About a month ago, I was at a regional talking to someone named Pasquale. He took his deck out and showed it to me. The deck was Sea Lancer Frogs, which I had never seen until that point. Pasquale ended the regional in tenth place out of about 200 players, getting an invite to nationals in the process. After that, I was hooked on the deck. I searched around and found that at least two people got into the top 8 of regionals also with Lancer Frogs, but with very different builds. After some playing with the deck and tweaking it, here is the decklist I came up with:
3 Swap Frog
2 Poison Draw Frog
2 Dupe Frog
1 Treeborn Frog
3 Sea Lancer
3 Caius the Shadow Monarch
1 Light and Darkness Dragon
1 Vanity's Fiend
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
2 Battle Fader
2 Maxx "C"
1 Book of Moon
3 Enemy Controller
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Heavy Storm
1 Dark Hole
1 Creature Swap
1 Monster Reborn
1 Trap Dustshoot
At its core, Lancer Frogs is a Frog Monarch with the obvious exceptions of having more frogs and Sea Lancer. As such, it plays a little bit differently than other Frog Monarch decks. One thing that remains constant between the two decks is the importance of Swap Frog. You are in a much better position with Swap Frog than without it. Luckily, the deck has 3 ways to search it out in Dupe Frogs and Sangan. In a Frog Monarch deck, the first card you are putting in the grave is Treeborn Frog. That is not always true in a Lancer deck. Most of the time, it is more important to have Ronintoadin and other frogs in the graveyard first.
Ronintoadin serves three functions in the deck. The most important one is banishing frogs. By doing that, you set up for Sea Lancer. The best frogs to banish are the Poison Draw Frogs and the Dupe Frogs as they both still get their effects when equipped to Sea Lancer. The second use is setting up for tribute monsters. While it does this worse than Treeborn Frog, it is better in this deck because it banishes frogs. The third use usually comes into effect when you have multiple frogs and multiple Ronintoadins in the graveyard. When you have that, you can special summon two Ronintoadins and Xyz Summon for Gachi Gachi Gantetsu. Gachi Gachi gives the deck resiliency and allows our tribute monsters to run over opposing monsters like the Evolzars and Stardust Dragon.
The second part of the deck name comes from Sea Lancer. If you are unfamiliar with the card, take a minute to read it. Sea Lancer is the reason that Ronintoadin is so good in this deck. By banishing frogs with it, you can usually have between 3 and 5 equipped monsters when you get it out. If you have Dupe Frog or Poison Draw Frog equipped, you can either search for a frog or draw a card every time it is destroyed. Yes, they do work that way. Even if Sea Lancer is returned to the hand with Brionac or banished with Dimensional Prison, the frogs themselves get destroyed and activate. With Sea Lancer, you have a hard to kill monster that gives you card advantage and reloads the graveyard with frogs for Ronintoadin. If you draw into Salvage or another Sea Lancer, you can do it all over again.
The rest of the deck is pretty standard for Frog Monarchs. You have a few other tributes to help you along the way. Gorz, Battle Fader, and Tragoedia help to protect your lifepoints while setting up big monsters. Enemy Controller and Creature Swap help you deal with troublesome monsters by taking them and possibly tributing them for your own large monsters. Salvage is good for dumping more frogs and toads with Swap Frog or reusing Lancers. Trap Dustshoot and Maxx "C" are simply two of the best cards right now, especially on the first turn. Maxx "C" may not be available to everyone as one copy of the card costs more than the whole rest of the decks. Possible cards to replace it are Effect Veiler, another Treeborn Frog, or more tribute monsters. Some people would argue that you need the extra Treeborn and tribute monsters anyway.
The side deck is in some aspects more surprising than the main deck. I am not posting the full side deck as most of the specific cards don't matter. Cyber Dragon, a third Mystical Space Typhoon, Debunk, Royal Decree, and Rai-oh, as well as other side deck staples are obviously good. There are three cards from my side deck I would like to highlight. The first is Jinzo, which is a good one-of against Anti-Meta and other trap-heavy decks. The second is Oh F!sh!, which is this decks version of Gladiator Beast War Chariot. It is very good after side decking because it is likely that the opponent will side out cards like Heavy Strm and side into Debunk or D.D. Crow, making Oh F!sh! live most of the time. The third card unique to the deck is Armed Sea Hunter, another card which you will probably have to read. It is very good against Synchrocentric decks, negating cards like Dandylion, Sangan, and Spore.
As I mentioned briefly before, the decks that topped were different than the one in this article. One of those decks ran Deep Sea Diva and Moray of Greed. Moray of Greed is really good with the added Water monsters. It gives the deck more spec and consistency, by digging fro Swap Frog and Sea Lancer. While Diva does not actually help the Lancer part of the deck, it gives the deck the option to get out Synchros for more big monsters and another way to get out Gachi Gachi by getting out a second Diva with the first. The other that topped seems to me to be more of a tribute based deck. It left out the Poison Draw Frogs and a few other cards to add in a second Treeborn Frog and more tribute monsters with Dark Dust Spirit, Archlord Kristya, and Obelisk the Tormentor.
The deck is not incredibly competitive, but it is able to go head-to-head with the top decks, especially Synchrocentric decks. As shown by the deck's multiple top finishes at regionals, with some tuning it can be good. While it might not be at the top of the competitive pillar, it is one of the cheaper decks. Without Maxx "C," the main deck is less than $40. The Extra Deck is even cheaper as the only cards you need being 3 copies of Gachi Gachi Gantetsu. The deck is also very fun to play. It plays very differently from most other decks and the feeling after resolving Sea Lancer's effect is great. If you want a cheap, fun deck to play, this is one of the first decks you should turn to.
-Russell "Robot Kid" Miner
Hometown: Merrick, NY
Local store: The Comic Book Depot