EX-01 Retaliation Rush: Deceptively Lethal

Invited Article | Author: Lexus T

Feeling rather uninspired by the lack of interesting and noteworthy interactions that I could come up with from perusing the EX-01’s repertoire—Bandai’s attempt at fusing nostalgia from the OG Digimon TCG as well as from previous sets—I took to trawling Discord to see if anyone had better luck than I. It was then I chanced upon this deck profile that seemed deceptively simple; It contained almost the absolute minimum number of card types, most of which were four-ofs, such that I could rattle on the entire deck list just based on memory. I simply had to try it.

The premise seemed straight-forward enough: take advantage of that would be bestowed on retaliation digimon by virtue of EX-01’s Wizardmon’s inheritable effect and kamikaze your lvl 4s into your opponent’s tall digimon stack or mow down their security stack with your Picodevis and take down any blockers that dare oppose these nasty little buggers.

But there was something glaringly obvious about this deck list that made me fidget uncomfortably in my seat—there were no blockers! Zilch, zero, nada, lemon. All the rigours of my previous deck building experience had not prepared me for what this deck list is trying to convey to me, that blockers are not crucial for a functional deck as I thought!

Now would also be a good time to mention that I have been an avid purple player for the most part of my DTCG career and after the lacklustre Venomvamdemon reveal, I had almost considered forgoing a purple deck with EX-01 elements and just holding out until BT-07 drops. But the usage of picodevis along with Wizards in a complementing (Black Metalgarurumon) Blk. Melga + Beelestar engine really re-ignited that passion for playing purple decks, and at the same time Making Melga Great Again(MMGA). 

On a concluding note, as I play-tested this deck multiple times with the mysterious mastermind(s) behind the much revered Digimonmeta.com, I could feel the spirit of Sun Tze dwelling in me as my concerns of having a blockerless deck begin to strip away; the best defense is indeed a good offensive deck with multiple retaliation lvl 3s and 4s in lieu of blockers.


This deck follows the typical mill digitamas that support this engine. We go for 4x of Petimeramon and 1x of Tsunomon.

Strategy: The Black Metalgarurumon and Beelstarmon Engine

We have two main engines for getting out our lvl 3s and lvl 4s from the trash. We can either use a full stack Blk. Melga to digiburst twice to play two 7 cost option cards from hand or hard-cast Beelstar ideally at a reduced play cost to play an option from the trash. 

Ideal inherits for Blk. Melga to have for his first digiburst are:

    1. BT3 Ladydevi if there are annoying lvl 3s such blockers or prevent memory gain mons.
    2. EX01 Ladydevi if you need an extra memory to secure a win.
    3. EX01 Wizard to grant all your digimon with retaliation, rush, when you play nailbone.
    4. BT2 Devimon if you need the retaliation to take down a mon and do not have a removal.

All the lvl 3 (except impmon) and lvl 4s are ideal targets to be played from trash with nailbone. Depending on the circumstances, you can revive Bakumon if you want additional draw power, or Picodevi if you want to make your opponent choose between sacrificing a blocker or a security. As for lvl 4s, you can revive Ginkaku Promote if you need that rush without having a Wizardmon inherit.

In order for Beelstar to be economical enough to use, we need to mill as many 7 cost option or Beelstar in the trash. Our main discard engine comes from Ladydevis so do try to digivolve outside of the raising area. Petimera will supplement this to a small extent as well. Digibursting from Blk. Melga helps to play up to two 7 cost option cards which will count towards the play cost reduction of Beelstar. 

The Milling MVPs

Analog Youth, Baku and  BT2 Ladydevi help to increase the consistency of the deck by drawing the cards you need. Caveat for ladydevi that is that you need to bring your stack out of the raising area in order to take advantage of her digivolve effect, making her susceptible to removal. Having a devimon inherit might deter opponent digimons from battling her but ultimately it is a risk vs reward play; how badly do you need that draw power for that missing combo link? As for Analog Youth, I find that I his use is rather situational, if I have most of the cards that I need to pull off a full Melga combo, I wouldnt play him at all, since the chances of having a lvl 5 and above with an evo source is rather slim. The only times I play him is when I anticipate a game whereby I do not have the cards I need (no melga to evo into), which is when I’ll be able to take advantage of the +1 mem when a lvl 5 is destroyed. Likewise for Baku, I like to digivolve him onto a Petimera and take down a security to gain that draw 2 and trash 1.

Concluding Note

I had lots of fun piloting this deck and having an arsenal of low cost retaliation digimon to take down an opposing lvl 5/6/7 digimon for a large tempo swing can feel incredibly satisfying. Lastly, I would like to give credits to @bryansempai from Discord for conceptualising this deck list. 

Game Demonstration

This site uses english-translated cards from digimoncard.dev.

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