Like many Yu-Gi-Oh players right now, I really miss playing in big events like YCS tournaments and WCQs.
There was nothing better than preparing for weeks to figure out the metagame, find the right tech choices, and test my own strategy before taking it to a tournament to see if my work paid off. At this point we really don't know when it'll be safe to return to events like that, but lots of people are patiently waiting.
To my surprise, though, I miss Regional Qualifiers a lot more than I expected. I always tried to make it out to nearby Regionals but I never made it a priority in the same way as the bigger tournaments. For a lot of duelists, Regionals are the perfect introduction to competitive Yu-Gi-Oh events without the downsides of something like a YCS: they're only one day, the competition isn't as tough, and there's not as much on the line (in terms of both prizes, and travel costs). It's always been easier to play rogue decks at Regionals, too, so it can be a fun break from the higher levels of competition.
I mention all this because in today's article I'd love to share with you a new version of Paleozoic Frogs that I would've loved to have taken to a Regional. This build's merely a starting point, and maybe with some changes it would've been good enough for a YCS, but I'm thinking of it as a strong rogue contender. Phantom Rage actually brings a ton of great support to Frog duelists and the recent Forbidden & Limited List put Toadally Awesome back to two copies per deck.
Hopefully it'll be unlimited on the next one.
While there weren't any name-stamped Frog or Paleozoic cards in Phantom Rage there were two cards that are bound to make a difference for any fan of the deck. I expect to see these cards played in a variety of other strategies, but they're just so useful in Paleozoic Frogs that I couldn't help but want to rebuild this fan-favorite backrow deck.
The first important new card is Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder. It's currently one of the most hyped cards in the entire set and that's for good reason: it's really, really powerful. While you could summon it using two Level 12 monsters, most people would rather bring it out with its alternative summoning condition. As long as an Xyz Monster battled this turn you can use any Xyz Monster you control to summon Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder, and it'll keep all of the Xyz Material that the overlayed monster had.
While on the field Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder can detach two materials as a Quick Effect to send every card on the field to the graveyard besides itself. That's a huge deal for a lot of Xyz Monster themes, but it's especially useful in Frog Paleozoics because they've historically had a difficult time dealing with established boards.
Furthermore, if a card you control is destroyed by battle or by an opponent's card effect you can attach a card from your hand, deck, or Extra Deck to Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder. That's probably the most unexciting effect on this card, but it means that it has the potential to use the board wiping effect multiple times which is a nice benefit. You can also equip Toadally Awesome so that when you detach it you get to add back a Water monster. I wouldn't recommend equipping Toadally Awesome from your Extra Deck, but it's a cool way to get value out of one in your graveyard.
The second important new card is Warning Point, a new trap that's basically a combination between Gnomaterial and Breakthrough Skill. When your opponent summons a monster (or monsters) you get to negate its effects, prevent it from attacking, and keep it from being used a Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, or Link material. These restrictions only last for one turn, but often that'll be enough to turn the duel in your favor.
What makes Warning Point so strong is that it's valuable in almost any situation. If your opponent's playing a combo deck it'll be great to prevent a monster from being used as material while also negating its effects, but even against control decks it's just a decent effect negation trap. It's particularly crushing against cards like Crystron Halqifibrax where your opponent wants to use the effect and then use it for a Link Summon, both of which Warning Point shuts down.
Before I explain too much more, let's take a look at my deck list. At the end of the article I'll talk about some other choices you could try out in the Main and Side Deck, but for now this is what I've been working on.
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Doug's Paleozoic Frog Deck by Doug Zeeff
'Doug's Paleozoic Frog Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!
Created By: Doug Zeeff
Market Price: $515.43
Market Price: $0.23
2 WATER monsters
All WATER monsters on the field gain 500 ATK and DEF, also all FIRE monsters on the field lose 400 ATK and DEF. If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can target 1 WATER monster in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Mistar Boy" once per turn.
