Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
The Paleozoic Archetype in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Paleozoic cards first activate as traps with various effects. Then, when a trap is activated while they're in the graveyard, they revive themselves as water-attribute aqua-type monsters (1200 ATK/ 0 DEF) who are unaffected by monster effects and banished when they leave the field.
Once they've revived themselves, you'll want to xyz summon with them, which not only nets a powerful monster but avoids their banishing (since detached xyz materials head back into the graveyard). Still, the best Paleozoic decks add some cards from other archetypes—how can you best support their ranks? Here are ten great cards to splash into Paleozoic Yu-Gi-Oh! decks!
10. Penguin Soldier
Since you can set as many Paleozoic traps as you like, the deck has plenty of room to allow for your turn's one normal summon/set; try the classic Penguin Soldier. Not only does he share the Paleozoic water/aqua stats, since he's level two, he can xyz with a revived Paleozoic.
More than that, Penguin's got a great flip effect, returning up to two monsters on the field to the hand. Use this to eliminate pesky extra deck monsters, and (if he isn't being destroyed in battle) you can even pick Penguin himself to reset him and reuse the effect.
9. Flawless Perfection of the Tenyi
One noticable flaw of the Paleozoics is the lack of a field spell. Wetlands deserves consideration, as it strengthens low-level water monsters, but you may also consider the draw power of Flawless Perfection.
With it, when your opponent special summons while you control a face-down or non-effect monster, you draw twice. Revived Paleozoics count as non-effects, and with flip monsters like Penguin Soldier, you'll almost always get two free draws (once per turn) when your opponent combos.
8. Treeborn Frog/Dupe Frog
Sadly, Treeborn Frog is level one, not two, so he won't be as useful for xyz summons, but he revives himself from your graveyard at your standby if you control no traps (and revived Paleozoics no longer count). He also works well with Dupe Frog, who (in addition to being a level two aqua) finds a Frog from your deck when destroyed.
Both cards are worth considering thanks to their Frog archetype, which means you can search them with an xyz monster we'll see later.
7. Reactor Slime/Metal Reflect Slime
Reactor Slime is weak but can summon two slime tokens (500 ATK/DEF) during your main phase, though you can't special summon non-divine monsters for the rest of the turn. This is a great way to spend your turn's normal summon, filling your field with blocker fodder to give the Paleozoics the time they need for their control win.
Plus, as a quick effect during either player's battle phase, Reactor can tribute itself to set the trap card Metal Reflect Slime from your hand, deck, or graveyard. It summons itself as a 3000-DEF wall, further cementing your defenses. Metal's also one of the cheapest cards in today's list, costing well under a single dollar!
6. Mistar Boy
Mistar Boy accepts any two water monsters as material, even tokens, so you can use Reactor Slime's tokens as material (the turn after you summon them). Either way, he boosts the ATK/DEF of all water monsters by 500, which goes a long way towards boosting the weak Paleozoics. He also weakens fire-attributes by 400, useful against archetypes like Salamangreat.
Plus, when destroyed by battle or card effect, Mistar Boy adds to hand a water monster from your graveyard. This can even put himself back into the extra deck, but usually helps recover a Slime or Frog.
5. Fire Hand/Ice Hand
Here are two more great cards to apply your turn's normal summon/set to. Both Hands have mediocre stats, but when destroyed and sent to your graveyard, they destroy a card on the field (Fire Hand hits a monster, Ice a spell/trap), then summon the other Hand from your deck! This isn't once-per-turn either, so you can exploit it multiple times in the same round.
You can even suicide-run by purposefully attacking stronger monsters to repeatedly trigger their effects. And since Ice Hand is a water monster with less than 1500 ATK, you can recover it with…
Simple advantage at its finest, Salvage returns two water monsters with 1500 or less ATK from your graveyard to your hand. Sadly, Paleozoics don't count as monsters in the graveyard, so you won't be able to recover them, but this quickly returns your Penguins, Slimes, and Frogs. You can even use more than one in a single turn (if your GY has enough components).
3. Aquarium Stage
Stage works best with the Aquaactress archetype since it makes their monsters unaffected by opposing monster effects, but it's honestly a great fit for any aqua deck. First and foremost, it prevents your water monsters from being destroyed in battle by non-waters, drastically fortifying the weak stats of most waters.
This usually paints a big target on Stage, but even if it's destroyed and sent to your graveyard, you get to special summon an aqua monster from your GY (though you can't summon non-aqua for the rest of that turn), further protecting your field.
2. Toadally Awesome
Paleozoics have some rank-two xyz monsters to utilize, but honestly, you'll often just want the accurately-named Toadally Awesome, who needs two level two aquas as material.
His ATK is only decent at 2200, but during either standby phase, he can detach a material to summon a Frog from deck. Even better, he can send an aqua monster from your hand or field to the graveyard to negate and destroy the activation of an opponent's card, then set it to your field!
This makes it much harder for opponents to combo, and as a final bonus, Toadally recovers a water monster from your graveyard when sent to it.
1. Pot of Extravagance
You'll notice most of today's advantage engines come from graveyard recursion or finding specific cards from deck to hand, not drawing—which mitigates the downside of Pot of Extravagance. It banishes 3 or 6 random face-down cards from your extra deck and prevents you from drawing for the rest of the turn, but draws 1 card for each 3 you banished.
So, pick 6 cards to net a solid +1 hand size, and be sure to run multiple copies of key extra deck cards to ensure you maintain access to them.
Card Advantage for Paleozoics
Since this archetype goes for a slow win rather an a turn-one explosion, you might consider Ledge of Ledgerdemain, which adds three cards to your hand in three turns, or White Elephant's Gift, which sacrifices a non-effect monster (like a revived Paleozoic) to draw twice.
With those cards plus Flawless Perfection and Paleozoic Pikia, the archetype can win via sheer card advantage, but for now, vote for your favorite support, and I'll see you at our next YGO countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill