Archetype Analysis: Majespecter

Last updated: 17.07.2021

Remember “Igknights”? I talked about them a few weeks ago and labeled them as the number one beginner-friendly Pendulum archetype, since they are very similar in function and therefore allow you to completely focus on learning the Pendulum mechanic itself. If you want to step up from that beginner course, here is the next stair you can take for an easy entrance into the complicated world of Pendulums: “Majespecter”. This archetype came out during the same time the “Igknights” saw the light of days and do have some story-related reason to even be connected; but what they also offer is another easy Pendulum archetype that allows you to get accustomed with the mechanic if you want to learn it. But obviously, they can do more than just using the fact that they are colored differently and have another effect text box in the middle of the card, for example working as a pretty solid Control deck with an interesting interaction in the archetype overall. If all this got you interested to hear more, rejoice, since there is more detailed info down the page.

The usual disclaimer: None of the information given by me is set in stone. Having an open mind in deck building and including creative ideas is always helpful, if only to further understand the playstyle and strategy of the deck you are about to build. There are probably choices that I list which can be labled as debatable, but no platform I know of gives a broad overview over both the archetypes and all the card choices, so I aimed to do just that. I will try to keep this page (as well as the other ones, once they are made) up-to-date, so if any reader feels like I skipped some amazing tech choice or a crucial card, just drop me a note and I will add the missing information if necessary. Furthermore, I use a number of sources for ideas and information, so a list with links that I deem useful is attached to the end of the page and credit is given whenever I can point to a source to do so.

“Majespecter” is a Pendulum archetype that consists entire of Wind Spellcaster monsters. In a way, you could see them as the opposite of “Igknights” function-wise: Instead of being Normal monsters, they all have a search effect as their monster effect and instead have no Pendulum effect to speak off. Instead of destroying them to gain further cards to work with the “Majespecters” search a card first and then later often get tributed in order to activate the card effect of the searched card. And instead of a spammy Combo/Aggro approach that the “Igknights” prefer, the “Majespecters” like going first and then control the game with the resources and option they acquired over the turn. But even though they are also quite straightforward, there are a few things to consider and a few cards to get in touch with, so here is the “Majespecter” archetype:



Name: “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata
Level/Rank: 3
ATK/DEF: 100/1800
Attribute/Type: Wind Spellcaster

We start the “Majespecter” archetype with “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata”. The Pendulum side of things is easy enough, since “Nekomata” only provides a Pendulum Scale of 2 while having no effect in the Pendulum Zone, so the monster effect is where it’s at: When “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata” is Normal or Special Summoned, you can add one “Majespecter” card from your deck to your hand during the End Phase of the turn, but this effect of “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata” can only be used once per turn. Furthermore, “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata” is untargetable by opposing card effects and can also not be destroyed by opposing card effects, an effect that you will encounter on every single “Majespecter” monster and something that opponents forget quite frequently. Overall, “Nekomata” is a fine pick for a “Majespecter” deck, since she provides one of the few low Pendulum Scales (with only “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata” and “Majespecter Fox – Kyubi” providing a two, since “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin” is banned) while also setting up future turns. The search delay is the main reason why some players decide against running three copies of “Nekomata”, since the drawback for waiting is outweighing the bonus of being able to search any type of “Majespecter” card.

Recommended copies: 1-3
“Majespecter Cat – Nekomata” is a solid pick for any “Majespecter” deck, but for the reasons listed above is a preferance pick instead of a surefire three-off.


Name: “Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku
Level/Rank: 3
ATK/DEF: 1200/900
Attribute/Type: Wind Spellcaster

Next up is “Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku”. As is theme with the “Majespecters”, “Bunbuku” has no Pendulum effect and therefore only provides a Pendulum Scale of 5 when played into the Pendulum zone; however, as a monster it is a very useful card. When “Bunbuku” is Normal or Special Summoned, you can search your deck for one “Majespecter” monster card and add it to your hand, but you can only use this effect of “Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku” once per turn; furthermore, “Bunbuku” has the same card targeting and card destruction protection all “Majespecter” monsters sport. “Bunbuku” is absolutely paramount as a versatile searching tool, since it can fetch the other archetypal monsters with ease, which not only all search other cards when summoned but also can be summoned during the same turn in most scenarios since you have the Pendulum Summon mechanic at your disposal in this deck.

Recommended copies: 3
“Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku” is absolutely paramount for the consistency of the “Majespecter” archetype and should be run at three copies in any deck that claims to be a “Majespecter” deck.


Name: “Majespecter Crow – Yata
Level/Rank: 4
ATK/DEF: 1000/1500
Attribute/Type: Wind Spellcaster

Moving on, we have “Majespecter Crow – Yata” to talk about. First the Pendulum side: “Yata” obviously has no Pendulum effect and therefore can only provide a Pendulum Scale of 5. The monster side has some more effect text to offer, as is common for “Majespecters”: First off, “Yata” is one of the Level 4 monsters, which can be helpful if you want to work with Xyz Summons or cards like “Ties of the Brethren“. Then, when “Yata” is either Normal or Special Summoned, you can search your deck for a “Majespecter” Spell card and add it to your hand, but this effect comes with a hard “once per turn”-clause. Lastly, “Yata” cannot be targeted or destroyed by opposing card effects, like the rest of the “Majespecter” monsters. The level can be helpful, which is why I listed it in the first place, but overall “Yata” is one of the “Majespecters” that you take out of the deck if you need extra deck space, since searching Spell cards is not that impressive in “Majespecters”. That does not mean that you cannot find search targets in the deck, a single copy of “Majespecter Sonics” or “Majespecter Cyclone” is certainly a toolbox-y choice that can be made individually, but there are better backrow searchers yet to come and they kind of steal the show from the feathered fellow.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Majespecter Crow – Yata” is another searcher with an added Pendulum Scale; but due to only searching Spell cards, it does not see quite as much play. Run this one by preference, but feel free to skip “Yata” entirely if you want to fit in some more helpful Pendulum options.


Name: “Majespecter Fox – Kyubi
Level/Rank: 4
ATK/DEF: 1500/1000
Attribute/Type: Wind Spellcaster

As promised, here is a backrow searcher that offers a little bit more than “Majespecter Crow – Yata“: “Majespecter Fox – Kyubi”. “Kyubi” is a Pendulum Scale of 2 without a Pendulum effect when played into the Pendulum Zone, which is not that bad since you lack low scales as I have mentioned when talking about “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata“. But the monster effect is where it’s at: When “Kyubi” is Normal or Special Summoned, you can search your deck for a “Majespecter” Trap card and add it to your hand, but this effect of “Majespecter Fox – Kyubi” can only be used once per turn. Also, “Kyubi” does have the same effect that protects it from opposing cards targeting or destroying it that all the “Majespecter” monsters have. “Kyubi” does provide some solid options to Set after searching, with cards like “Majespecter Tempest” and “Majespecter Tornado” being two very solid control options the deck has access to. All in all, this fox definitely sees play in lots of “Majespecter” decks, and for good reason too.

Recommended copies: 2-3
“Majespecter Fox – Kyubi” is a solid card to run all around. It does set up your end board nicely while also providing a solid Pendulum Scale for the deck to work with. I would suggest running two to three copies.


Name: “Majespecter Toad – Ogama
Level/Rank: 4
ATK/DEF: 1300/500
Attribute/Type: Wind Spellcaster

The last of the “normal” “Majespecter” monsters is “Majespecter Toad – Ogama”. Here we have another Pendulum Scale of 5 with no other effect to speak off while in the Pendulum Zone, but “Ogama” also provides more when played as a monster. When “Ogama” is either Normal or Special Summoned, you can search your deck for either a “Majespecter” Spell card or a “Majespecter” Trap card and set it directly into your backrow; however, that Set card cannot be activated during the turn you activated this effect and this effect of “Majespecter Toad – Ogama” is only usable once per turn. And, of course, “Ogama” also cannot be targeted or destroyed by opposing card effects. “Ogama” does offer a lot for the “going first”-approach the “Majespecters” are so fond off: You can search any type of backrow, which means that “Ogama” is both “Majespecter Crow – Yata” and “Majespecter Fox – Kyubi” combined in one card for such scenarios, and you do not care about being unable to activate the card right away, since they are supposed to counter the opposing plays during their turn anyway, making this toad another solid pick for the strategy.

Recommended copies: 2-3
“Majespecter Toad – Ogama” is another solid searcher that disallows direct activation of the searched cards for the benefit of broadening its own search pool. I would definitely suggest running two to three copies.


Name: “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin
Level/Rank: 6
ATK/DEF: 2000/2000
Attribute/Type: Wind Spellcaster

Here is the last “Majespecter” monster; and if you wondered why I excluded it from the circle of the more normal “Majespecter” monsters, you will soon see what I mean. “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin” starts off perfectly straight by being a Pendulum Scale of 2 without any effect when played into the Pendulum Zone, which aligns with everything we know so far. However, the monster side is … different: First off, “Kirin” is a Level 6 monster, which means that you cannot Pendulum Summon it via the Scales we have seen in the archetype so far; so either you use other Pendulum engines to get 7 or higher into one of your Pendulum Zones, or you need some other summoning idea, be it Tribute Summoning or getting it on the field via some Special Summoning effect. For that hassle, you can, during either player’s turn, target one Pendulum monster in your Monster Zone and one monster the opponent controls and return them both to the hand, but this effect of “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin” can only be used once per turn. Oh, also “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin” has the same protection from being targeted or destroyed by opposing card effects. This means that you have a boss monster that can reliably bounce one opposing threat per turn as a quick effect and therefore not only screw with the summoning chain the opponent is trying to get off but also annul threats that would like to kick over “Kirin’s” 2000 ATK/DEF. Also, this effect can potentially help you getting a monster from your field into your hand to use as a Pendulum Scale if such a play is necessary after the opponent destroyed them. Just to drive home how good this effect is: “Zoodiac Drident” is basically played at one copy at the moment to provide a destruction effect with instant speed while not really being able to replenish its resources as easily nor giving a setup tool or a 2000 ATK/DEF statline while doing so. And to add insult to injury, “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin” can be made criminally consistent in basically any Pendulum deck by simply adding one copy of it alongside three copies of “Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku” to search it. If you now ask yourself why this card should be allowed in the game if it is that obnoxious, I have news for you: It isn’t. “Kirin” is banned for some years at this point in time and I do not really see it coming back any time soon, which means that this is a dead card for any deckbuilding purposes.

Recommended copies: 0
“Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin” is a fantastic card that can really keep a huge amount of decks in check; which is why it is banned and therefore a solid zero in terms of copy counts.


Name: “Majespecter Cyclone
Type: Quick Spell

Which brings us straight to the first backrow card: “Majespecter Cyclone”. The “Majespecter” Spell/Trap cards are all fairly straightforward as you will see, with “Majespecter Cyclone’s” effect simply stating that you have to tribute a Wind Spellcaster monster upon activation to then target one monster the opponent controls and destroy it. “Cyclone” is a good example for how the “Majespecters” try to function: You use a Spell or Trap card, that you searches before by summoning the “Majespecter” monsters to trade your resources against the opposing ones, which the bonus that you can get them back from the Extra Deck via Pendulum Summon, leaving you at no real disadvantage if all things go right. “Majespecter Cyclone” itself is a solid option to run, searchable via “Majespecter Crow – Yata” and “Majespecter Toad – Ogama” while being fairly useful spot removal.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Majespecter Cyclone” trades on of your monsters against one of the opposing ones. It is not the best option the archetype has available for this type of situation, but since it is searchable and still playable, feel free to run the card by preference.


Name: “Majespecter Sonics
Type: Quick Spell

Next up is “Majespecter Sonics”. This Quick Spell does not require you to tribute a Wind Spellcaster monster, instead you simply target one “Majespecter” monster you control, and double its ATK and DEF until the end of the turn while also halving any battle damage it inflicts. Since the “Majespecter” archetype has fairly low stats and therefore is an easy target for battle destruction if the opponent manages to get a monster onto the field, this is a possible out to play when such a scenario occurs. “Majespecter Sonics” is still not boosting the monster to any impressive level, but doubling “Majespecter Fox – Kyubi’s” ATK will still leave you with a 3000 ATK monster, which is enough to handle quite a number of monsters, while a defense position “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata” can rack up 3600 DEF to keep itself alive with. A solid tool to have available, but by now means a card that will win you the game.

Recommended copies: 0-1
“Majespecter Sonics” is a solid anti-battle option, but is really not that necessary and can, in my opinion, not really compete with numerous other backrow cards the “Majespecter” archetype has to offer. I would suggest running one, since you can search it with relative ease, or skip the card entirely.


Name: “Majespecter Storm
Type: Normal Spell

Another “Majespecter” Spell card comes in form of “Majespecter Storm”. “Storm” is really just an alternate version of “Majespecter Cyclone“: Tribute one Wind Spellcaster monster, then target one monster your opponent controls and shuffle it into their deck. So, the removal effect is stronger since it eliminates the chance of graveyard effects triggering and puts the card in the one zone that is the most difficult to get resources back from, but on the other side it is a Normal Spell card, meaning that you cannot use it one reaction like various other “Majespecter” cards which is a huge minus if you think about the fact that “Majespecters” are setting themselves up to react to opposing plays, which this card is incapable of.

Recommended copies: 0
“Majespecter Storm” provides more removal, but with the speed of outdated removal options like “Fissure” or “Hammer Shot“. The card probably does work fine in the right situations and you can run a few copies if you want, but I stick with zero copies since it does not really support the “Majespecter” strategy.


Name: “Majesty’s Pegasus
Type: Field Spell

The last “Majespecter” Spell card cannot be searched since it does not have “Majespecter” in the name; however, “Majesty’s Pegasus” is still pretty useful. This Field Spell first gives all “Majespecter” monsters plus 300 ATK and DEF, which is nice to have but ultimately no reason to run the card at all. However, the second effect is quite nice: You can tribute onw Wind Spellcaster monster, then Special Summon one Level 4 or lower “Majespecter” monster directly from your deck, but this effect of “Majesty’s Pegasus” can only be used once per turn. So, you can tribute any of your “Majespecters” on the field to fetch another one that then triggers its search effect due to being Special Summoned. And this also allows you to use outside support as tribute material as long as the cards in question are Wind Spellcasters, which can be combined with the “Windwitch” archetype, just to name an example. “Majesty’s Pegasus” is not a must-have card in every “Majespecter” deck, but it is definitely an option that one can make use of to fill the Extra Deck with Pendulum monsters while still gaining monsters onto the field and searches for further cards.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Majesty’s Pegasus” is a solid tool for the “Majespecter” archetype and very similar in function to what “Ignition Phoenix” does in the “Igknight” archetype. The card is nice, but not forcefully necessary at all. making it a preference pick.


