Digimon Card Game’s Starter Decks: A Digi-Delight!

Bandai’s newest iteration of the Digimon Card Game has finally reached stores in the United States! While the cards are in extremely short supply due to product distribution issues, we have managed to procure two starter decks (out of three). Unfortunately, we couldn’t get our paws on Gaia Red, the most popular of the three decks, but Cocytus Blue and Heaven’s Yellow are in our possession, which means – lucky you – that you get to reap the rewards of our review!

The Cocytus Blue and Heaven's Yellow starter decks from the Digimon Card Game by Bandai. Not pictured: Gaia Red.The Cocytus Blue and Heaven's Yellow starter decks from the Digimon Card Game by Bandai. Not pictured: Gaia Red.
The Cocytus Blue and Heaven’s Yellow starter decks from the Digimon Card Game by Bandai. Not pictured: Gaia Red.

This game, as mentioned in a previous article on the speculated rules of the Digimon Card Game, uses the “memory gauge” system of game flow. Put simply, a game starts with a gauge set at zero. The turn passes to the next player when they have any memory above zero, at which point they’ll use cards with memory costs to bring that number down to a memory of negative one or lower, in order to progress to the next turn. It sounds pretty complex, but having played the game a bit we can say it’s also quite fun.

Explanations of each card type on the back of the Heaven's Yellow starter deck's packaging.Explanations of each card type on the back of the Heaven's Yellow starter deck's packaging.
Explanations of each card type on the back of the Heaven’s Yellow starter deck’s packaging.

The game is so popular right now in Japan (and under the wing of a not-so-niche following in the States) that Bandai has issued a number of disclaimers on the packaging for the starter decks, as can be seen below:

Various product disclaimers for the Digimon Card Game, issued by Bandai, here seen on the Cocytus Blue starter deck's packaging.Various product disclaimers for the Digimon Card Game, issued by Bandai, here seen on the Cocytus Blue starter deck's packaging.
Various product disclaimers for the Digimon Card Game, issued by Bandai, here seen on the Cocytus Blue starter deck’s packaging.

As for the decks themselves, we have been informed that while Cocytus Blue is strong and straightforward to learn and expand straight out of the box, Heaven’s Yellow is lacking and needs additional support in future sets in order to function well. While that’s a bit of a bummer, it provides a lesson for Bandai to learn from and overcome. After all, this is just the first set of the overall game.

Each Digimon Card Game starter deck in the 1.0 release comes with a booster pack, too!Each Digimon Card Game starter deck in the 1.0 release comes with a booster pack, too!
Each Digimon Card Game starter deck in the 1.0 release comes with a booster pack, too!

Have you gotten a chance to play the Digimon Card Game yet? What do you think of it so far? Let us know in the comments below!

About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.

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