Digimon starter decks and cheap upgrades

The Digimon TCG has one of the best new player experiences in the space, this is almost completely due to how excellent their starter decks are. Each starter deck has meta-relevant cards for the time that it releases, and they’re significantly cheaper than simply buying each card in singles.


Today, we’ll be going over what comes in a starter deck, which one you should buy, as well as how you can upgrade each of them!


What Does A Starter Deck Contain?

 

Although starter decks mostly have similar contents, there are subtle differences between “generations.” We’ll refer to generations as a collective name for starter decks that are released at the same time as each other.


The first generation of Starter Decks comes with:

  • A set of 54 cards.
  • 16 different cards.
  • 7 Commons
  • 5 Uncommons
  • 3 Rares
  • 1 Super Rare
  • 2 Memory Gauges alongside Pop-Out Counters.
  • English Starter Decks come together with 1 Pack of BT01-03: Release Special Booster Ver.1.0.

The second generation of Starter Decks comes with:

  • A set of 54 cards.
  • 16 different cards.
  • 7 Commons
  • 5 Uncommons
  • 3 Rares
  • 1 Super Rare
  • 2 Memory Gauges alongside Pop-Out Counters.
  • English Starter Decks come packed with 1 Pack of BT-04: Booster Great Legend.. 
  • By buying 2 English Starter Decks you get 1 Great Dash Pack for free!

The third(and current) generation of Starter Decks contains:

  • A set of 54 cards.
  • 16 different cards.
  • 5 Commons
  • 6 Uncommons
  • 3 Rares
  • 2 Super Rare
  • 2 Memory Gauges.
  • 6 Bonus cards.
  • The Japanese version comes with 1 Playsheet.

All in all, this is a sweet haul for the low price of around 15 EUR. Even the older starter decks that have mostly had the cards within them reprinted or phased out of the meta still provide more value than if you bought them as singles.

First Generation

The first generation had by far the least focused decks, with quite a few weak cards making the cut. Starting the Digimon TCG in 2022 with one of these decks is only advisable if you’re just looking to have the absolute simplest experience possible.

ST-1: Starter Deck Gaia Red

Deck List:

  • ST1-01Koromon
  • ST1-02Biyomon
  • ST1-02Biyomon
  • ST1-02Biyomon
  • ST1-03Agumon
  • ST1-03Agumon
  • ST1-03Agumon
  • ST1-03Agumon
  • ST1-03Agumon
  • ST1-04Dracomon
  • ST1-05Birdramon
  • ST1-06Coredramon
  • ST1-06Coredramon
  • ST1-07Greymon
  • ST1-07Greymon
  • ST1-08Garudamon
  • ST1-08Garudamon
  • ST1-09MetalGreymon
  • ST1-09MetalGreymon
  • ST1-09MetalGreymon
  • ST1-10Phoenixmon
  • ST1-10Phoenixmon
  • ST1-11WarGreymon
  • ST1-11WarGreymon
  • ST1-11WarGreymon
  • ST1-12Tai Kamiya
  • ST1-13Shadow Wing
  • ST1-13Shadow Wing
  • ST1-14Starlight Explosion
  • ST1-15Giga Destroyer
  • ST1-16Gaia Force
  • ST1-16Gaia Force

The 1st starter deck is a very cut-and-dry aggressive deck. The deck has an excellent curve and is pretty much all-in on boosting WarGreymon as much as possible so that it kills your opponent in one or two turns.


Now, let’s look at some cheap upgrades you can add to the deck. With this deck, since its only real main gameplan is boosting WarGreymon to untold heights, we’ll be leaning into that completely and going full Greymon-tribal with a list like:

  • 1 Sakuttomon BT4-001
  • 4 Koromon BT5-001 
  • 4 Monodramon BT1-009 
  • 2 Agumon BT1-010 
  • 2 WarGreymon BT1-025 
  • 2 Lavogaritamon BT2-016 
  • 3 BlitzGreymon BT3-018  
  • 1 Marcus Damon BT4-092 
  • 4 Agumon BT5-007 
  • 4 Greymon BT5-010 
  • 4 Monochromon BT5-012 
  • 3 MetalGreymon Alterous Mode   BT5-015 
  • 2 ZeigGreymon BT5-017 
  • 3 Omnimon BT5-086 
  • 4 Nokia Shiramine BT5-092 
  • 1 Omnimon X Anti-body BT5-111 
  • 4 Agumon ST1-03 
  • 4 Greymon ST1-07 
  • 3 Metal Greymon ST1-09


The Omnimons can be replaced with any other Lv 7 digimon the deck can support(which are mostly cheaper varieties of Omnimon.) Alternatively, you can include AncientGreymon as a side win condition. The deck is really fun to play, and quite beginner-friendly as well.


