Japanese card shop Duel Guard leaked the release date and names for three new Starter Decks launching on November 27th: Giga Green, Venom Violet, and Mugen Black. Each deck will retail for 500 yen before tax. Each deck will contain 16 kinds of cards, similar to the first three: 7 Commons, 5 Uncommons, 3 Rares, and 1 Super Rare.

Duel Guard is an officially licensed shop in Chuuoumachi, Niigata prefecture. They leaked the news in order to begin taking preorders at their store. Their post was corroborated by Card Land Akihabara, which is also taking preorders for the decks. Similar to the situation with Booster Set 3—which is currently up for preorder on Amazon Japan—Bandai has not officially confirmed or denied the existence of the Starter Decks. The timing of the decks would place them roughly a month after UNION IMPACT is supposed to launch in Japan.

Japanese fans are treating the leak as real, and speculating based on the names that the cover cards will be new prints of Herakle Kabuterimon, Venom Vamdemon, and Mugendramon.

…Not this time, anyway!

In mid-May, right as BT01 was launching, I moved into a new house. AT&T was supposed to handle the internet installation, but found damage to the fiber line. They finally sent a repair crew out in early June; they never repaired the line, and I’m currently staring down a big hole in the yard. After two months of calling and calling-back with AT&T and their subcontractors, I did the sensible thing and dialed up Xfinity. I had to settle for cable internet, but it was installed the very next day.

(Even so, I don’t actually recommend them. But if you have limited choices, try researching the prices and plans ahead of time and say exactly what you want when you call.)

That’s two months of card reveals, news, and tournament results I need to make up lost ground on. In that time, Bandai has put out an Asian-English “translation” page for the TCG targeted at South East Asia. Unfortunately there are numerous inconsistencies and obvious errors, like the rulebook referring to Rest as Rest and Active as Active while card effects call them “suspended” and “unsuspended”, keywords like michizure being left completely blank in translation, every card having “Digivoluve” printed in the effects section, inconsistent use of “Trash” and “Recycle Bin” for the area discards go to, among other issues. I’m not going to treat these as official English translations. There appears to have been copious use of machine translation and a lack of quality checking going on behind the scenes.

Well, BT2 is up.

Some notes about recent translation choices on-site:

  • 道連れ (michizure) – Fatal Bond: The keyword Purple Digimon use to destroy the Digimon that destroyed them in battle, meaning “to force someone along unwillingly.” Some dictionaries call it “fellow traveler,” but that’s a loaded word in English because it’s used for Nazi sympathizers that were willing but informal members of their regimes. (e.g. Leni Riefenstahl.) I considered more indirect localizations like “Dead Hand” or “M.A.D.” but settled on “Fatal Bond” to get the “connection between destroyer and destroyed” across in a way that would be intuitive. Incidentally, Pokémon translates michizure as “Destiny Bond.” (And their first use of this word is also in a TCG…)
  • 退化 (taika) – Degenerate: The keyword Black Digimon use to remove the top card of an opposing Digimon’s stack, effectively devolving it. “Degenerate” is an official English translation from the DS Digimon Story games, where taika is used in Japanese. (It is also the literal meaning of taika, to regress to a previous state.) Due to the wonders of the English language, I suspect at some point we’ll start wondering if “degenerate” is degenerate.
  • 再起動 (saikidou) – Reboot: The keyword Black Digimon use to Activate at the start of the opponent’s turn. I know this word has some trauma associated with it for Digimon fans, but saikidou is the same word you would use when asking a Boomer if they’ve tried rebooting their computer, so it’s an appropriate translation.
  • 吸収進化 (kyuushuu shinka) – Absorb Evolution: A keyword exclusive to the Algomon line for now, this indicates Resting one of your other Digimon to reduce Algomon’s evolution cost. This translation is literal. Algomon is one of the initial antagonists in the 2020 Adventure anime, first manifesting as a swarm of smaller Algomon that absorb data from cyberspace, causing electronics in the real world to go haywire. (Yes, this plot is deliberately evocative of the two Diablomon theatrical films, where Kuramon absorbed data to evolve into higher forms. You really should start watching the new series if you haven’t already.)

That should cover it. Back to work.

—Touya

From the official Japanese Twitter account, an alternate artwork of the V-dramon Secret Rare from Booster 1: NEW EVOLUTION. V-dramon was originally created for the 1998 manga Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01, as were his evolutions Aero V-dramon and Ulforce V-dramon. This alternate artwork is based on an iconic scene from volume 1 chapter 7 of the manga, where under Taichi‘s instructions Zeromaru the V-dramon defeats the Perfect-level Triceramon by first weakening his outer armor with a V-Breath Arrow straight to the mouth, then punches through to finish him off.

Card NumberBT1-115Level4
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost6
ColorBlueEvolution Cost3
Digimon TypeMythical DragonDP6000
AttributeVaccineRaritySecret Rare
StageAdultArtistsasasi
Main Effect[When attacking] [Once per turn] When you have a Tamer, Activate this Digimon.
Source Effect[During both turns] While you have a Blue Tamer, this Digimon gets +1000 DP.

Booster 1 launches in Japan on May 15th, 2020.

