Okay, I admit, almost none of you actually asked this question to yourselves. Maybe a few who played the game Digimon Battles was based on: Digimon World: Digital Card Battles for Playstation. In that game, all the Mega Digimon were Level U (Ultimate). It may have even shocked some of you to see Digimon like HerculeseKabuterimon, Phoenixmon, and Wargreymon labeled as “U”! Why might that be?
It’s all about balance: try playing this game with a 30 card deck instead, 4 copies of any card (not the 4, 3, 2, 1 cascading limits I put on them) and then try running 4 levels of cards in the deck. It’s madness! You won’t have nearly enough room in a deck to make any of this consistent. But at the time, the Mega-level Digimon were the star of the show and not including them would’ve seemed out of touch with the intellectual property. So they were downgraded a level, but most of them kept insane power in some way or another (usually with added cost).
So what’s the deal with my game? Why are Megas suddenly back, large and in-charge, but in something called the “Destiny Zone”? Well, the DZ was a card location I had to design to deal with the ever-growing incompatibilities in the game. Partners, armors, partner-options, partner-mods, and the list goes on. So Megas became the front-runner for actually cementing the design of the DZ. You could place one Mega (for reasons that will become apparent later) into your DZ, build your deck, and “It just works”. Even at a 40-card size deck, you can’t afford to physically run Megas in the deck or risk introducting way too much chance into the game.
Most Megas are still about as powerful as some of the better Ultimates, what gives? There’s something even better than a body upgrade that happens when you evolve: you fully heal all damage. In a game of persistant damage, having a full-heal baked straight into the rules makes the game very tempo-oriented. You have to find your window of opportunity and strike. Can’t down the enemy in 1-2 hits? You should probably protect yourself or just use utility cards to set up for later turns. Can do so? Better try, or the opponent will get free setup on you. Your opponent can dunk on you? Time to focus on defense!
The game is very cat-and-mouse, and who is currently the predator isn’t even always obvious. So the problem comes from when you get to heal too many times in the game. Resetting your HP (especially to absurd numbers that Ultimates get) once again, would be hellish. Imagine slogging through 1600 HP, which is usually a 3-hit KO, only to have your opponent immediately evolve to Mega. Well, I’m sure you can imagine that if you’ve played the game; but only once. Megas being deleted after they are KO’d, providing 2 KO points, and being restricted to 1, make them all the more fair. Placing them into the DZ, a sort of “third hand” that the opponent can never touch, makes them actually viable for use. The focus then becomes neither solely on your Mega nor your Ultimates, but somewhere inbetween.
Now you have player choice, strategy, and tactics all rolled into one neat package.