As most of you know, this past weekend was the North American WCQ, where we saw the best players from North America compete for a chance to represent this fine continent at the World Championships in Italy! I was lucky enough to be amongst the players competing after earning my invite piloting my signature Sea Lancer Frog deck to 39th place at a large regional event during the January, 2014 format. Coming off that tournament I knew I wanted to play in the WCQ, so as soon as it was announced, I booked my flight for Detroit. The only question I had to figure out was what I was going to play...

Flash forward to the April 1st F&L List and the Primal Origins release and I had no idea if my beloved Sea Lancer Frogs would be able to compete. Realizing that, and not having a ton of time to test in person for YCS Philly, I resorted to online testing and theory. I realized how powerful Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru was and knew I wanted to build a deck using that card. I messaged Doug Zeeff, more commonly known as Doug "Ziggity Zag Swiggy Swag" Zeeff, about the archetype, but after a few days of discussion with him, I thought the deck to be inherently inconsistent and unable to survive a long tournament. Then, I decided to message the Traptrix-Master himself – Bobby Kenny. Traptrix decks got an incredible boost with the release of Traptrix Dionaea! This strategy seemed much more promising, but he wasn't able to offer a ton of help due to his scheduling restraints. He provided as much insight as he could, but I was very much on my own pretending he was beside me.

With under a week left, I came up with Traptrix Hand Stun! It was a deck I expected to be a rogue pick going into YCS Philly, because it used the Traptrix and Hand monsters with powerful cards such as Neo-Spacian Grand Mole and Cardcar D! I also opted to run a staggering 20 traps and Banisher of the Radiance in the side deck. Little Did I know that a few other smart people had this idea, but they tossed in some Artifact monsters and after a quick 7-0 start at the event, I found myself at the top tables which consisted almost entirely of HAT decks. I was a sure favorite to top that event, but after some critically unlucky Soul Charge shenanigans, I fell to 7-2 and found myself on the bubble going into Day 2, where I'd ultimately lose the final round to Bujin and miss my first top cut. The heartbreak!

All I kept asking myself was how I could start off 7-0 and trip at the finish line? And the answer was clear to me – I needed to play a deck I knew inside and out. A deck that I could play with my eyes closed! Ah. Yes. Old faithful. Sea Lancer Frogs! I knew I could take Frogs to an event and have that "been here before" attitude with it, because I've Day 2'd multiple YCS events with the same strategy. YCS Philly led to a shift in the general pacing of competition, where a slower deck like Sea Lancer Frogs could shine!

Let The Dream Begin, Let Your Darker Side Give In…
The light in my eye was quickly dimmed when the announcement hit that new Lightsworn monsters were to be released before the WCQ, thus creating an environment of quick OTKs featuring Judgment Dragon. The format turned out to be extremely diverse. We had two powerful backrow-heavy decks in HAT and Geargia; two quick combo-reliant decks in Mermail and Madolche; and two decks that loved to fill their fields full of huge monsters in Sylvan and Lightsworn. Oh, and lets not forget about strategies like Infernity, Dragon Rulers and Bujin, which – given the right set of cards – created fields that were nearly unbeatable. Playing Frogs in that format seemed impossible.

However, my perspective changed when I began chatting with Michael Fridman, AKA Masik333. His deck was built with Des Frog as the star, and only featured Sea Lancer in a supporting role. That was an interesting concept, because while I was using Poison Draw Frog to draw cards with Sea Lancer, Michael was using it to search out his boss monster with Dupe Frog! And that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks: I knew I could play this deck with my eyes closed, because it's essentially the same thing I'd been running, but with a ton of power plays and new ways to OTK. It could play defense well and then at the drop of a hat, shift gears and end the game before you could even finish saying "Judgment Dragon."

The deck thrived on going second, but with the right cards loved being able to setup and go first. Des Frogs could handle the setting power of Geargia and HAT, but also loved the lack of early-game field presence in Mermail, Sylvan, Lightsworn and Dragons. This was it! This was my WCQ deck! All I had to do was fine-tune it to my liking. A wise man once said: "With great power, comes great responsibility" and with that being said, I now present to you "Too Cute Too Furious, The Des Frog OTK." (Trademark Pending.)

DECKID=100620 Before we get into the actual tournament report, I just want to touch on a few card choices in my Main Deck that I know will raise some eyebrows.

Gotta Find My Purpose, Before It's Too Late
As the event neared even closer, I shot Bobby Kenny another message about my idea to run Des Frogs at the WCQ. To my surprise, he was also highly debating on running the deck. We swapped builds and they were fairly different, but one card in particular sent Bobby into meltdown mode: Damage Condenser. He freaked out at the idea, added them to his build and we began heavily chatting for the next few days. It was the card that tipped the scale for me to ultimately run this at the WCQ.

Most Frog decks can't function without Swap Frog. It's almost a given that you won't win if you don't see Swap Frog by Turn 4. Running a full playset of Damage Condenser meant that I had a 90% chance of opening with a "Swap Frog search card" be that Dupe Frog, Mother Grizzly or Swap Frog itself. Damage Condenser meant that I could discard a card like Ronintoadin, Tadpole or another copy of Damage Condenser and Special Summon, at the very least, a Dupe Frog from my deck. However, by taking a measly 1000 damage I could Special Summon Swap Frog straight from the Main Deck. That was huge for a few reasons. First off, all of this occurs during the Damage Step, which meant that Swap Frog's ability to send a Level 2 or lower Aqua monster from your field or deck to the Graveyard couldn't be stopped by Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare. Secondly, when your opponent ends their turn and you begin yours, you start with a Swap Frog on the field. Without doing anything, you can return Swap Frog to your hand and begin your turn with two Normal Summons, one of them for a Frog (usually Des Frog). And finally, if you already had Swap Frog in your hand, taking Dupe Frog from the deck meant you could Normal Summon Swap Frog, activate its effect to send Dupe Frog from your field to the Graveyard and trigger Dupe Frog's ability. That lets you add Des Frog from your Deck or Graveyard to your hand. When you return Swap Frog to your hand, you can then use the Extra Normal Summon to Tribute Summon for Des Frog and start your power play. Insane, I know.


The next card on the chopping block is Des Croaking. I felt that heading into this event, I was going to be playing against decks that either set a ton of cards face-down on the field or opted to have very minimal field presence until they could either OTK, or build a set-up that was nearly unstoppable. Des Croaking handles both of those things. It's obviously fantastic against Geargia, HAT and Madolche, because they have a lot of field presence. But it's still good against decks that typically don't, like Mermail and Lightsworn; it eliminates whatever is on the field to ensure your OTK. Its activation cost is almost laughable, because Dupe Frog and Ronintoadin, while on the field, change their name to Des Frog. So in essence you're running nine copies of it.

Toss Inferno Reckless Summon into the mix and it's just plain unfair. You can activate it upon Special Summoning Ronintoadin from your Graveyard and since its name is Des Frog, you'll Special Summon all three actual Des Frogs from your hand, Deck or Graveyard. After that resolves, you play Des Croaking and proceed to blowout your opponent. No need to worry about Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, Black Horn of Heaven or Wiretap, since the Summons aren't inherent, no effects are activating and Des Croaking is a spell!

Okay. I know what you're thinking: "But what about Bottomless Trap Hole and Torrential Tribute?" Either one of those cards would totally end your day! Well… let me enlighten you. If you have a Breakthrough Skill on the field or even in your Graveyard, your play's totally safe. Activate the effect of Ronintoadin by banishing any Frog from your Graveyard. Chain Breakthrough Skill, in the Graveyard or on the field and target an opposing monster. If your opponent has no response, you chain Inferno Reckless Summon at that point. As the chain plays out, the Des Frogs will hit the field; your opponent will then Special Summon all copies of a monster they choose; and then your Breakthrough Skill will negate their monster's effect. Because the last thing to happen in that chain is actually Breakthrough Skill's negation, your opponent can't activate Bottomless or Torrential.

It's a wickedly good play that's sure to leave your opponent in desperation mode while you're on cloud nine, flying high and defying gravity. I played a total of 31 games during the WCQ and I can safely say that I resolved Des Croaking in well over half of them. I used that Breakthrough Skill play a lot, but it was never more important than in my Top 64 match (we'll get to that later). Croaking my opponent was easily part of the reason I had such incredible success this past weekend and never went into time. (Not going into time with a Frog deck is an achievement in and of its own, especially at a high level event).

The final card I want to discuss is Flip Flop Frog. Triple F, as I will refer to him from now on, is an incredible card. Like many Graveyard-reliant decks, Abyss Dweller's a pain. Dweller becomes even more of a problem when it has a Water monster attached to it, because it sits at a hefty 2200 ATK and can run over your Dupe Frog and Ronintoadin walls. Triple F's an instant out to that card. You can just hold it until your opponent has a problem card like Dweller, or pitch it from your hand for Swap Frog when you're ready to OTK. You could also grab it from your deck after your opponent deals 500 damage to you by activating Damage Condenser. That would allow you to manually put it face-down with its effect and then Flip Summon it to bounce your opponents monsters back to the hand.


