6/13/2012 10:25:00 AM
If you havenít already guessed, my latest article is about one of my favorite, yet often over looked themes! Evols went almost completely unnoticed until Michael Smith piloted them to a Top 32 spot at YCS Atlanta. He set the stand for most of the decks us Evol Duelists run today, and proved to the world that Evols could hold their own amongst the most popular decks at the Championship level. Whatís really amazing is that he did all this before the release of Galactic Overlord
. Now that Galactic Overlord
is legal, Evols are more consistent than ever. While they may not have the speed of a Dino Rabbit deck, they can pull of combos the little bunny could only dream of.
Starting with the Basics
Evols were first released in Generation Force
and have received support in every set since. However, very few players seem to really understand the theme and how theyíre played. If I had to compare them to another strategy, Iíd say they play a lot like Gladiator Beasts. Much like Gladiators, Evols have a toolbox of effects that can be used by Special Summoning Evolsaurs through the effects of Evoltile monsters. Each Evoltile can activate their Special Summon effect once a certain condition is met, such as being flipped face up or tributed. Each Evolsaur monster has an effect that activates when they're Special Summoned by an Evoltile. This is similar to the tag out system Gladiator Beasts use. Youíre basically evolving the lizard-like Evoltiles into full-grown Evolsaurs. Luckily for us, this evolutionary process usually takes just one turn instead of a few thousand years. The best way to truly learn the science of this evolution is by examining an Evol deck and reviewing its key cards and combos.
This is what most Evol Duelists consider a standard build. It reflects a lot of the card choices Michael Smith used in his Evol deck, but has been updated with some of the new support from Galactic Overlord
. There are other ways to build Evols, but we'll get into that later on in this article. For now, Iíd like to show you how this deck functions and some of the amazing combos it can perform. To do that, letís start with the little guys that make all the big things happen.
The monster cards in your Evol deck are its biggest asset. They work with each other to give you an arsenal of effects. Knowing when to use what monster, and the order to Special Summon them in, can make all the difference to the outcome of your Duel.
This World Premiere card is the real backbone of the Evol strategy. Evoltile Najasho
is the catalyst that sets this deckís best combos into motion. Anytime you tribute Najasho for a tribute summon or by the effect of another card, youíll replace him with a full grown Evolsaur that will be able to activate its effect.
A key thing to remember is to always set this card. Never normal summon it. You donít do this just because of Najashoís high defense: you do it so that Najasho's Summon isnít negated by cards like Solemn Warning
. Najashoís effect will still activate even if it's tributed while face-down. Not only is this effective with tribute summon monsters like Darwino, but it makes other cards like Enemy Control, Mini-Guts, and of course the theme's powerhouse spell Evo-Force
, all effective tools for making progress while activating Najashoís effect. We'll take a more in-depth look into the combos those cards can perform with Najasho when we discuss them later on.
Evoltile Westlo: Photon Shockwave
brought us Evoltile Westlo
, and it was the first card to make people believe that Evols could eventually become a competitive theme. By flipping Westlo face-up (through a flip summon, card effect, or battle), it'll Special Summon any Evolsaur from your deck and let it activate its effect. Sporting a respectable 1900 DEF, Westlo rarely gets destroyed in battle when it's set. Most of the combos Westlo can perform will become clear as we talk about each of the Evolsaurs, but one works especially well. That brings us to our next monster.
I feel like Evolsaur Darwino
was made as a counterpart for Westlo. You can flip Westlo face-up to Special Summon Darwino, and then use Darwinoís effect to add two more levels to Westlo. With one card you just put two level five monsters on the field, just waiting to bring out a rank 5 Xyz monster. Not even Inzektors can spit out a rank 5 that easily. Having that level of access to Xyz Summons gives this deck a lot of flexibility. While not every Evol duelist likes Darwino, I think after some pla testing youíll see that itís well worth a spot in your Evol deck.
Evolsaur Cerato fills two roles for the Evol strategy. It's basically the beatstick of the Evol theme. Cerato starts out with a decent 1900 ATK, but it gets a boost up to 2100 ATK when it's Special Summoned by an Evoltile.
Ceratoís second role is to help make the deck more consistent by providing card advantage and search power. Every time it destroys one of your opponentís monsters in battle, you not only get a +1 from destroying an opposing monster, but you also get to search your deck for an Evoltile of your choice. Making that happen isnít too hard with a 2100 ATK monster. Cerato is like a cross between Gladiator Beast Laquari
and Gladiator Beast Equeste
There isnít too much to say about Diplo. He's your go-to guy (err...go-to dinosaur?) for when you want to take out one of your opponentís back row cards. Its stats arenít too bad, but Diplo usually just ends up as an Xyz Material. It's basically the scaly brother of Gladiator Beast Retiari
And finally we get to the Gladiator Beast Darius
of the Evol theme, Evolsaur Vulcano
. A single Vulcano Special Summoned by an Evoltile, can quickly become a rank 4 Xyz monster. If you havenít already noticed, all but one of the Evolsaurs we use are level 4 monsters. When Vulcano Special Summons an Evolsaur from the graveyard, youíll have everything you need to summon a rank four Xyz. That includes the powerful Evolzar Laggia
and Evolzar Dolkka
Spells and Traps
Many of the spells and traps in this deck demand the tribute of a monster for their activation cost. This in turn helps us activate Evoltile Najasho
, while usually netting a +1 or better in the process. Other spells help us draw into the combo pieces we need more consistently, and of course, there are the usual staples that make up the rest of the spell and trap lineup. Let's look at the more important cards.
I can only describe Evo-Force
as the best reason to use an Evol deck. It lets you pull off crazy combos: moves that can result in fields like Evolzar Laggia
plus Evolzar Dolkka
in a single play. Not many decks can stand up to a field of two Evolzars. While using this card to tribute a Westlo will only let you Special Summon one Evolsaur, combining Evo-Force
with Najasho will Special Summon two Evolsaurs: one with Najasho's effect, and one with Evo-Force
. Iím sure your head is already exploding with all the possibilities that combo creates.
What's really important is understanding how to correctly build the chains that result from these plays. You can unleash basically any Evolsaur effects you want, but alot of Duelists running this strategy are actually resolving things incorrectly. Here's an example of a high-impact play you'll probably make as often as you can.
-Set Evoltile Najasho
. Activate Evo-Force
, and use its effect to tribute Najasho.
-This will result in three chains total.
-The first chain consists of only one effect: Evo-Force
-In this case, let's resolve it to Special Summon Evolsaur Vulcano
from the deck. We'll refer to it specifically as Vulcano Number 1, because we're going to Summon two of them by the time we're finished.
-The second chain consists of two effects: Vulcano Number 1's, and Najasho's. Build the chain with Najasho's effect first, then Vulcano's: Najasho (Chain Link 1) >>> Vulcano (Chain Link 2).
-This chain will result in the Special Summon of an Evolsaur from your graveyard with Vulcano's effect, then the Special Summon of another Evolsaur from your deck with Evolsaur Najasho's ability. Special Summon whatever you like with Vulcano Number 1, then Summon Vulcano Number 2 with Najasho, triggering the second Vulcano's effect.
-The third chain consists of the effect of Vulcano Number 2. Resolve it to Special Summon another Evolsaur from your graveyard.
(Jason's Note: Seriously, alot of people are playing this wrong, creating situations where the effects of Najasho and Evo-Force wind up being chained to each other. That's not actually correct; the sequence above is accurate).
| Evolzar Dolkka
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Assuming you have two Evols in your graveyard, youíll be able to create a field of Evolzar Laggia
and Evolzar Dolkka
with this play sequence. Diplo or Cerato can replace Vulcano in this combo as needed, to help you clear the field or grant you another beatstick if you don't have the proper monsters in the graveyard.
is yet another spell card that lets us pull off more combos with Evoltile Najasho
. You can tribute Najasho to steal your opponentís monster; Special Summon Vulcano to Special Summon another Evolsaur from the graveyard; Xyz Summon a Rank 4; and then attack with both monsters for a high amount of damage.
If your opponent has a Level 4 monster, you could steal it with Enemy Controller
ís effect, and use Najasho to Special Summon Diplo and destroy one of your opponent's back row cards. Then, follow up by using your opponentís Level 4 monster and your Diplo to Special Summon a rank 4 Xyz monster. The options are endless. Controller also makes Evolsaur Darwino
a little more useful when you happen to draw into your only copy. You can use Enemy Controller
to steal an opponentís monster and then tribute it away with Darwino, instead of having to give it back at the end of your turn.
But donít forget about Enemy Controller
's other effect. While most of your Evoltiles have pretty high DEF, you still donít want them getting destroyed in battle before you get a chance to use their effects. E-Con can be a great tool for protecting them. Are you facing a monster thatís too big for your Laggia to get over? Use Enemy Controller
to turn it into defense position and take it down with ease. For the most part, high ATK monsters usually have lower DEF. This one card adds so many options to our Evol deck.
Evo-Diversity / Pot of Duality
I grouped these spells together because both of them are cards that help make the Evol strategy more consistent. Evo-Diversity
is another great card from Galactic Overlord
. One of the biggest issues holding Evols back was that they had very few ways to consistently draw into the correct Evoltile when you needed it. Now that's far different: Evols can essentially run three Reinforcement of the Army
If Iíve learned anything from playing Yu-Gi-Oh, itís that any deck that can use search cards is destined to do well. Just look at what search power has done for Gladiator Beasts in the past, and for E-Heroes in the present. Most of the time youíll want to search out an Evoltile with Evo-Diversity
, but itís nice to have the option of grabbing an Evolsaur in case you need more material for an Xyz Summon, or just a good old fashioned beatstick. Pot of Duality
serves the same purpose, helping you get one step closer to you key cards.
Pot of Avarice
Pot of Avarice
is very important for any Evol deck. Evols run very few Evolsaurs, because you don't want to run a high risk of drawing into them; you want Evoltiles in your hand, and Evolsaurs in your deck. But because you run such a low Evolsaur monster count, you can often burn through them before the duel's finished. There's nothing worse than having a graveyard full of Evolsaurs, but no Vulcano left in your deck; or a scary back row card locking you down, yet no Diplo to destroy it with. Pot of Avarice
lets you restock your search options, while drawing more cards in the process. Who could ask for anything more? Itís no wonder why this card got Limited.
The rest of the monsters, spells and traps I chose to use in this build are pretty straightforward. You can exchange them with other cards that might fit your play style and metagame better, if you wish. With a little customization, you you can truly turn this deck into something you can call your own.
Other Ways to Build Evols
Iím sure all the hardcore Evol fans are wondering why I didnít use monsters like Evolsaur Elias
and Evoltile Elginero
. While these are useful cards, they really belong in their own specific build designed to take advantage of them. Like I stated earlier, I wanted to show you how to use Evols with a standard build. There are alot of other Evoltiles and Evolsaurs you could include in your deck, but most of their effects are too situational, inconsistent, or just lackluster. The few that are worth running bring new options and combos to any deck they're played in, so they have to be built around really carefully.
Elias gives your Evol deck access to powerful rank six Xyz monsters like Photon Strike Bounzer
and the Evolzar Solda
. Itís best to use just two copies of Elias: that's not alot of deck space, but this long-necked dino requires a few changes to your main decked strategy if you want to ensure that he's live as often as possible. Most of the Evolsaur line-up will remain the same, but running a copy of Evoltile Elginero
in place of one of your Najashos can help put an Elias back in your deck in case you happen to draw into two of them. And since Eliasí effect lets him summon an Evolsaur from your hand, you may want to run another Pot of Duality
to help search one out when needed.
