Digimon Card Game Diary: 2 Weeks of Playing and Collecting

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While the Digimon card game was released in Japan on April 24, 2020 and arrived in North America months later in January 2021, I only recently discovered the game and am now completely hooked. Thanks to the combination of factors, including 90s anime nostalgia, a personal fondness for the franchise’s ever-expanding canon through games and animation, and refreshing gameplay mechanics, the card game Digimon has captured my full attention, as well as the bulk of my monthly hobby and amusement fund.

First day: the journey begins

On March 12, I began my descent into the Digimon Card Game. Guided by Dorkaholics co-founder Chris Im, he encouraged me to purchase an UlforceVeedramon starter deck featuring one of my favorite monsters from the animated series, Veemon.

And since we had traveled to the Frank & Son Collectible Show, I took my time browsing each aisle for window shopping as well as price comparisons.

Even in 2022, with the convenience of online shopping and fast delivery, to me, nothing beats being able to see things in person instantly or without any delay to have your purchases as soon as you pay for them.

Having played other collectible card games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, I knew I would have to purchase additional boosters in order to improve the competitiveness of the starter deck. I decided to work on building a deck incorporating Veemon’s more recognized Mega Digivolution, Imperialdramon. Doing a quick Google search and consulting with Chris, it was clear that the BT01-03: Release Special Booster Ver.1.5 set would contain many of the cards I would need, among other Veemons, ExVeemon, Paildramon and Imperialdramon Dragon Mode.

While prices varied between Frank & Son stores that sold Digimon Card Game products, I was able to find a 24-pack booster box for Ver. 1.5 set at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $65 at Overdose Gaming, where I purchased my starter deck earlier today.

Back at Chris’s house later that day, we played a few games of Digimon, where my UlforceVeedramon deck pitted against his upgraded Gallantmon deck. And unfortunately, I was still getting used to the mechanics of the game and failed to score any wins, sowing in me a deep desire to improve my deck and deepen my understanding of the game through the research.

Expenses:

  1. ST-8: UlforceVeedramon Starter Deck, $15
  2. BT01-03: Special Booster Release Ver. $1.5, $65

Total spent: $80

Day 4: Evolving my Veemon deck

On March 15, I had spent the last two days looking at decklists posted online that tracked a similar Imperialdramon/UlforceVeedramon combo that I was chasing. Upon coming across a YouTube video titled “Undefeated ImperialDramon UlforceVeedramon Deck Profile”, I decided to purchase a second starter deck so I would have some of the extra copies of cards I needed.

However, Frank & Son was closed, so I decided to spend my lunch going to the next nearby card shop in my area, CoreTCG in Pasadena. Once there, I also asked about the individual cards for sale and they directed me to their website. Not only could I easily place orders online, but I could also order from their store and a warehouse worker would review the cards once the order was placed. At the time they only had single cards for the first 3 sets so I took the time to buy the Paildramon and Imperialdramon cards I needed in my deck for a complete playset of 4 copies per card .

Expenses:

  1. ST-8: UlforceVeedramon Starter Deck, $15
  2. 3 Paildramon and 3 Imperialdramon, $27

Total spent: $122

Day Six: Omnimon’s Rise to Victory

On March 17, Chris invited me to join his friends for a Digimon game night, to which I gladly said yes. With the possibility of opening boxes while streaming, I decided to buy a box of Battle of Omni (BT-05) from CoreTCG. We didn’t end up airing that night, but I had some really good draws: 2 BT5-086 Omnimons and 2 BT5-087 Omnimon Zwarts (including alternate art versions of both). Luckily for me, these 2 Omnimon were an indispensable part of the UlforceVeedramon/Imperialdramon deck I was building, which led to my very first Digimon card game victory.

Expenses:

  1. BT05: Omni Battle, $65

Total spent: $187

Day 9: We can’t get enough

On March 20, Chris and I decided to work together at a coffee shop and play Digimon later in the evening. At this point, with the added abundance of BT05: Battle of Omni, I decided to turn my UlforceVeedramon/Imperialdramon deck into two separate decks that featured these Mega Digivolutions separately. So when I met Chris I was carrying an Imperialdramon deck and an UlforceVeedramon deck. When we decided to move into a card store to play, it was only natural for us to succumb to the temptation to buy more cards. While Chris continued to buy a box, I decided to grab 3 boosters for $11, a small bargain with the highlight being BT4-091: Chaosmon: Valdur Arm.

Expenses:

  1. 3 boosters, $11

Total spent: $198

Twelfth day: treat yourself

On March 23, realizing that I was going crazy with the desire to open packs, I decided to buy another box of 1.5 and offered to open a single pack on days when I felt like I had to open one. Since then my best result out of 2 boosters so far has been a second BT3-019 RagnaLoardmon. Now that I had two decks, a pure blue (UlforceVeedramon) and a blue/green (Imperialdramon), I felt like building more decks and a black/red RagnaLoardmon is next on the list. Either that or a Blue Hybrid deck to utilize the latest BT-07: Next Adventure[4] set of cards.

Expenses:

  1. BT01-03: Special Booster Release Ver. $1.5, $65

Total spent: $263

Fourteenth day: doing splitsies

On March 25, Chris and I planned to meet, have dinner, build furniture, and play more Digimon. After meeting, we decided to return to his home. However, he had to go to his mother’s, which gave me an extra 20 minutes of waiting. Instead of waiting, I ran into the siren of a nearby card store open late for Friday Night Magic and called Chris to ask if he would share another booster box with me. When I was financially dead, he agreed, and I took the plunge and bought BT07: Next Adventure, which sold for the full price of $80. My jumpers for the night included a full set of Frontier Tamers and many Blue Hybrid Digimon that I would need for a Blue Hybrid deck.

Expenses:

  1. BT07 Split: Next Adventure, $43

Total spent: $306

Conclusion: The Digimon Card Game Is Here To Stay

For a new hobby that I can’t see myself quitting anytime soon, spending over $300 doesn’t sound too bad. Of course, the faulty logic of assuming that any returns in the form of “good draws” should only be considered once those cards have been sold, but chasing after valuable cards as a collector is also part of the thrill and excitement of any collectible card game. . That being said, there are additional costs that I haven’t factored in, including:

  • a playmat for fighting
  • card holder to protect the card
  • deck boxes to transport my cards safely
  • a binder to hold rare cards that I can sell or trade
  • a storage box to store my common and unusual cards

I will definitely continue to play the Digimon card game and hopefully cut down on expenses. But I also see this card game continuing to grow in popularity, as despite being relatively early in its existence, the new card game being introduced does not have significant power creep (a process that occurs sometimes in games where new content (in this case, maps) slowly outweighs the power of previous alternatives). Simply put, new maps that are released do not automatically render old maps useless. Having started my journey over a year after the card game hit North America, the old cards I started with still feel competitive against other decks using newer mechanics like Frontier’s Tamers and Hybrid Digimon or Saver’s Digi-Burst. And the affordability of buying cards either individually ($0.25 for commons, $0.50 for uncommons) or per box (usually $65 for a box of 24 booster packs that will guarantee 288 cards), means I can start building new decks or improving existing ones for a reasonable price.

Stay tuned for my next Digimon Card Game Diary!

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