Triple F bounces monsters back to the hand up to the number of Frogs you control. Because it says "up to" the number of Frogs, it doesn't target, and that's huge. Cards that don't target are scary. Spellbook of Fate and Orea the Sylvan High Arbiter are the first two that come to mind, and while he's not on their level, Triple F is nothing to scoff at. Its ability to laugh at Bujingi Turtle can't be understated, because Bujintei Susanowo's incredibly annoying to deal with when backed by a suite of Bujingi monsters, but Triple F doesn't care about any of them. There's also the surprise factor he brings when staring down a turn 1 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand. Most people, when they see all of the Frogs I play, don't expect anything but a Dupe Frog or Mother Grizzly set, so they won't activate Felgrand before an attack. That lets Triple F spin away the almighty XYZ.

Another Day, Another Destiny
The NAWCQ is always an incredible time. People from all over the country and Canada make the trip; because everyone wants a shot at Worlds, and unlike a YCS, on Friday there are public events! This is great for a few reasons, but mostly because you can test your deck out and not have to play with your friends (who you've most likely tested with hundreds of times).

I thought the best place to test out the deck would be in the Attack of the Giant Card tournament, because the best players typically enter it. Sure enough, I was right. Many of the 64 participants had topped or won numerous YCS events and a few even topped previous WCQs. I had the Misfortune of playing against a particularly unscrupulous competitor in Round 1 of this event, and unfortunately had a bad experience. Our Game 1 consisted of the most incredible rule-sharking I had ever experienced at any YCS event. In the middle of attempting to OTK him and put extra damage on board, he claimed that I touched my card and moved it forward, thus declaring an attack. So he chained Forbidden Lance to stop the OTK. He was under Trap Stun, couldn't use any of his other three set cards and was clearly in desperation mode. He'd made a comment about "this being the OTK deck everyone was talking about." And when I replied, he sprung into action with this entire charade of how I said it was an OTK and everything. Somehow, he was more convincing and the judges ruled in his favor.

I'd tried to avoid this mess by declaring all of my phases on the previous turn and even on my current turn. However, TCGPlayer readers, be wary of touching your cards, because you may declare an attack without even knowing it (and without even declaring you were in your Battle Phase!) I'm pretty sure Joe Frankino touched on it in his article leading up to the WCQ, but let this be a lesson to you: declaring phases and being overly specific is one of the most important things you can do at any competitive event. I thought I was doing so, but sometimes even that isn't good enough. I quickly took Game 2 when I used Des Croaking and hit two monsters and five set spells and traps. Had I been able to achieve the OTK I wanted during Game 1, he would have gotten swiftly 2-0'd, but he opened well Game 3 and made an early Abyss Dweller which clinched it for him.

Despite my fury at how blatantly I was cheated, I was super confident in my deck and turned in the exact list I used in this tournament. I was hoping to play him during the WCQ and get some revenge, but it sadly didn't happen. Thankfully, Karma always finds a way back to you, because the joke was on him when he didn't win the Attack of the Giant Card and ended the WCQ in 70th place. Shout out to Frazier Smith for calming me down and reminding me that I am not a cheater, a mean person and should not stoop to a level lower than my own. Having friends who know what to say to help you re-focus is beyond important!

One More Day!
Round 1 (Table 158): Matt Anthony L with Bujins
My opponent and I began the normal large event banter where we discussed where we were from and how long our commute to the event was. He was really nice and was playing on a Bujin Top 8 mat, and I secretly hoped that was what he was using.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Theme music played and everything started. I lost the dice roll.

Game 1: To my excitement, he opened his turnwith a Fire Formation – Tenki and searched for Bujin Yamato! In his End Phase he sent a Bujingi Turtle to the graveyard, letting me believe he had a Crane in hand. I don't believe he set any backrow. I simply set a Grizzly and a Trap Stun and passed. He attacked with Yamato letting me grab Swap Frog from my deck. He set one backrow and dumped Bujingi Hare. On my turn, I declared Main Phase 1 and flipped Trap Stun. I Special Summoned Swap Frog and asked for a response. He had none and I activated Inferno Reckless Summon, grabbing two Swap Frogs from my deck and activated their effects (note: If I were to activate the first Swap Frog's effect and use Reckless Summon, the two from the deck would not be able to activate. So… never do that).


Because you can only control one Yamato, my opponent got nothing out of the Reckless. I then made two Ghostrick Socuteboss. One used its effect and was promptly negated with Bujingi Turtle. The other used its effect, and Bujingi Hare quickly protected Yamato. I then used my Extra Frog Normal Summon that Swap Frog grants me to Tribute Summon for Des Frog, bringing another Des Frog from the deck. I overlaid the two for Number 61: Volcasaurus and activated its effect. Yamato went down and he took 1800 damage. Daigusto Phoenix was made and Gaia Charger was overlaid on top of Volcasaurus. Daigusto Phoenix allowed my Gaia Charger to attack twice and the game was over.

Game 2: This time my opponent opted for the "let's not attack strategy" that a lot of players tend to have after a crushing Game 1 loss like that. Unfortunately for him, I was running Flip Flop Frogs, so after a few turns of setting cards and him gaining advantage with Yamato and Bujin Mikazuchi, he was blown out when all of his monsters were returned to the hand.

Record: 1-0

Round 2 (Table 201): Jonathan Daniel G. - Mermails
Another round, another nice opponent! He was playing on a Top 64 WCQ Trishula Mat, meaning he had most likely topped the WCQ in 2011, but could have easily purchased the mat. He seemed quite nervous, because his hands were trembling as he shuffled my deck. I lost the die roll.

Game 1: I opened pretty slowly, but had Damage Condenser and Trap Stun. He summoned Genex Undine, putting Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls into his graveyard and added Genex Controller to his hand. I opted not to set any useless monsters and hoped for him to attack me directly. Plus, I had Maxx "C." Unfortunately he was able to drop Mermail Abyssmegalo with Atlantean Marksman as one of the Water monsters. Despite the Maxx "C", he went ahead and summoned Mermail Abyssturge and added back the Marksman to his hand by discarding Mermail Abysslinde. He then Special Summoned Mermail Abyssteus, discarded Marksman, hit my last backrow and brought out Tidal for the swift OTK, only letting me draw a few cards. None of them were Gorz.

Game 2: He didn't open nearly as well here, and I opened my three-card OTK. Swap Frog, Dupe Frog and Des Frog. I Normal Summoned the Swap Frog, dumped a Ronintoadin and set a backrow. He Normal Summoned Genex Undine, putting Atlantean Dragoons into his Graveyard and added a Controller and Abyssmegalo to his hand. He set one backrow and next turn was swiftly OTK'd. I Special Summoned Swap Frog, by sending Dupe Frog from my hand to the graveyard, which let me send Ronintoadin from my deck to the graveyard. I then Normal Summoned Swap Frog, sending T.A.D.P.O.L.E. I banished for Ronintoadin and Tribute Summoned Des Frog. Another Des Frog came out and Volcasaurus hit the field. Undine went down and my opponent took 1200 damage. When I attempted an attack he flipped Abyss Sphere, but Mystical Space Typhoon ensured his last ditch attempt at survival was in vain. Daigusto Phoenix and Gaia Charger attacked directly with the final 100 damage coming from Ronintoadin.

Game 3: Opening Maxx "C" against Mermail is good. Opening with multiples is even better. I kept him from doing anything fancy with my Maxx "C"s and was then able to Des Croaking his entire field and OTK him. He attempted to Breakthrough Skill a Ronintoadin, but Des Croaking only needs 3 Des Frogs on the field at activation, so sadly, that did not work out for him.

Record: 2-0

Round 3 (Table 161): Malik Abedowali J. - Geargia
You can read the full feature match here.

This match was awful. I opened two pretty bad hands and I misplayed in Game 2 by setting all of my removal, and not Trap Stunning on the Special Summon of Geargia Accelerator. Had I done that, he wouldn't be able to make Evilswarm Exciton Knight to clear my field and I would have had two Dusts and an MST for all of his backrow.


I realized all of this as it was happening. I was a bit too concerned with ensuring the Feature Match writer was caught up, which was my fault. But. It still wasn't a great hand. However - It was WAY better than my Game 1 hand, but that misplay was costly. My opponent played well and opened insanely strong. In Game 2 he had 2 Debunk, Geargiagear and a Soul Charge in his hand. So… Yeah.

Record: 2-1

Round 4 (Table 112): Alec James H. - Spellbooks
After a crushing loss in my Feature, I was determined to Rebound. My opponent was nice, but I was focused and we didn't chat much. I won the die roll.

Game 1: I opened really well. Swap Frog and Des Frog were in my hand along with Trap Stun. I was confident I could OTK. So after I ended my turn, my opponent set five cards to his spell and trap zones and passed. Utterly confused, I flipped Trap Stun in my Main Phase 1. He had no response. Even more confused I decided to just put all the damage I could on board. I missed the OTK by about 1000 Life Points and on his turn he used Reckless Greed and eventually scooped without showing me much.

Game 2: Convinced I was playing against some weird Geargia build, I sided out my Maxx "C"s and into all of my removal. Thankfully, the siding for both decks was pretty similar, so when he opened with Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, I was stunned, but not scared. He revealed three Spellbooks for High Priestess of Prophecy. I had two MST in my opening hand, so I kept him from resolving The Grand Spellbook Tower for the entire game, which kept me from losing. He went through all of his Magicians rather quickly and Gorz turned the tide and eventually led me to victory.

