Deck Doctor #31: Frog Monarch and Anti-Meta

tyler nolanHey readers, this week we’re going to start off by taking a look at James Drake’s Frog Monarch list:
[ccDeck="Main Deck"]2 Tragoedia:2 Light and Darkness Dragon:1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness:1 Jinzo:1 Vanity's Fiend:3 Caius the Shadow Monarch:3 Raiza the Storm Monarch:1 Dark Dust Spirit:3 Swap Frog:2 Ronintoadin:2 Dupe Frog:2 Treeborn Frog:3 Battle Fader:2 Effect Veiler:1 Dark Hole:2 Soul Exchange:1 Foolish Burial:2 Pot of Duality:2 Mystical Space Typhoon:3 Enemy Controller:1 Compulsory Evacuation Device[/ccDeck] For me, this deck has always been incredibly interesting in theory. The late game plan of dropping a monarch every turn seems absolutely incredible, however, in actuality, the deck rarely works as planned, and nowadays tends to function more as a Stun deck with Vanity’s Fiends.

To start off, the easiest cut for me is the single Jinzo. It might be correct to side Jinzo versus trap-heavy decks, but even there most trap heavy decks are going to aim to prevent you from being able to tribute summon, making Jinzo look pretty silly in your hand. Versus Dragon, sure it can’t be Wind Blasted, but aside from that, it isn’t doing much of anything.

Effect Veiler doesn’t really fill much of a role either, there are other hand traps that put in much more work versus decks that matter. Being able to make Formula with Frog is nice, but using your normal summon to do it isn’t so nice.

The Compulsory strikes me as unnecessary. I get why you play it as your only trap, since it will never clog your backrow, but there is real value to just playing zero traps and rendering your opponents Typhoons completely dead in game 1. You have plenty of solid answers to monsters, you don’t need Compulsory.

I’m going to add another tribute monster later on, so to avoid upsetting the ratios I’m going to cut one of the Raizas. I’m not entirely sure which is the better cut, either a Caius or Raiza, Raiza is a bit better versus the Dragon Ruler monsters, but Caius is better pretty much everywhere else, so I’m going to cut the Raiza.
Dark Hole doesn’t seem to be doing much in here with how easy it is for you to clear the board anyway. You almost want monsters on their side of the field so you can Econ them, or Soul Exchange.

The cuts in summary:
-1 Jinzo
-2 Effect Veiler
-1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
-1 Dark Hole

Not really much space to add cards, though I definitely want to start off by adding 3 [ccProd]Maxx “C”[/ccProd]. I know you said you didn’t run them because you didn’t have access to them, but I try to make the optimal fixes, regardless of card pool, and there really isn’t a replacement for Maxx “C”, especially with how many battle phase stopping hand traps in the deck.

Lastly, I want to max out the Vanity’s Fiend copies. As I said earlier, because of how every deck plays with free cards now, you really need to attack on a different angle than just playing a monarch every turn. Vanity’s Fiend completely shuts Dragons down for as long as they can’t find a trap to deal with it, and this deck is pretty good at dealing with any prior setups the Dragon deck puts into play. It gives you a late game plan of, instead of just trying to drop a monarch every turn, lock them out with Vanity’s Fiend, and if it dies? [ccProd]Herald of Pure Light[/ccProd] and do it again.

The last addition I want to make is just the 3rd copy of Dupe Frog, for consistency. This is another one of those Swap Frog decks, where when you see Swap Frog you get to do some pretty disgusting things, but when you can’t find one you’re pretty much doing nothing, and of course, Dupe helps find Swap. It also lets you get some extra uses out of your Ronintoadins, for whatever that counts for.

Additions in summary:
+3 Maxx “C”
+2 Vanity’s Fiend
+1 Dupe Frog


Next up, we’re going to look at Victor Campagna’s anti-meta deck:

[ccDeck="Main Deck"]3 Maxx "C":3 Beast King Barbaros:2 Beast Machine King Barbaros Ur:2 Cardcar D:2 Card Trooper:2 Swift Scarecrow:1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear:1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Gorilla:3 Mystical Space Typhoon:2 Fire Formation - Tenki:2 Forbidden Lance:1 Book of Moon:1 Dark Hole:3 Call of the Haunted:2 Skill Drain:2 Vanity's Emptiness:2 Mirror Force:1 Dust Tornado:1 Torrential Tribute:1 Compulsory Evacuation Device:1 Dark Bribe:1 Solemn Warning:1 Bottomless Trap Hole[/ccDeck]

This is definitely an interesting take on an anti-meta list, the Skill Drain + Barbaros (Ur) engine is something people have been trying to make work ever since Barbaros Ur was released, but there were never good enough machine monsters for it to be viable. Now with Cardcar, the deck has a viable machine other than Card Trooper to run.

The first thing that stands out to me is the small Fire Fist splash, every time I try to splash a Fire engine in similar decks, drawing the wrong half of the Fire combo was always a huge problem with only 2 Tenkis. However, this deck also runs Skill Drain which makes the Bear and Gorilla even worse. I don’t see any reason to run the Fire Fist cards in this list. I’m going to keep one of the Formations in, however, as we’re going to add something later that makes use of them.

The Dust Tornado strikes me as a little odd, while having removal for Dragon Ravine is definitely important, game 1 I’d much rather have something like [ccProd]Seven Tools of the Bandit[/ccProd] which just blocks Return or [ccProd]Trap Stun[/ccProd]. I’m going to cut the Dust. Similarly, Spells are pretty much at an all-time low right now. Unless you want to be Bribing draw spells like Seven Star Sword, Dark Bribe is almost strictly worse than Seven Tools right now. I’m cutting both of these cards.

Forbidden Lance also doesn’t seem like the best card for the slot either. It isn’t really helping your small monsters win in battle with Dragons, and as far as protection from s/ts goes, Seven Tools just does it better.

I’m not the biggest fan of Mirror Force right now. Once you set 3 backrow on turn 1, every opponent will be actively playing around Mirror Force, and with cards like Stardust Dragon and Dracossack in the Dragon extra deck, it’s pretty trivial to play around. I’m going to cut both.

Triple CotH seems a bit excessive when our turn 1 play is often summon Cardcar, draw 2, pass. It’s great as the game goes later, especially with some of the other cards we’re going to add, but 2 copies should suffice.

The cuts in summary:
-1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear
-1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Gorilla
-1 Fire Formation - Tenki
-1 Dust Tornado
-1 Dark Bribe
-2 Forbidden Lance
-2 Mirror Force
-1 Call of the Haunted

The big addition I want to make is a Fire King package, which synergizes much better with the rest of the deck. It gives you more comeback cards for when your opponent tries to push through a Maxx “C” into a Scarecrow, it bumps your Beast-Warrior count back up, and unlike the Fire Fists, they do something under Skill Drain. I’m going to add a single Yaksha and Barong, then 3 [ccProd]Onslaught of the Fire Kings[/ccProd], and 2 Garunix.

With the remaining 3 slots, I want to add 2 Seven Tools of the Bandit, for reasons stated earlier, and a single [ccProd]Trade-In[/ccProd], to go with our 7 level 8 monsters, and make our Garunixes slightly better draws. I wanted to fit in a 2nd copy of Trade-In as well, but nothing else really stood out to me as something I wouldn’t want in the deck.

The additions in summary:
+1 [ccProd]Fire King Avatar Yaksha[/ccProd] +1 [ccProd]Fire King Avatar Barong[/ccProd] +2 [ccProd]Fire King High Avatar Garunix[/ccProd] +3 [ccProd]Onslaught of the Fire Kings[/ccProd] +2 [ccProd]Seven Tools of the Bandit[/ccProd] +1 [ccProd]Trade-In[/ccProd]

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Until next time, remember to Play Hard or Go Home! Check out the upcoming Metro Series making its first stop in beautiful Montreal, Quebec on December 7th!