a specific attack, such as a Circle which can 2-hit-KO your Digimon when it has Circle Grudge. Like a “to zero” or “counter” effect, this introduces an element of risk and prediction. This can also be an interesting way to punish 1st Attack, since that’s normally used to ensure a KO.
It’s time this one had a wee bit of an update. Millenniumon’s DATA card has been heavily contentious since its release (and before its release frankly). There’s an obvious bug that needed plugged with this little blighter for quite a while. Thanks to user Darkness for motivating me to finally solve the problem :)
The bug: Mulligan your hand until you get this on turn one. Fetch your ACE, Partner, Firewall or any 2 cards that will allow you to set up. Your mulliganed trash goes back into the deck. Your only sacrifice was evolving to Mega, which may not even be necessary if you grabbed Download and any Level U.
The fix: Firstly, let’s put a stop to mulligan breakage. Mulligans are intended to be risk-reward, at least for a while until you can get some other cards to replenish the deck (provided this is your style). A clause was inserted that you (Do not use if you mulligan this turn). Following that, we double down on restrictions by forcing a player to pick 1 from the trash and 1 from the deck. The whole idea behind shuffling the trash back in before picking was to allow seamless picking from either zone. In this case, we’ll restrict access to the cards you want so that you have to wait till mid/late game if you want to get two nice cards for the price of a data-break.
The future: Going forward, will this fix the inherent problem? It’s difficult to say. Searching effects are always very powerful in any strategy game. It’s appropriately costed as long as a perfect early play isn’t possible with that cost (no late-cost is ever enough to equal a perfect early opening in any game). One possible existing exploit is to use repeated mulligan to get this card again, then wait one round to activate it and do something similar to what you would before the fix. Maybe not exactly the same, since you won’t have access to 2 from the deck and therefore how much you mulligan actually matters (notably, if this card is later in your deck, you’re punished less in this case). However, it can’t be denied that this will hamstring powerful opens such as Download+Ultimate, Partner, ACE, and so on. More to the point: this will give an opponent a turn to respond. One of the picks is now visible from the trash and therefore can be anticipated. Plus, they can now aggressively mulligan for their blocking/counter play. Only time can tell if this will be enough to curb the madness of Millenniumon.
If you have anything to add, don’t hesitate to reach out and leave a comment!
For those of you who use Tabletop Simulator: the module will not immediately be updated, so please use this post as reference material until then.
The first of the small, approximately 10-card supplementary sets is here: Auxiliary Set A (or XA for short). This symbolizes a switch to a smaller set format so that I can actually release these as a solo creator more rapidly without having to make massive, difficult-to-playtest, sets every year or so. The intent is also to theme them around some central idea. This set’s theme: Dracomon! You’re getting reprints of Dracomon, Coredramon (bringing the total to 3), Groundramon, Wingdramon, and Examon. There are also 2 new DATA, a new Evolution, and 2 new Megas that were sorely needed. The gallery has been updated with these cards too.
You may notice the new Attachment icon in XA-008. Pay attention to that because it will be how attachments are handled going forward! Anything after that icon in the #fa498b;">magenta text is the ability given once it’s in an attachment slot. It may also be used going forward for other purposes such as “Trash 1 [attachment]”. Cards with that icon in their text will be considered “attachment” cards, much like how Ace and Firewall keywords are used to identify those types of cards. For now, there are no plans to retroactively change every card that attaches in the game but I’m trying this out as the new patter going forward. The rules have been updated to include the new icon’s definition. It may take some time for me to update the site’s icon font so it can be displayed.
Most decks try to pick a specific focus and exploit it to its maximum, maybe tossing in some cards that shore up weaknesses. In the Jade Library, you will instead find a catalogue of toys for almost any situation right at your fingertips. By relying on the extreme speed and respectable draw in Jungle, this deck can load the trash with useful Digimon supports and load the active zone with a powerful ultimate in no time. This is a toolbox of the brute force variety and is incredibly dauntless—most of the deck’s effects revolve around preventing the opponent from affecting it.
For high skill players, this deck is packed with ways to take advantage of specific situations and force edge cases when brute force isn’t enough. Cherrymon, Knowledge Crest, and Super Evolve are built-in toolboxes. Much of the rest of the deck is dedicated to drawing cards, power gain, racking DP, or exploiting evo-bonuses multiple times. Bladekuwagamon, Vegiemon, Moxie, and Knowledge Crest are all valid attachments; so more experienced players should take note of when they might have to free up a future attachment slot to pivot their strategy.
