Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Pendulum Removals in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Although the extra deck became harder to access once link monsters debuted, pendulum monsters remain a fierce threat in Yu-Gi-Oh! They're versatile cards that can be summoned like other monsters, but they can also be placed as continuous "pendulum scale" spells used to summon other monsters.
If destroyed on the field, pendulums are sent to the extra deck instead of the graveyard and can later be revived via pendulum summon, meaning it's hard to permanently eliminate them—which effects do the trick? Looking at both monster and scale removal, these are the ten best anti-pendulum cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Macro Cosmos
Once resolved, Cosmos summons "Helios – The Primordial Sun" from your hand or deck, meaning you're getting a free monster right off the bat. Then, it stays fielded and banishes any card sent to the graveyard.
This even works against pendulum monsters despite them heading to the extra deck when destroyed, preventing their revival. Your own cards will be affected too, but you probably won't mind since Helios powers up for each exiled card.
9. Fairy Wind
Fairy Wind destroys all other face-up spells and traps on the field, inflicting 300 damage to both players for each. This eliminate pendulum scales as well as fields and any other continuous spells or traps, potentially finishing off a weakened opponent along the way.
But remember your own cards can be destroyed and you'll also take the LP damage; use Fairy Wind in decks with few continuous cards to avoid its blast. And while great at removing scales, keep in mind the cards can later be revived as monsters.
8. Solemn Strike/Solemn Warning
Strike pays 1500 life to negate the special summon or effect of one or more monsters; Warning pays 2000 to negate any summon or effect. Negating pendulum summons is especially potent since the cards head to the graveyard and not extra deck (because they're destroyed before entering the field), preventing opponents from reviving them.
Comparatively, Strike costs less life but Warning can negate more card types; both offer great counters to pendulum swarming. Alternatively, "Solemn Judgment" also helps, though its penalty of half your LP sometimes forfeits a hefty 4000 life.
7. Twin Twisters/Heavy Storm Duster
These guys offer arguably the best spell/trap removals in the game. Both destroy up to two spells/traps, letting them remove pendulum scales, field spells, or anything else in the spell/trap zone.
Twin Twisters makes you discard a card while Heavy Storm (like all traps) has to be set before it can be used, but each offers a brutal removal just as powerful against non-pendulum decks. Heavy Storm also forfeits your battle phase for the round—but that doesn't matter if you use it on your opponent's turn.
6. Pendulum Storm
Storm destroys as many cards in all pendulum zones as possible, then lets you destroy an opposing spell/trap. Only pendulum cards make the far-most spell/trap slots a pendulum zone, but this means you can safely activate Storm with a full spell/trap area as long as you don't use pendulums.
In ideal situations, you're spending one card to remove three (two scales plus another spell/trap). Storm also makes a great side deck candidate, letting you swap it in-between rounds after learning you're facing a pendulum theme.
5. Spell Shattering Arrow
Arrow destroys as many opposing face-up spells as possible, inflicting 500 damage to your opponent for each. Unlike Fairy Wind, this doesn't impact traps, but it leaves your field alone, rendering it safe for your own spells.
The effect damage and quick-play speed only sweeten the pot, removing pendulum scales, fields, and other continuous spells in one fell swoop. A versatile card I've used in many decks, Arrow is also surprisingly cheap, costing well under a single dollar!
4. Wavering Eyes
Eyes destroys as many pendulum scales in both fields as possible, then applies the following effects based on the number of scales destroyed:
- 1 or more: Inflict 500 damage to your opponent.
- 2 or more: You can add a pendulum monster from your deck to your hand.
- 3 or more: You can banish one card on the field.
- 4: You can add a "Wavering Eyes" from your deck to your hand.
Triggering the third and fourth abilities requires both players to run pendulum cards, meaning Eyes makes another handy side deck member. But at full power, you inflict damage, get a removal, and add two cards from deck to hand, all at instant speed.
3. Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
Limited as of this writing (one copy allowed per deck), Ignister accepts any tuner material, but needs his non-tuner(s) to be pendulum monsters. However, he isn't restricted to the Dracoslayer archetype, meaning other pendulum decks (like Odd-Eyes and Magician) can use him.
Not only does Ignister wield an awesome 2850 ATK, his effect once per turn destroys a pendulum card (whether a monster or scale) to shuffle a card into the deck. Notably, you can destroy opposing pendulums, but you can also choose your own if none are available, and shuffling cards away prevents pendulum revival.
Ignister can also once per turn special summon a Dracoslayer from your deck in defense position, although it can't be used as synchro material. So he works best alongside other Dracoslayers, but his removal prowess makes him great for any pendulum theme.
2. Imperial Order
Becoming limited after a long stint on the ban list, you can only have one Order in your deck, but boy is it powerful, negating all spell effects. While this doesn't prevent opponents from playing pendulum scales, it does negate their effects, which can be almost as bad, while also hindering fields and other spells.
Now, you have to pay 700 life points at your standby to keep Order up, but that's a small price for its powerful effect. Use in decks that don't care much about spells like Traptrix and Paleozoic for a deadly turn-one setup.
1. Anti-Spell Fragrance
This infamous trap forces both players to set spells cards for at least one turn before activating them, essentially making them function like traps. So, first play any needed spells during your turn, set Fragrance, then activate it when your opponent's turn starts.
Not only does this stall their regular spells, it completely shuts down their pendulum zones since pendulum cards can't be set in the pendulum zone (they must be activated). Few pendulum themes can rebound against a well-timed Fragrance, blocking them from using scale effects and pendulum summons while delaying their other spells.
How to Beat Pendulum Decks in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Today we've examined many ways to remove both pendulum scales and pendulum monsters, but remember that pendulums can only be revived from the extra deck if your opponent has remaining extra monster zones. In other words, eliminating their link monsters reduces their ability to recast pendulums.
Keep in mind foes can recover pendulums from the graveyard with cards like "Pot of Riches," so try to banish or shuffle them away when possible. But for now, as we await Konami's next expansion of anti-pendulum cards, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh! countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill