Looking Ahead: Toadally Awesome

I genuinely loved to play Frogs; it has to rank in my top five favorite decks of all time.

Obviously Frog FTK being broken had a bit to do with that, but the diversity of play coupled with the fact that I was dueling with ridiculous looking Frog cards was just awesome. While I don’t think there’s going to be a big Frog resurgence, I do think that Toadally Awesome is going to have a huge impact on competition when it arrives in Invasion: Vengeance.

toadallyawesome-inov-jp-rToadally Awesome
Water / Aqua / Xyz / Effect
Rank 2 / 2200 ATK / 0 DEF
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.

Cyber Dragon Infinity was a ridiculous card when we had Tellarknight Ptolemaeus, and even today it’s still one of the scariest threats in the game. While Toadally Awesome’s impression of Number 101: Silent Honor ARK may not be as good as Cyber Dragon Infinity’s, it is substantially better at what both cards do best: stop stuff.

Toadally Awesome’s on a completely different level than every past negation card, actually putting your opponent in a worse position if they’re forced to play into it. While previous control cards let you burn card economy against a negation so you could make sure your better card resolved, Toadally Awesome punishes you by taking whatever it negates and giving it to your opponent face-down. That’s a huge swing if you’re talking about a high impact spell or trap, and the potential to take an opponent’s monster is pretty cool.

Awesome’s first effect is proactive, and while I don’t think most strategies that wind up running Toadally Awesome will actually use a ton of Frogs, Swap Frog is almost crazier than it was back in 2010, thanks to the added factor of Xyz Monsters. In your opponent’s Standby Phase, the Swap Frog will hit the field and immediately ditch a Ronintoadin. That Swap Frog will fuel your first negation for Toadally Awesome, and you can banish the Frog for Ronintoadin later on to give yourself another negation.

Swap FrogIf your Toadally Awesome sticks around, it will trigger again in your Standby Phase, giving you another Swap Frog to send whatever you want to your grave. You can then banish that Frog to Special Summon Ronintoadin, giving you the materials for another Toadally Awesome! While the negation effect’s a little redundant, you’re really just in it for the value of getting another Swap Frog.

If all of that wasn’t enough, the last effect gives you a little extra value whenever Toadally Awesome hits the graveyard. So whether you send it there with its own effect or it just manages to get destroyed, you can get back any Water from your grave to your hand or just shuffle Toadally Awesome back to your Extra Deck. In a single negation you get to stop whatever your opponent’s trying to do, take that card so you can use it later, and you still just get back a Water monster in the worst case scenario that you have to tribute off Toadally Awesome itself.

There are a few different routes you can go if you want to Xyz Summon Toadally Awesome. Rescue Rabbit’s an easy way to get Xyz Materials, so you could use Normal Waters like Frog the Jam or Psychic Kappa, but there could be an issue with playing so many Normal Summons. Luckily Swap Frog solves that problem a little bit by just ditching one of them to Special Summon itself, so you do get that synergy there. Toadally Awesome will also let you toss any excess Aquas you draw so you can make use of those Normals stuck in your hand. But if you summoned Toadally Awesome you’re probably in a decent spot already no matter what.

Very similar to Rescue Rabbit, you could use Ties of the Brethren if you’re trying to go full-on Frog. All of the Frogs are the same Level and Attribute, so they all fit the requirement for Ties of the Brethren. However, since you can’t Xyz Summon the Toadally Awesome on your first turn, you’d need to rely on trap cards. The good news is that those traps could be anything from actual disruption, to potential combo pieces, or perhaps a completely different category of card altogether.

Going with actual disruption traps will really raise the average power level of your hands, since you can have openings that let you combo off big while also offering flexible negation. But relying on disruption is sometimes too reactive; you can fall behind on your actual game plan. For that reason, I think you could use recursion traps to make sure you’re always Xyz Summoning and abusing Swap Frog. That could be anything from Call of the Haunted to Limit Reverse and Graceful Revival to bring back Swap Frog and trigger its effect again.

