Dear readers and friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG!
It is Yu-Gi-Oh! Starter time once again and this time, the “Super Starter Space-Time Showdown”…
…is ushering in a whole new era in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Collectibel Card Game with the introduction of Pendulum Monsters. Will it bring good times or bad? You won’t know even after reading this article, as only time will tell. What you will know after reading this unboxing and review article will be the contents of the new Starter Pack and some of my thoughts on it. That is all I can offer for now. Also I will try to explain how the new Pendulum Monsters actually work. So let us dive right into the action!
What you get in the pack:
I got my copy of the new Space-Time Showdown Super Starter for about 9 Euros (around $13 USD or so) off the internet and was mighty pleased with the contents of it:
So what you get besides a rules booklet and a paper playmat (with the new Pendulum Zones – more on those later) is two packs of cards. One is the actual deck of 40 cards and the other a nice extra 10 cards to improve the starter deck. The deck contains two of the actual Pendulum Monsters, Stargazer Magican and Timegazer Magician…
… as Holos as well as an assortment of 38 Common Monsters, Spells and Traps. Some of the Common Monsters are really great in my opinion and I will highlight them later on. The 10 extra cards contain one copy of Odd Eyes Dragon in holo foil as well as another foil card (mine was a Dark Hole – yay!) and 8 other non-foil Monsters, Spells and Traps.
Now to the question we have all been asking ourselves: How do the actual Pendulum Monsters work? I will explain it briefly:
Each Pendulum Monster as seen in the above photo is half Spell and half Monster (Normal or Effect) card and can be played as a Monster regularly. However you can activate it as you would do with a Spell. In the latter case, you have to put it in either of the two new Pendulum Zones which are located in to the left and to the right of the Monster and Spell/Trap card zones. Having one Pendulum Zone occupied by a Pendulum Monster will do nothing at all. However, once both Pendulum Zones are occupied by Pendulum Monsters, you get to Pendulum Summon once during your turn, during either Main Phase. Now here’s where the new “scale” stat comes in. Each Pendulum Monster has a scale, which is a value displayed to the middle left and middle right of the card, under the blue and red crystals if you look at the photo example above. When you Pendulum Summon you can Special Summon as many Monsters as you want or can from hand or Extra Deck whose Levels are in between the scale values of your two active Pendulum Monsters. If you had a Timegazer and Stargazer Magician in place, you could Summon Monsters with Levels between 2 and 7 for instance. And yes that would include Synchro Monsters from your Extra Deck. One more thing to note: When a Pendulum Monster dies it goes face-up on top of your Extra Deck, from where it can be Pendulum Summoned as a Monster again and again.
And that is how Pendulum Monsters and Pendulum Summoning works. Whether if the introduction of the same is a bad or a good thing has to be seen. Time will tell and I must admit that I cannot yet fathom all the consequences all this will have on the gameplay, flow of the game and in-game balance. Will Pendulum Monsters turn the world of dueling upside down? Probably, but only time will tell. What is certain is that the new mechanics make summoning Synchros from your Extra Deck very easy and a lot of XYZ-action is obvious with the mass-summoning potential entailed. Matter of fact I am in the process of figuring out some working Pendulum Summoning builds as I write these lines – one deck that is working preeetty well already but is still undergoing testing will be showcased in a follow-up article.
For now though, let me share some notable cards from the Super Starter Space-Time Showdown with you:
First off I would like to showcase two dragons:
Aether, the Empowering Dragon is the only card in this deck that has an Effect directly related and activated by Pendulum Summoning…
…whereas odd-eyes Dragon, whom you get in holo foil with every Super Starter Space-Time Showdown…
…has somewhat decent stats and a nice effect, however is not the best card I have seen yet overall.
What really caught my eye was a series of Monsters that interact with Normal Monsters and/or Spellcaster/Dragon/Warrior types. Those are the “Empowered Warrior” and “Summoner” Monsters.
Vendtra, the Empowered Warrior is a LV 5 Monster with 2000 ATK that can attack your opponent direclty. This is pretty mean in and off itself but when he dies, no matter how, you can add a Normal Spellcaster, Dragon or Warrior from your Graveyard to your hand. Arnis, the Empowered Warrior (LV 4) on the other hand lets you Special Summon a Spellcaster with 1500 ATK or less from your deck if she is destroyed in battle. Terratiger, the Empowered Warrior lets you Special Summon a Level 4 or lower Normal Monster when summoned, which is obviously great for some instant XYZ-action!
Next up the “Summoner” Monsters:
White Tiger Summoner does pretty much the same as Terratiger and gives all your Monsters +100 ATK and DEF which is kinda nice. Red Sparrow Summoner on the other hand lets you Special Summon a Warrior with 1500 or less ATK from your Deck when it is destroyed by battle and, my favorite, Blue Dragon Summoner lets you add ANY Normal Dragon, Spellcaster or Warrior from your Deck to your hand when sent from field to graveyard, which gives him a special spot in the next article on Pendulum Decks and in fact in my heart:
Overall I must say I find the new Pendulum Summoning concept highly intriguing and am looking forward to see what will come off it and how it will change the way we duel. As for the Super Starter Space-Time Showdown, I can only heartily recommend it as I think it is a great deal, has some interesting, new Monsters as showcased above and is a good way to explore, to some extent, then new Pendulum Monsters and Pendulum Summoning concept. Just don’t despair if you never ever get to Pendulum Summon when playing with just one Starter. The odds of drawing both your Pendulum Monsters at the right time are low and maybe you’d want to invest in a second or even a third copy of the starter if you would like to build an at least semi-serious attempt at a Pendulum Summoning deck!
All that remains for me to say is that I will follow-up shortly with my own Pendulum-musings in the form of my very first attempt at a serious Pendulum Summoning deck. Until then, I wish you all a