Bandai announced today that an English localization of the 2020 Digimon Card Game will launch in January 2021, with a “special booster” that combines Booster Set 1: NEW EVOLUTION, Booster Set 2: ULTIMATE POWER, and Booster Set 3: UNION IMPACT into a single 187-card base set titled Special Booster 1.0.

Printing only 187 cards from those three sets leaves out 152 cards, which will be included in a follow-up Special Booster, 1.5. Bandai put out an official Facebook page for the game, along with a new “world.digimoncard.com” domain, different from the “en.digimoncard.com” domain used for the game’s Asian-English website.

Special Booster 1.0 booster packs have double the number of cards of a Japanese pack, with 12 cards in every pack. Booster boxes still contain 24 packs each, for a total of 288 cards per box. It has not been stated how many boxes are in one wholesale carton, but if it’s also 12 boxes as per the Japanese edition, then that’s 3,456 cards per carton—exactly double the number of cards in a Japanese carton. The price per pack is also doubled from the Japanese release, $3.99 before tax versus 180 yen.

The Starter Decks Gaia Red, Cocytus Blue, and Heaven’s Yellow will launch in English simultaneous to the Special Booster. A special prerelease sale will be held at select stores in November 2020 where all four products will be available ahead of their street date. An English version of the tutorial app is also in the works.

The Starter Decks do change the game’s recommended age rating—in Japan the decks are labeled for ages 9 and up, while in North America the decks are labeled for ages 6 and up.

The launch trailer for the English card game notably uses the name “Tai Kamiya” for Yagami Taichi, even though the official subtitles for the 2020 Digimon Adventure: anime use “Taichi Yagami”—the card game preserves a 20-year-old misreading of the 八神 kanji.

The 2020 anime reboot leaves Taichi’s name uncensored.

However, the Starter Deck names have gone unchanged, despite having dubbed equivalents—Gaia Red, Cocytus Blue, and Heaven’s Yellow are named after their respective Digimon’s attacks Gaia Force, Cocytus Breath, and Heaven’s Knuckle, which are normally dubbed as Terra Force, Metal Wolf Claw, and Hand of Fate.

As a translation of the Japanese game, the Digimon Card Network will continue to use the correct names.

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.

Following up from yesterday’s Agumon and Greymon reveal, today the official Twitter account published Booster ver 1.0: NEW EVOLUTION‘s prints of Gabumon and Garurumon. The new cards have been added to the card database.

Card NumberBT1-029Level3
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost3
ColorBlueEvolution Cost0
Digimon TypeReptileDP1000
AttributeDataRarityRare
StageChildArtistsasasi
Main Effect[When placed] <<Draw 1>> (Draw 1 card from your deck.)
Source Effect

Like the Booster 1 print of Agumon, Gabumon’s “When placed” effect will only resolve when the card is played directly to the Battle Area, not when evolving from a Level 2 Digimon.

Card NumberBT1-036Level4
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost6
ColorBlueEvolution Cost2
Digimon TypeBeastDP5000
AttributeVaccineRarityUncommon
StageAdultArtistsasasi
Main Effect[When placed] Make 1 of your Digimon Active.
Source Effect

Garurumon’s effect is not color-restricted, and can allow a Digimon to attack another time in a turn—but with a hefty 6 Memory cost attached, it’s hard to find a chance to use it without instantly ending your turn. One way around this would be to get multiple copies of Ishida Yamato in play, though even with two out you’d need the opponent to voluntarily give you 4 Memory before you could even think of putting Garuru down.

NEW EVOLUTION will launch in Japan on May 15th, 2020.

The official Japanese Digimon TCG Twitter account published high-quality images of two cards from the game’s first booster set, Booster ver 1.0: NEW EVOLUTION. While Greymon was previously known from the same product page reveal that gave us Kabuterimon, the BT1 print of Agumon is new. These cards have been added to the database.

Card NumberBT1-010Level3
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost3
ColorRedEvolution Cost0
Digimon TypeReptileDP2000
AttributeVaccineRarityRare
StageChildArtistTANIMESO
Main Effect[When placed] Open 5 cards from the top of your deck, add 1 Tamer Card from among them to your hand, and return the rest to the bottom of your deck in any order.
Source Effect

Note that Agumon’s “when placed” effect will not activate when evolving from a Digitama in the Digitama Area; “when placed” only meets its timing when the card is placed into the Battle Area directly. This effect is not color-restricted, so Agumon can grab Ishida Yamato and Takaishi Takeru, in addition to Yagami Taichi.

Card NumberBT1-015Level4
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost4
ColorRedEvolution Cost2
Digimon TypeDinosaurDP4000
AttributeVaccineRarityUncommon
StageAdultArtistTANIMESO
Main Effect
Source Effect [During your turn] It gets +2000 DP.

NEW EVOLUTION will launch in Japan on May 15th, 2020.

An alleged leaked marketing schedule posted by Japanese fan DigiCa Player outlines the Digimon TCG’s product lineup through November 2020. The schedule lists a fourth Starter Deck for June, the second main booster set for July, a “sub booster” for September, and the third main set for November.

DigiCa Player further stated there would be a free-to-play tutorial app using half-sized Starter Decks. Similar apps have been put out by Bandai’s competitors, like Takara Tomy’s WIXOSS ZUKAN, as gateways into their respective Trading Card Games.

The possibility of a fourth Starter Deck has been a hot topic on social media since the game’s announcement back in January, with the prevailing theory being that it would focus on a fourth color and the Digimon Palmon and Tentomon–who were conspicuously absent from the launch Starter Decks. Every other Starter Deck has featured a combination of two Digimon lines related to the eight Chosen Children from the 2020 Digimon Adventure: anime series, with Agumon and Piyomon in Gaia Red, Gomamon and Garurumon in Cocytus Blue, and Patamon and Tailmon in Heaven’s Yellow. Following the pattern, Tentomon and Palmon would star in a “Giga Green” or “Rose Green.”

Although it’s possible the schedule is accurate, Japan’s prolonged fight with the COVID-19 virus may ultimately delay some of these products. The virus is especially dangerous to Japan’s predominantly-elderly population, and its persistence already threatens to delay the 2020 Olympics. Launching new products during a time period when most players are isolating on the government’s recommendation, and the majority of hobby shops have suspended their local tournaments, could do more harm than good.