Record: 3-1

Round 5 (Table 183): Tyson Pan - Mermails
Tyson is from the same area as me and while we've never spoken much; it always makes me sad when I have to play someone I know. We chatted briefly and he's one of the nicest guys around, so playing him was fun. I lost the die roll.

Game 1: He opened Undine, milled Atlantean Dragoons and set one. My hand was OTK-Central, so I went for it. I Inferno Reckless Summoned and Des Croaking'd his two cards. He flipped Sphere for Linde and then got Mermail Abyssmegalo. The Abyssmegalo was perfect, because my Volcasaurus was able to deal maximum damage! After losing on Turn 2, he commented that he lost to this deck online really badly a few days ago and asked if it was me. I said I didn't know.

Game 2: He opened Mermail Abysspike, pitching Dragoons and set a few cards. I opened slowly, but had Damage Condenser and Trap Stun. He attacked into Condenser and remarked that the guy online he lost to was "totally you, because nobody else uses that card" And I admitted that it was indeed me. He made an Abyss Dweller and I couldn't get anything going.

Game 3: Tyson was the only player to use D.D. Crow on my T.A.D.P.O.L.E. all weekend, and while it was effective, I was still able to OTK him mid-game after keeping his field at bay with Maxx "C" and using a D.D. Crow of my own, when he attempted to bring Mermail Abyssgunde back to his hand with Mermail Abyssturge.

Record: 4-1

Round 6 (Table 49): Jeremy Owen Joseph T. - Sylvans
This is one of the few matches I don't remember a lot of. I'll quickly highlight what happened. I won the die roll. Game 1 I remember he was leading in card advantage, but I was able to resolve a Des Croaking using Dupe Frog and two Ronintoadins to steal it all away.

Game 2 I opened a brick hand and was promptly destroyed. Game 3 I used Inferno Reckless Summon on Swap Frog, which let me go into two Ghostrick Socuteboss to destroy two of his Sylvan Hermitrees, saving the last one for my Des Frog into Volcasaurus play, which let me OTK.

Record: 5-1

Round 7 (Table 59): Travis Christopher H. - Evilswarm
I was pretty upset with this guy because he showed up two minutes and 45 seconds late, which meant he narrowly missed a Game Loss and we were starting late. He wasn't even nice about it. I won the die roll.

Game 1: I started with Dupe Frog in defense mode and set Trap Stun and Breakthrough Skill. He opened very slowly with an Evilswarm Heliotrope and a few set backrow. He attacked into my Dupe, took 50 damage and began insulting me. He kept insisting that I was trolling people all weekend and that I would win Game 1 and get blown out in Games 2 and 3. Sure enough, on my next turn, with a huge smile on my face, I flipped Trap Stun. I Inferno Reckless Summoned Swap Frog, letting him bring out all of his Heliotropes. I quickly made two Ghostrick Socuteboss to destroy two of his Heliotropes, saving the last for my Des Frog into Volcasaurus play and he was quickly OTK'd.


Game 2: I opened slowly, but had a Flying "C" to start. So when he attempted an XYZ play, it was foiled by the Flying "C." I then sat on Dupe Frog until I could resolve Trap Stun and OTK him. So much for losing Games 2 and 3…

Record: 6-1

Round 8 (Table 31): Damir S. | Sylvans
This match had me furious. Damir was nice to start, but I quickly realized that he didn't care about anything but winning. I lost the die roll.

Game 1: Damir seemed to know how to play against my deck, because he would not attack into my Frogs. Finally, after a few turns of sitting on Mother Grizzly and a face-up Ronintoadin, he Soul Charged for two monsters to attempt a larger play. I promptly flipped up Needle Ceiling, which cost me a Ronintoadin and him 2000 Life Points and three monsters. He summoned Lonefire Blossom and went into a Sylvan Hermitree. He activated the effect, didn't excavate a Plant and passed.

I then topdecked a Des Frog and with Swap Frog in my hand, went for the kill. A quick Volcasaurus play let me burn him for 2700! I simply declared an attack with Grizzly and Gaia Charger. Those two attacks, coupled with Soul Charge, meant he took 8700 damage. He remarked that he had 300LP left and I somehow agreed. It must have been exhaustion. I was in shock that I didn't win right there, and I couldn't figure out how I miscalculated.

