Siding For: Toadally Awesome

Kelly Locke

11/21/2016 11:00:00 AM

We've had quite a few negation monsters hit the TCG over the last year. Vortex Dragon, Cyber Dragon Infinity, Kozmo Dark Lady, Number 38: Hope Harbinger Titanic Galaxy, and Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon have helped make going first a must this format. Toadally Awesome's the latest negation monster to be released here, and thanks to Bahamut Shark it's playable virtually anywhere you find Level 4 Waters.

It's hard to describe a specific way to side against Toadally Awesome outside of the decks it commonly calls home. Dedicated Frog strategies and Paleozoics are focused on Summoning it, but Heros and Mermails can play it easily too. There are very few cards with match-up utility against all of those decks, and even fewer that are strong against Toadally Awesome. The Awesome variant we're seeing play a lot like builds of Blue-Eyes and ABC-Dragon Buster that incorporate Cyber Dragon Infinity. They both typically require a slightly altered strategy to work.

It's the prevalence of Toadally Awesome that makes it worth siding for. There are so many decks playing it that you're almost guaranteed to see it at least once in any given tournament. The decks that can't run it – Metalfoes, ABCs, and Burning Phantom Knights – should take priority, but there's nothing wrong with protecting yourself from Toadally Awesome when other match-ups appear. I'm trying to fill a niche demand for players who want to keep Awesome off the field, but can't dedicate room in their Side Deck to Heroes, Paleozoics, Mermails, or Frogs specifically.

One Of The Best Negation Cards Yet
Adding a few extra cards so you can play Toadally Awesome is absolutely worth the effort and the bit of inconsistency they might create. It's an incredible card all around. Awesome has everything you'd want from a negation monster: solid ATK, an extra bonus for negating a card, the ability to put even more fodder for its effect into play, and a recycling ability. There's a lot of scary stuff going on here, but it's not impossible to beat. The cost for Awesome's negation effect usually involves itself, so unless your opponent's playing Frogs or Paleozoics they'll likely get just one use from it per duel.

Breaking apart Toadally Awesome's effect reveals exactly why it deserves its name. Any card it negates can be set to your side of the field. That's a big deal in terms of card advantage, and it makes Awesome's effect a +1 of card economy even if you tribute Awesome itself. Coupled with a self-replacing recycling effect and yet another ability that Summons Frogs from your deck and you have a card advantage machine.

 Toadally Awesome
Toadally Awesome124750
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN052
Level 2
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Aqua
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2200 / 0
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 2 Aqua-Type monsters
Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Frog" monster from your Deck. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect: You can send 1 Aqua-Type monster from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then you can Set it to your field. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 WATER monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.

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Toadally Awesome needs to compensate for its very real cost. Negation by discarding or tributing is starkly contrasted against the costless once-per-turn negations of Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy and Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon. Strangely, Awesome overcompensates with two effects that mitigate its cost. Since it's so easily Summoned with Swap Frog or Instant Fusion, Toadally Awesome delivers insane value even when you're using Bahamut Shark to Summon it.

Value aside, negating the activation of any card is a great effect. Toadally Awesome's a flexible defender for your set-ups and a great Turn 1 Summon. Of course, negating a single card usually isn't enough to win the duel outright; stopping a play while you have a game-winning set-up is a more ideal path to victory. But that said, Toadally Awesome goes a step beyond simply negating cards. Your opponent gets to keep what they negate, though in some cases that won't be relevant. Regardless, baiting Awesome's effect doesn't mean an even trade with your opponent. You'll actually end up down a card before Toadally's effect kicks in an recycles a Water monster.

Back To Kaijus
Negation and non-chain removal are the best ways of taking out a Toadally Awesome if it's already hit the field. Baiting it can work, but your opponent will likely take whatever card you used. Sometimes that's fine, especially if you can bait Awesome's effect with a card that's irrelevant to your opponent like Kozmojo, Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss, or Return of the Dragon Lords. Even if you stand to lose a Raigeki or Book of Eclipse you can still use those cards as bait so long as you destroy them before your opponent can use them. For example, you could activate Raigeki, lose it to Toadally Awesome, then Summon Kozmo Sliprider or Dragon Spirit of White to destroy or banish your Raigeki.

The most common out is probably going to be Kaijus. They don't start a chain, they can't be negated, and they take Toadally Awesome off the field effortlessly. Kaijus are often the #1 enemy of negation bodies and floodgate monsters, so it's no surprise that they're useful against Toadally Awesome. This actually flies in the face of an earlier prediction I made about Kaijus being phased out. I guessed that Kaijus might see substantially less play if System Down and Book of Eclipse became the premiere outs to floodgate monsters and ABC-Buster Dragon. That guess turned out to be totally wrong.

