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.
New promo cards!
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.
Have fun everyone!
Card Change—Millenniumon DATA is ridiculous!
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.
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.
- Silver ball
- Mega Disk
- Metal Parts
- Vending Machine
- Disrupt Ray
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.
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.
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.
For high skill players, this deck has multiple layers of consideration: what to toolbox when, how aggressively to mulligan for a type-hate champion, or keeping track of deck size are all important. Mostly, it’s a deck for those who prefer to hit one button (Cross) and keep hitting it for most of the game.
Primary type: (25)
Lesser types: (2) | Lesser types: (3)
Rare types: (1) | (1)
Mostly weak to Wind x3 VS, but several additional weaknesses occasionally.
Suggested pre-setup side choices:
Prioritize removing these particular cards in the pre-setup. Adjust to your matchup.
- Mega Chip
- Silver ball
- Mega Disk
- Dark Wings
- Cherrymon’s Mist
This pre-setup removal will prioritize getting as much early-game as possible and minimizing late game. In some cases, early Mist could be better than protecting your Cross with Letterbox, so make adjustments where needed.
See visual list for specific card versions whenever ambiguous.
This deck is incredibly vitality-based and capable of paying trash costs almost indefinitely. Given that this feeds back into its own “Chip”-based strategy, it’s similar to many trash recursion decks. Let’s take a look at some of its strengths and weaknesses, and keep these in mind while playing:
- Above-average evo speed. Reckless Push and Splice Chip have a habit of making DP costs free with added benefits, plus 6 copies of +30P cards.
- Above-average endurance. Hits the mark for HP and keeps going. Combined with its heals, this deck tends to sit at 1000 HP+ for champions and can be 2000 HP+ for ultimates. With proper recursion of Mega Disk, it keeps going.
- High-to-Bullshit Power. When the typing is right (which is usually), this deck’s power is outright bullshit. Flat power bonuses stack immensely with multipliers which this is abusing heavily. When that fails, it falls back on the completely celestial power ratings of Ruler types.
- Infinity engine. Reload, Dukemon, and other recycles in this deck tend to make it an infinity gauntlet of useful cards being played over and over. It’s nigh-impossible to beat this with a trash strategy except with numerous well-placed voids. Can mulligan incredibly aggressively, especially to cheese a Reload into the hand.
- Never fails. All of the conditional effects in the deck tend to have “if not…” triggers that give you some other effect anyway. This makes cards capable of multiple roles that shift throughout the game as your standing shifts.
- Champions can be sticky. Since all the champions cost 40 DP and get no discounts, it’s incredibly difficult to start off on champion immediately without some form of evolution card assistance. This is where Penguinmons, Reckless Push, and Splice Chip combine with the racks to make evolution possible.
- Vulnerable if Reload gets buried in the trash or deleted. Be wary of trash decks nevertheless since Reload is incredibly necessary to the deck. Once that passes, Dukemon, Puppet Switch and Kokatorimon are the only hope to recover it.
- Magic Word is a soft counter. As said, Dukemon has a hard time with Magic Word on the field. You can remove your own easily enough but you’ll likely have to bait out the opponent’s with a powerful Option.
- Self-type change can disable the deck. Opponents who use Data Morph, Scummon’s Curse, D-Link in a multi-color deck, or Puppet Switch may prove tough due to their ability to use type changes to evade the brunt of your damage.
- Often lacks draw power. Despite the singular Veedramon, alternate Patamon supports and misc draw scattered around, the deck does lack a significant source of draw and relies heavily on Reload.
