May 2018

Digimon COTD: Mastertyrannomon

Mastertyrannomon—Power up!

What’s good about it: Mastertyrannomon sports a pretty “square” body of attacks, in that they’re all quite closer together in number than other . In a correctly built deck, its support is stronger than an Attack Chip. The evolution box bonus gives unprecedented toolbox power—take any 1 Digimon from your deck! This is even less restricted than Gold Treasure. The x3 VS gives the ability to hit / / for 1080 at its printed power, which easily OHKOs the vast majority of Jungle and Wind champions and 2-shots all three types’ Ultimates. Drain will not save them. With the evobox containing multiple, tightly-grouped champions, a deck that always gets the bonus is easy to achieve.

What’s bad about it: Like most , Mastertyrannomon suffers from low HP. In fact, his HP is lower than the average in his cost and type. This is so significant, that when accounting for cost, Master is near the bottom tier of all Level U HP. If you’re not facing one of its hate-types, the x3VS is just wasted power, which also means it doesn’t have attack hate and therefore can’t protect himself against enemy , which it’s weak against given the low HP. The vast majority of peers in its level can 2HKO it, same as what it does to the types it has critical power against. You usually want only 1-2 copies of a “hate” card but its support begs you to have 4. The evobox doesn’t include a DP cost reduction unlike most of the carnivorous dinos, meaning most of the time he takes 2 racks or requires an Evolution card. The support, while potentially very powerful, scales slowly and requires a certain amount of time or effects to have passed during the game to be effective. In addition, “-tyrannomon” cards have to be in the deck at high numbers, potentially choking other ideas. The maximum boost from the support is +700, and you have to over-plan for it. The support also eats away at 2 cards in your trash, which might also be tyrannos given their saturation level.

Tips: Choose another Tyrannomon ultimate—it’s not a great idea to solely have Mastertyrannomon. Try using Super Evolve to pick Master out of the deck when its x3 VS would be relevant. If you’re willing to be sacrificial, Fated Spirit is a slightly weaker Super Evolve for the same purpose, but I suggest using this on your alternate Level U tyranno, since you really want Master support. Since the evobox can take another Master from the deck (for support), it’s recommended to pack Partner Finder or Blue Comet, use the destiny evolve (or just Data Hijack from the deck) to get to Deltamon, Tyrannomon, Darktyrannomon, Coredramon (any), Dinohumon, and especially Cyclomon in preparation. Cyclomon is special here since its evo-bonus takes 1 Evolution card in deck, which you can use to guarantee a Master evolve. This should guarantee having your powerful support. Master works well with cards that have trash costs such as Mega Disk, Mega Chip, and occasionally Giga Hand (though HP can be relatively low in a Tyranno deck). Once a Master’s support Power is high, it would only bleed slowly as long as the opponent doesn’t have access to vast quantities of static. Recycle can utterly kill this deck unless used on Master specifically (use recycle any), so try re-using Master supports over and over again for a quick win. If you’re willing to give up evolution to Mega, try using Zeedmillenniumon with Cyberdramon DATA and Millenniumon DATA: This gives you access to a +800 Power Data Break and 5 selective recycles to re-use Master’s support. An alternative is Millenniumon (with the DATA) and use Mugendramon DATA to trade Cyberdramon DATA for Drain+Crash (significant healing benefits plus damage, potentially x3 VS), and the ability to add a flat +100 Power with deck corruption and recoding.

Be wary of how limited your other tyrannos can be. ExTyrannomon is a great body for the active zone, but only has a Passive, no support. In a deck that begs for 4 copies of every tyranno, this is pretty suspect. Metaltyrannomon is a great pick, but be aware that its DP discount or Draw 3 bonus only covers “Tyrannomon”, the original. Its support is great with Crash, but not amazing unless your HP is lower…oh right. Luckily, Darktyrannomon can also recover HP (only abnormal, so don’t plan on healing Level M or R). While Tyrannomon’s support is great for attach, it’s not much use otherwise. Since you’ll likely have 4, this means Master-focused decks tend to also need several attach cards—and now the deck list is starting to fill up on its own, preventing much flexibility. That can be an asset though, if you work with the flow instead of against it.

Both Goddramon and Dorbickmon are good Level M picks for their evo-bonuses and other circumstantial support. With Dorbickmon, you can fill the opponent’s trash about as much as yours. Properly used, its first turn on the field can mean trash 7 for the opponent—when that’s a cost, it gives ace-potency effects like HP+1000! Since it also halves everyone’s HP and makes the opponent discard 2, you can use Master support for a guaranteed KO, even against crazy 3000 HP monsters like Zeedmillenniumon or Moonmillenniumon; since you can smoothly hit 1500 Power with 810 base, +700 from Master. Goddramon is no slouch either, since the opponent won’t be able to mulligan as you pound their head in with a crazy 960 Power circle. They better have every damn card they want in-hand, right now. On top of that, Goddramon revives you to Master once it gets KO’d, so you don’t even have to start the slow DP-racking over again. The M that really shines is Rusttyrannomon since all your tyranno Level Us count for the Draw 3 bonus, which is immensely powerful once the cannon fires. Even better, Rusty fuels its cannon with the mounds of tyranno corpses you’ll be piling into the trash for later Master support!

Digimon COTD: Magic Word

Uh…uh…uh…you didn’t say the

Magic Word—A new firewall that stops Any Phase effects and sticks around to void.

What’s good about it: If you’re good at attack prediction, this card can gain almost endless voiding of Digimon, which is incredible value. Magic Word also heavily punishes decks that use evolution box bonuses to lower DP costs, which can throw off their entire evolution progression. Any Phase effects can be some of the most flexible and hard to deal with effects in the game since they occur outside of normal play. No more sudden use of Digi-Diamond, Kabuterimon, or RedOtamamon, just to name some. They would have to Support with those effects—the Digimon you can continuously void; the Option you can void by merely trashing the Magic Word! Having the ability to trash it at any time to void Options can make opponents play their Options more conservatively, so it’s always threatening.

What’s bad about it: Magic word is a two-edged sword—you don’t get to use “Any Phase” or evolution boxes either. Depending on whose turn it is and what your opponent plays, it can be a played around or voided (on initial Support). Suppose you’re bad at prediction, or the opponent is better: your Magic Word’s usability drops off significantly. This can easily make it worse than any other Firewall. More than one Magic Word at a time is pretty much nonsense unless your opponent supports with an Option so you can trash it. Other firewalls tend to be far more usable one after another. Lastly, Shatter is an attack ability, which this doesn’t void, and it gets rid of Magic Word.

Tips: Try to keep your “Any Phase” effects to a minimum. DATA cards may still be worth it, especially since you can dictate the terms of when it leaves play to some degree. Try to ensure your own deck doesn’t require evolution box bonuses for decreasing DP. Try cards that attach directly from the deck! In this way, Tyrannomons can become extra copies of Magic Word in the deck. Love Crest and Moxie are good for decks that aren’t attempting to “double-dip” on the evoboxes, since the deck should be able to evolve fine without them but can get nice bonuses when these are attached instead of Magic Word. “Research” lets you mismatch your attack, guaranteed.

Digimon COTD: Disrupt Ray

Disrupt Ray—Choose your opponent’s attack, sort of

What’s good about it: If you’re an expert at prediction and attack-choice punishment, Disrupt Ray can be incredibly potent. This card can be used, with significantly higher accuracy than not, to force a Counter or to-Zero effect, or at the very least save you from a deadly . Don’t forget that this can protect you from a powerful opposing like a Counter/Flatten/to-Zero effect which threatens your own attack, in addition to a one-hit-kill Crash/1st Attack/x3 VS. Replacing itself with a draw is a nice bonus too!

