Digimon Battle Evolution Rules


Table of Contents


Digimon Battle Evolution (DBE) is a Digimon card game for two players made by Alice 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


  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 have at minimum during evolution
  7. +P – Amount of DP this provides when in the DP zone. May be negative
  8. Evolution Box or Evo-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. Attack 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. When these stats are wrong, calcuate them yourself
  13. Timing – When the card is normally 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. Cards are not multi-colored frames because there are triple type cards which may be confusing to players.

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). Both players should now put their Mastery card (if any) from the Destiny Zone on top of that zone so its effects are visible during the game.
  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: Shuffle 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!
    1. If the turn player has any cards in their Dark Area, they must take each (not counted as drawing cards).
    2. Dark Area is a hidden zone like hands—a player may look at and rearrange their own Dark Area at any time but may not remove cards or play cards from it unless explicitly instructed.
  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 (see FAQ for forced mulligans if hand is too low to mulligan and no Digimon in hand).
    2. Playing an un-evolved Level C or U changes to “Abnormal” status. See: Glossary “Abnormal”
  5. Partner Evolution: If the active 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 Evolution Zone as a new Future Digimon, then immediately trigger any evo-bonuses as normal during evolution, then place it on the Active Zone.

POINT! Partner Evolution: Players are alotted 1 actual evolution per turn. Cards may still change the active Digimon “as evolved” but this only means you reset HP, Power, name, evo-bonuses, and all other printed values. Partner Evolution uses the 1 evolution per turn. It is not simply “as evolved” and no other evolution is valid that turn.

Evolution Phase

POINT! The Evolution or Evolve Phase is very complicated and difficult. Many things can be skipped if irrelevant, such as Evolve timing cards if not playing any, terminology section if already familiar, and when choosing one of 3 methods to “evolve by”, the other 2 can be ignored. Use intuition and best judgment when attempting to resolve confusion.