You can easily fill your grave and always have a way to make Rank 2’s, which there are several very good ones out there with Toadally Awesome leading the pack. You could also try Paleozoics as a way to fill those extra slots, but they typically need to rely on more traps so you’d have to use a lot of cards to accommodate them. In fact, I think they are the last really good way there is to summon Toadally Awesome.

paleozoicanomalocaris-tdil-en-sr-1ePaleozoics are fairly strong even without Frogs. Most Paleozoic decks function as control strategies relying heavily on Card of Demise, and being very trap centric. This typically also involves additional draw cards like Jar of Greed and Legacy of Yata-Garasu to make sure you can both easily set your hand for Card of Demise and consistently trigger your Paleozoics in the grave.

Draw power is never a bad thing, but the way this version of the strategy would have to play is very differently. You can either choose to run additional Frogs or not, and while I think the upside is huge, those free Paleozoic summons could be enough to just make that version of the deck better, because of Card of Demise.

Playing Card of Demise in the Frog version definitely wouldn’t work because you’re using the Frogs to take advantage of fast Special Summons, and you’re Special Summoning to grind card advantage in the Standby Phases. So you’ll never be able to resolve a Card of Demise unless things are really bad. I guess you could use it just to gas up in the early game, but I don’t know how worthwhile it’d be to have dead cards in the mid and late game.

All that said, the better way to play Toadally Awesome may not allow for the luxury of Xyz Materials.

Bahamut Shark
The best way to play Toadally Awesome probably involves Bahamut Shark, simply because it’s easier to Xyz Summon. Rank 4’s are very strong right now: a strong Level 4 deck can make everything from Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer to Number S39: Utopia the Lightning after some ranking up. Regardless, any strategy that has some Level 4 Waters can abuse Bahamut Shark for Toadally Awesome, and it gets even better if you have more Aquas for more negations.

Mermails are probably the best Bahamut Shark deck available. The strategy’s already Tier 1 because of its consistently high damage output, and as someone who’s been on both the giving and receiving side of that damage I can say the deck’s no joke. We already know that Bahamut Shark’s great in the older version of Mermail that dedicated slots to Mermail Abysspike, Mermail Abyssturge, and Mermail Abyssgunde, so that’s a definite route you can go if you’re really trying to Shark into Awesome as consistently as possible. In addition, a Mermail heavy version’s likely to have many more Aquas than the Mermail-light buolds, which translates to more negations.

300px-BahamutShark-ABYR-EN-ScR-1EBut even if you don’t want to play a ton of Mermails you can still combo off with Bahamut Shark pretty reliably. Elder Entity Norden might be Limited, but Instant Fusion isn’t and that’s what matters. You can play as many copies of Instant Fusion as you want to guarantee you’ll draw it, allowing you to revive Atlantean Dragoons with Elder Entity Norden to make Bahamut Shark. The best part about that is it doesn’t require a Normal Summon and gives you another trigger for Atlantean Dragoons (Bahamut Shark will be sending it to the graveyard as a cost). Atlantean Dragoons is also super easy to dump into the grave thanks to Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince.

You could even include a full Frog engine in Mermails, because at the end of the day they’re all Waters, so the synergies there are strong enough. The Toadally Awesome you summon off of Bahamut Shark can’t Special Summon any Frogs because it won’t have any Xyz Materials, but anytime you draw Swap Frog you can just guarantee a real Toadally Awesome in play without using your Normal Summon.

Heroes can use Bahamut Shark too, thanks to Elemental HERO Bubbleman and Tin Goldfish. Bubbleman’s easy to find thanks to Elemental HERO Shadowmist, and Tin Goldfish already works well here since you can Special Summon Shadow Mist and trigger its effect. Masked HERO Dark Law’s no joke either.

Elder Entity Norden’s great in Heroes just as a way to give you easy Rank 4 access, and if either Bubbleman or Goldfish is in the grave you can bring it back and have the material for Bahamut Shark. It also synergizes super well with recursion traps like Call of the Haunted or Oasis of Dragon Souls, as reviving the Norden will trigger its effect again and it’s not like you didn’t already want the recursion traps with Shadow Mist.

Toadally Awesome’s definitely going to be a big player in the future, and if you thought that Cyber Dragon Infinity was scary then you’re going to be amazed. What do you think of it, and what’s the best strategy that can play Toadally Awesome?

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