Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Using Link and Pendulum Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Pendulum monsters have a unique function; if they would be sent to the graveyard from the field, they instead go to your extra deck face-up. From there, you can pendulum summon them (using pendulum scales), but only to your single extra deck zone—unless you first play a link monster.
Link monsters have red directional arrows that point to main monster zones, which can be used to recast your pendulum monsters (or other links)—which synergize with pendulum themes? These are the ten best link monsters for pendulum decks in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Heavymetalfoes Electrumite
This awesome monster would rank much higher except for his TCG ban (he's limited in the OCG). Despite belonging to the Metalfoes family, he accepts any two pendulums as link material. ATK is only a decent 1800, but you get two backwards arrows for more pendulum revivals.
More than that, when Electrumite is link summoned, you can place a pendulum monster from your deck into your extra deck. Once per turn, you can destroy another face-up card to move a pendulum from extra deck to hand, and you draw if your pendulum scale leaves the field.
9. Artifact Dagda
Artifacts themselves aren't a pendulum theme, but they're often splashed into other archetypes thanks to their strong back row presence, and if you run them, you definitely want Dagda. Like Electrumite, he gives two beneficial arrows and is easy to summon, accepting any two materials with different names. While ATK is a mediocre 1500, Dagda can instantly respond to an effect by setting an Artifact from your deck, destroying it at your opponent's next end phase (which triggers their effects).
This also helps prepare Dagda's exit ability, which special summons an Artifact from your graveyard in defense if he's destroyed on your opponent's turn.
8. Defender of the Labyrinth
Defender requires two normal monsters as material, blending well with pendulum themes (Magician, Qliphort, Igknight, and many more incorporate some). While weak at 1400, Defender makes your non-effect monsters gain 500 ATK while opposing effect monsters lose 500. Additionally, if an opponent destroys Defender, you get to special summon a non-effect from your graveyard.
7. Traffic Ghost
Ghost requires three materials, has no effects, and only 1800 ATK. Not great, but he compensates with three arrows for tons of pendulum revivals, and he accepts any three monsters as material, even tokens. Measure Ghost by his support rather than his own power.
6. Decode Talker
Classic Decode Talker accepts any three effect monsters as material. He provides two backwards arrows (and one forwards), gaining 500 ATK per monster he points to. He can also tribute one he points to (on your field) to negate and destroy an opponent's effect.
While it's only once per turn, this can really ensnare opponents by tributing monsters to stop their effects, then pendulum summoning them back. Great for any deck, Decode's also a strong budget option, costing less than a single dollar!
5. D/D/D Abyss King Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh needs D/D materials, so he's sadly locked into their archetype. But when special summoned, you can only special summon D/Ds for the rest of the turn, but Gilgamesh lets you play any two from your deck into your pendulum scales, then take 1000 damage. Also, when destroyed by an opponent's card, you can special summon a D/D from your extra deck or graveyard in defense. Throw in two backwards arrows and you've got an easy choice for the theme.
4. Borreload Dragon
Borreload requires a hefty fee, needing four effect monsters. But he has excellent 3000 ATK, can't be targeted by monster effects, and can instantly have a monster lose 500 ATK/DEF (permanently), which can't be responded to. Borreload also has two sideways arrows in addition to diagonal, giving two extra zones even if he's not your first link, and when he attacks a monster, he can place it in a zone he points (giving you control), though it's sent to graveyard at the end phase of the next turn.
In short, he's expensive but powerful and works in nearly any deck.
3. Day-Breaker the Shining Magical Warrior
Day-Breaker needs two spellcasters as material, a popular type that fits with Magician, Majespecter, and even Performapal themes. He gains a spell counter when link summoned, boosting his ATK by 300, and gets another when you special summon a spellcaster to a zone he points to.
Additionally, he can remove two spell counters to target and destroy any card on the field. Nice effects, especially for the spell counter-focused Endymion family.
2. Attribute Boosters
- Dark: Wee Witch's Apprentice
- Light: Hip Hoshiningen
- Earth: Missus Radiant
- Wind: Greatfly
- Fire: Duelittle Chimera
- Water: Mistar Boy
Many archetypes employ specific attributes, making these link monsters great supporters. Each boosts the ATK/DEF of all monsters of one attribute by 500 (including itself, effectively giving them 1900 ATK) and reduces the opposite attribute's stats by 400.
So, a Majespecter deck will want wind-based Greatfly, who works extra well against earth themes. All have two backwards-diagonal arrows as well, making it easy to recover two pendulum at once.
1. I:P Masquerena
Masquerena is pitifully weak but will take any two non-links as material. She gives the two standard diagonal arrows, and as a quick effect, she can link summon on your opponent's main phase by using herself as material, and any link monster using her as material can't be destroyed by opposing card effects.
Versatile yet powerful, Masquerena works great for reviving pendulums, then using herself with them to creates a deadly destruction-immune beatstick.
How to Beat Pendulum Decks
Today we saw many great link monsters that allow for easy pendulum revivals; how can you counter these tactics? One way is to banish pendulums, so they can't be revived. Or, prevent your opponent from using spells with cards like "Anti-Spell Fragrance," "Imperial Order," and "Magician's Right Hand."
You can run some of these cards in your sideboard to swap in for best 2-of-3 games, but for now, vote for your favorite pendulum-boosting link monster and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh! countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill