Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Axel F.dek

The once despised Frog monsters are now one of the hottest Decks around. With their flexibility to perform FTKs, protective loops, tribute fodder, and Graveyard fueling, they have definitely become popular among Duelists. Despite the first Frogs being quite simple, the newer ones arrived with around 3 effects each, and lots of ruling questions raised with them. We have already reviewed Ronintoadin in a TSHD article, but there are still many other Cards on the theme.

Probably the most prominent question is what is and what isn't a Frog monster. As redundant as it sounds, a "Frog" monster is a monster that has the word "Frog" in its name. Simple as that. Some of the Frog support Cards are actually toads, and even if most people can't tell the difference between these amphibious animals, one can certainly tell that "Toad" is not the same word as "Frog". This means that Substitoad and Ronintoadin are NOT Frog monsters. Some people have also wondered why the Normal Monster Frog the Jam is always excluded in the support. This is because Jam's Japanese name does not include "Frog" in it, and in fact, it is a toad.

Let's start with the very beginning, T.A.D.P.O.L.E.:

When this card you control is destroyed by battle and sent to your Graveyard, you can add any "T.A.D.P.O.L.E."(s) from your Deck  to your hand.

This tadpole has an Optional Trigger Effect that you activate at the End of the Damage Step. It's your usual recruiter. Not much to say about it.

Next, there's Beelze Frog:

Increase the ATK  of this card by 300 points for each "T.A.D.P.O.L.E." in your Graveyard.

A very simple ATK gain, performed by a Continuous Effect. Again, nothing too fancy.

The only high-Level Frog monster was also one of the first one, being Des Frog:

When this card is Tribute Summoned, you can Special Summon "Des Frog"(s) from your hand or Deck  up to the number of "T.A.D.P.O.L.E."(s) in your Graveyard.

Des Frog has an Optional Trigger Effect that you activate upon its successful Normal Summon. It can be negated by Pulling the Rug. It doesn't target, since it affects Cards in the Hand and Deck. The T.A.D.P.O.L.E.s are counted at resolution, so their number can vary before Des Frog resolves.

One of the first support Cards for Frogs revolved around Des Frog, being Des Croaking:

You can only activate this card when there are 3 face-up "Des Frog" on your side of the field. Destroy  all cards on your opponent's side of the field.

This Normal Spell Card has an activation requirement of controlling 3 Des Frog. If one or more are Removed from the Field or flipped face-down before it resolves, it still resolves properly. If you control more than 3 copies of Des Frog, you can still activate it. This wasn't as likely back in the day as it is now.

Another of the first Frogs, the most popular of that batch, was Treeborn Frog:

If this card is in your Graveyard during your Standby Phase and you control no Spell  or Trap Cards, you can Special Summon it. This effect cannot be activated  if you control  a face-up  "Treeborn Frog".

Treeborn has an Optional Trigger Effect, with a lot of requirements, but very simple ones. It doesn't have any complicated rulings either. Like we saw at the Trigger Effects article, you can manipulate the order of the Trigger Effects that activate during the Standby Phase, so you can activate Treeborn's effect before or after another Trigger Effect as you please. Treeborn can also be activated multiple times if it remains in the Graveyard during the Standby Phase and you meet the other conditions. If you have two Treeborn Frogs, you activate them one by one, so you can only Special Summon one of them.

The strongest Frog monster was also included in the first batch, being D.3.S. Frog:

"Des Frog" + "Des Frog" + "Des Frog"
A Fusion Summon of this card can only be conducted with the above Fusion Material Monsters. Increase the ATK of this card by 500 points for every "Treeborn Frog" in your Graveyard.

Keeping it simple as its partners, D.3.S. Frog only has a Summoning Condition, and a Continuous Effect. The Summoning Condition only stops you from using Fusion Substitutes in its Fusion Summon, but it can still be Special Summoned by any other means that you can use on a Fusion Monster. The ATK gain is nothing too fancy.

The last Card of the first batch bares no relationship to other Frogs, but it's still a Frog. Let's look at Poison Draw Frog:

When this face-up  card on the field is sent to the Graveyard  (unless it was attacked while face-down  and destroyed by battle), you can draw 1 card.

This Card has an Optional Trigger Effect, and much like Peten the Dark Clown, it's one of the emblems of missing the timing. And even worse: The safest way to ensure Peten would activate would be to destroy it in battle while face-down, but Poison Draw Frog explicitly forbids you to use that as its trigger! Ever since its release, it has brought nightmares to anyone who tried to use it just because of its timing issues, and it's pretty much one of the key arguments of those who don't like the missed timing mechanic. Oh well, that's how it works Q_Q

After a long absence from Shadow of Infinity to Phantom Darkness, Frogs returned once again in Light of Destruction, with some interesting Cards. The first one being Substitoad:

You can Tribute  1 monster to Special Summon 1 "Frog" monster  from your Deck, except "Frog the Jam". "Frog" monsters, except "Frog the Jam", cannot be destroyed by battle.

Substitoad has an Ignition Effect, and a Continuous Effect. The Ignition Effect tributes any monster you control as a cost, and it Special Summons a Frog Monster. You can Special Summon Des Frog, of course. This Ignition Effect has no restriction on how many times you can activate it per turn, which is the base of the Substitoad engine that so many Decks are currently using. The Continuous Effect is your usual immunity to battle destruction. By now, you should remember that toads are not frogs, so Substitoad doesn't protect itself from destruction.

The next Frog Card is Unifrog:

This card can attack your opponent directly. When this card successfully attacks directly, if you control a "Frog" monster  other than "Frog the Jam" or "Unifrog", you can destroy 1 Spell  or Trap Card your opponent controls.

Unifrog has a Continuous Effect that allows it to attack directly. If this effect is negated before the Damage Step, a replay occurs. The destruction effect is an Optional Trigger Effect that you activate at the "After Damage Calculation" Sub-Step. It targets a S/T Card. In order for Unifrog to attack "successfully", it must inflict Battle Damage to the opponent.

LODT also brings a Trap Card as support, being Froggy Forcefield:

Activate  only when a face-up "Frog" monster  you control, except "Frog the Jam", is selected as an attack target. Destroy all Attack Position monsters  your opponent controls.

Your average Mirror Force clone. You activate it upon attack declaration. Controlling a Frog Monster is merely an activation requirement, so you don't need to keep controlling it before it resolves.

The next Frogs come from Crimson Crisis, the first being Dupe Frog:

This card's name is treated as "Des Frog" while it is face-up on the field. Your opponent cannot select another monster as an attack target. When this card is sent from the field  to the Graveyard, you can add 1 "Frog" monster  except "Dupe Frog" or "Frog the Jam" from your Deck or Graveyard  to your hand.

Dupe has 3 effects. The first effect is Continuous, and merely provides a name change. As the text suggests, it only applies while Dupe is face-up, so you can certainly have 3 Dupe Frogs and 3 Des Frog in the same Deck. The second effect stops the opponent from attacking other monsters other than this Dupe Frog. If you control two Dupe Frogs, the opponent cannot attack any monster, but if a monster can attack directly by itself (such as Unifrog), it can still attack directly. The third effect is an optional Trigger Effect, that much like Poison Draw Frog, misses the timing a lot. It does not target the monster you search.

The second Frog is Flip Flop Frog:

Once per turn, you can flip  this card into face-down Defense Position. When this card is flipped face-up, you can return monsters your opponent controls  to their owners' hand up to the number of face-up "Frog" monsters  you control, except "Frog the Jam".

Flip Flop has two effects. The first one is an Ignition Effect to flip it face-down. It doesn't target itself to do so. The second effect is an Optional Trigger Effect that you can activate even if Flip Flop is attacked while face-down. It counts the Frogs at resolution, so it does not target. If Flip Flop Frog is attacked while face-down and destroyed in battle, it is still face-up on the Field at the time it activates (the "Resolve Effects" Sub-Step), so it will still count itself.

The last Frog from this set is Submarine Frog:

During battle between this attacking card and a Defense Position monster  whose DEF is lower than the ATK  of this card, inflict the difference as Battle Damage to your opponent.

Which only has an average trampling effect. Nothing too awesome.

The last from is from Stardust Overdrive, and it's the most confusing Frog of all. It's Swap Frog:

You can discard  1 WATER monster to Special Summon this card from your hand. When this card is Summoned, you can select and send 1 Level 2 or lower Aqua-Type WATER monster from your Deck or your side of the field to the Graveyard. Once per turn, you can return 1 monster you control to your hand to Normal Summon 1 "Frog" monster, except "Swap Frog" or "Frog the Jam", in addition to your Normal Summon or Set  this turn.

The first sentence is a Summoning Condition. It's completely optional, as you can just Normal Summon Swap Frog like any other monster. The next sentence is an Optional Trigger Effect that activates upon Swap Frog's successful Summon. It can be negated by Pulling the Rug or Swallow Flip accordingly. It does not target, as it can send monsters from the Deck too. If you send a face-up Poison Draw Frog from the Field to the Graveyard, it won't miss the timing. The third effect returns a monster to the Hand as a cost, and it gives you an additional Normal Summon during this turn. You don't need to perform it during the resolution, or even immediately. In fact, you don't need to perform it at all if you don't want to. You can only gain one additional Normal Summon this way. Note that despite the ambiguity of the text, you can only perform a Normal Summon, not a Set. And probably the most common question, also due to ambiguous wording, is that the monster you return goes to the OWNER's Hand.

That covers the Frogs and all around them. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ness00[at]gmail[dot]com.

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