All posts by: Alice White

What are Firewalls in Digimon Battles


A quick aside coming off the heels of today’s COTD: Death Evolution. It’s listed as a firewall. Firewall cards are Options that usually Void in some way. Cherrymon’s Mist was the original firewall and has been erratad as such. The card is so staple that every deck needed 3 copies to compete. Stuff like this can’t be nerfed or removed or it would negatively affect the health of the game, but we also don’t like the idea of hard staples being the first cards you put into a new deck. Maybe if this were a pool of cards instead…

Thus the Firewall keyword was born. It’s similar to how Ace cards work: You can have 3 of any firewalls in your deck, period. Essentially what this means is you can still run 3 Cherrymon’s Mist, but then you might miss out on other effects like the aforementioned Death Evolution. You could run 1 Mist and 2 Death Evolution. Or mix and match between the 3 new firewalls in Data Breakers and the original Mist in Base Release. Each one might fundamentally void effects, but all are pretty powerful (almost Ace-worthy, almost).

It will definitely be a priority for us to make more Firewall-keyworded cards, so that players have plenty of strategy, can express themselves through their cards, and you know…don’t show up to a cocktail party in the same dress!

Digimon COTD: Death Evolution

Death Evolution—A new firewall and stops Evolutions in their tracks, and maybe an Option.

What’s good about it: It has a very rare ability: the power to be played during the Evolution Phase and void an Evolve card. On top of that, it can also stop an Option card later in the Support Phase, if you choose. If your opponent has no way to play around it, this can be a hard one-two combo that floors them.

What’s bad about it: Overall, it’s less powerful than other firewalls such as “Cherrymon’s Mist”, and isn’t for every deck. You have to make the decision to Support with it during the Evolution Phase, which can give your opponent enough information to play around it. Since it can only void Options, this gives it a more limited scope and the opponent might have wanted to support with a Digimon (or not at all) anyway.

Tips: Those precious 3 Firewall slots have to be thought through carefully. What can you really use? What synergizes? What can you re-use? While it technically can be played around, let’s not underestimate the power to buy a turn by stopping an Ace from even being played. Also, if you have no Evolutions to void, you can always play this in the Support Phase regularly, which gives you flexibility. If you reveal to void an evolve, then discard it on purpose, there are ways you can re-use it later via recycle or similar.

Digimon COTD: Megidramon

Megidramon—Crazy, Passive-based, maniac Digimon.

What’s good about it: Wargrowlmon provides a crazy-high reduction in DP cost. It has a very easy DNA, since half the requirements just have to be and Level U. The HP on this incarnation of terror is huge for his typing. “Attach D”, while not incredibly ridiculous by itself compared to other Cross-abilities, is monumentally horrifying when paired with the passive “Attachment Slots +2” and “Unaffected by Shatter”, since this means you get to set up 3 (non-Ace) attachments from your deck in a row, with no ability to be stopped. Megidramon can also change its type every turn to make best use of all the “Crest” attachment cards and evade “x3 VS” abilities the opponent may have. The cherry on top is how it slowly corrupts the opponent’s deck into oblivion over time.

What’s bad about it: Try actually setting up those 3 attachments with only his  attack. I dare you. Any opponent with an ounce of fore-thought will see right through it and plan around it, possibly going for a one-hit kill with their Ace. Megidramon also has a more “balanced” style of attack Power for his huge DP cost, so he doesn’t really stand out anywhere, including . This is a nearly-pure setup Mega and should be supported as such. Corrupting 1 every turn is very slow if you’re not also supporting that ability with similar abilities. Changing your type off of Dragon usually makes you more vulnerable to “x3 VS” in general (opponents can play Digimon on their turn, you know) and turns off a lot of their best supports. In addition, an opponent with the rare Counter- (or “to-Zero”) is going to see your setup coming a mile away and make you eat dirt.

Tips: While it’s usually not advisable to build your supports/options around your Mega, Megidramon makes it necessary to at least coincidentally support him. Without backup, he’s just a whole lot of effort for very little payoff. If you can keep his health up, anticipate anti-Cross plays, outfox “Vademon” plays, and keep your opponent dealing with this five-alarm-fire of a Digimon, he’s incredibly rewarding. Make sure that the support for him in your deck works just as well for your Level C and Us, unless you have a dedicated speed-evolve strategy like “Hyper Digivolve”.

Explaining the new Ruler Type

What’s Ruler Type?

Digimon Battles (DMB) set Data Breakers brings with it a new type of Digimon—Ruler. Much like Jungle () or Nightmare (), it obeys the rules of evolution. However, there are many rules it does not obey and  -type has 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: Read more

Digimon Errata (Sets BR-EX) Aug-2017

In preparation for set “Data Breakers” which is coming very soon, we have gone over the base set and first expansion yet again. Several cards had their evolution boxes expanded (in preparation), patter streamlined, effects rebalanced, bodies changed, and so much more. Don’t get too excited, it’s mostly just typo fixing and patter updates. For example, any Set EX cards had their “Look at the top X of own deck and put them on the top or bottom in any order” condensed into “Recode X’. Recode is a new keyword for the Data Breakers set, which does as advertised just there. If you need a list to figure out what needs updated in your deck, check the full errata list below:

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.
Read more

Street Dates Are Nonsense

More rumors of street breaks for Dragon Ball Super

Why They Exist

For those unaware, a “street date” is a restriction of sale dictated by a company regarding their product. For example, the sale of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince could not be conducted before the given date (oh god, the spoilers). Industries originally put these in place to keep larger stores from over-running smaller stores, like a sort of self-regulating form of capitalism. They’re not in the law and there can ultimately end up being little to no consequence, depending on if terms of service or a contract is involved. Large stores could use early sales as a form of arbitrage against smaller stores, ruining any chances of the latter having a fair shot. Sounds like I’m for them right? No.

In particular, this is a response to the never-ending accusations of Dragon Ball Super having broken street dates 1-2 weeks ahead of time. Several of these accusations have been fake, caused by baseless and poorly-researched rumors. However, new accusations keep coming so I’m not even going to bother researching or calling them out. Ultimately there’s going to come a time where a store does actually break street date and I want to lay some shit down in that inevitable event:

Why This is Bullshit

Once a distributor puts it in a store’s hands, there’s nothing Bandai (or most any company) can do legally to stop the sale or even punish them. There’s no contract signed to which stores must adhere. It’s an arbitrary capitalistic control scheme and means exactly nothing (remember the part about self-regulation?). Let me paint you a picture—a store spends hundreds of dollars on cases of product for a game (especially a new one from a company with bad history like Bandai) and are somehow socially expected to eat that capital loss for a month or more with no safety net just to stick to an arbitrary date. Read more

Digimon COTD: Chainsaw

Chainsaw. An Option played in the Support phase that triples your power. Then after the battle, if you’re still alive, you go straight to 10 HP.

What’s good about it: What’s great about this Option is how it really helps come back from an absolute pummeling. Especially if used on the opponent’s turn, so you go into your own turn ready to evolve and heal yourself back up.

What’s bad about it: It’s essentially useless with a Drain ability since the 10 HP occurs at the end phase, and doesn’t work at all with Crash or Counter, but few things do. Meaning Chainsaw is for playing it straight: using , or an attacky-.

Tips: You can get massive numbers if paired with a that has “x3 VS”, which will sextuple them. If used like this versus a Mega level, you can earn 2KOs for the one you will inevitably lose. Securing a dominant position with Chainsaw can only be done if it’s your opponent’s turn when you play it and you can evolve next turn. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up so they can knock you down.

Lightning Epic Variant

Only read the bullet-point lists if you just came here for the rules themselves. My ramblings are not necessary but provide some insights.

Epic Card Game is a pretty wonderful game and has proven that it’s willing to change over time. But one of the things it seems to encourage pretty heavily is extra variants. They add a lot of replay value to the game while we wait for additional sets. Lightning Epic is a variant that came about by pure accident. Back when I first obtained my original copy of base set in 2015 and read the terrible rulebook, we were pretty confused on many of the rules. Thus, it led us to playing several rules slightly incorrectly for some time. The game seemed to be charged with lightning and amazingly deadly—packed with strategy. When we finally learned the real rules about 10 games later, Epic flopped around like a cold, dead fish. See, the problem was that Epic always favors the defender, by allowing them the last word on practically everything. If you play a card and attack, the defender can respond. If they block and you play a card, they can respond. If they pass and you play a card, they can respond. No matter how you try to wiggle in some extra aggro, the defender can always play the control game perfectly.