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Market Price: $19.77
Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; negate its effects (until the end of this turn), then, if this card was Set before activation and is on the field at resolution, for the rest of this turn all other Spell/Trap effects in this column are negated. If you control no cards, you can activate this card from your hand.
Market Price: $3.78
This face-up card's name is treated as Des Frog. Your opponent cannot select another monster as an attack target. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard, you can add 1 Frog monster from your Deck to your hand, other than Dupe Frog or Frog the Jam.
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Market Price: $0.77
Target 1 face-up card on the field; discard 1 card, and if you do, banish it. Once per Chain, when a Trap Card is activated while this card is in your Graveyard: Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Aqua-Type/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1200/DEF 0). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, this card is unaffected by monster effects, also banish it when it leaves the field.
Ice Dragon's Prison
Market Price: $42.07
Target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; Special Summon it to your field, but its effects are negated, then, you can banish 1 monster from both players' fields that have the same Type as each other. You can only activate 1 "Ice Dragon's Prison" per turn.
Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder
Market Price: $64.28
2 Level 12 monsters
Once per turn, if an Xyz Monster battled this turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder" by using 1 Xyz Monster you control as material. (Transfer its materials to this card.) (Quick Effect): You can detach 2 materials from this card; send all other cards from the field to the GY. Once per turn, if another card(s) you control is destroyed by battle or an opponent's card effect: You can attach 1 card from your hand, Deck, or Extra Deck to this card as material.
Market Price: $0.37
3 or more Level 2 monsters
Unaffected by other monsters' effects. Once per turn, if a Trap Card(s) is sent from your Spell & Trap Zone to the Graveyard (except during the Damage Step): You can excavate the top card of your Deck, and if it is a Trap Card, add it to your hand. Otherwise, send it to the Graveyard. Once per turn, during either player's turn, if this card has a Trap Card as Xyz Material: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 card on the field; destroy it.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Market Price: $12.40
When a card or effect is activated that includes any of these effects (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; negate that effect.
• Add a card from the Deck to the hand.
• Special Summon from the Deck.
• Send a card from the Deck to the GY.
You can only use this effect of "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.27
2 Level 2 monsters
This card is unaffected by other monsters' effects. You can activate "Paleozoic" Trap Cards from your hand. If this card has a Trap Card as Xyz Material: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; add 1 "Paleozoic" Trap Card from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Paleozoic Opabinia" once per turn.
Market Price: $1.69
Pay half of your Life Points. Negate the activation of a Spell Card / Trap Card / Normal Summon / Flip Summon / Special Summon and destroy the Spell Card, Trap Card, or Summoned monster.
Marincess Coral Anemone
Market Price: $0.57
2 WATER monsters
You can target 1 WATER monster with 1500 or less ATK in your GY; Special Summon it to your zone this card points to, also you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except WATER monsters. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: You can target 1 "Marincess" card in your GY, except "Marincess Coral Anemone"; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Marincess Coral Anemone" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.64
2+ monsters with different names
If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card on the field; return it to the Deck, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Unicorn" once per turn. While any co-linked "Knightmare" monsters are on the field, for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, draw 1 card for each different card name among those co-linked "Knightmare" monsters, instead of drawing just 1 card.
Market Price: $0.62
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by discarding 1 other WATER monster. When this card is Summoned: You can send 1 Level 2 or lower WATER Aqua monster from your Deck or face-up from your field to the GY. Once per turn: You can return 1 monster you control to the hand; you can Normal Summon 1 " Frog " monster during your Main Phase this turn, except "Swap Frog", in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)
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Market Price: $0.36
Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; change it to face-down Defense Position. Once per Chain, when a Trap Card is activated while this card is in your Graveyard: Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Aqua/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1200/DEF 0). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, this card is unaffected by monster effects, also banish it when it leaves the field.
