Pendulum summoning is losing its hype ever since it came out in 2014. However, when it first arrived on the Yugioh scene, players were quitting the game and calling out pendulum summoning as being overpowered. As for me, my return to Yugioh came in the middle of this mess. As a kid I loved the show and the card game (although I had no idea how to play it. Among my friends, whoever had Blue Eyes White Dragon always won, simply by virtue of the fact that it had the highest ATK). As I grew older I felt like I had outgrown Yugioh. Ten years later I started watching the first season for nostalgic purposes (thank you Netflix!) and soon found that I had to buy seasons three through five (curse you Netflix!). Nostalgia gripped me and so I set about understanding the game, creating a deck, and trusting in the heart of the cards.
Well my faith came to a shattering end when my Archfiend deck went toe to toe with a Deskbot deck. Within one, maybe two turns, I was floored. Right in the beginning, my opponent managed to get an entire field of monsters out and boost the attack of one of his Deskbots to over 5000 (not 9000, mind you this is Yugioh not DBZ)! Later, I went against another deck that used pendulum summoning and suffered yet another horrible defeat.
This is when I realized that my deck was old fashioned. Cards I had in my deck that were once effective became useless against pendulum summoning. I?ll share a few tips that have revolutionized my deck and made it able to compete against pendulum summoning.
Drop Mirror Force
One of the bread and butter traps of the game was Mirror Force. Nothing could be more annoying than doing an all-out attack only to find that your opponent?s one trap not only halts your attack but also sends every powerful monster to the graveyard. Hence the reason I ran three Mirror Force cards.
While Mirror Force was once a trap that made players anxious about every face down card. Players who use pendulum summoning laugh in the face of it. Why? Well you see, pendulum monsters don?t go to the graveyard. Instead they go to the extra deck. On your opponent?s turn they can summon back every single monster destroyed as if they had an unlimited number of Monster Reborns. In the end Mirror Force is only good for one turn.
Upon discovering this, I found new Mirror Force cards such as Quaking Mirror Force and Drowning Mirror Force. These cards are like Mirror Force but they have side effects that are more potent against pendulum summoning. For example, Drowning Mirror Force will send all attack position pendulum monsters back into the deck instead of on top of the extra deck. While it doesn?t send monsters to the graveyard, it is just as effective as its normal counter-part and infinitely better against pendulum summoning.
Nip the Summon in the Bud
Pendulum summoning has one major flaw. That is the two monsters/spells that need to be placed in the pendulum zones. It is the entire focal point on which pendulum summoning rests. If you can kick out those two monsters/spells, then you are successfully kicking out the stepping stool that your opponent is supported on.
Mystical Space Typhoon
Cards like Solemn Warning or Mystical Space Typhoon are the perfect axe to chop down your opponent?s strategy. Since the cards in the pendulum zones are considered spell cards, then mystical space typhoon can take them out. Also since Mystical Space Typhoon is a quick play spell card, you can use it during either your turn or your opponents. Same with Solemn Warning. This card can prevent the pendulum monster/spell from ever reaching the field. If you time it right, you can shatter your opponent?s strategy leaving them wide open for an attack (hopefully they aren?t running mirror force).
An Ace Up Your Sleeve
Perhaps the greatest addition I ever made to my deck was adding in a Synchro monster known as Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend. Never, have I ever before had a better friend than this card! This monster is to me the way Blue Eyes is to Kaiba.
Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend
Its special ability allows it to destroy all special summoned monster and inflict 500 points of damage to my opponent for each destroyed. As long as I can keep it alive, I could care less if my opponent keeps pendulum summoning the same monsters. It?s only going to hurt them more in the long run. And while they?re at it, why not Xyz or Synchro summon too. My ace is Scarlight but yours could be something else, look around and see what?s available.
Pendulum Summoning isn?t the overpowered technique that has ruined the game. While it does have some incredible perks that can drive players crazy, there are cards that are designed to counter it. Take a look at your deck and make a few adjustments. Switch out normal Mirror Force for a newer version, maybe add a new Synchro or Xyz monster to your Extra deck. All in all, pendulum summoning can be beat, it just takes a little extra planning, and a lot of trust in the heart of the cards.