Digimon Battle Evolution Rules


Video Tutorial

Original PS1 game tutorial (14 mins)

(very similar) before you read the rest of these rules; it will help frame them better:

Table of Contents


Digimon Battle Evolution (DBE) is a Digimon card game for two players made by Alice White and Zoey White. Based on the Playstation 1 title Digimon World: Digital Card Battles with all the heart-pounding strategy and outguessing you love about the combat system, the hard choices of the support sytstem; and several changes to the rules, many altered cards (plus new cards) and completely new game features and concepts.

Pick a powerful partner Digimon. Play a deck containing any of eight types of Digimon, or mix-and-match types. Play, evolve, battle!

Object of the Game:

Each player will send out their Digimon, evolve, and support them with their own cards. The Digimon battle until one player defeats their opponent 4 times! Become the victor with superior deck construction, planning, bluffing, and outplaying. Digimon Battle Evolution is an Expandable Card Game, (ECG) and is free for life. Several expansion sets are currently implemented, with more on the way.

Anatomy of Cards


  1. Card Type – May be DIGIMON / OPTION / EVOLUTION / DATA
  2. Set Number – Used in deck construction to determine uniqueness of card for legality
  3. Level – Used for evolution requirements. May be R (rookie), C (champion), U (ultimate), or M (mega). Level M cards do not go in your main deck.
  4. Name – Name of the card. Not a unique identifier.
  5. Type – If the card is a Digimon, it will have one of the following primary types, which are used primarily for evolution: Nature, Dragon, Enigma, Wind, Nightmare, Metal, Jungle, Marine, or Ruler
  6. DP cost – Amount of DP you must pay at minimum during evolution
  7. +P – Amount of DP this provides when in the DP zone
  8. Evolution Box – Contains evolutions that can bypass type and level requirements, as well as “bonuses” obtained when evolving from the named Digimon
  9. HP – A permanently raising/lowering stat that KOs the Digimon when it reaches zero
  10. Circle / Triangle / Cross Power – Power of all 3 attacks. This is subtracted from enemy’s HP. This is semipermanent; can be changed but reverts back when the turn ends.
  11. Cross ability – All Cross attacks have an ability which resolves during Support. Some Triangle attacks also have these.
  12. Abnormal stats – Just a reminder for Level C and Level U Digimon. Level C stats are halved, Level U stats are quartered. “Abnormal” Digimon are active without being evolved to.
  13. Timing – When the card is allowed to be played. SUPPORT / EVOLVE refer to phases. ACTIVATE is used at any phase’s step 0. EFFECT has its timing specified. DATA is a synonym of EFFECT. PASSIVE is always occuring.
  14. Card text. Do this in order at the correct timing. May also specify timings. Proceed left to right, top to bottom, one sentence (full stop) at a time. Each sentence is one effect. A whole card does not have to resolve for an effect to resolve.
  15. Subtypes bar – Specifies additional types this card has beyond its primary type. This is the same as a primary type for all effects and evolutions.

Pre-Game Setup

Each player performs the following Pre-Game Setup steps once before the game can begin.

  1. Preamble: Bring a 50 card, legal deck. All Destiny Zone cards are counted in this limit, but still remain in their separate zone. (See “Deck Construction”)
  2. Inspect: Offers your opponent a chance to see each card in your Destiny Zone. Declares your Partner Digimon (show the card to your opponent).
  3. Side Piles: Create your Side Pile by removing any cards from your deck, face down (opponent cannot check), until your deck contains 40 cards exactly. Opponent may check the count to ensure it’s correct based on Destiny Zone size.
  4. Opening hand: Shuffles your 40-card deck, ignoring your Side Pile, and draw an opening hand of 5 cards.
  5. Opening mulligan: Choose any number of your opening hand cards, place them face down (opponent cannot check) on top of your Side Pile. Then, draw until your hand is 5 again.
  6. Create the deck: Combine your Side Pile, mulliganed cards, and deck together and shuffle.
  7. Start player: Determine who will go first. It becomes that player’s first turn. Proceed to “Phases of Play — Prep Phase”

Prep Phase


Before the game begins for the first time, please see the “Pre-Game Setup” and follow its steps. Then proceed to “EACH TURN” here.


These are the steps you will perform each turn (including the first turn)

  1. “Draw Phase” and “Prep Phase” abilities on cards in play activate now.
  2. Draw: Turn player draws 1 card. If your hand is 2 or lower, draw 2 cards instead!
  3. Full mulligans: If the turn player has 3 or more cards in hand at this point, they may perform a “full mulligan” as many times as they wish. This is discarding the ENTIRE hand and adding that many cards to their hand from the top of the deck (same as drawing but does not trigger effects).
  4. Play new Digimon: If active zone is empty, turn player plays an R, C or U from hand
    1. If the turn player cannot place any Digimon on the active zone at this point, that player loses the game immediately.
    2. Playing an un-evolved Level C or U changes to “Abnormal” status. See: Glossary “Abnormal”
    3. If the newly placed Digimon is the deck’s “Partner” Level R, you may partner-evolve immediately. Choose one Partner Level C from the Destiny Zone and place it on the Active Zone.

Evolution Phase

  1. “Evolution Phase” abilities on cards in play activate now.
  2. Rack up DP: You may place up to ONE card into DP Zone for its “+P” amount
  3. If current active Digimon is abnormal or the active was partner evolved this turn:
    1. If abnormal: You may reveal a valid Evolution type card from hand and proceed to step 4 and play the revealed card. “Evolve” timing cards are not valid for Abnormal Digimon, only the card type.
      1. (Example: You reveal “Download”, which is an Evolution card that does not prohibit evolving from abnormal but you may not reveal Penguinmon or DNA.)
      2. In many cases, the Evolution card may not allow evolution for abnormal Digimon in which case, you would still resolve all of its other effects.
      3. Skip the rest of this Phase (do not evolve by DP, DNA, or any other method than Evolution type cards)
    2. If you partner evolved: Skip the rest of this phase.
  4. Evolution terminology: The Digimon one has chosen to evolve to is called the “future” and it’s evo-box bonuses and DNA specifications are called the “future evo-box”. This is used for applying bonus effects during evolution or for defining how DNA evolution functions.
  5. Evolve Cards: Turn player plays any ONE “Evolve” timing card (or DNA) from hand to the Evolve zone.
    1. To DNA Evolve: DNA evolution counts as “Evolve” timing and uses the Evolve zone. Reveal the future card.
      1. DNA Materials: Digimon listed in a future evo-box after “DNA: ” are split by a plus sign (+) and are the required “DNA materials”. Each DNA evolution is always comprised of two material Digimon
        1. Materials may be specified by name, type, level, or some combination.
        2. Material requirements with more than one specification require all of them (e.g. DNA: Airdramon + Metal Level C; requires an Airdramon card as a material and any Digimon with the Metal typing that is also Level C).
      2. Have either of the required material Digimon as active. Put the other DNA material from hand onto the Evolve zone. Play the correct future Digimon onto the active stack as evolved.
      3. When DNA evolving, “DATA” cards count as DNA materials that match their name.
      4. DNA does not evolve by DP and ignores the DP zone—all other Digimon properties are ignored except the evo-box DNA requirements and any lingering effects that affect DNA evolution.
      5. Since DNA materials count as “Evolve” timing, they cannot be used with abnormal actives.
      6. Skip the rest of this phase.
    2. Other evolve timing cards resolve all their additional effects (even if no evolution occured).
    3. By default, Evolve timing cards (except DNA) proceed to Step 6 and “evolve by DP”.
  6. Evolution requirements: All evolution attempts begin with the following requirements. Various effects may dictate that you ignore some or more of these requirements. In those cases, be sure to observe the remaining requirements. Evolution from a card effect is different and will normally specify all of the requirements (DP isn’t paid for these).
    1. Reveal the future card (the card you wish to evolve to).
    2. Resolve any Evo-box bonus effects on the future that are applicable (use DP discounts before this step). Passive Evo-box bonuses will continue after evolution.
    3. Pay the DP cost: DP zone must have at least the required DP printed on the future. DP discounts apply before evolution (ex: DP -10 in an evo-box). DP bonuses (+) in evo-boxes are passives that take effect after evolution.
    4. The level progression must be R -> C -> U -> M. (Rookie -> Champion -> Ultimate -> Mega). Each in the line are higher than the previous levels, which applies to some card effects. (e.g. C is lower than U. Level M is higher than all other levels).
    5. The type (color) must be the same OR:
    6. Instead, if the future contains the previous Digimon’s name in its evo-box, ignore type and level but not DP.
    7. When “ignoring level”, Digimon may evolve backward (to a lower level, e.g. C -> R), to the same level (C -> C) or to any other higher level that’s allowed by the effect (C -> M).
  7. Evolving: Choose a level to progress to: R -> C, C -> U, or place M from the Destiny Zone onto an active U (meeting its requirements). Reset the active’s HP. This is a normal evolution by DP.
    1. “As evolved” wording in various card effects means to reset the HP to the new printed HP of the future Digimon and it doesn’t count as abnormal.
    2. Pay the DP cost: If evolving (using DP only), discard all DP cards in the DP Zone and place the evolved Digimon revealed in the “Evolution requirements” step (from hand) on top of the stack of Digimon on the active zone.
      1. May optionally pay +10 DP to remove exactly 1 flat card from in front of your active Digimon (shuffle it into deck). DP can be paid from anywhere you own DP. (Example: Having DP cards under “Immortalize”). When “paying” extra DP, simply increase the requirements for the evolved Digimon by that amount.
      2. All “flat” cards in front of your active remain unless extra cost was paid to remove one.
    3. Evolve only once during this phase, regardless of effects from cards.

