Explaining the new Ruler Cards

What’s Ruler?

Digimon Battles (DMB) set Data Breakers brings with it a new category of Digimon—Ruler. Much like Jungle () or Nightmare (), it obeys the rules of evolution. However, there are many rules it does not obey and  -Digimon have a lot of special features you should know about, as well as design philosophies that you will notice as trends among their cards. Let’s get started with a list of what they can and can’t do:

  • Rulers can gain any number of types (or lose them) once per turn, on their owner’s turn. This is called the “Dominion” ability.
  • Rulers can gain (as per the above) only types printed in the Active Zone stack. Examples below.
  • Rulers can evolve normally using DP or DNA where appropriate. They must follow normal rules. Example below.
  • Non-Rulers can’t gain this as if it were a type. Cards will be printed with it instead.
  • Rulers can’t lose this, as though it were a type, ever. This is the most hard-and-fast rule about Ruler in the game.
  • Rulers can’t truly change the property like types. Similar to the above, however they will gain types when a “change” attempt is made. If a subsequent “change” occurs, the previous type does change. Examples below.
  • Nothing can evolve into a Ruler via DP or other normal means of evolution unless it is also a Ruler OR has the name present in its evo-box.

It’s better to think of Ruler as a property than a complete type. Or to think of it as a partial type with many exceptions. Okay, generalities are fine and all but what about specific examples? Here’s two of the new cards from Data Breakers:

Examples of Use

In the example, there are spoiler-less Magnamon and Alphamon. All we need to worry about for now are names, evo-boxes, and type. Here are some examples of what does and does not apply to them:

  • Magnamon can evolve into Alphamon via DP respecting type
  • Knightmon can evolve into Alphamon via DP, ignoring type, since it’s in the evo-box
  • Only Tankmon, Veedramon, Angemon, and Piddomon can evolve into Magnamon via DP. There are no Ruler Level C or R.
  • You can use “Mutate” to evolve from Level U to Magnamon, since it ignores Type, as long as DP is still paid. Same for “D-Link”, and similar for “Download”.
  • Dominion: You can only change (read: add) other types on your own turn, once per turn before the Strategy Phase.

Changing Types?

Since you can never lose  once you’re printed with it, how does “changing” types work? In addition, what’s all this about a once-per-turn-something-or-other ability? Let’s start with what happens when you “change” a Ruler’s type:

Both players have chosen their attacks. You, with Magnamon, and the opponent move into the Support Phase. Your opponent supports with Mystery Egg, looking to mooch off of your higher level and set up “ x3 VS” on their ability. Since you can’t lose your , you simply gain the -type. Alas, you don’t have an Enigma in your Active Zone, so you can’t use the power of Dominion (see below) to remove that typing. You’re stuck with it for now.

Later in the game, you draw Scummon’s Curse, activating its effect to change your type. Since you can’t lose Ruler, and you must “change” a type, the only remaining conclusion is that your extra Enigma typing now becomes one of your choosing. You pick , since your  opponent doesn’t appear to have any “x3 VS” abilities for it. You are safe for now. ~Change Ruler's Type Example

Hopefully this example hit every case that might be confusing. The simplest rule is: you won’t ever lose Ruler. “Change” adds the type if you have no others, then actually changes the non-Ruler type(s) if you have them.

Special Ability: Dominion

Let’s say you have evolved a Plottmon into Cupidmon, then ultimately into Magnamon. Now, you would like to evolve into the MetalGarurumon in your Destiny Zone. Right now, Magnamon is only . It would need to add or typing in order to make the evolution, assuming you have some way of achieving/bypassing the 50DP requirement. Before you choose attacks (Strategy Phase), you can, once this turn, add either the printed type of Plottmon or Cupidmon to Magnamon. Cupidmon won’t help here since he’s , but Plottmon works! You change your type to Nature, and now you’re ready to evolve to MetalGarurumon. You can’t change your type again this turn with the Ruler ability “Dominion”. ~Dominion Example

You can also remove the types, but that has to wait until a later turn, assuming you didn’t evolve! Dominion is a powerful ability intended to enable special effects and in some cases, evolution. Since you can only use (printed) types in your active zone, it’s good to design your deck with the correct types in mind, then use Dominion only when Rulers would otherwise interfere with the natural course of the deck.

Ruler-Card Tendencies

Basic tendencies Rulers currently (and probably in the future) have:

  • Currently and in the planned future, there are no Level R or C Rulers. This could cause problems with the balance of the game and be difficult to integrate into decks. It would also ruin some of the design space.
  • Rulers will not be commonly printed or a fully-supported “type”. Mostly due to the above reasons. However, it also retains their specialness.
  • Rulers tend to be more powerful, not necessarily with their Support ability, but their bodies (Power and HP) tend to be higher since the evolutions are more difficult. This is a common theme with hard evolutions.
  • Their DP costs are planned to be, and remain, high for the foreseeable future. I don’t think any level of Ruler will go below 50DP requirement for now.
  • Reprints of existing cards into Ruler are planned. So far, Knightmon and Rapidmon are being confirmed as future Rulers.
  • Evo-box bonuses on Rulers tend to be permanent bonsues such as “Supports Unvoidable”, but a few one-time bonuses like drawing and attaching are planned (though attaching is semi-permanent).
  • So far, the most difficult evolution in the game requires Ruler and is a DATA-only + DNA-only Ruler.
  • They will not necessarily be in every set going forward, unless necessary.
  • You’ll probably see a lot of Royal Knights depicted as Ruler, but not every traditional “Virus Buster” is going to make it in. That’s why the name changed. These are not virus busters.

Well, that’s all! I hope this prepared you for the new thing when it lands or at least found this an interesting read. Let me know in the comments below if you have questions about Ruler, comments, or there’s something you’d like me to clarify.


Alice White

Alice is the webmaster of VMundi, author, editor, mathematician, and autodidact. She has over 9 years of publishing experience writing articles for various self-run sites. Her interests include game design, economics, Game Theory, graphical design, and mathematics.

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