Table of Contents
I. Basic Strategy
•Part 1: Get Swap Frog In Your Hand
•Part 2: Fill Your Grave
•Part 3: The Many Uses of Ronintoadin
I. Basic Strategy
Part 1: Get Swap Frog In Your Hand
[spoiler]The most important thing you need to do in this deck early game is get Swap Frog in your hand. Swap Frog is your engine, your Foolish Burial. Your goal in the beginning should be to get Swap Frog as soon as possible.
You won't always be lucky enough to open with Swap Frog, so you need to take the best steps to get him as soon as possible. The easiest way to get Swap Frog on your field, and then in your hand is by attacking an opponents monster with Mother Grizzly, then using Mother Grizzly's effect to special summon Swap Frog from your deck. Opening with Mother Grizzly usually means you can get to Swap Frog pretty quickly.
If you don't open with Mother Grizzly, opening with Dupe Frog is often just as good or better. If you open with Dupe Frog, set it and wait. Your opponent will either destroy it with a card effect, letting you search for Swap Frog, or attack and destroy it by battle, again, letting you search for Swap Frog. Oftentimes my opponent will attack it with a monster and end up taking damage because of the high 2000 DEF. This is also a good position to be in because it means your opponent has to do more than just attack to get rid of it.
If you don't open with Mother Grizzly or Dupe Frog, your next best bet is probably Pot of Duality if you're running it. The downside to Pot of Duality, of course, is that you can't special summon the turn you activate it. But if it means you get to your Swap Frog, you're in a good position.
If you don't open with Mother Grizzly, Dupe Frog, or Pot of Duality, your goal should be to defend against your opponent until you gain access to a card that gets you Swap Frog. Alternatively, if you're able to start playing aggresively without Swap Frog, that may be a good option too. (For instance, if you can get a Battle Fader on the field to tribute for Caius the Shadow Monarch, then it's good to start putting pressure on your opponent in this way, and worry about Swap Frog second.
In any case, opening with any battle-stopping hand trap (Gorz, Tragoedia, Battle Fader, or Ghostrick Jackfrost) puts you in a good position. If you don't open with hand traps, simply setting a Ronintoadin can stall your opponent long enough to get what you need.
If you're unlucky enough to open with just a Poison Draw Frog, you might have to take some damage, but it could be beneficial to simply normal summon it and wait for your opponent to attack. You'll take damage, yes, but you'll be 2 draws closer to Swap Frog by your next Draw Phase. Opening with Poison Draw Frog and Creature Swap isn't so bad, though, because you can simply swap Poison Draw Frog with your opponents monster and attack into it.[/spoiler]
Part 2: Fill Your Grave
[spoiler]Once you have Swap Frog in your hand, the next most important thing to do is fill your grave with Frogs and Ronintoadin's. This will be easier or more difficult depending on what you have in your hand in addition to Swap Frog.
If you have any other Frogs in your hand, even another Swap Frog, you're in a good position. Discard the other Frog to special summon Swap Frog and then use Swap Frog's effect to send a Ronintoadin to the graveyard. If you have a Ronintoadin in your hand in addition to your Swap Frog, discard it to special summon Swap Frog and send a Frog to the grave (I usually send Dupe Frog to the grave first).
If you don't have any other Frogs or Ronintoadin' in your hand, but you do have other WATER monsters in your hand, you may or may not want to discard them to summon Swap Frog depending on what they are.
If you have Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls in your hand, always discard it to special summon Swap Frog, what you send to the grave with Swap Frog's effect after it's summoned is dependant on your current grave state. If you have no Frogs or Ronintoadin's in your grave, send Treeborn Frog to the grave with Tidal, if you already have a Frog, send a Ronintoadin and vice-versa.
If you have Mobius the Mega Monarch, you might want to hold onto it until you can normal summon it to get its effect. If you have two Mega Mobius in hand, it's usually fine to discard one for Swap Frog's effect, and keep the other in your hand.
If you have Mother Grizzly, it really depends on your current board state. If you don't have Sea Lancer in hand and you need it, keep the Grizzly and use it to summon Sea Lancer, if you don't need Sea Lancer or your grave is relatively bare, discard it to special Swap and start sending Frogs/Ronintoadin's to the grave.
If you have no other WATER monsters in your hand, it's often best to simply normal summon Swap Frog and send a Ronintoadin to the grave, and on subsequent turns, send Frogs and more Ronintoadin's to the grave. You might have to do this for a couple turns, but after a few turns, you're likely to draw into more Frogs/Ronintoadin's.
Once you have two Ronintoadin's in the grave, start sending just Frogs to the grave, and don't worry about the third Ronintoadin until you absolutely need it, or until most of the other Frogs are already in the grave. If you happen to draw into it, just discard it to summon Swap Frog and send more Frogs.
As a rule of thumb, if you have Battle Fader or Ghostrick Jackfrost in your hand, try to get Treeborn in the grave first, this way, if your opponent attacks on their next turn, you can summon Jackfrost or Fader, then summon Treeborn during your standby phase and make a Rank 1 play. If you're still trying to stall, Slacker Magician is the better option, if you're starting to get aggressive, Ghostrick Dullahan is best. And if your trying to stall or be aggressive and your opponent is primarily making Xyz plays, Utopia Roots might be your best option.[/spoiler]
Part 3: The Many Uses of Ronintoadin
[spoiler]Ronintoadin is one of the most important cards in the deck. He's a 2000 wall, he sets up tribute and Xyz plays, he's fodder for Creature Swap and Enemy Controller, and he creates the fuel that Sea Lancer needs to function.
Let's take a look at his effect:
Unfortunately, Ronintoadin doesn't have Problem Solving Card Text, so I need to clarify a few things about this effect. First, special summoning Ronintoadin from the grave is an effect and not an inherent summon. Banishing a frog is a cost. I don't know why Konami decided he shouldn't be used for Synchro summons, but they did. Not being able to use him for a synchro summon is a condition, it is not a continuous effect, which means that even if Skill Drain is on the field, or Ronintoadin's effect is otherwise negated, he still can't be used for a synchro summon. The name change to "Des Frog" is a continuous effect. I don't think I've ever encountered a circumstance where this was relevant.This card's name is treated as "Des Frog" while face-up on the field. You can remove from play 1 "Frog" monster in your Graveyard, except "Frog the Jam", to Special Summon this card from your Graveyard. This card cannot be used as a Synchro Material Monster.
The first, and most basic use of Ronintoadin is defense. Ronintoadin alone creates an obstacle in the form of a 2000 DEF wall, which, for some monsters can be a problem and can cause your opponent to use extra resources to get rid of it, like summoning an Xyz monster earlier than planned.
The second obvious use of Ronintoadin is for tribute summons. Ronintoadin can bring itself back from the grave as long as you have Frogs in your grave, and unlike Treeborn Frog, you can use this effect even while you control spell/trap cards. Because Ronintoadin is reusable, once you tribute him, he sets up to be used again.
The third use of Ronintoadin is Xyz summons. Rank 2's have gotten better and more versatile over the year. Gachi Gachi Gantetsu is one of the first Xyz monsters ever released, and is still one of the best and most important in this deck, but Gachi is not the only relevant Rank 2 anymore. Number 96: Dark Mist can attack over nearly any monster and because its effect doesn't target, otherwise difficult monsters become easier to destro. Herald of Pure Light can retrieve important cards from the graveyard (including returning Xyz monsters to the Extra Deck), Daigusto Phoenix can deal upwards of 3000 damage in one battle phase, and Ghostrick Socuteboss can take care of small threats to open up attacks, or can be used in tandem with Creature Swap to destroy your own Poison Draw Frog or Dupe Frog to gain pluses, while simultaneously limiting your opponents ability to summon.
The fourth use of Ronintoadin is more a byproduct of the other 3. All of the other 3 things require banishing Frogs to summon Ronintoadin, and by banishing those Frogs, you're setting them up to be used by Sea Lancer, who will recycle them back to the graveyard where Ronintoadin can use them once again.
Taking advantage of, and making the most out of these uses will put you at a significant advantage in any game while playing your Lancer Frog deck.[/spoiler]