Hello everyone, Renren here! Today we'll be taking a quick look at one of the more interesting byproducts of OCG's recent side-set, Terminal World. The set indeed provided some powerful cards to old archetypes such as Ritual Beast, Genex, Infernoid, and Ice Barrier, modernizing their playstyles well. Speaking of Ice Barrier, there was one peculiar monster included in the set that just so happens to work well with our long-time forgotten friend, Swap Frog!
Prequel to the Prior
Mirror Magic Master of the Ice Barrier is a powerful playmaker for actual Ice Barrier, opening up lines like never before thanks to being a Tuner with two amazing setup effects, being able to level modulate and summon out multiple Tokens for WATER Synchro plays while adding any "Ice Barrier" from banished or the Deck to the hand when it hits the GY. While it opens up a lot of combos for the Deck, its convenient Type, Level, and attribute are all perfect for our froggy friend to take advantage of.
It's been quite some time since we last saw Swap Frog, as the banning of both Ronintoadin and Spright Elf has irrevocably crippled the state of our aquatic friends for both casual and competitive play alike. Aside from brief appearances here and there with some forced plays from the likes of Bujinki Ahashima, they've essentially been left for dead. Worry not our dear friends, as the tides have shifted in our favor. Thanks to Mirror Magic Master being a Level 2 WATER Aqua monster, it can be sent directly from the Deck to the GY with Swap Frog. Now that's great and all, but what are you supposed to add with it, and what does this get us? Let's find out.
Return of the King
For players who want to splash the new Swap Frog engine, Freezing Chains of the Ice Barrier is the most optimal target to grab off MMM. This nifty Continuous Spell revives the sent MMM from the GY, netting you 2 Level 2 WATER Aqua monsters. And you know what that means... That's right, we get to summon out Toadally Awesome! So to sum things up, Swap Frog is once again a 1-card Toad if you're willing to commit the slots.
Now while not the most impressive compared to other starters that give you full boards for the trouble, Swap has a few key advantages over them. Notably, it can Special Summon itself by discarding 1 WATER monster, with certain ones synergizing incredibly well with it. This allows you to get your free Toad without committing your deck's main Normal Summon for the price of a small discard. Not only that, but you can use Swap Frog's extremely useful self-bounce to re-use a particular monster at any given point before making Toad. We'll talk about that later. Swap itself is fairly resilient to most hand traps because of its slippery nature. Toad's free Deck summon, negation, card stealing, and recovery are very much unique to itself, which lets it ignore power creep to an extent. Compared to summoning it off Bahamut Shark, a hard-made Toadally Awesome gets its full array of effects to play with and can even be revived thanks to it being properly summoned.
Now that we've remembered the power of Swap and Toad, let's take a look at arguably the best deck for this newfound engine.
Slotting Back into Spright
Spright is hands down the best place for this newly revitalized Swap Frog package and things have come full circle. While previously abandoned for other packages after the brutal banlist hits, the Frog Duo are ready to prove their worth yet again to the POTE archetype. Swap Frog is an excellent Normal Summon as one could imagine, giving you a free Toad at best and eating hand traps before summoning out the Sprights at worst. Freezing Chains with MMM gives you some leeway against removal as well.
What really sets Spright apart from the other decks wanting to use this package is how infinitely more accessible it is here thanks to the talents of Gigantic Spright. Letting you directly access Swap Frog with the detach of an Xyz material should it resolve. Likewise, Swap into Toad allows you to protect your key playmakers, being Gigantic and Spright Sprind from your opponent's interactions.
That's not where the story ends, as since the deck naturally runs Level 2 WATER monsters in both Nimble Beaver and Nimble Angler, Swap's ability to summon itself from the hand can really shine here. Swap + Angler is the dream, as it will net you 2 Beavers, an unprecedented amount of bodies, Toad setup, all without your Normal Summon being burned. I'll be showing an example combo later shortly that even incorporates the self-bounce aspect. You can still do some nice plays if you have Angler stuck in your hand but didn't open the funny yellow Frog. Summon Swap off Gigantic, bouncing itself and then discard Angler to summon it again.
Toad is naturally synergystic with what Spright often wants to do. It vomits out a free Swap Frog for either Sprind to bounce should the opponent be summoning pesky monsters on your first turn and free fodder for Spright Smashers or Spright Red and Spright Carrot to do their thing. Spright Double Cross is extremely potent with Toad, letting you get 2 negations, 2 steals, and 2 add backs, being very reminiscent of its days with Spright Elf.
Lastly, MMM itself is not a bad card to open by any means. Being a tuner opens up possible Herald of the Arc Light plays all while reviving itself later with Freezing Chains if you're forced to Normal Summon it. Good stuff!
Swap Frog + Nimble Angler
Special Summon Swap Frog by discarding Nimble Angler. Use both of their effects to dump MMM and Special Summon 2 Nimble Beavers from the deck. MMM then adds Freezing Chains to your hand. Use Swap Frog's effect to bounce a Nimble Beaver to your hand as cost.
Activate the added Ice Barrier spell to revive MMM and then Xyz summon Toadally Awesome. Normal summon the Beaver you bounced back and revive Angler. Make Gigantic Spright with Angler and Beaver and use its effect to summon Spright Blue from the deck, adding Spright Jet. Jet can then add Spright Double Cross.
From here, you can go in any particular order depending on preference. Link away 2 monsters to go into Spright Sprind and dump EM:P Gremeowde, and the last spare monsters can become I:P Masquerena to become S:P Little Knight during the opponent's turn. Pretty tough setup to crack, huh?
At the time of writing this article, this engine is relatively obscure and not much testing has been conducted. Other WATER decks including but not limited to: actual Ice Barrier, Marincess, and Atlantean Mermail may be able to utilize the engine quite effectively, very similar to how Swap Frog used to be splashed in some of these many years ago. The upside of course is that the modernized version immediately gives you a free Toad for it. We'll have to wait and see if Swap and Toad expand their domains to reclaim these underwater territories.
Other decks that don't necessarily need their Normal Summon may also consider the package.
To sum it up, Terminal World managed to revive a beloved card that sadly lost its luster due to the controversial bannings of its peers. I hope that they will eventually free Ronintoadin and/or provide more good Level 2 or lower WATER Aqua targets for Swap Frog to dump in the future. I hope you enjoyed this look into Swap Frog and Toad's second wind. Until next time folks, Renren out!