Market Price: $7.76
3+ Effect Monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Attack Position monster; change it to Defense Position, also, this card can make a second attack during each Battle Phase this turn. Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to this effect's activation. Once per turn, when this card declares an attack on a face-up monster: You can activate this effect; until the end of this turn, this card gains ATK equal to half that monster's current ATK, and if it does, that monster's current ATK is halved.
Market Price: $0.37
2+ monsters with different names
If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 Spell/Trap your opponent controls; destroy it, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Phoenix" once per turn. Co-linked monsters you control cannot be destroyed by battle.
Market Price: $7.15
This face-up card's name is treated as Des Frog. You can remove from play 1 Frog monster in your Graveyard, except Frog the Jam, to Special Summon this card from your Graveyard. This card cannot be used as a Synchro Material Monster.
Market Price: $81.56
2+ Effect Monsters
Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to this card's effect activations. If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 Link Monster that was used as material for its Link Summon; this card gains ATK equal to that monster's Link Rating x 1000. You can banish 1 Link Monster from your field or GY; destroy 1 card your opponent controls, also for the rest of this turn, you cannot banish monsters with that same Attribute to activate this effect of "Accesscode Talker".
Market Price: $0.38
Target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy it. Once per Chain, when a Trap Card is activated while this card is in your Graveyard: Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Aqua/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1200/DEF 0). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, this card is unaffected by monster effects, also banish it when leaves the field.
Sky Cavalry Centaurea
Market Price: $11.04
2 Level 2 monsters
While this card has Xyz Material, it cannot be destroyed by battle. If this card battles an opponent's monster, and your opponent still controls that monster at the end of the Damage Step: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; return that monster to the hand.
Nibiru, the Primal Being
Market Price: $11.00
During the Main Phase, if your opponent Normal or Special Summoned 5 or more monsters this turn (Quick Effect): You can Tribute as many face-up monsters on the field as possible, and if you do, Special Summon this card from your hand, then Special Summon 1 "Primal Being Token" (Rock/LIGHT/Level 11/ATK ?/DEF ?) to your opponent's field. (This Token's ATK/DEF become the combined original ATK/DEF of the Tributed monsters.) You can only use this effect of "Nibiru, the Primal Being" once per turn.
Market Price: $2.30
2 Level 2 Aqua-Type monsters
Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Frog" monster from your Deck. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect: You can send 1 Aqua-Type monster from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then you can Set it to your field. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 WATER monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.
Market Price: $2.55
When a monster(s) would be Special Summoned, OR a monster effect is activated: Pay 1500 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy that card.
Market Price: $0.72
Each player can only control 1 Attribute of monster. Send all other face-up monsters they control to the GY.
Market Price: $1.20
Banish 1 Normal Trap from your Deck, except "Trap Trick", and Set 1 card with the same name directly from your Deck, also it can be activated this turn. You can only activate 1 Trap Card for the rest of this turn after this card resolves. You can only activate 1 "Trap Trick" per turn.
Market Price: $5.76
When a monster(s) is Summoned: This turn, that face-up monster(s) cannot attack, its effects are negated, also it cannot be used as material for a Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon.
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In the early stages of the game you'll want to stop your opponent's plays before they happen so that you can hopefully stick a Toadally Awesome on the board. Once Toadally Awesome summoned at a stage where you're not in a losing position the game should go your way. Toadally Awesome is still one of the most absurd Xyz Monsters ever printed in terms of sheer impact; it's just that the downside is that you must play a very specific deck to get the full use out of it.
As always, Trap Trick has ridiculous versatility in this theme. There's six different cards in the Main Deck alone that you can set from your deck, but that number grows even more when you consider potential Side Deck cards like Appointer of the Red Lotus, Heavy Storm Duster, and Waking the Dragon. You have to really watch out for Trap Trick restriction, of course, but once you play a few matches you'll see it's not too complicated to manage.
One big reason to runn Paleozoic Frogs right now is that they're one of the few decks that can play Gozen Match. Much like Rivalry of Warlords, Gozen Match is great because it not only prevents boards from being built but it also can break boards going second, too. It might not seem like it, but Gozen Match and Solemn Strike (or sometimes even just Infinite Impermanence) can catch opponents off guard and wipe their entire field.
Lots of decks are playing all sorts of Attributes in their Main Deck, but the real power in Gozen Match is the variety of attributes in players' Extra Decks. Most combos use all sorts of attributes, so sometimes Gozen Match can automatically win you games (especially when you back it up with Toadally Awesome).
Like I mentioned, this list is supposed to be a starting point that you can change depending on your expected metagame. One shortcoming that you can address if you want to, is that the Main Deck doesn't have a ton of great ways of outing Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon.
It's not that I don't think Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon isn't worth dealing with, but rather a few things have to go wrong for it to hit the field. If you go first then Predaplant Verte Anaconda is almost never resolving because of your negation effects, so they'll only summon Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon if you lose the dice roll. But if you lose the dice roll and you draw Infinite Impermanence then you can hit the Predaplant Verte Anaconda anyways.
If your opponent's playing a regular combo deck that also ends on Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, as opposed to a Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon turbo deck, then Nibiru, the Primal Being might work, too. I also considered swapping out Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring for Effect Veiler so you might want to try that out if you're struggling against Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon.
I don't think I'd Main Deck it, but I'm absolutely Side Decking three copies of Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju. Not only is it great at dealing with Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon going second, it's also a Water monster that you can discard for Swap Frog or add back with Toadally Awesome. At one point I did have Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju in my Main Deck instead of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring but overall I think Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring a bit more versatile in Game 1 against a wider variety of matchups.
If you find yourself wanting draw power then Pot of Desires is a decent choice. It's seen play in Paleozoic Frogs for years and you could included it if you want to see more cards to get you out of the early game. The recently revealed Pot of Disparity's going to be fantastic in this deck once Blazing Vortex is released, but for now we're kind of stuck with Pot of Desires or Upstart Goblin. Card of Demise was popular in the past but now that it's Limited I believe it's too inconsistent to warrant a spot in the deck.
Paleozoic Marrella another popular choice that I excluded from this version. I think that right now, you really need every card you have to be live against your opponent's plays, so that's why I cut it from my list, but it's certainly not a crazy card to include. It's particularly useful to set with Trap Trick in your opponent's End Phase if they didn't do anything threatening enough on their turn. If the format slows down a bit then I'd highly consider playing Paleozoic Marrella but right now I'm not convinced.
Gizmek Uka, the Festive Fox of Fecundity and Barrier Statue of the Torrent should be in any Paleozoic Frog Side Deck. The idea is that you use Gizmek Uka, the Festive Fox of Fecundity when your opponent resolves Crystron Halqifibrax, targeting the Crystron Halqifibrax to summon Barrier Statue of the Torrent from your deck.
We've seen that play in plenty of decks before, but there's no excuse not to run it in a deck that already uses Water monsters. Barrier Statue of the Torrent honestly worth it even when you're going first after Side Decking, because you can use Paleozoic Canadia or Warning Point on your opponent's Normal Summon to stop them from attacking over it.
While Paleozoic Frogs might not be as flashy as some of the other decks in competition right now, I believe that Phantom Rage gives them a noticeable boost in power. If Toadally Awesome goes to three copies on the next F&L List then Frogs might be a notable rogue deck once again, after not seeing play for a couple of formats. A lot of players are heavily focused on anti-combo right now, so a backrow based deck can steal a few wins against unprepared opponents.
It's also great that you have a theme-stamped card like Toadally Awesome to stop a Turn 1 Lightning Storm, unlike Altergeists which have to draw unsearchable cards like Solemn Judgment and Appointer of the Red Lotus. I never thought I'd go back to Frogs after switching to Altergeists a few years ago, but Phantom Rage might be enough to change my mind.