For the past three weeks I've written on different versions of Magicians, because they offer so much thanks to Dragonpit Magician's Pendulum Scale of 8. For as much as they've quickened the pace of competition, the Magicians have also offered a ton in the innovation department. Level 7 behemoths have never been easier to field, while decks that run a lot of lower Leveled monsters can now get them onto the table for tons of other plays, and Pendulum Call ties everything together by completing your Pendulum Scale. I've had a ton of fun and a lot of success messing around with Magicians, but I'm finally ready to move on to the real explosive strategy of the format: Performage Pendulums.

Before Magicians, Performage Pendulums was the hottest deck you could innovate, and I wrote about a few different ways it could go. But this week, I'm really excited about one of the coolest strategies to hit the scene; Zombie PePe. Desmond Johnson first topped with it on December 13th at ARG Las Vegas, but Bobby Kenny had mentioned it to me about a week prior. By using a small Zombie engine of three Uni-Zombies and a lone Mezuki, you got some incredibly sweet plays and could pull off some impressive two-card combos.

Uni-Zombie To The Rescue
This particular Zombie suite can fit into any strategy, but it really shines in Performages, because the deck spits out Level 4 monsters so easily. Uni-Zombie can send Mezuki from the deck to the graveyard to increase any monster's Level on the field by 1, which makes for an easy Level 8 Synchro Summon. You can then revive the Uni-Zombie with Mezuki to go for a Level 7 Synchro if you've got another Level 4 hanging around, or you can discard any card to increase another monster's Level and go for your second Level 8 Synchro. If you summoned PSY-Framelord Omega, you can put the Mezuki back into your graveyard during your opponent's Standby Phase for more Synchro Summons next turn.

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First turn fields of double PSY-Framelord Omega are extremely common, but they're even easier when Uni-Zombie's paired with Brilliant Fusion! By sending Performage Damage Juggler and Gem-Knight Garnett to the graveyard to Fusion Summon Gem-Knight Seraphinite you can get everything going. You'll Normal Summon Uni-Zombie, increase its Level by 1 and send Mezuki from your deck to the graveyard. Then, banish Damage Juggler to get Performage Trick Clown or Performage Plushfire.

Next, use the extra Normal Summon for whichever Performage you searched, and Synchro Summon PSY-Framelord Omega with Uni-Zombie and your Performage. Finally, revive the Uni-Zombie with Mezuki and Synchro Summon a second PSY-Framelord Omega with Gem-Knight Seraphinite and Uni-Zombie.

What's important to note here is that if you did go for Plushfire, you can Synchro Summon Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer, which can then Special Summon Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer out of the deck. Not only did you get free removal out of the combo, but you've also got a way to put Luster Pendulum into your Extra Deck, which is very important and often necessary to win.

While that's obviously incredible on its own, things get a little bit more absurd when you factor in Omega's second effect. Without even Pendulum Summoning and at the cost of only two cards, you've established an annoying field and you force your opponent into starting their Main Phase with only four cards in their hand. You'll also put Mezuki and Damage Juggler back into your graveyard during your opponent's Standby Phase. That's going to set you up to make similar plays on your next turn. You really won't be losing any game you open with Brilliant Fusion and Uni-Zombie.

Before we go on, here's the deck list:

DECKID=103915I want to touch on two quick things that may seem a bit out of place. The first is that I'm only using one Pendulum Call, which may seem strange, but I don't really need more than one copy. The second and third Calls are always pretty useless and Wisdom-Eyes Magician is often more important. The quick +1's and deck thinning Wisdom-Eye offers far outweigh everything Pendulum Call can do.

This deck's not pieced together by Dragonpit Magician, because you're only playing four monsters that can't be Normal Summoned; many other Magician decks are. Playing six ways to get to Dragonpit Magician is plenty, because in reality, you only need a Pendulum Scale 5 as your high end, which Wisdom-Eye Magician and Performage Plushfire fill out perfectly.

Outside of that, you may not be all too familiar with Evilswarm Nightmare, but it's extremely useful in mirror matches. Thanks to Uni-Zombie, getting two Level 4 Darks onto the field is very easy; Performapal Skullcrobat Joker's your other big option, which you can get to easily enough. By using them for an Xyz Summon, you can unleash Nighmare and its nasty effect, essentially acting as a Book of Eclipse anytime your opponent Special Summons one or more monsters.

With no level restriction attached and a comfortable 1950 DEF, plus the key phrasing of "monsters(s)" Evilswarm Nighmare's a huge pain for many Pendulum Strategies to deal with. Its effect isn't limited to one activation per turn, so you can stop an entire Pendulum Summon and an Inherent Special Summon in the same turn, which should end your opponent's push and maybe even win the game if you can capitalize.

Beyond those two details and what the Zombies offer, the deck plays out just like other Pendulum Performage variants. That said, it's important to understand that outside of Wavering Eyes, what separates a win from a loss is learning when to be overly aggressive and when to play defense. Most Pendulum decks can't play sufficient defenses right now; they rely on a handful of difficult-to-search cards to control the game, like Mist Valley Apex Avian and Majespector Unicorn – Kirin. What I love about Zombie Performage Pendulums is that it doesn't rely on anything specific, but it lengthens the reach of cards you're already playing like Brilliant Fusion and Instant Fusion. At the same time it gives you the option of hard interruption with double PSY-Framelord Omega or annoying defense with Evilswarm Nightmare. The Extra Deck fills the role of defense once you get to your Uni-Zombie, and you don't need Dragonpit Magician to achieve the powerful field.

Small nuances like that can make your time at a tournament that much easier.

-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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