Primary type: (30)
Rare types: (2) | Lesser types: (1) Entirely weak to Jungle x3 VS, with extremely rare other weaknesses.
Suggested pre-setup side choices:
Prioritize removing these particular cards in the pre-setup. Adjust to your matchup.
This pre-setup removal will prioritize saving blow-out cards for later game. A more offensively focused pre-setup might remove 3 Cherrymon’s Mist and keep Behemoth, Metal Parts, and Disrupt Ray instead. This could allow for some early KOs in critical matchups.
See visual list for specific card versions whenever ambiguous.
Level R: 11
4 Mushroomon – Great support which heals and racks DP. Used for many of the champion evo-bonuses.
4 Lalamon – Uniquely powerful support which may double high-damage attacks or Drain attacks for more defense. Has +30P and activates several crucial evo-bonuses.
2 Palmon – Primarily used for a few evo-bonuses and as a backup +30P rack. Occasionally useful support when an opponent manages to get ahead.
1 DokunemonPartner – This is our partner. The innate support can be used excellently with all the Drain in this deck as well as the Mega’s 1st Attack, plus it draws a card.
Level C: 12
3 Sunflowmon – Primary beater at this level. This deck mostly caters to diversity over consistency, so it’s important to note that this is used at 3 copies. The DP discounts are incredible, especially combined with Plug-In A. It has incredible HP, nearly on par with Whamon. Its support has type-fixing and gives 1st Attack. Finally, Sunflowmon gives +30P rack, which is necessary.
2 Bladekuwagamon – The attachment is incredibly useful for stopping recursion decks (like this one). This also sports Jamming and +30P.
1 J-Mojyamon – One of a long line of evo-bonuses that draw cards. In this case, both players will draw 2, so beware of this potential downside. On the field, it has the capability to attach from hand which will make attachments much faster and able to skip taking up a Support phase. Its own support is incredibly useful since it allows recycle and doubles Cross, which is often Drain.
1 Vegiemon – Primarily in the deck for its attachment since the body isn’t amazing nor is the Shatter. This is a great combo with all of the first waves of Digimon support effects before you attach a Knowledge Crest and begin re-using them.
1 Igamon – The evo-box recurs any Digimon in the discard pile allowing for premature re-use. In addition, it sports some of the deck’s rare 1st Attack. Generally, this deck’s HP will be higher due to the heavy amount of healing, so the support should give Jamming and rack DP very often. This effectively increases the deck’s void count by one.
1 Togemon – Since the extra Drain on cross is rare, it’s suggested not to evolve to Togemon. Use the +30P and the support to gain a powerful Drain on any attack. This deck can afford the DP loss easily.
1 Dokugumon – A very useful body for the active zone with high HP, power, a devastating Cross when used correctly and can be cheap with the evo-bonus. As a support, it’s a slightly weaker Lucky Mushroom which helps with adding even more heal to the deck.
1 Kabuterimon – Very good body but is primarily used for the Any Phase snipe ability to get a surprise KO. This is also usable with Knowledge Crest since the timing will apply to Support as well, therefore it’s possible to deal 100 damage from the hand, recur it using some other method (such as Igamon evo-bonus), deal another 100, then support with it from Knowledge Crest for a total of 300 damage before the battle phase. The potential of Kabuterimon in a deck with a lot of re-use is pretty heavy.
Level U: 7
3 Cherrymon – Generally used for its support to grab a Champion or Ultimate from the deck which is necessary for the moment. It has a rather weak body but packs some type-hate and Jamming, which should free up your supports to do things other than void.
2 Blossomon – Support has good protection and some power gain, which can be especially useful for all of the Drain in the deck. Its own body is respectable but with an incredibly high 290 Drain. Coupled with much of the power boosting effects in this deck, that Drain should be able to negate ultimate-level deadly attacks almost every turn. Its evo-bonus is a high enough amount of draw that a Plug-In A or Moxie is worth the effort here.
2 Atlaskabuterimon – Primarily used for the void, cheap evolution cost, and name for Herc’s evo-bonus. Can be a good ultimate in a pinch. Atlas’ void is one of the most powerful Digimon sourced voids in the game, acting like a Firewall that merely makes your attack weaker for a turn.
2 Plug-In A – Since this deck often uses evo-bonuses but not always, and each bonus tends to be draw-related, it makes sense to include a way to activate all of them or even double-activate some. This is especially useful with Blossomon, Igamon or J-Mojyamon. The added bonus of discarding an opponent’s DP when combined with the speed of this deck makes the opponent trip hard and can stick them on Champion for several turns while you ascend to Mega quickly.
2 Masquerade – Try to save this for Herculeskabuterimon’s draw 4 if possible by changing a non-Atlas to Atlas. If you’re dry on DP and have Atlas in hand, change their name to Ookuwamon and DNA to Hercules. The trash 2 effect is a minor bonus this deck doesn’t use much.
1 Super Evolve –ACE Pick any ultimate from the deck for the current situation. Often used to get Blossomon in general. Atlaskabuterimon is worthwhile when you don’t have a Masquerade for Blossomon so it can activate Hercules’ evo-box and draw 4. Cherrymon can be a useful option to jam each turn or when facing against Nightmare or Nature opponents.
3 Cherrymon’s MistFIREWALL – Solid firewall that’s never bad. This gives the deck the maximum void-for-value and can protect from pesky cross abilities. Stay aware that it can be used for the end-turn of the game to guarantee a sure-KO.
1 Knowledge Crest – Used to re-support with all your existing Digimon that (hopefully) have already been used to their maximum potential, as well as catching the few that were used to rack DP.
1 Moxie – This attachment should be placed early and often to make the most out of its evo-box granting powers. Especially devastating when combined with Plug-In A.
1 Mega Disk – Try to wait until either a Vending Machine is in hand or the active has the Mega, so that Mega Disk has no cost. At that point, it can be re-used multiple times if properly set up.
1 Silver Ball – Nearly staple leveler of playing fields.
1 Behemoth – Behemoth is incredibly defensive when combining Shatter with Drain and the bonus power. Multiple Digimon in this deck can negate a whole attack from an ultimate-level base attack. With 1st Attack, it may be tough to get a KO due to the weaker bodies (until Mega) but still worth keeping as sleeper hit due to much of the power boosting effects that can be played in the turns before this. Especially useful with shatter for removing opposing Magic Word so your Digimon supports stop being voided.
1 Metal Parts – This is a devastating card. In a deck like this where the hand size is rarely below 4 before its played, Metal Parts should be giving quad or even quint damage in most cases. When combined with a lot of the healing, you should be free to play this on the opponent’s turn and draw 1. It’s possible to have 1200+ Drain with this card, allowing a one-shot of most Digimon and recovering so much health that it becomes daunting to attempt to KO. Given that this deck draws incessantly, recovering that loss would be trivial.
1 Disrupt Ray – Very useful (if correctly predicted) for forcing the use of Cross to ensure the safety of your own Digimon, especially if combined with Drain or Jamming. This could effectively read “lose a turn” for opponents in some situations. At Mega level, it turns into a guard against opponents using Cross to stop Herc’s huge Circle or guarantees his 1st Attack final KO.
1 Vending Machine – This should be a given due to the mechanics of this deck. Vending Machine will recycle cards that hit the trash too early such as Knowledge Crest plus re-use killer cards like Mega Disk, Behemoth, Metal Parts, Firewalls, Super Evolve, and Digimon with key supports you don’t want to delete with the Crest. Try to avoid removing Moxie since it can come back on its own. Vending Machine has the double use of making your deck larger than the opponents for when Herc hits the active zone and needs his passive to be live.
Herculeskabuterimon – This is an earth-shatteringly powerful Mega Digimon. Herc has incredibly high power, ridiculous HP, a staggering draw 4 evo-bonus, and a passive that makes him a dauntless god much like his namesake. Normally, the 70 cost would be a problem but in this deck, that should be trivial with the extra racks, evolution cards, and +30P abounding. Once your deck is larger, try using Mega Disk since it will trash 0. At the point you reach Herc, have a plan to pump the 1st Attack if the math works out such that it could KO on your opponent’s turn. This will net you a bonus or potentially win the game. Since your hand, supports, and deck become sacred, Herc can power through late game like a blowtorch through butter.
Morishellmon – Almost always the primary partner evolution due to the Drain and draw.
Dokugumon – Very useful partner evolution for the superior body (in all regards) and debilitating Cross attack that gets Corrupt 1 and Trash 1.
Matrix EvolveProxy – Since this is a proxy, you will always get the DP -20 discount, even when evolving to Mega. This essentially allows for picking any Digimon to evolve to from the top 7 in a deck with a plethora of singleton champions and several ultimate choices. If none are appealing, there’s a 90% chance that you can simply rack +30 P with it, stack with the -20DP discount, and therefore have 50DP covered to evolve from hand. As a bonus, Matrix sends the partner back to the deck for later use.
No deck is perfect or unbeatable. Most probably have room for improvement even when not considering the meta. This will be no different. Here’s a list of stuff that just may not work as well as I think it does, that I can see coming:
Disrupt Ray – Mostly a meta-call. It can be useful in some matchups and fall flat in others, not to mention how it takes a lot of skill to use effectively. Suggested replacements: Incubator for attachment toolboxing, Plug-In Backup for more recycle, Burst Growth to exploit early draw, Mega Disk for a second chance with Herc’s trash cost reduction.
Bladekuwagamon – The static and attachment can fall flat in some matchups. Generally, it’s useful to stop the bulk of recursion decks out there but if you’re not sold, I suggest: Woodmon for a balanced support and type-hate, or Flymon for those that rely more heavily on Cross.
Dokugumon (Destiny Zone) – It seems like the best partner evolution until you’re actually playing and Morishellmon always looks more tantalizing. If you find Dokugumon lackluster, try Yanmamon. It’s a huge hit on power but you can disrupt far more effectively by changing some opponent’s type to anything and then Jam them until you get to ultimate.
Palmon – In case you don’t value covering every single base on Sunflowmon as much as having a support that’s more live, try: Tentomon (DB-015) which has voiding, Fanbeemon which has good protection, or Alraumon if you want to stick with Drain but more consistently.
Jade Library is heavily reliant on churning through the deck both to evolve quickly and set up the trash for future play. Keep the following in mind while playing:
Breakneck evo-speed. This deck has some of the fastest evolution without level-skip in the game, allowing you to make maximum use of HP to stall and get to Mega while dishing damage along the way.
Above-average endurance. Despite the low base-HP on many Digimon (except Mega), this deck contains a lot of Drain and Recovery. It’s possible the endurance is even higher, especially if prioritized when using search effects.
Wellspring of draw. Most evo-bonuses have draw and the deck quickly gets into situations where it can draw 2-4 extra per turn.
High level of void. The deck natively contains 6 cards that void but can search and re-use them ludicrously.
Great consistency. The re-use of Digimon supports plus recycling combined with the singleton nature of many of its cards allows the deck to wear many hats, often times at-will.
Below average power. Like with most Jungle decks, until Level M, the deck suffers tremendously on attack power. This can be mitigated with much of the power-increasing support but the base damage is low enough and priority is typically on defense enough that it tends not to be effective until Ultimate or Mega.
Attachment hell. Unlike many decks with attachments, this one can be hell at times. If attachments are drawn in the wrong order (such as Knowledge Crest early or Vegiemon late), it can bring the efficacy of the whole deck down. Try to mitigate this with recycle when they hit the trash.
Vulnerable to Static. While not a terribly common effect, the deck does rely on trash placement enough that static can be a bummer to face.
This particular deck tested very well versus just about any matchup despite some of its weaknesses. The primary reason was due to its undaunted nature: you can void almost any problem support and prevent the brunt of devastating attacks while quickly trucking on to Mega level. In all of the time I’ve played this deck, Herculeskabuterimon has rarely been KO’d and even so, I tended to only need 1 more KO myself in a deck with a ton of defense and speed, so I could often grind the game down until I was at an advantage again. This is a tough deck to actually stop, even against something specifically packing DP-removal, anti-LevelU/M cards to the brim, and copious static—all of which should be its bane. That said, it has a hard time making the hits up to mega count since they tend to be pretty weak. Decks with low endurance tend to survive and make it to Ultimate or Mega themselves, meaning Herc often has to contend with an opponent’s strongest Digimon. This tends to suit Jade Library just fine as it’s equipped with an incredible body at Mega and some nasty supports for dealing with opposing Megas, which therefore tend to be 2 easy KOs.
Watch out for the following Megas, which can actually rival Herc directly:
Boltmon: Jungle x3 VS = 1500 Triangle, huge HP
Moonmillenniumon: Huge HP and can stop all Herc’s best attacks, can’t be void, can search an Ace
Zeedmillenniumon: Huge HP, can’t be void, search any 2 cards to deal with you
Omegamon: Attachment and power superiority, nearly strictly better version of Herc’s passive
Examon: High power, can charge up DP then DNA for an activate so powerful it one-shots
Millenniumon, Diablomon, Hi-Andromon: Each can Crash after a minor heal for a one-shot. Otherwise superior power and very high HP.
Despite the number of contenders at Mega, most of the rest have to work very hard and it’s peerless against Ultimates. If speed, a toolbox, consistency, high draw power, and a very powerful Mega sound appealing to you, give Jade Library a try.