The EX-01 Classic Collection is the first minibox released for Digimon Card Game. This set uses card artworks borrowed from the older (and now discontinued) Hyper Colosseum series, similar to what we see in alternate-art versions of BT-01 SEC Metalgreymon and BT-05 SEC Omegamon X.
Sandwiched between the usual 3-month BT release cycle, with a little bit more than half the number of (different) cards we get in a standard expansion set, the EX-01 actually retails higher than standard BT expansion sets (with boxes going for 5280 Yen compared to a standard expansion set's 4752 Yen). With all 8 SR cards and sole SEC already revealed, we take a deeper look at whether EX-01 is worth it's premium price.
Improving the classic digimons
EX-01 is expected to deliver enhancements to existing or more precisely, traditional archtypes such as Tyrannomon, Angemon, and Myotismon. These are mostly Digimons from the 1999 anime Digimon Adventure 01, the subsequent Adventure 02, as well as the first Digimon World video game released on the Playstation in 1999.
We expect no new effects or gameplay engines to be introduced in EX-01.
Additional Info: There will be 66 Digimons, 1 Tamer and 6 Option cards in this set.
The Agumon/Greymon line is actually very well boosted in EX-01!
Agumon has an excellent inheritable effect allowing a 3-card search for any tamer card or Digimon with [Agumon] in it's name, Greymon synergizes well with the 3-cost [BT6-087] Taichi, and Metalgreymon grants the much needed [Piercing] (but perhaps better suited for our SEC Machinedramon instead).
The SR Wargreymon meanwhile, is solid but not essential. At LV6, his first effect [Advance] is currently shared with both Zekegreymon and Shoutmon DX. His second effect allows him to delete a [Blocker] Digimon whenever he attacks, is rather conditional. At 4-cost to digivolve and 12000 DP he somehow lacks the firepower we see in a meta definer like Jesmon.
They may do well in a Bond Of Courage (BOC) deck!
Score: 8/10 (great and timely boosters for BOC)
With the EX1 Gabumon/Garurumon behaving exactly like their red counterparts, they make great support cards for any existing BOF decks.
Also similar to it's red counterpart, Metalgarurumon will be in for a hard fight for a spot in any existing BOF decks. While his second effect can be very effective against the Archilles heel of BOF [BT6-054] AncientTroymon, it is an effect that remains rather conditional and a 8-card hand may be quite hard to meet at times.
It is also possible to build a deck around Metalgarurumon and large 8-card hand sizes (with promo Weregarurumon and the starter deck Veedramon lineup) but in the current meta landscape, really?
Score: 7/10 (some robustness coming to BOF decks)
The previous [BT3-027] Paildramon was a great digivolution card for any Imperialdramon, an excellent engine drowned in today's insanely aggresive meta. This EX1 Paildramon is promising, but we do not yet know his full potential until his LV4 (possibly ExVeemon and/or Stingmon) is revealed.
The EX1 Imperialdramon is also a welcomed addition with his strong [When Digivolution] effect that suspends an opponent's Digimon while unsuspending itself.
A promising lineup that might bring Imperialdramon decks to a comeback.
Recovery Decks Finally Playable?
Security recovery and DP-reduction effects are a yellow exclusive ever since the beginning of DCG. However, 6 expansion sets on we saw yellow transform into a very aggressive DP-reduction system of Wargreymons, Lordknightmons, and Valdur-Arms, with its recovery component drowned into the side component of yellow decks (often through some effective play of Lucemons or what not).
There are no competitive "recovery-centric" yellow decks. The closest use of a "recovery-centric" engine comes in the form of a Security Control deck. Recovery-based Digimons are usually never preferred as LV6 choices (and Dynasmon borderlines that).
These may all change with EX-01. It remains to be seen whether such a defensive deck, conducted by the angel duo Angewomon and MagnaAngemon, will ever see foothold in competitive landscape.
Score: 7/10 (an interesting but unproven buff)
Revenge of Diaboromon!
Honestly after BT-05, we would have never expected another Diaboromon so soon (for the record, this is the fifth Diaboromon released in DCG)!
With both Infermon and Diaboromon, tokens will now become significantly bigger and more useful. A hoard of 5000-7000 DP tokens with [Blocker] can be what it needs to slow down a game enough to build a wide board of Diaboromons for the win!
Diaboromon decks has always been a fan favorite, and this boost will be very well received!
Score: 9/10 (will definitely see a comeback, while it lasts)
Probably the most exciting card in this set, Machinedramon is naturally a hard-cast Digimon. With enough [Cyborg] fodders in hand/trash, this Digimon becomes an efficient 7-cost to play LV6 Digimon with a multitude of defensive effects under it's arsenal. We have written an early review for him a while ago, so do give that a read!
Myotismon Back On Stage?
It really is a shame that the ever so popular Myotismon digivolution line, the original symbol of evil, was demoted to a binder warmer for almost the entire time DCG was played. Ever since introduced in BT-02, he was never really viable. Besides the BT-02 VenomMyotismon which was occasionally played with Kimeramon (during the BT-02 meta), other Myotismons never really caught on.
So it is really nice to have this new Myotismon drop in EX-01. We would like to believe that he has potential, and we have written about him in an early card review some time ago. Do give that a read if you enjoy the nostalgia that is Myotismon!
Mameo of DW1
Possibly the most nostalgia-heavy card ever released, the young protagonist of Digimon World 1 (aka Mameo) has never been released in any other card games, namely Hyper Colloseum and the more recent Battle Spirits, despite being the first Digimon tamer ever (DW1 was released on January 1999, 2 months before they premiered the first Digimon anime series).
With low play cost, white support, and Mimi-like effects, this tamer card will likely be popular among the more creative decks!
There are no vanilla Digimons in EX-01. Every card in EX-01 have an effect, and faithfully supports their digivolution lines and decks.
EX-01 is an expensive, unexciting 73-card minibox filled with "classic art" that skimps on paying artists for new artwork. There is no hype, no major surprises, no new mechanics, and no new Digimons.
Well there was one surprise: Mameo!
EX-01 is also a better box for the environment: it uses less plastic, running 12 packs per box rather than the standard 24.
But this is not what EX-01 wants to be. It does not scream of hype, surprises, or new mechanics. It is here to fill the gaps of the game. It is here to make that Tyrannomon fan happy to play his Tyrannomon deck again. It is here to give Diaboromons another shot at the meta landscape. It is here to try to level the playing field.
It is a boring box filled with very useful cards, and I can't help but wonder if we should just be patient and wait another month for an expansion set that has hype, surprises, and might truly reset the playing field!