Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are the Frog and Toad Archetypes in Yu-Gi-Oh?
In Yu-Gi-Oh, the Frog and Toad sets consist of low-level aqua monsters with frail ATK scores, but decent DEF and potent swarming capabilities. These amphibians are a versatile bunch who offer field-wipes, graveyard revivals, and more, letting them excel in a variety of strategies.
But with dozens of water-dwelling creatures available, which monsters don't croak under pressure? These are the best Frogs and Toads in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Des Frog
Unlike most Frogs, Des wields a decent ATK stat, but needs a tribute to normal summon. Luckily, when tribute summoned, you can special summon a number of Des Frogs from your hand or deck equal to the amount of "T.A.D.P.O.L.E." monsters in your graveyard.
Additionally, if you harness the field spell "A Legendary Ocean," you can normal summon Des Frog without sacrificing thanks to its level-lowering effect, although this won't activate his swarm ability. Either way, having three Des Frogs fielded lets you activate the powerful field-wipe "Des Croaking"; thankfully, we'll soon see how other Frogs often alter their names to help meet this condition.
Like many amphibians, Tradetoad wields a low ATK but good DEF, making him a decent blocker. Additionally, he can once per turn tribute an aqua monster to revive any Frog from your graveyard (other than "Frog the Jam," whose name was poorly translated and isn't an archetype member).
Since he's an aqua unit, Tradetoad can sacrifice himself for his own effect, but he and other Toads can't be the revival target as they don't bear the Frog name.
Another creature with terrible ATK but solid DEF, Ronintoadin changes his name to Des Frog while fielded, useful for activating Croaking or fusion summoning "D.3.S. Frog".
You can also banish a Frog from your graveyard to special summon Ronin from it, giving you an extra troop when needed, but note that Ronin can't be used as synchro material. Thankfully, he's still available for tribute, xyz, fusion, and link summons, giving you plenty of ways to employ his revival.
Yet another 100 ATK/2000 DEF amphibian, Centerfrog can't be used as fusion, synchro, xyz, or link material, and he automatically shifts to defense position when normal or flip summoned. However, these casting restrictions are actually a good thing, as you'll soon be giving Centerfrog to your opponent.
By targeting an enemy in a main monster zone, you can move Centerfrog to a space next to that unit; when you've shifted two Centers to your opponent's field, you gain control of all monsters in-between them, simultaneously removing adversaries while gaining allies! A powerful creature steal; just remember you need multiple troops to perform it, so quickly search and swarm your Frogs.
6. Treeborn Frog
Treeborn Frog is pitifully weak in both battle positions, but during your standby phase, he can revive himself from your graveyard if you don't control another Treeborn Frog or any spells/traps.
In olden days, this was one of the best methods to consistently field fodder for the Monarch archetype, but the spell/trap restriction makes it tricky for modern decks. Still, for monster-heavy builds (like the Superheavy Samurai series) or recovering after a spell/trap wipe, Treeborn can still assist modern structures.
Blending a unicorn with a frog yields this bizarre creature. Unifrog is frail, but he belongs to the rare set of monsters who can directly attack your opponent under any circumstance, letting you finish off a weakened rival without needing to overcome opposing units.
Additionally, when Unifrog successfully performs a direct attack, and you control a Frog other than Frog the Jam or Unifrog, you can destroy an opposing spell or trap. Use defensive measures like "Swords of Revealing Light" to protect Unifrog as he scrapes your opponent and eliminates their supports, or boost him with the field spell "Wetlands" (which ramps the power of level two or lower water-aqua units by 1200) to land 1600 direct damage with each attack!
4. Swap Frog
Swap Frog bears a heap of swarm effects and can become a solid beatstick when combined with Wetlands. You can special summon him from your hand by discarding a water monster, an excellent way to place Treeborn in the graveyard while preserving your round's normal summon. Additionally, when summoned, you can send a level two or lower water-attributed aqua-type monster from your deck or field to the graveyard, another excellent way to move Treeborn or T.A.D.P.O.L.E to your discard pile.
Finally, you can once per turn return a monster you control to the hand to gain an extra normal summon of a Frog monster that turn. This helps you shuffle your monsters as needed and is useful for reactivating the entrance abilities of the Monarchs or cards like "Breaker the Magical Warrior."
3. Flip Flop Frog
Flip Flop Frog bears one of the game's best and reusable removals: when flipped face-up, you can bounce opposing monsters back to the hand up to the number of Frogs you control (other than "Frog the Jam"). Since this includes Flip Flop himself, you'll receive at least one removal and potentially many more depending on how diligently you've been swarming your amphibians.
Once per turn, you can also switch Flip Flop to face-down defense position, letting you indefinitely reactivate his removal as long as you protect his frail stature. Thankfully, you can guard him with cards like...
2. Dupe Frog
Dupe Frog offers a stellar defense with a heap of bonus abilities added in. First, he's another sweet blocker, bearing 2000 DEF that few low-level cards can break though. Additionally, while face-up, Dupe changes his name to "Des Frog" (useful for Croaking) and prevents your opponent from attacking other monsters. This adeptly shields your weaker units, and if you can field two Dupes at once, your opponent is completely disabled from attacking at all!
As if that weren't enough, when sent from the field to the graveyard, Dupe adds a different Frog from your deck to your hand, skillfully replenishing your arsenal even when defeated.
1. Toadally Awesome
Xyz monster Toadally Awesome requires two level two aqua units as xyz material; thankfully, the Frog archetype is rife with them. During the standby phase, Toadally can detach a material to special summon a Frog from your deck, rapidly swarming your field. Once per turn, he can also send an aqua monster from your hand or field to the graveyard to negate and destroy an opposing card's activation!
This lets you consistently foil your opponent's plays, and best of all, the negated card is then set to your field, stealing it for your usage! As if these effects weren't enough, Toadally bears a surprisingly high ATK of 2200 and adds a water monster from your graveyard to your hand when defeated. With his heap of swarming, negation, pilfering, and recycling, he's won me several victories and remains my favorite amphibian; fortunately, despite his status as a competitive extra deck card, Toadally is available for well under ten dollars!
How to Support Frogs and Toads in Yu-Gi-Oh
While weak in battle, you can skyrocket the ATK of Frogs and Toads using Wetlands or cards like "Solidarity," "Star Boy," and "Burden of the Mighty," developing a surprisingly competent beatdown strategy. Alternatively, consider combining your Frogs with the water attribute's best support cards, which can prevent battle destruction, recycle from the graveyard, and more.
Regardless of which route you guide your build in, Frogs and Toads offer a classic and fun theme that I hope to see evolve further in the future. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of powerful amphibians, vote for your favorite monster, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill