Invited Author: Marcus T
BT10 Xros Encounter introduced a new mechanic and several new decks you can build solely from the cards in this set alone. A particular standout is the Xros Heart deck that has been used extensively in the BT10 meta as well as the Evo cups held across June and July in Singapore.
31% of Evo Cup participants competed with a Xros Heart build and of which, 29% of them placed in the top 8. Xros Heart took top honours in 2 out of 8 Evo Cups, cementing its status as the most popular competitive deck of the BT10 meta with a very respectable win-rate.
This deck’s popularity can be attributed to two main reasons: It’s cheap to build, and most of the staple cards are common, uncommon and rare rarity cards from the latest booster set. It is a fantastic entry point for new and returning players alike to play in Tamer battles and larger tournaments.
Xros Heart performs so well because of its consistency, draw power and rush potential, conferred by the new “DigiXros”, “Save” and “Material Save” effects which allow indiscriminate attacking with few consequences. Unlike traditional decks where you have to bring your Digimon out from the raising area to attack, the DigiXros mechanic allows you to play Shoutmon X4 and Shoutmon X5 for a low and attack the same turn provided you have the necessary materials. The red, yellow and green Xros Heart tamers also expand the pool of option cards you can include to support your gameplay strategy. Overall, the Xros Heart package is a very offensive and efficient one that has few weaknesses.
- Core cards
The standard cards that nearly all Xros Heart decks will include are the DigiXros materials [BT10-008] Shoutmon, [BT10-049] Ballistamon, [BT10-029] Starmons, [BT10-034] Dorulumon, and [BT10-060] Sparrowmon; the DigiXros digimon [BT10-009] Shoutmon X4 and [BT10-013] Shoutmon X5; the Xros Heart tamers [BT10-087] Mikey Kudo, [BT10-089] Angie Hinomoto and [BT10-089] Jeremy Tsurgi. These are the most memory efficient Xros Heart cards that allow you to set up your board and wear your opponent’s security down quickly.
- Optimising my Xros Heart deck
Across the 5 Evo Cups I participated in, I have made adjustments to my build to deal with tougher match-ups:
- 2 [BT9-112] Dexmon. This card is played in nearly all decks due to the dominance of Yellow Hybrid and Xros Heart allowing you to play Dexmon for little to no cost. Dexmon is especially effective against the Blue Flare, DarkKnightmon (X-antibody), Armour Rush and Jesmon GX/X-antibody match ups.
- 2 [BT1-085] Tai Kamiya. This card grants X4 and X5 an additional security check (if you have at least 4 materials under them) which could give you the edge over mirror matchups. This card is essential when going up against Yellow Hybrid or Security Control match ups when you might need to clear a 6 or 7 security stack in one turn.
- 2 [BT9-084] Tai & Kari. This tamer allows you to gain memory early in the game due to the rush nature of Xros Heart. By turn 2 or 3 you should be able to get your opponent’s security down to 3 and in most cases your opponent will be doing likewise. Suspending this tamer when attacking effectively boosts your Shoutmon X4’s DP to 12k allowing him to better survive checks so you can sustain your DigiXros onslaught. The dual-coloured tamer also gives you access to play red and yellow option cards.
- 2 [BT0-099] Sunrise Buster. –DP removal remains one of the best removal options in the game. Sunrise Buster synergises really well with Xros Heart as you can play any tamer other than Jeremy Tsurgi and potentially destroy one of your opponent’s Digimon for just 5 cost.
- 1 [EX2-067] Fire Ball. Great for destroying Solarmon/Psychemon if you do not have Dorulumon on hand with the flexibility of allowing you to draw 2 if needed. Good to include, but not a crucial addition in my opinion.
- 2 [BT8-097] Crimson Blaze. A must-have to stop Jesmon decks from swarming their board with Sistermons or give you a better fighting chance against Mastemon decks which will often play Gatomon, Psychemon, MangaAngemon and Angewomon by effects. It’s also really useful against DarkKnightmon X-antibody and Blue Flare match-ups that has many level 3 and 4 digimon with less than 7k DP.
- 3 copies of Shoutmon X5 and Jeremy Tsurgi. Having 3 copies of X5 improves your consistency early game and it is unlikely you find yourself lacking a X5. By the time your first X5 attacks, your opponent would likely have no more security left. I cut Jeremy down to 3 copies as Xros Heart decks are already so memory efficient that you need not depend on memory to make your plays. You also can’t play Jeremy when you play Sunrise Buster and it doesn’t count towards additional DP reduction.
A popular card to draft in is Shoutmon (King Ver.) as you can attack on the same turn if you DigiXros with Shoutmon. You can also pick up an X4 or X5 in trash on play, and you can treat this card as any DigiXros material if you were to DigiXros on the same turn. However, he costs at least 3 memory to play which you may not always have the luxury to work with.
A common option to include is [BT10-095] Hero of the Skies! for additional draw and security check.
The toughest matchups I faced were against Mastemon and Yellow Hybrid. Against Mastemon, I prioritised playing my red and yellow tamers first before my opponent drops Neodevimon. When he does I try to get rid of using Sunrise Buster. Save an Angie/Dorulumon for Psychemon and use Crimson Blaze to remove Tailmon to slow the Jogress to Mastemon. Beware of saving too many materials under your tamer as Lucemon: Falldown Mode can destroy your tamers and materials saved under them. Also be mindful that Chaos Degrade in your opponent’s security can foil your plans for an OTK. A safer strategy be to attack with your level 3 and 4 Digimon to whittle down your opponent’s security before playing X4 or X5 to secure the win.
The yellow hybrid variants in BT10 are built to be as aggressive as they are defensive. Their options arsenal will often include Sunrise Buster, Holy Flame, Atomic Inferno and Reinforced Memory Boost which will slow you down alongside Venusmon and Sakuyamon: Maid Mode. You can’t afford to stall too long and set up tamers too, as they will play Dexmon or Susanoomon before going all out with their hybrids. Go for their security early if they don’t have T.K & Kari on the board, otherwise set up your tamers and try not to give too much memory advantage each turn. Try not to attack with X4 or X5 until you have got Tai Kamiya on the board.
Another tough matchup is Magnamon (X-antibody) as all your attacks will be redirected to him. Setup your tamers first and play Sunrise Buster to get rid of him or play Dexmon when the opportunity presents itself.
I faced Security Control decks in my last Evo Cup which were quite a pain to deal with. You have to be careful to plan your attacks and secure the win before you deck out, which is likely because they will consistently recover their security with options such as Holy Wave, Reinforced Memory Boost, Flaming Hellscythe and Tactical Retreat. They will also slow your game down by playing Digimon Kaiser and BT4-097 Kari so the best way to win is to keep attacking with your level 3s and 4s whilst playing your tamers. Play Sunrise Buster to get rid of their Venusmon or Dexmon and stop suspending Angie to draw when you are down to a couple cards in your deck. Save your X4 and X5 for the final turns once you have Tai Kamiya on the board and play all of them to OTK your opponent before you deck out. Be prepared for Chaos Degradation or Lonkhe Adistakto to pop out of their security and make sure you have enough materials before you go for the win.
Xros Heart is a force not to be reckoned with if you have a good understanding of your potential matchups and play around it. Just be mindful not to leave your X4 and X5 on the board as it will be vulnerable to being devolved by Dexmon which is especially prevalent in this meta.