While I wouldn't say that Frogs are my all-time favorite theme they'rearguably my favorite competitive deck, tied only with Spellbooks.

Even though my love for things like Fabled eclipse Frogs, I still return toold reliable strategies and integrate them with new twists as much as Ican. Paleozoic Frogs find themselves in a very strange middle ground ofcompetitive Yu-Gi-Oh. The tournament scene isn't so much a spectrum as itis a multidimensional grid, and Paleozoics don't fit into any of the commonextremes.

Where combo decks like Thunder Dragons go all-in for Game 1 with explosiveplays, and strategies like Sky Strikers thrive off a culmination ofresources backed by early triggers of Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage!,Paleozoic Frogs occupy a stranger niche. While they're a backrow heavydeck, they're often subject to more luck than other decks.

The closest strategy for comparison in current competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! isprobably Altergeist - both Altergeists and Paleozoic Frogs are backed bytrap cards and mostly small monsters, but even that comparison is flawed.Eliminating any sterile draw cards like Pot of Desires or Pot ofExtravagance, Frogs have two good openings. Either you start with Swap Frogand start mixing Frogs quickly, or you start with multiple Frogs andestablish Toadally Awesome.

Those are both sides of the same Swap Frog coin, so my point is that thesecond BEST thing Paleozoic Frogs can do is set a Dupe Frog. Nevertheless,the strategy's just good enough to squeak out some wins, giftingme a Top Cut finish at Pro-Play Game's tournament in Atlanta last weekend.

Congrats to, uh, myself?

DECKID= 109618Part of me thrives on this type of strategy because with virtually no goodopenings, it's a sort of chess game with your opponent. Outside of anopposing Red Reboot or a floodgate of your own to seal the deal early on,matches largely hinge on knowing when to play what cards and being ascreative as possible with whatever fate gives you. Even though I added Potof Desires, Card of Demise, and Trap Trick, true consistency really isn't apossibility in this strategy, and moving forward I'd like to try and raisethe deck's power ceiling since you can't increase your luck.

Even though Paleozoic Frog decks are largely the same - a multitude oftraps backing Toadally Awesome - piecing together the strategy can takemany different forms depending on who's making the build. In the same waysome combo players will need to choose between Sekka's Light as their onlyspell card versus a bevy of niche spell and traps, Frog players havedebates of their own. I hate calling any version of a deck the "best" onebecause I always believe you can improve on a strategy, whether it be in anobjective or format-shifting sense.

Obviously, Paleozoic Frog decks have some number of traps and Frog monsters- that's not up for debate. But what is up for debate is any spice or techyou can add to the deck, individual niche traps, and even the means to drawcards quickly. I've long been a proponent of Card of Demise andPot of Desires together, and 99% of the time it doesn't Backfire.

Ironically, both those cards Backfired on me in Top Cut at the PPGtournament, but hey, they helped get me there.

Personally, I think Spellbook of Secrets, Spellbook Magician of Prophecy,and Spellbook of Knowledge are bad in Frogs for two reasons. Notonly does the strategy completely consume your Normal Summon, but you'rethat much more susceptible to hand traps going first and regular trapsgoing second.

If you Normal Summon Swap Frog there's very little your opponent can do tohurt you. Infinite Impermanence, Effect Veiler, and Ash Blossom &Joyous Spring stop you from yarding a Dupe Frog or Ronintoadin, but thejoke's on your opponent because they're down a card while you've beendelayed a turn.

Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit causes you to lose a card, but you've stillsent a necessary component to the graveyard, and virtually every hand trapand negation your opponent can threaten you with – provided they take a hiton card economy – turn out in your favor.

Against Spellbook Magician of Prophecy? A single hand trap can dismantleyour entire duel.

#####CARDID= 24880 #####

While Pot of Desires can hit certain cards in the deck - and twicein my entire life Pot of Desires has banished both copies of Ronintoadin -I'd much rather take a risk with my main deck than my Extra Deckand therefore Pot of Extravagance is a no go. There's a reason I playedthree copies of Trap Trick and most every other trap. Banishing extracopies of traps in the deck isn't that bad, but banishing key Extra Deckmonsters is. I'd consider adding it in, but never before the other two drawspells.

And while it's a tad unconventional, I was very adamant in playing threecopies of Paleozoic Dinomischus and three copies of Card of Demise. Even ifon occasion the interactions would conflict, I want to maximize the ceilingrepresenting the peak of the deck's sheer power. The only time it wouldever conflict is when I'd start with both in my opening five cards and eventhen, you'll just save it for the next turn.

By playing Card of Demise and Pot of Desires, you're directly digging intomore of your deck; even if you have to pitch cards in the End Phase, you'restill seeing more of the necessary elements for your win conditions.

Cards To Consider… Or Maybe There Are Better Ideas
There are roughly 1300 Normal and Continuous Trap cards that triggerPaleozoics in the graveyard, and I largely think that the chosen few for acurrent Paleozoic Frog deck should shift with the differing trends in anygiven metagame. Sure, cards like Bad Aim are largely situational anduseless; they stand no chance against Thunder Dragon Colossus. But backwhen Metalfoes dominated the scene, it was a valid choice that fit wellwith Paleozoic Olenoides.

I'm not advocating for Bad Aim in 2019, but I think there are a handful ofcards that deal with threats in an economical way, or that are capable ofbuffering your offense while still triggering Paleozoics. PaleozoicHallucigenia and Evacuation Device' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Compulsory Evacuation Device">Compulsory Evacuation Device sound crazy, but both cardslargely accomplish the same purpose that the best Paleozoic cardaccomplishes.

Paleozoic Dinomischus is easily the strongest of the bunch, but sometimesthe effect to discard is too much to overcome and puts you in a seriousbind when all you wanted to do was deal with a single threat. CompulsoryEvacuation Device punishes any Extra Deck threat that Dinomischus coulddeal with, but sometimes your even simpler problem needs a simple solution.

Your Toadally Awesome will frequently fall in battle once your opponentforces out your first negation. Since Link Monsters can't be set face-downPaleozoic Canadia can sometimes beuseless, but Paleozoic Hallucigeniasolves your problem. I can't advocate for everything that haspotential to work, but I will throw my weight behind the idea ofexploring and finding traps that can easily be overlooked.

As for the monsters, well, a single Toadally Awesome can't always solveyour problems, which is part of the reason think the strategy would benefitfrom a more diversified Extra Deck moving forward - another reason not todive head first into Pot of Extravagance. Frogs surprisingly have somewhateasy access to another card that shuts monster heavy decks in a wayToadally Awesome only could dream of - Herald of the Arc Light.

It seems crazy to devote any resources to Herald of the Arc Light whenToadally Awesome is within grasp, but with a bit of effort, Herald of theArc Light is totally workable. You have the choice of Graydle Slime Jr. asan easy target for Summon Sorcerer, and it has the benefit of infinitelyrecycling Toadally Awesome as well as being another Water monster todiscard for Swap Frog.

But if you really lean into Herald of the Arc Light you'll findthat it has other benefits. Unexpected Dai largely fell out of popularitywith Frog decks because it can be a dead card, requiring you to play themediocre Slime Toad. But there's a more recent card that intersects allthose ideas: Guardragon Justicia.

Sure, it doesn't make Toadally Awesome like Slime Toad can, but it's aWater monster you can pitch with Swap Frog in a pinch or a free Tuner fromthe deck with Unexpected Dai to make Herald of the Arc Light. I can't saythat any updates to the deck are guaranteed to make the strategy better,but it's always a bad idea to get mired in your old ways just becausethings worked well in the past. Victory means constant innovation.

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee, hoping one day to run in5th Congressional District on the platform of "Marshmallows forEveryone." When he's not submitting ideas for Fabled support and aFabled Link monster, you can find him building a bonfire in hisbackyard to attract the local wildlife for an audience with hisukulele. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 56seconds, Loukas is always looking at expanding his backyard to houseevery dog in the world without a home. Well, and those with homesalready.


Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you lovecreating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send thefollowing torerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.comto have your deck featured in the "Re-Routing" deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send awritten deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will befiled and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck shouldbe TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs makeLoukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you'replaying it, and its strengths and weaknesses. "Winning" is not astrategy per se, and neither is "beating your opponents before theybeat you."

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love withthe deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and ifyou throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; bewarned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack.Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'mnot bored of it yet! –LJP