Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
What Are Pendulum Scales in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Pendulum Monsters are unique cards that can either be summoned like regular monsters or set in your spell/trap zone as "scales." You can have up to two scales active, and when you have both, you can once per turn special summon monsters from your hand/extra deck with levels in-between your scale values.
Additionally, most scales have abilities that support your team (similar to continuous spells), and today we'll review the best of the best. Today we're prioritizing scale effects more than monster abilities or scale values; with that in mind, these are the 10 best scale abilities in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Pendulum Scale: 5
Zefraath's scale value is an undesirably-midway 5 (you want one high and one low), but he can change it with his scale effect. Once per turn, you add any Zefra pendulum monster from your deck to your extra deck, then Zefraath's scale value becomes the chosen card's for the rest of the turn.
This lets you consistently tweak Zefraath while preparing monsters to revive, two abilities in one. And if used as a monster, Zefaath is hard to summon but offers several powerful effects and a great 3450 ATK.
9. Performapal Five-Rainbow Magician
Pendulum Scale: 12
First, Five-Rainbow belongs to both the Performapal and the pendulum Magician families, offering many synergies. He's also got an outstanding scale 12, though he only lets you pendulum summon from the extra deck.
More than that, Five-Rainbow's scale applies a penalty or bonus to each player based on the number of set cards in their spell/trap zone. 0-3 means your monsters can't activate effects and their ATK becomes 0, while four or more simply doubles their ATK. Using this effectively in traditional decks is tricky, but shutting down opposing monsters (in both battle and effects) makes Five-Rainbow a surprisingly efficient stall tactic in non-monster decks.
8. Amorphage Lechery
Pendulum Scale: 5
The Amorphage scales have so many powerful nets that it's hard to pick just one, but Lechery's is arguably their best. While his value is another midway 5, he prevents both players from activating spells (except Amorphage cards) while you control an Amorphage monster.
Most competitive decks value spells far more than traps, making this a great way to ensnare them; just note you'll need to sacrifice a monster or destroy Lechery at your upkeep.
7. Archfiend Eccentrick
Pendulum Scale: 7
Eccentrick belongs to the Archfiend family, but her effects work fine in any archetype. She's got a respectably-high scale 7, and in the pendulum zone, you can destroy her to simultaneously destroy any other spell/trap, a nice removal that stocks your extra deck.
As a monster, Eccentrick offers another removal, letting you tribute her to destroy any monster, making her a versatile card that can attack any zone.
6. Odd-Eyes Arc Pendulum Dragon
Pendulum Scale: 8
Arc-Pendulum's scale effect lets you special summon any Odd-Eyes monster (even another copy of himself) from your hand, deck, or graveyard once per turn when an Odd-Eyes card you control is destroyed by battle or effect.
That's a powerful tutor that can pull units from three different zones; toss in a great scale 8 and strong battle stats, and you've got a well-rounded and competitive card.
5. Chronograph Sorcerer
Pendulum Scale: 8
The legal counterpart to the banned "Astrograph Sorcerer," Chronograph can destroy himself in the scale to put a "Timegazer Magician" from your hand or deck either onto the field or into the scale. This stocks your extra deck and is a great way to circumvent Timegazer's scale limitation (which prevents you from activating him if you control any monster) when your field is already set.
And even if you have already drawn all Timegazers from your hand and deck, Chronograph can take their place with his identical scale 8. He's also level 6 (one of the easiest to pendulum summon), and his monster effect helps summon the dreaded "Supreme King Z-ARC."
4. Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon
Pendulum Scale: 4
Odd-Eyes's scale 4 is also midway, but he's usually only scaled for a single turn anyway; during your end phase, you can destroy him to add any pendulum monster with 1500 or less ATK from your deck to your hand. That's another great search and one that works with any pendulum group, not just the Odd-Eyes family.
Plus, Odd-Eyes lets you reduce any battle damage from clashes involving your pendulum monsters to 0. This isn't once per turn, meaning you can safely block stronger units without losing life points, and it's great when foes activate instant-speed effects like "Honest" or "Shrink."
In short, Odd-Eyes goes in almost every pendulum deck I make, and he's surprisingly cheap, costing well under a single dollar!
3. Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
Pendulum Scale: 5
Like Odd-Eyes, Luster belongs to an archetype (the Dracoslayers), but his scale effect works just as well in other themes. While he's a mediocre scale 5, Luster can once per turn destroy your other scale to add a copy of it from your deck to your hand.
Not only does this stock your extra deck, it lets you swap out scales; you can either put your clone back in the pendulum zone, or play a different pendulum card from your hand. And Luster is also a rare pendulum tuner, though he can only be used for fusion, synchro, and xyz monsters if they're Dracoslayers.
2. Wisdom-Eye Magician
Pendulum Scale: 5
Wisdom-Eye's scale value is bad, but if you have a Magician or Performapal card in your other pendulum zone, you can destroy Wisdom to place any Magician pendulum monster (except another copy of him) into your scale. This means he can serve as your high or low scale, pulling whichever you lack from your deck.
Wisdom's biggest disadvantage is that you can't activate his effect the same turn you use his family's excellent monster-searching spell "Pendulum Call" (which prevents your Magicians from being destroyed, even by their own abilities), but he's still a great way to tutor needed cards. And note his ATK is just low enough to remain eligible for Odd-Eyes's search.
1. Qliphort Scout
Pendulum Scale: 9
Formerly banned, Scout is limited as of this writing, allowing a single copy in your deck. Like all Qli scales, it has the downside of restricting your special summons to only Qli monsters. However, you can once per turn search any other Qli card (even spells and traps!) by paying 800 life points!
This works great for finding aces like "Apoqliphort Towers" and "Saqlifice," and if you're worried about the lifeloss, you can regain life points by summoning "Qliphort Cephalopod."
Banned Pendulum Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh
In addition to today's units (which are all allowed at least a single copy in competitive play), you'll find worthy scale effects on banned cards like "Performapal Monkeyboard" and "Leonardo's Silver Skyship."
Of course, a pendulum card's stats and monster effects also determine its overall power, but don't underestimate the importance of reliable scales. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of pendulum monsters, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill