[EN-BT15] Luis: 3rd Place Latam Regional with a Deva/Four Sovereigns Deck

Introduction

Hi, everyone! My name is Luis, or “Pipe” as they often call me. I’m a player from Costa Rica that recently traveled to Mexico City’s March 2024 Regional and reached 3rd Place with a Deva/Four Sovereigns deck. 

For a bit of context about myself, I’m 27 years old, and have played the game for almost 2 years, starting with ST-09/ST-10. Most my TCG background comes from playing and judging another TCG for nearly 10 years, and wanted to try Digimon during a “stale” metagame season on my other game. I grew up watching Digimon and playing some of the games, most recently playing Cybersleuth, until my local store owner introduced me to the TCG with one of the Demo decks and slowly dove deeper and deeper until I fell in love with the game and the mechanics. My first deck was a Commandramon rush deck, which I played for a while until BT10 brought Blue Flare and started diversifying from there. Diversifying so much that, at the time of writing, I currently own around 30 (!) different decks, all which I play from time to time. My way of practicing and understanding matchups is to learn exactly how the deck plays and what are their optimal setups, so that I know how to counteract them when playing against them, and that lead me to building decks one after another. My favourite decks to play so far have been Blue MetalGarurumon (X Antibody) and Xros Hunters.

Four Sovereigns wasn’t my first choice when we analyse our choices for the Regional. I was mostly leaning towards Fenriloogamon, but based off both local and international deck usage, Leviamon was the greatest threat to face and a very complicated match-up. Also, Red Hybrid was an important deck to consider and Loogamon is just too slow against it. Eventually, after realising Four Sovereigns should have a neutral or positive match up against those decks and most of the current metagame, I started testing again and again in order to find the best build until I reached the list I was most comfortable with and got the most consistency.

Card Choices:

  • 3 Mother D-Reaper: The reason this Digi-Egg is used is to synergize with Antylamon's Alliance and to serve to some sort of "lightning rod" against effects that target the Digimon with the highest DP, such as Raid, Trident Gaia, or even another Zhuqiaomon ACE being deleted. The reason to play 3 Digi-Eggs was simply because I never needed more than that, since you mostly want to have your Breeding Area available for a Deva. You can use 4 without any sort of issues.
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  • Thicker Black Devas, no Blue Devas: Despite not having excessively strong effects as Lv. 5s, the Black Devas provide Blocker once evolved to a Sovereign. Many matchups rely on being able to block, either to simply stop the attack and have them hit a wall, or to go kamikaze and take advantage of the Sovereign’s On Deletion effects and take another threat with them. Blocking an opposing 12k DP Digimon with either Azulongmon ACE or Zhuqiaomon ACE can potentially get rid of 3 bodies on the opponent’s field at once (One with their When Digivolving effect, the 12k Digimon defeated in battle, and the next highest Lv./DP with their On Deletion).

Antylamon and Sandiramon:

  • Antylamon EX-03: Antylamon is a no brainer thanks to Alliance, being able to hit for more Security and suspend either Mother D-Reaper or a Sovereign without the risk of it being deleted in battle. There’s also a great synergy with Azulongmon ACE: If you have 2 Devas and Mother on play, you can hit once with Alliance for 2 checks at 23k DP suspending Mother, and then digivolve the other Deva to Azulongmon ACE and unsuspend Antylamon, who could hit once more suspending Azulongmon for Alliance this time. If your opponent has a Lv5 ACE on their field, you can pull that play off for free. And let’s not forget the Recovery +1 on End of Attack. It’s just too much value to pass.
  • 2 Sandiramon: One more way that the deck can deal with Gotsumon/Pillomon/Pommumon that prevent playing Fanglongmon via Cardinal Positions. If you don’t have the memory to evolve into Zhuqiaomon ACE or Azulongmon ACE to get rid of the floodgate, you can crash into an opposing Digimon or Security so Sandiramon can delete the floodgate with it’s On Deletion.
  • 4 Azulongmon ACE, 4 Ebonwumon ACE: The strongest of the Sovereigns by far due to their potential control.

Azulongmon ACE has a very strong bounce effect that can easily deal with most meta-relevant ACEs in MagnaAngemon, Angewomon and Zudomon, or stop early attackers like Garurumon and Hybrids. And, if another Digimon has blocked that turn, evolving into Azulongmon can unsuspend the previous blocker, having more control on the opponent’s offense.

Ebonwumon, on the other hand, can completely halt entire decks and provide enough breathing room to find the missing pieces for Fanglongmon. Suspending opponent’s Digimon is good, but them not unsuspending on their next Unsuspend Phase is broken, and is especially good against decks that can’t unsuspend during their Main Phase. There’s been matches against Machinedramon or Yellow Vaccine where I’ve frozen the field for 2-3 turns, even hard playing Ebonwumon to keep the lock until I have enough gas to run them over or close the game. It’s not to say that Zhuqiaomon and Baihumon are bad, but they’re far less versatile (and don’t have On Play effects, which Ebonwumon and Azulongmon do).

  • ShineGreymon Ruin Mode: A very good overall control card that can also keep small Rookies in check. By evolving from either Yellow or Purple, it can evolve from literally any Lv. 6 on the deck.
  • DeathXmon: Another control card that can provide a lot of value, even as an Alliance target. It can also evolve from 6/10 Lv. 6 if necessary or if the opponent doesn’t have that many bodies in play and you just want to Dedigivolve a specific threat.
  • 2 Gennai: One of the best additions to the deck. With my current build the search effect doesn’t really have value and can potentially bury resources just because, but it’s still a pivotal card against deletion-heavy or removal/heavy decks that won’t let you keep your Devas in play long enough to Blast Digivolve. Against decks like Garurumon, Gallantmon or MirageGaogamon you can safely leave your Black Deva on Breeding, and once all their attack’s effects trigger, you trigger Gennai to promote and then Blast Digivolve to remove/block/suspend.
  • Heaven’s Judgement: The deck plays literally every color of Digimon and can hit astronomical damage, whether you need to clear many small threads or nuke a big threat.
  • No Sistermon Blanc: Sistermon is a card that I tested a lot with and helped with consistency. It also gave an actual search target for Gennai, as the only Lv. 3s on the deck. However, when evaluating the Leviamon match, they were more of a liability than a help, so I decided to change them in favor of Ruin Mode and DeathX, which proved way more valuable than the additional draw.
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General Game Plan:

Click into the image for decklist in digimonmeta.com

In general, there’s two ways you can start the game: have 2 Devas to start playing them right off the bat, or choke your opponent starting off with a search. 

If you have 2 Devas on hand, you don’t hatch and play one to place the other in Breeding.

If you don’t have both Devas, or are lacking a Lv. 6, you hatch Mother and use either Analog Youth or Loyalty to search and leave your opponent on low memory. Important thing to note on Loyalty is that you can place the cards on bottom-deck OR top-deck, so if you reveal both a Deva and a Sovereign, you can grab the Deva and set the Sovereign on the top to draw it off the Deva’s Draw.

If you’re able to draw into Antylamon off that search, turn 2 can be promoting Mother out of breeding and then Deva-summon Antylamon on the back, to have a strong Turn 3 attack with Antylamon.

But even if you have Antylamon, the aggressive play should only be done whenever the opponent doesn’t have enough pressure on you. For most cases, you want to play reactively rather than proactively. Using Blast Digivolve is also the way to “make up” for the 7-cost plays. So what you want to do in most cases is just play Deva after Deva, having enough Sovereigns to Counter until you have both Fanglongmon and Cardinal Positions in hand. It’s a battle of attrition and once the opponent has wasted resources to eliminate the Sovereigns they could, Fanglongmon enters to sweep.

Against BT15 Meta Decks

Red Hybrid is a mixed matchup as I give them too much memory, however I’m able to make quick work of the tamers and Digimon they play, and Ebonwumon can also freeze them very easily. If they get a Ukko + Lui turn 1 pressure, the match is very against me, but if I get a couple Blocker Devas on play I’m able to keep up the pace.

Leviamon, with my current build, is a very favorable matchup. Playing the Deva on the Breeding Area doesn’t trigger Biting Crush or Leviamon X, and they have no target on my deck to play by effect. And even if they played Octomon to summon a token on my field, deleting a Sovereign (other than Ebonwumon) takes the Leviamon out as well, so they can’t cheat their Leviamon out. Fenriloogamon is in a similar boat; they can get around if they have enough Memory to Digivolve to Fenri without attacking and delete the Deva with Fenriloogamon’s When Attacking, but if I have another one I can simply Counter and Block, potentially also suspending or bouncing a threatening BlackGatomon.

Numemon is a very favorable matchup, as they often don’t have enough pressure to go above and most of their deck gets deleted to my blocks, and the moment a Fanglongmon hits the field, they can’t re-fill their Numemons. It’s potentially the deck I was most confident against going into the tournament.