Note that a lot of the good cards in this deck are reprinted in ST-7: Starter Deck Gallantmon so unless you’re really attached to getting this specific deck, you’d be better off with that one.

ST-2: Starter Deck Cocytus Blue

Deck List:

  • ST2-01Tsunomon
  • ST2-02Gomamon
  • ST2-02Gomamon
  • ST2-03Gabumon
  • ST2-04Bearmon
  • ST2-05Ikkakumon
  • ST2-06Garurumon
  • ST2-07Grizzlymon
  • ST2-07Grizzlymon
  • ST2-08WereGarurumon
  • ST2-08WereGarurumon
  • ST2-08WereGarurumon
  • ST2-09Zudomon
  • ST2-10Plesiomon
  • ST2-11MetalGarurumon
  • ST2-11MetalGarurumon
  • ST2-12Matt Ishida
  • ST2-13Hammer Spark
  • ST2-13Hammer Spark
  • ST2-14Sorrow Blue
  • ST2-15Kaiser Nail
  • ST2-16Cocytus Breath
  • ST2-16Cocytus Breath
  • ST2-06Garurumon
  • ST2-09Zudomon
  • ST2-02Gomamon

As a parallel of Gaia Red, Cocytus Blue is about getting the most out of the multiple attacks you get with your Metalgarurumon. It’s a bit less aggressive than Gaia Red, opting to keep a few key control options.


As for upgrades, this one’s fairly straightforward:

  • 4x ST2 Tsunomon + 4x BT1 Upamon
  • +1 DemiVeemon BT2
  • Replace all rookies that cost more than 2 with BT1 Elecmon and BT1 Gabumon
  • Take out all Campion-level digimon bar Grizzlymon and replace them with BT1 Garurumon, BT1 Leomon, or an aggressive Champion you pull from later booster packs.
  • Replace any 4 Ultimate-level digimon for BT01 Zudomon
  • Replace Metalgarurumon with either the BT1 Metalgarurumon or Leopardmon BT1, as the starter Metalgarurumon is simply atrocious
  • Ideally, add in a couple Omnimon if you have them

And you’re done!



Note that a lot of the good cards in this deck are reprinted in ST-7: Starter Deck UlforceVeedramon so unless you’re really attached to getting this specific deck, you’d be better off with that one.

ST-3: Starter Deck Heaven's Yellow

Deck List:

  • ST3-01Tokomon
  • ST3-02Salamon
  • ST3-02Salamon
  • ST3-03Tapirmon
  • ST3-04Patamon
  • ST3-04Patamon
  • ST3-04Patamon
  • ST3-05Angemon
  • ST3-05Angemon
  • ST3-05Angemon
  • ST3-06Gatomon
  • ST3-07Unimon
  • ST3-07Unimon
  • ST3-08MagnaAngemon
  • ST3-08MagnaAngemon
  • ST3-08MagnaAngemon
  • ST3-09Angewomon
  • ST3-09Angewomon
  • ST3-10Magnadramon
  • ST3-11Seraphimon
  • ST3-12T.K. Takaishi
  • ST3-13Heaven's Gate
  • ST3-13Heaven's Gate
  • ST3-14Heaven's Charm
  • ST3-14Heaven's Charm
  • ST3-15Holy Flame
  • ST3-16Seven Heavens

The Yellow Starter deck is all-round the weakest of the first three, and by extension, the weakest starter deck. While it comes with some useful cards, most of the deck is rather underwhelming when it comes to gameplay.


With that being said, if you’re absolutely adamant about running it, the deck revolves around lowering the BP of your opponent’s digimon to 0 in order to destroy them.


Upgrading the deck is a bit of a hassle, as you’ll ideally only be keeping a few cards from the starter deck, but some cards you should be on the lookout for are:

  • BT3 Upamon
  • BT1 Petermon & Tinkermon
  • BT1 MagnaAngemon
  • BT2 MagnaDramon
  • The BT2 ShineGreymon evolution line

Second Generation

The second-generation starter decks are quite a bit better than the first generation. Their game plans are generally more focused, despite still being meant to introduce the basic ideals of their colors.

ST-4: Starter Deck Giga Green

Deck List:

  • ST4-01Motimon
  • ST4-02Floramon
  • ST4-03Tentomon
  • ST4-03Tentomon
  • ST4-04Palmon
  • ST4-05Kunemon
  • ST4-06Togemon
  • ST4-07Kuwagamon
  • ST4-08Kabuterimon
  • ST4-08Kabuterimon
  • ST4-08Kabuterimon
  • ST4-08Kabuterimon
  • ST4-09Okuwamon
  • ST4-10Lillymon
  • ST4-10Lillymon
  • ST4-11MegaKabuterimon
  • ST4-12Rosemon
  • ST4-13HerculesKabuterimon
  • ST4-14Izzy Izumi
  • ST4-15Needle Spray
  • ST4-16Electro Shocker

This is most likely the best deck out of the 2nd generation. Its main theme is attacking over your opponent’s Digimon, while performing gimmicks or targeting their security. One of the biggest benefits of this deck is how easily it can be upgraded.


As for upgrades, doing something like this is a good idea:

  • 1 Tanemon BT1-007
  • 3 Goblimon BT1-064
  • 3 Mimi Tachikawa BT1-089
  • 1 Argomon BT2-047
  • 4 Minomon BT3-004
  • 2 Terriermon BT3-046
  • 3 Gargomon BT3-048
  • 4 Stingmon BT3-050
  • 1 Blossomon BT3-054
  • 2 MegaGargomon BT3-057
  • 2 BanchoStingmon BT3-058
  • 1 Hidden Potential Discovered! BT3-103
  • 3 Lalamon BT4-052
  • 3 Lilamon BT4-059
  • 2 Chaosmon BT4-090
  • 3 Tentomon ST4-03
  • 4 Palmon ST4-04
  • 4 Kabuterimon ST4-08
  • 4 MegaKabuterimon ST4-11
  • 3 HerculesKabuterimon ST4-13
  • 2 Needle Spray ST4-15

The upgrades are quite budget, sitting at around $40 but really breathe a new life into the deck, making it competitive at a local level with ease. The deck essentially keeps the same playstyle of attacking over your opponent’s Digimon, with the biggest difference being that attacking directly is more often an option with this version.

ST-5: Starter Deck Machine Black

Deck List:

  • ST5-01Kapurimon
  • ST5-02Jazamon
  • ST5-03Agumon
  • ST5-03Agumon
  • ST5-04ToyAgumon
  • ST5-05Commandramon
  • ST5-06Greymon
  • ST5-07Jazardmon
  • ST5-08DarkTyrannomon
  • ST5-09MetalGreymon
  • ST5-10MetalTyrannomon
  • ST5-11Megadramon
  • ST5-12Machinedramon
  • ST5-13BlitzGreymon
  • ST5-14Tai Kamiya
  • ST5-15Laser Eye
  • ST5-16Dark Side Attack

Aside from the edgy aesthetic, the black deck is quite unique, having a strategy that revolves around blocking your opponent’s Digimon. Although this kind of reactive playstyle isn’t for everyone, the deck heavily rewards patient play. 


Furthermore, black is the color that is most attached to its starter deck, with many of the cards within appearing even in top-tier black builds.