On his next turn, he used two Miracle Fertilizes to create a counter play and clear my field. I then attempted an Inferno Reckless Summon on Ronintoadin to get a Volcasaurus into play, but it was Book of Mooned on the Summon, which forced me to scoop. It wasn't until I reached for my side deck that I realized what he had done. I called a judge, but was shot down, because it was an accepted game state. I appealed and was shot down again. Furious that he wouldn't admit that he lost, even after I spelled out the math very clearly (all of which he agreed with), we went into Game 2. His only remark was that "the judge ruled it that way," to try and take any blame of cheating off of himself. Now, while it was true that the judge ruled in his favor, he could have been honest and admitted that he lost and did not deserve any more turns.

Game 2: I opened a brick hand and lost very quickly. Nothing exciting. However, much like the Giant Card match, Damir felt the wrath of Karma, because he didn't Top 64 this event either. Had he been honest here, things my have ended differently for him, but the joke was indeed on him.

Record: 6-2

Round 9 (Table 34): Kenneth Lyle B. - Evilswarm
Upset at how my last round ended, I sat down for Round 9 truly beside myself. Here I was again: the final round of a big tournament and on the bubble, unsure if I'd even qualify for Day 2. My opponent, equally as frustrated with his day, was a great person. I enjoyed this match and it involved some of the best plays of the weekend for me. I lost the dice roll.

Game 1: He opened the match with a Number 66: Master Key Beetle, targeting one of his set spell or trap cards. He set two more next to the one protected by Beetle and passed. On my Draw Phase he flipped up Vanity's Emptiness. Unable to Special Summon, I was forced to set Dupe Frog after Dupe Frog. That allowed me to thin my deck and draw into the necessary cards to crack the lock. After taking massive damage from Beetle, Evilswarm Thunderbird and Evilswarm Kerkyion, I was eventually forced to make a play or lose.


I flipped Trap Stun and he had no response. I then Special Summoned three Ronintoadins and activated Des Croaking. He chained Thunderbird and sent one of the cards in his backrow to the graveyard to save Beetle. Down went Kerykeion and four of his backrow cards. I then overlaid for two Ghostrick Socuteboss. I used both of their effects to clear his Key Beetle and Emptiness. Since he couldn't attack the Ghostricks, he used another Kerykeion to bring back Heliotrope. He overlaid for Number 50: Blackship of Corn, sending one of my Ghostricks to the graveyard, burning me for 1000LP and then killed the other with Thunderbird. On my next turn, I Tribute Summoned for Des Frog and used Volcasaurus and Gaia Charger to game him.

Game 2: He opened really well this game beginning with Evilswarm Ophion and four set spell and traps. My sixth card was Flying "C"… A little late. But I set Flip Flop Frog, a Trap Stun and passed. He attacked with Ophion and Triple F did his thing. He then Normal Summoned Evilswarm Castor and Evilswarm Heliotrope. I revealed Flying "C" and he had no response to it. I then sat on a sole Ronintoadin until I drew until another Trap Stun and Des Croaking. This lasted about seven or eight turns. Once I knew I could win, I flipped Trap Stun which was promptly Wiretapped. I then flipped my second Trap Stun, used Inferno Reckless Summon and Des Croaking and was on my way to Day 2!

Record: 7-2

One Day More!

Round 10 (Table 45): Francesco Charles G. - Hieratic Ruler
My first Day 2 opponent was really cool and had remarked that he'd started this WCQ 0-2 and won all of his remaining rounds to get to Day 2. I was impressed and nervous at the same time.

You can read the full feature match here.

I don't have a ton to say about this match aside from the fact that Feature Match reporter Tyler gave me all the good vibes. I opened really well in all three games and was excited to not draw a brick hand in my second feature of the weekend.

After losing Game 1, we sat in silence while side decking and after the full three minutes allotted, I said "Well that wasn't fun. Not at all." The table judge, my opponent and Tyler all began hysterically laughing, which broke the ice and caused me to crack a much-needed smile. Thankfully I pulled out the win.

Record: 8-2

Round 11 (Table 31): Frazier Smith - F.A.T
Right after my feature match win, I began chatting with Frazier Smith. I was talking to him about how it went and that my opponent from the Giant Card tournament was sitting two tables down from me until I got pulled away for the feature. I remarked that it would be insane if I had to play him in the final round of the tournament after what happened yesterday. Frazier wished SO hard that the epic showdown would not happen. And I guess he wished too hard, because my Round 11 opponent was none other than Frazier himself…

Game 1: This was the most grind-heavy game of the tournament for me. Both of us were playing slower decks and both of us knew what each other's deck could do. It was unfair and horrible. Our plays were set a Frog and end. Set a Hand and end. Summon Traptrix Myrmeleo, search a Trap Hole card and end. When Frazier had enough monsters on board, a clutch Needle Ceiling ensured that he couldn't do anything, but with five live backrow cards and no Trap Stun neither could I. Finally. 30+minutes into Game 1, I drew Trap Stun and Des Croaking and blew the game wide open, winning minutes later.


