Solving The Pendulum Problem, And Building Pendulum Gadgets

If you break down Duelist Alliance card by card you’ll start to see some distinct patterns across the set’s over-arching design. One of my favorite is the “Buy Now, Money Back Later” type effect, embodied by some of the set’s key cards. [ccProd]Stellarnova Alpha[/ccProd] has an activation cost requiring you to send a monster to the graveyard, but once it resolves it’s effectively free in terms of card economy. You lose the monster you send away (a -1), and you give up Stellarnova itself (another -1 for a total -2), but you negate and destroy an opposing card (+1 [-1 overall]) and then draw a card in the process (+1 [even]).

[ccProd]Shaddoll Fusion[/ccProd] normally costs three cards total – the spell card you activate (-1) and the two monsters you fuse (-2 [-3]) – but it Special Summons a monster from your Extra Deck (+1 [-2]) and gives you an opportunity to recoup up to two cards by triggering the graveyard effects of monsters like [ccProd]Shaddoll Beast[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Shaddoll Dragon[/ccProd] (+2 [even]). If you can pay the cost of entry and your effects resolve, those costs are compensated in full while you advance your game position. There are plenty of other examples: [ccProd]Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer[/ccProd] consolidates two cards into one and then blasts an opposing card off the field. [ccProd]Stellarknight Delteros[/ccProd] consolidates three cards, blasts one off the table, and recovers another when it hits the graveyard. The Burning Abyss monsters are all about stringing together 1-for-1 trades, and [ccProd]The Monarchs Stormforth[/ccProd] is effectively non-targeting 1-for-1 spot removal if you’re playing Tribute Monsters.

We’ve seen this type of break-even trade mechanic before, but it really stands front and center in Duelist Alliance. It’s one of the big reasons the set’s so powerful: there aren’t a ton of big, explosive and unhealthy plays in the set’s new themes, but the bulk of the set’s really sustainable. It rewards aggression and front-end investment, with long term stabilization and back-end rewards.

And fittingly enough? Pendulum Summons epitomize that to an extreme.

Do You Think You Can Swing It?
The new Pendulum Summon mechanic is one of the most under-explored parts of the game right now, but its relation to the “invest, then recoup” design style becomes pretty obvious when you draw back and take everything in. Pendulum Summons are impressive, explosive, and repeatable when they happen: the ability to Special Summon virtually anything you want from your hand, in addition to any Pendulum Monsters that happened to have wound up in your Extra Deck as a bonus, looks nuts on paper. Explosive Special Summoning wins games. Free cards pulled from your Extra Deck at no cost also win games.

So… why aren’t Pendulum Monsters winning games?

Played well, the Pendulum Summoning mechanic does more than just let you hurl monsters from your hand onto the field. It lets you activate abilities that trigger on Summon to reap free card advantage; put together Synchro Summons and Xyz Summons for even more free card advantage; and bring back any Pendulum Monsters that were destroyed previously. Remember, whenever a [ccProd]Pendulum Monster[/ccProd] on your field’s destroyed – whether it was occupying a Monster Zone as a monster or a Pendulum Zone as a spell – that [ccProd]Pendulum Monster[/ccProd] goes to your Extra Deck instead of the graveyard. From there, you can bring it back for free any time you make a Pendulum Summon; you can Summon that monster on its own, or with others. It’s free cards, and by all rights that certainly looks insane.

So you can see the payoff there; if you can set up your Pendulum Scale in the first place, there are several ways your efforts can win you free cards and more. But the front-end investment is where things get sticky. Establishing your Scale requires two cards from your hand – one for each side of your Pendulum Scale – so it’s an immediate two-card commitment before you start recouping your investment. And there are numerous pitfalls along the way:

-If you only draw one half of your Scale, that card’s generally pretty useless.

-If you assemble your Scale and your opponent destroys one of your Pendulum Zone’d monsters, you’re effectively out two cards until you can get your Scale going again.

-The Pendulum Monsters we have now are difficult to find and play consistently. If you see them early and have the right monsters to Pendulum Summon, you make spectacular plays…

-But if you can’t draw into your Pendulum Monsters early enough, then any monsters you run specifically because you want to Pendulum Summon them won’t be as good. Some of them – especially ones with high Levels – will even be dead draws.

-In addition, your Pendulum Monsters take up surprisingly valuable deck space. That might not sound like a problem, but when you’re devoting upwards of seven cards or more to your Scale, it can be difficult to create a balanced strategy.

I’ve been spending a ton of time with Pendulum decks lately, and while the challenges I just listed are very real, I was actually happy to find that there are some unique strategies that can help you overcome those Pendulum problems. I don’t think Pendulums are ready for top-level competition just yet, but there are strong options available for local play. More importantly, the philosophies that can make Pendulum Summoning more consistent and viable today, are likely to remain true for the lifetime of the game; learning them now isn’t just going to help you amaze your friends and confuse your rivals, but it’s going to bring big benefits down the road. There’s a real learning curve to the Pendulum mechanic and there’s actually quite a bit to learn and un-learn. Today I want to talk about the play techniques and the approaches to deck building that can help you harness the power of Pendulum Summoning.

Which Pendulum Monsters Do You Even Use?
That’s a great question! And it’s the logical starting point for this discussion. Like I said, one of the primary challenges of Pendulum Summoning is setting up your Scale: that means getting to two very specific cards, the first with a low Scale number and the second with a higher one. There are really two notable pairings right now: [ccProd]Dragon Horn Hunter[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Flash Knight[/ccProd], at Scale 3 and Scale 7 respectively; and the trio of [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd] at Scale 4, [ccProd]Stargazer Magician[/ccProd] at Scale 1, and [ccProd]Timegazer Magician[/ccProd] at Scale 8.

[ccProd]Flash Knight[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Dragon Horn Hunter[/ccProd] are each searchable by simple spell cards: [ccProd]Reinforcement of the Army[/ccProd] and Summoner’s Art respectively. But those two spells only search one of each of those Pendulum Monsters, and while Reinforcement might grab other Warriors from your deck, Summoner’s Art will likely grab nothing beyond Horn Hunter. So you wind up spending a ton of space in your deck just on your Pendulum Monsters, and extra copies you draw are literally Normal Monsters you happen to be able to Special Summon. I may be missing something, but in my testing that didn’t pan out to be workable.

[ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd] is the real path to victory here. As a Scale 4 [ccProd]Pendulum Monster[/ccProd] itself, it can work alongside the Scale 8 [ccProd]Timegazer Magician[/ccProd] to let you make Pendulum Summons from Levels 5 through 7. That’s passable. But more than that, Odd-Eyes has a Pendulum Effect that lets you search either of the Magicians: you can play Odd-Eyes to a Pendulum Zone, then destroy it in your end phase to grab whichever Magician you need from your deck to your hand.

That’s really helpful for a number of reasons. First, it’s a one-card searcher for both sides of your Scale. Second, by destroying [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd] you load it to your Extra Deck, so you can Pendulum Summon it back again and again on later turns. With 2500 DEF it’s a great beatstick, and at Level 7 it matches Level 1 Tuners to Synchro Summon stuff like [ccProd]Scrap Dragon[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Stardust Dragon[/ccProd]. Remember: when you use it as [ccProd]Synchro Material[/ccProd], it goes back to your Extra Deck so you can bring it back next turn. The delay on Odd-Eyes’ ability keeps you from playing it, searching with it, and immediately activating the [ccProd]Pendulum Monster[/ccProd] you search for that same turn, but since the card you search goes to your hand it’s at least safe until you need it.

That’s big, because one of the major mistakes I see when people start playing Pendulum Monsters is the tendency to establish their Pendulum Scale before they need it. Remember, if your opponent breaks your Scale you’re back in dead card territory. You need to have a very good reason to throw down your Scale, and you need to be able to make not just immediate plays, but immediate plays that really matter. While the goal is to Pendulum Summon turn after turn until you win, you generally need to assume that you’re only going to get one turn’s worth of free reign. So you’ve gotta make it count.

How Do You Do That?
That’s another good question, and there are three big answers: you need to get to your Pendulum Monsters ASAP; protect your Scale once it’s established; and do big things with it once it’s in place. Let’s talk about those goals.

First up, getting there. The games where you build your scale early tend to go well; the games where it takes forever, you tend to lose. As such I’ve wound up playing [ccProd]Reckless Greed[/ccProd] in every Pendulum Summoning deck I now run. The draw power’s massively helpful, and once you start making crazy +3 plays or better you don’t mind that you’re missing a couple draw phases. [ccProd]Upstart Goblin[/ccProd] can help, but remember: the typical [ccProd]Pendulum Monster[/ccProd] suite is…

3 [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Timegazer Magician[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Stargazer Magician[/ccProd]

That’s seven cards. And you’re going to find that if you run three [ccProd]Upstart Goblin[/ccProd] on top of that, it becomes difficult to run a functional strategy. I’ve experimented with [ccProd]Supply[/ccProd] Squad too, to mixed results. On one hand it’s awesome to play with certain disposable monsters that work well with Pendulum Summoning. On the other hand, if your opponent can play around [ccProd]Supply[/ccProd] Squad you’re effectively just down a card, and it can be totally useless in numerous situations. What might seem like a no-brainer is actually a pretty complicated issue.

So what else works? Aggressive deck thinning. If you can’t directly search out your Pendulum Monsters, the next best option is to search everything else to get those cards out of your deck and afford yourself the best chance possible at drawing what you need. Some of the best monsters to Pendulum Summon happen to thin your deck, and that’s one of the secrets to playing this mechanic. It leads right into our second point.

The monsters you plan to Pendulum Summon need to be worth all this effort. That means you need to be Summoning big monsters with effects and size enough to pay off your investment, or smaller monsters that reward you with effects when you Special Summon them. Some of those monsters have deck thinning abilities, and they’re all very strong because of it. We’ll talk specifics in a bit.

In the mean time, the last part of the picture is protecting your Pendulum Scale once it’s established. [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd] is public enemy number one: again, if you drop two sides of your Scale and your opponent blows away one of them, the other one’s useless. Cards and tactics that can draw out removal beforehand are really valuable, as are cards that can ward off removal altogether: [ccProd]Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight[/ccProd] is a particularly great option. [ccProd]Stardust Dragon[/ccProd], [ccProd]Stardust Spark Dragon[/ccProd], and other accessible negation may fit in certain Pendulum strategies too, but there’s no perfect solution. Sometimes you will lose your cards.

Finally, making the most of Pendulum Summoning means understanding certain details. For instance, you generally play so many deck thinning effects that you want to go first. It’s worth it for [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd] alone, which can search one half of your scale on Turn 1 to put you into action off a good hand on Turn 2. That turn’s delay searching with Odd-Eyes can make or break your performance. In addition, keep in mind that [ccProd]Timegazer Magician[/ccProd] can only be activated to a Pendulum Zone when you don’t control any monsters. That’s a real sticking point until you get used to dealing with it, so don’t Summon prematurely or without a careful plan. Note too that if you can keep an extra Timegazer on the field, its monster effect can protect your Scale.

Beyond that, some cards are just better with Pendulum Summons: mass monster removal like [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd] are great when you can just keep popping your monsters in and out of your Extra Deck for free. At the same time, you can’t use full-field wipes like [ccProd]Black Rose Dragon[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Evilswarm Exciton Knight[/ccProd], because you’ll destroy your own Scale and lose access to all your Pendulum Monsters in the process.

Thinking In Suites
With all that established, the big remaining question is what you should be Pendulum Summoning. [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd] goes without saying, but that’s just the beginning of your strategy. There’s lots of talk about decks like Pendulum Ninjas with [ccProd]Mist Valley Apex Avian[/ccProd], recycling the big bad bird of negation every turn by bumping it to your hand, then Pendulum Summoning it back. People have tried Pendulum Gadgets too, since the search effects of [ccProd]Green Gadget[/ccProd] and co. all trigger off Normal Summons and Special Summons. Stuff like [ccProd]Jinzo[/ccProd], [ccProd]Breaker the Dark Magical Warrior[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Dark Simorgh[/ccProd] have seen discussion as the basis for Pendulum decks.

But after lots of playtesting, I found the answer wasn’t any one of those options. Instead, I found the most success mixing and matching different suites of monsters to create cohesive Pendulum strategies. Many of the suites were interchangeable, too: instead of creating just a Gadget Pendulum deck, I found things went better running Gadget Ninja Pendulums, or Traptrix Gadgets. Here’s an outline of the suites I found myself working with. The must-runs are listed normally, while optional cards that change the flavor of the deck are quantified in brackets.

The Gadget Suite
3 [ccProd]Green Gadget[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Red Gadget[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Yellow Gadget[/ccProd]
(1) [ccProd]Deskbot 001[/ccProd]

Or
2 [ccProd]Green Gadget[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Red Gadget[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Yellow Gadget[/ccProd]

The Gadget suite was far and away my favorite of the bunch. Each Gadget thins your deck by one card to make finding Pendulum Monsters easier. They clog the field to stop damage, they bring [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] into the picture to search other Machines for even more thinning, and they open up the powerful Rank 4 toolbox. Once your Pendulum Scale gets going you can Normal Summon one Gadget to search another, then Pendulum Summon that one to get a third. That’s a +2 for nothing, and it fields a free Rank 4 Xyz. Add in a recurring Odd-Eyes and few strategies can stand against you. While the suite can function with two of each Gadget, I found that you search so many cards, three of each was the right quantity. If you run six Gadgets total, be prepared to rely on [ccProd]Daigusto Emeral[/ccProd] or risk running out of steam.

Want to get crazy? If you can Pendulum Summon two Gadgets at once, you can Special Summon [ccProd]Deskbot 001[/ccProd] from your graveyard. Tune it to your two Gadgets for a Level 9 Synchro Summon, make a Level 5, or Tune it to Odd-Eyes for a Level 8 (in which case Odd-Eyes returns to your Extra Deck). Deskbot can be an awkward draw, but you can search it with [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] to make life a little easier. I don’t believe it’s the right competitive choice, but it’s flashy as hell and a ton of fun so I’m giving it a shout-out.

The Machina Suite
3 [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd]
2-3 [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd]
(1) [ccProd]Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd]

Closely related to the Gadgets for their strong synergy, the Machinas also make good use of Pendulum Summons. Unlike the Gadgets, you won’t get to search with [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd] if you Pendulum Summon it. But you can Normal Summon it, get Fortress, and then drop Fortress for free. Its effects can cause major problems for some of the big strategies right now, and it plays really nicely with the brute force of Odd-Eyes and [ccProd]Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd]. It can even make last-ditch Rank 7’s with either monster; just remember, Pendulum Monsters like Odd-Eyes won’t go back to your Extra Deck if you use them as Xyz Materials.

The Ninja Suite
3 [ccProd]Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo[/ccProd]
(1-2) [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation[/ccProd]
(1-2) [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Transformation[/ccProd]
(1-2) [ccProd]Mist Valley Apex Avian[/ccProd]
(1) [ccProd]White Dragon Ninja[/ccProd]

There are lots of ways to play [ccProd]Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo[/ccProd] in Pendulums, but the easiest is to Normal Summon it, search out [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation[/ccProd], and Special Summon [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd] from your deck. That won’t help you make your Scale, but once your Scale’s in place it’s a huge move that gets another recurring Odd-Eyes bouncing in and out of play. If you want to get more involved you can run [ccProd]White Dragon Ninja[/ccProd] too, which will protect your Pendulum Zones. Super-useful! You can also play regular [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Transformation[/ccProd] for [ccProd]Mist Valley Apex Avian[/ccProd], as noted earlier.

Both of the Transformation trap cards are especially valuable because they can draw out [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoons[/ccProd]. That’s a bummer in the short term, but it’s great if you can hang in and come back to build a secure Scale. Note too that Hanzo has a Special Summon trigger effect that can search other Ninjas – that’s hard to take advantage of due to the lack of Ninjas to search and your deck space constrictions, but there may be something there regardless.

The Traptrix Suite
1-3 [ccProd]Traptrix Myrmeleo[/ccProd]
(1-2) [ccProd]Traptrix Dionaea[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Bottomless Trap Hole[/ccProd]
(1) [ccProd]Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare[/ccProd]
(1) Deep [ccProd]Dark Trap Hole[/ccProd]
(1) [ccProd]Time-Space Trap Hole[/ccProd]

[ccProd]Traptrix Myrmeleo[/ccProd] is awesome in Pendulum strategies. Its Normal Summon search effect thins your deck, defends you against attacks, and helps you make Rank 4 Xyz. But you can also Pendulum Summon it to trigger its destruction ability, which is ridiculous because it’s like dropping a Special Summoned Breaker the Magicial Warrior. This suite’s the most flexible of the bunch; odds are good that you’ll be running [ccProd]Bottomless Trap Hole[/ccProd] anyways, and that means you can play at least one [ccProd]Traptrix Myrmeleo[/ccProd]. If you draw Bottomless before see Myrmeleo and thus have nothing to search, you can hold Myrmeleo for a Pendulum Summon and still make a high-impact +1 by destroying a backrow card.

On the flip side you can commit to a full three Myrmeleo along with [ccProd]Traptrix Dionaea[/ccProd], and then play Trap Hole cards to search like [ccProd]Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Time-Space Trap Hole[/ccProd]. This suite’s highly splashable, taking up anywhere between two cards, and a whopping nine. When you’re mixing and matching themes to tweak your strategy, that level of scalability is tremendous.

These are just four of the card groups you could combine to create a variety of decks. There are definitely others out there, but this is already a pretty big discussion and I don’t want to linger too long. Your takeaway here should be a mentality moreso than individual cards: think of your Pendulum deck as a system of interlocking parts, and switch the parts in and out until you find the right fit. The results may surprise you.

Putting Together A Swingin’ Strategy!
Okay, so let’s look at an example of how this suite-combination thing works. Spoiler: Gadgets are awesome with Pendulum Summoning, so I’m going to use those as the basis for all of our examples. You don’t have to – you can make whatever combinations you want and explore the possibilities. We’ll start with the basics, using the two most closely-related card groups: Gadgets and Machina.

Gadget Machina Pendulums – 40 Cards
Monsters: 25
3 [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Timegazer Magician[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Stargazer Magician[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Green Gadget[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Red Gadget[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Yellow Gadget[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Maxx C[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd]

Spells: 3
1 [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Book of Moon[/ccProd]

Traps: 12
3 [ccProd]Reckless Greed[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Solemn Warning[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Compulsory Evacuation Device[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Bottomless Trap Hole[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd]

Extra Deck:
2 [ccProd]Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Number 101: Silent Honor ARK[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Daigusto Emeral[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Gagaga Cowboy[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 82: Heartlandraco[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Diamond Dire Wolf[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Stellarknight Delteros[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd]
1 [ccProd]Number 11: Big Eye[/ccProd]

This strategy runs fifteen monsters with proactive effects to thin your deck: [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd], [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd], and all nine Gadgets help clear out cards to get you where you’re going. It also plays three [ccProd]Maxx C[/ccProd], a card that I feel to be strong against Burning Abyss and Satellarknights, and that’s passable against Shaddolls. I prefer it here over [ccProd]Upstart Goblin[/ccProd]: while it won’t get you single draws as quickly as Upstart would, it can fend off big combos; draw you more than one card; synergize with Redox; and does more to fix tough opening hands.

Not counting the Pendulum Monsters, there are twelve monsters here that are worth Pendulum Summoning: the Gadgets, Fortress, and Redox. The Extra Deck is tricked out with a toolbox of Rank 4’s that all these different variants will want to use, but it’s also got a couple Rank 7’s as well. If you want to play around with [ccProd]Deskbot 001[/ccProd] for a more risky casual build, you can drop some of the Rank 4’s and maybe even one of the Rank 7’s to fit in some Level 5 and Level 8 Synchros.

Note the emphasis on effect negation, with triple [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd] and double [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd]. Feel free to play with that ratio as you like – I’m favoring [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd] here because I see value in protecting cards like [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] from attacks – but understand the emphasis itself is important. When you start playing Pendulums you’ll notice how many monsters can blow up your Scales, so effect negation becomes a major factor in your success.

Alright, say you want something a bit less obvious. How about Gadget Ninja Pendulums? For this particular build we’re not going to run additional Ninjas, so there won’t be quite the same emphasis on [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd] as there was in the Gadget Machina variant. We’re also losing some Earths, so we’ll skip on Redox.

-3 [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd]
-2 [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd]
-1 [ccProd]Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd]
-1 [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd]

+3 [ccProd]Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo[/ccProd]
+1 [ccProd]Mist Valley Apex Avian[/ccProd]
+2 [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation[/ccProd]
+1 [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Transformation[/ccProd]

With these changes plus some tweaks to the Extra Deck, you can now [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation[/ccProd] away your opponent’s monsters to stack up copies of [ccProd]Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon[/ccProd]. And once your Scale’s established, you can draw into [ccProd]Mist Valley Apex Avian[/ccProd] to Summon it again and again, or [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Transformation[/ccProd] for it. Note that while seven cards change, the Gearframes swap for Hanzos to leave you with the same number of deck-thinning monster effects. You also gain three traps with search effects; even more thinning.

You could play Gadget Ninjas a bit differently too, by skipping on Apex Avian in favor of the simplicity of [ccProd]Traptrix Myrmeleo[/ccProd]. You’d drop the same cards, but add these instead:

+3 [ccProd]Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo[/ccProd]
+2 [ccProd]Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation[/ccProd]
+2 [ccProd]Traptrix Myrmeleo[/ccProd]

This puts you on two [ccProd]Traptrix Myrmeleo[/ccProd] with just one searchable trap card, [ccProd]Bottomless Trap Hole[/ccProd]. But remember, with the option to Pendulum Summon Myrmeleo you can use it as instant spell and trap removal. The card takes on an entirely different context than what we’re used to.

Once YCS Toronto is out of the way, it’s going to be weeks until we see the next format and Championship competition resumes. Now’s a great time to get a feel for Pendulum Monsters: they’re a blast to play, they’re an entirely new challenge for your skills, and by honing your abilities and your understanding now, you’ll be better prepared to take advantage of new themes in the upcoming New Challengers set.

Have you tried Pendulum strategies yourself? I started to get really into the mechanic the more playtesting I did, so I’d love to chat it up in the Comments!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer

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