The Digimon Card Game had its official launch back in 2020, despite the game releasing mid-COVID season, it enjoys a healthy player base, slowly creeping up as prices go down and people get vaccinated.
Regardless of whether you’re a brand new player getting into the game, or a returning player looking to get back into the game as COVID slows down, today we’ll be going over everything you need to know. We’ll go over how and where to learn the rules, what the best set to get for value is, what starter deck you should get, as well as some interesting options for collectors.
Learning The Rules
The Digimon TCG has a remarkably simple ruleset for how complex games can get. If you’re used to games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, or Magic: The Gathering, you’ll find that the Digimon TCG rules are a lot more streamlined. In fact, the entire core rulebook is only 17 pages long. Despite this, the game has quite a bit of depth for the short time that it has been on the market.
If you’re looking for another way to learn how to play the Digimon TCG, you could do it through the freely available online game tutorial. This tutorial will guide you through everything you need to know to start with.
What Do I Buy First?
A lot of players when first starting out are confused about what to buy to begin their Digimon TCG journey. Now, with the Digimon TCG card values being as high as they are, it can oftentimes be better to simply buy boxes and starter decks than pick out singles. Besides that, buying singles when you’re just starting out can leave you confused and might lead to you getting cards that don’t play well together.
Boxes are on the downtrend, with boxes that used to be over $100 like Battle for Omni coming down significantly. However, if you’re looking to buy a product and immediately get to grips with playing the game, there’s no better choice than the starter decks. If you want to learn how to play Digimon TCG buying 2 starter decks is the best way to do it!
Best Starter Decks
The best starter decks to grab as a new player are the two latest ones: ST-9: Starter Deck Ultimate Ancient Dragon and ST-10: Starter Deck Parallel World Tactician. Both of these decks will provide you with some powerful cards to kickstart your collection.
The decks come with the following:
- A constructed set of 54 cards:
- 16 different cards.
- 5 Commons
- 6 Uncommons
- 3 Rares
- 2 Super Rare
- 2 Memory Gauges.
- The Japanese version of the Digimon starter decks includes 1 Playsheet.
Both of these decks contain a variety of different staples that are commonly played in some of the top-tier decks today. Furthermore, they’re great for learning how to play the game, as unlike most TCG’s starter decks, the Digimon TCG makes sure that they’re all quite focused out of the box.
Although you could also get some of the earlier starter decks, they are a bit weaker, plus they won’t help teach you some of the newer mechanics that have been introduced into the game. However, if you really like the titular Digimon of one of the earlier starter decks, they’re not bad choices either.
These two decks are well balanced against each other, so if you’re simply looking to get a couple of decks to try out the game with a friend, this is a cheap way to do so. Plus, both decks come with an exclusive card of their titular Digimon. If you want to read more about Digimon starter decks and digimon TCG budget decks, you can read our article on that subject.
When it comes to booster boxes, there’s no way you could go wrong with Battle for Omni. There is a big caveat here however, customers have reported that boxes from Amazon have often been found out to be resealed. Because of this, it’s advisable to get the booster boxes from a different retailer.
The set contains some cards that are extremely good picks for some of the meta decks. Some of the best cards within the set are:
- Shoutmon DX- Excellent pick for all red decks, including the Gallantmon starter deck.
- ZeigGreymon- One of the reasons why Red decks are still in the meta
- BlackWarGrowlmon- A must-include in any Purple Cresgarurumon decks
- HexeBlaumon- A great build-around for source control decks.
- LordKnightmon- A great card if you like Yellow, board-spam tactics
- Weedmon & Paimon- Support cards for a fun new Green deck- Green Digi Burst
- MetalGarurumon- Excellent card for turbo Omnimon Zwart decks
If you’re a new player, and half of these terms don’t mean anything to you- don’t worry. Just be on the lookout for any of these cards in your booster boxes.
Furthermore, we got a bunch of new versions of Omnimon. With Omnimon being the most popular LV 7 Digimon to go into, as well as an iconic character, you can imagine the value of pulling one is sky-high.
The set also supports some budget and fewer meta decks, such as Blue Garurumon & AncientGarurumon decks that became meta come BT-06. Since the set provides the fundamental building blocks for many archetypes, you can expect the cards within to stay relevant for years to come.
Not only is the set full of extremely fun cards, but it also features some amazing-looking alternate art treatments. Some of these are:
- ChaosGallantmon (BT5-081)
- Shoutmon DX (BT5-019)
- Omnimon Zwart (BT5-087)
- Omnimon X-Anti-body (BT5-111)
Is The Digimon Card Game Worth It?
Beyond being simply a monetary investment, getting into a TCG is a massive time investment. When a new TCG such as the Digimon TCG wants to make it on today’s market it needs to offer not only good monetary value, but also a balanced play experience.
In this section, we’ll be going over most of the common factors that make a card game worth it or not for most of its players.
Is The Meta Varied
Although this is mainly a concern for competitive players, having a varied meta shows that a game’s designers are creative enough to ensure not only a healthy competitive experience but also a fun casual one.