Lightning Epic changes this. After playing Epic for two solid years with several hundred games under my belt, I’m confident in saying this is my absolute favorite variant of the rules. Only a few changes were made to the core of the game, most of them extremely play tested for compatibility and balance. After seeing the damage that stalling forever until you win is doing to this game, I think Lightning Epic is needed now more than ever. Let’s eliminate the slog! Read more

Chess: The Emperor Has No Clothes

A very popular consensus among the layperson, the educated, and the autodidact alike is that chess (or Go) is the ultimate game of skill and strategy. Being really good at chess (or Go) makes someone appear smarter, more pensive, and is a great shortcut to establishing that a fictional character should be taken seriously when they say anything remotely academic. But are the tropes about chess (…or Go) actually true? Do abstract lifestyle games like chess, Go, or shogi have the tangible value we place upon them as a society? It would certainly seem that dedicated players believe so. I’m here to tell you the emperor (king) has no clothes. Read more

Epic Tabletop Sim update for Uprising


New update for TTS, Uprising! Click the huge Tabletop Simulator image above or this link to grab it.

  • Added all Epic Uprising cards
  • Added all Tyrants alt art tokens
  • Added official +1/+1 counters
  • Named all Tyrants and Uprising cards for searchability
  • Added my custom high-res Epic alignment icons for fun (same for the pack fronts)
  • Added cube set of Tyrants and Base for your convenience. You can add Uprising manually but it’s unclear if 3 sets are good for cube yet.
  • Added HQ Gods/Demigods (thanks Mobieus!)
  • Added custom set Vigilance by Alice and Zoey. Hopefully you like it.

Coming soon…

  • None

Epic Uprising preview and Worlds thoughts

Preview! Part 1…

It’s been a while since the last article, so I just wanted everyone to know we’re alive here. Now that the preview season for Uprising is well underway, I just wanted to give some thoughts to the cards inside. Unfortunately, this article is going to have some negativity basically all over it so if you’re sensitive to that, you might want to skip it or get ready.

Uprising’s pack structure will mirror Tyrants exactly. While it’s currently unknown how many draft rares will be in each alignment or how many champions to events to silvers will be in each, what is known is that the same dual tokens will be present among the 4-pack structure, each containing 12 cards. Getting 144 cards will again be the constructed goal and the pack prices are the same retail. It’s yet unclear if there will be any print complications as with Tyrants or if that has been permanently addressed. Now, on to the previews!

Read more

Gold and Draw – The Engines of Epic

The engines of Epic

Gold and draw are the most powerful resources in all of Epic. Without draw, you could only play 5 cards per game. Without gold, you could only play free ⓪ cards. Without either, even a deck running as many silvers as possible will only be able to play about two to three cards per game. So these are completely essential parts of Epic—the game doesn’t even work without them. Therefore, wouldn’t you like to maximize them as much as possible? I think most Epic players would’ve been on board if I said that from the start. But it’s crucial to outline exactly how powerful these effects are. Let’s go over some general logic. Read more

Epic: Zombie OTK

Requires Tyrants expansion.

You cannot typically perform an OTK (one turn kill) in Epic, from full health. Dealing 30 damage in one turn, is very difficult; or even dealing very close to it like 25 after some health is lost. It can be done and usually relies on attacking while using some sort of sure-fire boost like Battle Cry or Deadly Raid on a massive token field. This deck shares only one real thing in common with that approach: tokens. In this deck, we are going to use pure burn to kill someone in as close to one turn as possible. How? First, we need to establish two engines: draw and zombie production. If you get a Drinker of Blood early in the game, the draw engine is less important. Here’s how it works: draw Drinker of Blood and some sort of board wipe, preferrably a silver-costed wipe so you can do this without giving the opponent two responses. A gold will have to wait until their turn, which is 2 responses (one on yours, one on theirs) so silvers like Hands From Below will not provoke a response. A 0-response solution would be Wither or Flash Fire. Due to the attacking rules that give attackers priority to play first, Spike Trap and Hands From Below operate without provoking any response.

Okay, now that you have your weenie board wipe and Drinker and your zombies are all out (including opponent zombies or both players having weak other champions depending on your possible out), now the magic begins. Nuke. Win. Drinker of Blood will make each opponent lose[es] two life and you gain two life for each champion that breaks at this time. If you’re responseless at the time, you auto-win.

