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Digimon Card Game – which modern Starter Deck is best? 

This will be a different kind of “Should You Buy?” article, written in response to a recurring question that I’ve seen in the Digimon TCG subreddit, as well as the announcement of ST14 being an Advanced Deck. So, here’s the situation that I keep hearing about –  a person walks into their local store and sees the following decks available: Gallantmon, UlForceVeedramon, Imperialdramon, and Mastemon. They are curious about the Digimon Card Game, but they have limited money. What should they do? 

First, here’s the usual advice regarding Starter Decks; whatever deck you buy, double it! This advice will not change regardless of what deck you want in the end. Bandai has designed things this way so that you can only get playsets of every card by buying two copies of the deck. Often, these cards are so good that buying them as singles online costs roughly as much as buying another deck.  

Image Credit: Redditor u/BookzNBrewz

Back to the situation: four decks, limited money. What to do? This is where personal preference and different playstyles matter a lot. How? Let’s look at each of these decks and find out. The Gallantmon deck (ST7) is probably the easiest deck out of these for a beginner to handle. This deck focuses on deleting the opponent’s Digimon and benefiting from it. It does one thing and does it well. 

The UlForceVeedramon deck (ST8) is a little more complex but still new-player-friendly. It has a grab bag of effects (extra security effects, drawing more cards, attacking multiple times, etc.) loosely tied to having 8 cards in hand. It does a lot of things, but the things it does aren’t very hard to understand.  

best Digimon Starter Deck

These two decks are fairly evenly matched against each other. They are very good for players who are just learning the game. If you’re brand new to the Digimon Card Game (or TCGs in general) and see a choice between either of these decks and ST9/10, pick these.

What About the Other Two? 

What about ST9/10 anyway? In my mind, these aren’t really Starter Decks. Instead, I would consider them the first “Advanced” Decks, meant to be handled by experienced TCG players (Digimon or otherwise). DNA Evolution is complex as a mechanic. I wouldn’t expect a beginner to the Digimon Card Game, let alone a beginner to TCGs, to be able to use it flawlessly. If you’ve ever played Yu-Gi-Oh!, you will probably be fine. 

That being said, Ultimate Ancient Dragon (ST9) is stupidly good by itself. Get two copies and it’s competitive out of the box. It’ll slaughter ST7/8 and, while Parallel World Tactician (ST10) can hold its own, it’s not as good. If you want to get into competitive play as soon as possible, ST9 is your deck. It really is that strong.

best Digimon Starter Deck

In theory, Mastemon (ST10) is the counterpart to  Imperialdramon (ST9). It’s a good deck by itself. The Gatomon, in particular, is phenomenal if you plan on running any type of Angel deck. But it’s not a great deck. Specifically, it needs several very rare, expensive cards to become competitive. If you’re just playing for fun or at locals, this deck is fine. It’s still the best “Starter” Deck to pit against ST9 if you don’t want a mirror match. And if you do rummage up the funds to get the high-end cards, it can be pretty good! 

In the situation where you have four “modern” Starter Decks to choose from, there is no single “best” deck for every player. While it’s tempting to say “get ST9 because it’s competitive,” it’s also complex enough to potentially put new players off. Also, not everybody is playing to be competitive, and the metagame changes so often that what is competitive now might not be so in the next set. 

Here are the Starter Decks in terms of being newbie-friendly: 

  1. Gallantmon (ST7)
  2. UlForceVeedramon (ST8) 
  3. Imperialdramon (ST9)
  4. Mastemon (ST10)

And here they are in terms of being “meta”: 

  1. Imperialdramon (ST9)
  2. Mastemon (ST10) (with lots of money) 
  3. Gallantmon (ST7) (switch to #2 with less money) 
  4. UlForceVeedramon (ST8) 

Aren’t those lists different? Nothing has changed except player priorities.  

In my mind, out of the decks above, only ST7 and ST8 are simple enough to be considered “Starter Decks.” ST9 and ST10 are so complex and powerful in comparison that they should probably be considered the first Advanced Decks. While there is no best answer to “what Starter Deck should I get?”, I’ve tried to make your decision a little easier based on what you want out of the game. And of course, whatever Starter Deck you wind up picking, don’t forget to buy two copies for a playset of every card! 

To keep up to date with all the latest news and information on all future Digimon Card Game sets, make sure you follow Ludkins Media on  Instagram and Facebook.

Cereza – Ludkins Media Guest Writer

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