Yu-Gi-Oh! Rogue Report: Evol-Ogdo-Therion
There’s a specific kind of deck in Yugioh that ebbs & flows with the passage of time, and it has nothing to do with its actual power, only the perception of it. I’m of course talking about the ‘combo replay’ sort of decks that you see in small Youtube clips, or game replays, showcasing first-look options for crazy-seeming endboards with new, unexplored cards. The sad truth of the matter, however, is that very very few of these decks ever manifest as genuine tiered strategies, often folding to the odd handtrap, or a format which simply doesn’t allow a player to combo off without some form of interaction. Our list today takes its inspiration from those sorts of decks, but unlike its forgettable brethren, there’s a chance this one may have some merit, come Age of Overlord in October. For now though, it’s a pile known as Evol-Ogdo-Therion.
The Evol monsters, divided between their types into the Evoltiles (Reptiles), Evolsaurs (Dinosaurs), and Evolzars (Dragons) historically had a place in Dinorabbit, which deigned to use their maindeck cards in favor of simply making their Xyz as often as physically possible. That said, they received a modest support wave in Duelist Nexus, and it allowed one card, Evoltile Najasho, to become an insane starter under the right circumstances. By looping & Tributing this monster over & over, via Evo-Force, the Ogdoadics, and more, you’re able to make a ton of Xyz plays, so long as the first instance of its effect resolves. Big ‘if’, but that’s very much the nature of the strategy.
The combo goes like this: Normal Summon Najasho, then use either Nauya, the Ogdoadic Remnant or Nunu, the Ogdoadic Remnant to send their respective Level 8 Ogdoadic monster to the GY. Then, Tribute Najasho via that monster’s GY effect (in this case, Keurse via Nauya), to Summon it & Nauya, and Evolsaur Lios with Najasho. Set Evo-Singularity with Lios, and search Ogdoadic Water Lily with Nauya, sending Evoltile Pholis with Lios (keeping it Level 4), and Xyz Summoning King of the Feral Imps to search whichever Ogdoadic Remnant you lacked, either Nunu or Nauya.
This is where either open converges: Send the other Remnant & Level 8 Ogdoadic, and use Water Lily to send Aron, the Ogdoadic King and Summon Pholis, which Summons Najasho, setting Evo-Force. Summon Nunu for free, then the other Level 8, and Xyz Summon Gigantic “Champion” Sargas using your Ogdos, adding “Lily” Borea. Next, use your Evo-Force to Tribute Pholis, Summoning Evolsaur Vulcano from Deck, and Lios from GY, making Rikka Queen Strenna. Aron then Tributes Strenna & your Set Najasho to Summon itself, with Strenna porting into Hyperyton, and Najasho into another Vulcano & Lios.
From there, it’s a standard Therion play + an Evolsaur boss of your choice, between Dolkka or Laggia, ending on I:P Masquerena, a live Regulus, Aron, Hyperyton, and Sargas.
Now that was a mouthful, and you probably noticed immediately how many soft garnets are in that line; trust your gut, there’s a lot of fail-cases here. That said, the above board is simply the apex of your opens, and luckily the deck has a ton of more midrange-y lines once you’re interrupted, not unlike how Mannadium plays. The great news is that so much works well with Najasho itself, and Evol even has a search spell in the form of Evo-Diversity. While you’re obviously hoping to open Najasho & an Ogdoadic Remnant, there’s still nonlinear plays that stem from less.
Due to this, and the fact the deck is essentially an unknown variable at the moment, so your opponent is unlikely to know the true lynchpin negate points, Evol-Ogdo-Therion is a perfect deck to bring to something like a Locals. You’d be able to instantly make an impression, play something no one’s seen before, and hopefully not spend your time getting stomped by purely meta lists, as Locals tend to err on the casual side. This is first & foremost a pet deck, not something I would ever recommend for true competition. That warning comes with a time limit though, as Ogdoadic is receiving some new toys in Age of Overlord, the next core set, and I think there’s a good chance some sort of Reptile pile strategy could emerge as a genuine Rogue contender, especially if we see a slaughter banlist as so many expect.
These two new cards, out in October, radically change how essentially any Reptile deck is going to play moving forward: They’re phenomenal. Dawn of Creation is of course the better piece, being a way to generate ~4 Tokens worth of Link material by Tributing a Level 8, and is itself searchable off of Nauya. Neferabyss is slightly more suspect, given the hardlock to Reptiles is unforgiving, to say the least, but it may find a spot in brews not containing other engines. Ogdoadic has stood upon the precipice of playability since its release, alongside the whole of the Reptile type, and these may be the pieces that push it over the edge, just maybe. All told, if you’re getting excited by this future support, picking up a core now not only saves you the hassle if there’s buyouts, but also, via this list, gives you something fun to play with your friends.
The list I’ve put forth for this combo line goes over 40 cards, to help reduce the chance of opening multiple soft garnets, adding in cards like the Triple Tactics package to offset this, as well as Pot of Prosperity & Snake Rain. The latter is obviously very good in the deck, being able to set up the entire line on its own, if uninterrupted. Again, if you’re ever able to play without fear of your opponent, this deck is going to produce some of the most obnoxious endboards you can imagine, with that clear caveat. Also in the Extra is the Numeron Dragon package, which allows for easy OTKs, and a Merrymaker, which can port your Level 4s into Sargas, should your Level 8 plan fall through. Despite having so many weird singleton cards, the list is surprisingly tight, although you could surely add some more nonengine into the Maindeck and go to 50, or even 60 cards come the new support wave.
Reptiles are interesting, because unlike something like Dinosaur, they do have distinct archetypes which set them apart, rather than truly devolving into a pile of goodstuff. That’s helped, largely, by the diversity of what the type is allowed to do, and finally Konami seems to be understanding that it’s alright to print good Graveyard support, given cards like Snake Rain. On that note, Invasive Alien Species - I.A.S. is also coming out soon, and may further impact how we approach the strategy, especially if Field Spells remain as dominant as they’ve been in recent metas. All we can hope for is that Macro-style effects, ala Ariseheart, move out of the meta; only then might anything snake-like slither into contention.
That’s a wrap on this basket of snakes! While I don’t think this is anywhere near the meta, it’s certainly fun, and I’ve yet to have someone believe the lack of Hard Once-Per-Turn on Najasho! Let me know what you’re planning on doing with the new Reptile support in the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!