Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Sep 28, 2010

For months, Frog Monarch Duelists have used Swap Frog and Dupe Frog to quickly get Treeborn Frog and Ronintoadin to the Graveyard. From there, they used Caius the Shadow Monarch and Raiza the Storm Monarch to make high-impact jabs at the opponent, and followed up with big hitters like Light and Darkness Dragon and Obelisk the Tormentor. Frog Monarch’s strength lies in its ability to slow the Duel, eliminate key opposing cards, and attack over whatever’s left.

Naturias are a far more recently developed strategy. The Naturia Deck revolves around Naturia Bamboo Shoot, aiming to Tribute Summon it with a “Naturia” monster to use Bamboo Shoot’s effect: when a Naturia is Tributed for Bamboo Shoot’s Summon, the Shoot’s continuous effect stops your opponent from activating Spell and Trap Cards. Koa’ki Meiru Gravirose and Lonefire Blossom give backup.

Find out what happens when we pit them head to head in this week’s Monday Night Matchup!

The Frog Monarch Deck has 2 goals First, it has to get Treeborn Frog to the Graveyard. Dandylion and Ronintoadin can provide extra support for Tribute Summons as well, but Treeborn is easier to Special Summon again and again, so it’s the priority. Swap Frog can send Treeborn straight from the Deck to the Graveyard, and the Monarch Duelist may run Dupe Frog to search out Swap, so that’s the easy part. Soul Exchange and Battle Fader also help with Tribute Summons.

The second goal for the Monarch Duelist is to have the right high-level monsters at the right time. Those monsters aren’t searchable like Treeborn Frog, so the Monarch Duelist needs to draw as many cards as he can: that means keeping the Duel slow, and trying to play as many turns as possible to draw more cards. Pot of Duality can help move things along.

The Naturia Deck is also a slower control strategy, but instead of eliminating the opponent’s cards, it keeps the opponent from using their Spells and Traps with Naturia Bamboo Shoot. The preferred monster to Tribute for it is Naturia Pineapple. Naturia Pineapple is almost identical to Treeborn Frog, except you can only Summon it if you have only Plants and Beasts in your Graveyard. Koa’ki Meiru Gravirose can send it straight to your Graveyard, and Giant Rat can Summon it to the field. Some Naturia Duelists use Naturia Cosmobeet too: its effect can make it a bit easier to Tribute Summon Bamboo Shoot.

Once Bamboo Shoot is on the field, you have to protect it. Solemn Warning, Book of Moon, and Solemn Judgment are a good start, but none of them will stop the Deck’s biggest nemesis: Effect Veiler. Veiler’s ability turns off Bamboo Shoot’s effect permanently, because it makes Bamboo Shoot “forget” that it was Tributed with a “Naturia” monster. In order to stop Veiler, it’s a good idea to play Divine Wrath. Since Naturia Decks run so many Plants, you can use Pollinosis to counter cards that would negate Bamboo Shoot’s Summon, and together with Compulsory Evacuation Device it can rid the field of monsters like Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter that could destroy the Shoot. Without their Spell and Trap Cards, your opponent won’t last long.

So which Deck reigns supreme? Both strategies aim to control the Duel, and both are centered on high-level monsters that can’t be searched from the Deck. At first glance, Monarchs seem to have the advantage. One of the biggest strengths of the Monarch Deck is its ability to take apart combos by removing key cards: a single Raiza or Caius is all a Monarch Duelist needs to beat Naturia Bamboo Shoot. Monarchs may actually be less dependent on their Spell and Trap Cards than other Decks, too, and the sheer size of their high-level monsters means they have more Attack Points than Naturias. A couple of early Monarchs can rob the Naturia Duelist of the cards they need to win.

But a clever Naturia Duelist can more than even the score. Both Decks will likely run Solemn Warning, but cards like Pollinosis, Compulsory Evacuation Device, and Divine Wrath could make it really tough for the Monarch Duelist to get anything going. With Lonefire Blossom, Tytannial, Princess of Camellias and the 1900 ATK Koa’ki Meiru Gravirose, the Naturia Deck might be able to rush the Monarch Duelist before he gets set up, too. The Naturia Duelist will want to do everything he can to speed up the Duel, and he may want to play with less emphasis on Naturia Bamboo Shoot. If the Naturia Duelist does that, then those Counter Traps could easily buy him enough time to win.

If both Decks are played as they normally would be, the Monarch Deck can knock out the Naturia Duelist’s smaller monsters and keep him from putting together combos. But if the Naturia Duelist adapts and plays aggressively, the odds seem to be in Naturia’s favor. If he takes advantage of Dandylion and Naturia Pineapple to fuel Counter Traps and Lonefire Blossom, victory could be swift.

Which strategy is the best? Grab a friend, build the Decks, and find out yourself! There’s no replacement for real Dueling, so give this matchup a shot and see which Deck comes out on top.

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