Exploring the Format: Different Dimension Demons

With the release of the Pendulum Domination Structure Deck, many expect Different Dimension Demons to be not just a strong contender, but one of the top decks to beat.

Pendulum Domination was released a very long time ago in Asia’s OCG, nearly two years ago, so trying to figure out whether or not this strategy can thrive now is a question in itself. What we do know is that this deck was so powerful that both D/D Lamia and D/D Swirl Slime needed to be placed on the OCG F&L List, and anytime we can play with cards that we know should get hit but haven’t yet, is a rare opportunity.

Regardless, any strategy that’s so consistent and so combo-driven is exactly what you want to be playing right now. If you haven’t played with T.G. Hyper Librarian and Formula Synchron, you’re missing out.

DDDCursedKingSiegfried-SDPD-EN-SR-1ESo what makes Different Dimension Demons so good? Consistency’s key. Dark Contract with the Gate and D/D Savant Kepler can both search whatever cards you might need for combos, and the most basic play sequences only require three cards, but get substantially more powerful with the addition of a fourth. Thanks to the deck’s high level of redundancy, with lots of search effects and cards that can be played in threes, you can expect to combo off in basically every game. The big card that changes everything is D/D Lamia from the Pendulum Domination Structure, a searchable Tuner that can revive itself so you can make even more Synchro Summons.

Your three card combos will let you end with two Level 8 Synchros, typically D/D/D Cursed King Siegfried and Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon. The ability to negate both a spell and a monster effect on your first turn is crazy powerful; you threaten to disrupt virtually anything your opponent wants to do while presenting enough damage to end the duel on the following turn. There are bigger combos if you can add one more card to the mix, and you can choose other Level 8 Synchro options like PSY-Framelord Omega depending on the situation. Opening with D/D Savant Kepler changes things up a bit as well, because using your Normal Summon for it means you can’t Normal Summon D/D Lamia. You’ll get it into play with the effect of D/D Swirl Slime instead.

You also have a bunch of two-card combos that can make Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. If your initial combo leaves you with Dark Contract with the Gate in play, it’s super easy to snowball into since you already have half of your combo. Dark Contract with the Gate is a ridiculous card, especially in grind-heavy matchups. As long as you can manage your Life Points carefully, you can easily win longer games with it. You’ll often give it up on Turn 1 for D/D Lamia, but making your combo is typically better than leaving up a Gate just because it’s slow.

Your most important combo cards are D/D Swirl Slime, D/D Necro Slime, D/D Lamia, D/D Savant Kepler, and Dark Contract with the Gate. D/D Savant Copernicus and D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok are also used for a few advanced combos, but you want to maximize consistency and focus on the first group of cards just because they’re more important. Let’s take a look at how I’d build the deck myself.

DDLamia-SDPD-EN-SR-1EDifferent Dimension Demons – 40 Cards
Monsters: 24

3 D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok
3 D/D Necro Slime
3 D/D Swirl Slime
3 D/D Savant Copernicus
3 D/D Savant Kepler
3 D/D Lamia
1 D/D Orthros
2 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
2 Maxx “C”
1 Effect Veiler

Spells: 14
3 Allure of Darkness
3 Pot of Desires
3 Where Arf Thou?
3 Dark Contract with the Gate
1 Dark Contract with the Swamp King
1 One for One

Traps: 2
1 Dark Contract with the Witch
1 Vanity’s Emptiness

DDDGustKingAlexander-CT13-EN-SR-LEExtra Deck: 15
2 D/D/D Flame King Genghis
2 D/D/D Oracle King D’Arc
1 D/D/D Dragonbane King Beowulf
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
1 D/D/D Cursed King Siegfried
1 D/D/D Gust King Alexander
1 PSY-Framelord Omega
1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
1 Formula Synchron
1 D/D/D Duo-Dawn King Kali Yuga
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy

I definitely want to use as many copies of the most important cards as possible. If it contributes to the strategy’s core consistency, I want to max out on it. I think one thing that makes the deck so good in current metagames is that you punish any opponent with a bad opening, simply because you virtually never have poor openings yourself. Your opponent’s at a huge disadvantage if they can’t guarantee an opening as strong as two Level 8 Synchros with built-in negation every duel. Anytime you can punish inconsistency you’re in a good place, since the more greedy someone is taking risks with their deck building, the more you can capitalize across the long term and end duels before your opponent can even get on the table.

The list above is about as consistent as possible, barring Upstart Goblin and maybe Foolish Burial. With three copies of Allure of Darkness and Pot of Desires, you can dig through your deck very quickly. Allure’s one of the best card selection effects period, letting you make the decision on what you banish on the back end of the effect when you have complete information. While three Allures might feel like a lot, I really want to sculpt my hand for the best combos possible, so I think that the diminishing returns are worth the upside.

Pot of Desires is great here too. You get to play three copies of so many cards that you don’t really have to worry about banishing key combo pieces. The impact of that extra card Pot gets you is also huge because that one card can ensure your combo works, or extend it that much further. Similar to Allure of Darkness, the upside of that extra card is worth whatever the minor cost might be.

300px-WhereArfThou-REDU-EN-C-UEWhere Arf Thou? is another big consistency booster, an expensive but efficient card selection tool. D/D Savant Kepler, D/D Necro Slime, and D/D Lamia are all Level 1, so Where Arf Thou? can search so many of your combo cards as long as you already have at least one. It does cost a hefty 2000 Life Points, which can stack up if you’re paying a lot for Dark Contract with the Gate, but it shouldn’t matter in the long run. You can spend 7999 Life Points and still win the duel. They’re essentially “free” in terms of card economy, and you get access to all of them upfront. What a deal.

I think hand traps are just the best defensive cards, since they’re so good regardless of whether you’re going first or second, and Different Dimension Demons are very favored going first. Cards that can give you such an advantage going second are really nice. I think Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit’s going to be a staple pretty soon, because it’s the second best option behind Maxx “C” when you’re up against Metalfoes and Zoodiacs.

That said, I played a single copy of Effect Veiler because I think it might be worthwhile with Where Arf Thou? That might prove to be ultimately wrong for a few reasons; the first one that comes to mind is that you might not really need to search a hand trap, and may just want an extra combo card instead. There’s also a risk that Effect Veiler just isn’t positioned well enough right now, and with time I may wind up cutting copies of Where Arf Thou? anyways since it’s possible that testing will indicate you just don’t need three copies. Regardless, I’d like to start with one Effect Veiler, and if it ends up underperforming then it’ll turn into a third Ghost Ogre.

I considered Dimensional Barrier early on, but I think the hand traps are going to be better overall due to their high utility going second. And while Dimensional Barrier’s strong against pure Zoodiacs, I don’t think it’s as good against Zoodiac Metalfoes since the deck has so many different ways to make summons. The raw power of Dimensional Barrier might eventually bring it back into the fold, and if I were to run it I’d be replacing consistency-driven cards like the third copy of Where Arf Thou? or maybe the third Allure of Darkness.

I think Different Dimension Demons could easily be one of the best decks in other formats, but with the release of Zoodiacs on the horizon, it’s anybody’s guess if the deck will thrive once Raging Tempest releases. Regardless, the deck is poised to be one of the strongest strategies in competition until that point. Just be careful of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon matchup: the deck struggled with Blue-Eyes in the OCG, so if that deck gets more popular then it could become another obstacle.

-Robert Boyajian

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