Well, dear readers and friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG,
preparations and practicing for our (my gamer buddy Robin and mine) first official YGO (Advanced Format) tournament, something I would have never guessed it would be actually happening one day and I would have called you a fool or meaner things had you suggested it to me about a year ago or so, are well underway and all is already planned for the event to take place on Saturday in two weeks from now.
I have to say I was and still am to some degree really torn between two options when it comes to which deck will be the deck for my first ever YGO tournament, and, until our test sessions just today, I was determined to just do something utterly crazy and surprise everyone with my good old Blue Eyes deck, a totally unexpected and unorthodox deck choice. While the Blue-Eyes Deck is great and all and rocks at putting out a bunch of raw-attack-power dragons, among others BEWD of course, that is about all it can do. There is littel in the sense of “control” elements and when somebody can top my 3000 ATK dragons, I am pretty much screwed.
With the other deck I had in mind, it is a totally different story and, while it never will have anything stronger than 2400 ATK out, it is very flexible and features a ton of control elements as well as being VERY reliable, as we established without doubt today, and on top of that it is somewhat unorthodox as well the way I built the deck (and I am a person who just HAS TO play something out of the ordinary). Long story short, the deck I am talking about and which will be the one I will be fielding (or wielding) in my first ever YGO tournament will be what I call
Frogless Prismatic Monarchs (or FPM for short if you prefer the abbreviation)
You know, everyone knows Frog Monarch decks and for my taste, while being no doubt very powerful, but I ever strive to do something in a rather unusual way. So for those who aren’t familiar with Frog Monarch decks, you’d basically use Treeborn Frog as Tribute Fodder for your Monarchs and Frog “respawns” from your graveyard (can be Special Summoned from there) each and every turn as long as you dont have any cards in your Spells&Traps Zone. The more or less recent release of two key Spells, which are Continuous Spells and which I am running both as important and powerful centerpieces of my alternative approach on a Monarchs deck however made running Treeborn Frog as a tribute engine a non-option – hence I adopted the “Frogless Approach.
Before I get to the actual stars of the show, the Monarchs, I have to show you the highly powerful Continuous Spells I am talking about. For those who have no clue what Monarch monstes are and do, only so much: They are all 2400 ATK and 1000 DEF Monsters which all require one Tribute to be summoned and when they are Tribute Summoned they got an amazing effect as they enter play, all being very powerful but different depending on which Monarch you play. So here the centerpieces of my approach on a Monarchs deckl:
Exhibit A: March of the Monarchs:
Yeah you read right, all Tribute Summoned Monsters, and that would include all your Monarchs (I am running 9 in total, so about a quarter of my deck is Monarchs!) , can neither be targeted by card abilities (regardless if Monster ability, Spell or Trap) and, and this is really aswesome, cannot be destroyed by any card effects. Dark Hole or Torrential Tribute anyone? I even run those two which would wipe out all Monsters on the filed save for my badass Monarchs! And the drawback of not being to Special Summon from the Extra Deck doesn’t bother me in the least as I don’t even have such a thing as an Extra Deck. I like it old-school and straightforward – and so this deck surely is! On to key card number two:
Exhibit B: Return of the Monarchs:
This one is really new as far as I know and I dare say, paired with March of the Monarchs, Return of the Monarchs makes the “old” Frog Monarch build obsolete. Ignore the wall of text on the card, which again prevents you from Special Summoning from (in my case a non-existant) Extra Deck and let me get to the point of this: What this card does is, once per turn, when you tribute Summon a Monarch you can basically search your deck for another Monarch with a different name. This will give you access to a “toolbox” of different Monarchs I am running (I am running 5 different ones) and will ensure that you’ll never run out of more Monarchs for endless monarchic (is that a word??) madness!! More on how to best use this card later on.
So yeah, our test runs showed that my Frogless Prismatic Monarchs deck is not only highly flexible and able to adapt to many different situations but also VERY reliable, as I think it did not lose once, though my opponent’s Beasts and Dinosaur decks were quite powerful as well. But let me provide you with the full decklist before I elaborate some more on the strategy:
FPM (Frogless Prismatic Monarchs) – Advanced Format
3 x Caius the Shadow Monarch
3 x Raiza the Storm Monarch
1 x Mobius the Frost Monarch
1 x Zaborg the Thunder Monarch
1 x Granmarg the Rock Monarch
3 x Battle Fader
3 x Level Eater
1 x Tragoedia
3 x March of the Monarchs
3 x Return of the Monarchs
3 x Pot of Duality
3 x Enemy Controller
3 x Soul Exchange
3 x Fiend’s Sanctuary
1 x Dark Hole
1 x Gold Sacrophagus
1 x Torrential Tribute
1 x Mirror Force
1 x Bottomless Trap Hole
1 x Solemn Warning
About the Strategy:
Well first of all I must note that the deck contains fewer Monsters than I’d run in a regular deck at just 16 and the focus here is really on the Spells with 20 in total and only 4 Traps which are all not very thematic but all very powerful one of’s I would like to have.
So the basic plan would be to create some instant Tribute Fodder for tribute Summoning various Monarchs starting on turn 1. You’d best let your opponent go first though cause all of the Monarchs destroy (various types of) cards when they are Tribute Summoned and you’d really want to have some stuff to target on your opponent’s side of the field. Before I get to the main men of this deck, here’s a couple of ways how you can easily and consistantly Tribute Summon any of your Monarchs:
- Battle Fader is probably one of your best ways to create Tribute Fodder AND stall at the same time, as you can discard it from hand when the opponent declares a direct attack, Special Summon it and end the battle phase. In your subsequent turn Battle Fader should still be around to Tribute Summon a Monarch with it!
- Tragoedia acts in a similar way as it can be Special Summoned from hand when you receive battle damage. It has a bunch of other effects but honestly I don’t care for them a whole lot and will just use this one to Tribute Summon a Monarch simliar to what I would do with Battle Fader.
- Level Eater is a card I am not entirely sure about and I may replace one or two just with plain old Cyber Dragon at some point. It can be Special Summoned as well but has to be in your Graveyard to do so and I wonder how to get it there aside from just using it as an early “chump blocker”
- Soul Exchange is a great, great Spell in this deck as it not only steals an opponent Monster of choice, but lets you use it as Tribute Fodder for one of your Monarchs. That will rob your infuriated opponent off their best/most important Monster and give you a Monarch who will in most cases destroy at least one other opponent card. The big downside of Soul Exchange is that you cant attack the turn you activate it. But the card advantage it will most likely create in your favor outweighs that drawback in my opinion and from my experience.
- Fiend’s Sanctuary is pretty straightforward as it just Special Summons a Fiend Token with a bunch of abilities/effects I couldn’t care less about as all I will ever do with the Token is sacking it to one of my Monarchs! Easy as that!
Well those are my means of creating ample Tribute Fodder for an endless stream of Monarchs, fuelled by the aforementioned Return of the Monarchs and well protected by March of the Monarchs as elaborated on earlier as well.
But let’s take a look at the Monarchs themselves already! The two main guys in my build are the two best Monarchs available, and most YGO-savvy readers will agree: Caius the Shadow Monarch and Raiza the Storm Monarch. I am running playsets of 3 of each and it IS necessary I tell you. Bask in the glory of those two beasts!
Those are both hyper-powerful in different ways, hence playsets of three for the both of them: Caius lets you BANISH any one card, regardless of card type or position, which circumvents many graveyard based effects and on top of that if you happen to banish a DARK Monster, you’ll even deal a whopping 1000 points worth of direct damage to your opponent just like that. Raiza’s ability is a bit more subtle but in my opinion also very powerful, letting you pick ANY card on the field (Monster, Spell, Trap, face-up, face-down – anything!) and put that card on top of the opponent’s deck. That means you”ll not only rob your poor opponent off a key card but you’ll ruin their next draw as well. Followinga Raiza with anohter Raiza can be especially crippling / devastating for your opponent!
What I like to do would be some sort of one-two-punch Monarch action, which is made possible through Return of the Monarchs: Tribute Summon let’s say Caius first, then search out a Raiza via Return of the Monarchs and Tribute Summon it using your Caius or something else favorably on your next turn to search for anohter Caius and so on and so forth.
The other three Monarchs, which are one of’s in the deck, are just in for additional Monarch Mayhem and maybe Mobius the Frost Monarch is the most useful of the three, as he destroys upt ot 2 Spells and/or Traps when Tribute Summoned. The other two are Zaborg the Thunder Monarch who destroys any 1 Monster on the field and Granmarg the Rock Monarch who eliminates any face-down card on the field.
Two additional support Spells which work wonders in this deck I have to mention before closing this already WAY too long article are Pot of Duality and Enemy Controller.
Pot draws you 3 cards, you pick one and shuffle the rest back into your deck which is immensely useful in finding you the key card you need most at any given point, whereas Enemy Controller can be a) used to stall a bit by turning an ATK position monster into DEF position at instant speed or b) can trade one of your special summoned weakling Monsters like Battle Fader or a Find Token created by Fiend’s Sanctuary for any kickass Monster your opponent might have. And of course you can use the Monster you just nicked from your opponent as Tribute Fodder for a Monarch or so!
Overall I have to say that I am really happy how this deck, which I had to adjust quite a bit to fit the Advanced Format limitations, turned out and performs overall. It all works like a well oiled engine, is realiable and flexible at the same time, being really able to adjust to about any situation thanks to awesome Monarch abilities and despite the fact my hightest ATK values will always be “just” 2400, is immune to Anti-Special Summon stuff along with many other positive things I am not able to think of just now.
In conclusion I think this will be a worthy entry deck in a possible “career” as an active YGO tournament participant – again something I wouldnt have dared think off like a year ago or so!
We will see if Frogless Prisamatic Monarchs will do any good in the meta that I don’t know the slightest thing about I will be facing in two weeks time!
Will definitely keep you posted on how it goes!
So thanks for reading and GAME ON!