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DUEA: Pendulum Power! The New Normal(s)

July 23rd, 2014

Pendulum Summoning is, without a doubt, an incredibly powerful ability for any Duelist to have access to, but the question many Duelists are asking themselves right now is “How do I make sure I have access to Pendulum Summoning when I need it?” The answer rests in which Pendulum Monsters you decide to include in your Deck. Between Super Starter: Space-Time Showdown and Duelist Alliance there are two distinct “packages” of Pendulum Monsters to work with: one that’s extraordinarily powerful but generally takes 2 turns minimum to assemble, and one that’s not as powerful, but can be assembled and activated all within a single turn. Today we’ll look at the latter.

From Spellbook of Secrets to Abyss-sphere to Fire Formation – Tenki, cards that let you search your Deck for other cards are a constant in top performing Decks. The key to today’s Pendulum Summoning package is that all of these monsters can be easily searched from your Deck. Let’s start with Flash Knight.

SaviorOfTheUniverse
Flash Knight
has no Pendulum Effect, but does have a favorable Pendulum Scale of 7 and stats that make him easy to find and use. As a Level 4 Warrior-Type monster, you can grab Flash Knight straight from your Deck with Reinforcement of the Army. It’s got a solid 1800 ATK, and is a totally passable monster in an era where most things you would Normal Summon come in at 1700 ATK or less. With Flash Knight acting as your high-Scale, you’ll still need a low-Scale to work with. There are two easily serach-able choices in Duelist Alliance, both of which offer unique benefits and can be searched out of your Deck with the same Spell Card!

Cannonball

Focault’s Cannon has a Pendulum Scale of 2 and a useful ability that destroys a face-up Spell/Trap Card during the End Phase. You can play it pretty much whenever, not just when you’re looking to Pendulum Summon, and it can even eliminate impediments to your ability to Summon monsters like Vanity’s Emptiness or problem cards like Skill Drain that would otherwise hamper your plays. It’s also a good monster to Pendulum Summon, at Level 5 with 2200 ATK. You can even combine it with a Level 3 DARK Tuner like Genex Ally Birdman or Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind to Synchro Summon Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons and send the Cannon to the Extra Deck to make an appearance next turn!

But if you’re using Focault’s Cannon as a monster, you’ll still need a low-Scale for your Pendulum Summon, and the card you’ll receive while supplies last at Sneak Peeks, Dragon Horn Hunter, fits the bill.

HuntingDwagons
Dragon Horn Hunter’s
Pendulum Scale is 3, but that’s still low enough for you to Summon Level 4 monsters like Flash Knight and the new Satellarknight monsters from Duelist Alliance. As a Pendulum Spell, the Hunter increases the ATK of your Normal Monsters by 200, which brings Focault’s Cannon to 2400 ATK and Flash Knight to 2000 ATK.

While both Cannon and Hunter are Normal Monsters when they aren’t being used as Spells in your Pendulum Zones, that’s what makes them a consistent source of Pendulum Summoning! Both are Level 5+ Normal Monsters, so you can add them from your Deck to your hand with the Spell Card Summoner’s Art! Normally only used with monsters like Dark Magician or Blue-Eyes White Dragon, often in conjunction with Ancient Rules, Summoner’s Art is perfect for fetching high-Level Pendulum Monsters that happen to also be Normal Monsters.

The only question is, how many slots of your Deck do you need to dedicate to Pendulum Monsters and cards that can search for them, and can there be overlap with the main strategy of your Deck? If you’re using Flash Knight and Reinforcement of the Army, you’ll probably want to play a Warrior-based Deck like Six Samurai, Noble Knights, or the new Satellarknights so you can get double the usefulness out of 2 copies of Reinforcement of the Army. 2 or 3 Flash Knights is also appropriate because every Flash Knight you find after the first one becomes an eternal fixture of the field thanks to Pendulum Summoning.

On the high-Level Normal Monster side, you’ll probably want about 2 Focault’s Cannon or 2 Dragon Horn Hunter along with a pair of Summoner’s Art. Most will likely opt for the Cannon. That may seem like a low number of things to potentially search out with Summoner’s Art, but if you’re going to use this suite of Pendulum Monsters, you can also add a copy of Labradorite Dragon from Shadow Specters to your Deck as well.

ChocolateLab

As a Level 6 Normal Monster that’s also a Tuner, you can Pendulum Summon it along with a Level 4 monster, like Flash Knight, and then Synchro Summon a Level 10 monster like Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree. If a Flash Knight is your non-Tuner monster, it’ll even go to the Extra Deck to be Pendulum Summoned back next turn!

To recap, using this kind of Pendulum Monster/search card lineup could look something like:

2 Flash Knight
2 Focault’s Cannon
2 Reinforcement of the Army
2 Summoner’s Art

It’s not quite as compact as adding 3 Fire Formation – Tenki, 3 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear, and 1 Coach Soldier Wolfbark to your Deck, as many Duelists have done in the past, but it’s still extraordinarily powerful, and it gives you plenty of space in your Deck for your main strategy to flourish. It’s just 8 cards, 2 of which will probably be useful for your main strategy as well, so it’s actually more like 6 cards. Six to eight cards is generally what it’ll take to add Pendulum Summoning power to your Decks, which is about average for how many cards a successful sub-strategy takes up.

With the above cards, given a short-to-average Duel of 5 turns for each player, you can assemble the required pieces to Pendulum Summon in about half of them. If you’re looking for a little more raw power, make sure to come back later this week when we’ll talk about the other Pendulum Summoning suite that becomes possible with Duelist Alliance: the Timegazer Magician and Stargazer Magician you can get from Super Starter: Space-Time Showdown along with Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon from Duelist Alliance! Duelist Alliance launches on August 15th, and Sneak Peeks are on August 9th and/or 10th.