A budget list we would recommend to branch into is:

  • 1 Kapurimon BT2-005
  • 3 Gotsumon BT2-054
  • 4 ToyAgumon BT2-055
  • 4 Greymon BT2-057
  • 1 Andromon BT2-061
  • 3 MetalGreymon BT2-063
  • 1 Tai Kamiya BT2-089
  • 1 Infinity Cannon BT2-106
  • 2 CresGarurumon BT3-073
  • 4 Craniamon BT3-075
  • 2 Joe Kido BT3-095
  • 3 Beast Cyclone BT3-106
  • 4 Sealsdramon BT4-067
  • 1 Meteormon BT4-070
  • 2 Chaosmon BT4-090
  • 4 Kapurimon ST5-01
  • 3 Agumon ST5-03
  • 4 ToyAgumon ST5-04
  • 2 Greymon ST5-06
  • 2 DarkTyrannomon ST5-08
  • 3 Megadramon ST5-11
  • 1 Genocide Attack ST5-16

It maintains the blocking agenda of the Starter Deck while making it a bit more fun to play and a hell of a lot more consistent. Alternatively, you can look at playing a D-Brigade shell like this one.


ST-6: Starter Deck Venomous Violet

Deck List:

  • ST6-01Pagumon
  • ST6-02DemiDevimon
  • ST6-03Gabumon
  • ST6-04Dracmon
  • ST6-05Elecmon
  • ST6-06Garurumon
  • ST6-07Youkomon
  • ST6-08Devimon
  • ST6-08Devimon
  • ST6-08Devimon
  • ST6-08Devimon
  • ST6-09Kyukimon
  • ST6-10SkullSatamon
  • ST6-11WereGarurumon
  • ST6-12VenomMyotismon
  • ST6-13CresGarurumon
  • ST6-14Matt Ishida
  • ST6-15Death Claw
  • ST6-16Nail Bone

In our opinion, this is the most fun deck to play out of the 2nd generation starter decks, it also features quite a few unique mechanics. It isn’t too difficult to upgrade while keeping its themes of recursion, with even some top-tier decks playing similarly. 


An upgraded list we would recommend is:

  • 1 Gabumon BT2-069
  • 2 DemiMeramon BT3-006
  • 2 Candlemon BT3-076
  • 1 Gazimon BT3-077
  • 1 Saberdramon BT3-080
  • 3 Meramon BT3-083
  • 1 Raremon BT3-084
  • 3 SkullMeramon BT3-085
  • 2 Mummymon BT3-087
  • 1 LadyDevimon BT3-088
  • 1 Lilithmon BT3-091
  • 2 MaloMyotismon BT3-092
  • 2 Mimi Tachikawa BT3-096
  • 1 Necrophobia BT3-110
  • 1 Xiaomon BT4-006
  • 2 Labramon BT4-079
  • 1 Phantomon BT4-085
  • 1 Anubismon BT4-087
  • 1 Jack Raid BT4-111
  • 2 Pagumon ST6-01
  • 4 Gabumon ST6-03
  • 2 Dracmon ST6-04
  • 2 Garurumon ST6-06
  • 4 Devimon ST6-08
  • 1 SkullSatamon ST6-10
  • 4 WereGarurumon ST6-11
  • 4 CresGarurumon ST6-13
  • 1 Matt Ishida ST6-14
  • 2 Death Claw ST6-15

As for the digieggs any mix of DemiMeramon and Pagumon will work.


Third Generation– The Best Choice

The third-generation starter decks are by far the best choice. They are the newest decks, and contain the most high-rarity cards out of all the starter decks. These are the Digimon TCG starter decks with the highest value for your money. In fact, you get almost double the value when compared to buying singles.


They also show how much Bandai has learned about constructing these starter decks, as these decks are quite a bit more powerful than any past Starter deck.


Furthermore, while Gallantmon and UlforceVeedramon aren’t quite as iconic as WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon, they have extremely interesting effects and high-quality artwork. As you might’ve noticed, most of our upgrade guides so far involve quickly taking the face card out of the deck- as they’re often very underwhelming. Thankfully, that is not the case with these two decks.

ST-7: Starter Deck Gallantmon

Deck List:

  • ST7-01Gigimon
  • BT1-009Monodramon
  • ST7-02Agumon
  • ST7-03Guilmon
  • ST7-04Biyomon
  • ST7-05Growlmon
  • ST7-06GeoGreymon
  • BT1-019DarkTyrannomon
  • BT1-020Groundramon
  • ST7-07RizeGreymon
  • ST7-08WarGrowlmon
  • ST7-09Gallantmon
  • ST7-10ShineGreymon
  • ST7-11Lightning Joust
  • ST7-12Atomic Blaster
  • ST1-16Gaia Force


The first thing that pops out to us is that the Lv 6 Digimon are actually good. Whereas before we had WarGreymon that would conditionally hit more than one Security, Gallantmon does that just by existing and has another effect on top of it.


This deck looks to aggressively delete your opponent’s Digimon, both preventing them from gaining an advantage and opening them up to attacks from your Lv 6s. The deck is well-balanced, and even upgrading it with just another copy of itself can be enough of a boost to get it to a playable state.


The deck also reprints some of the best cards from the Gaia Red deck like Gaia Force, and mostly gives them new, shiny alternate artworks.


The way we would upgrade this deck is as follows:

  • 1 Gigimon BT2-001
  • 4 Guilmon BT2-009
  • 4 Growlmon BT2-013
  • 3 WarGrowlmon BT2-017
  • 1 Gallantmon BT2-020
  • 2 Shield of the Just BT2-093
  • 2 Gigimon BT5-006
  • 4 Guilmon BT5-071
  • 4 BlackGrowlmon BT5-076
  • 4 BlackWarGrowlmon BT5-079
  • 1 ChaosGallantmon BT5-081
  • 2 Megidramon BT5-083
  • 4 Tai Kamiya ST1-12
  • 2 Gigimon ST7-01
  • 2 Guilmon ST7-03
  • 4 Biyomon ST7-04
  • 2 Growlmon ST7-05
  • 3 WarGrowlmon ST7-08
  • 2 Gallantmon ST7-09
  • 2 Lightning Joust ST7-11
  • 2 Atomic Blaster ST7-12
  • 3 Starter Deck Gigimon
  • 3 BT5 Gigimon

This is the first time so far that we’ve upgraded a deck by adding another color on top of it. If you’re a fan of Gallantmon, you’re bound to love this deck. Furthermore, it actually keeps the Starter Deck Gallantmon which is a big plus.


ST-8: Starter Deck UlforceVeedramon

Deck List:

  • ST8-01DemiVeemon
  • BT1-028Elecmon
  • ST8-02Gabumon
  • ST8-03Dracomon
  • ST8-04Veemon
  • ST8-05Veedramon
  • ST8-06Coredramon
  • BT1-037Gorillamon
  • BT1-038Monzaemon
  • ST8-07Wingdramon
  • ST8-08AeroVeedramon
  • ST8-09Slayerdramon
  • ST8-10UlforceVeedramon
  • ST2-13Hammer Spark
  • ST8-11Victory Sword
  • ST8-12V-Wing Blade

This is another great starter deck, this time built around UlforceVeedramon. It looks to draw a lot of cards and attack multiple times with its titular Digimon. As you can see the 3rd generation largely parallels the first, while being helmed by better titular Digimon, and being a lot more consistent in achieving that game plan.


For the upgrades, we’ll again go all-in on the titular Digimon, creating a deck around UlforceVeedramon:

  • 4 Veemon BT2-021
  • 4 AeroVeedramon BT2-028
  • 3 UlforceVeedramon BT2-032
  • 3 Rina Shinomiya BT2-086
  • 4 Veemon BT3-021
  • 2 Gabumon BT6-019
  • 2 Veedramon Zero P-011
  • 1 Tai Kamiya (V-Tamer) P-012
  • 2 Blue Memory Boost! P-036
  • 4 DemiVeemon ST8-01
  • 4 Veemon ST8-04
  • 4 Veedramon ST8-05
  • 4 Coredramon ST8-06
  • 4 AeroVeedramon ST8-08
  • 2 Slayerdramon ST8-09
  • 3 UlforceVeedramon ST8-10
  • 4 V-Wing Blade ST8-12


For DigiEggs, we use 4x DemiVeemon, plus another DigiEgg depending on your local meta.

Closing Words

While each of the Digimon TCG Starter Decks is a great starting point for new players. If you’re a new player in the Digimon TCG, we suggest getting either the ST-7: Starter Deck Gallantmon deck or the ST-8: Starter Deck UlforceVeedramon. The former of these is a bit simpler, however, both of them can offer a great play experience.

 

Written by Ilija Miljkovac

Digimon