Early Review: EX-01 Classic Collection

Overview

The EX-01 Classic Collection is the first minibox released for Digimon Card Game. This set uses card artworks borrowed from the older (and now discontinued) Hyper Colosseum series, similar to what we see in alternate-art versions of BT-01 SEC Metalgreymon and BT-05 SEC Omegamon X. 

Sandwiched between the usual 3-month BT release cycle, with a little bit more than half the number of (different) cards we get in a standard expansion set, the EX-01 actually retails higher than standard BT expansion sets (with boxes going for 5280 Yen compared to a standard expansion set’s 4752 Yen). With all 8 SR cards and sole SEC already revealed, we take a deeper look at whether EX-01 is worth it’s premium price.

Improving the classic digimons

EX-01 is expected to deliver enhancements to existing or more precisely, traditional archtypes such as Tyrannomon, Angemon, and Myotismon. These are mostly Digimons from the 1999 anime Digimon Adventure 01, the subsequent Adventure 02, as well as the first Digimon World video game released on the Playstation in 1999.

We expect no new effects or gameplay engines to be introduced in EX-01. 

Additional Info: There will be 66 Digimons, 1 Tamer and 6 Option cards in this set. 

Agumon Booster

The Agumon/Greymon line is actually very well boosted in EX-01! 

Agumon has an excellent inheritable effect allowing a 3-card search for any tamer card or Digimon with [Agumon] in it’s name, Greymon synergizes well with the 3-cost [BT6-087] Taichi, and Metalgreymon grants the much needed [Piercing] (but perhaps better suited for our SEC Machinedramon instead).

The SR Wargreymon meanwhile, is solid but not essential. At LV6, his first effect [Advance] is currently shared with both Zekegreymon and Shoutmon DX. His second effect allows him to delete a [Blocker] Digimon whenever he attacks, is rather conditional. At 4-cost to digivolve and 12000 DP he somehow lacks the firepower we see in a meta definer like Jesmon. 

They may do well in a Bond Of Courage (BOC) deck!

Score: 8/10 (great and timely boosters for BOC)

Gabumon Booster

With the EX1 Gabumon/Garurumon behaving exactly like their red counterparts, they make great support cards for any existing BOF decks. 

Also similar to it’s red counterpart, Metalgarurumon will be in for a hard fight for a spot in any existing BOF decks. While his second effect can be very effective against the Archilles heel of BOF [BT6-054] AncientTroymon, it is an effect that remains rather conditional and a 8-card hand may be quite hard to meet at times.

It is also possible to build a deck around Metalgarurumon and large 8-card hand sizes (with promo Weregarurumon and the starter deck Veedramon lineup) but in the current meta landscape, really?

Score: 7/10 (some robustness coming to BOF decks)

Imperialdramon Booster

The previous [BT3-027] Paildramon was a great digivolution card for any Imperialdramon, an excellent engine drowned in today’s insanely aggresive meta. This EX1 Paildramon is promising, but we do not yet know his full potential until his LV4 (possibly ExVeemon and/or Stingmon) is revealed. 

The EX1 Imperialdramon is also a welcomed addition with his strong [When Digivolution] effect that suspends an opponent’s Digimon while unsuspending itself. 

A promising lineup that might bring Imperialdramon decks to a comeback. 

Score: 9/10

Recovery Decks Finally Playable?

Security recovery and DP-reduction effects are a yellow exclusive ever since the beginning of DCG. However, 6 expansion sets on we saw yellow transform into a very aggressive DP-reduction system of Wargreymons, Lordknightmons, and Valdur-Arms, with its recovery component drowned into the side component of yellow decks (often through some effective play of Lucemons or what not). 

There are no competitive “recovery-centric” yellow decks. The closest use of a “recovery-centric” engine comes in the form of a Security Control deck. Recovery-based Digimons are usually never preferred as LV6 choices (and Dynasmon borderlines that). 

These may all change with EX-01. It remains to be seen whether such a defensive deck, conducted by the angel duo Angewomon and MagnaAngemon, will ever see foothold in competitive landscape.

Score: 7/10 (an interesting but unproven buff)

Revenge of Diaboromon!

Honestly after BT-05, we would have never expected another Diaboromon so soon (for the record, this is the fifth Diaboromon released in DCG)!

With both Infermon and Diaboromon, tokens will now become significantly bigger and more useful. A hoard of 5000-7000 DP tokens with [Blocker] can be what it needs to slow down a game enough to build a wide board of Diaboromons for the win!

Diaboromon decks has always been a fan favorite, and this boost will be very well received! 

Score: 9/10 (will definitely see a comeback, while it lasts)

Analogman's Machinedramon?

Probably the most exciting card in this set, Machinedramon is naturally a hard-cast Digimon. With enough [Cyborg] fodders in hand/trash, this Digimon becomes an efficient 7-cost to play LV6 Digimon with a multitude of defensive effects under it’s arsenal. We have written an early review for him a while ago, so do give that a read!

Score: 10/10 

Myotismon Back On Stage?

It really is a shame that the ever so popular Myotismon digivolution line, the original symbol of evil, was demoted to a binder warmer for almost the entire time DCG was played. Ever since introduced in BT-02, he was never really viable. Besides the BT-02 VenomMyotismon which was occasionally played with Kimeramon (during the BT-02 meta), other Myotismons never really caught on. 

So it is really nice to have this new Myotismon drop in EX-01. We would like to believe that he has potential, and we have written about him in an early card review some time ago. Do give that a read if you enjoy the nostalgia that is Myotismon!

Score: 8/10.

Mameo of DW1

Possibly the most nostalgia-heavy card ever released, the young protagonist of Digimon World 1 (aka Mameo) has never been released in any other card games, namely Hyper Colloseum and the more recent Battle Spirits, despite being the first Digimon tamer ever (DW1 was released on January 1999, 2 months before they premiered the first Digimon anime series).

With low play cost, white support, and Mimi-like effects, this tamer card will likely be popular among the more creative decks!

Score: 9/10

Fun Fact!

There are no vanilla Digimons in EX-01. Every card in EX-01 have an effect, and faithfully supports their digivolution lines and decks. 

Summary

EX-01 is an expensive, unexciting 73-card minibox filled with “classic art” that skimps on paying artists for new artwork. There is no hype, no major surprises, no new mechanics, and no new Digimons. 

Well there was one surprise: Mameo!

EX-01 is also a better box for the environment: it uses less plastic, running 12 packs per box rather than the standard 24.

But this is not what EX-01 wants to be. It does not scream of hype, surprises, or new mechanics. It is here to fill the gaps of the game. It is here to make that Tyrannomon fan happy to play his Tyrannomon deck again. It is here to give Diaboromons another shot at the meta landscape. It is here to try to level the playing field. 

It is a boring box filled with very useful cards, and I can’t help but wonder if we should just be patient and wait another month for an expansion set that has hype, surprises, and might truly reset the playing field!

Score: 7/10

 

Early Review: BT-06

Overview

Less than 3 weeks before the official release of BT-06, only slightly more than a quarter of cards were revealed. That said, we have already seen 8/11 of the SRs, which should give us a hint on how this expansion set should perform. Let’s dig right into it!

New Mechanics

<デコイ> or <Decoy> is a new effect introduced in BT-06, and the only Digimons we know so far that has this effect are [BT6-059] Machmon and [BT6-064] Mamemon (both are black Digimons). 

A Digimon with <Decoy> can sacrifice itself to protect another Digimon (of the specified color only) from being deleted by a card effect. This is akin to an effect blocker, which should come in handy amid a rising ecosystem of cards with deletion effects. 

I believe that the introduction of <Decoy> is intended to reposition black as a defense-centric color, since <Blocker> digimons are now pretty much card-effect fodder in current meta. While this might strengthen black cards against red and purple, it will not protect against yellow’s DP-reduction, which is a dominating color in the current meta. Therefore, the effectiveness of <Decoy> should be quite limited.

It should also be noted that this effect will only protect one Digimon from deletion, so in the case of a [BT1-084] Omegamon deleting more than 1 Digimon with the same name, then <Decoy> can only be used to protect one Digimon and not the rest.

The meta is expected to speed up

The icons of this set is none other than [BT6-018] Agumon Bond of Courage and [BT6-030] Gabumon Bond of Friendship. Not only are these LV7 duo formidable enough by themselves, but also given strong support cards! 

Both of these LV7s can warp digivolve (yes not an official term but you get the gist) from a LV3 [Agumon] or [Gabumon] respectively, if you have their new tamers [BT6-087] Tai Kamiya or [BT6-088] Matt Ishida in play. In addition, this warp digivolution comes at a very reasonable 3-memory cost!

In comparison, a warp digivolution of the recently launched starter deck LV3 [ST7-03] Guilmon into a LV6 Gallantmon will cost more than that (4 memory)! 

The strong synergy between these LV6 duo with their tamers and rookies sets up not only a very strong board control, but also allows for surprise comeback. They are expected to dominate red and blue decks in the coming BT-06 meta!

Early gameplay videos:
Agumon deck vs. Lordknightmon deck
Gabumon deck vs. Lordknightmon deck
Agumon deck vs. Gabumon deck

Score: 9/10 (as good as it goes for red and blue)

 

Jesmon

Yellow players in the BT-05 meta understand the stability and robustness of a Lordknightmon engine for simultaneous board control and widening. In the coming set, red players can access this similar mechanic in the form of [BT6-016] Jesmon. 

Jesmon has a [When Attacking] effect that allows the player to play a [Sistermon] from either their hand or trash, which has superb value. Jesmon subsequently gains a +3000 DP buff with <Piercing>, in addition to a +2000 DP buff if you have [Sistermon Noir] in play. 

At a minimum, this engine should be robust, and gives Jesmon some board presence with high DP and <Piercing>. The presence of Sistermon Blanc should also offer Jesmon some protection in the case that he is suspended after an attack. However, Jesmon will require access to additional inheritable effects (such as <SecurityAttack+1> or those that allow him to attack an unsuspended Digimon) in order for him to shine.

Score: 6/10 (more card reveals may increase the score)

Flamemon

This very unassuming card is expected to provide a very significant boost to Ancientgreymon decks, which is currently underperforming even with the anniversary promo card [P-029] Agunimon. This [BT6-010] Flamemon will grant Ancientgreymon the <Piercing> effect, allowing for more effective aggro plays. 

Score: 8/10

Dynasmon

Passive effects are usually not very well-received in competitive games, with examples seen in Belialvamdemon, Donedevimon, and Sakuyamon. As such, I believe that [BT6-044] Dynasmon will not dethrone Lordknightmon off the yellow meta just yet.

That said, I feel that the combination of effects that Dynasmon has (trash stockpiling, searching, and security stalling) hints at the potential introduction of another card: Lucemon Falldown Mode. So until we know that as a fact, Dynasmon is expected to remain as an underdog.

Score: 4/10 (may be higher with Lucemon synergy)

Black becomes more technical

A defensive, blocker-centric black is pretty much a thing of the past, with the vast variety of card effects that will remove or delete Digimons without ever attacking, and <de-digivolve> effects being less potent since it usually works into the opponent’s advantage. 

With this, I think black Digimons will now have an exclusive access to blanket effects that targets based on Digimon’s play cost. 

[BT6-067] Gankoomon has a [When Digivolving] effect that deletes all your opponent’s Digimon with the lowest play cost, which can be used in many ways. 
1) Delete a large swarm of rookie Digimons that has the same play cost (usually play cost of 2). 
2) Delete a single large Digimon when opponent only has 1 Digimon in the battle area.

The goal of effects like Gankoomon is to maximize the deletion value by managing the play-cost numbers on your opponent’s board, using cards like [BT6-064] Mamemon to eliminate the odds.

Score: 7/10 (black to get play-cost based board control on steroids) 

Skullgreymon

Another unassuming card, [BT6-078] Skullgreymon has a unique effect that, when trashed from hand, allows him to be attached and used as a digivolution card on one of your purple Digimon. While one might, on first impression, think that he would synergize well with [BT2-083] Millenniummon, we would like to remind that Millenniummon is not a purple Digimon.

Besides, SkullGreymon behaves like counter-attack for purple during the right times. When we trash this card by another effect, we can put this card under a LV3 or LV4 digimon to destroy an opponent’s powerful Digimon (without extra cost) to give one of your Digimon the [Retaliation] effect. SkullGreymon can be much more flexible compared to the BT-02 “Retaliation” Devimon.

Score: 8/10 

Eosmon

The LV5 [BT6-085] Eosmon breaks the mold of deck-building by allowing up to 50 copies of itself in one’s deck, and the LV4 [BT6-083] Eosmon allows the player to play a 4-cost white tamer card without paying it’s cost. Since there is currently no white tamer cards that will synergize with Eosmon, I believe that this set will inevitably introduce [Menoa Bellucci] as it’s white tamer. 

I guess we will not know of Eosmon’s full potential until it’s full lineup is revealed.

Score: ?/10.

Predictions

At the time of this writeup, 3 SR and 2 SEC cards remain unknown. Below are some of my speculations.

Full Royal Knight lineup unlikely to be unveiled: while we have [Sistermon] providing buff to the [Royal Knight] type, it is unlikely for BT-06 to unveil all members of the remaining Royal Knights, which include Examon, Magnamon, and Alphamon. I believe that while Examon and Magnamon might not be revealed yet, but Alphamon has been heavily hinted to be revealed soon (from card erratas). Alphamon may be one of the SEC cards of BT-06.

Lucemon Falldown Mode: The LV3 Lucemon has been revealed back in BT-04, with no follow-ups along his digivolution line. With both Lordknightmon and Dynasmon revealed, it is very likely for Lucemon Falldown Mode to also be revealed in this set (since the next EX-01 set may not be a suitable landing for Lucemon). Also, since 2 SR cards has already been revealed for purple, it is likely for Bandai to introduce Lucemon Falldown Mode as a SEC card for BT-06.

Summary

I feel that aside from the LV7 Agumon and Gabumon duo, there is not much going for in this set as compared to the previous BT-05. 

Many cards here are less exciting, and exist only to complement or add variety to the already existing engines in the current meta, and my opinion is that Bandai acknowledges this as a fact by bundling it with alternate-art box-topper cards from a card popularity poll.

If Alphamon and Lucemon Falldown Mode is indeed introduced in this set, there is still no guarantee that they will provide meta-defining effects out-of-the-box (since SEC cards can be usually quite unplayable in it’s immediate meta). Nevertheless, it seems that the presence of either or both of these cards will be needed to at least give BT-06 a proper dose of excitement.

Score: 6/10

 
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