Unusual Evolution

In some cases, the above rules may not apply to the situation in question. See the following rules:

  1. Same-level evolution: Some cards may enable same-level evolution. These count as evolved (7.1), are valid with abnormal unless otherwise specified, and maintain DP cost and type requirements unless removed by an effect.
  2. Non-evolution phase evolution: Partner evolving and effect evolutions (such as from a Support timing card) may allow evolutions outside of this phase. In this case, you do not have to follow 7.3 since it states “Evolve only once during this phase”.
  3. Active removal or manipulation: An active stack having the active Digimon changed does not automatically count as “evolution”. It will still check if the current active is abnormal and apply those effects. HP will not be reset in either case. When removing (or deleting) the top active, the next in the stack becomes the active and does not count as evolution. When putting a Digimon on the active (not as evolved), HP also does not reset and no evo-box bonuses are applied.
  4. Downgrade evolving: Some cards may enable backward-level evolution (not to be confused with evolution that ignores level). This is referred to as “downgrade” and it counts as evolution but ignores type and DP. A number of levels may be specified (1 is the default), in which case remove that many Digimon from the top of the active stack. The future Digimon is the new active, HP is reset, and all applicable evo-box bonuses are applied. Downgrade cannot be combined with DNA. If performed during the Evolution Phase, it’s subject to the once per phase limitation.
  5. “Do not use with <Level>”: Indicates that a card cannot be used when the active or future is the specified level. (e.g. “Download” ignores type, level, and DP but not with Level M. This means if the active or future is Level M, Download cannot be played).

Strategy Phase


Skip this entire phase during the first turn of the game.

  1. Skip to Support Phase if opponent player does not have an active Digimon
    1. If skipped, opponent Trashes 2 cards and turn player Draws 1 card. This is an unopposed victory bonus!
  2. Both players choose one of: Circle / Triangle / Cross attacks simultaneously and secretly. Attacks aren’t revealed until Step 2 of the Battle Phase.
    1. Use markers in a bag, behind a barrier or under a table (do not place cards in hand in these locations)
    2. If using the attack cards, simply place them (facedown) into the Attack Zone.
    3. Tip: Try to bluff your opponent and be aware of their most deadly attack, most reliable attack, and their special attack!

Support Phase


Skip this entire phase during the first turn of the game.

  1. “Support Phase”abilities on cards in play activate now.
  2. Supporting: Support-timing cards (usually Digimon or Options) may be played either from hand or the top of the deck (face down!), in this order:
  3. Non-turn player plays 1 Support card (or lack thereof) first.
  4. Turn player then plays 1 Support (or none). Your advantage for being the turn player is playing second and knowing what is coming!
  5. Resolve Support cards starting with the TURN-player. They play last but resolve first! Just remember: last-in, first-out.
    1. “Void” timings are *always* checked before all other effects. Voiding means to nullify the card.
      1. If there are more than one Void effect, always refer to Step 4: Resolve the turn-player’s first!
    2. If an effect fails to apply, such as blind supporting from the deck resulting in an impossible play, or an “If/When” statement failing, it’s considered a “misfire” and has the same affect as self-Voiding.
    3. At this time, if a player chose Cross while they have a “Jamming” attack ability, and their opponent used a Digimon card to Support, they may reveal their chosen attack and Void the Digimon support. If they do not do that before moving to the Battle Phase, it is considered a missed opportunity and “misfires”.

Battle Phase


Skip this entire phase during the first turn of the game.

