Invited Author: Zachary Tregenza
Hello, Zac from down under here. I’ve been asked to give a breakdown of my deck and tournament run for my latest BT8 regionals. To summarise I got 2nd in ranking with 5 wins, 0 losses and 1 draw, in doing so, solidifying my view that yellow hybrids are an absurdly strong deck. My following opinions and takes on the deck and matchups should be taken with a grain of salt based on your play style and how early we are into the new set 8.
Deck's Intro and Game Plan
General Game Plan
This is my general game plan for most match’s to power through any board and will help set the context for card choices and strategies. This involves chipping over the course of the game and undoing damage dealt back with recovery and answering board states as necessary.
Early Game: Establish Tamers and level 3s e.g. TK, Zoe, Boko
Mid Game: Recover, Control, Chip e.g. Jet, Rapid, Swings
Late game: OTK, Hybrid for game e.g. Susanoomon
4x Zoe Orimoto // 4x Kazemon // 4x Zephyrmon // 4x Jetsilphymon // 2x Bokomon
The core of the deck, little to be explained except for Bokomon. I couldn’t understand other lists taking Boko out when it’s a top 5 search for arguably your most important cards and allows for free extensions to help chip your opponent without passing turn.
At this time, this slot seems rather contentious between Upamon and Cupimon. One excels late game, the other early. Cupimon is a great option to push out rookies to swing and start seeing more cards to help slow the opponent into your range. I have seen success with Upa as the format is still very aggressive, in combination with how I play into Rapidmon (which I will discuss in a bit). This one is a personal preference slot (I prefer my foiled Upas).
4x Patamon // 2x Salamon
The rookies are a tiny part of the decklist but are very impactful. The Salamons play the part to be the catchup recovery late game and a great little teaser to play off Ophanimon:FD deletion effect. The Patamon is the important key to maximising Rapidmon’s devastating entry, therefore a must 4 of. Cutemon may be a viable option here into a heavy Mastemon or Hybrid format but personally, I did not feel this was necessary.
This card is insane. Rapidmon is a level 6 Shinegreymon but he’s level 4 AND can use armour purge to stick to the board if answered. Using Rapidmon sparingly to maximise his impact whilst juggling the rookie in the raising area is what makes the deck have a chance against decks like Imperial and what dictates winning the mid game. When the board is lacking threats to yourself, I will push the rookie out of raising to chip at the opponent. Else, if the opponent is building tall or wide, pushing out a stockpiled Patamon in raising and Rapid in hand for the follow up will generally answer any board. The only drawback is Rapid will require you to have tamers to suspend targets to resolve the minus to DP, but given I use the early game to establish the as many tamers logistically possible this is less likely to be a problem.
This is a relic from the BT7 formats build and is completely optional spicy tech. I found relying only on Jetsilphymon as the bridge to level 6s was not consistent and fragile. In combination with how I use Jetsilphymon to get in cheeky chip damage prior to evolving into level 6s I’d find myself running out. Rizegreymon pairs best with the TK and Kari Dual Tamer but as shown in my list I rely on this less for large memory gains. So a good consideration would be if you like the dual tamer, running more Rizegrey is beneficial and vice versa. A comedic interaction emerged during one of my games in which I had evolved up to a Susanoomon whilst Rizegreymon was underneath, leading to Susanoo checking 4 Security instead.
1x Shinegreymon // 2x Ophanimon: Falldown Mode
Like most other Yellow hybrid lists, I ran the new dual colour Ophanimon, for its simple but strong effect. Its recovery on evolution and paired with its on deletion make it a tricky card to answer whilst passively threatening 1 check for the opponent even if they kill the card once. This card is a great mid game tool to end your hybrid line to recover till you’re out of your opponent’s kill range. The one of Shinegreymon is another optional spot. Throughout my matches, it resolved when it needed to clear problem cards that Rapidmon couldn’t or wasn’t in a position to. The best option I believe I should have run in this spot however would be the BT1-Seraphimon for a cheap recovery and 2 security checks. His 10k attack however feels riskier given BT8s taller security, leaving this spot entirely to preference.
The big Susan fills two simple but key weaknesses for the yellow hybrid game plan, decking out and mirror matches. Susan stops deck outs as the deck draws a lot and stalls till they’re winning, enough said. His key role in closing the game and making headway in mirror matches. My approach for the mirror match will either maximise hybrids evolves to chip aggressively like normal (hand permitting) or build for a large OTK on the back of Susan’s 15k Dp and triple check. This is run as a two of as in every mirror match, if they play Susan, you’ll have to answer back with your own to keep your momentum.
4x T.K. Takaishi // 2x T.K. Takaishi & Kari Kamiya // 4x Cody Hida
Given the introduction of BT8 Kari tamer, most other hybrid lists include this card to get extra memory from recovering, however, they were making a sacrifice. Ol’ reliable TK in my opinion is too strong to cut, for the latest Kari. TK provides the utility to look and take cards within your security, essentially turning your security into a second hand (Allows me to scope security for options to check if I can be aggressive). Taking away this utility for a potential one memory in a deck that gains a lot of memory while reducing costs and refunding memory, Kari might be overkill. To emphasise this, the more reliable memory gain is generally covered by my remaining tamer choices of Cody and TK&Kari. Both tamers synergise heavily with Rapidmon’s Dp reduction to close out the gap of really tall Digimon.
1x Reinforcing Memory Boost // 1x Yellow Memory Boost // 2x Wyverns Breath // 2x Eden’s Blessing
Both memory boosts serve the same function within the deck to help consistency and extend turns. These are efficient ways to stockpile the necessary memory to enable Susanoomon plays as discussed before without passing turn. I’m future lists I would consider more of the Yellow Memory Boost but I couldn’t source extra for this tournament. The remaining cards are the flex spots. Both of these choices for me were to ideally answer Paildramon from the Imperial decks and other tall Digimon during security checks. As described, they are security bombs to blow up Digimon to regain some momentum. Wyverns hit hard but cost a lot, while Edens was the cheaper but has a smaller reduction to compensate. These ratios can go up or down depending on how much you want to rely on security or removal to win games. For my tournament experience, they came up as needed. (Twice during the tournament, Paildramon Swings into my Security, Hits Edens, I only have 7 cards in hand, Pail lives with 1k. Probably a decent reason to just play wyverns instead)
Cards that weren’t included but might be worth considering:
Cupimon – Patamon generally sits in raising until rapid is worth going for, may not resolve too many draws on higher security
Chaos Degradation – The best way to answer X antibody if they have the proper protection but requires purple
Flame hellscythe – Amazing card but doesn’t answer Paildramon
Purple Kari Tamer – Better at staving off aggro rather than tall decks, may be required to enable the dual colour options above.
BT8 Kari Tamer – I don’t think it’s required, but enables interesting plays.
Holy Flame and Holy wave – Personal preference
Cutemon – A good option to impact hybrids and Mastemon if their popularity increases
Throughout this breakdown I have mention “chip” damage consistently. This my overall approach for the deck as Jetsilphymon is unrivalled in chipping security while healing your own. This mindset allows you to play at a quicker pace than normal and less time fumbling around in a game mindlessly recovering. This mindset also transfer to Ophanimon:FD and Rapid in which you can swing and chip freely whilst they are on board and do not mind if they die during their checks as they both leave a Digimon on board for your opponent to deal with while not checking your own security. This stratagem is obviously match up dependant given piercing and decks like BT8 Blackwargreymon. My final thoughts being especially when paired with Bokomon the deck can win games quickly in both amount of turns and time, both of which seem to be a problem for players in the meta.
Gameplay / Matchups
- Jesmon – (2-1) – My opening match to help warm up for the day was a super teched out Jesmon deck. The amount of tech cards he included allowed me to have the time to just simply chip away at his security each game. An interesting addition that did interrupt my general game play stemming from my opponent was the new Digimon Emperor Tamer. The tamer would punish me for bringing my Patamon out of raising area to then evolve into a Rapidmon (without passing turn like normal). The tamer further punish Rapidmon by killing it and using the tamers other ability to suspend and draw 1, and since the Patamon would remain, it was another target for the Emperor tamer to resolve again at a later point. So in summary that one tech tamer threw me for an wild ride I was not expecting match 1. An additional note was I made a bad misplay in not respecting Jesmon and did not kill it (and killed another target instead) and lead to me losing from Jesmon Swing into Blitz Omnimon. That game loss was 100% avoidable if I had properly analysed what his deck was going whilst he was showing me his top deck searches (e.g. Huckmon revealing top 5).
- B/G Rookie Rush – (2-0) – Blue and Green Rookie Rush Deck that featured rookies that were designed to be maximise the Davis tamer adding both green and blue. He featured the normal blue options of Hammer Spark and Ice Wall to further craft his turns ideally, and a Rapidmon to evolve on green rookies for additional control. Both games were extremely close where if I didn’t see 1-2 more sources of recovery (generally Jetsilphy), I would have not been able to out pace his early aggression. Game 1 finished with me on 0-1 security even whilst recovering an additional 4 security throughout the game. To note he played optimally and never committed more than two rookies to board as well making my own Rapidmon evolves to control the board feel worse. Ophanimon:FD shone most during these games to extend enough time for me to gain back momentum whilst being almost interactable.
