6/28/2012 11:20:00 AM
A lot of duelists have voiced their opinions, and the format we're in right now is often referred to as a "rock-paper-scissors" format. A rock-paper-scissors format occurs when there are three top decks, and each is largely good against one of the three, but has a big disadvantage to the other. Right now we have Rabbit beating Inzektors, but getting stomped on by Chaos Dragons; Inzektors beating Chaos Dragons, but losing to Rabbit; and Chaos Dragons demolishing Rabbit, but taking a hit from Inzektors. While this is an interesting observation, I think there is one flaw that people are afraid to admit: Inzektors do not have that great of match-up against Chaos Dragons, they just have a better match-up then Dino Rabbit would.
This brings me to my main issue, and that's that while Rabbit and Inzektors have a counter, Chaos Dragons effectively don't. We all know Chaos Dragons: it's one of the most approachable, easiest to build YCS-topping decks ever to be created. Dragons make huge plays, set up the graveyard really fast, and laugh in the face of common traps like Solemn Warning
and Torrential Tribute
. They also make several spell and trap removal cards in the opponent's deck completely useless, because a Chaos Dragon player tends to run few traps, if any. Right now, Championship-level metagames (as well as many local and regional metagames), are faced with one Question
: how do we beat Chaos Dragons?
The Answer: Sea Lancer Frogs
The reason Sea Lancer
Frogs are so good against Chaos Dragons should be obvious to you if you've tested Dragons a bit. This build, like Chaos Dragons, plays very few traps. It's built on having lots of speed and field control. In addition, Frogs tend to put out big monsters on the field that a lot of decks right now just can't deal with. Sea Lancer
Frogs is the frog deck that Frogarch (Monarchs with Frog engine) always wanted to be. This particular build also patches up a lot of Frogarch's main issues, such as being crippled by Chain Disappearance
and their over-reliance on Treeborn Frog
This deck creates field presence that's basically a pain in your opponent's ***. Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
is a monster that nobody likes to see hit the table, and when it's paired with a Sea Lancer
equipped with several Frogs, other players tend to become really frustrated really fast. Sea Lancer
may not be amazing on its own, with a boosted power of just 2300 ATK, but you'll generally have him pumped up to 2700 ATK with Gachi on the field. 2700 attack points runs over most monsters, only falling to cards like a 3000 ATK Grapha, Dragon Lord of the Dark World; Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
; and Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
While the ATK issue may initially seem like a huge problem, there are actually a ton of outs to those cards here, such as Caius the Shadow Monarch
and an often-above-3000-ATK Tragoedia
. Obelisk the Tormentor
, the legendary god card, also makes an appearance in this deck, serving as the trump card. In most Chaos Dragon builds, there are only two main decked outs to Obelisk: Five-Headed Dragon
and Dark Hole
. Five-Headed Dragon
is easily taken care of through cards like Mystical Space Typhoon
, Caius, and Heavy Storm
, so that's not a huge problem. Dark Hole
is the main fear, so you either have to win before they activate it (which is often achievable because Obelisk hits pretty hard), or make sure they waste it before you summon the Tormentor.
The fact of the matter is that this deck is the Chaos Dragons that beats Chaos Dragons. The beasts of the sky are known for putting up huge monsters, and this deck does the same thing. The difference is that this strategy puts out even bigger
monsters than Dragons can deal with. Tragoedia
with 3000 or more ATK is nothing to laugh at, and Obelisk wrecks everything in his path. You also have to look at the fact that while your opponent is attempting to draw outs to your big monsters, you're drawing more and more cards, allowing you to instantaneously mount a comeback. Before I go into the exact science of the deck and it's play style, I'd like to showcase the build itself.
