Hello Yugioh Community! YCS Austin has come and past and a new champion has been crowned! I want to start off with a huge congratulation to Oscar Zelaya representing Team Legacy out of Dallas, Texas. I personally know how much time and effort Oscar and his whole team has been putting into this game over the past couple of years and it’s great to know that it paid off. It just goes to show that a little team work, fiery confidence, and strong determination can truly go along way. Even though Mermails won the tournament, many duelists were surprised to see that a Frog Monarch deck was able to make it all the way to the top four; was this a fluke or are Frog Monarchs a contender during this format? I want to share my opinion on why this deck did so well and how to defeat it!
- So can you explain why Frog Monarchs did so well? -
This is probably a question many duelists have been asking and I believe there are a lot of contributing factors that could have resulted in the perfect storm.
First off I want to take a look at what the yugi-meta was like going into YCS Austin and maybe that will help uncover the key to this decks success. Going into Austin Mermails were the most played and the deck to beat for the format and that match-up can arguably be in favor of the Frog Monarch player. Mermails put a lot of monsters on board, investing a lot of their resources, and attempt to kill their opponent in one turn so a timely [ccProd]Battle Fader[/ccProd] followed up by a [ccProd]Dark Dust Spirit[/ccProd] can really swing the match in favor of the Monarch player. While Mermails can also play a control game and try to beat this deck with [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd], Monarchs have many outs in the form of multiple copies of [ccProd]Enemy Controller[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Soul Exchange[/ccProd]s to deal with this problem. The next most popular deck would probably have to be Fire Fist which is another slow paced control deck that can lose to a decent amount of removal so[ccProd] Soul Exchange[/ccProd] can be quite devastating to any Fire Fist player. Since the deck revolves around activating a spell to search out there engine, then using Bear to pop a monster, [ccProd]Light and Darkness Dragon[/ccProd] can just end this match-up very quickly since the fire fist really have no good answer once it is face-up on the field. The fact that this deck has a pretty decent match-up against the two most popular decks of the format was most certainly a huge contributing factor to this decks success.
Another huge factor that I feel contributed to this decks success is a lot of players were not expecting it and as a result may not have known how to play against this deck properly. There was a time when Frog Monarchs were a top contender, but never quite made it to being the best deck because players adapted and found ways to play around the main strategies of the deck, but it has been awhile and many duelists may have forgotten. If you have never faced a Frog Monarch deck before it can be quite challenging if you don’t take everything thing they can drop on you into account. You have to always watch out for timely [ccProd]Enemy Controller[/ccProd]s, [ccProd]Battle Fader[/ccProd]s, and know that any point a [ccProd]Dark Dust Spirit[/ccProd] could come down to destroy everything or [ccProd]Light and Darkness Dragon[/ccProd] will potentially lock the game down. I am sure the surprise factor played a huge role in this deck doing so well.
-No More Surprises-
As I just mentioned, a lot of player’s inexperience against this deck probably played a key role in its success so here are a few tips I can offer when sit down against it.
-Frog Monarchs do not rush to kill you; Don’t be in a rush to kill them!
I wanted to go over this point first because it is probably the most common mistake I seen made when people are facing Frog Moanrchs. They use all of their resources early trying to make a quick kill because that is what the format may require against a majority of the decks, but you have to change your play style against Monarchs. Their game plan is fairly simple, let their opponent do whatever they want and spend all of their resources in an attempt to win, stop them with a [ccProd]Battle Fader[/ccProd]/[ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd]/[ccProd]Gorz, The Emissary of Darkness [/ccProd]and use cards like [ccProd]Enemy Controlle[/ccProd]r and Monarchs to rid them of everything until there life is finally reduced to 0 from a bunch of 2400 pokes in most cases. You have to play the same style against them, save your resources and poke them till there life is reduced to 0, setting up for a big game shot will only leave you upset and unsatisfied. They only have so many monarchs and if you can successfully bait enough out you will most likely come out on top.
-Frog Monarchs have limited options, know this and use it to your advantage!
This has always been a downfall of the deck and the reason I feel it has never been able to been the best deck outright. Due to the way the deck is built you know each turn more than likely you will only have to deal with them dropping one monster a turn, more than likely a Monarch, so make sure you set up your field accordingly. I’ll give a couple of examples using the two top decks I discussed earlier.
If you are playing Mermails setting [ccProd]Mermail Abysslinde[/ccProd] is simply not an option since odds are they have no monster in there deck to summon and attack over it to trigger its effect, instead it will more than likely be banished by [ccProd]Caius the Shadow Monarch[/ccProd] or even worse spun back to the top by [ccProd]Raiza the Storm Monarch[/ccProd]. Instead just setting an [ccProd]Abyss-Sphere[/ccProd] to your back row and passing can prove to be quite difficult for their deck to deal with since any Monarch they may tribute for to rid you of your back row would remove the Sphere, destroying the [ccProd]Mermail Abysslinde[/ccProd] you bring out, allowing you to summon any Mermail from the deck putting the pressure back on them.
In the case of Fire Fist it can be a little tougher, but baiting out there monarchs is key in this match-up. The main card this deck has is actually located in the extra deck in the form of [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd]. You will have to make the most use out of [ccProd]Fire Formation – Tensu[/ccProd] allowing you to summon a couple of monsters in one turn, poke for some damage, deal with whatever they drop with Bear in Main Phase 2, then make an [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd] and if he’s backed up by a [ccProd]Forbidden Lance[/ccProd] to stop [ccProd]Soul Exchange[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Enemy Controller[/ccProd] plays (Make sure he is in Defense mode in this scenario so a [ccProd]Swap Frog[/ccProd] isn’t able to run over him) you might just be golden and on the path to victory.
Conclusion: Frog Monarchs shocked the Yugioh Community by making it all the way to the top 4 of YCS Austin. The combination of its favorable match-ups and being able to take advantage of a lot of duelist not knowing how to play against the deck were both important factors that more than likely contributed to its success. This control deck cannot rush you down in most scenarios and if you can find a way to bait out there monarchs, forcing them to waste their resources before you do, you will probably yield positive results. I do believe that this deck has the potential to be a future contender, maybe not a top tier deck, but will stick around just enough that you might face a couple at any premier level event you may play in. Once again, Congrats to Oscar Zelaya our newest YCS Champion!
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, or simply want to just answer the question of the article, you can do so in the comments down below!
-YCS Toronto and YCS Columbus Champion