I feel as if all of Yu-Gi-Oh is breaking down into super ballin' pop culture references as of late, and not a single ounce of my being is hurt by that. In fact, quite the contrary: I'm all for pop culture references raining down from the sky like yummy candy.

And believe me, my body is ready for Power Ranger references.

I obviously can't confirm one way or another if the Dinomist theme is actually Power Rangers hype or not but, by Zordon, I believe! I mean, c'mon, they've got to be Megazords right? What else are they, really?

The logical argument goes as such: the Dinomist monsters look like Megazords and therefore they must be! It's pretty obvious from the contextual clues Konami's given us. Dinomic Powerload? Yeah, you know that card art's depicting their transformation into Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer. Note that Dinoster has "Dino" in its name. Talk about conclusive proof.

Maybe I can't back that up, but one thing I do know for certain? Dinomists are a really, really cool deck. For me, the strategy's a sort of spiritual successor to Wind-Ups, in a number of ways.

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Of course, there's the aesthetic of mechanical creatures doing mechanical things. That's obvious. But the two themes also share a play style that's remarkably similar. The basic concept is a bunch of small monsters that swarm the field to make bigger plays. Both strategies also rely on a really good continuous spell to make the most of their cards. Wind-Ups would've had no way to keep their hand stocked with all of the Wind-Up Sharks and Wind-Up Rats that keep the strategy moving forward, without Wind-Up Factory. In the case of Dimomists, that all-important continuous spell is Dinomist Charge.

That card, in many ways, acts as the central hub for your most impressive plays. When it's activated, Charge searches your deck for a Dinomist monster. Then, once per turn, when a Dinomist card's added from your field to your Extra Deck face-up, you add that monster to your hand instead. If multiple monsters get returned at once, you can pick which one you get.

Dino Might!
So much of what makes this strategy so cool is centered on Dinomist Charge's interactions with everything else. If anything, the Wind-Up comparisons stop here because Charge far outclasses Wind-Up Factory in every way.

First off, since it has the word Dinomist in its name, Dinomist Charge garners all the benefits allotted to all the Dinomist monsters. It's searchable with Dinomist Pteran, which is huge. Having a consistent method of ripping Charge card from your deck makes your dependence upon it far less frightening than it could be otherwise. Wind-Up Factory was so hit and miss for just that reason: if you had it, great; but if you didn't, it often ended up playing against you. What's easier to miss is that Dinomist Charge falls under the protection afforded by your Pendulum monsters when they're in the Pendulum Zones.

All of the Dinomist monsters have Pendulum Scales of either 3 or 6. Each number has its own corresponding Pendulum effect that adds an incredible layer of protection to all of your Dinomist cards, too – including Charge. The Scale 6 monsters protect your Dinomist cards from targeted card effects, negating a targeting card and then destroying your Pendulum Spell. That protects Dinomist Charge from the likes of Mystical Space Typhoon and any of your Pendulum monsters from powerhouse monsters like Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer. It's hard to overstate the value that presents to a strategy that relies so heavily on Dinomist Charge and Pendulum monsters, and needs to keep them where they're supposed to be.

All of your Scale 3 monsters have a different effect: they can destroy themselves in place of any other Dinomist card if it were to be destroyed by battle or card effect. Let me take you through the Deck List real quick and then we'll pick the conversation back up on the other side…

DECKID=104092So obviously this deck covers its tail really well, but the second thing that it does with precision excellence is spam the field and generate gobs of card advantage with relative ease. Dinomist Pteran helps with that immensely. It's a recursive searcher for a ton of your cards, so yeah, it's pretty good. It's the same story with Dinomist Charge.

Dinomist Charge elevates the strategy to glorious combo-rific heights with Wavering Eyes. It keeps Wavering Eyes relevant even in non-Pendulum match-ups; if you Wavering your own Scale while you have Dinomist Charge on the field, you not only search a Pendulum Monster from your deck with Wavering's effect, but you'll also get one of the monsters destroyed by Wavering Eyes added back to your hand as well. Instantly you've got a rebuilt Scale that you might not have had otherwise, and your Extra Deck's loaded and ready to go.

Wavering Eyes is also incredibly important because it gives you quick and easy access to your two non-Dinomist Pendulums – both of which are remarkably important to the strategy. First off is Rescue Hamster. The game's finally reached a point where Rescue Hamster's essentially Rescue Rabbit for Pendulums. Sure, that's what it was intended to be all along but prior to now, there haven't been many strategies that could use it to its intended potential.

Since your Dinomists are constantly being recycled through your hand and Extra Deck because of their effects, you'd be surprised at how live Rescue Hamster is, and how it outclasses Rescue Rabbit. Pendulum monsters are far more useful than Normal monsters all around, of course. Just as well, Rescue Hamster can Special Summon Level 5 Pendulum monsters from your deck and that means that any two-material Rank 5 is a Normal Summon away. That's really strong when you consider how many powerhouse Rank 5s there are.

Furthermore, if you're not building on a budget, note that all of your Level 5 Pendulum monsters are Machines. This deck can whip out Cyber Dragon Nova with relative ease, which means your access to the duel-shifting Cyber Dragon Infinity is a cut above. Even without Rescue Hamster, your prospects would diminish since most of your Level 5 Dinomists have built in effects that make Special Summoning them ridiculously easy. Oh and, you know, Pendulum Summoning is a thing, too.

Shine Bright Like A MEGAZORD!
I can't even begin to quantify to you in writing, the magnitude of my thankfulness for the existence of Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer. Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer's one of the big power players of this format and it will continue that way for the foreseeable future. It's also remarkably out of range for anybody looking to use and abuse it on a budget.

Master Pendulum actually does a lot to fix that, in a roundabout way. Majester Paladin, the Ascending Dracoslayer's a great Rank 4 that can abuse the same "Special Summon a Dracoslayer" effect that makes Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer so good. The thing that completes its greatness, though, is the brand new Dinoster Power, the Mighty Dracoslayer.

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The Level 8 Fusion's one of the coolest pieces of Pendulum tech in a very long time. It requires a Dracoslayer Pendulum and another Pendulum Monster to Fusion Summon. Like the Gladiator Beast Fusions, Dinoster Power doesn't require a fusion spell; you Special Summon it via Contact Fusion instead. Dinoster has two killer effects that'll net you tons of mileage in this deck. First off, so long as it's on the field, your Pendulum cards can't be destroyed by battle or opposing effects. When you couple that with the extra dimension of protection provided by your Pendulums, your monsters quickly become untouchable in problematic ways.

Dinoster's second effect Special Summons a Dracoslayer Pendulum from your hand or graveyard once per turn. Like any other Dracoslayer Extra Deck monster, Dinoster limits you from using the Dracoslayer Pendulum monster for the Special Summon of a monster of the same type. In this case that means that you won't be able to use that monster for a Fusion Summon. The brilliance of that lies in the fact that you'll probably just use it for an Xyz Summon anyway, or as an extra 1950 ATK towards your opponent's Life Points. There's a ton of great things to be done.

Alright, Buck! Where's The Bang!?
This one tops our scale at $100. All of the Dinomist monsters are remarkably cheap, but Majester Paladin, the Ascending Dracoslayer is relatively costly at the moment so it sort of balances out.

This deck comes with a ton of flexibility though, on either side of the budget fence. You could scale it back to be much cheaper, and you could up production costs to a lot more than just $100. Fully decked out, this strategy could easily be a contender in a competitive environment as well as a dark horse. Consider it.

-Zach Buckley


Zach is husband to his beloved wife, Emma. He's also a composer who's studying composition and production formally in an attempt to be both happy and poor. You can follow his progress on these goals by checking out his sporadically updated blog at www.wordpress.com/zwbuckleymusic