With that in mind, how does the meta in the Digimon TCG compare to its competitors? Generally, a TCG will have 5-6 top-tier decks in a varied meta, with off-meta decks regularly putting up good results.
Currently, some of the Digimon decks putting up top results at high-level tournaments are:
- Yellow Hybrid
- Blue Hybrid
- Green OTK
Those 6 meta decks have all placed in the top spot of a large tournament within just the last few months. Without even considering the top 8 of major tournaments, we’ve already got a well-balanced meta.
When we look at these Digimon meta decks, we also notice that pretty much every traditional TCG archetype is present. With Yellow Hybrid being an archetypal midrange deck, Blue Hybrid being the game’s top control deck, and D-Reaper with Omnimon Zwart Turbo representing combo.
Besides these, off-the-cuff deck ideas can often snag a top spot or two. This shows that the meta isn’t anywhere near being solved. Bandai has done a great job maintaining a varied meta with as few bannings as possible so far.
Is There A Lot of Power Creep?
Now, every TCG will eventually experience what is known as “power creep.” Power creep is essentially the printing of new cards that are always superior to previous printings. A game that has (mostly) eluded power creep is Magic: The Gathering, where most of the most powerful cards come from the game’s early days.
The easiest way to avoid power creep is by making cards situational. As long as cards have situations where they’re better than their newer versions, you’ll be able to slow down power creep. So far, the Digimon TCG has done a great job with this (with a few slip-ups along the way.) This made the Digimon TCG meta stable and very healthy.
The biggest area of the game that has experienced power creep is the power level of the LV 6 and LV 7 Digimon. With that being said, the LV 6 and LV 7 Digimon of the early days were quite underwhelming and didn’t really fulfill the fantasy of bringing out, say, Omnimon or the like. Although this is an instance of power creep, it was largely a good change according to the player base.
Card Value & Collectibles
Now, many of us looked at the Digimon TCG back when it first released in Europe, looked at the card prices, and left the game on the back burner.
These days, the prices are extremely manageable. In fact, the game is extremely cheap to play on a semi-competitive level(usually $50-70 per deck) and not very expensive even at a high level of play depending on the deck you choose(some competitive decks can be just $100-150.)
With that being said, some of us just want to collect cards and make sure they retain value. If this is you, then you’re in luck! Most of the highly sought-after alternate arts have maintained, or even gone up in price over the game’s existence. In fact, the game’s 1-year anniversary included its most sought after collectible yet- the “Ghost” rare Omnimon:
This card currently sells for around $2000 in mint condition, and seems to only be going up. Furthermore, the game is filled with cool alternate arts like these, so if you love that kind of thing, the Digimon TCG is quite close to the Pokemon TCG in terms of their alt art treatments.
Will The Game Survive?
The burning question on everyone’s mind whenever a new TCG comes out is always whether or not it will survive in what can often feel like a saturated market. With Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic: The Gathering, and to a lesser extent Flesh and Blood dominating the market, where does the Digimon TCG fit? And why would you pick it over its competitors?
Now, apart from the obvious nostalgia value, the Digimon TCG is a very unique card game and has thus far managed to cultivate a well-balanced play experience. It perfectly captures the feeling of using powerful Digimon and them evolving into even more powerful versions of themselves.
The games are also very fast, about the same length as your average Modern game in MTG, or a game of Blitz in FaB.
Given that the game has had excellent tournament attendance so far, and it has been blooming in its home country of Japan, we can expect the Digimon TCG to stay for the times to come. Who knows, maybe it’ll even join the big three?
Can I Be Competitive On A Budget?
If you aren’t quite up to spending a lot of money on a new TCG, the Digimon TCG can be played pretty competitively on a budget. If you’re willing to put in around $100 you can make a competitive deck. For example, take a look at this LordKnightmon list.
If you’re looking to upgrade one of your starter decks, that’s also a common avenue of getting into the game. You could upgrade your Gallantmon starter deck like this! Or your UlForceVeedramon like this!
However, these are not the only lists you can play on a budget. One of the most appealing parts of being a budget player can be the deckbuilding experience itself. So go out, grab a few packs and try to make something out of them![link za deckbuilding guide ako ga imamo]
For a more detailed breakdown of how to upgrade your starter deck, take a look at our other article.
All in all, the Digimon TCG is one of the best card games (discounting specific formats like Pauper for MTG) to get into if you’re planning to be a budget player.
Getting into the Digimon TCG is actually fairly easy. The rulebook is extremely short, and most of the cards you’ll need to start playing (possibly even competitively) can be found in a couple of starter decks and the latest booster box. So for those wondering how to play Digimon TCG, it's easy! Just start playing!
The Digimon TCG has a great metagame, avoids power creep, and is extremely attractive to collectors. The simple fact that it survived up until now with COVID ravaging the card game industry shows that it’s here to stay.
If you’re looking for the right time to get into the Digimon TCG, it’s not getting any cheaper than this!
Written by Ilija Miljkovac