Valdurmon—For when Phoenixmon isn’t intense enough.What’s good about it: Every Digimon has a ability but very few have a ability. Valdurmon not only has both but also an implicit ability! Evolving in the typical way using its evo-bonus gives a heavy Draw 3, which is an immense advantage while a Mega is live. Valdurmon can even continue to draw using its cross ability, so your hand never dies. This Digimon is incredibly defensive with its 1840 HP and Shatter ability combination. In addition, its ACTIVATE is nearly as powerful as the ACE Ground, with an additional Recycle any 5, which can be the end-game gambit for filtering your deck into using your best cards ad-nauseum. The ridiculous Phoenixmon DATA card is valid in this deck. Valdurmon also has a generic Level U DNA, making it pretty consistent even for decks that will have trouble racking 60 DP—which Wind rarely has trouble making. Lastly, Valdurmon’s cross is about as strong as most Level M/U triangle power, which is unique. What’s bad about it: As ACTIVATE abilities go, this one is pretty limited. Being forced to use can delay a safe window for it several turns depending on the opponent. Since its DNA includes a Mega, the Phoenixmon DATA card must be in-hand to skip the 60 DP requirement. Despite being a Ruler, its numbers are overall a bit lower than many 60-cost Megas due to the staggering number of attack abilities and their utility. Despite this, Valdurmon has no recourse (such as Counter or To-Zero) against a stronger Digimon with more powerful attacks. Tips: If you want to use Valdurmon without being roped into Garudamon, Piximon, or DNA try using Penguinmon, Love Crest and Moxie to get extra evo-bonuses (Plug-In A isn’t valid for Level M). You could also double the bonus and draw 6 cards! Having a Ruler type means the ability to use Dominion to freely add/remove Types during your turn. Make the best use of this by including Digimon with extra types so as to be able to play Pink D3. Using Phoenixmon DATA for the Data Break can be an effective way to keep your ultimates live and in the game when losing horribly and the prospect of evolving to Valdurmon seems unlikely. The data’s Any Phase also compliments Valdurmon’s two draw effects by making sure your hand size stays consistent throughout the game. Recovery Supports or Evolutions (around +300 or more) are useful the turn Valdurmon enters the field if 1840 isn’t enough Power, which should then be enough to kill most Level U/M in the game. Love Crest is incredibly devastating with Valdurmon and it may even be recommended to use Incubator to search the turn it enters play. Since the ACTIVATE says “make own Power same as own HP“, it won’t matter if becomes the weakest. What might actually matter is if becomes incredibly strong with Shatter (250)! In addition, Love Crest immediately grants an evo-bonus so you can Draw 3 again. One last tip: Valdurmon’s ACTIVATE has one of the most powerful recycles available, in that you get to choose any 5 to put back into the deck. Wind tends to be able to make use of decks that run 1 copy of multiple powerful or situational Option cards, draw/self-trash a ton of the deck, and then put the best cards back in for re-use later. This can effectively make their late game a kill machine. Valdurmon’s recycle is like a turbo charged version of an entire Wind deck archetype.
Dark Evolve—The most tooled version of three other Evolutions.What’s good about it: Dark Evolve works like 3 previously printed evolution cards at the same time: Warp Digivolve, Digivice, and Mutate depending on your current level when played. As a Warp Digivolve replacement, it can take you from R to U (with no DP cost). It’s a Digivice when progressing C to U without DP. Lastly, as a Mutate from U to U and allows abnormal. Since the three aforementioned Evolutions are not always a valid option by themselves, it’s incredibly useful having one in the deck that is always live. Dark Evolve can be used even when you’re abnormal for even more versatility. Since it ignores DP, you get to keep any that was racked. Not for nothing but since it attaches and provides a downside, opposing “Shatter” abilities will backfire, causing opponents to be less likely to use them and also get the damage reduction effect. What’s bad about it: Plan to replace or detach Dark Evolve. If you don’t, the passive conditions are totally devastating. Without a way to remove this attachment, your shiny new Ultimate is defenseless to Counter, Flatten and To-Zero effects as well as every single prediction-based Support. Having someone support with Net Worm and kill your entire hand would be game changing, Ultimate or not. Since it also removes the ability to use “Any Phase” effects, Dark Evolve can significantly limit deck building. It would be difficult to include the ACEs Digi-Diamond and Miracle Ruby, DATA cards (if using the Any Phase primarily), half of Partner Finder and Data Morph (many more), both Super Hit and Moxie will have to be played as Support to attach, and could be voided. While it has one of the use cases from three different evolutions, it doesn’t have every use case. You can’t Mutate C to C or Digivice R to C. This is significant only for the fact that Ultimates tend to be at a lower quantity in the deck and thus less likely than Champions to be in a given hand. Lastly, having to trash 5 when you get KO’d or even when you net a win is pretty steep. That’s a forced full-hand mulligan which essentially means you can’t take a mulligan during a game that Dark Evolve has to stay attached until your Ultimate dies. This is yet another significant restriction but is still a kind of soft-restriction, since you could barrel in head first if you want. Tips: If you play something like Lesson Plan or Nanimon which requires/allows you to discard an attachment as part of its effect, you won’t have to run as many attachments in the main deck to clear a Dark Evolve quickly. In this way, you can technically use those cards (or Support attachments) to trick the opponent into using Circle hate while choosing another attack (don’t get voided!) and Dark Evolve would be removed by the time your attack resolves. Attachment-heavy strategies, like Flatten which uses Letterbox, can make Dark Evolve a tempting Evolution. Be careful of having cards like DarkLizamon, Super Hit, or level Ms that add attachment slots. Since you’re not allowed to remove attachments at-will, these will put you in more danger of having to keep the Dark Evolve. Notice the pattern with deck building and Dark Evolve: don’t bother building an entire deck to cater to it, but many decks can run it without much risk. This goes double for decks that can’t easily search the Dark Evolve since its trash 5 penalty makes it too risky to aggressively find with mulligans. A copy or two in a Monochromon/Cyclomon-heavy deck can be wonderful in theory, due to the evo-box search but consider that a Digivice is strictly better to find in that instance. Cards that change both players’ or your opponent’s attacks like Coliseum and Disrupt Ray help temporarily cover the stopping effects and tend to be good enough to run coincidentally with Dark Evolve instead of as a halfway solution to it. In short, build the deck smart with quick ways to remove the attachment but don’t dedicate a huge chunk of the deck to this card since it’s limited to 2 copies and therefore could weaken the deck overall.
