Digimon Card Game (デジモンカードゲーム Dejimon Kādo Gēmu?) is a card game developed by Bandai Namco. It was released in Japan in April 2020 and will release in English in January 2021[1] though select stores will hold a pre-sale on November 27, 2020.[2]

FUN! DigiCa, a YouTube show promoting the Japanese version of the game, started airing on March 23, 2020.

Game play

Each player's main deck consists of 50 cards as well as Digi-Egg (デジタマ DejiTama?, lit. "Digi-Tama") deck consisting of 0-5 cards. A deck cannot contain more than 4 of any given card number, with the exception of restricted cards (1 card per deck), banned cards and cards with special effects that allow extra copies (e.g. BT6-085 Eosmon Lv. 5, whose effect allows a player to have 50 copies in a deck).

Object of the Game

Each player starts the game with 5 cards on their security stack. The object of the game is to remove all of the cards in your opoonent's security stack so that you make a final, direct attack on the opposing player. A player can also lose by being unable to draw during their draw phase.

Zones and areas

There are several zones/areas on the playing field:

  • Deck: Contains the player's 50-card main deck
  • Trash (also referred to as the "recycle bin" on some cards): Deleted, discarded and played cards
  • Security Stack: A defensive wall that protects the player. When the security stack is attacked, security effects activate on revealed cards and battle is conducted with revealed digimon
  • Battle Area: The main area of the playing field where active Digimon, Tamers and some option cards sit. Anything in the Battle Area is said to be "in play"
  • Digi-Egg Deck: Contains the player's extra deck containing 0-5 Digi-Egg cards. This is the only deck that can contain Digi-Egg cards and cannot contain any other type of card.
  • Breeding Area: Where Digi-Egg cards are hatched from the Digi-Egg deck. Cards in the breeding area cannot activate any effects and cannot be targeted by effects unless an effect is specifically meant to affect the Digimon in the breeding area
  • Memory Gauge: There is a single memory gauge that is shared between both players. The gauge has 0 in the centre and goes up to 10 on each player's side. When a player pays a memory cost, the counter counts down and moves towards the opponent's side of the gauge. Once the counter passes 0, the current player's turn ends and the opponent starts their turn with the amount of memory the counter ends on.


Every card in the Digimon Card Game has common features:

  • Memory cost: When a card is played, the memory gauge is changed according to the cost of the played card.
  • Code/Card Number: The unique code of the card. A card's code is made up of a set identifier (ST? for starters, BT or EX for boosters, and P for promotional cards) and a 2 or 3 digit number, separated by a dash. For Example: Coredramon from the red starter deck "Gaia Red" has the code "ST1-06", and Blasted Disaster from the Double Diamond booster set has the code "BT6-103".
  • Rarity: There are 5 levels of rarity: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Super Rare and Secret Rare. There are also alternate art versions of many cards that are considered much more rare, however this difference in rarity is not reflected on the printed rarity designation.

Card Types

Cards are divided up into four types:


The core of any deck, digimon cards are the main battling cards of the game. Every digimon card has the following features:

  • DP (Digimon Power): This functions as both attack and defence in battles. When two digimon battle, the one with the lower DP is deleted, or both if it is a tie. If a digimon's DP is ever reduced to 0, it is deleted.
  • Form: The name of the digimon's digivolution stage (Rookie/Champion/etc.)
  • Attribute: The name of the digimon's attribute (Data/Vaccine/Virus/etc.)
  • Type: One or more descriptors that describe the digimon's characteristics. These are usually the digimon's type (e.g. Insectoid, Dragon, Angel) along with with a family or affliation (e.g. Ten Warriors, D-Brigade)
  • Level: A digimon's level generally lines up with its form (Lv.3 = Rookie, Lv. 4 = Champion, and so on), although there are exceptions.

There are also features that only appear on some digimon cards, but not others:

  • Digivolution conditions: The memory cost to digivolve, the colour(s) that a digimon can digivolve from and the level(s) that a digimon can digivolve from. Most digimon have at least one set of digivolution conditions and some digimon have two sets.
  • Card effects: Many digimon have effects that apply either constantly or on certain triggers. There are also certain keyword effects, which also have their description written afterwards on the card.
  • Inherited Effect: Effects that become active when the digimon digivolves. The inherited effects of all digimon underneath the top digimon card (termed "digivolution sources") are applied to the digimon and their effects stack.

Digi-Eggs are a subset of digimon cards with a different, white card back that reside in an optional extra "Digi-Egg deck". While considered to be Digimon cards, Digi-Egg cards lack many of the features of regular digimon:

  • No cost or digivolution cost
  • No DP
  • No attribute
  • You cannot move a Digi-Egg out of the breeding area and a Digi-Egg cannot exist in the battle area. If some effect ever causes a Digi-Egg to be in the battle area (such as de-digivolve), it is deleted

Option card provide one-off supporting effects, and in some cases a secondary effect that can be triggered after playing. Most option cards also have a security effect that triggers when the card is flipped over from the security stack. The security effect is usually to activate the card's main effect, however some just add the card to the players hand and others have a different effect from their main effect.

Option cards can only be played if the player has a digimon or tamer card of the same colour as the option card in the battle area or the breeding area. This is called a "colour requirement". If the option card has multiple colours, all of the card's colour requirements must be met.


Tamer cards are played into the battle area and usually provide ongoing supporting effects. Many tamer cards also have one-off effects that trigger when the card is first played. All tamer cards have the security effect that plays them at no cost when the card is flipped over from the security stack.

Most tamer cards in the "Next Adventure" booster set (BT7) also have inherited effects like digimon cards. This is in line with the set's focus on Hybrid digimon as seen in Digimon Frontier.


Cards are also divided into seven colours, with some cards having multiple colours. Each colour has a general theme and focus (with some overlap):

  • Red: High DP, increasing DP, getting extra attacks, deleting opponent digimon
  • Blue: Manipulation of digivolution sources, unsuspending, extra drawing, returning to hand
  • Green: Suspending digimon, more digimon with piercing, rewards attacking digimon, fast digivolution, greater Digi-Burst synergy
  • Yellow: Security manipulation, defense, DP manipulation
  • Black: More digimon with blocker, de-digivolve, reboot, deleting opponent digimon
  • Purple: Trash manipulation, retaliation, sacrificing own digimon for effects, greater option synergy
  • White: Various, general support for other colours



A core mechanic of the Digimon Card Game, in line with being a core concept in the Digimon franchise, digivolution allows a player to play a digimon card at a lower cost while drawing a extra card and possibly gaining extra effects.

If a digimon can be digivolved to, it will have digivolution conditions printed on the card. Digivolution conditions show the colour and level of the digimon that the can be digivolved from as well as the cost to digivolve and some digimon have two sets digivolution conditions as well as special digivolution conditions. For example:

  • BT6-066 PileVolcamon can digivolve from a Black Lv. 5 digimon for a cost of 3 memory.
  • EX1-022 Imperialdramon Dragon Mode can digivolve from either a Blue or Green Lv. 5 digimon for for a cost of 3 memory.
  • BT5-015 MetalGreymon: Alterous Mode can digivolve from a Red Lv. 4 digimon for for a cost of 3 memory or from a Red Lv. 5 digimon for for a cost of 1 memory.
  • BT8-038 Magnamon can digivolve from a from either a Yellow or Blue Lv. 3 digimon for for a cost of 4 memory or from Veemon for 3 memory.

To digivolve, a player pays the digivolution cost and plays the card that is being digivolved to top of another digimon in the battle area that meets the digivolution conditions, stacking them in such a way so as any inherited effects are visible. The play then draws a card as a "digivolution bonus". Any cards underneath a digimon are referred to as "digivolution sources".

Digivolution sources can grant the digimon they are under extra effects called inherited effects. For example: when a digimon with ST3-08 MagnaAngemon in its digivolution sources attacks, it reduces an opponent's digimon's DP by 1000.

DNA Digivolution

Introduced in the Digimon Adventure 02 themed "New Awakening" booster set (BT8), similar to what is seen in the series, DNA Digivolution combines two digimon that are already in play and then digivolves them to a new digimon.

If a digimon can be DNA digivolved to, it will have DNA digivolution requirements printed on the card in the special digivolution area. DNA digivolution requirements show the colours and/or levels of the digimon that the can be digivolved from as well as the cost to digivolve, written as "DNA Digivolution: {cost} from {colour} Lv.{level} + {colour} Lv.{level}".

To DNA digivolve, a player stacks the digimon that matches the left side of the DNA digivolution requirements on top of the digimon that matches the right side of the requirements, then plays the new digimon on top just as in normal digivolution, paying the stated cost. The new digimon is then unsuspended, all effects that were on the original digimon end and are reset, and the new digimon can attack straight away without waiting until the next turn.

For Example:
A player has on the field ST9-04 ExVeemon suspended with ST9-03 Betamon underneath it, and ST9-09 Stingmon with ST9-08 Wormmon and ST9-01 Minomon underneath it. ST9-05 Paildramon's requirements say "DNA Digivolution: 0 from (blue) Lv.4 + (green) Lv.4". The player unsuspends the ExVeemon and stacks it and Betamon on top of the Stingmon and its digivolution sources, then the player places the Paildramon on top on the ExVeemon. The newly DNA digivolved Paildramon now has ExVeemon, Betamon, Stingmon, Wormmon and Minomon under it, it is unsuspended and can attack if it is still that player's turn.


Attacking and blocking, as well as using various effects can cause a card in the battle area to become suspended. When a card becomes suspended, it is turned sideways to show that it is in a suspended state. All of a player's suspended cards unsuspend in the Unsuspend Phase at the start of that player's turn. Suspended digimon can be attacked by an opponent's digimon.


At any time during a player's turn, that player can have make attacks with their digimon. A digimon can either attack one of the opponent's suspended digimon, or the opposing player. If the opponent has an unsuspended digimon with blocker in the battle area, they can opt to suspend that digimon to have the target of the attack redirected to it.

If a digimon attacks a player directly, and the opposing player has at least 1 card in their security stack, the top card is flipped over (known as making a security check. If it is a tamer of option card, the security effect of the card, if any, is activated without paying the card's cost). If the flipped card is a digimon, the two digimon battle and then, if the security digimon has a security effect, it is activated.

If a digimon attacks a player directly, and the opposing player has no cards left in their security stack, the attacking player wins the game.

If a digimon attacks a suspended digimon, the two digimon battle.

When two digimon battle - whether because the opponent's digimon was attacked, was selected as a blocker or was flipped over from the security stack - their DPs are compared and the one with the lowest DP is deleted and sent to the trash. If there is a tie, both digimon are deleted. Digimon flipped over from the security stack are always deleted after battle, regardless of the result of the battle.


All option and tamer cards, as well as many digimon cards have effects that trigger when they are played, when something happens while they are in play or both. There are several triggers that determine when a card's effect takes effect, however the text may impose further conditions on when the effect can be used:

  • Start of Your Turn: Triggers after at the very beginning of the player's turn, before any other actions are taken
  • Start of Your Main Phase: Triggers after the Unsuspend, Draw and Breeding Phases, but before the player can take any Main Phase actions.
  • On Play: Triggers when a card is played directly into the battle area, usually by paying the card's play cost.
  • When Digivolving: Triggers when a digimon card is digivolved into by playing it on top of another digimon rather than played directly.
  • When Attacking: Triggers when a digimon card makes attack.
  • End of Attack: Triggers after a digimon card has finished its attack and has survived.
  • On Deletion: Triggers when a digimon card is deleted from the battle area. This effect does not trigger if the digimon was flipped from the security stack.
  • Security: Triggers when a card is flipped from the security stack. Normally security effects are written on the bottom panel of option and tamer cards, the Security trigger is only present on tamer cards with inherited effects and on digimon cards.
  • End of Your Turn: Triggers after the memory counter moves over to the opponent's side after all of the turn player's other effects have resolved

There are also several keywords that are present on cards that represent common effects. Many of these keywords have the effects expanded afterwards in brackets on the cards, but some reminder text was removed from BT8 onwards. Current Keyword effects are:

  • Armor Purge: When the Digimon would be deleted, you may trash the top card of the Digimon to prevent that deletion. Any effects that were active on the digimon stay active on the resulting digimon.
  • Blitz: Usually paired with the "When Digivolving" trigger. If playing or digivolving to this card causes the memory to move to your opponent's side, the digimon may make an attack.
  • Blocker: When an opponent's Digimon attacks, you may suspend a Digimon with this Keyword to force the opponent to attack it instead.
  • De-Digivolve X: Trash X card(s) from the top of one of your opponent's Digimon. If it has no digivolution cards, or becomes a level 3 Digimon, you can't trash any more cards. Any effects that were active on the digimon stay active on the resulting digimon.
  • Decoy<X>: When one of your other X coloured Digimon would be deleted by an opponent's effect, you may delete this Digimon to prevent that deletion. Some cards were originally printed stating that this effect occurred when the digimon was deleted is anyway; this has since been corrected with errata updates.
  • Delay: Trash this card in your battle area to activate the specified effect. You can't activate this effect the turn this card enters play.
  • Digi-Burst X: Trash X of this Digimon's digivolution cards to activate the specified effect.
  • Digisorption -X: When one of your Digimon digivolves into this card from your hand, you may suspend 1 of your Digimon to reduce the memory cost of the digivolution by X.
  • Draw X: Draw X cards from your deck
  • Jamming: This Digimon can't be deleted in battles against Security Digimon.
  • Piercing: When this Digimon attacks and deletes an opponent's Digimon and survives the battle, it performs any security checks it normally would. Importantly, Piercing grants security attacks, so it cannot be used to win the game. Also, if a digimon with Piercing attacks another digimon and it is blocked, the if attacking digimon survives, it still gets security attacks rather than attacking the originallt targeted digimon
  • Reboot: Unsuspend this Digimon during your opponent's unsuspend phase
  • Recovery +X: Place the top X cards of your deck on top of your security stack.
  • Retaliation: When this Digimon is deleted after losing a battle, delete the Digimon it was battling.
  • Rush: This Digimon can attack the turn it comes into play.
  • Security Attack +/-X: This Digimon checks X additional/fewer security cards.
    • If a digimon has extra security attacks, each attack is resolved separately and only if the attacking digimon survives the previous attack
    • If a digimon has zero or fewer security attacks, it can still declare a security attack, however no cards will be flipped over.
    • Combinations of Security Attack + and Security Attack - are cumulative. If a digimon is given Security Attack -1 and later gains Security Attack +1, it gets 1 security attack as normal.

Companion app

The Digimon Card Game Tutorial App (デジモンカードゲーム ティーチングアプリ Dejimon Kādo Gēmu Tīchingu Apuri?, lit. "Digimon Card Game Teaching App") is an app designed to teach the rules of the card game. It allows the player to select one of the starter decks and play through a series of tutorials.

External links

Notes and references