- Imperial – (2-1) – My first match was playing against what I believed to be an even match with given my option selection and playstyle. However given the tournament did not include mulligans, this was either a curse or a blessing with my opponent seeming to draw every tool to extend and finish me and game 1 within 2-3 turns. So coming out of that game having my confidence shook with its aggression I wasn’t able to grasp what to change. Game 1 was the normal Imperial gameplay consisted of: Exveemon Swing > Play Stingmon > DNA Paildramon > Swing Twice > Evolve into Dragon Mode > Spit out Exvee and Sting > DNA the 2nd Paildramon > Swing Twice > Pass Turn. This leaves me with minimal security and ways to effectively clear the board or recover post the beatdown leading to a loss. Game 2 and 3 however went slightly differently in that my opponent didn’t see a second Paildramon early to DNA and passed into my turn with a Dragonmode, Stingmon and ExVeemon on board. This plays perfectly into a Rapidmon play, pushing a Patamon out of raising, then evoling into Rapid, reducing the level 4s to 0, and bringing the Dragonmode into a range to swing over. This board control buys enough time for the yellow hybrids to recover enough to escape a lethal range and chip through the mid game. To help my own consistency in recovering, my opponent would sometimes return a Jetsilphymon to my hand with the Megadeath option (through using it themselves or it resolving in security).
- Yellow Hybrids Mirror – (2-0) – The yellow hybrid mirror remains the same as when played in BT7. The safest strategy is build up enough board presence to win the game with an OTK, however in game 1 my hand presented me with a more aggressive line (more hybrids, less memory boosts and tamers), so I this line to push my opponent to low security early on. This is a large gamble as aggression into a yellow hybrids security leads to inevitable tamers being played for free, even more so when the mirrors run a large amount of the Dual tamer TK& Kari. This allowed my opponent to make large memory gains in their turn however due to opening a large amount of hybrids I can pressure them so my own security is in danger. This leads to a race to see who can continue drawing hybrids or rapids to answer the board. I manage to do this by evolving a hybrid on tamer, swinging into security, ending the turn with a new tamer. This gamble pays off for a win in game 1. Game 2 would be a closer game in which we neither player commits to the aggression gamble and both of us play passively. I built slowly into cards such as Ophanimon:FD and Susanoo to make the board harder to clear until I take the lead and bully his board and security slowly for the win.
- Yellow Hybrids Mirror – (1-1) – To open this match, the no mulligan rule really shone here and showed how poorly hybrids can perform without a memory fixer. My opponent starts his turn with a memory fixer, passing to me, of which my hand is only level 4 Digimon and up and no way to advance or gain advantage. My opponent snowballs this lead by memory choking my turns until I see my own memory fixer but when its too late for me to make a comeback. Game 2 I manage play the game on a even playing field from turn 1 and build advantage into an almost OTK using Susanoomon, however this takes a large amount of turns slower progressing in my favour. Ultimately leading to too little time for me to finish game 3 and resulting in a tie.
- Imperial – (2-1) – My final match of the day I get paired up into the 1 of 3 undefeated players left in the tournament, whom is playing Imperial. This match proceeds in the exact same way as my 3rd match into the deck earlier. Game 1 Imperial opens most of the evolution lines and multiple Paildramon to snowball my security into an unrecoverable deficit, leading to a game 1 loss. However, history repeats itself in my favour and the 2nd and 3rd games unfold like my 3rd match in which my opponent saw less Paildramon and would pass turn to me in the exact same way, evolving into Dragonmode and playing Exveemon and Stingmon from sources. I follow this with optimal clears with Rapidmon. Once again leaving me with enough time to recover and chip while my opponent tries to rebuild their board. My opponent even remarked that he knew once he played the Dragonmode, that it was probably the wrong play. For the final game the chip damage adds up throughout the game comes down to dicey moment in which I have just enough memory to swing with every card on left board and raising and no memory to spare if a Hammer Spark, Ice Wall or board removal will cost me the game. Luckily none of these reveal themselves in security and evolving on a tamer with hybrid closes the game. In doing so ending the tournament 1 round early as the other two undefeated players conclude their match finalising a winner and I having sadly stopped the Imperial players undefeated streak.
In closing, I’m proud of how the deck performed and how I played most matches. The deck is great at adapting for the meta or personal preference. I would not take anything I’ve stated as gospel as the English Digimon community will always innovate even knowing the Japanese meta ahead of time and I hope to do the same. Thanks to my locals and friends for being competitive and reliable testers.
I play tamer. I play jet. You lose.