The core of this deck is the frog engine. Your main card is Swap Frog
, and you want that in hand as fast as possible in every Duel. Unlike Frogarchs, you don't need Treeborn Frog
in the graveyard to operate, but rather the main goal is to get Ronintoadin
and any other Frogs in the yard as fast as possible. From there you can keep banishing Frogs to create both tribute and Xyz fodder depending on what hand you have. Dupe Frog
is a fast way to get to Swap Frog
, and also packs a solid DEF and an effect that protects your other monsters. Another good thing about running this type of Frog strategy is that the other player will tend to banish Treeborn Frog
if they have a banishing effect, when the real threat is Swap Frog
makes use of all those banished Frogs, giving you a 2300 ATK, destruction-preventing monster that gives you huge pluses. Take note that Poison Draw Frog
and Dupe Frog
both get their effects when sent from the field to the graveyard, so using Sea Lancer
's effect to keep it from being trampled allows you to gain free searches and free draws in the process. Your other tribute monsters keep the surprise factor of this deck strong. Dark Dust Spirit
acts as a turn after turn Dark Hole
, and forces your opponent to waste resources. Obelisk is way too easy to summon in this deck, and when you bring him out you usually win the game a few turns later. Light and Darkness Dragon
makes the opposition use card after card to take him down, and even then he replaces himself.
The hand traps make up for the fact that you don't play many actual traps. Tragoedia
, Gorz, and Battle Fader
all create walls and give you tribute fodder. Tour Guide serves more than an Xyz role in this strategy, as you'll often find yourself going for Sangan
and then ending your turn. This basically ensures that you'll get Swap Frog
to your hand in a turn or two. This deck gives you options, and options are always a good thing to have.
The Match-Ups Against the Big Three
I obviously keep talking about this match-up for a good reason. Chaos Dragons are played everywhere
. Previously, the deck to beat was Dino Rabbit, but now Dragons from the light and dark are roaming all over the place and you have to be able to beat them to compete. Your huge monsters can crush everything they throw at you, and extra deck cards like Number 96: Dark Mist
and Shining Elf
can help you win. This is the best match-up for this deck, hands down.
As the second biggest threat in Championship-level metagames right now, you should be able to beat this match-up with whatever deck you plan on building. You have to be able to do that. Fortunately, Sea Lancer
Frogs has big enough monsters to take down Chaos Dragons, so naturally it can take down everything Dino Rabbit throws at you.
This match-up is decent, and you definitely can win it if you play smart. The key is to not commit to the field until you can back yourself up. Luckily you have plenty of things to throw at the other player if they clear your field. Cards such as Tragoedia
and Gorz will be your saving grace in this match-up so use them accordingly.
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Yes, yes you should. A deck that has a great match-up against the most played strategy and a good match-up against the second most played deck is nothing to scoff at. Also, any time your opponent has to read what your card does (see: Fish and Kicks
) that gives you the advantage of being unexpected. When Alex Reed took one of the first North American builds of Chaos Dragons all the way to second place at YCS Dallas he pointed out some interesting things. The one that I took away, though, was when he mentioned how people would make mistakes like activating Torrential Tribute
when he summoned Lightpulsar Dragon
. Mistakes like those can give you the upper hand, and should never be overlooked.
You also have to consider the fact that this deck tends to have the same affect Mystic Piper
decks have on players. You often have five or six cards in your hand, and that really intimidates your opponent. My advice for playing this deck in a long tournament would be to keep the one of your teched cards a secret if you can. Awesome game-changing cards like Light and Darkness Dragon
, Fish and Kicks
, and Number 96: Dark Mist
all really shine when your opponent doesn't see them coming.
All of this being said, I would definitely consider taking this deck to Nationals, or at least study it enough to beat it. It's risen in popularity, taking third place in the Irish Nationals and a few other top finishes. It's a deck that can and will catch you off guard if you don't know how to play against it. If you're paired up against Sea Lancer
Frogs, just make sure you stop Swap Frog
: it's the best card in the deck. If you're running this deck yourself, remember to study cool plays such as summoning Treeborn Frog
and then tributing it for Enemy Controller
in the standby phase, so it still comes back from the graveyard again that turn. You won't always get the "god hand" of Swap Frog
, Sea Lancer
, and two other Frogs, but this deck is really consistent and fun to play. Hopefully you guys enjoyed the insight into this strategy, and I'd be glad to hear about your tech choices for the deck and your reasons for running them down in the Comments section!