From the official Japanese Twitter account, one of two Secret Rares in BT1: NEW EVOLUTION. This Virus-attribute Metal Greymon is actually the original design created for the 1997 virtual pets; the orange Vaccine-attribute one that appeared in Digimon Adventure was created for the anime. The alternate artwork revealed today reuses the artwork and card layout from the Metal Greymon printed in the first booster set of the 1999 Digital Monster Card Game, which in Japan was actually a well-designed and popular TCG.

Card NumberBT1-114Level5
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost8
ColorRedEvolution Cost3
Digimon TypeCyborgDP9000
AttributeVirusRaritySecret Rare
StagePerfectArtistNaochika Morishita
Main Effect<<Security Attack +2>> (Increase the number of Security this Digimon checks by +2.)
[When it attacks] Memory -5.
Source Effect[During your turn] This Digimon gets +3000 DP.

Uniquely, this card has a flavor text, also copied from its 1999 incarnation: “The strongest metal evolution! Fire the missiles!”

Booster 1 launches in Japan on May 15th, 2020.

The fifteenth episode of Bandai’s FUN! DigiCa YouTube series pits hosts Hideyoshi and Cody against each other in an unusually short remote match, using decks made from doubled-up Starter Decks with assorted promotional cards. The match highlights the importance of low-level Digimon to the game—a lack of Level 3s early on results in Hideyoshi struggling as Cody sets up an extremely threatening War Greymon.

Cody’s deck

Hideyoshi’s deck

From the official Japanese Twitter account. This beetle Digimon first appeared in 1998 as one of three Ultimate-level Digimon in the Pendulum 1.0: Nature Spirits virtual pet, and for many years thereafter was treated as Tentomon’s natural Level 6 both in various trading cards and video games. Although named after the Hercules Beetle, Herakle Kabuterimon’s horns combine elements of the Stag and Hercules Beetles to create an imaginary “ultimate” beetle.

Card NumberBT1-081Level6
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost12
ColorGreenEvolution Cost3
Digimon TypeInsectDP10000
AttributeVaccineRaritySuper Rare
StageUltimateArtistNakano Haito
Main Effect<<Piercing>> (During the battle this Digimon attacked, when it destroys an opponent’s Digimon, it checks Security.)
[At the end of its attack] [Twice per turn] By getting -3 Memory, you may make this Digimon Active.
Source Effect

Booster 1 launches in Japan on May 15th, 2020.

On the fourteenth episode of Bandai’s FUN! DigiCa YouTube series, hosts Hideyoshi and Cody revealed six alternate artwork prints of Booster 1: NEW EVOLUTION‘s Super Rares, alongside the set’s two Secret Rares: a V-dramon and a Virus Metal Greymon. Both Digimon are particularly evocative for old school Digimon fans, as the viral Metal Greymon was an early franchise mascot used in the 1990s virtual pets and original Digimon World video game, while V-dramon starred in the Digimon V-Tamer 01 manga and served as a mascot for Digimon World 2.

The set’s alternate artwork cards cut away the borders of the frame so that the card artwork encompasses the entire space of the card. Their distribution rate was not stated, but they are likely rarer than the standard Super Rares.

Metal Greymon

Card NumberBT1-114Level5
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost8
ColorRedEvolution Cost3
Digimon TypeCyborgDP9000
AttributeVirusRaritySecret Rare
StagePerfectArtistNaochika Morishita
Main Effect<<Security Attack +2>> (Increase the number of Security this Digimon checks by +2.)
[When it attacks] Memory -5.
Source Effect[During your turn] This Digimon gets +3000 DP.

V-dramon

Card NumberBT1-115Level4
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost6
ColorBlueEvolution Cost3
Digimon TypeMythical DragonDP6000
AttributeVaccineRaritySecret Rare
StageAdultArtistsasasi
Main Effect[When it attacks] [Once per turn] If you have a Tamer, make this Digimon Active.
Source Effect[During both turns] While you have a Blue Tamer, this Digimon gets +1000 DP.

Of note is that V-dramon can also be used for the effect of the V-Tamer 01 Yagami Taichi promotional card, out in the next issue of V Jump magazine. V-Tamer 01 will be having a special crossover manga chapter with the 2020 Digimon Adventure: anime reboot, though the anime is currently on hiatus as a result of Coronavirus closures.

From the official Japanese Twitter account, the final Super Rare of BT-01: NEW EVOLUTION. Holy Angemon was originally created for a 1998 chapter of the Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 manga, and a redesigned version later appeared in the 1999 Digital Monster Card Game, before being reused in the original Digimon Adventure anime as Patamon’s Perfect-level form.

Card NumberBT1-060Level5
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost7
ColorYellowEvolution Cost3
Digimon TypeArchangelDP6000
AttributeVaccineRaritySuper Rare
StagePerfectArtistAs’Maria

Booster 1 will launch in Japan on May 15th, 2020.

From the official Japanese Twitter account, Lilymon’s signature move previously revealed on FUN! DigiCa.

Card NumberBT1-110Level
Card TypeOptionPlay Cost2
ColorGreenEvolution Cost
Digimon TypeDP
AttributeRarityRare
StageArtistTSCR
Main Effect[Main] Rest 1 of your opponent’s Digimon.
Source Effect[Security] Rest all of your opponent’s Digimon that do not have <<Blocker>>.

Booster 1 launches in Japan on May 15th, 2020.