Not exactly a very early review since we are only 1 week away from a full card list reveal, but BT-08 has not been the easiest set to break down. Many cards appeared rather mediocre (at least to us) in the beginning, so we continued to wait for more releases before going into this review.
So lets go!
Multi Coloured Digimons
So far, there are 21 dual-coloured Digimons revealed for BT-08. They do not necessarily mean much, but they do allow many previously unattainable effects to now be stacked. For example, a green LV5 or LV6 Digimon can now inherit [Retaliation], and yellow LV6 Digimons can now inherit DP+ effects from red Digimons. Many more cross-coloured digivolutions can now be explored, and we might see some nice engines as a result.
Armor Purge is an effect exclusive to Digi-Egg Armor Digimons, and a pilot effect in BT-08. While this effect seemed quite lacklustre (at least to us) weeks ago, it now looks to be quite a solid effect, as demonstrated by a proxy gameplay video by the File Island Residents.
The armor digivolutions are pacing to become a solid aggro engine, and should replace the standard rookie rush engine in terms of stability.
Digivolve: 3 cost from Veemon
Effect 1: [Blocker]
Effect 2: [Armor Purge]
Effect 3: [When Digivolving] Unsuspend this Digimon, and until the end of your opponent’s next turn, this Digimon gains +2000 DP for each [Armor] type card in your trash.
Digimon Adventure 02 Jogress
As the main theme of this set, we have 3 new jogress (or DNA digivolution) Digimons such from the year 2000 anime. While they are not super exciting (since we have already tested the jogress effects extensively in ST-09 and ST-10), they do buff up the rest of the colors.
As of now, blue and yellow are leading the jogress game by having access to 3 jogress digivolutions, while black having none (not including Kimeramon, see below).
– Blue: Paildramon, Dinobeemon, Shakkoumon
– Yellow: Mastemon, Silphymon, Shakkoumon
– Green: Paildramon, Dinobeemon
– Purple: Mastemon
– Red: Silphymon
– Black: None
[BT8-015] Silphymon should play well with a number of Digimons such as red Digimons with [Blitz] and yellow Digimons such as [BT4-048] Wargreymon and [BT7-040] Rasenmon.
[BT8-042] Shakkoumon is also a very solid card, having both a recovery and board control mechanism in place. He should also do well with the yellow [BT4-048] Wargreymon.
Jogress: Red LV4 + Yellow LV4 at 0 cost
Inherited: [When attacking] Destroy 1 opponent’s Digimon with 5000 DP or lower.
As for [BT8-084] Kimeramon, he is possibly the first card that allows bridging any colors together, allowing previously incompatible effects to be fused into potentially deadly engines. One such engine was raised by @ageno81040409 on Twitter, fusing Kurisarimon's effect with Eosmon for a deadly aggro loop.
A New Pulsemon Digivolution Line
A green Pulsemon digivolution line has been revealed, moving along Exermon, Pistmon, and Shivamon. [BT8-057] Shivamon is a highly raved card, being the first Digimon to be able to disable option cards. This should put pressure on security control decks!
Inherited: [Both Turns] For each of your other suspended Digimon, this Digimon gets +1000 DP.
We now have new line of black Agumon to Wargreymon, with [BT8-067] Metalgreymon being the highlight of this line. With an inheritable effect that allows attacking unsuspended Digimons, the new Metalgreymon has suddenly made the old BT-02 Blackwargreymon very playable (which saw its price more than double on YYT and Bigweb).
And this is not discounting how good the new [BT8-070] Blackwargreymon is, as demonstrated in this proxy play by the File Island Residents.
Very surprising was the additional support for the Mamemon line, given [BT8-065] Catchmamemon and [BT8-068] Banchomamemon. It is now possible to play the Mamemon archetype pretty much on it's own, and boy the engine does seem strong! We had written an article for Catchmamemon before Bandai revealed Banchomamemon, but you get the gist!
Proper Alphamon Support
While in BT-07 we had the Dorumon-Dorugoramon line, that was more of an independent x-antibody line that did not require or support Alphamon. Fans of Alphamon will rejoice in BT-08, as Ouryumon has finally been revealed and will give Alphamon decks the much needed independence.
There is also a very high chance that we will see Alphamon Ouryuken Mode as a SEC in this set, and that is definitely very good news for this set!
Score: 6/10 (and 10/10 if OM is revealed)
We wrote about Vamdemon/Myotismon support in EX-01, and then again recently for the upcoming Belialvamdemon/Malomyotismon. This is a tricky one, as some recent proxy gameplay videos show that even the new [BT8-083] Belialvamdemon struggle against an non-meta, older BT-03 Belialvamdemon build.
Vamdemon builds so far had been pretty unsuccessful, blaming on a very slow start and very situational late game advantages. We still believe that the new Belialvamdemon can find space in this meta, but someone will have to be more creative or further optimize it's current engine.
Secret Rare (SEC) Predictions
All 10 SRs have been revealed, but none of the SECs yet.
So far we would bet on 2 of these 3 cards being SEC: Alphamon Ouryuken Mode, Imperialdramon Paladin Mode, and Gulusgammamon.
Alphamon Ouryuken Mode (OM) would be the easy one, having Ouryumon revealed for this set. However, it is still possible for Alphamon OM to be saved for a later set given how Bandai likes to stagger fan favourites. Furthermore, Alphamon OM has almost nothing to do with the theme of this set (being New Hero) so let's not have our hopes too high.
Imperialdramon Paladin Mode (PM) is our second guess for SEC, based on the fact that this is a Digimon Adventure 02 themed booster, and there is no big protagonist cards yet other than [BT8-032] Imperialdramon Fighter Mode which was revealed very early for this set. There is also no LV7s yet for this set, so Imperialdramon PM could make a good, in-theme SEC.
Our third guess for SEC would be Gulusgammamon, as it would be quite weird for Gammamon to appear in the pack art, and then to have the only "Ghost Game" cards in this set being a Digitama, a LV3 Gammamon, a LV4 Betelgammamon common card, and his tamer Hiro. Gulusgammamon would make a good art, and does not interfere with Gammamon's digivolution line in the future.
Comparing this set to BT-07 Next Adventure, we'd think that this set "liberates" the card game.
Back in BT-07, Bandai has put so much emphasis on tamer and hybrid digivolutions that it had eventually powercrept almost every other standard decks. Aside from purple, every other winning deck were almost certainly built around tamers and hybrids. The card game had suddenly felt restrictive, with almost only a way or two to play any deck.
In BT-08, the focus once again shifts away from hybrids, and with multi-colored Digimons the door to creative freedom is larger than ever. However liberating this may feel, there is a always some chance that a dominating engine could appear to steer and restrict the meta once again, but at least this is Bandai's first step to open up colour restrictions and hopefully drive creativity back into the game.
Final score: 8/10 (with a refreshing feel to the card game)