Initially, I – along with 106% of the world – was drastically underwhelmed with Pendulums. The idea sounded amazing, but the first wave of Pendulum cards fell flat. Hardly discouraged, I wrote my first Pendulum article here, and I was excited to start a series of articles similar to the Pilica Chronicles under the "Pendulum Project" header. New, and hopefully amazing cards were on the horizon of my imagination!

Pasquale Crociata wrote part two of the "Pendulum Project" series; the deck's newest toy then was First of the Dragons, another new entry in the recent string of Fusion support. The focus blossomed from a Normal-themed Rank 5 strategy into something more, becoming a Normal Pendulum deck that reached in all sorts of different directions. I then wrote another Pendulum article fixing up Kris W's deck fix submission, effectively another iteration of Normal Pendulums that added the element of Junk Synchron. Today's Rerouting comes from a cool guy that's just been dying to get a deck on here.

Chris S. writes….

I know with Secrets of Eternity just a few days away you probably have a lot of deck ideas rolling around in that brilliant mind, like the Morphtronic upgrade we talked about a week or two ago. And for the record, yes, I'm still laughing and slightly creeped out when I look at Morphtronic Smartfon nowadays.

I have no doubts that the deck I want to show you is also one that you are planning to tackle in the near future, seeing as you've already expressed your delight for this strategy in the past. Alas, I'd still like to show my build to you.

DECKID=101769This deck does some pretty cool stuff. The main goal is to get either First of the Dragons or Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon onto the field, followed up with Black Rose Dragon or Fairy Knight Ingunar to clear the field of everything else, except for First of the Dragons and any monster being protected by Azure-Eyes. (In the case of Fairy Knight, Azure-Eyes would return to the Extra Deck.)

The deck also has an OTK using Kaleidoscorp. Don't get me wrong, Kaleidoscorp is awful. But when I can Pendulum Summon Kaleidoscorp, two Flash Knights, and any other Level 6 while my opponent has two or more Special Summoned monsters in attack, it's pretty darn good. I can overlay the two Flash Knights for Heroic Champion - Excalibur, activate its effect, then use Kaleidoscorp's ability to make Excalibur attack all Special Summoned monsters. Then you finish it off by overlaying Kaleidoscorp and a Level 6 into Utopia Beyond to drop the opponent's ATK to 0.

Also, Pendulum Summoning Jinzo is a beautiful thing. Thanks again! ~ Chris, from Oshkosh, WI

Nothing against Chris, but when I see his emails I almost always know that I can't feature his decks. They're always creative and happen to be built almost perfectly for what he's trying to accomplish. It's annoying!

But finally, he slipped up and sent something in I can contribute to. The deck's basically another Normal Pendulum iteration, so how does "Under the Rerouting - Revisited: Pendulum Project Part 3" sound?

It Sounds Stupid, Loukas
Anyway, I'm pretty passionate about Normal Monsters. Theoretically, no matter how much new support you give them, they can never be inherently busted. As I say that, half of you are probably remembering Dino Rabbit, but the fact of the matter is that the Normal Monsters were still pretty trashy. My point is, the support you could give Normal monsters will never eclipse Effect Monsters… unless we made a Level 4 Warrior Normal monster with 30,000 ATK.

Currently, the only good Pendulum deck is the dastardly Qliphorts, a monotonous and rather boorish strategy. I wrote about them here, but I can honestly say that playing against and with Qliphorts was about as fun as playing hacky-sack with my scrotum. Qliphorts have a lot of really good themed support, but with Storm, Soul Transition, Skill Drain and the like, Qliphorts have plenty of non-Qli power.

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Normal Monsters don't comprise an entire theme in and of themselves, but Chris tapped into some amazing cards. Normal Monsters – still not an archetype – have Faustian Bargain, Dark Dark Factory of Mass Production, Symbols of Duty, Two-Man Cell Battle… the list goes on! Chris' favorite is Symbols of Duty, because it's the closest replacement to Monster Reborn. But you know what sucks? What really sucks? Symbols of Duty and White Elephant's Gift don't work with Pendulum Normals. Womp womp. Sending the monster to the graveyard is a cost, not part of the effect. Since you can't pay the cost, the card can't be activated! Don't worry, I cried too when I realized that.

The key to successfully creating a strong, recursive Pendulum deck is making sure your early game and late game have juice. I have to reference Qliphorts because they're a perfect example of what an amazing Pendulum deck looks like. Literally a fourth of the deck searches stuff, and then of course all the Pendulum Monsters have obscenely high or low Scales, either 1 or 9, so every monster fits the bill for every Pendulum Summon ever.

So for Normal Monster Pendulums, you'll want to mimic Qliphorts: have as many search cards as possible and be able to Pendulum Summon no matter what Salces on the left and what's on the right. Highest of the Small Scales < Levels of your monsters < Lowest of the Large Scales. Simple formula, easy success – Flash Knight and Lancephorhynchus clock in at Scale 7 – higher than the Levels of all your main deck monsters – while Dragon Horn Hunter and Dragoons of Draconia clock in at Scale 2 or 3, below all your monsters except Tune Warrior.

Dragoons of Draconia is obviously a great way to search out your Pendulum monsters, and Fossil Dig, Reinforcement of the Army and Fire Formation - Tenki search most of your deck, fetching almost all of your Pendulum Monsters. The first thing we need to do is add Summoner's Art. There's no quick way to search Dragon Horn Hunter, and Fossil Dig only searches one card. Summoner's Art is a better card in every way, but feel free to keep Fossil Dig in if you want even more ways to search your Scales.

First Is The Worst, Second Is The Best
After a ton of games piloting this deck, I realized that going first was literally the worst thing since Doug "Cheerio Thief" was driving my car and jumped out without hitting the break or putting it in park. Even if I started the game searching out half my deck, I always had to end my turn with little or no defense, kinda like how Doug left my car defenseless and I had to chase it down before it hit a semi-truck. Where's my double Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss? Certainly not on board, let me tell you that.

Even looking at the Extra Deck, your best bet for a solid Turn 1 is Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon or Photon Strike Bounzer, neither of which are low cost for a Turn 1 play. Know what else isn't low-cost?

Car repairs, Doug.

First of the Dragons is your best Turn 1 play and is often your main line of defense, completely immune to all monster effects and will only die in battle with a Blue-Eyes White Dragon. The deck's main strength is putting aggressive pressure on your opponent, but you'll quickly find there isn't a "standard" frontal assault you can truly mount. Some of your blowout plays, like the Performapal Kaleidoscorp OTK or a push with Fairy Knight Ingunar happen rarely; but when they do, man is it fun. Every time you push for damage or kill a different threat, you have to dip into your Extra Deck for a new boss monster. Heroic Champion – Excalibur rarely comes out, but with 4000 ATK as an out to Apoqliphort Towers and Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Trees, you have to keep that thing around.

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Jinzo's sadly just not all it's cracked up to be. If we were in a Gladiator Beast format, things may be different, but Jinzo's best against the rogue decks at any given tournament. It's great to play when pushing for damage, but don't expect Jinzo to stick around that long. I wanted to try out Jinzo - Jector, but with other ideas in mind, I thought two Jinzo sufficed just fine. If only you could bring it back with Symbols of Duty!

While dipping in your Extra Deck's hardly a bad idea (unless you're playing against Shaddolls, I suppose), the deck can't make power plays without a Synchro and Pendulum Summon. Snatch Steal's literally the only way to deal with threats in the Main Deck, and even that's easily countered. The deck loses pretty hard to floodgates too, like Skill Drain, Vanity's Emptiness, Summon Limit, and others.

Enter: The Spaceships
If you absolutely detest this portion of the deck, feel free to leave it out. That said, I've turned towards some Qliphort cards to dig me out of a few holes. Qliphort Helix and Qliphort Carrier are probably going to be Level 4 every time you Summon them in this deck, but the important part is their effects. When they're Tributed, you can bounce a monster or pop a spell or trap on the field, respectively. Carrier and Helix won't totally swing the direction of the duel, but the recursive ability to eliminate threats on board that you'd need your Extra Deck to deal with otherwise is quite handy. The Qliphort Trigger Effects help you make OTK's more often and are just generally useful cards. I'm also seeing a lot of success with Enemy Controller.

I added Battle Fader as some lasting form of defense. The deck does a great job of fielding high powered monsters, but there's nothing to stop you from kicking the bucket if your frontal assault gets blown away. I know hand traps that stop attacks have fallen from grace lately, but the whole "not dying" thing has been statistically proven to win games.

Of course, the more I played with the deck, the more I found things that I liked or didn't like. Unless I opened the game with Rescue Rabbit, it was never a good topdeck. Likewise, Rescue Hamster was underwhelming and then downright "meh" once I added Qliphort cards. I couldn't justify omitting every out to Vanity's Emptiness, so the deck got a few tweaks there as well. Here are the changes:

-1 Dragon Horn Hunter
-1 Jinzo
-2 Rescue Hamster
-1 Rescue Rabbit
-3 Fossil Dig
-3 Symbols of Duty
-3 Upstart Goblin
-3 White Elephant's Gift

-1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Tiger King
-1 Daigusto Emeral
-1 Giganticastle

+2 Battle Fader
+1 Foucault's Cannon
+2 Qliphort Carrier
+2 Qliphort Helix
+3 Enemy Controller
+3 Summoner's Art
+2 Mystical Space Typhoon

+2 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
+1 Constellar Ptolemy M7

And now the final list!

DECKID=101771Chris, I hope you're happy, chiefly because I kept Performapal Kaleidoscorp. I didn't like the idea of it, but I happened to FTK someone on the very first turn I played the deck so I took it as a sign. To ensure I got everything in here that I wanted, you'll notice the final tally is a staggering 43 cards. I thought once I gutted the build of so many things, filling the deck up to 40 would have been difficult, but I found that hands of pure monsters followed by turns of drawing monsters exclusively was rough.

I'm sorry to smash your hopes and dreams, but I didn't write the rules for card costs and pendulum monsters. It's just a rumor, but I hear that Doug is the real culprit.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson






Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you love creating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send the following to rerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.com to have your deck featured in the "Re-Routing" deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will be filed and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck should be TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs make Loukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses. "Winning" is not a strategy per se, and neither is "beating your opponents before they beat you."

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love with the deck!

The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and if you throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; be warned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack. Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! -LJP