This means, it cannot be stopped by The Gudgeon because it does not target, is not useless in multiplayer since everyone loses the life, and cannot be punished even when it fails to force a loss of all the remaining life because you will gain all that ridiculous amount of life for yourself. So even if you fail to get all 30 or 28 or whatever the situation, even if you do 18-20, you’re getting that much and they’re losing that much. Such a gap usually leaves opponents unable to defeat you before you do something minor and win. Don’t forget that one of your outs is Flash Fire which will do 2 more damage on top of that. Special note here: even though some cards in this deck give zombies to the opponent, which is technically usable by our Drinker of Blood OTK gambit, the decklist notes will not count them as usable since you never know what an opponent will do with it once it’s theirs.

Here are a list of play flow tips that should help you:

  • If you don’t have Drinker of Blood, mulligan aggressively. 5 cards if no Drinker and no Flash Fire (best finisher). 4 if one of them. Mulligan 5 gives a 42% chance of opening a Drinker, with one being in the next 9 cards on average if you fail
  • Set up zombies slowly early on, so as not to provoke a board wipe
  • Do not attack with early zombies for the same reason (plus you don’t want them dying off)
  • You will have way more silver board wipe wincons than you know what to do with. Don’t be afraid to waste a few Hands From Below for extra tokens
  • Make sure you always respond with Plentiful Dead before your intended response! You need multiple activations of this
  • Don’t pay attention to life costs as you will gain the life back, but don’t uselessly spam Plentiful Dead or you’ll die
  • Make sure to use Necrovirus as early as possible to set up zombie “extensions” (where you get more than you visibly had available later)
  • Use The Gudgeon not just to draw a ton but to stop discard control from ruining your Plentiful Deads and Necrovirus

Legend for deck keypoints:

  • OPP – Counts as playable on the opponent’s turn. This is essential to keeping good rhythm and affecting game play every single turn. Doesn’t count re-usable.
  • DRW – Draws at least 2 cards, or is a draw engine. Required to keep playing cards every turn including on the opponent’s turn, especially if you’re board wiping.
  • TKN – Produces zombie tokens.
  • RMV – Any type of removal whether spot or board wipe, including weenie removal since our deck profits here.
  • MVP – Don’t squander these as they’re your best cards. (ACE for Events)

Zombie Counter: For tracking average zombies per card at the end.

Za Warudo
Silver 0: 18

3 Plentiful Dead – Constant source of free zombies you don’t realize will be incredibly necessary. Since you can play it before your gold, then play a gold, then do the same thing on your opponent’s turn, it’s easy to manufacture 4 per round per copy of this card. So this will count as +4 zombies. TKN

3 Wither – Second-easiest way to start the OTK in the deck and best of all, it still gets all zombies regardless of whose you target first. ACE RMV

3 Hands From Below – Used when your own zombies attack in a mass group to kill them all (or demons/wolves given by your opponent) while Drinker is on the field. Can alternatively be used to just get 2 extra zombies when needed if you have a different out. +2 Zombies. TKN RMV

3 Arcane Research – Used to fish very deeply for Drinker of Blood. Even if you fail, that can be around 5 cards deeper than you were. Totally invaluable for this deck and always at least replaces itself. Be careful of your greyboxes in the discard. Run Spike Trap instead if you have more trouble getting finishers (you probably won’t). Because of the intense amount of digging, it’s listed as DRW despite not giving a +1, please remember this! The DRW is for Drinker anyway. OPP DRW

3 Muse – Draw engine. Cheeky 2 damage in the air which can reduce the amount of zombies required to OTK by 1 each time (with some risk). DRW

3 Flash Fire – Primary and easiest way to perform the OTK in the deck. ACE OPP DRW RMV

Gold 1: 42

Removal: 12
3 Hurricane – Reminder do not play this on an opponent’s turn immediately after dropping Drinker. You won’t need to anyway but this is mostly to field clear weird stuff your opponent drops. OPP DRW RMV

3 Transform – Works really well for giving you yet another token to kill to Drinker as well as spot removal for anything that’s unbreakable or unbanishable (the former of which this deck is weak to). OPP DRW RMV

3 Zombie Apocalypse – A real horrorshow. +X Zombies. OPP DRW TKN RMV

3 Necrovirus – This spot removal puts 2 new zombies on the field and makes 3 more the moment you play an ally. Counts as +4 zombies total (1 goes to the opponent). OPP TKN RMV

Zombie Army: 9
3 Zealous Necromancer – Always good to have ambush draw, plus you can slow-roll a zombie army when your opponent’s stuff dies. +4 Zombies on average in testing. OPP DRW TKN

3 Reap or Sow – Always take the zombies. You should have plenty of board wipes otherwise. This is best used as OPP, especially if Necrovirus is in the discard, as that creates huge armies quickly. +4 Zombies. OPP TKN RMV

