BT-09 X Record is the next highly anticipated booster set slated for release on the 25th of February. This time around, Bandai has released the card reveals very promptly, with what seemed like a reveal of more than 90% of cards already. Lets take a look at what this set has to offer!
The highlight of this set, X-Antibody Digimons made their DCG debut exactly a year ago (26th February 2021) in BT-05 Battle of Omega, in the form of Omegamon X-Antibody. More X-Antibody Digimons were slowly introduced in coming sets but were mainly for the Alphamon and Dorugoramon line. A unique mechanic for that X-Antibody line back then (or more specifically Dorugoramon) was the ability to slot digivolution cards beneath the X-Antibody Digimon to trigger effects, making an X-Antibody Digimon's stack rather large.
With the slew of X-Antibody Digimons introduced in BT-09, we finally got a solid feel of how X-Antibody would play. Generally speaking, X-Antibody Digimons could digivolve onto their non-X versions of the same level for a very low or zero memory, mostly having some [When Digivolved] effect or inheritable effects. These cards are generally very robust to play as they can make your hand a lot more fluid (more ways to digivolve to get your hand moving) and effects that we believe to be a major power creep for the upcoming meta.
Take for example [BT9-012] Greymon X and [BT9-024] Garurumon X which grants deletion/return immunity if you are [Omegamon] or [Greymon]/[Garurumon] in name respectively, patches up [BT5-111] Omegamon X such that it now becomes so much more formidable (being able to nullify deletion, return, and battle).
Another X-Antibody card introduced in BT-09 is non other than [X-Antibody] itself, a 0-cost option card that can be put, unconditionally, below a Digimon's digivolution cards to let it digivolve into an X-Antibody Digimon when attacking (much like Blitz). In addition, X-Antibody cannot be removed by effects hence giving extra protection against the currently meta Tommy/Himi deck as well as Imperialdramon Paladin Mode. It also has a strong security effect much like Hammer Spark and the now restricted Ice Wall, which can abruptly end your opponent's turn in addition to adding the card to your hand.
It is quite evident from the current lineup that X-Antibody is the way to go if your archetype has an X-Antibody in this set.
Wargreymon X is an embodiment of a red Digimon on steroids. At LV5, [BT9-015] Metalgreymon X grants [SecurityAttack+1] and a +3000 DP buff, which can be easily carried to [BT9-016] Wargreymon X by using the [X-Antibody] option card. Doing so will allow Wargreymon X to delete an opponent's Digimon with 15000 DP or lower (almost any Digimon) while swinging at (at least 2) security with his large DP and protected from deletion/return effects if he inherits Greymon X.
Gone were the days of [BT3-097] Precise Tactics.
It is also possible to run X-Antibody with the newer BT8 Blackwargreymon, or the promo [P-050] Wargreymon to deliver a wide deletion coverage. When Wargreymon X is digivolved from a LV6 Wargreymon when attacking (using the X-Antibody option card), the 1-cost paid for digivolution can be recovered as long as he successfully swings at security, putting the player back at their turn. He can then follow up and end the turn with another strong move such as [BT5-086] Omegamon or [BT9-095] Gaia Force ZERO.
The earliest card from this set to be revealed, Dukemon X continues to improve this archetype which has just gotten a huge buff from EX-02's Takato and Crimson Mode.
Board control. [BT9-031] Metalgarurumon X can literally clean the board when he is unsuspended. By using the lower level [BT9-028] Weregarurumon to return an opponent's LV4 or lower to hand, Metalgarurumon X can then better position its effect to return all of your opponent's lowest level to hand, strategically targeting either a strong LV5/6/7 or many copies of weaker LV4s.
Inheriting Garurumon X, Weregarurumon and Metalgarurumon can steer clear of battle deletion due to their low DP. The promo [P-050] Metalgarurumon can also provide a similar protection when Garurumon X is not inherited.
It is not unwise to pair this archetype with base Digimons that grant [Jamming] such as Veemon and ExVeemon to compensate their lack of DP. We await to see how decklists will be constructed to play this engine.
Not an SR, but this card deserves mention. At LV5, not only does Rizegreymon promote cheap tamer plays (like other Rizegreymons) but also grants a demi Shinegreymon-like effect, reducing -2000 DP on a Digimon for each red/yellow tamer in play. DP reduction effects may re-emerge to become a tier-1 removal effect in the coming meta (being effective against Greymon/Garurumon X and Omegamon, Magnamon X, and generally any Armor Digimons), and Rizegreymon X is a welcomed addition.
Magnamon X is unique. For starters, he has an always-on blocker effect that can divert any battle to itself even when suspended. Secondly, when deleted he not only behaves like an Armor Digimon (by shedding his armor) but also puts himself on top of your security, effectively a [Recovery+1] effect. He also does warp digivolution from LV4 Magnamon, which increases the robustness of play in his archetype.
It is still early to tell how much potential this card has, given his unique effects. But at the time being we know that he would definitely improve a majority of armor decks.
The Leomon archetype is finally getting some attention. With the X-Antibody support, the Leomon archetype, together with Juri, becomes far more playable.
In addition, BT-09 has also gave this archetype a buff in the form of Panjyamon X, which should work with Juri's [On Play] effect. Can Leomon now find synergy in the likes of perhaps [BT3-030] Leopardmon? Will we be able to finally witness a Leomon deck challenge the meta?
The first insectoid archetype to be buffed in X-Antibody is none other than Kuwagamon. Grandiskuwagamon is very aggressive, and probably the most aggressive green Digimon we've seen thus far.
When paired with [P-025] Grankuwagamon, 2 swings of 3 security checks each at 16000 DP is undeniably a lethal combo, putting this deck a strong contender for OHKO.
X-Antibody on Kuwagamon may finally allow many previously undervalued insectoid cards (such as EX-01 Tentomon and Kuwagamon) to finally shine.
Black is still having a good time
Compared to other colors, black has got a lot going for in this set.
First, we have the option card [BT9-102] Heavy Machine Digimon's Advance!! which could single handedly push Mugendramon decks back into the radar.
We then have the Raidenmon cards (with Suijinmon, Raijinmon, and Fujinmon) which we have introduced earlier.
Then, we have the omnipotent [BT9-068] Gaioumon with a Ragnalordmon-like plateau of effects, but within a LV6 package. Gaioumon is also conveniently treated as a [Greymon], and can digivolve from [Blackwargreymon] at 2 cost, adding to its flexibility in a Wargreymon X deck or a Blackwargreymon deck or anything in between.
Then we have the last member of the sovereigns [BT9-069] Baihumon introduced as a black Digimon. Baihumon's potential is pretty much still unknown at this point, but having all 4 sovereigns revealed should the card game in a better position to review this archetype as a whole and possibly glue them together in the form of Huanglongmon.
And last but not least, we should be expecting the long-due Alphamon Ouryuken Mode in this set (possibly as an SEC card). With the many Alphamons, Dorugoramon line, Ouryumon line and Grademon line building up to this single Digimon, we should expect him to be majestic!
Another card deserving special mention, [BT9-065] Megadramon is a hybrid killer, deleting a 3-cost tamer when digivolving, and an inheritable that deletes 3-cost tamer when attacking. We will be seeing this card a lot in the coming red/black decks.
BT-09 purple seem to be all about Ordinemon (despite anticipating Grandracmon line to be in this set as well). Ordinemon is the first LV7 Jogress Digimon, first introduced in Digimon Adventure Tri as the final antagonist.
Ordinemon is, without a sliver of doubt, powerful. When Jogress digivolved, she can board wipe the opponent while recovering your security for every Digimon deleted by her effect. She can also revive herself as long as a security card is sacrificed.
Raguelmon is almost a must-play with running the Ordinemon engine. His first effect gives the deck an added robustness, while his second effect easily pulls Ordinemon into play. Many players believe that this engine would work very well with Lordknightmon (see sample gameplay 1 and 2 from File Island Residents) but this engine is still at its infancy and it is very possible to run this deck differently.
Omegamon Merciful Mode
A highly anticipated card, but does this Digimon deliver?
[BT9-083] Omegamon Merciful Mode has a conditionally-strong digivolving effect, depending on how many [Mega] cards you have slotted beneath him. Under normal circumstances, it would be reasonable to expect 1 to 2 copies hence projecting the scale of his deletion effect.
His deletion effect however, has a perk. Immediately after deletion, he can return 10 cards from the opponent's trash to the bottom of their deck, which nullifies any [On Deletion] effect of deleted Digimons. Another benefit of this effect is that it can cripple some trash-based decks such as Beelstarmon, Beelzemon, hybrid-Susanoomon, and even Mugendramon decks.
His second effect meanwhile, forces Merciful Mode to de-digivolve to trash the top card of the opponent's security. Since Merciful Mode lives and dies by his [When Digivolving] effect, he has little value staying as vanilla LV7 in play therefore reverting to his prior form (either a LV6 or another Omegamon) maybe beneficial.
Note that it is also possible to digivolve Merciful Mode onto a Merciful Mode, to run all his effects twice.
Some players have also mentioned the compatibility between Shivamon and Merciful Mode, allowing the player to trash the opponent's security twice (once with Merciful, another when Shivamon unsuspends). This compatibility is certainly profound but remains to be seen if the engine is able to survive in the coming X-Antibody landscape.
This set is fresh, engaging, and filled with fan-favourites. If anything, it reminds us of the last time we've seen such a great set exactly a year ago in BT-05 Battle Of Omega. Perhaps a reminiscence of a time when packs are fun to pull and great cards fill the set to brim, BT-09 X Record is en-route to match that high standard not seen since BT-05.
So much goodness and we are still patiently waiting for our SECs.