Digimon TCG - Deck Crafting Guide
Enjoying collecting the Digimon TCG cards but not sure how to start playing? This guide will show you want to do with the cards you’ve pulled from your packs with specific tips to build a strong deck.
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First off, let’s talk about the basics. Deck construction must follow basic rules:
- The deck must contain 50 “Normal” cards (Digimon, trainers, and options)
- Up to a 5 card Digitama deck that contains the “Egg” cards
- Combined, a deck should be over 50 cards counting the Digitama (Most will be 50+5 for a total of 55)
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, what are some restrictions on building decks?
- You can only have up to four (4) identical copies of a card in your deck.
- Cards that have different effects and different index numbers (seen next to the card name) do not count as identical copies
- For example, a deck can have four ST1-03 Agumon cards, and still have four BT1-010 Agumon cards, as they are not identical.
At this point, I’m sure you’ve noticed that most decks will follow a single color, and some may branch out into two. For your first deck, we highly suggest following a single color. However, here’s some things to consider if you want to branch out.
- In order to play an option card from your hand, you must have a digimon or trainer of the same color already on the field.
- Digimon have a digivolution cost that’s a specific color. This cost is usually way less than the cost to outright play the card. Due to this, you should generally keep all of your Digitama and all of your Digimon the same color
- Some higher level Digimon have the option of digivolving from two colors. As long as the color of your previous digimon is present on the card, you may include these in your deck (such as Mastemon below) that can digivolve from a lvl 5 yellow *or* purple digimon. Even though she is Purple, she can still fit well into yellow decks. However, if she is the only Digimon on the field, keep in mind you will lose your ability to play a yellow option card unless a yellow trainer is present.
- Some Digimon (Such as Puppetmon) have a really good “On Play” effect that is worth adding them to your deck, even though you don’t have digimon of that color. “On Play” effects only trigger when the card is cast at it’s full value, and will not trigger if the digivolved. These are good “tech” cards to help secure your win (more later).
When considering what color you’ll choose, keep in mind these general playstyles and match to what you enjoy playing the best. Of course, if you have a specific card you like, ignore this and build a deck that allows you to play that card to the best of your ability.
- Red – General utility. Is a good mix of all mechanics in the game, but focuses on buffing your side of the field. Red can buff Security Attacks, which remove multiple security cards in a single swing.
- Blue – Rookie Rush and multiple attacks in a turn. Blue will swarm the field with lower level digimon quickly, or at higher levels, conduct several attacks with the same digimon by unsuspending the card. Blue has Jamming in order to keep their small digimon alive when attacking security.
- Yellow – Control and healing. Yellow will lower the attack value of cards to 0, deleting the digimon, or negate security attacks. Yellow also focuses on Recovering lost security cards, adding them to the stack to outlast the opponent.
- Green – Quick Digivolution and Suspending. Green quickly gets to high digivolution levels, and then focuses on suspending the opponent’s digimon (either to attack the security directly, or attack the digimon to remove it from the field). Green can Peirce through opponents defeated digimon to still remove security.
- Purple – Delete the opponent’s digimon directly, and revive your own. Purple can pull back deleted digimon to the field, and have many great abilities and options to disrupt the field. Purple digimon can Retaliate, and delete the attacking digimon when destroyed by battle.
- Black – Block attacks and De-digivolve opponents. Black makes use of Digimon that can block incoming attacks, but still attack on their own. Reboot keeps digimon going, by unsuspending on the opponents turn.
So now that you know the rules relevant to deckbuilding, and what color you may start with. Now you just need to know what ratios to use for your digimon, trainers, and option cards. This is highly dependent on what kind of deck you’re building (example ShineGreymon decks will have way more trainers than suggested), but here’s our suggestions for a good general starting place.
Digimon (excluding Lv.7 as not all decks have this option)
- 3 Digimon – 14 to 16
- 4 Digimon – 12 to 14
- 5 Digimon – 10 to 12
- 6 Digimon – 6 to 8
- TOTAL Digimon – 42 to 46
- Trainers – 2 to 4
- Option Cards – 4 to 6
Digimon are the core of your deck, and how you will win. These should be the vast majority of your deck, unless you have a specific win condition outside of just attacking security.
There are a few other things to keep in mind when building a deck as well. You’ll want to include the following:
- Around 4 digimon with the “Blocker” ability
- At least 6 digimon/option/trainer cards that you’d like to see come up in your security stack
- If possible, a way to deal with high DP Digimon you may not be able to defeat directly in battle. You’re looking for ways to either delete, suspend, de-digivolve, or return to the bottom of the deck. Around 2 to 4 of these (these will also probably go into the “security stack” cards you want to see)
- If you have a lvl 7 digimon that’s available in your color, this is a great card to build around. Focus more on getting that digimon out on the field, but keep in mind it can be removed by your opponent through option cards and effects. Keep a backup win condition in mind still.
- Tech cards are a great way to keep your deck consistent. There’s several Digimon cards (like Puppetmon mentioned above) that have very strong on play effects, can be run in any deck, and will shake the game up in your favor when played to keep your opponent guessing. However, keep in mind that most of these will award your opponent with a lot of mana, and a huge turn after, so play these only when you’re confident you’ll come out ahead.
Once you’ve built your deck, and you’re happy with the ratios, keep in mind you’ve just completed step 1! You’ll want to playtest your deck against other people, and figure out what’s working, and what isn’t. If you’re running out of lvl 3 digimon often, and fall behind due to lack of card draw, shift the ratios around and try again. Keep playing until you find a consistent set of cards that you feel confident running as your main deck. Don’t feel discouraged if you end up swapping colors, or playstyles if a deck listing just isn’t working out for you.
Keep in mind that the Digimon TCG has a great rule book, that answers many questions that may not be here in this guide. You can find these official resources at https://world.digimoncard.com/rule/
If you have any great deck recipes you’d like to share, or any suggestions on deck building, please comment them below!
(Published April 9th, 2021)