[EN-BT15] Henny: 1st Place Europe Regional with Gallantmon

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Henny won 1st place at the Europe Regional hosted by Trade and Raid (128 players) with his Gallantmon deck.

Introduction

Hey everyone, my name is Henny. I am the first EU regional champion of the 2024 season and achieved it with Gallantmon. Yes, Gallantmon 

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I am 21 years old and have been playing the game for 1,5 years now as I started during the release of BT9. I have been a massive digimon fan growing up, I watched almost all the shows and played a good amount of the games as well. My favourite season being Digimon Tamers and my favourite Digimon Gallantmon, so it has been such a surreal experience to win with it. 

Before starting the game I did buy 2 starter decks of Gallantmon and Ulforce for the memory boosts in case I would ever want to play the game. And after being invited to a BT9 prerelease which I sadly couldn't join, due to covid at the time, I saw the Gallantmon cards in EX2 & BT9 and decided to start playing. I fell in love with the game almost instantly, the card art, the memory gauge and just the back and forth got me hooked right away. I have had a few tops before but besides the tournaments played with an alternate format in which I finished second and top 8, not anything noteworthy until this win with Gallantmon.

Why Gallantmon?

Because Gallantmon is my first and favourite deck in the game, I have always tried to make the deck work during every format. Some formats I just gave up relatively quickly, but after the ban list here in the west and seeing the meta decks from a few tournaments and the world championships, I decided to once again try to see if Gallantmon could do something.

I was already in the Digimon TCG 2020 discord and went to the deckbuilding tab for Gallantmon to see if there was anything I could learn/pick up from there. And using some of the example lists they had and what was shared in the server and my own preferences, I updated my deck and practised it during my locals. Funnily enough, I only tested against a handful of meta decks, but I was confident that as long as I didn't face Red Hybrid, the deck and my experience with it could bring me some wins, I didn't expect an entire tournament, but my run was as close to the dream run I could've had.  

Click into the image for decklist in DiIGIMONMETA

Game Plan against BT15 meta decks

Against Rush decks like Red Hybrid, Blue flare and OTK decks like Melga, Looga and even Levia to a certain extent, are the most difficult I'd say, so that's why in terms of deckbuilding, I personalised my deck with 2 main goals in mind.  

I want to be able to set myself up and contest board, but also have a way to fight back or even win if my opponent couldn't OTK me. Also Crimson Blaze being ridiculously strong this format due to decks wanting to either go wide or play digimon by effect and other decks cycling through their deck, setting up their trash in the meantime, I saw the potential for Gallantmon. 

Against Levia, if I didn't just die in 1 turn, I was usually able to come back on the crackback with either warping to Gallantmon with ST7 Guilmon or with BT12 Takato and finish with Crimson Mode. Otherwise BT13 Gallantmon can clear both Levias or even Ruin Mode if they go into it. The difficult part is if Levia is able to go through all your security too early in the game and you get no setup cards from it. In that case, you can rarely do anything to fight back since trash isn't set up for BT13 Gallantmon and no EX2 Takato makes it really difficult to warp and keep turn or build up and clear the board. 

On the other hand, Numemon is such a favourable matchup for Gallantmon. Funnily enough as well, I had not played against Numemon before the tournament. I knew a little bit how the deck works in BT16 due to watching JP, but I had no experience against it. But while reading the cards during my matches I realised that Gallantmon is really strong against it. However, if Nume gets to swing very early into the game and can stick a level 5 to go into Venusmon, you can get locked out of the game. But if Gallantmon can get into a position to contest the board, it's winning. 

Against Security control, I don't have the most personal experience but the most difficult thing against sec con would be if they get to Shadow Seraphimon. So it's really important to contest their lvl 5's so they can't digivolve into it, but if they just play it you have to delete it through EX2 Megidramon or Gallantmon X Antibody. Besides that, being able to mill and trash security is favourable for Gallantmon. And since the deck lacks protection anyways it isn't anything new if they out your stack lol 

Lastly, Red Hybrid. I have lost against the deck the past month during locals every single time. By far my worst matchup I have played so far and I have accepted that if I meet this deck, I will simply lose as long as my opponent plays remotely well. But the only game plan I have for this deck is to keep clearing their small bodies and trying to get to a big burst turn by going through Gallantmon X into Crimson Mode. But usually you just die before you can get.

Matchups in Regionals

Round 1: No Show 

Round 2: 2-1 vs Blue Flare 

Round 3: 2-0 vs Nume Ukko 

Round 4: 2-1 vs Loogamon 

Round 5: 2-1 vs Nume Ukko 

Round 6: 2-0 vs Nume Ukko 

Against Blue Flare I got rushed down game 1 and couldn't really contest the board until I was left with 1 security. They just attacked with a Digimon from raising and the Xrossed to swing for game. In game 2 and 3 however, they weren't able to get their setup with tamers and mem boosts so I was able to clear their board with one stack and when I promoted my second stack they didn't have the setup to play a BT10 MetalGreymon and keep turn to stun both bodies. Also Megidramon milled 2 BT10 MetalGreymon which was very clutch because my opponent had to use a MailBirdramon to recycle it back, which gave me the room to finish the game the turn after.  

Against Loogamon, which was also streamed, it was actually very close I'd say. Game 1 they promoted early to do 2 checks with alliance with Soloogarmon and retaining a Tyrannomon blocker. So afterwards I was able to go into Gallantmon and clear their board while trashing 1 security and leaving them on 2 memory due to analog youth. They had to out my stack with a hard played Helloogar passing me 5 memory with which I used gravity crush and climbed up to Gallantmon to swing with blitz. At the end of the attack BT12 Wargrowlmon gained me back 2 memory to be at 1, so I could go into Gallantmon X to unsuspend and go into Crimson Mode to finish the game. By far my favourite combo in the end. 

Game 2 they just killed me way too fast before I could do anything. During game 3 they didn't find their Eiji so knowing I couldn't get OTK'd I was able to setup for a 20 trash Crimson Mode for game. Also dropping BT13 Gallantmon for 5 and gaining memory back with EX2 Takato to choke at 1 memory was really huge for me. 

Against the Numemons, I only lost 1 game in the 3 total matches I played against it. Like mentioned above Gallantmon has a really good matchup, but I did win a couple of games with only 1 or no security left and the game I lost, I wasn't able to clear a level 5 and they went into Venusmon and I couldn't fight back. But in general the deck just clears everything and it takes multiple cards for Numemon to out a level 5 or level 6 stack. Also BT12 Gigimon and BT9 Guilmon X ESS being able to bump up Crimson blaze is really insane versus their deck. I had two separate games where I was able to play a 9k crimson blaze and clear their PlatinumNumemon. Also they cycle through their deck quite quickly and you can freely trash their deck as well to set up a Crimson Mode lethal. 

Crimson Blaze is such an oppressive card in the current meta and Gallantmon really brings it to the next level by upping the DP threshold it can delete. But I have to say the deck just fell together at the correct moment and it just played out perfectly for how I intended the deck to work. Crimson Mode consistently trashing 2-3 security and hitting for game was amazing and still one of the best feelings for the deck. Also, don't underestimate gravity crush, it gives the deck lethal out of nowhere sometimes because the deck has expensive evolution costs but using gravity crush to have enough to go into Gallant X to unsuspend and then into Crimson Mode to finish, is amazing. 

Deck's Strength and Weakness

One of the most 'annoying' aspects of Gallantmon is that the support the deck has, is for two separate play-styles.

Red Gallantmon is a control deck that gains advantage by clearing the board, deleting Digimon and trashing security. Then you have the purple line that sets up trash and helps with consistency and accelerates the Crimson Mode lethal threshold, but finding the right balance can be a bit difficult.

I personally prefer the more red line, but cards like EX4 Blackgrowlmon and EX3 Wargrowlmon are really essential for the deck to function. Gallantmon needs more conditions to be met to really do what the deck wants, but when it does, it can feel very oppressive.

However, on the contrary, the deck is susceptible to decks that are just faster and don't care about deletion or have protection. Although the deck has received tools to deal with the latter half a bit better, faster decks and OTK decks are still the most difficult, in my opinion 

If I want to make a change for the deck

In terms of deckbuilding I think the decklist is pretty tight in space, looking at what I built it for. I initially was on a rookie count of 11 for the longest time since training cards, but I added the rush Guilmon in the final version in case I needed the comeback potential or to play with EX3 Wargrowlmon or EX2 Megidramon. Besides that, 8 champions and 6 ultimates may seem a little low, but ultimates are perfect like this I'd say, maybe you could bump it up to 7.

The only thing in terms of ratios I would consider, is more champions since missing a champion is what made me 'brick' the most. With 4 EX2 Guilmons, 4 Offense Training, 2 Red Memory Boost and 4 Blackgrowlmon especially you actually have really good consistency. Also EX3 Wargrowlmon being able to play EX2 Guilmon for more search in some cases. But the deck is mulligan dependent and you really want to see training, boosts or EX2 Guilmon in the opener. Lastly, EX2 Megidramon was an inclusion for specific matchup/game states but you could change it for another BT12 Gallantmon or another champion. 

I know the common complaint is that Gallantmon doesn't have protection and lacks a broken card compared to the other protagonist decks, but Gallantmon has its own strengths and we just have to make do with the tools we have. To me it actually makes it fun that Gallantmon isn't a topdeck and I need to figure out what it takes to actually make it somewhat competitive in each format. That said I am looking forward to BT17 haha 

But if you like Gallantmon, just try different things and see what works for you and the meta. And if there are any questions you would like to ask me, feel free to message me through my socials. Also check out my socials if you would like to support me, I greatly appreciate it! 
Twitter/X + YouTube (personal): Henny_Hey 

Discord: Henny_4683 

YouTube: PXP Entertainment

Shoutout

I have been very vocal about how lucky I got/how much the stars aligned for Gallantmon to win, but I am very happy and honoured to have represented my favourite deck for all the Gallantmon players around the world.  

I'm thankful for my friends that got me into the game and the friends that I have met while playing the game at locals but also the ones I got you know through international tournaments. Also to my brother and friends that have to listen to my almost infinite talk/complaining about Gallantmon and helped me with deckbuilding/testing. 

Shoutout to some of the first content creators I watched that helped me develop my love for the game, Arester S, East, Akemiya & Kyo to name a few.  

And lastly a shoutout to my friends that help me setup our own locals and participate in it, in the hopes that one day it can become an official Bandai licensed store haha  

Zaandam Locals and PXP to the moon, lets gooooo 

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