This is a card game obviously inspired by Magic the Gathering but with other mechanical leaning toward traditional RTS videogames such as Command & Conquer or Star Craft. You build one type of resource to generate another resource to ultimately cash out by playing combatants. Combatants are therefore actors that can attack the enemy base and potentially destroy sites, while also blocking attacks to prevent site damage. Players take turns attacking sites and trying to deal 25 damage to their opponent.
I can’t quite tell what card stock this is due to not having ripped one yet. If I had to guess, it may be 280gsm and grey core. The card is almost transparent when a light is shone under it but they tried to make up for the cheap stock with a heavy gloss finish. For the price, I think a higher quality card stock should’ve been an absolute in the eyes of the designers. The print quality is overall good, if a bit dark in some areas. However, the game comes play-complete (max playsets of each card, plus some extras) which is a huge plus. Many times, you open one of these expandable card games (usually from Fantasy Flight) and do not get a whole play set of each card, causing you to buy more sets thus increasing the price point beyond what you expected. Read more
Hasbro released the Transformers TCG designed by Wizards of the Coast today. I had some interest in this game after checking out the rules and seeing that it would be a pretty intense showdown experience. Naturally I did what any normal adult woman would do and pre-ordered two booster boxes. They’ve arrived and now I have a product review for you all. A foreward: I used to be a TCG player for nearly all my life. As someone who dislikes predatory business models, TCGs have been off my radar for quite some time. The Transformers TCG will be ultimately no different. There are rares, uncommons, and commons. There’s tons of wasteful garbage you throw away after unwrapping them. You’ll pull too many copies of the same common for just yourself. The steep price of the product is ultimately for pretty cardboard. Given that I do not appreciate the TCG model, I will not be giving a review of its full distribution nor as a game. This review will be accepting all of these things as granted, therefore you will not find this to be an anti-TCG rant. This will purely be an opinion article reflecting how I feel about what I opened. In that way, I am biased more toward games that offer as much of a complete playset as possible in a box.
This review is based on the opening of two booster boxes and therefore pull rates will reflect this. Read more
This game is a nightmare. I’ve kind of spoiled my entire review at the start so let’s step back a moment and talk about the good in the game—what little actually exists.
Quality is standard here for Fantasy Flight: you have good linen quality cards, you have good linen quality chits, and everything is thick and very nice overall. The miniatures are great (though the lack of female representation is pretty stupid in an adventure game. It’s 1 out of 5.). The player boards are very inventive and they’re fun to play with. They do their job better than a game without such dynamic play boards. Read more
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! The x3 VS gives the ability to hit Jungle/Nature for 1080 to start, which easily one-shots all Jungle champions and 2-shots all Jungle/Nature Ultimates. With the evobox containing multiple, tightly-grouped champions, a deck that always gets the evobox 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. If you’re not facing Jungle/Nature, his x3VS is just wasted power going unused, which also means he doesn’t have attack hate and therefore can’t protect himself against enemy attacks, which he would be weak to. Given that you usually want only 1 copy of a “hate” card but his support requires you run him around 4, this is an additional downside. His evobox doesn’t include a DP cost reduction, meaning most of the time he takes 2 rack-ups to get, 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 really be useful. In addition, “-tyrannomon” cards end up having to be in the deck at high numbers, potentially choking other ideas out. Tips: Choose your other Tyrannomon ultimate—it’s not a great idea to only run Mastertyrannomon. Try using Super Evolve to pick Master out of the deck when his x3 VS would be relevant. Since his evobox can take another Master from the deck (for Support), it’s recommended to pack Partner Finder, use the partner evolve to get to Deltamon, Tyrannomon, Darktyrannomon, or Coredramon (any) in preparation. This should guarantee having your powerful support. Master works well with cards that have trash costs such as Mega Disk, Mega Chip, Dark Wings, and occasionally Giga Cannon (though HP can be relatively low in a Tyranno deck). Once a Master’s support is high, it should stay there barring opposing Static effects, so there may be no need for tons of recycle. Try re-using Master supports over and over again for a quick win. If you’re willing to give up evolution to Mega, try running Zeedmillenniumon/Millenniumon 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.
Disrupt Ray—Choose your opponent’s attack, sort ofWhat’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.
- New set released! Let’s dive right in. What does this set contain?
- 70 New game cards
- LCD Aesthetic tribute
- New keywords: Static and Flatten
- New ACES
- 5 new Rookies
- 17 Champions
- 15 Ultimates
- 9 Megas
- 6 new Evolution cards
- 18 new Option cards
Links here will take you straight to an explanation of each new thing in the set and rules changes!