Like in the Digimon series, the cards are sorted into virus, data and vaccine types. The three types work in a Rock, Paper, Scissors system where virus beats data, data beats vaccine and vaccine beats virus. The main tactical element of the game is deciding which type to digivolve your cards into.
Digimon families are the different classifications that Digimon belonging to the Digimon CCG are placed into. Digimon can belong to more than one grouping, and these groupings have little actual bearing on gameplay. Each different family has its own special background featured on the backgrounds of cards from the old CCG.
The different Digimon families are as follows:
- Nature Spirits: Represents the northern part of the Digital World. Digimon belonging to the Nature spirits family generally have a green, map-like background. These are primarily Insect, Reptile, and Animal type Digimon.
- Wind Guardians: Represents the eastern area of the Digital World. Digimon cards in this family have a deep blue cloudy background. Digimon from this family are predominantly Plant, Angel, and Bird-like Digimon.
- Metal Empire: Represents the western area of the Digital World. The background for this type of Digimon is a gold circuitry pattern. Digimon from this family are mostly Machine Digimon.
- Nightmare Soldiers: Represent the southern section of the Digital World. Digimon of this family have a dark gray, cloudy background on their cards. Digimon of this family primarily consist of demon, Undead, and other mythological and mystical Digimon.
- Deep Savers: Represents the oceans of the Digital World. Digimon of this family have card backgrounds which are bright blue with bubbles. They are made up mostly of Aquatic Digimon.
- Virus Busters: Represents a group of heroic digimon that fight against evil. The background for these digimon is a white sunburst with so called "DigiCode" patterned in it. There is no set type for the virus busters, but as the name indicates, they are primarily data and vaccine attribute Digimon.
- Dark Area: Represents unnatural and evil Digimon which seek to destroy the rest of the Digital World. Digimon from this family have a black background. As with the virus busters there is no set criteria for this family, but most of them are abnormal, evil, and very powerful. It no longer appears after the release of Digital Monster Card Game α (mostly absorbed by the Nightmare Soldiers family).
- Jungle Trooper: Represents mainly plant Digimon. This Digimon family is comparatively new; it didn't appear until the release of Digital Monster Card Game α.
- Dragon's Roar: Represents any Digimon that even vaguely resembles a dragon. This Digimon family is comparatively new; it didn't appear until the release of Digital Monster Card Game α.
- Unknown Group: The final Digimon family represents Digimon which do not fit in any other family. Cards from this family have a yellowish-brown cloud background. These Digimon are primarily either too unique to belong in another group or are too weak to have a certain bearing. It no longer appears after the release of Digital Monster Card Game α.
Not all Digimon belong to a single family. Most actually do not. In many instances, different cards list a given Digimon in different families.
Bandai of America decided to cancel the Digimon Card Game indefinitely, for lack of interest. But the Japanese card quality is often more standard than America version. Some cards in America also had the wrong name, such as Ebonwumon printed as Zhuqiaomon.
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