Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Pendulum Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh
First debuting in the Arc-V anime, pendulum monsters dazzled duelists across the globe by offering quick and reusable special summons. When pendulum monsters aren't attacking monsters on the field or being revived from the extra deck, they're busy serving as pendulum scales to special summon other monsters.
And since most pendulum monsters possess both regular monster effects and pendulum zone abilities, they offer a variety of tricks to turn the tide of a duel. But with hundreds of entries to choose from, which monsters reign supreme? These are 10 more of the best pendulum creatures in the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game!
10. Dragodies, the Empowered Warrior
Light-attributed Dragodies doesn't belong to a specific monster archetype, but her versatile powers can aid several builds. First, she wields a desirably low pendulum scale of 2 (players want one high and one low) and a great pendulum ability: at the start of the damage step, when your monster battles an opposing face-up monster, you can discard a card to halve the enemy's ATK and DEF! You can activate this multiple times per turn, and the effect lasts even if Dragodies is removed from the field.
As a monster, Dragodies wields another awesome trait: when destroyed by an opponent's attack or card effect, you're allowed to add one warrior or spellcaster-typed monster with 2000 or less ATK from your deck to your hand at the end phase, except another copy of Dragodies. This excellently searches for two monster types, and note Dragodies's 1500 ATK is high enough to conquer weak monsters but low enough to qualify for other searches (like that of Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon).
9. Qliphort Carrier
Although the Qli archetype can't really be combined with other series (in the pendulum zone, the monsters prevent pendulum summoning non-Qlis), Carrier nonetheless presents much to enjoy. With a stupendously low scale of 1, in the pendulum zone Carrier simply increases the ATK of all Qli monsters you control by 300, adding on to already-impressive scores.
As a monster card, its ATK drops to a still-respectable 1800 when special summoned or normal summoned without a sacrifice, but maintains a healthy 2400 if tribute summoned.
Plus, if normal summoned, Carrier is immune to the effects of monsters with a lower level/rank than it, saving it from pesky flip effects! Even better, when tributed, Carrier can return any opposing monster to the hand granting, some awesome monster removal to the series and making it great tribute fodder. In short, if you're running Qlis, put three of these in your deck.
8. Astrograph Sorcerer
By virtue of its terrific scale of 1 and 2500 ATK, Astrograph already delights, and it offers several helpful effects too. During your main phase, you can destroy this card in your pendulum zone and either put a "Stargazer Magician" from your deck into the pendulum zone or special summon it. This handily searches a monster while giving you the option of how to use it.
Plus, if a card you control is destroyed by battle or effect, you can special summon Astrograph from your hand (saving you the two tributes it would take to normal summon), then you can add another copy of your destroyed monster from your deck to you hand as long as the original resides in your graveyard, extra deck, or banished zone (which it should). Astrograph also brandishes an effect to banish itself and other cards you control to special summon Supreme King Z-ARC in a Z-ARC build.
Definitely an amazing card, but remember that with its name of "Sorcerer", Astrograph isn't technically one of the Magician series and can't combo with corresponding effects. Still, that's a small price for such formidable powers.
7. Performapal Odd-Eyes Unicorn
First, the negative elements of this monster. It suffers from abysmal battle stats and its status as a level-1 monster make it difficult to pendulum summon from the extra deck. However, it possesses a rare and terrifically high pendulum scale of 8, often allowing for pendulum summons of up to level-7 monsters.
It also utilizes a great pendulum effect where you can (only once) raise the ATK of an attacking Odd-Eyes monster by that of a Performapal monster on your field. This excellently compliments Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon's double-damage ability and overcomes even the strongest monsters (in terms of ATK) in the game.
While Unicorn works best as a scale, when normal or special summoned it lets you regain life points equal to that of a Performapal in your graveyard, offering some uncommon pendulum health regeneration. Finally, remember that Unicorn counts as both as Performapal and Odd-Eyes monster, adopting an astonishing number of archetype-dependent cards.
6. Oafdragon Magician
After link monsters debuted, the game's rules changed to make it more difficult to summon from your extra deck by limiting the number of extra deck monsters that can be out at once. This drastically slowed most pendulum decks, but one card—Oafdragon Magician—survived the transformation. Oafdragon's monster effect lets you add any Odd-Eyes or Magician (other than another Oafdragon from your graveyard to your hand when it's normal or special summoned, recovering from an xyz summon or forced discard.
Its pendulum effect (accompanying a useful scale of 2) lets you add a face-up Odd-Eyes or Magician monster from your extra deck to your hand if you have a Magician in your other scale. The monster effect helps you get pendulum monsters out of the graveyard, where you don't want them, and the pendulum ability usefully places monsters from your extra deck into your hand, meaning they don't count towards your extra deck monster limit. Throw in a respectable ATK of 2100 and you've got one heck of a monster.
5. Mayosenju Daibek
The ultimate monster of the Yosenju clan, Mayosenju Daibek tears foes apart with its 3000 ATK. In the pendulum zone, its effect can helpfully boost the ATK of an attacking Yosenju by 300 until the end of the battle phase, and its scale of 7 is high enough to summon any Yosenju creature (except another Daibek) when paired with a partner's appropriately low scale.
Even better, the card's pendulum summon cannot be negated (although it cannot be special summoned except through pendulum summons), and when either normal or special summoned, you can target and return up to two cards from the field to the hand. During each end phase, if Daibek was special summoned that turn, you return it to the hand.
This may seem detrimental as it lessens your field, but it restocks your hand and enables you to trigger Daibek's entrance effect yet again, returning even more opposing cards to the hand (which works particularly well on extra deck monsters).
4. Supreme King Gate Zero
Although best utilized in the Supreme King series, Gate Zero's incredible 0 scale may tempt players of all breeds. In the pendulum zone, you take no damage (including effect) while you control Supreme King Z-ARC, and if you control Supreme King Gate Infinity in your other scale, you can destroy both it and Gate Zero to add Polymerization or any fusion spell to your hand.
As a monster, Gate Zero has no ATK or DEF despite its level of 7, but it can destroy itself and another face-up card you control to special summon a dragon type fusion or synchro monster from your extra deck with its effects negated, ATK/DEF as 0, and it cannot be used as material for a synchro or xyz summon.
With these disadvantages, why bother? Just having that type of monster out can benefit Z-ARC, and the clipped monster can still be used as fusion or link material. Finally, when this card in the monster zone is destroyed, you can place it in your pendulum zone, a stellar effect that ensures your scales never run dry.
3. Timebreaker Magician
A truly versatile foe, Timebreaker gives a nice scale of 2 alongside a great pendulum zone effect: once per turn, ignore an opponent's card effect that would destroy your pendulum monster(s). This lets you stop worrying about Mirror Force and the like, letting you attack without fear. Next, as a monster, Timebreaker can banish itself and another targeted monster from play until your next standby phase, which can consistently remove powerful foes.
And though 1400 ATK may veer on the low end, when Timebreaker is pendulum summoned from your hand, and no other monsters are summoned at that time, you can increase its ATK to a hefty 2800! As if we needed any final icing on the cake, Timebreaker belongs to the vast Magician archetype, comboing beautifully with great Magician support cards such as Pendulum Call.
2. Abyss Actor - Leading Lady
An often underestimated archetype, the Abyss Actors offer several potent pendulum creatures. Leading Lady here provides a sweet scale of 2 alongside one of the best pendulum scale effects in the game. Once per turn, when you take battle damage from an opponent's attacking monster, you can either reduce the monster's ATK by the damage you took (usually bringing it to zero) or add an Abyss Actor pendulum monster with ATK less than or equal to the damage from your extra deck to your hand. Both are stupendous abilities, and note that the first's ATK reduction lasts permanently, even if Leading Lady leaves the field.
As a monster, once per turn when battle damage is inflicted (to either player), you can cut the ATK of an opposing monster by that battle damage's amount (this can trigger on both players' turns). Additionally, when this monster card is destroyed by battle or an opposing card effect, you can set an Abyss Script spell from your deck. What else can I say? Leading Lady offers a vast number of amazing effects and her 1500 ATK qualifies for the same searches as Dragodies without being too weak.
1. D/D/D Destiny King Zero Laplace
There's a reason Konami gave these fiends to arguably the best duelist in Arc-V, Akaba (Declan in the dub) Reiji. In the pendulum zone, Laplace provides an awesome scale 1 and a similar ability to Oafdragon Magician: once per turn, you can add a face-up non-Laplace D/D/D monster from your extra deck to your hand. This nicely circumvents the field's extra deck limit when pendulum summoning, and then there's Laplace's terrific abilities as a monster:
- You can special summon Laplace (from your hand) by tributing any D/D/D monster.
- When this card battles an opposing monster, you can make its ATK become double the ATK of the foe until the end of the damage step.
- If this card attacks a defense position monster, you can inflict piercing battle damage.
- The first time each turn this card would be destroyed by battle, it is not destroyed, and you take no battle damage from that clash.
Laplace's strength speaks for itself. A great scale and pendulum effect only add to the allure of a monster who battles foes with double their power, pierces through defenders, includes a bonus summoning condition, and guards against battle destruction.
Pendulum monsters may have been nerfed with the introduction of extra deck limits, but they're far from irrelevant. Many monsters move cards from your extra deck to your hand, offering easy swarms without spending your one extra deck zone, and their versatility as monsters and scales ensures they still enjoy competitive play.
As we eagerly await the next batch of pendulum monsters, vote for your favorite entry, check out our original batch of the top 10 pendulum cards, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill