As for this week? We're diving into the Majespecter match-up. Siding for Majespecters is about the same as siding for any other Pendulum theme this format: side a bunch of Summon negation, maybe some spell or trap removal, and toss in Wavering Eyes if you're playing a Pendulum theme yourself. The simplicity of your siding strategy is a reflection of the linear playstyle of Majespecters themselves. It's a deck with obvious parallels to Satellarknights, and shares the same tricks with its Duelist Alliance counterpart.The Magical Forest Animal Search Party
For instance, Majespecter Fox - Kyubi grabs Majespecter traps from the deck, namely Majespecter Tornado and Majespecter Tempest. Majespecter Crow - Yata nabs Majespecter spells, and Majespecter Racoon - Bunbuku searches Majespecter monsters. Finally, Majespecter Cat - Nekomata can get any Majespecter card...as long as you're willing to wait till the End Phase.
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The majority of Majespecters are Level 3 and 4, so their usual Pendulum Scale of 2 to 5 covers all but one monster. The Level 5 Majespecter Unicorn - Kirin can't be Pendulum Summoned without a slightly larger Scale, but you can easily extend it to include Kirin by playing Archfiend Eccentric. Majespecter search effects trigger whenever they're Normal or Special Summoned, so repeatedly tributing and re-Summoning monsters awards up to four searches per turn. That's a ridiculous amount of deck searching with minimal investment. Two cards make up the Pendulum Scale while every other monster bounces between the field and the Extra Deck. Majespecters can continue to search new cards each turn as long as they have an intact Scale and a monster to Summon.
The searchable spells and traps in the Majespecter theme are incredibly strong, especially since their costs are entirely mitigated by the Pendulum mechanic. Majespecter Tempest negates monster effects and Special Summons, including Pendulum Summons. It's great against every strategy in the game, and opposing Pendulum themes in particular. Tempest might only be a common, but it's clearly the best support card this theme has. The other themed trap is Majespecter Tornado, which banishes a monster on the field. Chainable banish effects are in high demand against self-replacing or destruction-immune monsters. Tornado's also handy against Pendulums...noticing a theme here?
Majespecter Fox - Kyubi searches either Majespecter Storm or Majespecter Cyclone. Storm doesn't see a whole lot of play right now, but Cyclone and the non-Majespecter Majesty's Pegasus are two key staples of this strategy. Cyclone offers more removal on the opponent's turn, and represents the only card Kyubi can search in most builds. Majesty's Pegasus isn't a Majespecter card out of some strange attempt at balancing Kyubi's search effect, yet it's clearly a must-play for the deck. Pegasus trades any Majespecter on the field for another from the deck, triggering the new monster's search effect along the way.
All of these cards and effects culminate in highly-defensive field set-ups. This deck can produce absurd card advantage early on and quickly take control of the duel. Pushing past those set-ups is challenging. Ideally you'd want to knock out the Majespecter player's tribute fodder with card effects, but Majespecters have built-in defenses against destruction and targeting. Raigeki won't save you, and targeted effect negation is equally worthless. Breakthrough Skill takes a back seat to Skill Drain and Lose 1 Turn, and Mirror Force should be exchanged for Storming Mirror Force. Non-targeting, non-destruction effects are the only things that get Majespecter monsters off the field.
Most of this deck's effects are geared toward monster removal. Majespecter Storm, Cyclone, Tempest, and Tornado deal exclusively with monster cards. From a siding standpoint that makes your decisions a bit easier: you'll side in cards that can't be answered with searchable monster removal. Spells, traps, or untargetable monsters are ideal for this match-up. Majespecter players have responded to this gap in their coverage by playing Mystical Space Typhoon in the Main Deck, siding more spell and trap removal or negation, and running Archfiend Eccentric. Extra Deck cards like Lightning Chidori and Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer give Majespecters even more answers to cards their themed removal can't touch. The best Side Deck cards for this match-up not only dodge searchable removal, but also prevent other outs from being played.Solutions To Pendulums, Part 2 - Majespecters
Of course, all of the usual anti-Pendulum cards are subject to the many searchable answers in the Majespecter toolbox. Spell Canceller and Vanity's Fiend won't stick around for long, and Vanity's Emptiness is easily dispatched through monster removal. Anti-Spell Fragrance is actually great here, mostly because it keeps Archfiend Eccentric out of the Pendulum Zone. I'm still not keen on recommending it, but this is the match-up to side it for if you're playing Fragrance at all. Fairy Wind's also excellent in Games 2 and 3 where you're likely to see Rivalry of Warlords come into play. It'll knock out their scales, Continuous Traps, and their Field Spell in one shot.
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If you're looking for something that will really make an impression on your opponent, look no further than Full House. It's a relic from a time when Necrovalley and Royal Tribute forced Gravekeeper players to set their entire hand, but it's still just as devastating now. Pendulum Scales easily fulfill the face-up requirement, so it's simply a matter of waiting for three set cards to hit the field. It's a fairly frequent occurrence given the number of searchable traps and Quick-Play Spells in the average Majespecter build.
Mistake is just as good here as it is against Satellarknights. It breaks their supply line and forces your opponent to rely on their draws. That's not a strategy that'll work for long. Sooner or later your opponent will run of cards – hopefully before they draw an out. Thunder King Rai-Oh is, as usual, a bit riskier here, but since your opponent can't search their removal cards it'll tend to stick around a while. Otherwise, Deck Lockdown offers the same stopping power while also blocking the effect of Majesty's Pegasus.
Royal Decree's already seeing a lot of play in this highly-aggressive, OTK-heavy format. It's an obvious choice for fragile, combo-oriented themes. That's a good description of nearly every competitive deck right now with the exception of Majespecters. You'll definitely want to side in Decree if you're already running it in your Side Deck. If you aren't playing it already, you could run other anti-trap alternatives. Nobleman of Extermination's really cool, since it banishes their remaining copies of Tempest or Tornado. Even just one well-placed Extermination might banish the rest of Kyubi's search targets.
I've never been a big fan of Grand Horn of Heaven. It's simply inferior to Horn of Heaven in a number of match-ups, including this one. Normal Summons can still nab double searches thanks to Majesty's Pegasus. Grand Horn's completely useless against that play, but Horn of Heaven can shut down the first Summon. Until Solemn Notice arrives on the scene, I think Horn of Heaven's the go-to Summon response for Majespecters. Performages are a different story, where Time-Space Trap Hole is fine for answering their Pendulum or Xyz Summons. I'd be hesitant to play Time-Space against Majespecters though, since their effects will still resolve. Once again, it won't stop Normal Summons or monsters Summoned through Majesty's Pegasus.
I feel obligated to mention Poisonous Winds, which is effectively a one-sided Vanity's Emptiness against Majespecters. It'll definitely slow them down and limit their Extra Deck access, but is it worth dedicating Side Deck space? If you have an awful, horrifyingly-bad Majespecter match-up and you're entering a tournament where you know Majespecters will be well-represented...then maybe. It's a big risk to Side multiple cards for only one match-up, especially when it's a Continuous Spell. It's easy to play though, so it's a tempting choice for beginner players who'd like to avoid more complicated floodgates. It's definitely a more attractive options if you can't play Mistake, although its low match-up utility makes just about any other card a better pick.
Lastly, a quick glance at the Majespecter monsters reveals another exploitable trend: the majority of their monsters are below 1500 ATK. Deck Devastation Virus is ruinous against Majespecters because it hits nearly every monster they play. What's more, Pendulums destroyed in the hand go straight to the graveyard. A first-turn DDV set-up is stupidly good against this deck, stripping them of every monster in their possession while simultaneously revealing the contents of their hand. Then, for the next three turn, their draws will be culled for more monsters. Majespecters don't play deck searching spells besides Majesty's Unicorn and Luster Pendulum the Dracoslayer, so they'll have no way to break past DDV's moratorium on monsters. Just be careful not to use it if they're playing Performages.
Majespecters can adapt to new tech cards and engines nearly as well as Performages. The Master of Pendulum Structure Deck and Breakers of Shadow have more support for Pendulum themes, and in the immediate future we might see Performages and Majespecters outclassed by Pendulum Magicians, but Performages will be stealing the show come January. After a few updates to the Forbidden & Limited List I'd expect to see Majespecters return for some serious play. The deck has a lot going for it right now, but it's somewhat overshadowed by the explosive, flashy Pendulum themes competing against it.
Until next time then
Kelly Locke is a West Michigan gamer, writer, and college student with too much free time on his hands. Besides playing Yugioh, Kelly posts Let's Play videos of Minecraft on his Youtube channel and plays a possibly unhealthy amount of Destiny. He is currently studying marketing at Western Michigan University, and hopes to graduate before Dragon Ravine is Unlimited.