Paleozoic players are faced with the limitation of Toadally Awesome in the January 2017 format. The previous idea of playing a Frog engine was to accelerate the summon of Toadally Awesome. This prevents the player from being too vulnerable when the opponent’s turn comes, as Paleozoic require time to set up their graveyard with their archetype traps. However, now that the Rank 2 Aqua monster is limited, this strategy seems dubious as Toadally Awesome is inclined to target itself for its recycle effect for it to remain in the game. Without the ability to return your frogs back to hand, you lose resources by committing to xyz summon Toadally Awesome.
The goal of the deck hence changes to fill the graveyard with traps as soon as possible. While some players turned towards the Ninja engine – a playset of Upstart Golden Ninja – to speed up the deck’s momentum, I personally feel that the Zoodiac engine does the job better.
Hi everyone, I am Ken Sir. Many may know me from my work on ygoprodeck or my own blog – Dueling “C”. And if my reputation fails me, I am just an ordinary Yu-Gi-Oh! blogger from Singapore, playing in the OCG format. And today I am here to introduce you a modified deck.
Presenting to you – Zoodiac Paleozoic.
The Zoodiac engine goes amazingly well with the Paleozoics. It is nothing new that the Zoodiac engine offers pluses in both field and hand advantage. But perhaps the lesser known play to some players is the milling capabilities providing by the Zoodiac engine. This can be achieved by using two Zoodiac Marmorat to summon out Bujintei Kagutsuchi which can send five cards from the deck to the grave upon summoning.
Furthermore, Bujin Hiruko, searchable by Zoodiac Broadbull, can turn Bujintei Kagutsuchi into Bujintei Tsukuyomi. This allows the player to send the traps in his hand to the graveyard, or even net a +1 in hand advantage. All of these point towards a stacked graveyard before your opponent’s turn even arrives. As compared to the Ninja engine, which can maybe dump a trap or two with the combined efforts of Upstart Golden Ninja and Bujintei Tsukuyomi, the Zoodiac engine can bring five mills to the table with Bujintei Kagutsuchi alone.
Bujintei Tsukuyomi summoned via Bujintei Hiruko also has an extra Xyz material. Its bulky 2300 DEF makes it likely for it to remain on field for the third use of its effect. Especially when you have other monsters like Zoodiac Drancia and Toadally Awesome posing as a threat to distract your opponent from it.
Understandably, milling is a ‘blinder’ option than discards, where you get to choose your targets. But with the Zoodiacs, you have a higher statistical probability of 7 cards to start off your plays rather than the usual 4 (Reinforcements of the Army + 3 Upstart Golden Ninja). Also, the Zoodiac engine can thin the deck to around 30 cards in your first turn, especially if you summon Zoodiac Marmorat and mill your now-unneeded copies of Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiacs. Milling five cards when your deck size is at 30, along with the 14 Paleozoic traps I run, I say the chances are pretty good.
Zoodiac Drancia can also help to clear problematic foes which may otherwise have their way against Paleozoic, such as Denko Sekka or Jinzo. Paleozoic previously faced the issue of a power ceiling when functioning on its own, being unable to clear threats above the 2200 ATK/DEF mark, a problem which Zoodiac Drancia‘s removal effect can provide an answer to, further cementing the Zoodiac engine’s position in the Paleozoic deck.
|Main Deck (40)||Extra Deck (15)|
|1 Bujin Hiruko
1 Zoodiac Viper
3 Zoodiac Mamorat
3 Maxx “C”
3 Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiac
1 Fire Formation – Tenki
2 Paleozoic Pikaia
3 Paleozoic Olenoides
3 Reckless Greed
3 Paleozoic Dinomischus
1 Starlight Road
3 Paleozoic Marrella
1 Breakthrough Skill
2 Dimension Barrier
3 Paleozoic Canadia
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
2 Anti-Spell Fragrance
1 Imperial Order
2 Solemn Strike
1 Solemn Judgment
|1 Bujintei Kagutsuchi
1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi
1 Zoodiac Tigress
1 Zoodiac Drancia
1 Zoodiac Wildbow
1 Zoodiac Broadbull
2 Paleozoic Anomalocaris
1 Number 45: Crumble Logos
1 Toadally Awesome
1 Sky Cavalry Centaurea
1 Daigusto Phoenix
1 Cat Shark
2 Paleozoic Opabinia
There is nothing much to mention about the monster lineup. Apart from the Zoodiac engine, there is the playset of Maxx “C”, which is essential for discouraging the opponent from overextending. Hilariously, Maxx “C” is also a level 2 and can be summoned to participate in an Xyz Summon alongside any of the summoned traps.
