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, Gomamon’s evolution first introduced in the 1998 Pendulum 2.0: Deep Savers virtual pet.

Card NumberBT1-034Level4
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost5
ColorBlueEvolution Cost2
Digimon TypeMarine AnimalDP5000
AttributeVaccineRarityRare
StageAdultArtistshosuke
Main Effect
Source Effect[During your turn] This Digimon cannot be blocked by your opponent’s Digimon with no Evolution Sources.

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

The official Japanese Digimon TCG portal shared five full art prints of the Tamer Cards featured in Booster 1: NEW EVOLUTION. Every sealed box of BT01 will contain one of these cards inserted; their card numbers, names, and effects, are identical to their Rare prints in the set, but the artwork expands across the entire card frame and is finished with a parallel diagonal foil.

These are likely to become highly sought after once the set launches on May 15th, as competitive players seek to bling out their decks and collectors try to gather one of each card. The cards respectively feature Yagami Taichi, Ishida Yamato, Takaishi Takeru, Izumi Koushirou, and Tachikawa Mimi.

From the official Japanese Twitter account.

Were Garurumon

Card NumberBT1-040Level5
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost6
ColorBlueEvolution Cost3
Digimon TypeBeast ManDP7000
AttributeVaccineRarityUncommon
StagePerfectArtistsasasi
Main Effect[When it attacks] Memory +3. At the end of this turn, Memory -3.
Source Effect

This effect appears to be designed with the new Tamer Cards in mind, which ensure the opponent will always have at least 3 Memory on their turn. These new cards allow you to play around that a bit, gaining extra Memory that allows you to play more cards and ideally manipulate the gauge so that it ends exactly on the opponent’s 1. That 1 Memory then jumps up to 4 thanks to these effects—the opponent ends up with 1 more Memory than if their Tamer Card had resolved, but you get to have 3 more Memory during your turn, a positive exchange for you.

Metal Greymon

Card NumberBT1-021Level5
Card TypeDigimonPlay Cost6
ColorRedEvolution Cost3
Digimon TypeCyborgDP7000
AttributeVaccineRarityUncommon
StagePerfectArtistTANIMESO
Main Effect[When it attacks] Memory +3. At the end of this turn, Memory -3.
Source Effect

Booster 1 launches in Japan May 15th, 2020.

A tweet from Card Kingdom’s Kawaguchi branch showing the chain’s ongoing preorder campaign for the Digimon Card Game Booster ver 1.0: NEW EVOLUTION revealed the pack illustration and reconfirmed several details leaked by early retail listings. According to the flyer, the first booster will contain 115 cards: 45 Commons, 30 Uncommons, 28 Rares, 10 Super Rares, and 2 Secret Rares. Described as a set both for longtime Digimon fans and TCG players, the expansion features Omegamon as its cover card and will retail for 189 yen per pack or 4752 yen per box. Every pack will contain 6 cards plus one index card.

NEW EVOLUTION will also introduce a fourth color the game: Green. Comprising Insect and Plant Digimon, the Green color was widely speculated on prior to this–and will likely be where fans find Tentomon and Palmon, the two missing lines from the Adventure: anime series not represented by the first three Starter Decks.

The flyer appears to use a draft version of its first booster pack design, as it’s labeled as containing 10 cards–directly contradicting both the flyer and other retailer information.

Booster ver 1.0: NEW EVOLUTION will launch May 15th, 2020, in Japan.

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.