While the Digimon Card Game was released in Japan on April 24, 2020 and arrived in North America months later in January 2021, I’ve only recently discovered the game and am now completely hooked. Through the combination of factors including 90s anime nostalgia, a personal fondness for the ever expanding canon of the franchise across games and animation, as well as refreshing play mechanics, the Digimon Card Game has captured my full and undivided attention, along with the bulk of my monthly hobbies and fun fund.
Day One: The Journey Begins
March 12, I began my descent into the Digimon Card Game. Guided by Dorkaholics cofounder Chris Im, he encouraged me to purchase an UlforceVeedramon Starter Deck featuring one of my favorite monsters from the anime series, Veemon.
And since we had traveled to the Frank & Son Collectible Show, I took my time to walk up and down each aisle for some window shopping as well as price comparisons.
Even in 2022 with the convenience of online shopping and quick delivery, for me, nothing beats being able to see things in-person as well instantaneously or without any delay in having your purchases as soon as you pay for them.
Having played other trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, I knew I would have to purchase additional booster packs in order to enhance the competitiveness of the starter deck. I decided that I would work towards building a deck that incorporated 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 have many of the cards I would need, from additional Veemons, ExVeemon, Paildramon, and Imperialdramon Dragon Mode.
While prices varied between the shops at Frank & Son that sold Digimon Card Game products, I was able to find a booster box of 24 packs for the Ver. 1.5 set at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $65 from Overdose Gaming, where I purchased my starter deck earlier in the day.
Arriving back at Chris’s house later that day, we played a few games of Digimon, where my UlforceVeedramon deck went up against his enhanced Gallantmon deck. And unfortunately, I was still getting used to the game mechanics and failed to score any wins, planting within me a deep desire to tune up my deck and deepen my understanding of the game through research.
Total Spent: $80
Day Four: Evolving My Veemon Deck
March 15, I had spent the past two days looking into decklists posted online that followed a similar Imperialdramon/UlforceVeedramon combo as I was pursuing. Coming across a YouTube video titled ‘Undefeated ImperialDramon UlforceVeedramon Deck Profile’, I decided to purchase a second starter deck in order to have some of the additional copies of cards I needed.
However, Frank & Son was closed so I decided to spend my lunch driving out to the next nearby card shop in my area, CoreTCG in Pasadena. Once I was there, I also asked about single cards for sale and they directed me to their website. Not only could I conveniently place orders online, but I could also order while in their store and a worker in the warehouse would run the cards over once the order was placed. At the time, they only had single cards for the first 3 sets so I took the time to purchase the Paildramon and Imperialdramon cards I needed in my deck for a complete playset of 4 copies per card.
- ST-8: Starter Deck UlforceVeedramon, $15
- 3 Paildramon and 3 Imperialdramon, $27
Total Spent: $122
Day Six: Omnimon’s Arrival to Victory
March 17, Chris invited me to join his friends for a night of playing Digimon, which I gladly said yes to. With the possibility of opening boxes on stream, I decided to purchase a box of Battle of Omni (BT-05) at CoreTCG. We did not end up going on stream that night, but I had some great pulls: 2 BT5-086 Omnimons and 2 BT5-087 Omnimon Zwarts (including alternate art versions of both). Luckily for me, those 2 Omnimon were a much needed part of the UlforceVeedramon/Imperialdramon deck I was building, which led to my very first Digimon Card Game win.
- BT05: Battle of Omni, $65
Total Spent: $187
Day Nine: We Can’t Get Enough
March 20, Chris and I decided to work together at a coffee shop and later play more Digimon in the evening. By 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 up with Chris, I was carrying an Imperialdramon deck and an UlforceVeedramon deck. When we decided to relocate to a card shop to play, it was only natural for us to succumb to the temptation of purchasing more cards. While Chris went all on in purchasing a box, I decided to grab 3 boosters for $11, a slight deal with the highlight pull being BT4-091: Chaosmon: Valdur Arm.
- 3 Boosters, $11
Total Spent: $198
Day Twelve: Treat Yourself
March 23, realizing I was going crazy with the desire to open packs, I decided to purchase another box of 1.5 and treat myself to opening just 1 pack on those days I felt I just had to open one. Since then, my best pull out of 2 boosters so far has been a second BT3-019 RagnaLoardmon. Now that I had two decks, one pure blue (UlforceVeedramon) and one blue/green (Imperialdramon), I was getting the urge to build 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 set of cards.
Total Spent: $263
Day Fourteen: Going Splitsies
March 25, Chris and I made plans to meet up, have dinner, build furniture and play more Digimon. After meeting up, we decided to go back to his house. However, he needed to stop by his mother’s, which would give me an additional 20 minutes of waiting. Instead of waiting, I fell for the siren call of a nearby card shop open late for Friday Night Magic and called Chris asking if he would split another booster box with me. To my financial demise, he accepted and I took the plunge in purchasing BT07: Next Adventure, which was being sold at a premium for $80. My pulls for the night included a full set of the Frontier Tamers and many of the blue hybrid Digimon I would need for a Blue Hybrid deck.
- Splitting BT07: Next Adventure, $43
Total Spent: $306
Conclusion: Digimon Card Game is Here to Stay
For a new hobby that I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon, spending over $300 doesn’t sound so bad. Sure, the faulty logic of assuming any returns in the form of “good pulls” should only be taken in once those cards have been sold, but chasing after valuable cards as a collector is also part of the thrill and excitement of any trading card game. That being said, there are additional costs that I haven’t factored in including:
- a playmat for battling on
- card sleeves to protect the card
- deck boxes to safely carry my cards around
- a binder to hold rare cards that I may sell or trade
- a storage box to hold my common and uncommon cards
I’m certainly going to continue playing the Digimon Card Game and hopefully ease up on the spending. But I also see this card game continuing to grow in popularity, seeing that despite being relatively early in its existence, the new set of cards that are introduced don’t have a significant power creep (a process that sometimes occurs in games where new content (in this case cards) slowly outstrip the power of previous alternatives). In layman’s terms, the new cards that are released don’t automatically make old cards feel useless. Having begun my journey over a year after the card game reached North America, the older 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 purchasing cards either as individuals ($0.25 for commons, $0.50 for uncommons) or by the box (usually $65 for a box of 24 boosters 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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