Side Deck space is tight right now, since so many decks are performing so well at Regional events. It's easy to fill up your Side Deck with outs to monsters and end up with no room for backrow removal, hand traps, or other disruptive cards. Inevitably you'll have to decide on one or two cards that will answer all the threats you're likely to see. Vanity's Fiend, Toadally Awesome, and ABC-Dragon Buster are all best answered by different cards, so utility is a problem. There's no single best card that deals with all of them.

So how are players coping with that at Regionals? Most Top Cut decks are running multiple answers to monsters that go beyond their on-theme removal effects. Book of Eclipse is hugely popular right now, but so are Kaijus, Swords of Concealing Light, Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, and System Down. I really like System Down for ABC's, but it has limited match-up utility and does nothing to stop Toadally Awesome. That said, Cyber Dragon Infinity and ABC-Dragon Buster are big enough threats that siding it for one or two match-ups is justifiable.

Defending Your Cards
Toadally Awesome's effect includes taking possession of whatever it just negated. That can be a huge loss, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, you can prevent your opponent from setting your spells and traps by playing Denko Sekka. Any card your opponent already took will be stuck face-down while Denko Sekka is on the field, so it's still a great choice even if you have to bait Toadally before using your Normal Summon.

It would be hard to recommend Denko Sekka just because it happens to stop one aspect of Toadally Awesome's effect, but luckily it's a great pick against the same decks that are playing Toadally. Paleozoics despise Denko Sekka since it shuts down most of their engine if they don't have either of their Xyz Monsters in play.

 Denko Sekka
Denko Sekka94557
Set The New Challengers
Number NECH-EN041
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Thunder
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1700 / 1000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Cannot be Special Summoned. While you control no Set Spell/Trap Cards, neither player can Set Spell/Trap Cards nor activate Spell/Trap Cards that are Set on the field.

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Awesome Heroes are also trap heavy and play upwards of twenty traps. Denko is a great Side Deck card for that match-up even if it doesn't answer Masked HERO Dark Law directly.

Unfortunately Denko Sekka isn't as strong against Mermails or Lightsworns. Both of those decks are dependent on their graveyard, so you have an option to play something like Necrovalley, Soul Drain, or simply prioritize Abyss Dweller in those match-ups. Kaijus can open up a clear path to victory since your opponent's monsters are probably the only thing defending their Life Points.

Emptying The Swamp
If you keep Toadally Awesome off the field you'll never have to worry about its effect. Stopping Extra Deck Summons can be tricky, but Summoning Toadally Awesome isn't particularly easy. A lot of things can go wrong along the way.

Think about the route you take to get two Level 4 Water monsters on the field: Xyz Summon Bahamut Shark, successfully resolve its effect, and finally Summon Toadally. If you flip an Xyz Material face-down, destroy it, banish it, or block Xyz Summons, your opponent's out of luck. If you negate Bahamut Shark's Summon or effect you'll have likely bought yourself a full turn. Activating Maxx “C” will likely net you three draws at a minimum.

There are plenty of options here. Dimensional Barrier's an obvious one and you can chain it to Bahamut Shark's effect. Not only does that negate Shark, but it stops other Xyz plays for the rest of the turn. Dimensional Barrier can negate Toadally Awesome directly if you bait its effect with another card. Heroes are great at playing around Dimensional Barrier by switching to Fusion Summons if Xyz Summons go offline, as are Lightsworns with Synchro Summons, but other strategies aren't as flexible.

Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries is, of course, an option if you have spare copies of Toadally Awesome lying around. If not, you're probably better off playing Maxx “C” or Effect Veiler. There's finally a great reason to play Effect Veiler again, and it even works to answer Denko Sekka if you're playing Awesome yourself. Unfortunately there's no specific match-up where it's outstanding, and both Breakthrough Skill and Dimensional Barrier are probably better ways to negate Extra Deck and floodgate monsters.

From initial Regional results it looks like the top Side Deck cards in the post-Toadally Awesome environment are Kaijus, Book of Eclipse, and Denko Sekka. Part of the reason for their popularity is a recent surge of Lightsworns, Paleozoics, and Heroes. We'll talk about these match-ups here soon as they're now highly relevant at the Regional level.

Until next time then


Kelly​ ​Locke​ ​is​ ​a​ ​West​ ​Michigan​ ​gamer,​ ​writer,​ ​and​ ​college​ ​student.​ ​​ ​In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​writing​ ​on

TCGplayer,​ ​Kelly​ ​writes​ ​​personal​ ​blog​​ ​covering​ ​Yugioh,​ ​Destiny,​ ​and​ ​other​ ​hobbies.​ ​You​ ​can follow​ ​him​ ​on​ ​​Twitter​​ ​and​ ​check​ ​out​ ​his​ ​​Youtube​ ​channel​.​ ​​ ​He​ ​is​ ​currently​ ​studying​ ​marketing​ ​at Western​ ​Michigan​ ​University,​ ​and​ ​hopes​ ​to​ ​graduate​ ​before​ ​​Dragon​ ​Ravine​​ ​is​ ​Unlimited.

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