What’s bad about it: There’s no fast-and-loose way to specify what attack you want an opponent to use in Digimon. This is on purpose—taking away a player’s choice is heavy handed design and can lead to less mutual exchange of intelligence and tactics; as well as ruining fun for players when you’re making choices for them. Disrupt Ray is therefore limited in its capacity to change attacks by forcing its player to figure out what the opponent would choose and, if the Ray is still the best card to play in that instance, decide what “direction” they want to rotate the attack selection from that presupposed choice. If the deck playing Disrupt Ray is telegraphing that it does attack changes, opponents can play further mind games to disrupt the disruption. In addition, many situations make Disrupt Ray significantly less effective than simply playing a Recovery Disk or other protection from damage. You have to work hard to get the best use of this. It also doesn’t stop Jamming. If an opponent wants to reveal with Jamming before this Option resolves, they can do it and still Jam your attack ability (not this Option), then their attack will change. This means Jamming effectively gets better if Disrupted.

Tips: Don’t tip your hand by being incredibly obvious about your ability to counter or nullify attacks. But the mere existence of Disrupt Ray can also effectively disrupt how an opponent chooses attacks if they know you have it, or suspect, and you respond by not playing it. In that case, you still have the card to play and predicted accordingly. If you absolutely must force a specific attack, usually for Counter, Flatten, or to-Zero, make sure you understand the situation and opponent’s current payoffs. If they are none the wiser and have the ability to one-hit-kill your Digimon with either or , and you have Counter on your , you can safely assume Cross is your best attack, support with Disrupt Ray, choose the bottom option (which assumes they went for the “safer” Traingle-kill) and roll them up to Circle for your counter! Now you take no damage and they take it all. Notice that by being in a weaker position (both Circle and Triangle can KO instead of just the typical Circle), there’s no need to guess what they’re playing. If it’s a Circle one-hit KO and Triangle two-hit KO, you still have to guess whether your opponent values taking you out now, can afford to take you out next turn, or prefers to be unpredictable. Keep these things in mind. Disrupt Ray is also a good choice for decks that need to hit with commonly—and it supports protecting your attack as well as a Coliseum. Often this protects from a Counter/to-Zero/Flatten to your favored attack.

Bit Depth Set Release

 

Bit Depth Full Spoiler

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Digimon COTD: Reload

Reload—Refresh all the things!

What’s good about it: As an ACE, it pulls its weight in utility by providing any two cards from the deck and effectively making trash costs—or opposing trash strategies, null. You get a full deck, a full hand (some of which is picked), and to setup part of the deck going forward. It’s a great preparatory tool for the transition into late game. And if willing to give up on the huge effect of a late game deck refresh, it can still be used to refresh the hand and pick any 2 early on, which in some cases can be more effective earlier game.

What’s bad about it: You don’t get to keep your current hand. It’s not always a bad thing but it’s worth noting that it will reduce its efficacy window if you have to give up other critical in-hand cards, then waste some of your 2 picks on those cards again. You can also lose out on the effectiveness of the deck refresh if you haven’t gotten any trash-cost cards or you are forced to play it early. Like Polymorphic Code, you get a hand of 4 that turn; unlike it, Reload is voidable and is your only support for turn.

Tips: Once you decide Reload is best for your deck, always try to maximize every bonus it provides. This goes without saying, but it can be tricky if you plan for a deck of trash costs for heavy effects (Mega Chip, Mega Disk, Phantomon, Dark Wings, Giga Cannon, et al) and end up trashing the Reload without any way to recover it. The good news is Reload can be gained back with “recycle any 1” effects. Some evolution boxes will make this a practical ACE search when combined with reckless trashing, which Reload would then erase as if it never happened, effectively making high-trash costs in your deck into ACE-power cards! In addition, cards like Aquilamon are intensely powerful when combined with Reload, since this gives you effectively 5 copies of the Reload for purposes of sequencing: now you’re more likely to draw the Reload earlier than trash cards.

Digimon Errata May 2018

Today set “Bit Depth” releases and with it, our (hopefully) final set of erratas for past cards. Several cards had their evolution boxes expanded (in preparation), patter streamlined, effects re-balanced, bodies changed, and so much more. Don’t get too excited, it’s mostly just typo fixing and patter updates. So that players don’t feel like the erratas differ too much from the look and feel of new cards, each changed card has had the new Bit Depth font changed for its effect text as well. Some of the fixes are merely correcting errors from the previous errata (Panjyamon from the subtype update, we forgot his marine type!) but will still get the font change. Be sure to update your decks accordingly!

Check the card gallery to see for yourself.

Errata List
Type listed is the primary printed type only, so you can find it in the Gallery more easily.
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Flatten Mechanic

The Rules

Flatten is a mechanic that was released with set Bit Depth. It decreases the dimensions of opposing Digimon until they shrink into a point and vanish!  On its own, flat doesn’t do any damage or cause any immediate effects—instead, it’s a ticking time bomb. So here are the rules:

  • When you meet your condition (in the pic, opponent used Circle, or opponent’s type is Dragon), you will cause a “flat” to the opponent
  • On attack abilities, only one condition can be met per hit. (If a Dragon uses Circle, it only causes 1 flat, not 2.)
  • Track “flat” by placing a marker to represent it in front of your active.
  • If you would ever have 4 flat markers, you get KOd!
  • If you would take damage if you haven’t attacked yet and have 3 flats, you get KO’d! (meaning opponent attacks first while you have 3 flats & you take damage)
  • When you evolve by DP, you can subtract 10 DP from anywhere (such as your DP zone or your Immortalize card) to remove 1 flat marker. You can only remove 1 flat per evolution.

And that’s how it works. Check the rules for an official explanation (glossary or attack abilities). Flatten is specifically intended as an alternate win method, similar to trashing an opponent’s deck out (which may reduce your required KOs). You will still have to use all your cunning and experience to make the most of it, but it can be a powerful KO method. Since it “poisons” a Digimon, opponents may have to slow down their evolution progress. Or you could exploit them after they evolve to Mega for 2 KOs. Repeatedly gaining 4 flats can be difficult, even if you maximize your opportunities, so be sure to have a backup plan. You can get a KO sooner with flatten as long as you can hit first and supplement it with damage.

For more info on behind the scenes of this mechanic, I have a developer’s design diary article for Flatten.

Update 10-16-2020: Flatten rules now updated in this post to reflect the recent rule changes. Now requires 4 Flats or 3 Flats+Damage+1stAttack to KO; up from 3 and 2 respectively. Flats are represented by a token or marker instead of a card. Flats can only be removed when evolving by DP. “Paying DP” has been reworded to make more sense. Added more about the design and intent.

 

Term Change: Proxy card

These little “P” symbols used to be called “Partner Options”. Option like choice not the card type. I bet you can see how this is confusing. Especially when DATA and Evolution cards have the “P” symbol now. There’s a new term change—Proxy. It starts with P, it’s thematic, and it’s what you’ll use now! Just a heads-up.

Deck Size Change – Construction Legality

With the release of Bit Depth, it’s time to officially unveil a change to the game’s basic deck construction rules that we’ve been playtesting. This is something that came about after we announced we would be working on the new set (Bit Depth) 9 months ago. As this has had incredibly positive results, damn-near zero negatives, and fixes several aspects of the game, we’re proud to announce a very carefully crafted change to deck size! If you’re just here for the rules and don’t care about the “why”, skip to the Pre-Setup Procedure section. Read more

Why Mission-based Card Games Don’t Work

One of the hallmarks of western card game design since the early 90s with Decipher Inc, is the “location” or “mission” card. You can see its presence even today in some of Fantasy Flight’s biggest earners. I’m here to say that I don’t think this style of game design really works for dueling card games. Their apparent primary narrative purpose is to give a sense of dimension to the board—making it somewhat like a board game, and add a layer of depth to the game. Its apparent mechanical purpose is to split player resources across various goals (locations/missions tend to give rewards). This is a style of prescriptive design wherein the designer assigns a mechanic to the game and players must play around this mechanic. This is opposed to a freestyle game such as Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh or a semi-prescriptive game such as Pokemon. In those games, you can pretty much do what you want within a much larger constraint space. Players tend to value that large space because it acts like a sandbox that gives them authority and power to craft their own style of play and consequently, their own player-driven narrative. But maybe mission cards are just kinda bad. Read more