  1. “Battle Phase” and “Prep Phase” abilities on cards in play activate now.
  2. Reveal both chosen attacks simultaneously.
    1. The turn-player gains “1st Attack” meaning they will attack first by default.
  3. Now apply both Digimons’ special “attack abilities” simultaneously. These are usually found on Cross attacks, but sometimes Triangle.
    1. If there is any timing conflict at this point, the turn player begins with priority to resolve first but may choose to pass it and resolve second.
    2. In the case of “1st Attack” conflicts, priority of attack goes to the player with the most instances of “1st Attack” gianed, including the turn player’s default assignment from Step 1.1. In the case that there is a tie, the player who gained a “1st Attack” ability *most recently* will attack first.
      1. This means that the turn-player starts with 1 point of 1st Attack. If the opponent gains a point, they would attack first since there is a tie and they gained the ability last. If the turn-player then gained another, they would have more instances and attack first again.
      2. If a player “cannot gain 1st Attack” due to some card effect, all instances are stripped and they attack Second.
      3. If ANY player has “Counter Attack” they always attack second no matter what other effects exist. Counter requires this to be the case. If both players have Counter, both attacks fail and no damage is dealt.
    3. At this step, things like “Counter [Attack]” can become more/less powerful and “[Attack] to 0” can reduce all gains. Outguessing is considered more valuable than playing a card for the same effect.
  4. Reduce 2nd-attacker’s HP by the damage of the 1st-Attacker’s Power (or according to a Crash-user’s *current* HP).
    1. Apply residual effects (e.g. Drain to gain HP, Crash’s “HP to 10”)
      1. Always apply Crash’s HP reduction before Drain’s HP recovery
    2. If a Digimon’s HP reaches 0, skip immediately to Step 6 and proceed with KO scoring. The other player does not get an attack.
  5. Reduce 1st-attacker’s HP by 2nd attacker’s Power, unless they are using Counter or Crash:
    1. If using counter, directly apply damage equal to the opponent’s *current* Power. Remember to “misfire” the counter instead if its conditions failed. For Crash, do the same as above and apply the *current* HP of the 2nd Attacker as damage instead of their Power.
    2. Apply residual effects (e.g. Drain, Crash) as in 3.1
      1. Always apply Crash’s HP reduction before Drain’s HP recovery
  6. Check for a Digimon KO (HP is reduced to 0)
    1. Discard the active KO’d Digimon and all cards under it. Keep all DP zone cards. Discard all its attachments.
    2. Before awarding ANY KO points, always remember “Set Revival” (see Glossary) and how it works, including its KO point changes.
    3. KO’d R-level “Partner” goes to deck (shuffle) as long as it’s anywhere in the active zone stack.
    4. KO’d Partner’s Level C from Destiny Zone is deleted instead of discarded, as long as it’s anywhere in the active zone.
    5. KO’d Level M is deleted and the opponent gains 2 KO points in the next step instead of 1.
    6. Player that achieved the KO gains 1 KO point for victory. If a Level M was KO’d, 2 KO points are awarded instead.
  7. Check if a player can win the game: If a player has 4 KO points (or more), they win!

End Phase

  1. “End Phase” abilities on cards in play activate now.
  2. The turn-player (only) discards down to 6 cards in hand.
  3. Remove ALL “lingering” effects, such as Power boosting. Exceptions:
    1. Type-changes/gains as well as name changes are semi-permanent. They are treated as part of the Digimon card, not an effect once they resolve.
    2. Current HP is always carried over, this is not considered an “effect”.
    3. “Passive” effects remain and continue to activate
    4. Continuous evo-box bonuses such as “Power +40” or “Opponent’s DP -10” or “DP +10” are considered Passives as in 2.3.
  4. Discard all Support cards, reset attack cards to their original positions.
  5. The turn passes to the next player.


(Parenthesis text) – Text in parenthesis are passively applied at all times and unvoidable in any way. They are referred to as arguments. Consider them permanent parts of the card. Some reminder text is in parenthesis as well. These effects only ever apply when the card is a permanent on the field in some way (Attachment, Active Zone, or Support).

[1/Turn] – Some effects may have [1/Turn] written in them, which are almost always Passives. These effects are only able to be used 1 time per turn (each player’s) and a player may choose whether or not to activate them as long as they contain a colon ( : ), indicating that the “once per turn” is paid as a cost. As many different once per turn costs may be paid as possible.

Abnormal – A state of the active Digimon where the abnormal stat block is used for its starting HP and its Power. Abnormal Digimon can’t evolve by DP, can only play Evolution-type cards instead of any Evolve timing card, and may have other restrictions as defined by cards. Abnormal states are checked when the active stack changes except after “as evolved” or “evolution” effects and an active is abnormal if: A) It is played as abnormal or B) At any time, the number of cards in the active stack is less than the level requirement for normal state. Normal state Level C actives must have 1 other Digimon type card in the active stack and Level Us must have 2 others (Note that the requirements do not specify that they must be any specific levels or types, only that they exist). If at any time, the active stack contains the required number of cards, the active Digimon loses its abnormal status which uses the normal printed Power, enables evolution, allows Evolve timing cards to be played, etc (it becomes “normal”). When a Digimon becomes normal, it does not reset its HP! If a Digimon was placed onto the active “as evolved”, it won’t be abnormal but if it’s removed you should check the status again by looking at the active stack. HP will not change (only use abnormal HP when the card is put into play, not when it becomes the active).

ACTIVATE – Play timing. See FAQ – ACTIVATE timing.

Active Digimon/Zone/Stack – Active Zone is a game zone that includes a set of Digimon, the topmost of which being the “Active Digimon”, an attachment slot (possibly more, possibly with cards filled), and a possible stack of Digimon under the active. Active Stack or Pile refers to all Digimon stacked on top of each other, but not the attachment slots or cards. Active Digimon or “active” only refers to the topmost Digimon. A non-Digimon cannot be the active (trash any that would appear in the active spot).

Also [Type] This card is permanently considered this type. However, it is not the card’s primary (printed) type. It cannot be voided, like all parenthetical effects.

Any Phase – May use this card during any of the Phase’s Step 1, when “[Timing] Effects Activate”. In some cases, it’s not possible to use an effect at the correct time, in which case simply use it at the correct time.

Attach – Place this card next to your active Digimon as “attached”, sometimes with conditions. Some cards may have a magenta hexagon and/or magenta text which further clarifies that the card is an attachment and the colored text determines what effects are gained when attached (if this is not present, the card may not be new enough to have this feature but it can still be an attachment). If “D/T/H” is specified, it is taken from the respective zone (Deck / Trash / Hand). Cards CAN NOT be attached without this word indicating it and only with its specified conditions if any. Attachments stay out permanently and usually have effects that change the game. Digimon can only have one attachment unless otherwise specified. Attachments can only target your own Digimon unless otherwise specified. If a player has an attachment, and another card would be attached, discard (one of) the current one(s) and replace it.

Attachment Slot – By default, players receive only one attachment slot. This is a place when Attachments can be placed next to the active zone. Discard ALL attachments for a Digimon that is KO’d.

Boost – Usually with text that specifies a player (sometimes an attack) and the word “Power”, this means to increase your *current* Power (as a lingering effect) by the indicated amount. Boost never needs to specify Power since it is a Power-only term, though it usually does for clarity sake. Reminder that all cards target “Own/Self” unless otherwise specified.

Corrupt X – Look at the top X cards of your opponent’s deck, put any of them on the top or bottom in any order.

DATA – A special timing plus deck construction legality rule card. DATA timing counts as three other use cases, making it essentially the same as “EFFECT” timing: DNA (for use during Evolve when DNA evolving), Any Phase for use any time you like, and Data Break which has the same timing as ACTIVATE (see Glossary – “Data Break”).

Data Break Another term for “ACTIVATE” and has that timing, but with the included cost of deleting your Level M from your Destiny Zone. If the Level M is not present, or the cost isn’t paid, the Data Break cannot be activated.

Delete – Remove the specified card from the game permanently, terminate all lingering effects, void all other effects of the card. It no longer affects any possible game state. Any card that leaves its new zone if it came from the Destiny Zone is *always* deleted after leaving that zone (e.g. Mega is KO’d, it is deleted. Partner C levels are deleted upon KO. Proxy card is deleted after use)

Discard – Move the specified number of cards from the indicated player’s hand to their trash zone.

EFFECT – Timing on a card that will be specified in the card’s effect box. Usually indicates multiple timings or “Any Phase”.

Flatten [Type, Level, Attack, other condition] – May be attack ability or card effect. If any required condition is met, (unless otherwise specified) add a card from the top of opponent’s deck facedown in front of their active. If an active Digimon would ever have 3 flat cards or if HP is reduced any time while at 2 cards and you don’t have 2nd Attack, shuffle all flat cards into the deck and KO the active. When a flattened active evolves, that player can pay +10 DP (from anywhere they control DP cards) to remove a single flatten (even if an effect is ignoring DP).

Level – Possible levels are R, C, U, and M. Rookie, Champion, Ultimate, and Mega respectively. “Level _” may be subtistuted by its full name instead, such as “Ultimate” instead of “Level U”.

Proxy – The “P” symbol on a card indicates it can be placed into the Destiny Zone as a Proxy card. Players may choose to discard a Partner in the appropriate circumstance (usually Support for Option cards) and add this card to the appropriate zone from the Destiny Zone. Remember to delete it after resolution if it leaves the Destiny Zone.

Recode X – Look at the top X cards of your deck, put any of them on the top or bottom in any order.

Recover – Usually with text that specifies a player and the word “HP”, this means to increase your *current* HP semi-permanently by the indicated amount. Recover never needs to specify HP since it is an HP-only term, though it usually does for clarity sake. Reminder that all cards target “Own/Self” unless otherwise specified.

Recycle X – Move the top X cards (one at a time) from the indicated player’s trash to the top of their deck. DO NOT shuffle. Not the same as the Attack Ability “Recycle X”, which requires shuffling.

Recycle any – Move any card of your choice from your Trash to the top of your deck. DO NOT shuffle unless specified.

Revive – Always means to “Set Revival”. Set Revival is a lingering effect that is carried out after/if a Digimon is KO’d that turn. It always specifies an amount of HP, but if for some reason it doesn’t: Revive with 10 HP is default. Resolve Revive by leaving the active zone intact (including any cards that *would* have been deleted) instead of discarding/deleting them. KO points are still awarded as usual; this does not stop it from being considered a “KO”. “Set Revival” also changes the future KO points the Digimon is worth to exactly 1, regardless of all Passives, other lingering effects, or permanent effects. This becomes a new permanent effect and overrides rules such as Megas providing 2 KOs, or a Digimon that changes the number of KOs it is worth.

Static X – Delete the bottom X cards in opponent’s Trash.

Take – Same as “pick”: simply choose a card of whatever conditions are provided from the specified zone and place it into your hand. Be sure to follow the Cherrypicking Rule (FAQ) and shuffle if the card is taken from a hidden zone.

Trash X – Move the top X cards (one at a time) from the top of the specified player’s deck into their Trash Zone.

Void – Means to nullify, cancel, and make blank the specified effects/card/value as though it didn’t happen and doesn’t exist.

Attack Abilities

Attack abilities refer to abilities printed on a card’s  attack, usually. Sometimes they may appear on a green bar next to the ability. Often times, they will be conferred (either in general or to specific attacks) by card effects.

1st Attack: Attack first. See Battle Phase for more details on conflicts.

/ /  to 0: Means this attack of the opponent’s type becomes 0 Power (even if it was not used).

Corrupt X: Corrupt X cards. See Glossary.

Counter / / : Your own current attack (the one with this ability) has its Power set to 0. You lose 1st Attack and can never gain it. If, during damage calculation, your opponent is using the specified attack, it is voided and you use that attack including all modifiers and effects instead of your opponent, and you use that attack against your opponent. See FAQ for details.

Crash: Your own Power is ignored. You will deal damage equal to your own HP to your opponent at the time of your damage calculation priority. Thus, Crash can become less useful if you are hit first. Once you deal your Crash damage, your HP is reduced to 10. This takes priority over Drain, so you can theoretically gain both and recover.

[Type] x3 VS (or x3 for short): This attacks Power is tripled during the attack abilities step, if your opponent has a type that matches one of the specified types (only do this once).

Jamming: Reveal the attack you chose that has this ability during the Support Phase after An opponent’s Support is played: Void their Support if the card type is a Digimon (void opponent’s Digimon support) and their Cross ability, even if they did not choose that attack. This *does not* Jam/Void non-Cross attack abilities, such as rare Triangle abilities! See FAQ for conflicts.

Drain: Recover HP equal to the damage that this attack dealt, immediately after dealing the damage. Do not recover numbers that would send an opponent below zero, only until they reach zero HP.

Draw X: Draw X cards.

Trash X: *Opponent* Trashes X cards. See Glossary.

Recode X: Recode X cards. See Glossary.

Recycle X: Recycle X cards and *shuffle*. See Glossary.

Attach D/T/H: Attach a card of your choice from the specified zone (Deck/Trash/Hand). See Glossary.

Shatter: May discard 1 “attached” card from anywhere at the Shatter-user’s choice when the attack *hits* (it must deal more than 0 damage). After a Shatter attack hits a Digimon, that Digimon reduces all its Power by the original *printed* amount of Shatter (this cannot be increased or lowered, even if the Power is reduced below the printed amount).

Static X: Delete the bottom X cards in opponent’s Trash.

Flatten [Type, Level, Attack, other condition]: May be attack ability or card effect. If any required condition is met, (unless otherwise specified) add a card from the top of opponent’s deck facedown in front of their active. If an active Digimon would ever have 3 flat cards or if HP is reduced any time while at 2 cards and you don’t have 2nd Attack, shuffle all flat cards into the deck and KO the active. When a flattened active evolves, that player can pay +10 DP (from anywhere they control DP cards) to remove a single flatten (even if an effect is ignoring DP).

Deck Construction

  • Deck is 50 cards
  • Destiny Zone cards are counted in the 50 card deck size maximum. Non-Destiny Zone cards are called “Main Deck”. Destiny Zone + Main Deck must add up to 50.
  • Optional up to 1 Mega in Destiny Zone
  • Optional up to 1 copy of a partner R level in-deck may be declared before each game (details below)
  • Optional up to 2 different partner C’s in Destiny Zone (Must have the name of your Partner in their Evolution Box)
  • Optional up to 1 Proxy card in Destiny Zone (Must have a “P” in the upper left corner)
  • Up to 4 copies of any Digimon (not Megas), by card number in Main deck
  • Up to 3 copies of any Option card, in Main deck
  • Up to 2 copies of any Evolution, in Main deck
  • Up to 1 copies of any Ace[1] card; and only 1 Ace per deck
  • Up to 3 copies of any Firewall[1] cards; and only 3 Firewalls total per deck
  • Up to 1 copies of any legal DATA[1] card (see below) per deck, no more than 2 total DATAs per deck
[1]: *Note that if an Ace, Firewall or DATA are in the Destiny Zone (as with Partner options), they still cannot exceed the 1 per deck rule (or 3 for Firewalls). Digimon, Options, and Evolutions are limited in copies but only in the main deck. During construction, the legal “deck” is considered the DZ plus the main deck which is why these three specify “per deck” instead of just “X copies”.

DATA card Legality: The DATA card’s name must match a name somewhere in your Destiny Zone (e.g. “Mugendramon DATA” can be included in a deck if “Mugendramon” Level M is in your Destiny zone, or “Millenniummon” Level M, which names Mugendramon in its evolution box). Detailed tutorial on DATA cards here

Partner cards: Partners and their associated Destiny Zone cards can be confusing if you’re not using this Rules page as a walkthrough but as a reference. I recommend checking out the detailed post on Partner cards here.

Rules FAQ

ACTIVATE timing – Megas (and rare non-Megas) often have ACTIVATE timing. These can be activated any time a player has effect priority or as an “Any Phase” as long as they are the turn-player and is present on the Active Zone. Some ACTIVATE effect boxes have further text indicating it can be used “Any Phase” or “Either Support Phase” or “Any Support Phase”, which means they follow those terminology rules instead of being required to be the turn-player. ACTIVATE abilities can only be activated once per game, PER CARD. If a card uses an ACTIVATE, then leaves its zone after that point, it is always deleted (usually has reminder text indicating this).

Conditionals – Effects might have if/when statements. These are simple: carry them out under the conditions/timing specified. If anything misfires, skip it and move to the next effect (after a period .) However some effects have a comma (,) or semicolon (;) with “If not, ” or “Otherwise, “. In which case, if the effect *would* misfire, instead skip the “If…” and do the “If not…”.

Cherrypicking Rules – When looking into hidden zones for specific cards (instead of “any card”) a player must reveal the picked card to the opponent for inspection of legality. Also, always shuffle the deck if it was the hidden zone picked from.

Counter specifics – When your attack is Counter, your Power is always 0, even if it would be raised. You Counter means that an opponent’s Digimon hits itself with its own attack. Countering a specific attack means the opponent hits themselves with that attack *only if* they are using it. For counter, any bonuses on the opponent’s attack also apply to themselves, but conditions don’t “re-check” (e.g. all “x3 VS” abilities don’t check for the user’s type), so the attack countered is exactly what the opponent would’ve done to the Counter-user. The counter user cannot attack on that turn and the countered player only attacks themselves (but opponent receives effects, such as Drain, Draw, etc). Even if an effect doesn’t state it, a “Counter” effect being added to your attack always makes all your Power 0, even if the counter fails. You can never have 1st Attack.

Costs vs Effects – Because some effects have costs (sentence before a colon [ : ] ), and some effects exempt you from things that would otherwise be costs, costs are not exempted from effect exemptions. For example, “Supports cannot lower your HP” means that no support effect can make your HP go lower than the current total (though technically, it can go higher or stay the same). This does not apply to an effect’s cost, which if it requires lowering your HP, *must still be paid*.

DATA timing – A special timing plus deck construction legality rule card. DATA timing counts as three other use cases, making it essentially the same as “EFFECT” timing: DNA (for use during Evolve when DNA evolving), Any Phase for use any time you like, and Data Break which has the same timing as ACTIVATE (see Glossary – “Data Break”).

Digimon without DP cost – A Digimon can only be evolved to using DP if it has a DP cost printed on the card. Otherwise, it may only use its evolution box. Evolve cards that ignore DP *can not* override this. Ignoring DP only works if a card has DP printed on it.

EFFECT timing – Timing on a card that will be specified in the card’s effect box. Usually indicates multiple timings or “Any Phase”.

Jamming oddballs – When a player is using an attack ability with Jamming (usually cross), and another player supports with a Digimon card, they may immediately reveal their attack and void that Digimon support. If they cannot, they lose the ability to Jam once the “attack effects” step comes up since Supports resolve first. However, they still always Jam other Cross supports including Cross Counter, but not other Jamming. Be aware that if both player’s attacks are changed to Cross, and you didn’t have Cross to start, you can’t reveal it to Jam during the support step, so you can’t undo your attack change. However, the new Jamming of the opponent’s cross ability does resolve.

Lack of Digimon & Can’t mulligan – Normally, a player immediately loses if they cannot place a Digimon from their hand into play during the Preparation Phase, when their active zone is empty. However, starting their turn with 2 or less cards in hand, would cause them to draw 2 cards. If they still cannot play a Digimon, they must now reveal their hand to their opponent, take a forced mulligan (even if their hand is less than 3) until a Digimon appears. That Digimon *must* be played, even if it would be Abnormal. If no Digimon are left in the deck after a number of forced mulligans, the player loses as normal.

Leaving a zone – If an effect exists and is currently lingering while a card is in a zone (e.g. BR-130 Etemon’s specification to remove the top active Digimon); then if that card leaves the zone, immediately void the remaining influence of its effects but leave the current game state where it is. (e.g. in the example above, if Etemon evolves to level M its effect would not remove the top Digimon during the End phase)

Lingering effect VS Permanent effect – Permanent effects, aka “modifications” are effects that count as (Parentheses arguments) which means they do not terminate at the end of turn. Examples include HP gain or loss, type change, name change, or anything that modifies a permanent part of another card (e.g. HP, Type, Name, Level). Lingering effects terminate at the end phase. Examples include Boost Power, change attack, non-passive effects that change non-permanent parts of the game or statuses (e.g. Power, Attack choice, gained Attack ability, max hand size, whether hand is revealed, number of times you may Support, DNA not counting as playing “Evolve”). Passive effects are neither Lingering nor Permanent.