  1. “Evolution Phase” or “Evolve 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 from hand. This is called “Racking DP” and is the “Rack-Up” step. Some non-Digimon cards have +P and may be racked unless prohibited.
  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 (yellow border) and proceed to step 4 and play the revealed card. “EVOLVE” timing cards are not valid for Abnormal Digimon, only the actual 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 which is EVOLVE timing or a DNA material.)
      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:This is a list of potentially confusing terms you may encounter during this section or on evolution-relevant cards. Each one is explained with examples or in detail.
    1. Future: 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.
    2. Evo-box or Evo-bonus: The box is where bonuses are located. Bonuses are effects that trigger when this card evolves or sometimes when placed as a Future. May become forcibly activated by other effects, in which case each effect now applies (including permanent effects that modify card stats).
    3. Partial names in evo-box: As with all effects, partial card names may be referenced, such as “-dramon” or “kok-” or “-devi-” which any names that fill in the dash. Example: Draw 2: -“dramon” (C). This means any Level C Digimon ending in dramon such as Seadramon, Strikedramon, any Level C with its name changed to “-dramon” all count for drawing 2. Example: Take 1 “-devi-” card in deck: “kok-“. This means any Digimon starting with Kok including Kokabuterimon and Kokuwamon are valid to take any 1 card containing a fragment “devi” in its name from the deck. They could take Devimon, Ladydevimon, Devidramon, or even Devil Chip!
    4. DNA: This is in evo-boxes but not considered a “bonus” and cannot be “activated” like a bonus by card effects. (DNA represents Jogress, Gattai, Fusion, Xros, Digimental, or any other material synthesis for evolution.)
    5. DP or DP? On the Future, “X0 DP” refers to its cost, whereas a player’s DP refers to the amount they have in the DP zone, provided by the sum of +P on cards in there. “in DP” refers to the zone itself.
    6. “Evolution”, “EVOLVE”, “Evolve:”, “as evolved”, “evolve to” – Each of these terms is slightly different. Evolution cards are yellow bordered. EVOLVE is a card timing to note it is played during this Phase, usually from hand. Evolve: means a card in play triggers during Step 0 of this phase or when appropriate. “As evolved” is a term that means change the active and reset its stats to the printed amounts without being considered the act of evolving itself. “Evolve to” means attempt to use the 1 normal act of evolution per turn to change the active Digimon.
    7. Ignore: Means completely disregard this aspect of evolution if it would normally be applied, do not touch it, do not modify it. “Ignore DP” is common and means DP is not required or touched. “Ignore type” is common and means type requirements are not used.
    8. DP -X0 or -X0 DP? Each referrs to a different thing. “DP -X0” is a shorthand way to lower the DP cost requirements of a future, including in its evo-bonuses. “-X0 DP” is likely not used, but “-X0 +P” can occur in which case the DP a player has is lowered, even to negative numbers.
    9. “When evolving”: This card effect only occurs if there is a valid future in the evolution zone.
    10. “When evolving by DP: This card effect enforces evolution by DP to receive its effects. Example: Super Tag says “When evolving by DP, … delete this card instead of discarding all own DP.” which means this effect is not enabling abnormals to evolve because abnormals cannot evolve by DP. Simply playing this card will not evolve by “Evolution card”. Think of these Evolution cards as ways to bolster the method of evolving by DP, rather than typical evolutions!
    11. “After evolving,”: Once the future is on the active zone and the stats have been changed for the active Digimon, this effect activates.
    12. 0 DP (cost): Each Level R has printed “0 DP” in its cost. This is simply to remind players they do not have to evolve to Level R. But unlike Digmon with no DP cost (which are not allowed to evolve by DP), they can be evolved to by DP for 0 if a card effect allows this.
    13. Downgrade: Evolution in reverse Level order (M, U, C, R). This card effect ignores DP by default.
    14. Enables…: Indicates some change to the normal procedure. Example: Enables evolution to the same level. This means the normal level procedure is skipped if a player wants and the new one is used.
    15. Requires DP: Means you would not evolve “by DP” as usual on an evolution card, but this one still requires that you could meet the future’s DP cost, then still discards all DP in the slot. This is similar, but for the purposes of effects and abnormal evolution, is separate from evolving “by DP”.
    16. Evolution/Evolve Zone: Zone restricted for use during this phase naturally. Place futures and evolve timing cards here to resolve effects without confusion.
  5. Choose an Evolution Method: Turn player will choose an “Evolving by…” method from below and proceed with only that method’s steps. The non-turn player may not do anything unless explicitly allowed by a card or rule here. If a method redirects to a different one partway, start on the new method from the beginning. When following these steps, in case players get confused, keep in mind two important facts: 1. A given player may only evolve once per turn, regardless of method. Effects that change the active “as evolved” do not count toward this limit, as they are not the act of evolving itself and instead reset stats and change the active Digimon. 2. A given player, by default only the turn player, may only play ONE card with the EVOLVE timing or “Evolve: / Evolve Phase:” from their hand each turn. Effects that activate others are allowed. Cards in play that trigger effects during this time are not limited.
    1. Evolving by Evolution card: [AKA “by card”] Turn player must play an Evolution card into the evolve zone. When an Evolution (yellow border) card is played, by default the player is now evolving “by Evolution card”. These are powerful effects meant to ignore some default requirements. Warning: if this card states “evolving by DP”, it would be better to start at that method and count this as the one EVOLVE timing card per turn unless other effects are present that may ignore the “by DP” parts.
      1. After playing the Evolution card, play the Future card from hand (by default; but from Destiny Zone if going to Level M) onto the evolve zone.
      2. By default, the following is respected: Level, Type, DP cost.
        1. If not ignoring Level, it must progress one step at a time in the order (R, C, U, M).
        2. 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).
        3. If not ignoring Type, one must be shared on the current and Future Digimon.
        4. Instead, if the future contains the previous Digimon’s name in its evo-box, ignore type and level but not DP.
        5. A player must have at least the DP listed on the future Digimon’s cost, if it has one printed (after applying evo-bonuses to discount requirements). Player DP is not limited only to +P shown in the DP Zone and other effects may have caused them to gain or lose some DP. Players may wish to track DP separately from cards with dice or other counters when this occurs.
      3. By default, the following is ignored: Abnormal status, evolution-prohibiting effects.
      4. Begin to resolve any effects on the Evolution card. Any effects that resolve “When evolving by…” such as “by DP” or “by DNA”, DO NOT COUNT as evolving by an Evolution card. Skip the rest of this process if using those effects and move to the correct “evolving by…” process and step below.
      5. If not ignoring DP: Determine the DP cost to evolve by checking the “XX DP” section of the future, any cost reducing effects from evolve card effects, and gain any DP -XX effects that are on the future’s evo-box which the active’s name matches and qualifies for.
      6. If any requirements are unmet and not ignored by an effect, the player takes the future back into its previous zone, evolution has failed, the Evolution card finishes resolving any valid effects, and skip the rest of this phase. (Never delete a Level M if it leaves the evolve zone)
      7. If the cost is achieved (greater or equal DP after all reductions) or ignored by an effect, may activate any non-permanent evo-bonuses on the future that qualify based on name (Draw cards, HP +100, Take 1 in deck, etc.). Since you “may”, you may also activate the remaining effects later in this phase.
      8. If every requirement is met, place the Future Digimon onto active, evolving it.
        1. This uses the 1 act of evolving per turn.
        2. Reset the new active’s HP, Power, types, and all other properties to the new card’s printed amounts.
      9. Activate any permanent effects in the evo-box that qualify based on name. Activate any qualified, remaining, unactivated evolution box bonuses. Resolve any “after evolving” effects.
      10. Discard all DP unless “Ignoring DP”. Note, this is not “paying DP”. Costs in DBE are not paid, they are conditions that players are prompted to meet. This is a separate rule.
      11. Complete. Skip the rest of this phase.
    2. Evolving by DNA: DNA evolution takes a Future Digimon and counts it as 1 “Evolve” timing card and uses the Evolve zone. Turn player must place a valid Future onto the evolve zone.
      1. Valid Future: A valid future for DNA (placed onto the evolve zone) is any future with “DNA” in the evo-box. This is played from hand by default. Players may temporarily place invalid ones and attempt to use later cards to influnce its validity. Level M futures may be placed from the Destiny Zone.
      2. DNA Materials: Digimon listed in a future evo-box after “DNA: ” are split by a plus sign (+) and are the required “DNA materials”. Some cards may substitute a + for commas, to indicate they have DNA as an option for any of those listed names but not any specific ones, or may be alternative ways to evolve. Each DNA evolution is comprised of at least two material cards. Normally, Digimon cards are materials but DNA only requires the card names match. Sometimes, Evolution cards or other types may make themselves valid materials.
        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 and any Level C Digimon with the Metal type).
        3. “DATA” cards count as DNA materials that match their name, as with all cards that have a matching name.
        4. Since a DNA future card counts as “Evolve” timing, they cannot be used with abnormal actives and are the 1 “Evolve” timing played per turn by default.
        5. Must also have either of the required material names as the active Digimon.
      3. Place a card from hand onto the evolve zone, as “material” for evolution by DNA.
        1. Some cards may count “as materials” which also have other effects. Resolve them now. Example: BIT-058 Jogress counts as a DNA material and has effects that will activate later. That is one way to subvert the “1 Evolve card per turn” rule becase it is played as a material.
        2. If after all effects resolve, there is no combination of valid future in evolve zone, valid material in evolve zone, and valid material as active, evolution fails. Skip the rest of this phase and put the invalid future back in its previous zone. Finish resolving any effects or cards on the evolve zone. Trash the remaining cards on the evolve zone, do not put the material(s) back into hand! Some materials are not Digimon cards and taking them back may allow re-use of effects.
      4. Ignore DP. DNA does not evolve by DP and ignores the DP zone.
      5. All other Digimon properties are ignored except the evo-box DNA requirements and any lingering effects that affect DNA evolution.
      6. If every requirement is met, place the Future Digimon onto active, evolving it.
        1. This uses the 1 act of evolving per turn.
        2. Reset the new active’s HP, Power, types, and all other properties to the new card’s printed amounts.
      7. Evolving by DNA does not activate an evo-bonus on its own, regardless of names present in evo-bonus effects.
      8. Resolve any “when evolving” or “after evolving” effects.
      9. Complete. Skip the rest of this phase.
    3. Evolving by DP:This is the most common and most available evolution method for all Digimon. When in doubt, use this method. Delcare evolution by DP.
      1. Play Evolve card: If not already played, the turn player may play 1 EVOLVE timing card from their hand to the evolve zone; or another card with an effect that has “Evolve” timing. Evolution cards (yellow border) are allowed here but not recommended for this method unless it says “when evolving by DP”.
      2. Play the Future Digimon card from hand (by default; but from Destiny Zone if going to Level M) onto the evolve zone.
      3. By default, the following is respected: Level, Type, not abnormal, DP cost.
        1. If not ignoring Level, it must progress one step at a time in the order (R, C, U, M).
        2. 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).
        3. If not ignoring Type, one must be shared on the current and Future Digimon.
        4. Instead, if the future contains the previous Digimon’s name in its evo-box, ignore type and level but not DP.
        5. If not ignoring abnormal, the active Digimon cannot be abnormal status. This is merely a reminder step as the rules do not allow choosing this method if abnormal.
        6. If not ignoring DP, A player must have at least the DP listed on the future Digimon’s cost, if it has one printed (after applying evo-bonuses to discount requirements). Player DP is not limited only to +P shown in the DP Zone and other effects may have caused them to gain or lose some DP. Players may wish to track DP separately from cards with dice or other counters when this occurs.
        7. If not ignoring DP, May optionally reduce own DP total by -10 or discard a “DP” card from anywhere you have counted as DP to remove 1 “flat” token from in front of your active Digimon. (Example: Having DP cards under “Immortalize”, you may discard at least one that counts for at least 10 +P, or simply reduce your own current DP total by -10 permanently. Players may wish to track this with counters). This step differs from Evolving by Evolution card in that it is the only evolution method that naturally allows for removing “flat” tokens.
      4. Begin to resolve any effects on Evolve timing cards.
      5. If not ignoring DP: Determine the DP cost to evolve by checking the “XX DP” section of the future, any cost reducing effects from evolve card effects, and gain any DP -XX effects that are on the future’s evo-box which the active’s name matches and qualifies for.
      6. If any requirements are unmet and not ignored by an effect, the player takes the future back into its previous zone, evolution has failed, the Evolution card finishes resolving any valid effects, and skip the rest of this phase. “Flat” tokens removed are re-added. (Never delete a Level M if it leaves the evolve zone)
      7. If the cost is achieved (greater or equal DP after all reductions) or ignored by an effect, may activate any non-permanent evo-bonuses on the future that qualify based on name (Draw cards, HP +100, Take 1 in deck, etc.). Since you “may”, you may also activate the remaining effects later in this phase.
      8. If every requirement is met, place the Future Digimon onto active, evolving it.
        1. This uses the 1 act of evolving per turn.
        2. Reset the new active’s HP, Power, types, and all other properties to the new card’s printed amounts.
      9. Activate any permanent effects in the evo-box that qualify based on name. Activate any qualified, remaining, unactivated evolution box bonuses. Resolve any “after evolving” effects.
      10. Discard all DP unless “Ignoring DP”. Note, this is not “paying DP”. Costs in DBE are not paid, they are conditions that players are prompted to meet. This is a separate rule.
      11. Complete. Skip the rest of this phase.

POINT! Sometimes effects may “activate en evo-bonus”. This activates all evo-bonuses in the box and counts as if the active’s name was one in the future’s box. Permanent effects can be activated but only once ever, they do not stack. Non-permanent effects stack! Draw or discount your DP costs as much as you can.

POINT! Some Evolve cards have “Do not use with <Level>”. These cards 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.

Effect Evolution

Evolving by Effect: In some cases, the above rules may not apply to the situation in question. Most likely, this is due to a card effect causing evolution. In those cases, the requirements for the act of evolving will be listed on the card. By default, effect evolution is special and has no requirements unless listed (DP is ignored, etc). If the effect requires a “valid” evolution, use “Evolving by DP” rules to determine validity, and apply the effect’s special conditions if any. Do not use the rest of the “by DP” process unless the effect specifically instructs to evolve by DP. Effects that evolve outside of the Evolve Phase are not restricted to the “1 evolution act per turn” rule because they do not use one of the methods. Be sure to always reset the stats as normal for “as evolved” and evolving.

POINT! Look at what an evolution card doesn’t say. If it doesn’t prohibit abnormal evolution, it allows it. Evolving by an evolution card is NOT the same as evolving by DP. These are totally different processes and evolution cards skip some of the DP steps. However, an evolution card that manipulates DP costs without “evolve by DP”, still checks that DP costs could’ve been completed. Reckless Push is an example of a card where you essentially perform the process of evolving by DP without actually doing it (including expressly prohibiting abnormals). But while Matrix Evolve manipulates DP costs, it doesn’t prohibit abnormals from evolving provided they have the DP!

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 but sometimes can only nullify some effects on a card.
      1. If there are more than one Void effect, always refer to Step 4: Resolve the turn-player’s first!
      2. Voids cannot nullify other void effects, only effects on the other card that do not void.
    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”.
    4. After both supports are used (fully resolved), if there are any remaining unused supports (placed there by card effects), continue by restarting the resolution step from the beginning.

POINT! Supports may add Jamming to your attack. Be aware that you won’t have Jamming before it resolves, so you need to resolve before an opponent’s Digimon support in order to use that Jamming to void! Otherwise, the new Jamming effect will only void their Cross ability.

POINT! If you support and your opponent does too, yours may play other cards as support. This means once they resolve, put down a support card on top of that and wait for the time to resolve yours again. It’s possible for both players to get extra supports, or even 3 if the right combinations are played. Continue to alternate according to the regular resolution rules as though just starting resolution. Players who chose a cross with Jamming may still reveal an unrevealed attack to void any new Digimon supports at that time!

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 if any. These are usually found on Cross attacks, but sometimes Triangle.
    1. If a player has “Jamming”, apply that effect immediately and void the opponent’s Cross abilities. Immediately stop processing rules for voided attack abilities. Jamming can never void Jamming.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 gains “2nd Attack” outside of Counter, simply remove a stack of 1st Attack they have first until they have none left and attack in that order (2nd Attack simply cancels a stack of 1st Attack)
      3. If a player “cannot gain 1st Attack” due to some card effect, all instances are stripped and they attack Second.
      4. 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 (even if both players used Cross with Cross Counter).
    4. 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. Skip this step if Revival was set and instead reset the active as evolved.
    2. Before awarding ANY KO points, check if any Digimon was previously Revived (see Glossary: Revive). Revived Digimon are always worth 1 KO and ignore all other changes to its KO points.
    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!

POINT! Attack abilities always have a certain priority order. This is not the same as “apply attack abilities simultaneously” versus opponents. This resolves conflicts for a player having multiple abilities. This only covers what is not applicable to the simultaneous steps. Shatter’s attach discard. 1st Attack. Counter attack. Shatter’s Power reduction on-hit. Crash’s damage to both players. Drain’s Recovery.

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 somewhat permanent. They are treated as part of the Digimon card (not printed), 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. Permanent evo-box bonuses such as “Power +40” or “Opponent’s DP -10” are considered are as 2.1 permanent changes.
  4. Discard all Support cards, reset attack selections.
  5. The turn passes to the next player.


(Parenthesis text) or  symbol– Text in parenthesis are passively applied at all times and unvoidable in any way. They are referred to as permanent effects or sometimes 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).The (permanent) symbol is a special case used for evo-box bonuses.

[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 (yellow border) cards instead of any Evolve timing card, and may have other restrictions as defined by cards. Abnormal states are checked when the active is played as abnormal and again when evolving (but not effects that are “as evolved”). If a card enters the active zone except on top (example: Kamemon), check if the zone now has enough cards under the active to remove abnormal status. The following are the required number of cards: R (0), C (1), U (2), M (3). If any card leaves the active zone except on top, check again for abnormal status. If an active becomes abnormal through an effect or loss/addition of a card under the active stack, it is treated as abnormal for all effects and evolutions from that point onward. Abnormal is NOT continuously checked by the game!

ACTIVATE – Play timing. See FAQ – ACTIVATE timing.

Access – Follows the form “Access [type]:”. Access is a keyword meaning “Reveal in own hand:” where can be any type or property.

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 counts as [Name] Same as “Alias [Name]”. This card is permanently considered this name in addition to its printed name.

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.

Dark [action] – Perform the [action] but the destination location is that player’s Dark Area. Example: Dark Draw 1 means “draw 1 to own Dark Area”. Dark Discard 1 means “discard 1 to own Dark Area”.

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”.

Turbo – Has the same form as an effect like: “Any Phase(Optional Timing): [Cost/Condition/Risk specified after Turbo] Change another Support timing on this card to Any (Optional Timing) Phase“. The word Turbo on a card is an optional way to make one of the other card’s Support effect an “Any Phase” timing. Not all Turbo are exactly “Any Phase”. Turbo may specify a timing after, such as “Turbo Support” in which case, treat that as “Any Support Phase” (play when you could play a card during that phase on any player’s turn, i.e. during the 2 moments of the support phase). Turbo may take any of the following forms, depending on if it changes the main effect by a cost, condition, or extra (risky) effect.

  1. Turbo: Discard 1. — To play this card as “Any Phase” instead of its other timing, discard 1 as a cost.
  2. Turbo Evolve, if own level is lower. — To play this card as “Any Evolve Phase” instead of its other timing, meet the condition after the comma and have a lower level.
  3. Turbo Support and Boost opponent’s Power +200. — Play as Any Support Phase without the restrictions from #1 and #2, but with the added risk from the “and” effect.
  4. Flat tokens do not go away on their own when that Digimon evolves. The only time they are removed by default is when it is KO’d.
  5. When Digimon with flat tokens evolves by DP, that player can reduce their DP total by -10 to remove 1 flat token. The DP reduction can be from anywhere they control card that provide DP such as “Immortalize”.

Flatten / Flat [Type, Level, Attack, other condition] – May be attack ability or card effect. In general, if any required condition is met, (unless otherwise specified) add a token representing 1 instance of Flat in front of their active. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  1. After your Digimon deals damage with an active “Flat” attack ability during the Battle Phase, add a flat token to the opponent’s Digimon.
  2. If an active Digimon would ever have 4 flat tokens, KO it immediately.
  3. While the opponent has 3 flats and if you attacked first, KO that Digimon once you deal damage. This condition for KO is checked after damage is already dealt and any other on-damage effects trigger.
  4. Flat tokens do not go away on their own when that Digimon evolves. The only time they are removed by default is when it is KO’d.
  5. When Digimon with flat tokens evolves by DP, that player can reduce their DP total by -10 to remove 1 flat token. The DP reduction can be from anywhere they control card that provide DP such as “Immortalize”.

