Last week we spotlighted a pure Pendulum Magician strategy and this week we're headed to the opposite end of the spectrum: Brilliant Pendulum Magicians. This deck combines Performages, Gem-Knights, Performapals, and Magicians into one high-intensity Pendulum strategy. There are a lot of synergies between those themes and more than a few busted card interactions. Magician Pendulum players like Sean Jones are a common sight at Regionals, but only a handful make it to the Top 8.

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Jones' build isn't bogged down with traps, giving him a bit more speed and aggression in Game 1. He didn't need off-theme defensive cards in most circumstances – Pendulum Monsters are already great at putting a wall between you and your opponent. Self-replacing monsters like Performage Plushfire and Performage Trick Clown can Block Attacks just as well as any Mirror Force. Still, Jones sided two Threatening Roars to help ensure that he'd survive his opponent's onslaught on Turn 2. It's particularly good against Kozmos, stopping Kozmo Farmgirl's search by locking out attacks.

Brilliant Fusion's incredibly powerful here. Jones could send Performage Trick Clown or Performage Damage Juggler to the graveyard while Fusion Summoning Gem-Knight Seraphinite, which in turn gave him another Normal Summon. Jones maxed out on Brilliant Fusion so he could see it as early as possible; resolving just one would give him a deck-searching effect or a Level 4 monster to use as an Xyz Material. He could revive Gem-Knight Garnet later with Elder Entity Norden, or shuffle it back into the deck with Daigusto Emeral. Lastly, Brilliant Fusion sets up later plays with Masked Chameleon.

Interestingly enough, Jones didn't play a single copy of Mystical Space Typhoon. Instead, he sided three copies of Typhoon, the trap card. The latter's well-suited for a Side Deck that's not only looking to answer Anti-Spell Fragrance, but also destroy opposing copies. Few cards do that better than Typhoon. This strategy's really good right now, and it's only going to get better next month when Breakers of Shadow hits the TCG.

-Kelly Locke