"Paleozoic", known as "Burgesstoma" (バージェストマ Bājesutoma, 버제스토마 Beojeseutoma) in the OCG, is an archetype of mostly Level 2 WATER Aqua Normal Pseudo-Trap Monsters with 1200 ATK and 0 DEF, introduced as Korean exclusives in Clash of Rebellions.
The archetype's OCG name, "バージェストマ" (Burgesstoma), is derived from the Burgess Shale, where the animals the archetype derived its appearance from were found. Its TCG name, "Paleozoic", is derived from the Paleozoic Era, the first geological period of which is the Cambrian Period.
|Canadia||Canadia||Changes a targeted opposing monster to face-down Defense Position.|
|Dinomischus||Dinomischus||Banishes a targeted face-up card.|
|Eldonia||Eldonia||Increases a targeted face-up monster's ATK and DEF by 500 until the end of the turn.|
|Hallucigenia||Hallucigenia||Targets a monster and halves its ATK and DEF until the end of the turn.|
|Leanchoilia||Leanchoilia||Targets a banished card and returns it to the Graveyard.|
|Marrella||Marrella||Sends a Trap Card from the controller's Deck to the Graveyard.|
|Olenoides||Olenoides||Targets and destroys a Spell/Trap Card.|
|Pikaia||Pikaia||The controller draws 2 cards after discarding a "Paleozoic" card.|
|Anomalocaris||Anomalocaris||Excavates the top card of the Deck when a Spell/Trap Card is sent from the Spell/Trap Zone to the Graveyard and adds any Trap Card that was excavated; otherwise it is sent to the Graveyard. Targets and destroys a card on the field, provided it has a Trap Card as an Xyz Material.|
|Opabinia||Opabinia||Allows its controller to activate "Paleozoic" Trap Cards from the hand. Searches a "Paleozoic" Trap Card, provided it has a Trap Card as an Xyz Material.|
The "Paleozoic" archetype is mainly composed of Normal Trap Cards. Each one have its particular effect but they have in common the capacity of Special Summoning themselves from the Graveyard as a Level 2 WATER Aqua Normal Monster with 1200 ATK and 0 DEF whenever a Trap Card is activated, thus allowing them to quickly swarm the field through normal usage of their own Trap Effects. When they are summoned they are no longer counted as Traps. The archetype's ace cards are their Xyz monsters, namely "Paleozoic Anomalocaris" and "Paleozoic Opabinia".
"Anomalocaris" helps to maintain hand advantage by excavating the Deck and adding an excavated Trap Card to the hand (be it a "Paleozoic" Card or not); this effect triggers when a Trap Card is sent from the Spell/Trap Zone to the Graveyard. "Opabinia" speeds up the Deck's strategy, by allowing "Paleozoic" cards from being activated directly from the hand. Both of them are unaffected by other monster's effects and have an additional effect that basically rewards their owner for using them in a dedicated "Paleozoic" Deck, by either destroying a troublesome card on the field or fetching a "Paleozoic" card from the Deck.
The archetype's Trap Cards banish themselves when they leave the field after being Summoned from the Graveyard by their own effects, which can be avoided by using them as Xyz Materials. Thus, the archetype also benefits from utilizing other Rank 2 Xyz Monsters such as "Cat Shark" and "Sky Cavalry Centaurea" in concert with "Anomalocaris" and "Opabinia". As the archetype's Trap Cards are all Level 2 WATER Aqua monsters while they are treated as monsters, "Mistar Boy" is an excellent Link-2 to complement the Deck's capabilities with its cheap summoning, ATK boost, and floating.
The deck itself also has amazing synergy with the "Frog" engine, mainly "Swap Frog", "Dupe Frog" and "Ronintoadin" since they are also Level 2 Aqua monsters. Due to this, and the fact that the Paleozoic cards themselves are treated as Aqua monsters while on the field, they can play the Rank 2 Xyz "Toadally Awesome" to amazing effect. This is the main strategy of modern "Paleozoic"/"Frog" decks. In combination with floodgates, many other decks can simply be prevented from playing, with the large advantage resulting from recursing "Paleozoic" cards and repeatedly using/reusing "Toadally Awesome"'s effects resulting in a near-certain win against most decks in drawn-out Duels.
Due to their own self-banishing effect, which can serve as a deterrent from using the archetype's cards for any purpose other than Xyz Summon (such as Tribute or Synchro Summons), this archetype is best suited only for Xyz Summoning Rank 2 Xyz Monsters, which can prove to be inflexible, given the low number of different Rank 2 Xyz Monsters in the game. The effect of "Paleozoic Leanchoilia" can be used to return banished "Paleozoic" Trap Cards to the Graveyard for later re-use to compensate. This weakness can also be mitigated through the use of "Imperial Iron Wall" to keep the Trap Cards from banishing themselves, however, you then cannot use "Dinomischus" since it banishes a card nor "Leanchoilia" since cards cannot be banished anyway. "Iron Wall" is also in general considered too slow for modern gameplay.
Additionally, as the archetype is dependent on activating Set Trap Cards to trigger their effects to Special Summon themselves from the Graveyard, "Denko Sekka" and, to a lesser extent, "Jinzo" are capable of easily locking them down, preventing the Set Trap Cards from even activating, as well as additional Trap Cards from being Set in the case of the former. Cards such as "Necrovalley" can also inhibit the Trap Cards' re-usability, but they can be cleared away with the effects of "Paleozoic Olenoides" and "Paleozoic Dinomischus".
Simply due to the fact the Deck is Trap-based, it can prove at times slow against a full-power deck, especially going second. "Evenly Matched" is therefore vital for at least the Side Deck to try and clear away established boards.