POINT! Because attacks that add flat tokens do so after damage is dealt, you will miss the timing to KO by flat-damage if your attack just added the third flat. You can’t get the third flat token on the same attack you’re dealing the damage with in order to KO by flattening. It will take one extra damaging attack where you attack first. Pay close attention to attack sequences because of this.

Flip / Flip Cards / Star / Moon / Initial side – Flip cards have unique icons designating which side is currently active. The flip action causes the card to turn over to other side (which may be specified by an icon). The initial side is designated by an up arrow and should be the first side of the card. Cards without an initial side begin in the deck on any side of the player’s choice, but only before the game begins. Only flip cards when instructed. See Intro to Flip Cards for detailed rules.

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 and 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 as default. Resolve Revive by leaving the active zone intact (including any cards that *would* have been deleted) instead of discarding or deleting them. KO points are still awarded as usual. Reset the current active as though it had just evolved, including removing Abnormal status. Revival does not stop from being considered a “KO”. “Set Revival” also changes the future KO points (after the current) 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. Any conflicts that add or remove KO points are ignored as long as the current Digimon has been revived.

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.

Type (Primary and Subtype) A Digimon’s primary type is the one printed largest on the card frame. The subtype(s) may be printed on a small area under the primary type. All the card’s types count for matching any given type. When a card tries to validate a type such as “If own type is….”, subtypes count unless it says “If own primary type is…” or similar. The possible types are: Dragon, Enigma, Marine, Metal, Jungle, Nature, Nightmare, Wind. Note: “Ruler” is not a type. Digimon with the Ruler property have no type at all until they gain types with “Dominion”.

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.

symbol – Means “opponent”. Substitute symbol to shorten the word.

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. This can “stack” with other instances of getting 1st Attack and can be removed by instances of getting “2nd Attack”. 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. Check the top X of the opponent’s deck secretly, put any of them on top or bottom of the deck in any order. 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. You get 2nd Attack (meaning, start by attacking second). 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. You will recover HP if they have Drain. You will draw any cards on their attack ability that is countered. Etc. 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 gain both and recover.

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.

Flatten [Type, Level, Attack, other condition]: May be attack ability or card effect. If any required condition is met, (unless otherwise specified) add a “flat” token in front of the opponent’s active. If an active Digimon would ever have 4 flat or if HP is reduced any time while at 3 flat and you don’t have 2nd Attack, KO the active and remove its flats. When a flattened active evolves by DP, there is a process that allows them to remove 1 flat if they increase their DP cost by 10.

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. The steps are as follows:

  1. If used the attack targeted by own Grudge, double own Power and get 2nd attack.
  2. Note: 2nd Attack This is the same as -1 point of 1st Attack. It doesn’t make you guaranteed to attack last like Counter.
  3. Set Revival equal to own power (on the attack you used, which has Grudge). This means, If KO’d when an opponent used the attack targeted by own Grudge, 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.

POINT! Example effect wording if this was printed on a card instead of as the keyword  Grudge: If used , double own Power and get 2nd Attack and if KOd, revive with HP equal to own attack’s Power.

Jamming: Void opponent’s 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.) Opponent’s Digimon support must be voided before it is resolved and the Support Phase has a procedure to perform this if revealing your chosen attack is required to prove you can use Jamming.

Killer / / : If opponent used the specified attack, Boost own Power +300 and get 1st Attack. (This resembles Garnet Gem, Peridot Gem, Aquamarine Gem)

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).

[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). Occasionally may have other conditions such as attack or level; treat these as conditions for the opponents status—whether they used the specified attack or are the specified level, for instance.

Draw X: Draw X cards.

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

Recode X: Recode X cards. Check the top X of own deck secretly, put any of them on top or bottom of the deck in any order. 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). The card must be attachable and you must meet all requirements for the attachment as though it were played normally (but you don’t get any extra play effects, only attach the card). When choosing an attachment, ACEs, Firewalls, and DATA cards are prohibited targets. See Glossary.

Static X: Delete the bottom X cards in opponent’s Trash. When used as a card effect, means the same as the attack ability by default, but may have the target player changed; example: Static 2 own trash.

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)
  • Optional up to 1 Mastery card in Destiny Zone.
  • 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 (different) DATAs per deck
[1]: *Note that if an Ace, Firewall or DATA are in the Destiny Zone (as with Proxy cards), 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”.

The Destiny Zone has no actual card limit except the amount naturally limited by other deck building rules (e.g. no more than 1 proxy, 1 Level M…etc)

Flip Cards: If any flip cards (with Star or Moon symbols) appear in your deck, they will have sides that are shared as card numbers. This means they must respect normal deck building rules because they are the same exact card, just another side of it. If any of them have the initial side icon (up arrow), they must begin the game with that side up for your deck. You are free to pick any side for cards without the initial side icon, and may choose as many copies to be any of their possible sides as you wish, but always respect normal card limits. See Intro to Flip Cards for more details.

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

What's the Dark Area and who can use it?
Dark Area – Dark Area is a hidden zone for each player that may contain cards put there by effects. Nothing may affect this zone unless specified. A player may look at their own Dark Area and rearrange it at any time, exactly like their hand. Players cannot play cards from the Dark Area. If a card activates from the Dark Area, it overrides this rule. Cards in a player’s Dark Area are added to their hands during their own Draw Step. Conceptually, this represents a future hand that merges with a player’s hand at that future time. Or it can be thought of as predicting the future. This zone is inoften used and can be thought of as “setting cards aside” in other games.

Dark [action] tells you what zone receives the action’s result. So “Dark Draw” means put 1 from the top of own deck into Dark Area. This will activate “when drawing” effects.

If I play a proxy from the Destiny Zone, is that from my hand?
DZ Proxy – No, using a proxy card from your Destiny Zone, is not considered playing that card from hand. Instead, it’s activating a game rule. The cost is discarding your partner from hand and placing the DZ proxy directly into its relevant zone. It can be treated as an extra card effect with the wording: “DZ; Discard own partner: Play this for any of its other effects.” meaning you would respect their typical timings and zones. SUPPORT for the Support Phase and zone, EVOLVE for the Evolve phase and zone, Data Break as ACTIVATE from DZ, “Any Phase” any time you could play a card, EFFECT whenever specified, etc.
Where do I play cards such as Any Phase effects to?
No-Zone cards – Cards without a zone designation (SUPPORT/EVOLVE/ACTIVATE/PASSIVE/etc) which are Any X Phase can be played from hand to nowhere in particular; i.e. “No zone”. They can still be voided by certain cards that have “When opponent plays an Any Phase card” or that are in play, regardless of lack of zone. Because they have no zone, they don’t require a clean-up step where they’re placed into own trash at a specific time, simply trash them once they’re done resolving or misfire.
How do I know if I can attach a card with a different card's effect?
Attachment conditions – Effects that attach a different card must use the target card’s conditions, costs, and scope. The easiest and most through way to play these correctly is follow this procedure:

  1. First check for the word “Attach” on the target card. If present, it may be an attachment if it makes sense and you can proceed.
  2. Check the scope. Somewhere it will have the word “own” or “opponent” (or new cards have the symbol for opponent). It may allow attaching to any active. This scope must be respected regardless of the effect attaching the target card. If the scopes conflict, stop, you can’t attach it. Example: Tyrannomon SUPPORT targets Vademon for attachment to own Dragon-type from your deck. You can’t attach the Vademon because it only has “opponent” as its scope.
  3. Check the conditions which are the words after “Attach” and before a comma ( , ) period ( . ) or sometimes a semicolon ( ; ). Basically, look for punctuation and meet all those conditions. Such as “non-Partner Level R” or “Jungle”
  4. If there are any costs before a colon ( : ) you must also pay those.
  5. Ignore any other effects in yellow text on the card outside of the attachment effect. You would not attach directly using a different card’s effect in order to activate unrelated effects on the attachment card.

The Glossary section on “Attach” covers this as well.

When can I use ACTIVATE timing and how many times?
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).
How do if, when, and if not effects work?
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…”.

Example: On EX-035 Palmon (Wind type), the Support effect says “If both attacks are same, Boost own Power +400. If not, recycle 3 and shuffle”. Since there is a period do you get both? No you do not because attacks are never the same and different (even if changed!) so you do not control which effect activates but one must activate if possible.

Complicated example: DB-013 Biyomon Support says “If own Level is R and type is , evolve to a valid C from deck. If not, draw 2.” When do you get “if not”?

  • When you have a type active but is not Level R
  • When you have a Level R active but is not type
  • If none of your types is and the active’s Level is considered something other than R

Why don’t you get draw 2 if you meet both requirements but fail to evolve to a valid C from deck? Because the effect failed not the condition! “If not…” only checks a prior if condition(s). It doesn’t check the resulting effect! In many games, this kind of misfire is because only the subject part of the sentence is checked for conditions and the predicate is ignored. In DBE, I do not care about the rules of English. DBE has its own language rules. This only fails due to the placement of a comma (,) or semicolon (;) after an “If…”. Similarly, if you would get “If not, draw 2.” and your deck has 0 cards, you would not draw 2 since you can only do so much. If your deck had 1 card, you would draw 1 and stop.

If someone looks at a deck, when is that shuffled or revealed?
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. Such as an effect saying “Take 1 Evolution from deck”, which requires the taking player to show that the card has a yellow border with the words “EVOLUTION” at the top (“EVOLVE” timing cards are not the same).

When do you shuffle? This is slightly more complicated. There are numerous effects that may seem as though you looked into the deck and therefore shuffle but you didn’t! You always shuffle the deck if it was the hidden zone picked from. In any ambiguous case, allow the deck’s owner to choose whether they will shuffle. But the following cases do not require a shuffle because you look at a set of cards from the hidden deck zone but are not part of the deck anymore:

  • Recycle (not shuffle): You looked only at the open zone; the Trash. Just because you know what’s on top of your deck now does not mean you must shuffle (unless “Recycle” refers to a Cross ability! Always shuffle with the Cross ability “Recycle X”)
  • Abilities that separate a number of cards from a deck first before looking do not instruct to shuffle. Example: BIT-054 Matrix Evolve reveals the top 7 of own deck and allows the player to choose a valid Digimon to evolve to. At that point, no shuffle is necessary since the cards were already separated. In other games a shuffle is always required. In DBE, only if it is instructed on a card or triggers this rule. If Matrix didn’t say “reveal”, then the number of cards (7) must still be shown but not necessarily revealed what cards. Only the card chosen must be revealed, not all cards. Then a player may choose to invoke shuffling ambiguity and shuffle their own deck. Then the player makes a good-faith effort to put the 7 cards back in roughly the same order. An opponent may allow them to rearrange the remaining 6 as the deck owner sees fit, in order to work out any ambiguity. In other games, this would be strictly prohibited or require a shuffle. DBE allows negotiation and ambiguity. This means the deck owner should know the order of those cards after putting them back! The second effect allows you to shuffle your partner from Trash into your deck, so this would shuffle anyway.
  • Corrupt and Recode. As these are designed specifically to allow revealing X cards and putting them on top or bottom of that deck in any order, obvious intent says you do not shuffle. But also this is like the second example: you separate X cards from the hidden zone “deck” and then change them, rearrange them, and finally merge them back with the hidden deck zone.

Try to determine obvious card use intent when shuffling or revealing is ambiguous. Does it reveal all or most of the deck? Shuffle! Does it separate anything from a hidden zone first and then change or merge it after? Don’t shuffle unless instructed. Does it ruin the function of the card? Don’t ruin the function.

Who gets effects when attacks are countered and how?
Counter specifics – Counter as a concept represents stopping the opponent’s attack and using it against them, similar to boxing. When your attack is Counter, your Power is always 0, even if it would be raised, as a reminder that you do not use your own stats ever during a counter attack. While this is merely a reminder to players, some effects may trigger when Power is 0 so be sure to actually track this. In addition, Counter gives 2nd Attack (you can never have 1st Attack + Counter) as another reminder to players on how to procedurally perform these attacks.

How do you calculate damage and from who’s perspective? Counter means that an opponent did the equivalent of give you their attack, rather than use it against you. Countering is only successful if the opponent used whichever attack is being countered (usually the case, though some effects simply say “Counter” which is the same as Counter any attack). Any bonuses on the opponent’s attack are kept but exactly as-is; conditions don’t “re-check” (Example: all “x3 VS” abilities don’t check for the user’s type. If you counter a x3VS, the Power of the opponent’s attack simply damages them as-is without resetting and checking type again), so the attack countered is exactly what the opponent would’ve done to the Counter-user. This means that unlike any normal battle phase, one with a successful counter only has 1 attack performed not 2!

Who receives the attack abilities and effects of the countered attack? The owning player or countering player? The countering player receives attack abilities, such as Drain, Draw, etc and uses them from their own perspective. Examples:

  1. A player counters an opponent after that opponent’s Option support gave their attack “Static 2”. Since the countering player uses the attack as if from their own perspective but exactly as the opponent’s attack was modified, the countering player performs Static 2 which forces the opponent to delete the bottom 2 of their trash! Meaning, the full might of your own attack bears down on you if you are countered.
  2. Player 1 counters their opponent (Player 2)’s Cross attack which has 290 Power and Drain. That opponent also supported with Attack Chip to Boost all their Power +300. How do you calculate the damage and HP recovery? Player 2 will have 590 Power and Drain. Player 2’s attack is countered and therefore not performed by them. Instead, Player 1 performs exactly that attack and deals 590 damage to Player 2. Then, Player 1 gains the Drain effect and Recovers their HP up to 590 (less if the opponent went to 0 and was KO’d first).
  3. Counter Jamming? It’s certainly a weird one. First, understand that Counter may be set during any time (usually Support Phase) but order is important. If an opponent can Jam the application of Counter itself, it does so and no counter will occur. This can happen if a Digimon support adds Counter versus an opponent who reveals their Jamming to void that effect. However, effects may also add Counter without being Jammed (such as Options, specifically the ACE card “Gold Banana”), in which case, Counter works as normal and immediately acts as though the countering player has Jamming, if the counter requirements are met (usually checking an attack was used). In that case, order of application matters! If Gold Banana resolves first and sets Counter attack, then the Jamming-user can’t use their own Jamming effect anymore and it is usable by the countering player. This means the player who set counter with Gold Banana may now void the opponent’s Digimon support if any by declaring Jamming. Reminder: Jamming can never void Jamming. And Jamming can void the setting of Counter from attack abilities. This means Counter set from support is usually considered stronger. Counter also resolves as normal as if they had the ability during the Battle Phase.
How do I use costs and how are they different from effects or conditions?
Costs vs Effects – Some effects have a sentence before a colon ( : ), which usually indicates a cost. Costs are essentially conditions but indicate to a player that they are allowed to do something to fulfill that condition at the moment of activation.

POINT! Costs are never “paid”. In other games, costs are paid. That means they can’t be unpaid. In DBE, costs are actions taken to fulfil a condition or requirement. If the full requirement is not met, the condition fails. But since it’s not “paid”, as long as it reveals no hidden information to both players, it may be reversed. If you must discard 1, do so, and decide you don’t want to “pay the cost”, simply take that card back and the cost will misfire. Any rule or card references to “paying” costs therefore simply refer to meeting the full condition by taking that action, not as in other games. Or as a process specified in those rules.

Example: “Trash 3: Opponent discards 2.”

Unlike an effect that says “Trash 3.”, you may not be able to perform this action completely. Trashing 2 and stopping would mean voiding the effect after the colon. Trashing 2 and running out of cards would work the same way. Unlike a condition, you do not have to wait until this action occurs naturally (such as “When own deck is trashed 3,…) and are allowed a chance to perform this action at that time. If a cost is not paid (either by choice or circumstance), the effect after the colon ( : ) misfires, and is voided. Remember only to count the next effect! This includes every comma ( , ) and semicolon ( ; ) but not after a period ( . ). If effects are chosen from a bullet-list, each are voided if after a cost.

POINT! Any costs partially met are lost if they reveal new hidden information! This is a synthesis of the rules allowing players to undo plays that don’t reveal new information and that costs can be attempted even if not completed. Be aware that a player who discards from their hand for example, may still undo this as it doesn’t reveal new information to themselves. This effectively makes the discard a misplay.

Costs vs Timings – Even if a sentence followed by a colon is actually a timing (such as “Any Phase:” ) and seemingly not a cost, you can play this like a “cost” with nothing to do, since costs are effectively conditions with an allowed (and required) action. Since these state no action and only a condition, that may be considered costs with 0 to pay for ambiguity sake. Simply wait for the correct timing and resolve the effect.

Effects that exempt you from costs and ones that don’t:

Some effects exempt you from things that would otherwise be costs. These effects will say (Costs are 0) or (Ignore costs) or something similar. Example: EX-094 UlforceVdramon has PASSIVE: Your HP cannot be lowered except by an attack (costs are 0). Because it says “costs are 0”, this effect now applies to costs as well and makes all HP costs 0. If it didn’t, any effect with something like “Halve own HP: Boost own Power +400.” must still lower the HP for the Power boost to resolve.

However, costs are not exempted from effect exemptions. For example, “Supports cannot lower own 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 still requires lowering your HP to gain its effect. Effectively, this means effects can’t prevent players from using costs.

POINT! For players from other games, it may help clear ambiguity to consider the source of a cost versus effect. An effect’s source is the card that generated it. A cost’s source is the player that chooses to use it if able. This is why “HP can’t be lowered” is an effect pointing to other effects but not costs by default. Some effects may explicitly forbid players from using costs, which will be obvious. “Opponent can’t use Any Phase effects” obviously does prevent “Any Phase: “

“Must” in a cost – When a cost has “must” in it, treat this as a regular effect where it is forced to attempt to fully activate but without player choice. As usual, if this cost is not completed, the effect misfires and fails. Example: BR-171 Mega Disk says “Must Trash 6: Recover own HP +1000.” therefore the player who has this effect will trash 6 even if they don’t want to. If their deck can’t finish trashing 6, it trashes as many as possible and then misfires. As a reminder, costs cannot normally be forbidden.

What are the difference between timings like SUPPORT and Support?
Card timing and effect timing – A card timing is written in large letters near the name of the card to let a player know when it is permissible to use its first or primary effect, usually from hand. A lowercase timing is found in the effects of a card (usually underlined and may have a colon after) to indicate what phase or condition it triggers on. A card’s natural timing can’t be changed by any non-permanent effects. Here is when card timings are played:

  • EVOLVE: During the player’s own Evolution Phase during the step which allows an EVOLVE timing card to be played. This usually means from hand but may be played into the evolve zone from other places for some cards.
  • ACTIVATE: During the player’s own phases during the “Any Phase” step or during their Support Phase at the Support step. This is not in place of a support and is NOT played from hand. ACTIVATE is only usable naturally from the top of the active stack. Effects may allow forcibly using one from another zone. Once a card’s ACTIVATE timing effect fully resolves, a player can’t naturally activate it again and it will always be deleted when it next leaves its current zone (to prevent tracking errors and confusion). Cards that use another card’s ACTIVATE effect do not disable the original’s use.
  • SUPPORT: Played during any Support Phase during the Support step. Players must naturally play these from hand to the Support Zone but they will resolve no matter how they enter the zone (including supporting from the top of the deck facedown).
  • DATA: See “When can I play DATA timing cards?” in the FAQ
  • EFFECT: Has many different effects with separate timings with no clear primary effect OR specifies a unique timing on the card such as “Any Phase” which is playable during the any phase step of a given phase. By default, the card is played from hand.
  • PASSIVE: Similar to ACTIVATE, this can only be used while it is on the active Digimon naturally. This does not indicate when to play the card from hand, as that is naturally done during evolution or prep.

What are lowercase timings for individual effects? – By default, lowercase timings apply only to the effect text that follows them until a new timing is specified. This means many effects may be part of the same timing. As such, they typically are listed last on a card unless another timing is listed after. These naturally trigger during the start of every specified phase (or when possible during that phase) including the opponent’s. These may be nested—meaning multiple timings in a row—so all must coincide to activate (such as “Passive, Support Phase: When…” is a condition that can trigger only during either player’s support phase, at any legal time). Here’s a list of some examples:

  • Prep Phase: (same as “Draw Phase:”, outdated) Triggers at the start of every prep phase or when appropriate during.
  • Own Prep Phase: Triggers at the same times as “Prep Phase” but only during own turns.
  • Support: or Support Phase: both mean trigger or usable on any support phase during the “any/support phase” step or support step. This does NOT require a player to use up their 1 support per turn. SUPPORT timing cards do require this naturally.
  • Any Support Phase: Treated as both “Support” and “Any Phase”, which essentially allows ACTIVATE to be usable during the Any Phase timing of either player’s Support or the Support step of either player’s Support phase.
  • Passive: Always continually applied while its conditions are met and stays in its zone. Similar to PASSIVE, but usually not the first effect timing of a card.
  •  or “While attached, ” means it applies similarly to PASSIVE but only when occupying a player’s attachment zone.
  • Active Zone: or Active Stack: means it is a location specified for a Passive timing effect that is still valid anywhere in the active zone, not just the top card.
When can I play DATA cards?
DATA timing – This is a special timing card plus deck construction legality rules. DATA timing counts as three other use cases, making it essentially the same as “EFFECT” timing:

  • DNA: Evolve timing with normal DNA use.
  • Data Break: Same timing as ACTIVATE (see Glossary – “Data Break”), meaning as “Any Phase” but restricted to own turn, own Support Phase. May also allow use on opponent’s turn if specified.
  • Any Phase for use as normal
My Digimon doesn't have DP cost, how do I evolve to it?
Digimon without DP cost – A Digimon can only be evolved to by 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 because Ignoring DP only works if a card has DP printed on it. Otherwise, there is nothing to ignore.

Paying DP – A card may actually use the term “Pay DP” even though costs are not “paid” and DP is not “paid” when evolving. This indicates something new is happening. When paying DP for effects, simply reduce the DP amount being tracked by that card as if it were a normal cost.

Example: BIT-052 Immortalize is a Firewall that says “Ignore DP when evolving and put all your DP below this card, then attach it to active. [Attached] Support: Pay 30 DP from this: Void an Option. Support: Pay 10 DP from this: Void a Digimon Support.”

This means if you successfully evolve while ignoring the DP zone, you take those cards instead of trashing them all, then stack them under Immortalize (this is simply a reminder and a way to “freeze” the cards so they can’t enter other zones). While it’s attached, Immortalize provides 2 effects a player can activate during the “Any Phase” step of the Support Phase or during the normal Support step. Both require “Paying X DP from this” as a cost. In this case, “pay” is a brand new term and therefore is being defined by the card itself. This should intuitively mean to reduce the amount of DP Immortalize is tracking. You would not discard any of the cards it kept underneath! When it has 0 DP, the costs can’t be used and the card is effectively a dead attachment. If you had 2 cards in your DP Zone, one with 10 +P, one with 20 +P, you have a total of 30 +P. You can afford the cost to void 3 Digimon Supports OR void 1 Option. Since you do not discard the representative cards underneath it (no effect tells you to), you simply reduce the amount it tracks. Use dice or other counters to track this!

When can I use EFFECT timing cards?
EFFECT timing – Timing on a card that will be specified in the card’s effect box. Usually indicates multiple timings or “Any Phase”
What can Jamming void and when?
Jamming oddballs – Due to being an attack ability that can also void attack abilities and some supports, Jamming has many odd scenarios.

When should Jamming void a Digimon Support?
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. Players receive this opportunity every time supports would have to be resolved from the beginning, meaning extra supports added later can be voided if they’re Digimon. Missing this timing for support voiding does not affect timing for voiding attack abilities! Be aware of this timing when supports give your attack Jamming. If it gives a specific attack Jamming, treat it as normal and reveal that you chose this attack. If it’s simply “get Jamming” or “own attack gets Jamming”, in those cases, you wouldn’t need to reveal the attack you chose since it’s applied to all attacks.

POINT! Timing and Jamming supports is key. Jamming can only void Digimon supports if they haven’t resolved yet. If your own support gives your attack Jamming, you will want it to resolve before an opponent’s Digimon support, or you miss that opportunity! However, Jamming will still void their attack abilities.

Which attack abilities can Jamming void?

  • Jamming only voids Cross abilities.
  • If a player’s Cross gains an ability through another means, Jamming will still void that if the timing is correct.
  • If non-Cross attack gains an ability through an effect, it cannot be voided by Jamming.
  • Jamming can void Cross Counter, so an opponent who uses “Cross Counter” will have their ability voided before Counter attack is set, therefore Jamming is considered “faster” or superior to Counter.
  • Jamming cannot ever void another Jamming the same way any “void” effect can’t void another “void” effect. But both can still void a Digimon support.
  • If both player’s attacks are changed to Cross (which you didn’t void with an existing Jamming ability you had), you can’t reveal your chosen attack for Jamming to void during the support step, so you can’t undo your attack change. This intuitively makes sense because it would reverse time and create a paradox where you had your attack changed to one with Jamming and voided that change itself.
  • Because adding Jamming to an existing specific attack (or changing a player’s attack to a Cross with Jamming) requires you to be able to reveal that you chose the Jamming attack in order to void a Digimon support, you cannot reveal something like “Circle” if for example something gave your “Triangle” Jamming. So the normal rule applies even to attack changing and abilitiy adding.
Do I lose if I can't play a Digimon AND can't mulligan?
Lack of Digimon & Can’t mulligan – Sometimes a player may not have a Digimon in hand at the start of their turn and an empty active zone. If a player has 3 or more cards and is allowed to mulligan, they must do so until they can play a Digimon as active. Sometimes players start their turn with 0 cards in hand, draw 2 and still cannot play a Digimon and but doesn’t have enough cards to mulligan OR an effect prevents mulligan. This triggers a special mulligan rule: Reveal their hand to their opponent to confirm it contains no Digimon cards (even if they would be played as abnormal), then must mulligan as if they were allowed until a Digimon appears or they run out of cards in their deck; revealing each new hand this way. The first hand with a Digimon stops this process and one of them must be played as active (even if Abnormal).

When would there be a game loss due to lack of active Digimon? If a player can’t place a Digimon into the active zone before their own Prep Phase ends, that player loses the game immediately. This is typically because the special mulligan failed to give them a Digimon before their deck became 0 cards.

My card left its zone, what happens to the effect?
Leaving a zone – Depending on the type of effect, a card that generated it leaving its current zone may void that effect.

  • “Permanent” or “Passive” effects immediately stop being applied and revert to normal as if they were lingering effects during the End Phase when a card with this leaves its zone. In the case of active Digimon with either permanent effects that are activated by an evo-box, or “Passive” timing effects, these are also voided when their card is covered up by evolution, even if they are still in that zone. An exception to this is when a card’s timing is “Active Zone” or “Active Stack” which means it would continue to work anywhere in the zone, not just in the top active position.
  • Lingering effects’ conditions are voided if the causing card is removed from its zone. The current results are treated as-is (unlike Permanent/Passive effects which would be reverted). Example: BR-130 Etemon says “At End, if able, discard this active, then own HP is 10” which is usually itself, but if it is KO’d, an opponent plays Potty Boat to remove it, or if it somehow evolves to change the top active to another Digimon, you would not continue with this during the End Phase. Your active would not change and its HP would not become 10.
  • Attachment effects immediately stop applying their conditions (as lingering), Passives (as with Passives above), and any other effects but does not revert their values. If EX-018 Courage Crest already boosted own Circle Power +100, then was discarded by Shatter, your Circle will not revert.
What is considered a lingering effect vs a permanent or passive one?
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; they are denoted on some new cards’ evo-boxes with this lemniscate symbol . These can be considered embedded in the card’s identity but not physically printed on that card. This distinction matters since parenthesis/permanent effects can never be voided but printed abilities can. Also, “Shatter” will only reduce an opponent’s Power by the printed amount, but will ignore any permanent changes to that amount. Permanents are simply lingering effect changs that can’t be voided. Whereas printed values can be changed, voided, or referenced as “printed”.

  • Permanent effects do not terminate ever, unless the card leaves its zone or any of its conditions aren’t met. Examples include HP change, type change, name change, or anything that modifies a permanent part of another card.
  • Lingering effects terminate at the end phase and some cards may void them. Examples include Boost Power, change attack, gained Attack ability, max hand size, whether hand is revealed, number of times you may Support, DNA not counting as playing “Evolve”, or other non-passive effects that change non-permanent parts of the game or statuses.
  • Passive effects are neither Lingering nor Permanent. They are voidable, have passive timing plus any other specified, and for most situations will be treated as permanent effects that are weaker.
Why do some evo-bonuses appear to be bad for me or seem permanent?
Negative Effects in Evo-boxes – Any effect in an evo-box bonus that would be intuitively “negative” (i.e. have a bad effect on the game state) to its owner is meant to apply to the opponent. Some newer cards have an “opponent” symbol to clear this ambiguity. Example: “Discard 1” is a compactified phrasing of “opponent discards 1”. When ambiguous, the player applying the bonus chooses which player it affects. Designer note: It sucks, but I didn’t have any space when I first made the game.

Permanents in Evolution Boxes – Some permanent effects may be granted by evolution boxes such as “Attacks cannot be countered”/”Uncounterable” or “Supports cannot be void”/”Supports Unvoidable”. Unlike the general case, these only refer to your own attacks/supports/whatever is listed. These permanent effects are denoted on new cards by a lemniscate symbol and stay on your Digimon while it is active and the conditions are being met. They are not “lingering” effects that terminate during End Phase nor are they voidable like Passive effects. Void your permanent evo-bonuses if your active digimon card changes (but not if it flips).

When an effect says a player should discard, who chooses?
Player discards – Any time an opponent “discards”, this means from the hand and is their choice unless otherwise specified (such as “discard randomly”). Some effects may have an opponent discard from another zone such as DP or attachment, these are also the opponent’s choice. The same applies to your own discard choices unless specified otherwise on the card. Costs requiring discards also by default allow the player to choose.

Discard any… – This is likely to appear followed by “own” or “opponent” and some zone such as DP or attachment. By default, all discards refer to the hand in case one is not specified. Discard any means the effect’s owner chooses, not the target. So “Discard any 1 in opponent’s DP” means you choose any 1 to discard in their DP, not the opponent’s choice. This is due to the intuitve fact that opponents already get to choose “any” by default.

Amount not specified – This means the effect removes all. Or if “any…” but doesn’t limit the amount, you can discard any number of any chosen cards in that zone.

How do you check for top X cards/Digimon in deck?
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 1 Digimon of own deck into DP”. When checking for its conditions (1 Digimon), if the specified card(s) do not meet that condition, they are eventually returned to their hidden zone in the exact same location whenever possible. Follow normal shuffle rules about when hidden information is revealed from the deck versus a separate set.

POINT! Skip anything intuitively illegal in the game. Putting the top 1 card of deck into DP makes no sense if the card has no +P amount listed because it’s an Option without it. In that case, you would treat it as illegal and continue looking at the next card and so on.

Example 1: “Put the top 1 Digimon of own deck into DP.” If the top 1 is not a Digimon card, it is an illegal option which we skip, then iteratively continue checking the next cards until we reach the first Digimon or the deck is empty. Then, follow the Cherrypicking rule as we revealed hidden deck information and shuffle the deck.

Example 2: “Put 1 Digimon from the top 5 of own deck into DP.” Only allows the player to reveal to themselves 5 cards, fails if there is no Digimon, allows any of the 5 Digimon to be put into DP, and does not require a shuffle as the 5 cards are not considered the “top” and are not part of the deck anymore. Try to place them back in the same order if possible.

When is something a hidden zone? First, it’s easier to understand the open zones that any player can check the contents of (but not modify the order of) at any time: Active Zones, Trashes, attachments, evolutions, Support, Destiny Zone, and any temporarily created places such as looking at cards from hidden zones or revealing them to do other effects (these stop existing when the effect ends). Any card played facedown automatically ignores the openness of the zone (such as when supporting from the top of the deck face-down).

Hidden zones may be hidden to both players or only one: A player’s own hand is open to themselves but their opponent’s hand is hidden to them; all decks are hidden zones; all attacks chosen by players are hidden until checked or revealed by normal gameplay; and any temporary hidden/partially hidden zones may be made by effects such as when recoding your own deck and being allowed to see those cards while an opponent can’t. Some cards may cause hidden zone ambiguity such as DB-017 Gaizmon, which flips its attached’s deck over and plays with it face up. In this case, everything revealed (the top card) is now OPEN and everything under it is hidden. If a deck count is required in that circumstance, try to keep the deck as hidden as possible. Another temporary opening of a hidden zone is Redotamamon which makes an opponent’s hand remain face up (and then that lingering effect stops at the End Phase). In that case, the zone is now open until the effect stops.

How do you resolve the order of simultaneous or interrupting effects?
Simultaneous Effects – If two effects (except attack abilities) would trigger simultaneously, do one of the following:

  1. If the effects are both from the same card owner, that card owner chooses the order they resolve.
  2. If one effect is a player’s and the other is their opponent’s, the current turn player chooses the order they resolve.

Interrupting effects/triggers – Some conditions on a card may be met in the middle of resolving a different card. This is fine and the conditions will interrupt the currently resolving card as if the effects are sequential. If two simultaneous conditions occur, proceed with the simultaneous rules. Effects are interruptable as they contain a period. Costs can’t be directly interrupted but may trigger conditions. In that case, the first effect after the cost must either trigger or misfire/void before anything else can resolve.

Example 1 (effect interrupt): Player 1 is resolving Ogremon’s Support to discard their hand, then afterward the next effect doubles their Power. Player 2 has an Ebemon active. When Player 1’s “Discard own hand.” finishes resolving, Ebemon’s effect that triggers when an opponent discards will immediately interrupt, resolve (Draw 1), and then Player 1 will begin their next effect. After their Power doubles, Ebemon will trigger again, interrupting Ogremon, then Boost its Power +200, then Ogremon resolves by putting itself into DP and Player 1 draws 2.

Example 2 (cost interrupt): Player 1 uses Missile Pod and completes the cost of discarding their hand. Player 2 has Ebemon as active again. Ebemon triggers on the discard but cannot interrupt a cost, as the effect hasn’t actually finished. Player 1 doubles their power. Player 2’s Ebemon now intterupts Missile Pod before its other effects can resolve and Draw 1 and Boost its Power +200. This is because both conditions were met while waiting to intterupt. Then Missile Pod finishes resolving by checking a condition.

Ruler Type

Link to detailed explanation for Ruler Type Digimon

Rules Changelog 1-31-20



  • Added Killer attack ability. Power +300 and 1st Attack if the specified attack was used by opponent.
  • Added “Access” keyword which means reveal the card of the specified type from your hand, as a cost.
  • Added Flip cards rule, linked to new flip cards document for detailed rules. Changed evo-bonuses area to remind players that flipping does not void permanents.
  • Updated deck building rules for flip cards.


  • Changed wording for Prep Phase partner evolution. It wasn’t intended that players needed to play partners during that turn to evolve to a Level C in the destiny zone. Partners can evolve at the end of the prep phase if they’re the active.


  • Added FAQ on new zone: Dark Area, which is like a hidden hand zone per player that some effects use.
  • Added Glossary section for Dark [action]s.
  • Added substeps to Prep Phase’s Draw Step so players know when to add Dark Area cards to their hand.


  • Put reminder text about multi-support resolution in the Support Phase. Players should no longer need to check the FAQ to know you restart the resolution step if supports remain unused due to an effect placing new ones there.


  • Added notes to Evolve phase that players are allowed to hold activating qualified evo-bonuses until later, such as when activating permanents.


  • Added full explanation of the Turbo keyword mechanic to Glossary for Set Toy release.


  • Added condition to “Attach D/T/H” attack ability preventing players from choosing ACE, Firewall, or DATA cards as these are protected targets. Players may have also assumed they could bypass Data Break before on Slayerdramon’s DATA with attach, which is false.
  • Added reminder text for each attack ability instead of just “see Glossary”
  • Added FAQ about where cards with no zone to play in go, such as Any Phase
  • Added FAQ about whether playing a proxy from DZ is considered “from hand”.


  • Added Grudge attack ability rules with the promo release of Chaosdukemon and Hudiemon.
  • Added reminder to KO steps about how to deal with Revive including removal of Abnormal status.
  • Added clarification to Revive glossary that because it resets the active as evolved, it removes Abnormal status. Further emphasized that effects which modify KO points are always ignored on a revived Digimon (they can’t be decreased or increased). This is more necessary with the addition of Grudge to the game.
  • Updated the glossary on Flatten which was previously missed


  • Overhauled rules FAQ to be more responsive and include more detailed scenarios and explanations
  • Added several new entries to the FAQ
  • Added upcoming symbols for “Permanent” evo-bonus effects and “Opponent” symbol references
  • Overhauled Evolve Phase to create specific methods for evolution and clear up confusion
  • Clarified rules about “paying” DP which didn’t work the way players from other games expected
  • Added POINT! callouts to help players with common “gotchas” about the game
  • Changed abnormal rules to stop checking constantly. Now only when cards change under the active Digimon or is first played
  • Changed rules about “Phase” effects outside of card timing. Effect timing now applies to all phases of that name unless specified by which player
  • Clarified that Jamming doesn’t have only one moment when it can void things
  • Changed flat from using cards to track flats to using tokens players will provide (like KOs). Flatten went back to requiring the originally intended 4 to KO or 3 and damage. Flat tokens now can’t be removed if DP is ignored or not evolving by DP.


  • 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