[Ruling] Overflow (Judge: Samuel)

Hey everyone! Welcome to the weekly rulings column by Judge Samuel. Well this is a long overdue project, but with the new rulings dropping today, I thought that it’s a great time to start.

Today we shall touch on one of the most misunderstood rulings in the game – Overflow.

Just a short introduction to this mechanic. Overflow was a mechanic introduced alongside Ace Digimon in ST15 Dragon of Courage and ST16 Wolf of Friendship. Despite being placed right on top of the inherited effect, it is not an effect, but rather a rule. Well why is it the most misunderstood ruling? A lot of people actually mistakenly think that you will lose memory via Overflow if the card leaves play/the battle area. Well, technically not wrong in most cases, but that is not always the case.

PSA: Overflow does NOT mention leaving play. Really? Yes, like seriously. Just take a look at the card description

There you go. It says “When this card would move from the battle area or under a card to another area, lose X memory”. No where on the card does it say “leave play” or “leave the battle area”. So how did this “leave the battle area” thing come about?

Basically what I found out while handling countless queries on Overflow is that players seem to be too focused on the “battle area” part. General assumptions among the misinformed players seem to be:

  • Lose memory when your Ace Digimon being deleted? Because it left the battle area.
  • Lose memory when your Ace Digimon gets removed from the digivolution cards of your Digimon? Because it left the battle area.
  • Don’t lose memory when Arresterdramon: Superior Mode tucks your Ace Digimon under another card? Because the card on top of it is in the battle area, so it’s not considered as leaving the battle area.

The last assumption is inaccurate though. That is not the reason why you don’t lose memory via Overflow. But that was what people used to justify Overflow not being applied in that scenario despite the rules saying that a Digimon being put under another card counts as “leaving the battle area’. All those assumptions seem all well and good until the Omegamon Ace Q&A came out.

You won't lose memory via Overflow if you use the [Start of Main Phase] effect of Yggdrasil_7D6 to put Omegamon Ace under it? A lot of players couldn't brain it. They insisted that Overflow should apply, because it moved from the battle area to the breeding area. Of course, a lot of judges and other players were pointing out that it actually went from the battle area to under a card, but a lot of players were just not convinced.

I guess that noise was pretty significant, because earlier this month, Bandai updated the description of Overflow to make it easier for players to understand (source: https://digimoncard.com/rule/revised/). Its new description is「エリアかカードの下から、それ以外の場所に送られる場合、メモリー-X」, which literally translates to ““From the area or under a card, if sent to another location, memory minus X”. No, it still doesn’t talk about “leaving play”, but instead of “battle area”, it mentions “area” instead. What is this “area”?

Well, this “area” is a newly defined space in the game. According to the Comprehensive Rules Ver. 2.0, it is actually the central location of the game where players place their cards. It consists of the “battle area” and the “breeding area”. This kinda reminds me of the time when players found out that putting Omegamon Ace under Yggdrasil would not cause Overflow, and some players tried to justify it by saying “the breeding area is also part of the battle area” (no it is not lol). Well, I guess Bandai decided to simplify it by giving you a space which includes both.

So what situations would cause you to lose memory via Overflow? From the description, we can deduce that you need to meet the following criteria:

  1. The Ace card must come from the battle area, breeding area, or under a card.
  2. The Ace card must be moved to a location which is NOT the battle area, breeding area, or under a card.

This would essentially mean that your Ace card can move between 3 locations (battle area, breeding area, under a card) freely without worrying about losing memory. But once it moves out of those 3 areas, Overflow will be applied.

Below are some situations which aren’t affected by Overflow:

  1. Using Kaiser Nail to remove your Ace Digimon from under another card. (Under cards → battle area)
  2. Putting your Omegamon Ace under Yggdrasil_7D6. (Battle area → under cards)
  3. Your opponent using Arresterdramon to place your Ace Digimon under your tamer. (Battle area → under cards)
  4. Moving your Ace Digimon out of the breeding area. (Breeding area → battle area).

What about your Ace Digimon being sent to the bottom of your deck? It should not apply since it literally is under cards right? I once brought up this question in my judge group while we were discussing about possible rulesharks, and they all thought I was trolling. But guess what, I actually did see that question come up in Facebook. So yea, it's a legit question. But sadly, no, it doesn't count as “under cards”, as the game rule states that “under cards” has to be under an opened card. Since your deck is private knowledge, your Ace Digimon being sent to the bottom of your deck would not count as moving from the battle area to under cards.

Overflow will also not apply if you move from security to trash, or between two locations outside of the battle area, breeding area, and under a card. But what if the security check reveals an Ace Digimon? Since the Ace Digimon will be trashed after the battle, would it be considered as sent to the trash from the battle area? Well thankfully no. By the game rules, cards that are revealed are considered to belong to the place where they were revealed from. So even if the Ace Digimon was revealed and battled, it would still be considered to belong to the security instead of the battle area.

Well hope this has been easy to understand. Feel free to hit me up if you have any questions. Alternatively, you can also watch the video I made in the link below:


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