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Mulligan and Side Deck announced – What does this mean for the Digimon TCG?

Over the weekend, Bandai announced that Mulligan and Side Decks will be introduced into competitive play, which will be first tested throughout March during the Digimon Card Game Fest events. If these newly modified rules prove themselves to be a success, then the rules could become standard for the game. 

Mulligan will allow players who draw an unplayable hand, to place their entire hand at the bottom of their deck and draw a fresh one. The Security cards are not affected at all and the deck doesn’t need to be shuffled after.  Players will be able to use a side deck of up to ten cards, built up of main deck and Digi-Egg cards. These cards allow you to swap out cards at the end of each game, which will allow you to adapt to an opponent’s deck. There is a three minute limit between games, so swapping out cards for your side deck will have to be done quickly. In fact, Judges can penalise a player if they take too much time to do their Side Deck substitutions. While having a Mulligan and Side Deck could be incredibly beneficial to players, there are some concerns about changing things up in this way. 

So, an obvious benefit of having Side Decks is that players get a chance to add cards after their first game to help them overcome a deck mechanic they struggled to combat. A big problem with this is that certain decks can be really targeted once a player gets wind of what their opponent is playing. For example, a player may not choose to have a card like Ultimate Flare in their main deck because they don’t know whether the high-cost card will come in handy. Once they realise they are playing against a Rookie Rush deck, for example, they could choose to swap in multiple for the second game to keep your opponent’s side of the field clear. 

Digimon Mulligan and Side Deck

On the other hand, Side Decks can just be a great way to plug any weak aspects of your deck when facing a specific archetype that goes against your initial setup. There is the argument that having a Side Deck will encourage deck construction to become less skilled, as currently, many players create decks that allow them to follow multiple lines of strategy depending on their opponent. With the opportunity to swap in cards that go against certain decks, then the pressures of diverse deck building will be eased. 

Having a Mulligan is a great thing to have, as it reduces the chance of players drawing bad hands, which gives them an instant disadvantage.  As there is no chance of keeping certain cards and swapping out others, like in the Dragon Ball Super CG, the Mulligan doesn’t really have any unfair aspect. In fact, putting your entire hand to the bottom of your deck can actually be quite risky, as it can mean you lose those cards for the rest of the game as the TCG lacks shuffling and search mechanics. 

Digimon Mulligan and Side Deck

Overall, I think having a Side Deck will make the game more about skill, rather than running into toxic decks that only serve to get the player some free wins by catching their opponent off guard. I also think Mulligan will be fantastic, as it will prevent players from losing a game solely because of an unlucky brick hand. 

The announcement of a Mulligan and Side Deck has had a mixed response within the community, with some player’s insisting the game doesn’t need these aspects added, while others are excited to be given options to avoid certain situations and decks that previously made it impossible to counter. It is yet to be seen whether these changes are here to stay and will rely heavily on their reception within the Digimon Card Game Fest events. Do you think having a permanent Mulligan and Side Deck is a good idea? Or do you worry that the Digimon TCG is going down the same route as other TCGs that are made worse by the option to draw a new hand or customise your deck between games?

If you would like to check out our latest Digimon Card Game articles, check out our links below – 

Digimon Card Game – New Hero top picks

Digimon Card Game – Most valuable cards from each set

Digimon Card Game – Next Adventure Box Toppers and Promos

An Interview with Koki – An artist of the Digimon Card Game

Digimon Card Game: Floral Fun Playmat and Card Set

To keep up to date with all the latest Digimon TCG news, make sure you follow us on  Instagram and Facebook.

Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media

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