Let’s talk Pendulum Monsters!
Warning! If you don’t like card spoilers, don’t read any of this article.
Starting later this year with the new Starter Deck for 2014 Konami will be releasing new monsters called “Pendulum Monsters” (that name is technically pending, but seems like it could stick) as well as new game mechanics surrounding them that will inevitably impact the future of the game. I figured, given this imminent change, that I’d take a short moment to discuss this change and some of my thoughts about its functionality as well as how I foresee it working, specifically with a new card from the pack after Primal Origin, The Duelist Advent: Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon (name also pending).
First off, I’ll disclose the workings of Pendulum Monsters as regurgitated from the Shriek OCG website in my own words:
- There will be a new type of monster called a Pendulum Monster, as opposed to a Normal, Effect, Tuner, Toon and other “monster types” referred to in the main card text box before the actual monster type (Warrior, Spellcaster, etc.).
- These cards can be played like other monsters, they have levels, attack and def and the whole shebang. The addition to the cards is a new text box above the effect box for the monster’s “pendulum effect”.
- Once Pendulum Monsters are released, the game will have two more card zones in addition to the Monster Zones, Spell and Trap Zone, the Field Spell Zone, the Extra Deck, the Deck area and the graveyard. These two new zones are your “Pendulum Zones”. There’s one on the right between the Deck and graveyard and one of the left between the Extra Deck and Field Spell Zone. In effect they surround the monster and spell and trap zones and I’m assuming in the show there be some sort of a reference to a pendulum swinging back and forth between them, if that where to visually help. Here’s a picture to go along with that:
A picture from a DevPro replay with the new Pendulum Zones.
- As you can see by the picture there’s a left and a right zone with a red and a blue diamond in each respectively.
- One each Pendulum Monster card, in the Pendulum effect box there will be a red and a blue diamond on the left and right to correspond with the zones like in the picture. Above these diamonds is a number.
- Pendulum Monsters can be played in one of two ways: as an Effect Monster like any other effect monster using the effect box and already established game conditions. Or as a Spell Card.
- When played as a Spell Card, you play a Pendulum Monster similarly like a Continuous Spell except you play them into the Pendulum Zones. (you can play it into either, at this point which one you put it in doesn’t really make a difference but it’s foreseeable that will change) When in the Pendulum Zone they act as a Spell Card using their Pendulum Effect, which generally a Continuous Effect that applies in some way. For example the card Entermate Kaleido Scorpion (name pending) has a Pendulum Effect that increases the ATK of all face-up LIGHT monsters by 300.
- Because they’re treated as Spell Cards they are inherently vulnerable to anything a Spell Card is vulnerable to. That means you can use MST on them or any other effect that affect Spells and Traps, like Mobius the Frost Monarch or Malevolent Catastrophe.
- One difference though is that when a Pendulum Monster would be sent from the field to the graveyard, it instead is placed in the Extra Deck face-up. Making them face-up means the Pendulum Monsters you have in your Extra Deck are public knowledge. It is also assumed that if a Pendulum Monster is being treated as an Effect Monster, that it also goes to the Extra Deck as well (This could be proven false, but as of now this how it functions according to what’s been said). At this point in time though, Pendulum Monsters send from the Deck, Hand or as XYZ Material to the graveyard do not go to the Extra Deck.
- The main crux of Pendulum Monsters though is that once per turn you’re allowed to Pendulum Summon as many monsters from your Hand or Pendulum Monsters in your Extra Deck as you’d like as long as the Level of the monsters you summon is between the diamond values of two Pendulum Monsters you have in your Pendulum Zones.
So, that’s how it works in somewhat-short. Here’s an example of how in most simple practice it would work:
- You play an Entermate Kaleido Scorpion in your left Pendulum Zone. Kaleido Scorpion has a Pendulum Value of 4 for both zones.
- You play a Entermate Tiptoad (name pending) in your right Pendulum Zone. Tiptoad has a Pendulum Value of 3 for both zones.
- You decide to Pendulum Summon 3 Saggi the Dark Clown (a Level 3 Normal Monster) from your hand because there Levels are between 3 and 4 (your Pendulum Scale).
It’s pretty simple, but applying it is rather weird. As of now it seems to heavily neg oneself in order to special summon monsters from the hand, which isn’t very good, and I would agree, but I think this is a misapplication of the new mechanic although a possible application.
As I’m sure you noted, Pendulum Monsters go to the Extra Deck instead of the graveyard and can be Pendulum Summoned from there. This aspect, in my opinion is the most important. This means as the game progresses Pendulum Monsters build up in your Extra Deck and can be summoned from their for zero cost once every turn if the right conditions are met. So to me, the best application of Pendulum Monsters would be to make a deck that purposefully destroys and searches my own Pendulum Monsters to build them up and then setup two Pendulum Monsters with a wide Pendulum scale (like 1 to 8) and each turn bombard the opponent with Pendulum Monsters from my Extra Deck. Which brings me a to a card that I think perfectly exemplifies that idea: Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon.
Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon
Level 7 / DARK
Dragon / Pendulum / Effect
2500 ATK / 2000 DEF
You can only use each Pendulum Effect of “Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon” once per turn. You take no battle damage from battles involving Pendulum Monsters you control. During your End Phase: You can destroy this card, and if you do, add 1 Pendulum Monster with 1500 or less ATK from your Deck to your hand.
Any battle damage your opponent takes from battles involving this card and an opponent’s monster is doubled.
At first glance, my thought was something along the lines of “what’s the point of this card? Both of its effect are pretty underwhelming and it’s a Level 7 with the crappy Dark Magician stats making it hard to summon. And even if I where to invest in Pendulum Summoning it, wouldn’t it be smarter to just Pendulum Summon something that’s more valuable when it hits the field? Maybe something like Darkflare Dragon or like a Bujin Yamato that have desirable effects tat further my deck?” This is a pretty short sited view of this card, but after thinking about it a while while I was at work, I actually realized that this is quite the amazing card!
The first thing this card does is quickly search Pendulum Monsters at a one for one rate. That’s pretty cool I suppose. Let’s say you’re running 3 of this card and probably its most logical counterpart at this point: Magician of Chronomancy. Magician of Chronomancy has a Pendulum Value of 8 for both left and right as long as the opposite Pendulum Monster is either an Odd-Eyes or Magician monster (which Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon obviously is). This means if you have an Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and a Magician of Chronomancy in your Pendulum zones you can Pendulum Summon monsters from Level 4 to 8, which is a pretty wide spectrum. Magician of Chronomancy has 1200 ATK as well, meaning it can be searched by Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon.
That’s great an all, Special Summon monsters between 4 and 8, but that’s still no better than what I mentioned before right? It’s actually a little bit better! When you play a Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon as a Spell Card you can destroy him during the End Phase to search a Magician of Chronomancy. The interesting thing is though, that when you destroy Odd-Eyes he goes into your Extra Deck. This means if you get another Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon you can be summoning the Odd-Eyes from your Extra Deck continuously along with summoning monsters from the hand until the opponent uses card to destroy your Pendulum Monsters being treated as Spells. What’s cool though, is that if the opponent destroys them, they go to the Extra Deck so that if you draw another Pendulum Monster you can start playing even more monsters for free. It’s a escalating process that gets more powerful the later into the game you get.
Let’s amp it up even more! Those combos alone aren’t really enough to make a strategy worth while, it must next be applied to a specific deck that can utilize it most effectively. Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon also has another interesting facet to it that brought my eyes towards it. Odd-Eyes is a Level 7 DARK Dragon, this meets the fairly specific condition of the card Eclipse Wyvern. This means you can be searching copies of Odd-Eyes from the deck with Eclipse Wyvern and the Chaos Dragon engine. Odd-Eyes is also a Level 7, making it ideal to work with the Dragon Ruler monsters. The basic idea I had was to use my Lightsworn Dragon Ruler deck as the core, but alter it so it only runs the viable Lightsworns and removes the Judgment Dragons. The bad Lightsworn monsters and the Judgment Dragons would be replaced with Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragons and Magician of Chronomancys and Magician of Astromancys, probably taking up between 6 to 8 cards for Pendulum Monsters. You would use the Chaos Dragons and milling to quickly cycle to your copies of Odd-Eyes and play them to search for you Magician monsters. The Magicians would then be used to allow you to Pendulum Summon from the pluthera of different leveled monsters Chaos Dragons have to offer and allow more consistent OTKs and more Lightsworn plays past your single Normal Summon (which usually holds Lightsworns back). It’s an interesting idea, we’ll see how it pans out.
QOTW? Question of the Week:
How do you feel about Konami adding such a foreign element as Pendulum Summoning to the game? Clearly it’s unlike any other mechanic the game has employed thus far, is that good for the game or maybe a bad decision?
Written by: Kyle