Security Control/Yellow Hybrid are relatively favorable matchups. Main focus is to control the opponent back instead of going full agro unless you have the Antylamon+D-Reaper combo, and go into security once Fanglongmon is able to trash a couple of threats away. An early DeathXmon can be tricky, though, as most of the deck is 7-cost.

ShineGreymon is an even match. If I don’t have enough Devas on play, Shine can easily delete them before I’m able to Counter, but if a Blocker survives I’m able to take the Shine with me, potentially deleting a couple Marcus away as well.

Blue OTK decks like MetalGarurumon X and MirageGaogamon are potentially the worse matchups as the combination of speed and bounce are too much to keep up with.

Regional Matchups

R1: 1-1 vs ShineGreymon

ShineGreymon should be a good matchup, but Game 1 took longer than I would have wanted and hit too many Marcus on Security. I managed to win Game 2 just before time ran out and settled for a Tie, but left me with no breathing room for next rounds.

R2: 2-1 vs Yellow Vaccine w/Rapidmon 

Game 1 my opponent had a really good setup. I had a 3-turn back-to-back-to-back Ebonwumon plays in order to freeze them for long enough, but the Fanglongmon never showed up.

Game 2 my opponent made a mistake by digivolving their Pillomon into Rapidmon on Turn 3, and I had Fanglongmon and Cardinal Positions since Turn 1 which I played to clear their board and started sweeping from there.

Game 3 I started with the perfect hand to choke him at 1 memory after hatching, he whiffed played a Training after evolving to Patamon and then I hard-played a Deva and Antylamon on the back. After he whiffed Patamon’s effect and playing a MagnaAngemon ACE to Recovery +1, I promoted Antylamon, hit for 2 Security, evolved the other Deva to Azulongmon while also getting rid of the Angemon and hit for another 2, after which he scooped as I was too ahead by then.

R3: 2-0 vs Marcus Yellow Hybrid

Mentally this was an awful pairing since it was against one of the other 2 Costa Rican players and my roommate for the trip, however I was very positive as we’ve tested this matchup plenty and I have a very favorable matchup. Most games I was able to bounce most Hybrids that showed up and Game 2 had the same full-aggro Antylamon/Azulongmon combo while he bricked hard.

R4: 2-0 vs Leviamon

Despite this being a very favorable matchup as Dragmon was never going to have a target to play on my field, my opponent got awful luck both matches.

Game 1 my opponent was just playing Option after Option while no Lv.5 showed up and I bounced the Garurumon he was going to get draws off, and ended the game without a single Leviamon in the Trash.

Game 2 started similarly for my opponent playing Trainings and Memory Boosts trying to reach for a Lv. 3 that never appeared, and got a rather quick game.

R5: 2-0 vs Numemon

This was a streamed match, which made me as nervous as I could be, but Numemon was the matchup I was most comfortable with and the results showed it.

R1 was a back and forth where an early Quantumon from my opponent gave a lot of pressure, and I even mis-played deleting a PlatinumNumemon instead of the Quantumon after a Counter play, which lead to a Merciful Mode play to clear my trash, but I was able to hold his board long enough with Ebonwumon and DeathXmon until my opponent conceded when I had too many bodies on play.

R2 I started with a Loyalty to search, my opponent got 3 bodies after I Deva’d Turn 2 and I played a Turn 3 Fanglongmon for 10 Memory to clear the board, after which my opponent played a tamer and passed at 7 Memory. After that it was fairly controlled from my end, not losing a single Security and cleared board a couple times until Quartzmon was played right after I ran out of Devas/Sovereigns in trash, but I had 5 Heaven’s Judgment since turn one and 5 colors on board so I nuked him. He was able to get another Monzaemon and more rookies, but no Blocker, so I swept for game.

R6: 2-1 vs Numemon

The game wasn’t as different as the previous one, since I was able to control the board most of the time for all 3 games. I did mis-play Game 2 and played Cardinal Positions with a Gotsumon on play before deleting it with Sandiramon, so I just scooped that game to play Game 3. He didn’t see a single Monzaemon on Game 3 after having 4 Numemon X in play, but the game was already on my favor even if he had found them.

As I defeated one of the 3 undefeated players, this was the last round and got 2nd Seed going into Top 8 with a 5-0-1 record.

Top 8: 2-0 vs Yellow Vaccine Magnadramon

This was by far one of the best matches I had, and not necessarily game-play wise. The match was slightly against me but my opponent had little knowledge of my deck and I was able to play my Azulongmons to most ACEs he had. However, he was awesome to play against, we were laughing all game long and definitely helped me relax after a long tournament run, especially since the game was being streamed and we were having a blast.

Game 1 was a slow control until I could sweep, many back-and-forth’s with ACEs removing other ACEs until I swept.

Game 2 there came a time where I misplayed and hit against a Ruin Mode in security with an evolved Fanglongmon and passed turn due to Overflow, but then after my opponent hard-played a Venusmon for 13 I came back with a turn evolving to another Fanglongmon and playing 2 with Cardinal Positions, locking game next turn.

Top 4: 1-2 vs MirageGaogamon

A few rounds ago, I came to the realization that I prematurely “buried” all Blue decks, since there were a handful MirageGaogamon and MetalGarurumon decks running around and boosted by the new Betamon, making up for losing Bukamon’s consistent Jamming, and that was definitely my worse matchup by far as Mirage has too many bounce effects and I barely had any Counter windows.

Game 1 I went second and got the perfect start with Youth and Gennai, and controlled the board blocking every Mirage that was played and bringing him down with me.

Games 2 and 3 though the Gennai was super late to show up and my opponent regardless took all measures to neutralize my plays, and I never had the Fanglongmon + Cardinal Positions combo when I needed it the most. I got a couple lucky hits with a Burst Mode without Jamming hitting DeathX in Security, and Ebonwumon freezing a turn, but eventually the deck was just a very unfavorable matchup and was very unlikely to win despite making perfect plays. I needed the perfect window where I cleared board with Fanglongmon and sweep next turn, but I couldn’t get the cards to execute the play on either game.

Potential Changes/Additions

  • Sistermon Blanc ST-12: Depending on how Leviamon-heavy your metagame is, you could use Sistermon to give the deck more draw power, in exchange of a couple Black Devas or Lv7.
  • Ebonwumon BT-07/Zhuqiaomon BT-08: These are the only two Four Sovereigns that I’d consider adding aside from the ACEs, and as a potential 1-of. Ebonwumon’s control can be interesting, as you could evolve into an ACE to suspend many Digimon and freeze them on Unsuspend phase, and then evolve into the BT7 Ebonwumon recovering more memory and forcing them to trash to unsuspend. Zhutiaomon on the other hand can be a nuke, where you could delete almost everything on the board, and if you delete a Deva you can take out the remaining opponent’s Digimon. I haven’t tested them extensively but could be worth to try. You’d need a more Green/Red heavy list, respectively, though.
  • Tai Kamiya ST-15/Hiro Amanokawa BT-08: Both Starter Deck Tai and BT-08 Hiro can serve as good Memory setters, with effects depending on what you need. Tai can give you more draw power as you block with your Digimon, and Hiro helps with aggression boosting everyone’s DP as the whole deck is Lv. 5 and above.
  • Mihiramon BT-13/Majiramon EX-03/Majiramon BT-06: Similar to the “alternative” Four Sovereigns, these are options you can use as alternatives to the Devas. They should be used with caution, as this reduces the chances of you having a Deva that plays on Breeding in your hand. Mihiramon and EX-03 Majiramon are great control cards, though, and BT-06 Majiramon can let a Fanglongmon double-tap on their When Attackings by unsuspending, so they can be useful in many scenarios. I prefer a more consistency-focused list, but you can experiment with these.
  • Fanglongmon Ruin Mode?: Currently unreleased, but since Cardinal Positions plays a Digimon “with Fanglongmon in its name”, it’s future-proofed to put the card straight into the deck if it’s any useful.

Final Thoughts

  • Overall, I’m fairly satisfied with the deck and the Regionals run overall. I did hit lucky matchups, but I’m also glad that in the end I lost due to an overall bad matchup instead of losing to a misplay.  And also I’m extremely thankful to the people that accompanied me during the event, from each and every player from Mexico that treated me as one of their own, to the friends and family watching the stream and cheering for me, especially both times I was on stream. 

    Shoutouts to TheNest and their Tournament Staff/Stream Team that made me had an amazing experience in my first tournament outside of Costa Rica; to Omar and Jafet, my teammates that were with me in the event and stayed supporting me all the way ‘till the end; and to you, reader from DigimonMeta that took the time to read through my words. Hope you enjoyed it and gave you more insights on how to optimally play such a fun deck as Four Sovereigns!

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