While I feel the term itself has lost a lot of meaning, life is definitely full of "awkward moments." One of these awkward moments occurs in Yu-Gi-Oh! when there's an alternative strategy that can actually make a theme's boss monster better than the theme itself.

Such is the life of Evols, an archetype designed to churn out Evolzar Laggia and Evolzar Dolkka. As you probably already know, the Dino Rabbit deck - which abused Rescue Rabbit and Normal Dinosaurs - was a whole heck of a lot better at pushing out Laggia and Dolkka than Evols ever were. Luckily Rescue Rabbit has long since been Limited, and as such it looks like Evols are the best way to bring out the mighty Evolzar monsters by default. But beyond that, Primal Origin granted Evol duelists an amazing new trap card! More on that later.

For Science!
Evols work, as the name would suggest, the same way real-life evolution does. You start at your basic Reptile, move up to a Dinosaur, and then end with a Dragon. The only Reptiles we're going to be using are Evoltile Westlo and Evoltile Najasho. Both largely do the same thing, but Evoltile Westlo's by far the star player of this deck. Whenever it gets flipped you can Special Summon an Evolsaur from your deck - very similar to how Gladiator Beasts operate. Evoltile Najasho does the same thing, but you need to Tribute it to get the Special Summon.

"So does that mean you're playing Frostosaurus?"

Not quite. Evols have a nifty spell card called Evo-Force, which Special Summons an Evolsaur from your deck for the low price of one of your Evoltiles. If you haven't figured it out yet, the main combo is to tribute your Evoltile Najasho with Evo-Force to bring out two Evolsaurs. From there you can go into your Evolzars or any other Rank 4 of your choosing. On the surface it's a -1 into a walking Solemn Judgment or double Breakthrough Skill.

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…in reality though, your Evolsaurs are going to nab you +1's, keeping you from misusing yourself. Evolsaur Diplo's the Mystical Space Typhoon Dinosaur, and it pops a back row whenever you Special Summon it with an Evoltile effect (or your handy dandy Evo-Force). Evolsaur Vulcano revives a fallen Evolsaur from your graveyard when you bring it out, which is a neat little play to make with Evoltile Westlo. Lastly there's Evolsaur Cerato, which is arguably the coolest looking of the bunch while at the same time being the least useful. Cerato doesn't gain you any immediate ground when you Special Summon it, but it does buff up to 2100 ATK. On top of that it searches out either of your Evoltiles when it destroys a monster in battle.

Unfortunately Evoltile Najasho and Evo-Force do have one problem: missing activation windows. I'll spare you the gory details, but basically any Evolsaur with an optional effect that you bring out with Najasho is going to miss timing. That means you can go for double Diplo to pop two back row cards, and Cerato's fine, but you can't double Vulcano to make two Evolzars. The real question is: was that design intentional? It seems a bit silly to create an obvious combo card, and then make its main target miss timing.

Then again, Guardian of Eatos' effect makes its own Equip Spell miss timing, so anything's possible.

Not Quite Geargiagear, Not Quite Xyz Reborn
In case you missed it - which is completely reasonable, don't worry - Evols received one piece of support in Primal Origin. Evo-Singularity's a brand new trap card that gives Evols a much better mid to late game. Its only real requirements are having at least one Evoltile and one Evolsaur in your graveyard, and then you just Special Summon an Evolzar from your Extra Deck using them as materials. That's already good, but it's even better because you're defying logic by overlaying a Level 3 and a Level 4. When you're breaking the rules of Xyz Summoning you might as well go the whole nine yards, and that's exactly what Evo-Singularity does.

Remember Evolzar Solda? Probably not. Solda's a Rank 6 that's insanely hard to kill. First off, it can't be destroyed by card effects while it has Xyz Material. Checkmate against all your Inzektor friends. But the cool part is that whenever your opponent Special Summons something you can detach a material to destroy it. Solda doesn't negate the Summon, either, it just destroys the monster. Soul Charge? Everything blows up. Madolche Anjelly? Not a problem. Infernity Launcher? Like I care. In short, Solda steamrolls everything and anything. Number 101: Silent Honor ARK can't even touch it, because you'll burn through one of its materials when it'sSummoned.

However, Solda really shines against Fire Hand and Ice Hand. Fire Hand has to actually destroy a monster to Special Summon Ice Hand and keep the chain going, but Solda just shrugs it off. In addition, Solda dodges a bunch of commonly used destruction like Bottomless Trap Hole, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, Torrential Tribute, Dark Hole, and Mirror Force. Solda's never really been a consistent option before because if you wanted to Summon it, you had to play awful Level 6 monsters. Evo-Singularity makes it happen without forcing you to play sub-par cards. Before I delve any further into this strategy, let's take a look at my build.

DECKID=100415There's one issue with Evols that I should probably acknowledge right off the bat. YourEvolsaurs are essentially Normal Monsters in your hand. You're really aiming to draw your Evoltiles before your Evolsaurs. The problem? This deck's only using six Evoltiles and eightEvolsaurs. I consulted newly-minted college graduate Loukas Peterson - who has a math degree - and he informed me that six is actually less than eight.

Sorry guys, I don't make the rules.

Whenever you're playing Evols you're going to have to accept that it's more likely to draw bad cards than good ones. It's very similar to playing Crystal Beasts, actually, where you have three good cards - Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus - and thirty-seven bad ones - everything else.

Joke's On You, I Wanted To Draw Normal Monsters
On the plus side, Evols do have their own Reinforcement of the Army in Evo-Diversity. You can only use one copy once per turn, but it nabs you an Evoltile Westlo or Evoltile Najasho whenever you need it. Oh, and I suppose it can search out an Evolsaur, but you're probably never going to do that. Truth be told, most of your early game plays are going to be setting a Westlo, flipping it to get an Evolsaur, and then Normal Summoning another Evolsaur next turn to make an Evolzar. And that's not terrible, but it's not super great on its own, either.

What you really want to accomplish is a string of Evolzars. You can do that several ways, but in general it's going to be something along the lines of Westlo into an Evolzar, Najasho into anEvolzar, and Evo-Singularity into an Evolzar. Evo-Singularity's actually really cool because you can chain it to any action that involves detaching material as a cost. Say you negate something with Evolzar Laggia but you don't want your opponent to do anything else because you're a jerk. Simply chain Evo-Singularity, make another Laggia or Dolkka, and bingo: your opponent is now crying!

Realistically Evols are just a slower, less consistent version of Geargias. Despite that, they're still totally fun to play, and it's the only deck that lets you repeatedly bring out Evolzars. Going first is crucial, so make sure to rig your dice. Against a local metagame this deck might score you some wins, but I don't think it's a great idea to take it to a Regional Qualifier. Still, if you like Dinosaurs and Solemn Judgment, Evols might just be the deck for you. As always, let me know in the Comment section any of your questions, concerns, or - not surprisingly - comments.

-Doug Zeeff