Game 2: With only minutes left until time, I was hoping to avoid damage and win that way, because there was no way this game was finishing. To my utter disappointment, Frazier opened Tenki into Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear with three sets. I had a hand FULL of Frogs and limited protection. Sure enough, a couple successful Bear effects and attacks ensured we would end in a draw.

Record: 8-2-1

To my amazement, I finished Swiss in 53rd Place and Frazier snuck in at 62nd. We were both beyond excited and just hoped that we wouldn't run into one another until Top 4!

Top 64, Round 12 (Table 15): Joseph Burton M. - H.A.T
My opponent was an interesting guy. We had typical late-tournament banter about our losses and wins. What we were surprised to see a lot of and what we expected to top. I won the die roll.

Game 1: My opponent was one of those players who thinks out loud, hoping for a reaction to his comments to give him any clue as to what you're playing. When I set a monster and three backrow, he let me know his entire thought process about what was set. When I had no response to his Traptrix Myrmeleo, he eventually thought my set card was a Hand, so when he made 101 and attacked he was shocked at the sight of Dupe Frog. He read every card I played two or three times and we had an intense and grindy first game that came down to my signature play of the weekend.

I banished for Dupe Frog for Ronintoadin and he had no response. I then chained Breakthrough Skill from my graveyard, targeting his Traptrix Myrmeleo. Perplexed, he had no response. I then activated Inferno Reckless Summon bringing out all of my Des Frogs and he Summoned his other two Myrmeleos from his Graveyard. He attempted a Bottomless Trap Hole and I explained why he couldn't activate it. He called a judge who ruled in my favor and he felt that he did not need to appeal. Des Croaking came down and the game was over.

Game 2: This game, while shorter, was perhaps even more interesting than the first. There was a crucial moment where I decided to bluff set a backrow (Des Croaking) and a set Dupe Frog. I had Gorz in hand and was hoping my opponent would use his final Xyz Material on Constellar Pleiades to bounce the backrow. To my amazement, he did not and instead bounced my monster. Gaia Charger came down over his Constellar and he attacked with both it and Ice Hand. When he ended, he had two set spell and traps, a set monster, Gaia Charger and Ice Hand. In his End Phase, I used Dust Tornado on one of them. And in my draw phase I MST'd the other.

At this point the duel stood at 1700LP to 8000LP. We had about five minutes left; time was ticking. I decided my only play was to ram my Dupe Frog into Ice Hand, leaving me at 400LP, but then follow that play up with Inferno Reckless Summon and Des Croaking. That would leave my opponent with only one card in his hand. The play worked and his set monster was Fire Hand, but because Inferno Reckless Summon brought out all of his Ice Hands to the field, he could only activate part of Fire Hand's effect. He opted to destroy one of my Des Frogs. I ended my turn by making Number 12: Crimson Armor Shadow Ninja in defense mode.


On his turn, he summoned Myrmeleo, forgot to search for a trap and passed. On my turn, I switched my Ninja to attack mode and ran over his Myrmeleo. I set Breakthrough Skill, with Needle Ceiling set as well and passed. On his turn, he summoned Traptrix Dionaea and thought he had game. I responded with Breakthrough Skill and he set a backrow and ended. On my turn, I summoned Mother Grizzly and pressed for more damage. In my End Phase he activated Sanctum, prompting me to use Ninja's effect and then he didn't use Moraltach's destruction ability. He was banking on killing Grizzly for game.

On his turn, he entered his Battle Phase, declared an attack on Grizzly and said, "Game?" I responded with Needle Ceiling and wiped away my Grizzly, his Moraltach and my face-up Ronintoadin. Ninja was saved by its own effect. On my next turn I overlaid for Gaia Charger and attacked. He drew and set a spell or trap. He said if you have another monster you win… But I didn't just yet. I drew Swap Frog off the top and attacked for game right as time was called.

Top 32, Round 13 (Table 8): Thomas Mak - Geargia
My Top 64 match was beyond intense and I couldn't believe I'd won it before time was up. I couldn't wait to sit down and play the next round. Thomas Mak and I had a deck check, so we started late, but all was fine and we began play. I lost the die roll.

Game 1: We played the set war that so often happens when I play against Geargia. I had a Swap Frog, so while I was sitting on Dupe Frog and Grizzly, I was constantly setting up my graveyard. After a few turns of that, and a Sea Lancer play that allowed me to bump heads with Gear Gigant X and trigger two Dupe Frogs, I eventually Summoned three Ronintoadins to the field and wiped his board with Des Croaking. He had two other Gear Gigant X's on the field, so he got some monsters back from his graveyard, but they were promptly destroyed by Ghostrick Socutebosses to lock the zones out.

On Mak's turn he attempted a Black Rose Dragon play with his teched Genex Ally Birdman, but I had a Breakthrough Skill waiting. He then Soul Charged back two monsters to make a Zenmaines. On my turn, I used both Ghostrick Socutebosses to destroy his Black Rose and his Zenmaines, with the help of the same Breakthrough that stopped Black Rose originally. All of the sudden he was down to only one useable monster zone. On his draw phase, he scooped.

Game 2: I opened a god hand consisting of Swap Frog, Dupe Frog, Inferno Reckless Summon, Sea Lancer and Des Croaking. My sixth card was a second Dupe Frog. Mak opened with a set monster and four backrow. In my Draw Phase he flipped Macro Cosmos, not allowing me to play Yu-Gi-Oh. I scooped a few turns later.

Game 3: The final hand I would see of the tournament consisted of two Trap Stun, two Ronintoadin, Needle Ceiling and Flying "C." A pretty brick hand considering my next draws were another Ronintoadin and a Breakthrough Skill. Flying "C" kept me in it, until he Summoned a Geargiarsenal at 2100 ATK and beat over my Ronintoadins, eventually overwhelming me.

Side Decking
Here's a quick overview of how I side decked for each matchup!

-3 Trap Stun
-3 Maxx "C"
-1 Des Croaking
-2 Needle Ceiling
-1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness

+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+3 Flying C
+2 Soul Release
+2 Dust Tornado

-3 Maxx "C"
-2 Damage Condenser
-1 Flip Flop Frog
-1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
-1 Breakthrough Skill

+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+2 Dust Tornado
+2 Flying "C"

-2 Damage Condenser
-3 Trap Stun
-1 Des Croaking

+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+2 Battle Fader
+1 D.D. Crow

-3 Maxx "C"
-2 Needle Ceiling
-1 Torrential Tribute
-1 Des Croaking

+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+3 Flying "C"
+1 Dust Tornado

HAT Variants:
-1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
-1 Maxx "C"
-1 Flip Flop Frog
[-1 Damage Condenser / Mother Grizzly]

+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
[+1 or +2 Dust Tornado]

-3 Maxx "C"
-2 Needle Ceiling
-1 Torrential Tribute

+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+2 Dust Tornado
+1 Soul Release

-3 Trap Stun
-1 Damage Condenser
-1 Des Croaking
-1 Needle Ceiling

+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+1 Battle Fader
+2 Dust Tornado

Hieratic Ruler:
-3 Trap Stun
-2 Flip Flop Frog
-2 Damage Condenser
-1 Des Croaking

+2 Battle Fader
+1 D.D. Crow
+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+2 Dust Tornado

Ceasefire came in, in any instance where I was nearing time, and I took something random out. I only sided it in a handful of times and I never drew into it.

There Is Life About To Start, When Tomorrow Comes!
Looking ahead to the now-current Advanced Format, this deck's easily still competitive. There are some obvious cards in my deck that were specifically for this event and those can be adjusted, namely Maxx "C", Flip Flop Frog, Needle Ceiling and Damage Condenser. In hindsight, I wouldn't have made any changes to the deck going into the tournament. I thought I had the best deck and the best build, but sometimes you fall to brick hands with even the most consistent strategy.

This is an interesting time for Yu-Gi-Oh, because two new rule changes have just taken effect, Pendulum Summoning is now legal, and Supply Squad has been released. On the horizon we have Shadolls and Tellaknights, both of which will be very competitive upon release. So we'll have to see where this deck goes, but I imagine it won't change much, especially the core Frog and tribute lineup. Cards like Fiendish Chain, Compulsory Evacuation Device and the newly unlimited Dimensional Prison could prove to be wildly important. You can put some money on it that I'll be testing furiously to come up with a build with things most players won't see coming.

I'd love to give a quick shout out to Team Parallel Worlds Gaming in Louisville, Kentucky. You guys rock. Nick, Tony, Gabe and Bobby Kenny for helping me test and allowing me to bounce ideas off of them. Frazier Smith for your calming words on Friday and being such an incredible opponent. Finally, Caleb Cosby for creeping in the background of my deck profile video.

If you'd like to find out where I go next with Frogs, check me out on YouTube by clicking here. I'll be posting videos chronicling my testing and you can even see what I was playing before I switched to Des Frogs and how that Frog deck evolved.

Signing off for Frog Nation,

-Pasquale Crociata