Meanwhile, the spell lineup has no surprises for a deck piloting the Zoodiac engine. There is still room for more flexibility. I personally feel that the deck can do without Fire Formation – Tenki, although the limited spell does add up to 7 out of 40 cards for players to start off the Zoodiac plays on their first turn, increasing the deck’s consistency.
With the inclusion of the Zoodiac engine, costly spells such as Pot of Desires had to be removed. Banishing a single Zoodiac Marmorat kills the engine, and even if you activate it after all the shenanigans. Additionally, I usually end up with the trouble of a potential deck out after all the deck thinning is done. I am sure a single time bomb threat presented by Imperial Order is enough. Paleozoic Leanchoilia is available to salvage any damage caused by the banish, but I feel that it slows the deck down noticeably and steers it away from its main goal of board control. The Zoodiac engine itself already provides significant advantage such that the deck can do without the +1 out of Pot of Desires. Also, Bujintei Tsukuyomi serves as a safer pseudo Pot of Desires.
Removing Pot of Desires also works in tandem with the floodgates incorporated into the trap lineup – both Imperial Order and Anti-Spell Fragrance. By cutting the spell count in the deck, it reduces the chances of both traps working against you.
Anti-Spell Fragrance slows down any opposing deck which requires spells to start off their plays, and cripples Pendulum archetypes, such as the newly released Pendulum Magicians from SD31: Pendulum Evolution. Pendulum decks competing against this deck will also have to find an answer against Anti-Spell Fragrance or risk the simplifying the game. Standard pick for the format.
Starlight Road protects the field setup from being consumed by board wipes, whereas Reckless Greed is a staple in the deck to provide card draws on top of triggering the special summon of Paleozoic traps from the grave. The ratios of the Paleozoic traps can be further adjusted to suit each player’s personal preference. Breakthrough Skill is a tech I employed as an answer to Zoodiac Drancia . It shares synergy with the deck’s milling playing style can be sent to the grave at will by Paleozoic Marrella. It also doubles to counter the common Artifact engine that is currently played in plenty of decks.
The newly allowed Imperial Order is a gift to the trap monster archetype. Paleozoic rely a lot lesser on spells as compared to the other meta deck, allowing Paleozoic to abuse this floodgate easily. Nevertheless, given that Imperial Order isn’t an optional effect, each passing Standby Phase (both user and opponent’s) reduces the lifepoints count by 700. Once it is active, the clock starts ticking, prompting Paleozoic players to end the game before Imperial Order‘s maintenance cost takes a toll on them. Thankfully, this deck can still exact pressure on the opponent, with the help of Cat Shark assisting Daigusto Phoenix. Toadally Awesome‘s 2200 ATK points can add on to the damage to finish off the opponent with an OTK. (2200+500+[1500×2]+[1500×2] = 8700)
Notably, with the lack of the Frogs for Xyz Summons, the deck has to rely on its army of Paleozoic traps to do the work. However, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. The traps in the grave surface frequently enough with the high trap count this deck is running. Yet another benefit of cutting back on the Frog engine – you get more deck space to accommodate for luxury trap options such as Starlight Road.
The playing style differs slightly than before. Rather than focusing on dragging the game to the late stages, Zoodiac Paleozoic thrive in the early to mid-stage of the game. As you would expect, your main priority is to fill up the graveyard as much as possible, as soon as possible. Proceed to control the board with floodgates and Toadally Awesome. On your turn, Paleozoic Opabinia helps you to use traps you draw into. Activate them to spawn more traps from the grave, push for damage.
It is worth noting that if the Zoodiac combo gets interrupted, Zoodiac Viper or Bujin Hiruko can fill in the shoes for an xyz summon of Bujintei Kagutsuchi.
To survive in the unforgiving metagame, Paleozoics will have to battle against the new opponents such Magicians and True Kings. Invoked, Infernoid and Kaiju Zoodiacs also remain in the competitive scene. A well-prepared Side Deck will aid in the player’s victory in Game 2 and 3. For a trap-based deck like Paleozoics, I would suggest Compulsory Evacuation Device and Imperial Iron Wall.