Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are Normal Pendulum Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh?
In Yu-Gi-Oh, pendulum cards can serve as either monsters or pendulum scales, a pair of which allow you to once per turn summon monsters from your hand or face-up from your extra deck with levels in between their scale values. Thus, pendulum cards are versatile tools that can adapt to fit the current situation.
Normal pendulum monsters are simply ones who, like other normal monsters, don't have any monster effects. However, they often compensate with great scale abilities, and their normal status qualifies them for various supports. But with dozens of normal/pendulum blends available, which creatures reign supreme? These are the 10 best normal pendulum monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Dragon Horn Hunter
Dragon Horn is a well-rounded unit with a bit of everything. Her mid-range level six makes her easy to pendulum summon, and she wields a fair 2300 ATK. She's also a warrior, an abundant type with several synergies, and her scale value of three makes her a strong choice for your lower scale. Additionally, her pendulum zone abilities raise the ATK of all normal monsters by 200 and prevent you from taking damage in battles involving your normal monsters.
Thus, Dragon Horn's a great support for devoted normal-monster decks. Try blending her with other normal-supporting pendulum cards like "Sky Dragoons of Draconia" and "Lancephorhynchus."
9. The Illegal Match-Winning Cards
Here, we're referring to "Leonardo's Silver Skyship", "Sakyo, Swordmaster of the Far East", and "Shelga, the Tri-Warlord", a trio of forbidden but powerful match-winning monsters. Not only do they offer an incredible scale 10, they can all potentially win "matches," the "best two out of three" format used in most tournaments.
With their scale effects, these monsters can banish three pendulum monsters you control of a corresponding type (machine, warrior, or psychic). This lets another pendulum monster win the entire match (rather than just a single game) if they reduce your opponent's life points to zero with a direct attack that turn. Throw in some impressive battle stats (especially on Sakyo) and it's no surprise these guys are banned.
8. Foucault's Cannon
Foucault's Cannon carries a fair 2200 ATK, and his spellcaster type and dark attribute combo with many themes, including the "Dark Magician" archetype. Additionally, his scale two works well as your low scale, and his effect lets you destroy a face-up spell or trap at the end of the turn you activate him.
This offers a handy spell/trap removal, and you can even use the trait on your own card to free up one of your scales.
7. Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
Master Pendulum works similarly to Cannon, with his common light attribute and dragon type offering many potential combos. Plus, his value of three makes a nice low scale and can once destroy a card in any pendulum zone—even himself.
His ATK is lower at 1950, but that's an impressive score on a level four monster that doesn't need any tributes to normal summon. Best of all, Master Pendulum carries the Dracoslayer name, qualifying for his dragon family's various supports.
6. Fire Opalhead
Opalhead is another level six monster, an easy rank to pendulum summon, and for his mid-level, he packs a great 2500 ATK. Although this dinosaur doesn't offer any scale effects, he wields a fantastically-low value of zero, making him one of few pendulum cards capable of swarming level one monsters.
Some normal decks rely on fielding level one monsters (often boosting them with "Triangle Power" or using them to cast "Dystopia the Despondent"), and Opalhead's generally your best zero-scale choice for their ranks. He's also simply a solid option for dinosaur pendulum structures.
5. Igknight Veteran
The Igknights (great pun there, Konami) offer several normal pendulum monsters who all share the same scale effect, differing only in scale value, level, and battle stats. Like his kin, Veteran's scale lets you destroy him and another Igknight in your pendulum zone to add a fire-attributed warrior-type monster from your deck or graveyard to your hand.
His level of six makes him another easy pendulum summon, and you can even perform it with another copy of himself, as Veteran carries a decently-high scale seven. While his ATK is only 1300, his DEF of 2700 should stall all but your opponent's strongest monsters. And don't forget that Dragon Hunter shares the warrior type and normal status with Veteran, letting them pair well.
4. Dragonpit Magician
Dragonpit is part of the competitive pendulum Magician crowd, qualifying for several great supports. This spellcaster also wield an impressive scale eight, helping access your level seven Magicians (who would otherwise require two tributes to normal summon). If you have another Magician in your other pendulum zone, Dragonpit's scale effect lets you once per turn discard a pendulum card to destroy a spell/trap on the field, a decent removal that also stocks your graveyard.
Dragonpit's ATK is only 900, but his sturdy 2700 DEF blocks most foes. Additionally, he works great for decks using the xyz monster "Ebon Illusion Magician," who requires two level seven monsters (like Dragonpit) as material and can special summon normal spellcasters (like Dragonpit) from your deck. Admittedly, his odd water element doesn't fit particularly well with his mostly dark-attributed Magician kin or their often-paired Supreme King allies, but it's a small complaint for a handy card.
3. Metalfoes Volflame
This psychic monster's scale eight works great for swarming monsters up to level seven (including extra copies of himself). Plus, his effect lets you destroy another face-up card you control each round to set a Metalfoes spell or trap from your deck, a continuous trait that you can access regardless of whether your other scale is occupied.
Plus, Volfame is competent in both battle positions, wielding a workable 2000 DEF and respectable 2400 ATK, making him useful as both a scale and a beatstick.
2. Odd-Eyes Arc Pendulum Dragon
With the common dragon type, dark attribute, and Odd-Eyes name, Arc Pendulum qualifies for many different supports. He also carries a great scale eight that lets you special summon an Odd-Eyes monster each turn (even another copy of Arc) from your hand, deck, or graveyard when an Odd-Eyes card you control is destroyed.
This pulls units from a variety of areas, and you can easily trigger it during your turn with the self-destroying scale effect of "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon." Throw in a fierce 2700 ATK and a level of seven (low enough to be summoned by scale eight) and Arc Pendulum simply excels on multiple fronts.
The Odd-Eyes group remains one of my favorite archetypes, and Arc Pendulum is an easy pick whenever I harness their members. Fortunately, despite his power, he's surprisingly cheap, costing less than two dollars!
1. Qliphort Scout
Once banned for his fierce powers, Scout is limited as of this writing, allowing one copy in your deck. A crucial component of the Qliphort archetype, Scout's scale (like his brethren) restricts you to only special summoning Qli monsters. However, he wields a great scale nine that can also search a different Qli card (including spells/traps) from your deck once each turn by paying 800 life points.
This offers excellent card advantage, and if you're worried about losing health, remember that archetype member "Qliphort Cephalopod" can potentially regain life points with his effect. Finally, if Scout is ever fielded, he can stall foes with his sturdy 2800 DEF, cementing his status as the best normal pendulum monster yet. And don't overlook his counterpart "Qliphort Monolith" either.
Supporting Normal Monster Decks in Yu-Gi-Oh
Many of today's entries have archetypes they fit snugly inside, but you can also use them to craft a dedicated normal monster deck. While these builds sacrifice monster effects, they access powerful supports like "Heart of the Underdog," "Skill Drain," and "Rescue Rabbit."
Normal monster decks come in several shapes and sizes, giving you plenty of avenues to explore, and pendulum cards dramatically improve their swarming capabilities (which their lack of effects often hinder). But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of normal pendulum monsters, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill