Now that I'm finally sick and tired of being on the giving and receiving end of game-ending Wavering Eyes activations, it was finally time for me to put my thinking cap on to combat today's insane Pendulum strategies. I wanted to play a deck that could easily and continuously wipe out Pendulum Scales, while simultaneously putting together annoying fields.

I didn't want to have to run weird spell and trap removal nor did I want to use Artifacts, so the first deck that came to my mind was Noble Knights; a theme I haven't touched in over a year when I last wrote about them. The main issue I had to solve was consistency, something that's always plagued Noble Knights, but that's even more of a problem now due to the Limitation on Reinforcement of the Army.

The theme's always had standard OTK's and big power plays, but at the end of their support run they got new ways to dodge annoying cards and much needed recovery in Merlin and Last Chapter of the Noble Knights, courtesy of the Noble Knights of the Round Table Box Set. The more I thought about them though, the more I realized the deck has a ton going for it and was definitely worth a look. The axing of Evilswarm Exciton Knight from competitive play was also a blessing for Noble Knight duelists.

Recent Trends Favor King Arthur's Court
Right now, the big decks are only playing a couple of traps, if any at all. That's great news for Noble Knights, because the initial Normal Summon of Noble Knight Medraut is extremely important. The fewer traps being played in the top Pendulum strategies, the less you'll have to worry about being stopped by Bottomless Trap Hole or something as simple as Fiendish Chain. On top of that, you can free up deck space, because the need for Mystical Space Typhoon and Forbidden Lance is zero. Those cards are much easier to play in the Side Deck for rogue picks like Burning Abyss and Satellarknights.

Looking even further at another popular strategy in Kozmol monsters that can't be targeted are still annoying. Sure, Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer is a common out to Kozmo Forerunner and Kozmo Dark Destroyer, but outside of that incredible Synchro, there isn't a ton of non-targeting removal floating around, which means Noble Arms – Excaliburn is still great. And it's still really good next to Noble Arms of Destiny. A fully equipped Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus or Artorigus, King of the Noble Knights are still intimidating to deal with, which bodes well for a strategy that excels at Xyz Summoning them early and often.

But what's even better is that Artorigus, King of the Noble Knights is finally just as good of a boss monster as Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus, thanks to the prevalence of Pendulum strategies. Your opponent can probably replace their Pendulum Scale rather easily the first time you destroy it, but the second time is going to be really difficult and may win you the match single-handily. I always considered Qliphorts a solid match-up for Noble Knights and I think current Pendulum Strategies fall into that favorable category as well.

Before I go any further, here's the list I've been working on:

DECKID=103921The most interesting standout here is obviously the beloved Brilliant Fusion engine! It warms my heart that the community has latched onto the trend, because a handful of TCGplayer staff members were writing on it before it was cool. What it can do for Noble Knights is really impressive and it provides almost as big of a toolbox as Performage Damage Juggler.

To start, you can put Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms into your graveyard, effectively turning on all of your Noble Knights' effects. While that's obviously important, it's also essential to realize that you're gaining a level five Gem-Knight Seraphinite, which you can use for a Rank 5 Xyz Summon. Beyond that, you can just Normal Summon two Noble Knights and go for either of your King Artorigus Xyz, depending on which Knights you have and if you've got a Noble Knight Borz to further build your graveyard and get you another Noble Arms.

While Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms is going to be your go-to card to send off of Brilliant Fusion, you can also send Lady of the Lake! Having the option to load up Lady of the Lake is huge, because you can get to Ignoble Knight of High Laundsallyn so easily – an excellent start. You can even Synchro Summon Ignoble Knight of High Laundsallyn if you've got Noble Knight Eachtar or Ignoble Knight Launsallyn, since you can Tribute Summon them using Gem-Knight Serphinite as your fodder.

That sequence doesn't even use your Normal Summon, because of Gem-Knight Serphinite's Continuous Effect. Noble Knight Borz with any Noble Arms is your best pairing with Lady of the Lake; it can put you so far ahead if there's a monster to destroy with High Laundsallyn. That kind of flexibility drastically improves your opening moves, which ups consistency to a level Noble Knights have never seen before.

The main downside to Brilliant Fusion is that you can't activate both it and Merlin's effect in the same turn, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to have a ton of two-card combos and further access to Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms. It's mildly worth mentioning that Brilliant Fusion and Noble Knight Brothers can be activated in the same turn, which can also lead to a lot of damage.

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Brilliant Fusion also opens up a sweet OTK and quick Rank 4 Xyz Summons if you've got a few Noble Arms. By using Noble Knight Medraut to recruit Noble Knight Gwalchavad from the deck, you can use Brilliant Fusion to get Noble Knight Gawayn into the graveyard. Add back Noble Knight Gawayn to your hand with Gwalchavad and Special Summon it to Xyz Summon Heroic Champion – Excalibur. If you've got another Noble Arms or Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms, you can boost Medraut to Level 5 and Xyz Summon Shark Fortress with Gem-Knight Seraphinite. Activate its effect and Heroic Champion – Excalibur can attack twice for 10,400 damage, which is some hefty hurt to lay on your opponent.

And Then There's Floodgates…
Kaiser Colosseum's really caught on lately, but it's especially great here because your fully-equipped King Artorigus Xyz are so strong. The Continuous Spell's nothing new for Noble Knights, but it didn't always see play in the theme. It's definitely worth playing now, because even if you control more than one monster, it severely hinders your opponent's Pendulum Summoning tactics. Colosseum can buy you just enough time to get your Sacred King set up, so you can lock down the game and sneak out a win.

Vanity's Emptiness is what it is and usually ends the game when it's sitting behind a fully equipped Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus.

There are so many other cards that you could use in Noble Knights that there's even more room for innovation and neat techs. That's one big reason I feel like there's something untapped here, before Breakers of Shadow hits shelves. The one card I really want to fit is Instant Fusion, for Elder Entity Norden shenanigans. Noble Knights are probably the only deck that will never have an issue with Kozmo spaceships thanks to Gwenhwyfar, Queen of Noble Arms, but it'd be really nice to drop an Abyss Dweller next to Noble Knight Borz equipped with Gwenhwyfar. I'm not really sure what to omit, but it's on my radar.

Have you tried Brilliant Fusion in Noble Knights yet and I'm just late to the party? What's your favorite non-Pendulum strategy at the moment? Tell me what you're most excited for in the next set.

-Pasquale Crociata

Pasquale's from Long Island, New York, but has lived in New York City for nine years where he earned a BFA in Musical Theater from Pace University. Outside of the Yu-Gi- Oh! community he's a working Actor, Model and Singer. Those interested in keeping up with his Acting career can check out his website, 'Like' his Facebook Page or follow him onInstagram and Twitter.

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