A lot of new players to the Digimon TCG ask the following question: what’s the best way to get the cards I need? Should I buy individual packs, boxes/cases, or single cards off the internet? I’m going to break down the pros and cons of every buying method so that you can pick the route that’s best for you.
Disclaimer – Please note that the prices mentioned in this article reflect the time of writing and are subject to change.
Individual packs are not bargains in any sense. You might see people posting, “I got this super-rare card from a pack in Target!” and think that it will happen to you. But the whole reason this event is fun is because it is rare. It’s good to buy individual packs as a way of telling Bandai and the retailer “please keep stocking this game,” but it’s not ideal for making a specific deck.
So the next question is, is it better to invest in booster boxes or use that money to buy singles? Well, that kind of depends on your goals. Normally, a sealed box of Digimon packs contains 24 packs with guaranteed foil ratios and a “box-topper” promo card. Sometimes, this is an alternate art reprint of a card from the set; other times, it is an unrelated promo from, say, the V-Tamer manga. The box-toppers that are shiny alt-arts tend to be semi-precious, especially if they’re alts of a Tamer that’s great in the game!
Sometimes, that box-topper alone will make you want to buy a box or two. If you’re planning on making a deck out of a chunk of the cards in the set (not just one colour—think two colours), and have a bunch of friends to trade with in case you pull stuff you’re not going to use, it’s probably worth buying a box. If you’re looking to collect all of an EX set (those are smaller sets, but have the same amount of cards per pack), you’ll probably get most of what you need in a single booster box, saving you from buying several singles to complete the set.
I Just Got A Starter Deck. How Do I Upgrade?
I’m going to describe a hypothetical situation: I have two copies of Starter Deck 7 (Gallantmon), and have made them into a single deck with certain cards in copies of 4. I see that EX2 Digital Hazard has a bunch of stuff that would help that deck. As of July 10, 2022, these are the TCGPlayer prices (minus shipping) for most of the stuff I’d need so that I’d have playsets to augment my deck:
EX2-056 Takato Matsuki x 4 = $1.20
EX2-001 Gigimon x 4 = $0.60
EX2-008 Guilmon x 4 = $1.00
EX2-009 Growlmon x 4 =$0.20
EX2-010 WarGrowlmon x 4 =$0.72
EX2-011 Gallantmon x 4 = $14
EX2-073 Gallantmon Crimson Mode x1 = ~ $45 (Note: this is the rough average between regular and alt art Gallantmon Crimson Mode.) Since decks usually don’t max Crimson Mode, I should be fine with 1 or 2 copies.
Crimson Mode aside, I would be better off getting singles instead of a box if buffing my combined Starter was my only goal. But if I did want Crimson Mode, I’d not only have a decent chance of getting that, but might be able to trade for things I didn’t already have. It’s pretty likely that I’d get a full set of the commons and uncommons, and I’d probably be able to trade for whatever Rares or SRs I needed. If I wanted zero uncertainty and/or didn’t have a lot of people to trade with, I’d go with singles all the way.
Boxes, Packs, or Singles – What Should I Do?
First of all, if you’re a new player looking to build a deck entirely out of packs, random packs from Target/Wal-Mart are the worst way to go. If you’re just buying packs for fun, go ahead and grab one with the rest of your groceries; it lets Bandai and the retailer know that you support the product, and that can be key in areas with poor game shop distribution.
That will leave you with booster boxes or singles. If you’re a collector, go with at least one box; you’ll get most of the commons and rares you need, along with some guaranteed binder candy. From there, weigh the odds, see what you have left, and adjust accordingly. If you’re a player, and you know what you want/need for a deck, you can probably get away with singles unless you think it’s worth gambling on high-end stuff.
Should you buy a box if you plan to collect a set? At least one. What if there are decks that you like in a set? Probably, especially if you have a bunch of people to trade with. But if you want to squeeze every penny and get exactly what you need, singles are the better route to go. Just don’t let shipping bite you!
Cereza – Ludkins Media Guest Writer