Ultimate Ancient Dragon is the 9th starter set of the Digimon Card Game. Released in Europe in May 2022, this deck is a dual colour deck featuring both Green and Blue Digimon and it includes as usual a 50 cards deck, 4 digi-eggs and 2 memory gauges. European boxes unfortunately does not include the play sheets included in the original Japanese version.
The key card featured in this deck is “Imperialdramon Dragon Mode”, a Lv6 Mega Digimon with 12000 DP that can evolve from either a Green or Blue Lv5 Digimon. When digivolving into Imperialdramon, the player can split any Blue and/or Green Digimon from its digivolution cards and play them for free. This move effectively transforms you main stack into three separate Digimon that grant the player a strong field advantage and that can easily remove all security shields and win the game in a maximum of 2 turns.
Let’s look into how the rest of the deck works and how you can bring out your best cards.
Deck Composition & Strategy
As mentioned above, the key strategy of this deck is to quickly find all the cards you need to digivolve your main stack into Imperialdramon.
Interestingly, the starting point of this deck is a green egg (Minomon) that grants your Digimon +1000 DP assuming there is Blue Digimon in play. It is important to read the rule carefully as this effect triggers even if the Digimon with Minomon as digivolution is blue (you do not need a different Blue Digimon).
The rookies (Lv3) of this deck include Veemon, Wormmon, Kokabuterimon and Betamon that can all digivolve from Minomon for 0. Kokabuterimon is a nice low level blocker that allows the player to start protecting your security quick early in the game although with just 2000 DP this Digimon may not survive very long. Veemon is a key card for this deck as it allows the flexibility to have a Blue Lv3 Digimon in your evolution stack or to Play it to search the first three cards of your deck for one card you may need.
The champions (Lv4) of this deck (Exveemon, Snimon and Stingmon) are all useful for their inherited effects and for their on-play/when digivolving effects although none of them is a key part of your strategy.
The fun of this deck begins when your are ready to evolve in any of two Ultimate (Lv5), Dinobeemon and Paildramon. The most important aspect to remind is that both of them can DNA digivolve for free from one Blue and one Green Lv4 Digimon and it is very important to ensure they evolve this way. First, DNA digivolving into Dinobeemon or Paildramon triggers a good control effect you don’t want to miss and, second, DNA digivolving ensures you have both a Green and a Blue Digimon in your main stack. Among the two, Paildramon is more offensive as it can attack and un-suspend to attack again if it survives.
The last bit of your offensive is then digivolve you Lv5 into Imperialdramon to split both Lv4 Digimon out and gain field advantage and attack repeatedly the security stack of your opponent. Note that an option is also to split the two Lv3 if you have a Paildramon or Dinobeemon in hand so that you can exploit again the DNA digivolution effect.
Among the options, the one that can easily come in hand is “Megadeath”. Although it has a play cost of 5 and the requirement to have both a Blue and a Green Digimon (or one Dual colour), this card can easily turn the tide of a game by suspending a key Digimon and then returning it to the opponent hand. This card effect is quite important as it is not a deletion effect thus can not be prevented by Armour Purge or other effect that protect a Digimon from deletion.
Is This Set Worth Buying?
Ultimate Ancient Dragon is a very good example of a well rounded deck with a nice mechanic and a well balanced strategy. In 2022 we have seen a lot of competitive decks designed around Imperialdramon dragon mode and it does not surprise they can still hold their ground in 2023 tournaments.
Overall, ST-9 is definitely a good investment whatever you are looking to get into Digimon or looking for a different deck. The starter deck offers indeed all the key cards to build a very competitive deck and I recommend to buy two copies as usual to max out on Imperialdramon, Paildramon, Dinobeemon and on Megadeath.
In case you are looking to make this deck more competitive, I would recommend to start by looking for the “Veemon”, “Blue Memory boost” and “Hammer Spark” cards from the Starter deck ST-8 Ulforce Veedramon. “New Awakening” collection (BT-8) offers also a lot of other useful cards to boost your strategy including the tamer card “Davis Motomiya & Ken Ichijoji” although the best tamer for this deck is “Davis Motomiya” from Booster Union Impact (BT3) that is always a bit hard to find. A bit more support to this deck is also expected later in 2023 with the release of BT12 – Booster Across Time.