Name: “Majespecter Gust
Type: Normal Trap

Moving on, we have the Trap card lineup of the “Majespecter” archetype, with “Majespecter Gust” as the starter. This Normal Trap keeps things simple, allowing you to target one “Majespecter” card in your Pendulum Zone and Special Summon it. This is probably the worst card the archetype has to offer currently: With an unbanned “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin“, you could place it in the Pendulum Zone, build your board and search for “Majespecter Gust” while doing that, and then surprising the opponent with a cheeky bounce for the nice toy they just wanted to assemble. The rest of the “Majespecter” monsters is simply not that interesting to summon on demand, since they would only offer you another body on the field to tribute for “Majespecter” cards or to keep your life points intact, and one search for a card that you cannot use for the rest of the turn, since you either cannot place it on the field or in the case of “Majespecter Toad – Ogama” are not allowed to activate it directly after searching for the rest of the turn.

Recommended copies: 0
“Majespecter Gust” is a tech option that waits on the return of “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin” to be of use and therefore stays in the binder.


Name: “Majespecter Supercell
Type: Continuous Trap

For some more utility in the archetype, we have “Majespecter Supercell”. “Majespecter Supercell” is a Continuous Trap (with awesome artwork in my opinion) with two effects: First off, while you have a “Majespecter” card in your Pendulum Zone, the activation and the effect of other “Majespecter” cards that are activated on your side of the field cannot be negated. This is actually a pretty solid effect against certain matchups since this will make your cards immune to various otherwise problematic boards; the only question is how to get “Supercell” onto the field to make the most out of it since you can probably also simply try to stop the opposing plays when going first, while having no window of opportunity to make anything with it going second. However, there is still a second effect: Once per turn, you can target five “Majespecter” cards in your graveyard, shuffle them all back into your deck, and then draw one card. So, “Majespecter Supercell” is also a “Jar of Avarice“/”Zoodiac Combo” with the questionable bonus of being able to activate this effect every turn instead of simply once. Now, the card is not terrible and there are uses for both the negation protection and the resource recycling; but how important these two effects are is really up to the player.

Recommended copies: 0-1
“Majespecter Supercell” is not an amazing piece of sort and more of a “quality of life” improvement. If you want to run the card, you can go with one since both “Majespecter Fox – Kyubi” and “Majespecter Toad – Ogama” are happy to search it. However, in any other scenario I would suggest running zero copies.


Name: “Majespecter Tempest
Type: Counter Trap

While the monster on the picture got the stamp of merely being mediocre, the Trap card “Majespecter Tempest” is anything but. This Counter Trap can be activated when a monster would be Special Summoned or when a monster effect is activated, in which case you tribute one Wind Spellcaster monster to negate the summon of the monster or the activation of the effect and destroy the card in question. If you have heard of a similar effect before, than that is because this is the “Majespecter” version of “Solemn Strike“. But wait, it is actually better than “Solemn Strike” since it does set up your Extra Deck for additional summons via Pendulum Summoning instead of taking 1500 life points, and it is highly searchable due to “Majespecter Fox – Kyubi” and “Majespecter Toad – Ogama“, which is a quality that “Solemn Strike” does not have. Both Special Summon negation and monster effect negation are crazy good in modern Yugioh and the card does fit very well into the overall “Majespecter” playstyle, making it a staple for the deck.

Recommended copies: 3
“Majespecter Tempest” is a really good interruption option that can even be searched by multiple cards. As such, I would suggest running three copies of it.


Name: “Majespecter Tornado
Type: Normal Trap

And finally, we got to the end of the “Majespecters”. Here we are greeted by “Majespecter Tornado”, a Normal Trap card that simply allows the player to tribute one Wind Spellcaster monster to then target a monster the opponent controls and banish it. This is the better removal option I was refering to when I talked about “Majespecter Cyclone” and “Majespecter Storm“, since “Tornado” does provide a very nice middle-ground option. Since most “Majespecter” decks run the Trap searchers at higher number due to “Majespecter Tempest” existing, you should have ample searchers that can also fetch “Majespecter Tornado”. The card itself can react to opposing plays unlike “Majespecter Storm“, and it does not simply destroy but banish unlike “Majespecter Cyclone“, providing all that is asked for and making it a solid tool to run in “Majespecters”.

Recommended copies: 3
“Majespecter Tornado” is your go-to spot removal in “Majespecters” due to being fairly versatile and searchable. I would suggest going all out and running three copies of the card.

Recommended Engines:

The idea for a small “Performapal” engine comes from this video (link), in which Mkohl40 talks about someone getting 2nd place with a particular “Majespecter” build. The idea is as follows: You run one copy of “Performapal Guitartle“, two copies of “Performapal Lizardraw“, and three copies of “Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer“. “Performapal Guitartle” should be played into the Pendulum Zone first, since its Pendulum effect allows you to draw a card if another “Performapal” card is played into the other Pendulum Zone. This is where “Performapal Lizardraw” comes into the equation: Activate “Performapal Lizardraw” in the other Pendulum Zone, which triggers the effect of “Performapal Guitartle” and lets you draw one card, then use the effect of “Performapal Lizardraw” to destroy itself and draw yet another card, which makes the entire thing a “Pot of Greed” consisting of two cards, but which also gives you a Pendulum Scale of 6 and a Pendulum monster to summon via Pendulum Summon in your Extra Deck. But everything so far is somewhat inconsistent, which is where “Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer” comes into play: Set two Pendulum Scales up, then Pendulum Summon “Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer“, which triggers his monster effect and therefore allows you to destroy the two scales or one scale and the copy of “Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer” to search for the aforementioned combo of “Performapal Guitartle” and “Performapal Lizardraw“.

Yep, “Spellbook”, we are talking about Spellcasters after all. If you have a deck that can fill the board with a sizeable number of monsters so that you do not miss the resources for the tribute effects when losing one monster beforehand, you can absolutely go into “Spellbook of Knowledge” as a solid draw option. But, as always with “Spellbook”, you should not only run the draw option but also include “Spellbook of Secrets“, which is a searcher for any “Spellbooks” and therefore both a deck thinning and a consistency tool. Those two are the cards that I would deem most useful, but feel free to widen the search pool of “Spellbook of Secrets” and include some other options from the archetype into your deck if it helps the overall playstyle of your build.

“Windwitch” are another good fit as an engine for the “Majespecter” archetype. All the monsters you are going to play are Wind Spellcasters and therefore can all be used as tribute for the “Majespecter” card effects, while they also provide a little bit extra on top of that. “Windwitch – Ice Bell” is a solid card to start the round with, since she can be Special Summoned if you control no other monsters, and even brings another “Windwitch” from the deck alongside her. Now, there are two drawbacks to that: The summoned monster from the deck cannot be tributed, making it a dead card for the “Majespecter” card effects, and you can only summon Level 5 or higher Wind monsters from the Extra Deck until the end of the turn, which locks you out of Link Summons and Pendulum Summons in their entirety. However, since you can Special Summon “Windwitch – Glass Bell” from the Main Deck via the effect of “Windwitch – Ice Bell“, you get another search for a “Windwitch” monster at the irrelevant restriction of only being able to Special Summon Wind monsters for the rest of the turn. The search can give you a copy of “Windwitch – Snow Bell“, which is not only another Tuner for potential Synchro plays but also another card to tribute to keep the opponent in check via “Majespecter” backrow. Add some useful Synchro cards that you can still summon after resolving the effect of “Windwitch – Ice Bell” to the Extra Deck like “Windwitch – Winter Bell” or “Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon” and you have a slightly different “Majespecter” build that can still build impressive turn one boards, (which even provides missing levels for “Ties of the Brethren” if needed).

Further useful cards:

Main Deck monsters:

Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer“:
“Luster Pendulum” is a pretty solid monster to run in “Majespecter” (and various other Pendulum decks). Put any “Majespecter” monster into the Pendulum Zone, put “Luster Pendulum” into the other one, blow up the “Majespecter” monster you first played in the Pendulum Zone and search another copy, which gives you a net gain of one monster to summon via Pendulum Summon. “Luster Pendulum” als provides a Pendulum Scale of 5 and is therefore also useable to Pendulum Summon as he is since you just have to place a 2 into the other zone, and he does unlock the option of running “Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer” as an added bonus.

Saambell the Reuniter“:
This Pendulum monster was basically made to be run in “Majespecter”. First of all, “Saambell the Reuniter” is a Level 3 Wind Spellcaster monster, which means that she not only can be tributed for all the card effects in the archetype but also happens to provide the missing Level 3 monster to work with “Ties of the Brethren“. She then provides a Pendulum Scale of 7, which is going to be super useful as soon as “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin” becomes unbanned, has a Pendulum effect that can clear your scales when the other side is either “Majespecter Cat – Nekomata” or “Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku” while giving you one more monster on the field and one more Pendulum monster in your Extra Deck, and as a monster she can even help with swarming since she does allow for easy access into the aforementioned “Majespecter” monsters when something is Special Summoned to your side of the field. An incredible piece of cardboard for the “Majespecter” strategy in my opinion has enough reasons to be run at some capacity.

Spell cards:

Ties of the Brethren“:
An incredibly easy way to get multiple monsters on the field. “Ties of the Brethren” does either give you three Level 4 monsters or three Level 3 monsters in “Majespecters”, depending on the monster you chose as the target of the Spell and provides quite some mileage for the deck overall. Firstly, since the deck features various Wind Spellcaster monsters, you get three tributes for the effects of your backrow cards; and secondly, you trigger the search effects of your “Majespecter” monsters by summoning them that way, which gives you a solid amount of bonus resources to work with.

Trap cards:

Pendulum Encore“:
I am torn on this one, but I can see the benefit in gaining a “Majespecter” monster during the opposing turn to fuel your disruption cards. Not a staple by a long shot, but an option to consider.

Extra Deck monsters:

Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer“:
If you include “Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer” into your build, then this is an easy addition to the Extra Deck. “Ignister Prominence” is summonable by using a “Luster Pendulum” and a Level 4 “Majespecter” monster and for that brings a solid stat-line, a Pendulum card destruction cost that you can use both as setup and against opposing Pendulum players and a non-targeting, non-destruction removal effect while also being able to cheat out another “Luster Pendulum” from your deck as Link or Xyz material. “Ignister Prominence” is a very solid card and definitely does not hurt in an Extra Deck as open as that of “Majespecters”.

Lightning Chidori“:
We are working with a Wind deck that is absolutely capable of summoning two Level 4 monsters, so this monster was a no-brainer to include. “Lightning Chidori” not only gets rid of two cards if necessary, it also shuffles them into the deck which disallows any floating effects from happening and really robs the opponent of their resources.

Totem Bird“:
The other Wind-only Xyz monster. “Totem Bird” does provide a Spell/Trap negate and is therefore also pretty useful for going-first board building, and it does not even use the same resources “Lightning Chidori” would ask for, since it requires Level 3 monsters.

Wynn the Wind Charmer, Verdant“:
The Link Charmer version of “Wynn” can be quite helpful, if you are able to get an opposing monster from the graveyard for free, but she also unlocks two zones for more efficient Pendulum Summoning. On top of that, she is a Wind Spellcaster monster, meaning that you can also tribute her for the effects of the “Majespecter” Spell and Trap cards and therefore lure the opponent into a false sense of security when no “Majespecter” monster is on the field anymore and they are not aware of you being able to use her as tribute.


“Majespecters”, similarly to “Igknights”, work with the Pendulum mechanic on a very basic level. The main idea is to Normal Summon a “Majespecter” monster for a first search if necessary, and/or setting up Pendulum Scales of preferably 2 and 5 to allow for the summon of various members of the archetype from both your hand and the Extra Deck, which then in turn will trigger the search effects of every monster you did not use so far and gives you exactly the searches you need to place your Spell and Trap cards into the backrow, ready to be fired if the opponent starts anything stupid during their turn. The various engines you can use with the “Majespecter” archetype normally serve to make some additional plays or further help with the overall consistency of the deck, but the main idea always stays at a going-first deck that tries to win via Control-heavy strategies.


Since a large amount of the “Majespecter” archetype has search effects to make their strategy consistent, any anti-search cards like “Mistake” or “Thunder King Rai-Oh” can severely cripple the deck. Another option that I have found on Yugipedia is “Masked HERO Dark Law“: The banishing effect is not that terrible, since most of your important cards do not hit the graveyard anyway, but the second effect of banishing random hand cards if cards are added to the hand can be pretty bad and causes the “Majespecters” to run out of cards to work with at some point.

“Majespecter” monsters do trigger their effects on Normal and Special Summon and are very much needed for the deck to function. Therefore, any monster effect negation can be harmful to any plays the “Majespecter” player would try to do, making cards like “Skill Drain” or “Effect Veiler” helpful. Also, to shut down both cards that allow Special Summoning as well as keeping the Pendulum Summon mechanic in check, you can run anti-Special Summon cards such as “Archlord Kristya” or “Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo“, which will stop to the deck from accruing another monsters to tribute for the effects of the “Majespecter” Spell and Trap cards. “Poisonous Winds” is another card that can stop Special Summons, but it is especially bad against “Majespecters” since it also lowers the already low stats of the monsters.

Due to the “Majespecter” gimmick being that you have to tribute monsters in order to activate effects, you can use certain cards that will prevent tributing altogether. Both “Mask of Restrict” and “Amorphage Wrath” can achieve this. Also, “Anti-Spell Fragrance” is a solid counter to the deck, since it prevents the “Majespecter” player from using their Pendulum Scales due to not being able to place Pendulum cards into the Pendulum Zones.



YGO Lite’s “Majespecter Deck Post Dawn of Majesty” (April 2021):
Here is an example for a “Majespecter” build using “Saambell the Reuniter”. I think that the card is quite superb support and the deck works fairly well with; and she opens up the possibility of summoning “Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin”, making her future-proof.


Yugipedia “Majespecter” article:
First off, this article’s card pictures come from Yugipedia, as always. Then, I have to say that the “Majespecter” article on Yugipedia is quite good, since it goes into minute detail in its weaknesses section and is therefore a solid read for that part alone.

Sample Decklist (July 2021):

This is my take at building a “Majespecter” deck. I used some of the engines I encountered that I liked the most, which is why you find a small package with “Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer” plus Synchro monster and the “Performapal” monsters in the list. Overall, the deck works in the same way as all the other “Majespecter” decks: Go first, build a solid board using the search power of your monsters combined with the very solid Trap cards the archetype is sporting, and then try to suppress everything worthwhile that the opponent tries to build to ensure a slow but inevitable beatdown for your opponent.

The Videogame Corner: Faeria

There are various card game videogames that I would like to cover on my blog, and while I started that endeavor with “Blood Card“, I hinted at some other card games in video game form that I have played over the years before. Cue “Faeria”, a videogame that mixes a lot of different styles of games into one interesting concept, with the usual card drawing and mana gaining you might know from other card games, and combining those with a board that requires strategic placement and movement of your pawns to ensure victory. I was not aware of “Faeria” for the longest time, but my friend Marcel gifted me the game on Steam for my birthday years back since he thought that I would like it; and also to have someone to work through the co-op content with. It took me some time to even give the game a go to be entirely honest, but the concept soon hooked me and I found myself assembling decks and collecting cards. So, without further ado, let us talk about “Faeria”:

Of Yaks and other creatures

At first “Faeria” seems to be a hotchpotch of rules from various card games, but the gameplay itself is very solid. Cards are divided by colors, with four options to choose from: Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. There is also a sizeable amount of colorless cards: Those can be used by any deck but offer less specialized effects than the colored cards overall. If that sounds familiar to you, then you probably played “Magic the Gathering” before, which features a very similar color system. And there is more in “Faeria” that probably took inspiration from “Magic”: There is no colored mana per se, so you can play whatever cards you have available as long as you have sufficient mana to pay the costs (which is more of a “Hearthstone” thing, to be honest); however, cards do need a certain amount of … “loyalty” is the word I would use to describe it, which is a system that sees use in a card game called “Spoils” btw., but I digress. To have enough “loyalty” to play the cards in question, you need to have land tiles of the card’s color, which means that you need a specific number of Forests for Green, Mountains for Red, Islands for Blue and Deserts for Yellow. What I am basically saying is that they went around and looked for solid concepts to use, which is absolutely fine since the end product is very much its own thing and allows anyone with prior card game experience to find a faster access to the game.

The one thing that makes the entire pile of mechanics a unique and fresh approach to video game-based card gaming is the playing field: First off all, you do not simply have a side of the board and the opponent has theirs, but instead both players try to gain as much land as possible to use for their units on a hexagonal playing field. This one twist makes the game a lot more complicated, but also way more strategic since the right placement of lands and units can ensure a swift victory while sloppy placements can be used by the opponent to create openings. Also, you can only place creatures of one specific color on the corresponding land type, which means that an Island in the opponent’s face has little effect if your entire hand is green, just to give you one example to work with.

The playing field of “Faeria”. As you can see, I used my land placements to keep the enemy aggressor at bay but also have two prongs to start my own attacks with.

But let us start right at the beginning of a game of “Faeria”. Normally, the entire map starts as water, which only a few specific units can even traverse for movement. Therefore, you will have to place lands, which is perfectly possible as it is one of the actions you can take every turn and can be seen in the dial at the bottom right during the game. The options in said dial are as follows: Placing a Mountain, placing a Forest, placing a Desert, placing an Island, placing two colorless land tiles (which do not provide the aforementioned loyalty, but can still be used for unit movement and later be upgraded into other land types), gaining one additional mana or drawing one card. You can choose one of these options per turn, which at the start means that you place a lot of lands but becomes a more complicated procedure over the course of the game when the board is filling and actual threats to your life points start emerging. Every turn you get three mana automatically, but to add another layer of strategy, there are mana wells to contest. These mana wells produce one mana per turn and can be used by both players. In order to do so, you have to get a creature onto a land that is adjacent to a mana well and they will automatically give you the mana as a free action during the turn start. On the standard map, this is a nice way to give the players a reason to build towards the side of the map instead of simply rushing through the middle. There are still colors and/or decks that do want to rush though, most prominently Yellow, and those decks will ignore the incentive of gaining additional resources for the sake of kicking you in the face, but it is nice to know that mid range and turtle decks can also gain something for their playstyle.

After that, “Faeria” really becomes the strategy card game it sets out to be: Using your creatures effectively is of paramount importance, knowing what trades to take, which creatures are worth buffing via bonus stats/additional effects and where to use the rare removal or burn effects is what the game is all about. And I have to admit that it is a lot of fun. The game designers were really keen on making some really fun ideas and due to the nature of the game a lot of cards are multi purpose. Let us take the card “Tiki Caretaker” as an example: It costs three mana, it requires two Forests to be played and it is a 1/1 creature that can give any creature a permanent +2/+2 when it enters the field. Obviously, you can use this card to buff one of your stronger cards even further, but oftentimes this is not the smartest move to make. In fact, “Tiki Chieftain” could make one of the creatures the opponent does not see a threat bigger and therefore allow that creature to trade more favorably by either surviving multiple attacks or by gaining enough bonus attack to kill the opposing creature. “Tiki Chieftain” itself also does not become useless afterwards, since it is still a 1/1 body on the field that can attack other creatures, stand in the way of opposing advances or simply farm mana at one of the mana wells. In rare cases, it might even be helpful to let “Tiki Chieftain” target itself to become a 3/3 without effect, especially if you lack the low-cost options but desperately need to drop a creature somewhere. And this is only one card. In other games like “Magic the Gathering” I often dread drawing the low-mana-cost cards later in the game, but in “Faeria” I learned to see their potential since there are various situations later in the game in which a small additional body on the field can make a difference.

If you wonder why I have so many creatures on the field: That is because “Monstrous Hydra” brings a lot of friends to the party and is therefore freaking awesome.

That does not mean that there are no big creatures to play, as there are tons of various heavy hitters or incredible passives on legs to put onto the board. And there are some really creative and fun cards in the game to work with: The blue faction as quite a few frog cards, which can often jump as their method of movement and therefore ignore certain creatures blocking their way or gaps between lands altogether. In one of the expansions they introduced the Corrupt keyword, which triggers when the unit moves into enemy territory, with one of my personal favorites being the “Monstrous Hydra” that can potentially summon a small army to fight the opposing creatures with. Overall, Blue still has the Control vibe it got from “Magic the Gathering”, but with various interesting card ideas allowing for stat manipulation, land movement and many more effects. Red also stayed a rather destructive force, but there are some interesting ideas here aswell: Certain ranged cards that you can place in the middle of the board can allow you to shoot directly into the opposing face over the entire board, and there is a fairly interesting concept in the color of having very expensive cards that ultimatively pay for themselves since they either give additional mana or make other cards in your hand cheaper. Green is the home of various big beaters and has both cards like “Seedling” that start small but constantly grow until they are a force on the board, or various sizeable creatures that will put a dent into any defense or the opposing face if they reach the other player. Since Green also likes to gain control via battle, there are various superb beaters to choose from, with even cards like “Living Willow” (a 1/7 Taunt creature) or “Deepwood Grizzly” (a 3/8 creature without any effect) becoming useful tools if placed correctly. Yellow is the Aggro color and lives by a straight “face is the place” mentality, with various cards featuring keywords like Dash or Flying to get to the opponent faster/easier, while also gaining various bonuses from attacking the other player directly. Yellow also has a few destruction spells to get rid of pesky creatures that could stand in the way of a good walloping.

A well-rounded experience?

A screen of the “Pandora” gamemode, which is the “Faeria” version of “Hearthstone’s” Arena mode.

“Faeria” features a number of different game modes which range from fun to rage fuel. The AI is always up for games, even though you might encounter situations in which the CPU has a better starting position than you, which I find weird if I want to test my deck’s capabilities on equal footing. I had lots of fun with the Draft Mode called Pandora, in which you are given a choice of random cards to build a deck from, an experience that made me appreciate how good the color Blue can be in this game. The Oversky mode introduces boss battles that have to be fought by two players, and while you can simply gain a CPU to fight alongside you, this is one of the situations in the game in which you can actually play with a friend on your side, build elaborate strategies and have a good time fighting against overwhelming odds. The less fun version of that is the World Bosses mode, in which you can get your ass kicked by bosses on your own, with opponents that range from challenging to completely unfair. A less difficult challenge to take on is the option of fighting against legendary dragons in the Dragon’s Lair, which feature both solo and co-op battles and give you sizeable spoils should you manage to win. There are also puzzle maps, but I have a mixed opinion about those, since the game developers did not think about the fact that erratas for cards also need to be kept in mind for the puzzles, making the last puzzle incompleteable due to a nerf, which is that much more frustrating if you only learn of that after you pondered about the puzzle for half an hour. But overall, you have the various options for how you spent your time in “Faeria”, which is nice since I think that the game would become quite stale if all you did is fight against the same setup over and over again.

If you really want to collect more than just cards in Fearia, there is also the option of gaining background information on things like this long-haired abomination.

So, “Faeria” seems like a done deal: The game is fun and innovative and I praised it a lot, so buy the damn thing already. Well, it is not quite that simple though. While Abrakam has done a good job with the game itself, there were some insanely stupid decisions being made at other places. Let us start with acquiring your in-game collection of cards: Like in “Hearthstone”, you get a few cards to give you some basis to start with and the rest of the cards needs to be acquired by playing the game. I needed 80 hours to get every card from the base set in a playset; granted, not all of that time was solely used to collect the missing cards, I also tried out other game modes and building new decks, but you are looking at a sizeable time investment to even get all the tools to work with. Still, “Hearthstone” uses pretty much the same system, so where is the catch? Well, in “Hearthstone” you can buy boosters to speed up the process but the base game is free, which allows you to play the game completely cost-free if you want to, at the cost of acquiring cards way slower. Abrakam used this as their basis and probably said that people paying around 60€ per expansion to gain all the cards instantly would be willing to pony up 20€ for the game, while potentially gaining every card after that for free. I personally think that this is combining the worst of both worlds, but the real insult is that this is also the case for DLC content: Whenever a new set comes out in “Faeria”, you have to pay 10€ to unlock the privilege of gaining those cards in the future; however, you obviously do not get the cards right away, which means you have to go through the same lengthy unlocking process as described before.

So, is “Faeria” a fun game? Yes, definitely. Should you buy it? Well, …in my opinion, no you should not buy it. The game is too expensive if you want the full experience since they will charge you 19,99€ for the base game, plus 9,99€ for the Resurgence DLC, another 9,99€ for the Fall of Everlife DLC and lastly yet another 9,99€ for the Chronicles of Gagana DLC; I cannot remember them going under 50% of the price when the stuff goes on sale, which would still be too expensive in my opinion, and those are just the things you need to buy to potentially gain all the cards the game has to offer. On top of that you will have to sink many hours into getting all the cards to even have a collection to work with, due to the down-right silly unlock mechanic. And then, to add insult to injury, the player numbers were and still are falling steadily, with Abrakam seemingly putting all their bets on their new game “Roguebook” (which is basically “Slay the Spire” years after that game came out) instead of giving “Faeria” the free-to-play update with buyable cosmetics (which it already has) or a similar models the game is needing so badly, which means that it is only a matter of time until “Faeria” in its entirety fades into obscurity without any support from the developer. If you are still interested in the game despite my gripes with “Faeria”, here is a guide to pretty much anything “Faeria”-related, which should be a solid start for anyone who wants to get into the game and aims to get serious about ladder games and the like.

Archetype Analysis: Reversal Quiz

Last updated: 03.07.2021

As the next entry of “Archetype Analysis” that does not really fit the bill since it is not an archetype that we are talking about here, we have to so-called “Reversal Quiz OTK”, a deck based around a gimmick that still manages to OTK unexpecting opponents on a regular basis. If you like weird remnants of Yugioh of the olden days that still surprisingly manage to keep themselves afloat nowadays, this article might be of interest to you.

Short disclaimer: None of the information given by me is set in stone. Having an open mind in deck building and including creative ideas is always helpful, if only to further understand the playstyle and strategy of the deck you are about to build. There are probably choices that I list which can be labled as debatable, but no platform I know of gives a broad overview over both the archetypes and all the card choices, so I aimed to do just that. I will try to keep this page (as well as the other ones, once they are made) up-to-date, so if any reader feels like I skipped some amazing tech choice or a crucial card, just drop me a note and I will add the missing information if necessary. Furthermore, I use a number of sources for ideas and information, so a list with links that I deem useful is attached to the end of the page and credit is given whenever I can point to a source to do so.


After this is out of the way, let us get to the actual star of the show: “Reversal Quiz“. For the cost of your entire hand and all cards on your side of the field, you switch life points with your opponent. That would normally leave you in a position to be run over easily during the next turn, but with the help of “Black Pendant” and “Fuhma Shuriken” that you place face-down on your side of the field prior to activating “Reversal Quiz“, you can lower your life points to around 1000, switch them via “Reversal Quiz” and then put the effects of both Equip Spells on the stack afterwards to burn the opponent for the rest of their now low life points. It is a gimmick and you need a number of cards to make it run semi-consistently, but there are a few ways to play the combo.

Recommended Cards:

Main Deck monsters:

Ghost Sister & Spooky Dogwood“:
Normally you would use this handtrap to gain life points, but in this deck you can conviniently half them when the opponent does not Special Summon. Simply discard her for her effect during your turn, and you should be able to half your life points without any issues, which puts you that much closer to the life point count you want to have for the strategy to work.

Lilith, Lady of Lament“:
Your go-to Normal Summon. “Lilith, Lady of Lament” can tribute herself for her own effect, meaning that you have no more monsters on the field that would put “Mystic Mine” at risk, while also searching your deck for cards like “Fruits of Kozaky’s Studies” to sort the top of your deck for the effect of “Reversal Quiz“.

Spell cards:

Black Pendant“:
One of the most important pieces of cardboard for this strategy. Set the card in your backrow prior to activating “Reversal Quiz” and you deal 500 damage per “Black Pendant” that leaves the field that way.

Card Advance“:
A card that allows you to sort the top of your deck, which is crucial to make the effect of “Reversal Quiz” work. Also, since you can sort them in any order, you can somewhat manipulate what to draw into first, which is certainly helpful

Demise of the Land“:
A searcher for “Mystic Mine” and therefore both a deck thinning tool as well as important for your survival during the game.

Dirge of the Lost Dragon“:
While this card would normally be a very situational way to make the opponent pay for playing the named card, in a “Reversal Quiz” deck you can simply name on of your cards and ensure that you are going to lose the life points. Since we want to get under the amount of life points that we can deal as burn damage to the opponent, any life point depletion is very welcome to the strategy.

Fuhma Shuriken“:
“Fuhma Shuriken” is in the deck for the same reason as “Black Pendant“: For the burn damage. Simply ignore that this thing normally needs to target a “Ninja” monster, simply set it to the board and burn the opponent for an additional 700 damage when triggering “Reversal Quiz“.

Mystic Mine“:
You know this card. Since you are not going to have any monsters on the field, you get the necessary time to setup everything you need, switch the life points around and then win by having the burn effects on stack.

Searching “Mystic Mine” gives you additional deck thinning and more consistency, while also keeping you alive long enough to make your strategy work.

Upstart Goblin“:
“Upstart Goblin” has no drawback in this deck, since you are going to switch the life points with your opponent anyway and probably win if you manage to do so. As such, “Upstart Goblin” is a solid deck thinning tool.

Trap cards:

Fruits of Kozaky’s Studies“:
This might seem like an odd choice, but we do need a certain number of cards to sort the top of the deck for the effect of “Reversal Quiz” to trigger; also, this card is somewhat searchable via “Lilith, Lady of Lament“.

Yet another searcher for “Mystic Mine” and therefore useful due to deck thinning, working as a consistency tool and fetching the main defense this deck has to offer.

Trap Trick“:
An option to gain access to “Fruits of Kozaky’s Studies” and therefore a solid option to get the top of your deck sorted for the effect of “Reversal Quiz“.

Wall of Revealing Light“:
“Wall of Revealing Light” is a freaking powerhouse in “Reversal Quiz” strategies, since you can simply pay 7000 life points without any problems and therefore need less cards than you would normally be required to throw into the combo to make the switch work.

Extra Deck monsters:

None currently.


The strategy of the “Reversal Quiz OTK” deck is pretty straightforward: Lower your life points far enough to match or exceed the burn damage you would deal with your Equip Spells:
– 500 life points for one copy “Black Pendant
– 1000 life points for two copies of “Black Pendant
– 700 life points for one copy “Fuhma Shuriken
– 1400 life points for two copies of “Fuhma Shuriken
– 1200 life points for one “Black Pendant” and one “Fuhma Shuriken

You can achieve this life point total by halving your life points via “Dirge of the Lost Dragon” or “Ghost Sister & Spooky Dogwood“, while paying a huge chunk via “Wall of Revealing Light” also serves as a possible option. Once you reached the necessary threshold, sort the top cards of your deck via “Card Advance” or “Fruits of Kozaky’s Studies“, Set the Equip Spells to your backrow, then activate “Reversal Quiz” while calling the correct card type of the card on top of your deck in order to destroy both your hand and field to trigger the effects of your Equip cards. The life point totals will switch and you will then have the necessary burn effects on stack which then finish the opponent off since they now have your meager life points. And that is it. There is no grand strategy or any other options to learn, simply aim for the listed combo and you are good to go.


When I said that the “Reversal Quiz OTK” is based on a gimmick, I meant it: There are lots of cards in the deck that serve no other purpose than getting “Reversal Quiz” live, which means there are also plenty of options to counter the deck since every cog in the machine is needed. Against the burn damage part, you can run cards like “Hanewata” to not only keep yourself alive after the life point switch, but you also end up in the favorable position of the “Reversal Quiz” player having no resources whatsoever and therefore being clinically dead in the game. There are also other options to counter the burn damage, such as “Prime Material Dragon” simply transforming the effect damage into life gain, and all those cards will instantly ruin the hard work the “Reversal Quiz OTK” had to go through.

Another option are Counter Traps or cards that disallow certain card types. Since “Reversal Quiz” is a Spell card and the only way for the deck to win the game, running “Spell Canceller” or similar cards is deadly, the “Anti-Spell Fragrance” and “Dark Simorgh” combo cannot be overcome by the deck and using “Prohibition” and calling “Reversal Quiz” is a surefire death sentence. Also, while not the best counter per se, you can cause the opponent to shuffle their deck, which is going to make the effect of “Reversal Quiz” a guessing game, while forcing the player to discard cards from their hand will eventually cost them their important win condition.



Yu-Gi-Oh-TUBE’s “Mystic Mine Reversal Quiz OTK Deck 2019” (February 2019):
While a lot of the “Reversal Quiz OTK” build are seriously outdated, here is one that can still be run in 2021. Despite the deck only going down one specific route and being as gimmicky as it is, the deck’s creator clearly put some work into it and used various interesting cards to make the deck more consistent. If you are interested in this deck, this is a good video to showcase what it can do.


Yugipedia “Reversal Quiz OTK” article:
The Yugipedia article to this deck idea does list more cards and combos that one can use, and while they are not necessarily better than what the video above provides, they certainly allow for some further experimentation and creativity.

Sample Decklist (July 2021):

This is what I would present as a “Reversal Quiz OTK” deck. It is very similar to the deck from the video by Yu-Gi-Oh-TUBE, since that works quite well, but I tried to make the deck less costly by removing the “Pot of Extravagance“. Also, the version from 2019 runs three “Metaverse“, which would be ideal for the deck but is sadly illegal. The deck works, I tried it a few times, but do not expect me to do jumping jacks about it since it is still a very linear OTK deck that can be easily countered with the right cards and needs a fair bit of luck to even work in the first place.

The Videogame Corner: Tales from the Borderlands

I have a confession to make: Originally, I did not want to cover “Tales from the Borderlands” at all. The game is very different from what we are used to in the “Borderlands” franchise, since the game does not feature any of the game mechanics we know and love from the Looter-Shooter madness. Instead, we get a story in the “Borderlands” universe that features rather “normal” people, and while we get to see some of the named characters from earlier installments, the gameplay really boils down to looking around and picking dialog options in the slower parts of the gameplay, while the action scenes are entirely constructed with the usage of Quick-Time-Events; and boy, do I hate those QTEs with a passion.

So, what changed my opinion? Well, I felt that I cannot cover all of the “Borderlands” games and then simply leave one title out that actually seems to be canonical, due to the fact that we meet up with some of the people from “Tales from the Borderlands” during “Borderlands 3”. Granted, knowing the story of this game is not critical to anything that happens in “Borderlands 3”, but as it is so often with those kinds of easter eggs and additional information snippets, it is nice to know them to get a little extra enjoyment out of connecting the dots. So, here is my experience with “Tales from the Borderlands”, and yes, this article does contain spoilers!

Episode 1: A Zer0-sum game

Meet the protagonists of the story: Rhys, a Hyperion employee, is the first character we take control over and he is currently on the way to his office of his superior to receive a well-deserved promotion; only to find his main rival in the chair who basically tells him that he can spend the rest of his corporate life cleaning floors. However, an opportunity arises when their conversation is interrupted by a call that mentions a powerful artifact in form of a vault key, an information that Rhys then uses to make a plan that will both screw his new superior and guarantee him the promotion he so desperately desires. We get to see his side of the deal before switching control to Fiona, a Pandoran con artist that just so happens to be involved in some shady dealings with a Hyperion official that is willing to buy a vault key for a sizeable stack of cash. The only problem is that Fiona does not have such a vault key, but that does not stop her team from simply making a forgery and selling it instead, no scrupels attached.

I do not need to tell you, dear reader, that all this goes horribly wrong. The key breaks during the deal and before the entire thing can be called off, the bandit warlord Bossanova storms the building and invites his mob of Psychos to wreak havoc. Even worse yet, Zer0, the haiku-flinging assassin from “Borderlands 2” is tasked with killing Bossanova and follows him right into the very business deal you are currently attending, making the entire situation even more chaotic and deadly for anyone involved. This leads to a wild-goose-chase to reclaim the ten-million-dollar-case and ultimatively leaves both the Hyperion team Rhys and Vaughn, as well as the Pandora sister pair Fiona and Sasha with no cash, a lot of new enemies and an unlikely alliance to fix the mess after crashing the bandit party at one massive murder dome. But deus ex machina: The floor crumbles and opens up a tech laboratory of the Atlas coorperation at this time of need, giving the team a bunch of new toys, valuable information and the key to something that could actually lead them to a vault. It is at this point of newfound hope that a voice in Rhys’ head becomes louder and clearer than ever before: Handsome Jack, who was uploaded into his brain via data-jack when he used Professor Nakayama’s ID chip earlier in the story, enters the stage right on cue for the cliff-hanger to Episode 2. I left out quite a lot of exposition and story-telling, since each of the episodes is about two hours long, but in my opinion Episode 1 is a solid experience that wets the palate for more.

Some people are destined to be great! And others simply cannot stay dead.

Episode 2: “Vasquez will remember that”

We start Episode 2 in the Atlas laborator, where the story splits in two mini-arcs: Rhys is trying to cope with his new friend (in-)conviniently being projected only for him to see, while also explaining the Holo-Jack that he is only a projection and that the Vault Hunters managed to stop him in the end. Meanwhile, Fiona, Sasha and Vaughn try some surgery with a spork and remove the eye of some Atlas general to hold into the retinal scanner for further information. Here we learn two things: The facility in which the necessary technology for the Vault finding process can be obtained is in Old Haven, a place that might ring some bells if you played the original “Borderlands”, and Athena is already there and went full Sith lord in the meantime.

Athena showing that progression in MMOs can not only show in your outfit, but also in your eyes.

I am not kidding: What the hell happened to Athena, both visually and character-wise??? I do not want to go too far into minor details in this article, but I simply have to talk about her. She used to work as an assassin for the Crimson Lance, the military devision of the Atlas corporation, and was even considered one of their top operatives during her time there, but she later defected and became the private mercenary and righter of wrongs we see in both the “Borderlands” DLC “The Secret Armory of General Knoxx” and in “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel” (where she even serves as the story teller to give all the necessary information to the Vault Hunters in a lore-friendly fashion). She is introduced as a taciturn and pragmatic person and keeps that down-to-earth attitude throughout the entire series. And then “Tales from the Borderlands” happened, making her the red-eyed psycho killer we see in the game. I can get behind Athena hunting down Fiona, since she is easy prey and therefore a walk in the park that also happens to pay rather well, but there is so much more going on makes me believe that the story writers for “Tales from the Borderlands” have never played any of the games with her in it. A character that can keep up with the power level of the Vault Hunters is not going to be thrown across a city by one mere Hyperion Loader-Bot; the game even acknowledges that by saying that that could not have possibly happened, but then chickens out of giving a solid option of what happened instead and simply leaves the deus ex machina in place. Oh, and that secret underground base beneath Old Haven? Yeah, that huge complex of buildings that no one managed to find for ages and that we needed specific Atlas technology for to even find? Well, Athena is not only gets introduced from there via echo message as mentioned, but she also killed all of its inhabitants and guards, which seem to have stayed there for quite some time seeing that the entire city was abandoned by the Crimson Lance for around six years canonically.

Anyway, while Fiona has to fix the ride (which gives the game an excuse to introduce Scooter, the mechanic that appears in both “Borderlands” and “Borderlands 2”), go back to her old place to snatch some stuff, get acquainted with the most inept bounty hunters I have ever seen in a video game and being chased through the city by Athena, Rhys has his own share of problems. He and Vaughn got separated from the girls during their big escape from the Atlas laboratory, which leaves them stranded in the desert with little to no hope of survival. And Telltale Games likes to paint that on with some big strokes: The supplies they ordered from their friend Yvette up in the Helios base happens to be a car with Rhys’ rival Vasquez in it. I honestly got furious at the game handling this situation: He steps out of the car with a new and experimental weapon that is supposed to kill Rhys and Vaughn when they are finished shoveling their own graves, but since the writers did not seem to know what type of character they want Vasquez to be, he does not manage to unlock the weapon’s security function, leading to a scene in which those men should be fighting for their lives but instead only manage to make this scene as cringy as possible. You want some examples? Sure, here you go: Vasquez does turn the back to them during one of his speeches, in which case he should have be clobbered to death with the very shovels he gave them due to his lack of awareness. Rhys can opt to throw his shovel at him after refusing to dig the grave, but misses and hits the car window; this is not only met with some snarky remark from Vasquez, but also with him headbutting Rhys (honestly, Vasquez should just shot Rhys there and then). However, he apparently does that move wrong which causes him to put his hand upon his face, leaving him defenseless and therefore marking point two of shovel-clobbering, since Vaughn was in the perfect position to do so. In the end, your holographic friend Handsome Jack gives you an upgrade to your hacking ability, which allowed me various things to do, out of which I decided to overload the energy compartment of that experimental weapon in Vasquez hands and causing it to explode. But while every single being on the planet is killed with one shot, Vasquez has tons of plot armor and is immediately on his feet again to chase those two idiots running away on foot while a car was available as the method of escape. All that leads to them being almost run over by Vasquez’s car, but our friendly Loader-Bot comes out of nowhere to rescue those idiots and snatches them up during flying mode.

I don’t even…

Since when are Loader-Bots able to fly? Why would anyone use standard cars with normal glass windows on a planet on which the air contains more lead (in bullet form) than oxygen? Why do you even need such a car if the only available options for travel are the non-car Helios Moonbase and the planet of Pandora? Furthermore: Scooter earlier on mentioned that his “Catch-A-Ride” system is about to launch on Pandora. So why are “Catch-A-Rides” “popping up” all over Pandora when “Borderlands 2”, which is one year prior in the timeline, already established that they are pretty much available everywhere? I understand that this might seem overly critical, but I am not searching for incongruities in the story, this is just what I happened to see by normally playing through the content given to me. But, let us see if I like Episode 3 better, since we do find the Atlas facility, end up in a Mexican standoff and are given a decisive flashbang pop to leave the players tapping in the dark (or light, actually).

Episode 3: The Way of the Vault Hunter

Moving on, Episode 3 is a mixed bag in my opinion: On one hand, you have way more tedious Quick Time Events to live through due to the game really ramping up the action in the second half. Now, for anyone who likes the way “Tales from the Borderlands” solves action scenes, you are going to have a blast since there is a ton of inputs coming your way. As someone who likes fighting games though, I feel like some of the options are way to forced, while I still do not get where the mouse cursor spawns and what exactly determines the movement speed of the cursor. I like crisp controls with immediate feedback, which I missed quite often in those scenes and that sometimes caused me to simply click until I found what is supposed to be interacted with; or missed some of the less obvious choices due to the indicator sometimes being hard to track and the game having an invisible timer in the background to punish my “indecisiveness”.

However, that is only half of the story. While action is available in abundance, there is also the hectic start that simply fades out into driving your new friend and super-important Vault-finding device “Gortys” to a much-needed upgrade. Traveling there takes quite some time, you happen to have a prep talk with the holographic version of Handsome Jack, then arrive at the “Borderlands” version of the “Macalania Forest” from “Final Fantasy X”. There are also lots of character-driven choices, which suggest that Rhys and Sasha are building towards a “friendly” relationship, while your newfound tutor Athena helps Fiona become one of the Vault Hunters. Oh sorry, I seem to have skipped some important info here, my bad: Athena was ordered to protect both Fiona and Sasha from any harm that might come their way, but more importantly she also serves as a teacher that is supposed to tap into the girls’ unlimited potential. Forget about her not stopping the bounty hunters in Episode 2 that were clearly going to kill them at some point, or the shield throwing that just happened to be coincidentially being an attack while stopping the two from fleeing from what they perceive as mortal peril; or her eyes glowing red for some reason, which I cannot recall ever being explained and is something that never comes up again.

Vallory, yet another dangerous villain the motley crew has to fight against. However, in Episode 3 she still outclasses Fiona… particularly in strength. (Source:

So, long story short: You manage to get the device from that hidden Atlas facility in Old Haven, but end up being in the crosshairs of the “Queenpin” Vallory. She is not exactly happy that her lackeys left her out of the ten-million-dollar-deal, and wants answers and someone to shot at. I pointed the blame at Vasquez, who managed to survive already for way too long in my opinion; and I was pleasantly surprised that the game delivered and prematurely ended his Hyperion career by demoting him from life. Vallory does also point out that she does not need your group of misfits anymore, which is where Athena steps in, now in her usual “good” version to save the day. The bandit are driven away, the small helper bot “Gortys” is activated, the new location of interest is found and the story then continues in the way I have already teasered further up in the article. You search through yet another Atlas facility, find an upgrade for “Gortys” and then are forced to fight in a who’s who of bandits and Vault Hunters alike, with both Brick and Mordecai from the original “Borderlands” working together with the forces of bandit queen Vallory to catch Athena.

The end of this episode is even more tragic than the other cliff-hangers so far: Vaughn is nowhere to be found, but since we last saw him clinging to the head of Vallory to stop her, we can expect him to have at least taken a beating. Athena unfortunately took a rocket cluster head-on and is currently draged to Sanctuary for the questioning that is the final scene of “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel”, Fiona is currently buried under Vallory’s rocket launcher since that thing was thrown at her and seems to weigh a ton, and Rhys, Sasha, Gortys and the Loader-Bot all look worse to wear; they are all still alive, but not that much more, and with Gortys being forced into revealing the location of the Vault, they might even lose the one betting chip that still left them in the game. I have to admit that I started into Episode 3 being somewhat annoyed by some of the writer’s choices and I still do not think that this is even close to the greatness some people attribute it with, but I guess I found it overall enjoyable and am looking forward for more.

Episode 4: Jacked up

Vallory, being the nice bandit overlord she is, offers you a deal with the caviat that you either accept it or die: Instead of her doing all the work getting up to the Helios Moonbase, you should do it. That means finding one last upgrade for Gortys, which is definitely required since the Vault in question is the so-called Vault of the Traveler, and therefore has an unusual habit of teleporting throughout the galaxy in minute intervals. With the help from Jack, it is easy to locate the necessary piece of tech in Jack’s office located over the “Hyperion Hub of Heroism”, both places you might know from “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel”. So, the plan is as follows: Build a rocketship to fly to Helios, get Vasquez’s dead body to allow Rhys to digistruct it as a skin and therefore disguise himself as his former boss/rival, allowing him to enter Vasquez’s office, hack the security, then let Fiona into the office, who disguises herself as a tour guide.

Wait, a rocketship? Easy. Ask Scooter, he will know how to build one; except he does not but has support in his workshop in form of Janey Springs, the introductory character from “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel”, scrap dealer and girlfriend of Athena. Tell her that the capture of Athena is basically your fault but that her girl loves her very much and she is willing to knock up a rocket completely free of charge. Scooter even acompanies you on the trip as the onboard mechanic. So, with the disguises prepared and the ship built, we launch the rocket; but oh no, inevitably there is drama because you do not have enough pull to get out of the atmosphere of Pandora. Not that a solid boost activation could not handle. But oh no, the boosted rockets are overheating and on the brink of exploding, which would kill all the inhabitants of the ship. So, Scooter and Fiona leave the spaceship, eject the boosters manually, but oh no, Scooter’s hand is trapped in a silly … contraption, which means that he has to be sacrificed in order to save the operation and everyone else on the ship. Do not get me wrong here: I do not have a problem with Scooter, but the death scene felt incredibly forced.

After that setback, the crew reaches Helios and starts to get things in motion. That means being greeted by two guards and more importantly Yvette, Rhys’ and Vaughn’s friend who stayed back on Helios for support from above. Since she does not know that the Vasquez she is talking to is actually Rhys, she spills the beans on the murder and betrayal plot she forged against her former friends, which in my case left her with a solid dosis of stun baton later in the confronation in Vasquez’s office. But this is all pretty serious stuff, so the writing team felt obliged to bring some of the “Borderlands 2” sillyness right into the heavy plot, for reasons that are unknown to me. Go ahead, take a look for yourself. Meanwhile, the tour guide ploy that Fiona is partaking in is expectably bumpy and an energy field stops any wannabe intruders from entering Jack’s office without the right permission. So, you need to use the murder shaft that leads from the prison facilities straight to Jack’s office. This actually works pretty smoothly for a change and Rhys gains access to Jack’s old office without much hinderance.

Sometimes you should listen to the voices in your head…

Here is where one major decision has to be made: I rejected Jack’s help for most of the encounters since I found the idea of a psychopath regaining control over Rhys’ body and therefore having impact on the world rather troublesome. But here, in Jack’s office, he reveals that he would very much like to cooperate with Rhys to take over Hyperion once more, which is more than Rhys could have ever wanted in his wildest dreams. My decision was an immediate and resounding no; there is no way I give control to a post-“Borderlands 2” Handsome Jack. However, in this case Jack will not only remember that in the usual Telltale Games fashion, but he took immediate action to get what he wants: By taking control of Rhys’ bionic arm, he manages to inject a digijack into Rhys’ head and uploads himself into Helios, making even worse than ever before. On top of that, Fiona gets surprised by Yvette and some security personnel, accompanied by no other than Sasha who got captured for reasons unknown to me; all leading to another cliff-hanger, which leaves me less interested for the things that are about to happen than the one during Episode 3.

Episode 5: The Future is now

Weirdly enough, the entire “Fiona and Sasha are taken captive”-story does not go anywhere, due to them simply freeing themselves at the first given opportunity. Rhys also manages to break out of his shackles while fighting against Handsome Jack’s surgery table and after some fire fights and further betrayal, the necessary characters all manage to escape Helios, which is very much necessary due to the entire thing breaking down since the power core got stun-batoned. Back on Pandora, the two main characters each have their own evil to take care off: Fiona gets Vallory (in a way), while Rhys finally rids himself of Handsome Jack. However, Gortys managed to summon the Vault and with it it’s guardian, which severely outclasses Gortys and anyone else around in combat. So, we need to blow up the beacon that keeps the Vault in its current position; which we do by using Vallory’s rocket launcher, killing Gortys and sending the Vault and its guardian into the ether again. This could be the end of the Vault Hunting business in this game, but we are not going to give up that easily and as the story unfolds we will find reasons to turn the entire thing around and not only get to the Vault but also manage to save some of the lost souls of our journey on the way.

So, the mysterious stranger might know more than we first anticipated…

I could obviously spoil even the last few revelations and how it all goes down in the end, but if you read this far you either have played the game or you have enough interest that you might want to experience the last half hour of the game for yourself. I have read comments online that said that the writing takes a turn for the worse the further your come to the end, but I for one actually enjoyed the climax of the story. Granted, some of the choices the writer’s made were so obviously that I knew how the story would progress before it even happened, but in my opinion this is the case in the entire game and they did manage to weave it all into a sufficient ending.

Overall, “Tales of the Borderlands” leaves me with mixed feelings. I like the idea of taking the role of the less powerful beings in a crazy setting like that of “Borderlands”. The game showcases fairly well that Vault Hunters, at least in the eyes of the general public, are really just even more crazy murder machines and are potentially even more harmful than a pack of bandits due to that. Both Mordecai and Brick are shown as the “evil” guys, working for Vallory due to aligning interests, and the first time Zer0 shows up he is just another crazy lunatic among those that are already crashing the party. One thing that I already really liked was the character development: Over the course of all five episodes, we have tons scenes where the cast learns from past mistakes or is willing to change the standpoint on certain topics. However, as I said there are mixed feelings: The game feels very sloppy with certain themes and truths that are well-established in the Borderlands lore, with Loader-Bot being immensely more powerful than one could ever imagine, certain characters being tuned down in powerlevel to make certain story aspects possible (Athena being thrown across the city, Mordecai being completely unaware of his surrondings in the fight, as well as Brick’s direct punch to Fiona’s temple not killing her instantly due to plot reasons). One very true statement I found online regarding this issue was in the comments to the review of “Tales from the Borderlands” on (the link to the artícle can be found here), in which the commenter “Ninja Foodstuff” has the following to say: “As with all Telltale Games, it seems you have to switch off that part of your brain that analyses and pulls back the curtains on the game in order to get the most enjoyment out of it.” I absolute agree with that: You need to develop blindspots for the incongruities with the game world to really enjoy “Tales from the Borderlands”. If you can do that, you are going to have a good time. If you are like me and cannot switch into such a modus, then you are going to stumble upon various things during the game that just feel off. The game also regularly infuriated me with the frequent use of deus ex machina to get out of story devices that simply had to lead into a dead-end. But that is just me; like I said, if you can past those decisions, then this different approach to “Borderlands” can be a solid deal for you.

Which brings me to the last paragraph of this review: Should you buy/play this game? I am not that much into Telltale Games per se and only really gave the game a shot due to it being “Borderlands”-related; but lots of people back in 2015 were hailing this as one of the best scenarios the Telltale Game team has written. So, if you are into games from the Telltale Game studio, an avid adventure game fan, or just interested in the additional content and information for the “Borderlands” universe, feel free to give the thing a shot. The entire game with all five episodes costs 19,99€ on Steam, which is definitely not a price I would pay for it; however, it just so happens that Steam regularly lowers the prices of the games in their store, so simply wishlist it and pick it up while the price is reduced. However, if you are not finding yourself in the three groups of people I mentioned before, I would honestly skip the title. The background information is not that important, and other than Rhys appearing in “Borderlands 3” and knowing how Scooter met his end there is not that much to gain from here if you did not come for the story it wants to tell you. And if you just want to know how many inconsistencies there are in the game when you actively search for them, you do not even need to play the game: Just watch the GAME SINS video on “Tales from the Borderlands” by Dartigan for the overview you are so desperately looking for.

Archetype Analysis: Igknight

Last updated: 19.06.2021

I have to admit that I loathe Pendulums. Having to write about two cards in one is annoying due to extra workload and makes my articles even more wordy than they already are. On top of that, understanding Pendulum archetypes is not necessarily as easy as many players would like to tell you; and there are examples of incredibly convoluted cards such as “Endymion, the Mighty Master of Magic“, which certainly could have needed some more effect text to become even less beginner-friendly. However, since I write these articles to make archetypes more accessable to all kinds of players, I cannot simply skip all the Pendulum-focussed archetypes for all eternity. Which is why I set a starting point with probably the easiest Pendulum archetype is existence: “Igknights”. You will soon see why I labeled the archetype as easy, but if you would like to learn the mechanic while also getting to know a surprisingly interesting strategy, you have come to the right place.

Disclaimer: None of the information given by me is set in stone. Having an open mind in deck building and including creative ideas is always helpful, if only to further understand the playstyle and strategy of the deck you are about to build. There are probably choices that I list which can be labled as debatable, but no platform I know of gives a broad overview over both the archetypes and all the card choices, so I aimed to do just that. I will try to keep this page (as well as the other ones, once they are made) up-to-date, so if any reader feels like I skipped some amazing tech choice or a crucial card, just drop me a note and I will add the missing information if necessary. Furthermore, I use a number of sources for ideas and information, so a list with links that I deem useful is attached to the end of the page and credit is given whenever I can point to a source to do so.

“Igknight” is an archetype of Fire Warrior monsters, which is the most basic way to work with the Pendulum mechanic for the following reasons: Aside from their two boss monsters, all of the archetypal monsters are Normal monsters, so you only really need to focus on their Pendulum effects, and those are very easy to understand and remember since there is only one that is shared by all Pendulum monsters in the archetype. Said effect allows you to destroy your Pendulum Scales to search for a Fire Warrior monster, which in turn sets up the Extra Deck to Pendulum Summon some “Igknights” back to the field later, which means that they basically cover all of the Pendulum mannerisms while also keeping every other complicating factor at a minimum. How this approach can actually work in the game is something I will cover in some more detail in the following sections:



Name: “Igknight Crusader
Level/Rank: 3
ATK/DEF: 1600/300
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

The first monster we will take a look at in the “Igknight” archetype is “Igknight Crusader”. “Igknight Crusader” sets a good starting point for the archetype as a whole, since he functions almost exactly like most of the archetypal monsters. But let us start at the beginning. Since he is a Pendulum monster, there are two sides to the card that we need to talk about: In the Pendulum Zone, “Igknight Crusader” has a Pendulum Scale of 2 and his effect allows you to destroy both cards your Pendulum Zones to search your deck for a Fire Warrior monster to add to your hand, but you can only activate this effect if the card in the other Pendulum Zone is also an “Igknight” card. The monster side of things is rather simple, since “Igknight Crusader” is a Level 3 Normal monster with 1600/300 as his stats. Normal monsters are a trend that we will see some more often in the archetype and being one is not necessarily a bad thing, since there is possible support in form of “Unexpected Dai“, “Link Spider” or “Rescue Rabbit” to name just a few options. The destruction-and-search effect allows you to go -1 in order to search either an “Igknight” monster or some other cheeky options (which I will list later on), but with the added bonus of also giving you two face-up Pendulum monsters to work with in your Extra Deck.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Igknight Crusader” is one of the cornerstones of the “Igknight” playstyle and players normally go for a high amount of the Pendulum Normal monsters to work with. However, at which ratio you run “Igknight Crusader” specifically comes down to your personal preference.


Name: “Igknight Squire
Level/Rank: 3
ATK/DEF: 0/2000
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

“Igknight Squire” is the other Level 3 monster the “Igknights” have to offer. Pendulum-wise, “Igknight Squire” has a Pendulum Scale of 7 and the same effect as “Igknight Crusader“, which allows you to search your deck for a Fire Warrior monster and add it to your hand by destroying both “Igknight Squire” and another “Igknight” card in your Pendulum Zones. As a monster “Igknight Squire” is a Level 3 monster 0/2000 as his stats, a rather odd stat-line if you think about the rather beatdown-focussed nature the archetype would like to aim for. Still, if you want to use “Igknight Squire” there are enough ways to search him, both in the archetype and in form of more generic cardboard.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Igknight Squire” is fairly important to the “Igknight” playstyle and most builds go for a high amount of the Pendulum Normal monsters to work with. However, at which ratio you run the card is up to you, making the card a preference pick.


Name: “Igknight Paladin
Level/Rank: 4
ATK/DEF: 1400/1900
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

Moving one level up, we have “Igknight Paladin”. “Igknight Paladin” is more of the same: In the Pendulum Zone, he provides a Pendulum Scale of 2 and the same destruction-and-search-effect that the other two “Igknight” monsters have. In his monster form, he is a Level 4 Normal monster with 1400/1900 as his stats, which makes “Igknight Paladin” a subpar beater but still fairly helpful as a summoning tool since he is still in the range of being used by “Link Spider“, “Rescue Rabbit” and “Unexpected Dai“, while also being able to serve as Xyz material for Rank 4 Xyz summons if you so desire.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Igknight Paladin” joins the ranks of his brethren in playability: You should run quite a few of the “Igknight” Pendulum monsters, but which exactly and at what ratios comes down to the strategy of the deck you are running and the player preference.


Name: “Igknight Templar
Level/Rank: 4
ATK/DEF: 1700/1300
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

“Igknight Templar” is part two of the Level 4 “Igknight” duo. As you might have noticed, the “Igknights” are all very similar and “Igknight Templar” is no exception: When played into the Pendulum Zone, he serves as a Pendulum Scale of 7 and also provides the effect of destroying both himself and another “Igknight” card in the other Pendulum Zone to search your deck for a Fire Warrior monster and add it to your hand. When played as a monster card, “Igknight Templar” is a Level 4 Normal monster with 1700/1300 and therefore has a range of cards to be used with like the aforementioned “Link Spider“, “Rescue Rabbit” or “Unexpected Dai“, while also obviously being searchable and useable in his own archetype.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Igknight Templar” is yet another “Igknight” Pendulum monster and therefore completely up to player choice in terms of ratios, or whether you even want to run the card at all.


Name: “Igknight Cavalier
Level/Rank: 5
ATK/DEF: 2400/1200
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

I guess you can see how we are going to continue with this archetype: “Igknight Cavalier” is yet another Normal Pendulum monster. She has a Pendulum Scale of 2 and the same destroy-and-search-effect the other monsters had so far when played into the Pendulum Zone, while being a Level 5 Normal monster with 2400/1200 when summoned in any way. There is not that much new to say about “Igknight Cavalier”, aside from her being the most likely to stay on the field because she has the highest ATK stat of the “Igknight” Normal monsters. Keeping in mind that she is the first “Igknight” monster that cannot profit from “Rescue Rabbit” and “Unexpected Dai“, but she also marks the threshold of monsters that are instead searchable via “Summoner’s Art“.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Igknight Cavalier” is another “Igknight” Pendulum monster and therefore should be considered at some ratio, depending on your build and player preference. However, due to her being the best beater if push comes to shove, I would give her some increased priority over the other Pendulum Normal monsters.


Name: “Igknight Margrave
Level/Rank: 5
ATK/DEF: 1500/2500
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

Guess what, Level 5 also comes with two monsters. “Igknight Margrave” is yet another Normal Pendulum monster, with a Pendulum Scale of 7 and the destroy-and-search-effect the “Igknights” come with as standard when played into the Pendulum Zone, while being a Level 5 Normal monster with 1500/2500 when summoned as a monster. Other than that, you can obviously also search “Igknight Margrave” via “Summoner’s Art” in addition to other searchers like “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” or the Pendulum effects of the “Igknight” monsters, but it still is somewhat worse than “Igknight Cavalier” due to having high DEF at the cost of lower ATK.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Igknight Margrave” is another Pendulum monster to fuel the archetypal strategy. I would recommend the same for “Igknight Margrave” that I mentioned for all the other Pendulum monsters so far, which is running the card by preference.


Name: “Igknight Gallant
Level/Rank: 6
ATK/DEF: 2100/2200
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

And here is the Level 6 department, in which we start with “Igknight Gallant”. As a card in the Pendulum Zone, “Igknight Gallant” has a Pendulum Scale of 2 and the already well-known effect of allowing you to destroy the activating “Igknight” card and another “Igknight” card in the other Pendulum Zone to search your deck for a Fire Warrior monster and add it to your hand. As a monster, “Igknight Gallant” is a Level 6 with 2100/2200 as its stats, but does otherwise work in the same fashion as “Igknight Cavalier” and “Igknight Margrave” in terms of generic support and overall function in its archetype.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Igknight Gallant” gives the “Igknight” archetype yet another Pendulum monster to support the strategy with. Run the card by preference.


Name: “Igknight Veteran
Level/Rank: 6
ATK/DEF: 1300/2700
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

Thankfully, we reached the last Normal Pendulum monster in form of “Igknight Veteran”. “Igknight Veteran” is the other part of the Level 6 duo and therefore comes with 7 as his Pendulum Scale when played into the Pendulum Zone while also providing the destroy-and-search-effect like the seven members of the “Igknight” archetype before him. As a monster card, he is a Normal monster with 1300/2700, which means that you have another high DEF monster in an archetype that would like to go for the face. However, he still works in the same way as the other “Igknight” Normal monsters and is therefore another monster to fuel the “Igknight” playstyle.

Recommended copies: 0-3
The last “Igknight” Normal monster in form of “Igknight Veteran” gets the same verdict as the rest of the archetype: Run by preference and decide for yourself how many copies you deem necessary.


Name: “Igknight Lancer
Level/Rank: 7
ATK/DEF: 2600/1800
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

So, for something completely different after the eight monsters that were veeeeery similar, we have “Igknight” boss monster number one “Igknight Lancer”. “Igknight Lancer” is a Level 7 Effect monster with 2600/1800 and has the following effects: While “Igknight Lancer” is in your hand, you can target three “Igknight” cards you control, destroy all of them and then Special Summon “Igknight Lancer” from your hand. Furthermore, once per turn, you can target one other “Igknight” monster you control, return it to your hand and then place one Spell/Trap card your opponent controls on the bottom of their deck. During Master Rule 3 times, you could simply blast all your “Igknights” apart except for two that you can put into your scales, Pendulum Summon five monsters and then go ham by summoning “Igknight Lancer” via his own effect. Due to Link monsters now being required to summon Pendulum monsters from your Extra Deck in great number this is not the best way to summon “Igknight Lancer” anymore, but thankfully the archetype itself has an option in form of “Igknights Unite” to get around that issue. Other than that, the non-targeting backrow removal is definitely appreciated, but how important you deem “Igknight Lancer” to be for your strategy is ultimatively up to you.

Recommended copies: 0-1
“Igknight Lancer” is one option that can be used as both a beater and a removal option. He is far from powerful, but there is definitely space in most “Igknight” decks for one copy.


Name: “Igknight Champion
Level/Rank: 8
ATK/DEF: 2800/2300
Attribute/Type: Fire Warrior

The last monster in the “Igknight” archetype and also boss monster number two is “Igknight Champion”. This Level 8 monster with 2800/2300 as his stats can, just like “Igknight Lancer“, be Special Summoned from your hand by targeting and destroying three “Igknight” cards you control. Furthermore, once per turn, you can target one other “Igknight” monster you control, return it to the hand, and then place one monster the opponent controls on the bottom of the deck. This is basically “Igknight Lancer” with higher stats, one more level and his effect targeting monsters instead of backrow; the last part obviously meaning that he has non-targeting monster removal, which is quite nice to have. His usage overall does come down to preference and strategy, but just like “Igknight Lancer” he is also easier to summon via the use of “Igknights Unite” and can definitely serve as a solid body to have on the field.

Recommended copies: 0-1
“Igknight Champion” fills a similar spot in the deck like his buddy “Igknight Lancer” due to functioning so similarly, but being able to target monsters makes “Igknight Champion” more valuable in my opinion. Feel free to run a copy if you deem his effect


Name: “Ignition Phoenix
Type: Field Spell

The first Spell card to support the “Igknight” archetype is their Field Spell “Ignition Phoenix”. Like the rest of the archetype, “Ignition Phoenix” is fairly straightforward: All “Igknight” monsters on the field gain a bonus of 300 in both ATK and DEF, also once per turn you can target one “Igknight” card you control, destroy it and then search your deck for an “Igknight” card and add it to your hand. This is really not that fancy of an effect set: 300 bonus stats is a tiny bonus and does not make up for the lack of stats on some of your more defensively-minded monsters, and while destroying only one card to search an “Igknight” seems like an upgrade to the Pendulum effects your “Igknight” monsters sport due to being +0 instead of -1 in card economy terms, it also does not allow you to search for generic Fire Warriors and is therefore less helpful when going for certain builds and combos. Still, “Ignition Phoenix” is obviously searchable via “Terraforming“, “Demise of the Land” and “Metaverse” and can therefore potentially give the deck some more consistency.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Ignition Phoenix” is another preference pick in the “Igknight” archetype. While the card is hardly special, it is capable of support the destroy-and-search strategy of the deck quite nicely and can therefore be skipped if unnecessary, played at one as an occasional option or run at three to draw into as often as possible.


Name: “Igknight Reload
Type: Quick Spell

Next up is “Igknight Reload”, the Quick Spell “Magical Mallet” for Pendulum monsters. The more detailed effect text is as follows: Reveal any number of Pendulum monsters from your hand and shuffle them back into the deck, then draw cards equal to the number of Pendulum monster cards you shuffled back into the deck plus one. Furthermore, for the rest of the turn after you activated “Igknight Reload”, you cannot draw cards by card effects and you can only activate one “Igknight Reload” per turn. Again, like all things the “Igknights” use, this card is very much straightforward, since you can simply get rid of some of the Pendulum monsters in your hand that you do not necessarily need and get a chance of drawing something more helpful. It even comes with the bonus of being a +0 in card economy unlike “Magical Mallet” and therefore really not hurting much if all you want to do is simply rearrange the resources in your hand and get a shot at drawing into other Spell cards. However, in any deck that runs “Igknight” monsters, you are normally not forced to get rid of the Pendulum monsters, since they do probably support the strategy you are going for, making “Igknight Reload” a solid tool for various Pendulum-based archetypes but not doing that much for its own.

Recommended copies: 0
“Igknight Reload” is a solid card in its own right and does have a place in decks, but it is simply not that necessary in “Igknight” strategies. Run zero.


Name: “Igknights Unite
Type: Quick Spell

The last Spell card in the “Igknight” archetype is “Igknight Unite”. This Quick Spell allows you to target one “Igknight” card you control, destroy it, and then Special Summon one “Igknight” monster from your deck; also, you can only activate one “Igknights Unite” per turn. There are a few ways to use this card to your advantage: First of all, you only have to use “Igknights Unite” alongside one “Igknight” monster you control to summon either “Igknight Lancer” or “Igknight Champion” straight from the deck, which is a more favorable position to summon the monsters from as well as being cheaper than getting them on the field via their own effect. Furthermore, you can use cards you would lose anyway as fuel for this card’s effect, so if you would normally get one of your “Igknight” monster banished or bounced or if one of your scales would get destroyed, you can simply use the card to gain a potential advantage from that scenario.

Recommended copies: 0-3
“Igknights Unite” is a fairly situational card and whether to use it definitely comes down to running either “Igknight Lancer” or “Igknight Champion“. With either or both of them, you have a solid option to summon them more easily as well as switching “Igknight” cards that you would lose anyway against some solid beaters, making the card a solid option at up to three copies. Without those two the card becomes rather lackluster and is therefore a zero-off in my opinion.


Name: “Igknight Burst
Type: Continuous Trap

And for the only Trap card in the archetype as well as the last card overall, we have “Igknight Burst”. This Continuous Trap card allows you to, once per turn during your Main Phase, destroy up to three other “Igknight” cards you control, then return an equal number of cards the opponent controls to their hand. Also, if “Igknight Burst” is sent to the graveyard, you can add one face-up “Igknight” Pendulum monster from your Extra Deck to your hand. So, the card does provide another removal tool to the archetype and the fact that the bounce from “Igknight Burst” does not target can be fairly helpful in dealing with certain option the opponent might have. The secondary effect is not that awfully useful, but it is nice to have another “Igknight” monster to work with since you will pretty much always have a target in your Extra Deck to retrieve via that effect; also, “Foolish Burial Goods” can trigger the effect if you are really in need to return Pendulum monsters from your Extra Deck to your hand again; even though this is almost never going to be the reason to run the card.

Recommended copies: 0-1
“Igknight Burst” can have merit at one copy since it does interact with the archetype by being searchable via “Ignition Phoenix” while also providing non-targeting removal. However, since the card is rather slow most decks are going for zero copies.

Recommended Engines:

“Bamboo Sword”:
“Igknight” is another archetype that can make extra use of the “Bamboo Sword” engine. The normal combination of one copy of “Broken Bamboo Sword” alongside three copies of “Golden Bamboo Sword” and three copies of “Cursed Bamboo Sword” allows you to have a consistent draw engine that can be used for the effect of “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights“. The archetype can even make use of the card “Burning Bamboo Sword“, which I will go into further detail on in the “Playstyle/Combos” section.

The idea of including “Goukis” into the “Igknight” deck comes from the following video of the Youtuber “dimsum05”, who explains in detail how his “Igknight” list in 2019 took shape. The combos in the video are sadly not useable nowadays, since most of the key cards are banned in 2021, but the inclusion of a “Gouki” engine still seems valid nowadays. He only uses three cards: “Gouki Octostretch” can be summoned via “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” by simply putting one Equip Spell card from your deck into your graveyard. The monster is used for a summon and therefore triggers its search effect, which allows you to search a copy of “Gouki Suprex“, which we can then Normal Summon. “Gouki Suprex” will also end up being used as material for Link or Synchro Summons, which triggers its effect and allows us to fetch the last “Gouki” card in the deck in form of “Gouki Re-Match“. Lastly, you can simply play “Gouki Re-Match” to resummon both “Gouki Octostretch” and “Gouki Suprex” from your graveyard and therefore gain two more monsters to work with as Link and/or Synchro material. Not the craziest combo, but certainly a way to get more materials to work with by only using a minimal amount of deck space.

“Infernoble Knight”:
While the “Infernoble Knight” archetype did have some impact in competitive Yugioh, it was definitely also a solid boost for the “Igknight” archetype when going for a more casual approach. “Infernoble Knight – Renaud” is an incredibly tool for the strategy, since he combines the facts that he is an easy Special Summon for more monsters to work with, a Tuner monster to use the “Igknights” for Synchro Summoning, as well as a recycling tool for both Equip Spells and any Fire Warrior monster in himself. Speaking of Equip Spells, there is one particularly useful one in form of “Infernoble Arms – Durendal“, which serves as a searcher or a revival tool and can be ditched for “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” to Special Summon pretty much whatever you want from the deck, but especially “Infernoble Knight – Renaud” who can then return the Equip Spell to the hand rightaway and therefore search it via a retour over the graveyard. Another card to mention is “Infernoble Knight Oliver“, who can provice another monster to Special Summon to the field while also providing another Tuner monster that can be searched via the effect of the “Igknight” Pendulum monsters.

“Tenyi” is the one option a lot of people probably think of when talking about Normal monsters; and for good reason. The archetype provides various solid cards to work with if you run a high Normal monster count, and “Igknights” do not even need the “Tenyi Spirits” that badly. First of all, the Field Spell “Flawless Perfection of the Tenyi” can be a solid option to accrue resources with, while the Counter Trap “Fists of the Unrivaled Tenyi” not only proves to be a solid counter option against various card types, but also summons monsters like “Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon” when destroyed while Set. While there are various “Tenyi” cards in the Extra Deck that can be worth running, the best one in my opinion is”Draco Masters of the Tenyi“, since it does provide three zones to summon Pendulum monsters from the Extra Deck into while pretty much providing a field clear for running Normal monsters.

Further useful cards:

Main Deck monsters:

Fire Flint Lady“:
Aside from being an additional body to summon herself due to her Special Summoning effect, you can also send “Fire Flint Lady” from the field to the graveyard in order to summon another Level 4 or lower Fire Warrior monster, which can be triggered by summoning her with the help of “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights“, the second effect of “Infernoble Arms – Durendal” or by equipping her to a summoned “Sublimation Knight“; aside from being searchable by a large portion of the deck on top of it all.

Immortal Phoenix Gearfried“:
If you search for a boss monster that can do more than “Igknight Lancer” and “Igknight Champion“, look no further. “Immortal Phoenix Gearfried” is a powerhouse that is incredibly easy to summon via the “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” Equip ditching, has solid stats, can work as removal and negation at the same time and on top of that is easily searchable via the Pendulum effects of the “Igknight” Pendulum monsters. The card is still somewhat pricey, but if you have the card it is definitely worth running in the “Igknight” strategy.

Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer“:
This is an option to run if you want to use “Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer” in the deck. By simply blowing up the other Pendulum Zone and putting an “Igknight” monster with the same name in there, you simply get one more Pendulum monster into your Extra Deck. Also, “Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer” provides a monster for “Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer” to summon, which is also a nice bonus.

Rescue Rabbit“:
Since the deck features two Level 3 Normal monsters and two Level 4 Normal monsters in the archetype alone, “Rescue Rabbit” is a potential play to go for. The Normal Summon slot is often untouched by the “Igknights”, which is where “Rescue Rabbit” can shine and give you two more monsters to work with on top of the rest of the cards you might cycle through.

Royal Magical Library“:
This is probably the oldest tech card mentioned in combination with the “Igknight” archetype. The idea is simple: Summon “Royal Magical Library”, set up some “Igknight” Pendulum Scales giving the card some Spell Counters, then blow your “Igknights” up to search for another one and repeat the process while drawing for every three “Igknight” Pendulum Scales and/or Spell cards that see play during your turn. This is not necessarily what “Igknights” are going for anymore, but in combination with a “Bamboo Sword” engine and the fact that some really useful Equip-supporting monsters are Fire Warriors, there is definitely room for experimentation there.

“Squeaknight” mainly sees play as a summonable option via “Sublimation Knight” and as a last resort option for “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights“, but being the additional body it is “Squeaknight” does quite a lot for the consistency and tempo of the deck.

Sublimation Knight“:
“Sublimation Knight” can be a really good tool in the “Igknight” strategy. Since you are going to Special Summon monsters via Pendulum Summon or by using the effect of “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” at some point anyway, you can trigger its effect to search for a copy of “Squeaknight” that you can equip to it, which you can un-equip rightaway using “Squeaknight’s” own effect and therefore gain two monsters to work with for the price of one card. In some scenarios, you can even just Normal Summon “Sublimation Knight” and the effect of providing two monsters will stay exactly the same and gives the deck more resources to work with.

Spell cards:

Heat Wave“:
For a more lockdown-centered approach, there is the possibility of playing “Heat Wave”. Since you spam the field with Normal monsters, you should rarely suffer from playing this card while the opponent can get into serious trouble by being unable to use their monster effects. Playing this card can get even more interesting overall if you combined the “Igknights” with the “Tenyi” archetype, but there are various options to make “Heat Wave” work in the “Igknight” strategy.

Painful Decision“:
A searcher for “Igknight Crusader“, “Igknight Squire“, “Igknight Paladin” and/or “Igknight Templar“. You do lose one copy to the graveyard, but you can even use that as setup for the revival effect of “Infernoble Arms – Durendal” or “Monster Reborn“, and you obviously gain another “Igknight” monster to use as a Pendulum Scale, a monster on the field or simply for blowing up to search more “Igknights”.

Pendulum Paradox“:
“Pendulum Paradox” allows the “Igknights” to go into some switching shenanigans with their Extra Deck. After you went -1 due to blowing your Pendulum Scales up and then searching another Fire Warrior monster, you can then go +1 by simply returning those two monsters back to your hand for another round of destroy-and-search. “Igknights” even have an easy time working with the restriction of “Pendulum Paradox”, since they only have two Pendulum Scales to begin with.

Pot of Riches“:
Similar to “Pendulum Paradox“, “Pot of Riches” allows you to soften the resource minus from the “Igknight” effects by providing a +1 that shuffle three of the “Igknights” from your Extra Deck back into your Main Deck. Playing the card really comes down to whether you can cycle through enough of your “Igknight” monsters to lose some of them to your deck while still having enough monsters to summon out via Pendulum Summon, but it is definitely an option to consider.

Reinforcement of the Army“:
Yet another searcher. “Reinforcement of the Army” is a pretty solid card that can be seen as a blank that can transform into “Igknight Crusader“, “Igknight Squire“, “Igknight Paladin“, “Igknight Templar“, “Sublimation Knight“, “Squeaknight“, “Fire Flint Lady“, many of the “Infernoble” monster and various other monster cards and is therefore another helpful card, even at one copy.

Summoner’s Art“:
More searching power comes with “Summoner’s Art”. This one can fetch all the “Igknight” Normal monsters that the other generic searchers could not get, so “Igknight Cavalier“, “Igknight Margrave“, “Igknight Gallant” and/or “Igknight Veteran“, and is therefore yet another option for the deck’s consistency.

Supply Squad“:
I agree that “Supply Squad” does not necessarily rank under the top cards to run, but if you start with it in hand and it does not get immediately destroyed by your opponent, you can make it a +0 rightaway by destroying an “Igknight” monster via “Ignition Phoenix“, “Igknight Lancer“, “Igknight Champion“, “Igknights Unite” or some other option, while also potentially gaining more out of it in the turns to come. Granted, the game forces one to go for more immediate resources, but “Supply Squad” is definitely not the worst card to have if you can afford the time.

Unexpected Dai“:
Since “Igknight Crusader“, “Igknight Squire“, “Igknight Paladin” and “Igknight Templar” are all summonable Normal monster targets for “Unexpected Dai”, the option of being able to summon monsters directly from the deck for just the cost of a Spell card should definitely be mentioned. “Unexpected Dai” might not see that much play in “Igknight”-based strategies, but depending on your build it might prove helpful to have more ways to get them onto the field.

Trap cards:

Skill Drain“:
Most of your monsters do not have any monster effects to speak off, meaning that “Skill Drain” can work similarly to “Heat Wave“, just with the twist of being more permanent. There are lots of decks that do not appreciate losing their monster effects, while you and your “Igknights” go out of that pretty much unharmed.

Tyrant’s Throes“:
Tried of your opponent playing all those effect monsters? Well, with this option they might not be able to do that anymore. Granted, the cost of two tributes is fairly high, but not impossible to provide in “Igknight” and therefore an option that the archetype has available for play.

Extra Deck monsters:

Duelittle Chimera“:
The Fire Attribute stat booster. If you manage to put the board full with your Fire Warriors, you might be well-off using low-ATK monsters like “Igknight Squire” and/or “Squeaknight” and summon this monster for a welcome ATK-steroid.

Ferocious Flame Swordsman“:
This Link monster is a more casually-minded option, but if you either need the added revival effect or can make use of non-Fire monsters on your side of the field (since it does not need Fire monsters while “Duelittle Chimera” does), this is a potential option to go for.

Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze“:
And the Link “Charmer” for the Fire Attribute can also make an appearance. “Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze” can be yet another searching tool if necessary, but gaining an opposing monster from the graveyard to work with is a solid option to have available in the Extra Deck, which is why I would suggest including one copy.

Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights“:
The number one Link monster to go into in pretty much any Warrior-based deck. “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” provides searching power, Special Summons and setup in one extremely useful card and makes running Equip cards that much more useful. She can search for “Igknight” Pendulum monsters via her summon effect and allow you to complete ignore the drawback by simply playing the searched card as a Pendulum Scale. She can Special Summon pretty much the entire deck by putting Equip Spells into the graveyard, with useful targets such as “Infernoble Knight – Renaud” or “Sublimation Knight” and sets up the ditched Equip Spells in various ways by triggering the search of “Cursed Bamboo Sword“, making “Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade” go live or allowing “Infernoble Knight – Renaud” to basically get back whatever you want from the ditched cards. An extremely strong option all around that should not be left out of the Extra Deck in “Igknights”.

Link Spider“:
“Link Spider”, while not as potent in “Igknights” than it is in other decks with Normal monsters, is a solid option to run at one that can make use of tokens and the like to gain a solid summoning tool onto the field.


“Igknights” are pretty much baby’s first Pendulum deck, as they are stripped of almost any other effect that could have possibly been printed onto them and instead simply work via Pendulum rules and effects. Now, this might sound like that is a bad thing, but “Igknights” can make use of pretty much all the Normal monster support in the game while still having options to swarm the field and cheating themselves into having effects when used as a Pendulum Scale. This makes an archetype that seems incredibly bare-bones at first a seriously versatile group of cards to work with.

Their own mechanic and strategy all revolves around filling the Extra Deck with the archetypal members and then summoning them all again via Pendulum Summon. Since Pendulums took quite a hit from Master Rule 4 onwards, this is not that easy to do anymore, but with incredibly useful engines, archetypes and cards existing in the game today that “Igknights” can make use of, they can stay true to their destruction shenanigans while still supporting a myriad of different strategies. Simply filling the board by having a lot of “Igknights” in hand is not impossible and while their stats leave much to be desired, you can even go caveman Yugioh and simply attack with your “Igknight” army. However, with only a small group of Tuner monsters, the “Igknight” archetype gains access to various Synchro Summons and can build some serious boards with “Borreload Savage Dragon” or “F.A. Dawn Dragster“. To make reaching those monsters a little easier, you can make use of “Formula Synchron“, which can be summoned via “Squeaknight” and “Infernoble Knight – Renaud“, or “Martial Metal Marcher” which you can make accessable via “Plaguespreader Zombie” and either “Squeaknight” or “Fire Flint Lady“.

But even without Tuner monsters the archetype can make use of Link monsters; and there is no end to what can be done with the “Igknights” since they are capable of providing quite a lot of materials to work with. “Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess” or “Accesscode Talker” are the expensive options that you might encounter in a lot of builds, but you can go into “Borrelsword Dragon” just as well while also making use of the fantastic “Draco Masters of the Tenyi“. Combining both the Synchro and the Link strategy is also possible without any problems and opens up “Cryston Halqifibrax” as a potential card to run in the Extra Deck, but the “Igknights” themselves should be capable of searching the necessary cards for the Synchro Summons while also spamming enough monsters to go into the higher Link monsters.

There is also the possibility of building more Stun-centered decks, which can also use a variety of cards. As mentioned in the “Further useful cards” section, you can use effect negation as your main tool, since there is little to negate on your monsters anyway. “Skill Drain” and “Heat Wave” can keep opposing effect monsters in check, while “Tyrant’s Throes” simply bans any effect monsters from being summoned. Since the archetype consists entirely of Fire Warrior monsters, you can use both “Rivalry of Warlords” and “Gozen Match“, more cards that leave your entire strategy intact while potentially crippling the opposing plays. There is even the option of locking the opponent out of the Main Phases via “Terminal World” and “Burning Bamboo Sword“, which is not an “Igknight” strategy per se but can still work rather nicely in the archetype due to its deck thinning capabilities; one such build can be found under this link.

There are not really that many combos that I feel are worth showing. The thing with “Igknights” is that they pretty always work the same in that you are placing Pendulum Scales, blowing them up, searching an “Igknight” (or other Fire Warrior monster) and then continue from there. However, if I encounter a more complicated or impressive combo, I will make sure to feature it.


“Igknights” do dodge some counters without even doing anything in particular simply by being Normal monsters, but there are obviously some ways to get them under control. While “Gozen Match” and “Rivalry of Warlords” both work in your favor, “There Can Be Only One” is a direct counter to the deck and can seriously mess up some of the combos you might be going for. “Summon Limit” and similar cards can shut down the “Igknight” players turn prematurely, while “Deck Lockdown” or “Mistake” can simply stop the “Igknights” from searching, which means that they can still destroy themselves, but gain nothing from that except for more monsters in the Extra Deck. Handtraps are also still a thing that can stop the “Igknights” from going of, since a blocked “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” is oftentimes bad news for the length of the combo in question.

One additional note I want to mention is that “Igknights” might be used in great numbers during the board-building process, but are rarely staying after everything from the Extra Deck has been assembled. This means that you might have a good chance countering the board at the end, rather than working against the “Igknights” themselves, since those are only fodder for other Extra Deck cards. This makes effect negation and Special Summon counters that much more interesting in the matchup again, and really asks you to pay attention to the board and hitting the right timing to disturb the opponent’s combos.



DarkArmedDuelist’s “Igknight Deck Profile” (April 2021):
An example “Igknight” list from DarkArmedDuelist. He is the one that I have the inclusion of “Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer” from and the build does look pretty solid; even though I would disagree on running the two copies of “Igknight Reload“. Overall, a solid build and a good starting point for anyone who is interested in the archetype.

Nguyễn Thiệu Khang’s “Decklist: Pure Igknight Synchro” (January 2021):
I found this video when searching in reddit for some opinions on the “Igknight” archetype and this was made by a user to show how much the archetype can do with a pure build. This deck has literally all “Igknight” Pendulum monsters at three and it is quite amazing what you can even do with an “Igknight” build if you go all out on the Normal monster front.


Yugipedia “Igknight” article:
The “Igknight” article on Yugipedia does have some solid insights and card ideas to include into the deck; also, the card pictures in this article came from there, as always.

Sample Decklist (June 2021):

I would normally say that this is my take at an “Igknight” deck, but I was so stunned by the build that Nguyễn Thiệu Khang used that I decided to make a slightly altered version of their deck the featured decklist for “Igknights”. It has to be said that I am a novice in dealing with “Igknights” and that there are probably lots of other things you can do with them (heck, I have even seen a fair share of potential FTK builds with them), but for starters this is a solid build to work with: The cards are easy to understand, yet the skill ceiling is fairly high since one can impliment various other options into the build and therefore is a solid start for anyone who wants to work with Pendulums but finds the other Pendulum archetype to be one the complicated side.

The Videogame Corner: Duke Nukem I

Here is an article that is both out of schedule and shorter than usual; shame on me. However, I wanted to write this post since it features a game that I have fond childhood memories off, back when there was no console in my life to offer me gaming bliss and I had to make do with the computer games that were available. Yes, nostalgia is one hell of a drug and a major hinderance when you want to watch things objectively, but this is not going to stop me from talking a little about a game that might also be one of the first video games I have ever played: Duke Nukem I.

Now, if you think of the gory and quite frankly sexist macho mess that “Duke Nukem Forever” turned out to be, do not worry: I will not feature any of the shooter games starring Duke Nukem, since I am neither a fan of shooter games, nor a fan of the character of Duke Nukem, which gives me little to no incentive to cover those titles at all. If you really want to hear more about those games, feel free to give one of my all-time favorite Youtubers in form of LGR a visit, who plays these games with what I would almost call religious fervor. Instead, I will feature the humble beginnings of the blond alien fighter in the first ever game he was featured in.