Negative Effects in Evo-boxes – Any effect in an evo-box bonus that would be “negative” (i.e. have a bad effect on the game state) applies to the opponent. “Discard 1” for example is a compactified phrasing of “opponent discards 1”. When ambiguous, the player applying the bonus chooses which player it affects.

Opponent discards – Any time an opponent “discards”, this means from the hand and is their choice unless otherwise specified (e.g. discard randomly). Some effects may have an opponent discard from another zone such as DP, these are also the opponent’s choice.

Passives in Evolution Boxes – Some passive effects may be granted by evolution boxes such as “Attacks cannot be countered” or “Supports cannot be void”. Unlike the general case, these only refer to your own attacks/supports/whatever is listed. These passive effects stay on your Digimon while it is active and the conditions are being met. They are not “lingering” effects that terminate during End Phase.

Paying DP – When paying (or discarding) DP to evolve or for effects, the full amount must be paid by trashing the card from the DP zone. Any remainder is lost. Some effects allow you to “pay” DP from the DP zone or from underneath other cards. Be sure to track these accordingly.

Putting unknown cards from a hidden zone into a visible zone – This can often occur when resolving some Jungle abilities such as “put the top Digimon of own deck into own DP”. When checking for its conditions [Digimon], if the specified card(s) do not meet that condition, they are returned to their hidden zone in the exact same location. If anywhere but the top X of the deck would be checked, the deck must be shuffled (example: if putting any Digimon from own deck into DP, then no Digimon are present, follow the Cherrypicking rule and then shuffle the deck). In the original example, you would iteratively check every card in the deck until a Digimon appears or the deck is empty, then resolve the effect, then shuffle.

Simultaneous Effects – If two effects (except attack abilities) would trigger simultaneously, do one of the following: If the effects are both from the same card owner, that card owner chooses the order they resolve. If one effect is a player’s and the other is their opponent’s, the turn player chooses the order they resolve.

Ruler Type

Link to detailed explanation for Ruler Type Digimon

Rules Changelog 12-1-18



  • Pre-Game Setup 5, renamed Free mulligan to “Opening mulligan” to distinguish it from the Prep Phase full mulligan.
  • Prep Phase 3, renamed Free mulligan to “Full mulligan” and redefined the process without using the word Draw, to remove conflict confusion with effects.
  • Evolution Phase created step 3.3.1 and 3.3.2 to further clarify Abnormal Digimon may use Evolution type cards but possibly may not be able to evolve unless the card allows it. Added a Step 4 “Evolution terminology” that defines new precise terms for the rules. Overhauled the entire DNA ruleset, pleae read this. Changed step 3 “Skip this phase” to more clearly explain when you skip the rest of the Evolution phase. Step 7 clarifies “as evolved” wording. Defined checking for the correct DP and discarding all of them as “paying the DP cost”. Step 7.3 requires players to not evolve more than once per phase. Added 6.7 which clarifies Digimon must always progress in level even when ignoring level. 6.4 now defines “higher” and “lower” levels. Added a section on Unusual Evolution situations.
  • Glossary – Added “Abnormal” keyword explanation.


  • Added to Glossary – Attach: Explanation of the new attachment icon that indicates the card takes up an attachment slot and any magenta text is the attached card’s effect. New cards should have this going forward though old cards may not, so it is not the sole determining factor of whether a card is an attachment.


  • Clarified DATA timing in Glossary and FAQ instead of leading around to other resources for explanation.


  • Resolution of evo-box bonuses moved to earlier in the evolution phase
  • Clarified some evolution phase examples regarding DNA and abnormals
  • Implemented the new Evolve Zone into the evolution phase rules


  • Reworded evolution phase and requirements to make more sense


  • Added card anatomy section


  • Pre-Game Setup phase added for clarity. Includes new rules on deck size, new Side Pile procedure
  • “Partner Option” term changed to “Proxy” card for term clarity.
  • Deck Construction updated with new deck size of 50, shared with DZ, and Proxy card term change
  • Attack Abilities > added “Flatten” and “Static”
  • Glossary > added “Flatten” and “Static”
  • Evolution Phase > 4.2, 4.3 added ability to pay to remove flat cards. Rule for retaining them.
  • Changed name of game to Digimon Battle Evolution
  • Clarified Active Zone, Stack, and Digimon


  • Evolution Phase > 2.2 added, clarifying that you do not skip playing Evolution cards when abnormal if you have a valid evolution you wish you play.


  • “Evolve Phase” changed to “Evolution Phase” as is proper
  • Strategy > 2 added clarification about when attack choices are revealed


  • Updated Attack Abilities > Crash; to specify more information about Crash’s HP reduction and priority.


  • Changed “Set Revival” rule to modify future KO points revived Digimon is worth to be exactly 1. (Glossary > Revive).
  • Added reminder in Phases of Play > Battle Phase > 6.2.


  • First published