Elias can bring a lot of options to an Evol deck, but with this great power also come a few risks. Opening up with double Elias can pretty much lose you a game right then and there. And nothing is worse than top decking one late game, when youíre in a tight spot. Eliasí stats can also be a big issue. While Tribute Summoning Darwino at least gives you a 2200 ATK beatstick, there isnít much you can do with a 2400 DEF wall. If Elias is forced into attack position, youíll be left wide open since it has zero attack points. The rewards Elias can produce have made him a popular choice on the local level, but since it can create inconsistencies that are tough to recover from, most Duelists shy away from it at larger events.
Using a pair of Evolsaur Darwino
can provide new options in a similar fashion to Evolsaur Elias
. If you use an Evo-Force
to Tribute Evoltile Najasho
and Special Summon two Darwinos, you can have each Darwino increase its own level by anywhere between 0 to 2 levels. Those Darwinos give you access to Rank 5, Rank 6, and Rank 7 Xyz monsters.
In a way, Darwino carries an even bigger risk factor than Elias. Elias can Special Summon another Elias that you may have stuck in your hand, but Darwino can't. Once you draw into Darwino, your Rank 6 and Rank 7 access is as good as gone without the use of Evoltile Elginero
. You can, however, still use Westlo to Special Summon your remaining Darwino to make a Rank 5 Xyz monster. If youíre willing to face the possible risk these cards bring, then you might enjoy running them to reap the rewards they can offer.
In this section of the article we're going to look at a few card choices that are a lot of fun to run in an Evol deck, and can make for some pretty amazing plays. While none of these cards are needed to make a competitive strategy, you may feel that one of them fits your play style or is just too good not to use.
This is one of those cards that most people just wrote off as too situational when they were looking through all the cards in Galactic Overlord
. For those of you that did overlook Mini-Guts, mouse over the name to see exactly what it does.
Normally you wouldnít want to Tribute a monster even to get such a nice effect. Taking a minus in card presence, and giving up an on-field monster in addition, just to help take out one of your opponents monsters isnít always the smartest move in the long run. But what if you were able to break even, or even plus from using Mini-Guts? With Evoltile Najasho
, you can! You can use Mini-Guts to tribute a lone Najasho; drop your opponentís monster to 0 ATK; and then run it over with the Evolsaur you Special Summon with Najasho. If you use Mini-Guts on a 3000 ATK monster, you could do 5200 damage in one turn by Special Summoning Darwino. Better yet, if you have an Evolsaur in your graveyard, you can bring out Vulcano to Special Summon it and do some serious damage while netting a rank 4 Xyz. Assuming your opponent has already used a Solemn card or taken a few hits, Mini-Guts can be the finishing blow that wins you the duel. I replaced one Enemy Controller
in my personal Evol deck with a Mini-Guts, and Iím loving it. I believe you will too if you give it a try.
One of the reason Inzektors are so good is that they can destroy just about any threat with Inzektor Hornet
. Wouldnít it be great if other decks could have that kind of destructive power? Evols do have their own Hornet, in the form of a spell card. Evo-Price
lets you destroy one card on the field every time a monster is Special Summoned by an Evoltile. That means every time Najasho gets tributed, or Westlo gets flipped face up, you get to destroy a card. Since that happens pretty often over the course of a duel, you can find yourself gaining pluses left and right.
The downside of Evo-Price
is that it has to stay on the field to be useful. With Mystical Space Typhoon
at three, and Heavy Storm
in almost every deck, keeping Evo-Price
on the field isnít so simple. Cards like Starlight Road
can help, but until Inzektor Hornet
or Mystical Space Typhoon
take a hit, youíre still going to have a hard time playing Price effectively.
Our Journey Through Evolution
I hope you have enjoyed our little history lesson on the evolution of Evols.! These critters have been overlooked for far too long. Even Konami has been trying to push TCG Duelists into using Evols by giving us very attractive World Premier cards in every set since they were released. I tried to talk about as many possible ways to build an Evol deck as Iíve seen, but for all we know, there's an even better decklist just waiting to be dug up. Will you be the one to pioneer it? Donít let the Evols become fossils: make your own Evol deck and take your metagame back to the Jurassic age!