No one could have seen what route the “Duke Nukem” franchise would go down in future titles when looking at the very first game that was released way back in 1991. Being a DOS-platformer, there is little of … well, anything that is associated with either Duke or the games he is in nowadays. Not even the characteristic sun glasses are available during his first outing the the early 90s. But enough of what the game is not, let us talk about what it is. “Duke Nukem I” is a short but fun platformer in which you navigate through two-dimensional levels to find the exit and, at the end of every episode, fight against the boss in form of Dr. Proton. The fact that a character with the last name Nukem has to fight against the evil villain named Proton is certainly something to roll your eyeballs for, but it very much aligned with the style of video games during the 90s.

The evil Dr. Proton, who wants to destroy the earth and is to be stopped by Duke Nukem. Even hiding on the moon and in the future does not help him achieve his goals.

The gameplay is simple: Move Duke with the arrow keys, Alt is fire, Ctrl is jump. That’s it. Your goal? Stop Dr. Proton. You do this by navigating through the levels, shooting the various mechanical minions the good doctor built while often needing to find colored keys to open certain doors. Aside from keys, you can also find grapple claws to grap and traverse certain ceilings, jump boots to boost your jump height, both a keycard and a mechanical glove that also just open certain doors and pathways, and additional guns. Now, if you think that you would have a variety of weaponry like in later platformers such as “Jazz Jackrabbit” or even this game’s followup “Duke Nukem II”, think again. You only ever fire a projectile that resembles some zig-zag energy beam, and those additional weapon pickups only increase the firerate of said laser weapon. On top of seeing what items you picked up so far, the game provides two further stats to keep track off: The score, which might be important if you want to get the most points and lead the scoreboard (It was basically an addition to any game of that era), and the health bar, which has eight slots but is nice enough to give you one extra point to work with at zero health.

Monitors are the only “story” elements in the game, as they always feature Dr. Proton giving some one-liner when Duke enters the room.

The levels normally have a small puzzle element to them, in which you need to find the right way through by finding the correct way or gathering the items to clear the path. But “Duke Nukem I” is not particularly difficult: While the levels sometimes might not make it clear where you have to go (especially in Episode 3), you should find your way around after a small search, and the health bar is plenty to work with if you do not simply run into enemies willy-nilly. Talking about the levels, this is one of the games that was available via the shareware model: Back in the day, you could simply gain the first episode for free to wet the palate, and then order the remaining levels from a retailer. Episode 1 is “Shrapnel City” and features Duke’s stay on Earth, the second episode is called “Mission: Moonbase” and forces Duke to follow Dr. Proton to his moonbase to stop his evil plans, and the final episode in form of “Episode 3: Trapped in the Future” features Duke Nukem travelling through time to end Dr. Proton’s schemes once and for all.

While the first few levels introduce new mechanics and interesting game ideas in a natural way, you might begin to notice shortcomings in the third episode … for example in ugly level design as seen above.

The end of each episode consists of a boss fight against Dr. Proton, but those leave a lot to be desired. Dr. Proton will simply fly back and forth, trying to hit you with his M.O.D.O.K.-styled anti-gravity chair, and while I remember him being able to shoot in the later episodes, you can basically always stay in cover, jump up when he flies by, and give him some pot shots until he is defeated. And it is not even that much of a time investment to see such a boss fight happening; the entire game can be easily finished in around three to five hours.

I will be honest: I would not recommend playing “Duke Nukem I” today. There are so many better platformers even if you only look at titles from the 90s that I would say it is not worth the time investment. For anyone who is still interested though: The game was sold on Steam a while back for 5€, but was pulled from the store for some ownership reasons, if I recall that correctly. However, the game is so old that anyone who is actually interested in playing it should be able to download it from the internet for free or even simply play it in-browser. You do not even need to pirate anything for a glimpse at the old Duke, since Episode 1 is shareware since 1991, as I have mentioned earlier.

The Videogame Corner: Borderlands the Pre-Sequel

Welcome to part three of the Borderlands reviews on Cubic Creativity. Last time, we talked about the story of the new Vault Hunters that have to stop the big bad evil in form of Handsome Jack from doing all the evil deeds that he inevitably does. However, when I talked about “Borderlands 2”, I already hinted at the fact that Handsome Jack was not just Jack, but John, a coorporate employee of Hyperion, at some point in the past. No evil agenda or grand scheme was planed yet; in fact, the only thing this past Jack was thinking about was to keep the lives of innocent people protected, which in his case meant stopping the military force storming the Helios Moonbase from using its laser willy-nilly. But I am getting ahead of myself, so let us start at the beginning:

The Land among the Stars

Even Handsome Jack started as a small corporate lackey with too many problems and a fist in his face.

With the story of “Borderlands” behind us and the occurances during “Borderlands 2” still yet to come, we the players find ourselves at the Helios Moonbase, which is going to gain quite significant plot relevance in the story of “Borderlands 2”. You play as a mercenary that was ordered by a Hyperion employee named Jack, who is in over his head with the military force that currently tries to take control over the Moonbase and therefore might cost Jack’s career as well as thousands of innocent lives. Jack cannot have that, and this is where you come in: Wake up, ready your weapon and fire at the opposition. But wait, are we playing the legendary Vault Hunters to save Jack from distress? No, but we have various other psychopaths to choose from: Athena the Gladiator might be ringing some bells with anyone who played “The Secret Armory of General Knoxx” DLC from the first installment, since she was a major plot character for the storyline there. In the Pre-Sequel, she can be played for the first time and allows for some elemental shenanigans with her shield, which she can throw like Captain America. Another well-known character you can choose in the game is Claptrap, who takes the overall sillyness of the game franchise and puts it into game mechanics, with random action skills that are not always beneficial, asking teammates of high-fives to give boosts to others or himself, or drawing aggro from enemies when lying on the floor since the enemies cannot help themselves and simply have to “kick him while he’s down”. Talking about enemies, since you play the characters that later make up the opposition during “Borderlands 2”, you also have the option of playing some bosses: Wilhelm, who you probably only know as a huge machine, starts of rather human during the story of the Pre-Sequel and enhances himself with implants and augmentations which slowly make him more machine than man. Nisha the Lawbringer is also a familiar face, albeit an opposing one: She is sheriff of Lynchwood, the western-inspired city that I featured with a screenshot in the “Borderlands 2” article and wields her hot irons with deadly accuracy. There are also two DLC characters: You can play as Jack himself, except you do not play Jack but a sad soul named Timothy who has made into one of many Jack clones in order to make the real Jack a harder target to kill. He does have doppelgangers to work with and otherwise gains boosts regarding Jack’s role as the self-perceived hero and working with sales-based skills like gaining more gun damage whenever he collects money. The last DLC character is Lady Hammerlock, the sister of Sir Hammerlock, who would probably give his life if he knew that it would cause eternal suffering for his sister and who in-game uses a sniper approach and interacts with ice-based skills.

The four basegame characters, all willing to aim their guns at the opposition … as long as Jack manages to pay. (Source:

You choose one of this jolly crew of misfits, then meet up with Jack to get the situation under control. It turns out that said situation is really dire, with the attacking army even being supported by a Guardian creature for some reason and a signal showing that there is further interference from the nearby moon, Alpis. So, Jack hatches a plan which involves shooting you to the moon using the so-called “Moonshot Cannon” to work things out from there while he stays behind to fight against the emerging threat to the best of his ability. And while this moon-shooting business serves as the transition into the last part of the tutorial, it also introduces the world we are going to move in. Alpis is different from Pandora not only in flora and fauna, but also literally in atmosphere: Unless there is a machine that provides breathable air, there is not going to be any. However, the people of Alpis are aware of this tiny problem, and therefore have Oz-kits, which form a bubble of air around your head that gives a limited supply of breathable air while also functioning as a movement multitool. Since the gravitation on Alpis is way lower than that of Pandora, you are able to jump fairly high, and with the help of those Oz-kits you can go into a floating state that serves as both your double jump as well as a way to get over huge crevaces. Furthermore, while in the air you can use these movement tools to perform a stomp attack which can have various additional effects depending on what bonuses your Oz-kit provides which can range from the usual elemental tomfoolery to killing the air reserves of human enemies. But if you now fear sizeable changes to your “Borderlands” experience, rest assured for there is lots of the gun-blasting and loot-shooting action we know and love from the franchise.

A Glimpse at Things to come

“Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel” offers a some new things while also staying true to the tried and tested. The game offers players an arsenal of weapons to shoot the opposition with, featuring the usual pistols, revolvers, machine guns, SMGs, rocket launchers and sniper rifles, while also introducing laser weapons as another way to shoot first and ask questions later. Shields still work as additional life points that can grant various passives, grenades come in various shapes and sizes and can be used creatively to blow the opponents out of cover or to provide further damage certain situations, class mods can still amplify your abilities and differ from character to character, and the aforementioned Oz-kits are provide breathable air, additional movement tools and Mario’s stomp attack with a little more bang for the buck. That covers the gear, so lets us tal about skills: “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel” stays true to the three different skill trees that allow you to customize how your character plays. Let us take the playable Jack as an example: His skill trees are called “Hero of this Story”, “Greater Good” and “Free Enterprise”. The “Hero of this Story” skill tree improves both his fighting ability and that of his doppelganger “Digi-Jacks”, The “Greater Good” skill tree also increases the usefulness of you “Digi-Jacks”, but puts an emphasis on your allies getting damage or dying while you avoid damage. The “Free Enterprise” skill tree puts a focus on weapon switching, shooting guns from specific manufacturers and gaining money. While at some point in the game you will have enough points to spec into multiple skill trees, they all plays very differently and allow for diverse gameplay while also inviting experimentation; and this is true for all the characters you can choose.

The Helios Moonbase that we know and love from “Borderlands 2”. It still shoots lasers during the Pre-Sequel, but it is clearly not finished yet, as you can see from parts of it missing.

This arsenal of weapons and skills obviously does serve a purpose: To kill your enemies. And there are quite a few enemies to shoot and punch in the Pre-Sequel aswell: Humanoid enemies of both the bandit- and the soldier-variant appear plenty often. Both variants also have their own motor pool of vehicles, which allows them to attack the player via buggy or from the air by bringing Jet Fighters. “Guardians”, the weird monster race that normally appears to protect the vaults, are available and nastier than ever. And even some of the known fauna from “Borderlands 2” makes an appearance with one example being the “Stalkers”, which only really appear on Pandora during the second installment due to being shipped there in the Pre-Sequel. But there are also a few newcomers: New additions to the ecosystem are the “Kraggons”, which are either fire- or ice-elemental stone dinosaurs that can split into smaller versions of themselves when killed, the “Shuggurath” which are fleshy ballon-esque monsters that can shoot elemental beams at you while also serving as the hive to “Rathyd”, bat-like creatures with the same elemental as the hive they spawned from that will swoop in for attacks, and “Tork” which are armored insectoid creatures that appear in swarms and try to protect their queens against the mercenary threat.

All those enemies have to be housed somewhere, and this is where we talk about the world of “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel”. If you break the areas of the game down to the very core, there are two major areas you are going to find yourself in: The moon of Pandora called Alpis, and the Helios Moonbase. I was not over the moon (haha, pun) with the choice of areas, but what I do need to admit is that they seem to have learned from the biome approach in “Borderlands 2”: The areas are well-designed and believable, and you have a solid range of different environments to fight in, from cramped laboratories, over bumpy moon-surfaces, to fights against fighter spacecrafts in zero-atmosphere environments. The various quests you take do a solid job explaining you the world, and while they offer a decent amount of work for someone who has never played a “Borderlands” game before, there are various details that explains facts and even happenstances during “Borderlands 2”.

Your new Hyperion head-honcho: Handsome Jack. You can clap now.

Since we are already talking about quests: Jack made a smart investment in hiring you as the mercenary. He would have never gotten anywhere without the help of the rag-tag crew he assembled. Over the course of the game’s story, you not only recapture the Helios Moonbase from Colonel Zarpedon and Lost Legion lackeys, but also manage to get a military-grade AI to fit the newly-invested Constructor bots, you transform the army of Hyperion Worker Bots into the dangerous but expendable force it becomes in the second installment of the series, you help him rise to the top of Hyperion, solve various plots against him and not only equip him with helpful and dangerous technology all around, but in the end even manage to give him access to the game’s Vault, in which he gains the insight and information needed to even start his crusade against the Vault Hunters. And while you might now say that the characters of the Pre-Sequel are to blame for all the evil he does later in the story, I find the real culprits in the Vault Hunters and their supporting crew, which a special focus on Lilith and Moxie. True, there were signs that Jack has an … unstable personality, but the straw that broke the camel’s back came in form of the murder plot against Jack, after which he shifts his full attention and newly gained power fully at eradicating them from the face of Pandora. That is also the message that I think the developers wanted the players to take from it all: It could have been different, with Jack being a powerful but potentially benign entity, and that his evil side was only fueled by what happened during his rise to power.

There are also DLCs for “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel”, albeit not as many as for the other games:

  • “The Holodome Onslaught” is the standard arena wave-fighting mode add-on. The story is about a Vault that can only be opened by fighting the various enemies appearing in front of it, and is very much a shoe-horned story on top of a mode with little else to offer.
  • “Claptastic Voyage” is the only story-driven DLC in “The Pre-Sequel”. Tassiter, the (former) president of Hyperion, hid a code inside the last remaining Claptrap and Jack wants to have it. The mercenaries are therefore digitized to search for said code in the depths that are Claptrap’s coding, with various weird and memorable encounters to make and glitched weapons to be found.
One thing I had to include in the article: The gun grinder, hours of fun and the one thing we always raced to in order to be first to trash all the weapons we found.

“Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel” is a must-play title for anyone who liked “Borderlands 2”. There are guns to collect, enemies to shoot, sillyness to witness, and villains to be stopped; so pretty much all the boxes are ticked for maximum enjoyment. The game is not perfect: Some of the areas in the game are far too long and tedious like “Tycho’s Ribs”, some of the quests seem to be shoe-horned in for more content like “The Empty Billabong” and certain events in the game felt disappointing and felt me wanting more, like the boss fight against the “Raum-Kampfjet Mark V”; however, all of these points are entirely subjective, and while other people may find their own shortcomings in “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel”, I think most people will agree that the game is pretty good overall. On Steam, you can get the game for 39,99€, which I would not spend on it since all the “Borderlands” titles go on sale on a regular basis. At the time of writing this article, June 6th 2021, the game is on sale for 70% off, making the price an affordable 11,99€ and those sales are bound to happen again, which makes this installment of the “Borderlands” series an enjoyable time-waster that offers more of what the players liked in the first two games.