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.

Bigger is better

The new deck size is 50 cards. Wait! Don’t get mad yet. Your actual physical main deck won’t likely be that big, so there’s no worry about ruining all your hard-counted probabilities and card type ratios. Now the deck size is shared with your Destiny Zone. A typical Destiny Zone has 4 cards and usually not less. This means the actual practical deck size for most people will be 46. Why did we do this?

  • 3 Firewalls, 1 ACE, and 1 Partner are, without argument, staple in all decks. No one considers running less of any of these. If you have access to DATA cards, you’ll run the max of those too. This means most decks automatically get 5-6 cards removed from their decision-making. Sure, you get to choose what staples within each category to run, but you don’t get to choose the ratio. Adding virtually 6 cards to the deck size fixes this.
  • Most decks are 28 Digimon and 12 non-Digimon. Consider that at least 4 non-Digimon are already spoken for. How many non-staple, non-Digimon cards do you really get to split between Options and Evolutions? Eight. I don’t know anyone that can show their creative juices in eight cards. Normally, this meant people had to sacrifice running any Evolutions, or used so few of them that it felt like luck when a player drew one at the right time.
  • Trash decks were originally designed to have to kill 40 cards from an opponent’s deck. We forgot to include the -6 from drawing a starting hand. Oops! Now there will be 6 more cards, so existing trash amounts make sense. You will likely see trash decks no longer able to trash with reckless abandon to get their single KO (and win).
  • Allows players to get 1 standard mulligan in the game (around 5-6 cards) without falling behind immediately. Decks can sometimes be forced to hard-mulligan if an opponent’s deck surprises you with an early KO you had no feasible way to plan for. But the trick is, you’ve just filtered your hand of at least a Level R, probably a Level C, and usually another Digimon (for Rack-Up) or more! Now the number of Digimon you have is usually 1 or less in hand and that can cause an instant brick for your whole game. You have to mulligan. No big deal, right? Except now your deck is significantly smaller than you counted on. Early KOs are a legitimate form of gameplay, but we feel this change will fix the harshness of losing that much of your deck size early.
  • Cards that search for specific things from the deck are now a bit better. You can’t just use a ton of draw effects and get a similar chance anymore. If you need something specific, there’s now a bit too much deck to ignore search cards.
  • Drawing from your own deck is now less punishing to you. It’s like trash but with the ability to use the cards, so having a bigger deck means less risk when you draw.

But won’t this cause problems? Opening hands might flood with Options, Evolutions, and Level U Digimon now! Not to worry.

Mulligan Rule Change

Everyone loves a fair mulligan. In Digimon Battle Evolution, you get a partial, exclusive mulligan before your first turn of the game. Now, we’re adding a Side Pile to that. The first time you shuffle your deck each game, you cannot have more than 40 cards in it! This is easy to check. During the pre-setup of the game, you always check your opponent’s Destiny Zone for compliance and legality. At that time, simply count the size. Usually, it’s 4. In that case, they must remove any 6 cards from their deck, place them facedown in their Side Pile, shuffle the new 40-card deck, draw their opening hand, then combine the Side Pile cards set aside and take their first partial mulligan of the game. You will also do the same, with your opponent confirming your DZ size. It’s a quick and easy check that won’t cause confusion, since it’s simple to remember almost everyone removes 6 cards minimum, with 10 being the maximum (for players with somehow no DZ). Here are some tips for this new strategic pre-setup.

  • Late-game cards, especially non-Digimon, non-Evolution cards are typically dead in the opening hand. Examples: Silver Ball, Vending Machine
  • Use the checking of the opponent’s DZ to infer what you should remove. Example: Opponent with a Marine-heavy DZ and Whistle as proxy card are probably trying to evolve slowly to heal as much as possible. Remove your “if own level is lower” stuff, or consider removing some of your evolution speed to shut down their strategy.
  • Envision your opening hand. Ask yourself with cards, do you want this in your opening hand? Typically, with Evolutions, every Level R or C, and some Level Us, you might.
  • Search targets need to stay in the deck. Example: Consider keeping your ACE in the deck if you run 4 copies of Aquilamon

The New Pre-Setup Procedure

Follow these rules for pre-setup (before the first turn of the game, after the handshake). They are also on the Rules page.

  1. Each player brings a 50 card, legal deck. All Destiny Zone cards are counted in this limit, but still remain in their separate zone.
  2. Each player offers their opponent a chance to see each card in their own Destiny Zone. Each player also declares their Partner Digimon (showing the card to their opponent).
  3. Each player creates their own Side Pile by removing cards from their deck, face down (opponent cannot check), until their deck contains 40 cards exactly. Opponents may check the count to ensure it’s correct based on Destiny Zone size.
  4. Each player shuffles their 40-card deck, ignoring their Side Pile, and draws an opening hand of 5 cards
  5. Each player chooses any number of their opening hand cards, places them face down (opponent cannot check) on top of their Side Pile. Then, draw cards until their hand is 5 again.
  6. Each player combines their Side Pile, mulliganed cards, and deck together and shuffles.
  7. Determine who will go first at this point. It becomes that player’s first turn.


Alice is the webmaster of VMundi, author, editor, mathematician, and autodidact. She has over 6 years of publishing experience writing articles for various self-run sites. Her interests include game design, economics, Game Theory, graphical design, quantum mechanics and mathematics.

Leave a comment