3 The Risen – Unlike a typical zombie deck or spammy evil token deck, it’s not used for swinging with some zombies. Mostly it’s used to build an army on OPP so you can surprise OTK on your turn. Use as needed however. +3 Zombies. OPP DRW TKN

Utility: 21

3 Drinker of Blood – Make sure this will either kill or permanently cripple an opponent when finally dropped. It’s too precious to squander. Look for creative and weird ways to extend your damage as hard as possible (Flash Fire, Muse, opponent’s weaklings, etc.) Draw until you get this as it’s required to win. Be clever and sneaky about what you’re doing, so you don’t provoke an enemy board wipe. I can usually get away with 4-6 zombie tokens completely right before I spend my gold on my opponent’s turn before I play Drinker, and yet still end up extending my zombie generation between that time period to an OTK. MVP

3 The Gudgeon – Precious discard protection. Precious draw. Ping every turn to reduce our zombie army requirements by 1 each time it attacks. DRW

3 Final Task – This is just for emergencies to bring back a dead Drinker. By that point late in the game, with all your draw engine, you’ll have one just fine (and it can swing in the air with unbreakable, which extends the damage that turn). Also used to grab draw engines. OPP DRW

3 Winter Fairy – Draw engine and strong Turn 1 play. OPP DRW

3 Thoughtplucker – Draw engine and hand control. OPP DRW

3 Crystal Golem – Minor draw, some needed OPP and fills the Sage slot better than anything else. OPP DRW

3 Battle Cry – (If lack of champions bothers you, run Triceratops, Jungle Queen, or Sea Hydra instead.) Used as an alternate out for your zombie army when you have to swing early. Almost always just used to defend and draw 2 on an opponent’s turn, though. Remember that with an all-breakthrough field you want to swing as a group for maximum damage and minimum responses. OPP DRW


Key Point stats

Keypoint totals:

  • OPP – 42 total cards. 70% of the deck works well on the opponent’s turn.
  • TKN – 21 total cards. 35% of the deck is used to generate tokens for your finisher.
  • DRW – 42 total cards. 70% of the deck can give net hand advantage after it’s played. Arcane Research is for digging.
  • RMV – 24 total cards. 40% of the deck can be used as removal.

Intersection – 215% total, spillover (intersection) of 215%. Cards, on average have 2 of the deck’s key points on each card. Therefore each draw in this deck has a quality rating of 2.

Draw quality (+10). Reminder this is extra over the normal 100%.

Plus the above!

Please note that card quality does not mean anything objective. It’s a subjective self-measure of how well the deck does what it says it wants to. It measures synergy.

Zombie Counter: 18 total produced from unique cards

This means the average number of zombies per card is 18/20 or 0.9. That’s pretty intense. For every card you play, you get around 1 zombie. After 10 cards, you have 9 zombies on average. Though that would be assuming you were playing random cards from your hand with no goal in mind so really it ends up being far more. Essentially, a hand of 7 will have 6.3 zombies per card available to it. Adjust this on the fly to account for your particular game’s quirks, and for the value of Zombie Apocalypse in your game.

This deck is by far the strongest most consistent deck I have been able to make since I started playing Epic upon its release (over a year ago at the time of writing). That’s a very powerful statement given exactly how deep and complex Epic is as a game. Neverthless, its strong potential for non-respondable wins while working consistently and having multiple outs as well as defense makes this deck intensely hard to contend against. Even when using direct counters such as banish removal and discard control, the deck has protection and a plan. Once I come up with a weakness, I’ll be posting it here. This deck can win even when it gets a bad hand, though a bad start is always going to cripple you

It’s not even punishable. In the rare cases where the deck must go for OTK and cannot make it all the way, it’s gaining over 20 life and reducing the opponent that much too. Even in the upper teens of damage, you’re still making a gap that puts the opponent in critical condition and you way up in untouchable areas. If you think you’re not going to draw your win condition, you’re dead wrong. This deck is all gas and draw engines. Your biggest hiccup is against heavy life-gain decks but that was already covered in the part where you cripple the opponent with a less-than-full OTK. In the future, I hope to make the Wild gold choices stronger, but that will either require new insights or a new set release. I hope you all take this and stomp your local competition into the dust! Have fun.

By the way, the name comes from the stand of DIO from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, who is an all-powerful vampire that stops time to pummel you so you can’t respond. It seemed appropriate.