Now that the Adjusted List is in effect for Tier 2 yugioh events (Regionals, YCS, UDS, etc) is the Performapal deck with Pendulum Sorcerer still worth playing? The short answer is yes. Read on for the long answer.
There are a lot of Performapals to search for other than Monkeyboard and Skullcrobat Joker. And in Shining Victories, two more decent Performapals are coming out. Let’s take a look at the Pals played previously, the other good ones, and the two coming out.
Everyone knows about the trifecta of Monkeyboard, Pendulum Sorcerer and Skullcrobat Joker. Joker and Monkeyboard allow you to set up both scales with one card, then Pendulum Sorc destroys them to search more copies of Joker and Monkeyboard or the draw engine of Guitartle and Lizardraw. Guitartle and Lizardraw are still unlimited after the limiting of Monkeyboard and Joker, but does that make them better? Or worse? It depends on the other pendulum Pals you’re playing. Now that there isn’t a constant low scale in Monkeyboard, what will be the most common scales now? For the purpose Performapals we are going to try to Pendulum Summon Level 4 monsters, which means “low scale” is 3 or lower and “high scale” is 5 or higher.
The low scales
Ignoring the bad low scales, Partnaga is probably the best in the Pendulum Zone because it can give any monster you control at least 300 ATK. Normally the boost is between 600 and 1200. And you can target your monsters that aren’t Performapals, like Castel, Dire Wolf or whatever is attacking twice due to Trapeze Magician. The problems with Partnaga are that it’s Level 5 and it doesn’t generate any advantage. But Monkeyboard is the only low scale that can generate advantage, anyways. It is searchable off King Imps, which means Partnaga is probably a one-of in Pals now because it can be searched by King Imps, Sorcerer, Monkeyboard, Joker or Secondonkey.
Pendulum Sorcerer is played because of it’s amazing search effect, but it also has a pendulum effect. When you Pendulum Summon a Performapal, all your Pals gain 1000 ATK that turn. This can devolve into quick OTKs when your Level 4s with average ATK all gain 1000. If you Pendulum Summon a Pendulum Sorc and Joker that’s 5300 damage right there. Silver Claw boosts the damage to 9000 if it attacks first. The only problem with this effect is that you need to have multiple Pals with o-k ATK otherwise it’s pretty underwhelming.
Next up is Performapal Drummerilla. It’s another Level 5 low scale like Partnaga. But unlike Partnaga you can Normal Summon Drummerilla as a Level 4, but only if there are no monsters on the field. You usually want to Normal Summon the Joker, but since that’s limited it’s conceivable there would be situations in which you Normal Summon Drummerilla to make a Rank 4. Both its pendulum effect and second monster effect give 600 ATK to a battling monster you control. This could help you get over a Monarch, but Drummerilla’s main draw is that it works when your opponent attacks and that it works on any monster, not just Pals. You CAN make a Rank 5 with Drummerilla and Partnaga, but it’s not worth the Extra Deck space.
Turn Toad has seen some light play as an out to the Monarch + Domain lock by switching the ATK and DEF of the Monarch and then attacking over it with something more than 1000 ATK. Turn Toad is also Scale 3, which means it’s not useless and you can Pendulum Summon with it. Turn Toad doesn’t really bring anything else to Performapals, which is why it’s been sided at one copy. It being Level 2 means you can’t overlay with it into a Rank 4 and most of the time you won’t even be able to Pendulum Summon it to destroy it and search with Sorcerer. I think only one Turn Toad should be played, probably in the Side Deck. It doesn’t really do anything except against Monarchs or Ignister.
The last playable low scale is Camelump and mostly because it’s Level 4. In the Pendulum Zone Camelump targets a monster you control, then makes all monsters your opponent controls lose 800 DEF, and that target inflicts piercing battle damage. Not amazing by any means, but it is another low scale and another Level 4 to pad out your Pals. I wouldn’t play any, but it’s worth noting if something similar to Superheavy Samurai become meta, this is available.
Onto the high scales
Guitartle, Lizardraw, Luster Pendulum and Plushfire were the go to high scales before the Adjusted list. You could also place Skullcrobat in the Pendulum Zone in emergencies if you needed to. Now no more Plushfire, only one Luster Pendulum and only one Joker. So will Lizardraw and Guitartle be enough for high scales now? I think no.
Since you’re not going to play Joker in the Pendulum Zone, he doesn’t really count. Guitartle and Lizardraw are both good, but I don’t think they will support the whole deck, especially if Pendulum Sorcerer is destroying both scales every turn. I think 2-2 is the correct number of Guitartle and Lizardraw moving forward, but they can’t be the only high scales.
Silver Claw is the other high scale to play now. He’s also level 4 and a DARK monster meaning you can actually Pendulum Summon it to overlay with. And since it’s DARK you can make Key Beetle or Evilswarm Nightmare with Silver Claw. Both of its effects give your Performapals 300 ATK, meaning if Sorcerer is one scale and you Pendulum Summon two Sorcerer and Silver Claw that is 8700. 10200 damage if it’s three Silver Claw. I think two Silver Claws moving forward is best because in the worst case scenario it attacks for 2100 and is a Level 4.
The TCG gets Shining Victories on May 5 and with it come two new Performapals. Odd-Eyes Unicorn and Fireflux. I don’t think Performapal will take more hits on an official Forbidden & Limited list than it already took on the Adjusted list so it’s fairly safe to say Odd-Eyes Unicorn and Fireflux could be considered with the Adjusted list.
Fireflux is less interesting so let’s talk about that first. It’s Level 4, Scale 5 and has 1200 ATK and 1600 DEF. Its pendulum effect allows you to Tribute a Performapal, negate an attack and end the Battle Phase. You need a Pal to tribute, but it is pretty easy to leave just one Pal on your side of the field. After all, Silver Claw attacks at 2100 before any other Pals help it out. I think Silver Claw is better than Fireflux, but Fireflux is still an option that you shouldn’t close off yet.
Odd-Eyes Unicorn is much more interesting because it is an Odd-Eyes monster and a Performapal. Even though it’s Level 1, it is an unrestricted Scale 8. That means you can Pendulum Summon stuff like Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon, the Magicians and Apex Avian. When SHVI comes out I would probably play Sky Iris, Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and Odd-Eyes Unicorn together. And besides being super searchable, Odd-Eyes Unicorn has an interesting pendulum effect. Once, while it’s in your Pendulum Zone when an Odd-Eyes declares an attack you can have it gain ATK equal to a Performapal you control. If you have Unicorn and Sorcerer as scales and you Pendulum Summon Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and Silver Claw, that means Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon will be attacking for at least 5600. And don’t forget it doubles any battle damage it inflicts over a monster. Unicorn just opens up a lot of options that may not be optimal, but are still an option. Don’t count it out yet.
Sorcerer can also search Secondonkey and Helpprincess. Both are Level 4, but Secondonkey searches any Pal when it’s Normal or Special Summoned if you have two scales, while Helpprincess is like a Performapal Kagetokate. Secondonkey helps pick up a little slack that Monkeyboard and Joker left while Helpprincess just facilitates more Rank 4s along the way.
As of now, those are the only playable Performapals, and without the Performages it will be interesting to see where the circus travels to next. And now there is no reason to play the clowns, so the main act is all on Sorcerer. The Magicians might see play with the Pals, but it’s too early to say anything now. Even though Luster Pendulum is limited, Draco Face-Off, Vector and Master are all unlimited. Additionally, the DARK engine of Armageddon Knight, Shaddoll Dragon and Zephyros is still viable.
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