Master Duel Festivals are back! After a break from the Loaner Decks due to the Ranked Link event, we return to the known formula. The Anti Spell Festival provides you with 3 Loaner Decks that you can freely play and earn Medals with. As the event's name suggests, no Spells are allowed, which means that the Loaners this time around can't all coincide with the theme of the new Selection Pack, but instead turn to some recent Trap archetypes. We'll go through each Deck and point out the main strategies to guide you to victory!
Overlord of the Four Dimension Dragons
Pendulums make a repeated appearance for the Loaner selection. Though this time we aren't constrained to only XYZ and Synchro Extra Deck Monsters. Our new goal is to Summon Supreme King Z-ARC, which, in true anime card fashion, is a huge 4,000 ATK/DEF beefstick. Keep in mind that Pendulum Monsters actually count as Spells when placed in the Scales (Also known as Pendulum Zone), but avoid the banlist restriction. There's still a portion of effects in this list that fall flat without actual Spells, as we'll show.
Summoning Z-ARC - Is It Even Useful?
Along with its stats, Supreme King Z-ARC also has protection against targeting and destruction effects. Unfortunately, there's a few cards that can deal with it. Notably, Ice Dragon's Prison is a non-targeting banish, which is a popular staple and is even used by all Loaner Decks. But before we get too into the downsides, let's summarize Z-ARC and all the surrounding cards.
- Supreme King Z-ARC - When Summoned, it blows up the opponent's field. It also Summons another Supreme Dragon if it destroys something in battle. The Pendulum effect is where it gets interesting: You can place it in the Scale after it was destroyed by your opponent. As long as it is placed there, your opponent cannot activate Fusion, Synchro, or XYZ Monster effects. Also, each turn, it lets you destroy a card they searched.
- Astrograph Sorcerer - This is our ticket to Fusion Summon without a Spell. But it does far more than that, as the materials needed are a lot easier to come by than 4 Dragons, of which 3 have to come out of the Extra Deck. Instead, you need to assemble the Pendulum Magicians. All of them have some utility effects and are treated by the required names to be used as Fusion Material:
- The Supreme King's Soul - This one's... awkward. The new Trap lets you temporarily Summon the Fusion, but its effects are negated. It works directly on its own by paying half your LP, but the main use lies in the second part: When your opponent activates a Spell Card or effect, you can replace it with the materials that actually have effects. Well, no Spells in this event means no consistent way of activating this. The only chance you have is when your opponent activates a Pendulum Card or effect. But even in that case, the Loaner doesn't run the good targets that would make it really worth. We are missing impactful cards like Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, or Starving Venom Predapower Fusion Dragon. All in all, this card just blocks attacks on the opponent's turn and then gives you the chance to retaliate, before the fleeting Dragon disappears.
Do What Pendulum Does Best
In case you are unaware, the Pendulum Summon mechanic in its basic form relies on the two Scales you can set in you outer Spell & Trap zones. We ideally want to set up two Scales that cover a large range of Levels to Summon. For example, Supreme King Gate Zero has a 0 Scale, while Supreme King Gate Infinity has 13. That means you can Summon every Level in between from you hand or face up Extra Deck, which is 1 through 12.
You should always keep in mind which two Scales you want to set up. It's easy to jam you own Scales - if you place two Pendulums that don't cover a wide range, you don't get to Pendulum Summon anything and are stuck like that unless you find a way to remove them. To ensure your plays to get started here's some cards that help find the right Pendulum Monster:
- Performapal Skullcrobat Joker - On Normal Summon, lets you search most of your Monsters. Either pick a Magician to compliment your scale, or a big Odd-Eyes if you're already on the offense.
- Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm - At the restriction of only Summoning DARK Monsters, it lets you place a Supreme King Gate in your other Pendulum Zone. So it's your choice of 0 - 5 or 5 - 13.
- Odd-Eyes Revolution Dragon - Besides being a great board/GY clear you can Summon thanks to your scales going all the way up to 13, Revolution Dragon can also be discarded to fetch you another Dragon Pendulum. Turns out it can even search your searcher: Darkwurm. How convenient!
From there on out, your goal is to grind out an advantage with your repeated Pendulum Summons. As already mentioned, try to keep your GY empty if possible, to dodge a devastating Ice Dragon's Prison. Banished Pendulum Monsters don't return to the Extra Deck, and Z-ARC isn't a fan of that either. To further secure your board, there's Time Pendulumgraph, which at least provides targeting Trap protection for your Spellcasters.
One last important card we haven't mentioned yet is Beyond the Pendulum. The effect itself is more than ideal, but you'd want to Summon it before a Pendulum Summon. To accomplish that, there would need to be some other way of establishing materials, which this list struggles with. As it stands, it's more like a second wind you can go into when there's leftover Monsters. Your own Ice Dragon's Prison might just be the simplest way to find more materials.
Evolved New Dinosaur Species
Dinosaurs are the clear winner for this event's Loaners. The list itself is split into Dinomorphia, consisting of 2 Main Deck Monster, a pair of Extra Deck Monsters, and a varied lineup of Traps that cost half of you LP to activate. What gets the deck really going is the selection of powerful generic Dinosaurs, capable of deciding games on their own.
Continuing the overview we mentioned above, there's 10 unique Dinomorphia cards in total, 6 of which are Traps. Without the archetypal Monsters present on field/GY, most of them don't work. That means we've got some potential dead draws on our hands, especially since only one of the two Main Deck Monsters is a good starting play:
- Dinomorphia Therizia - On Summon, lets you Set a Dinomorphia Trap from your deck. Also gains 500 ATK if your LP are 2000 or lower
- Dinomorphia Diplos - On Summon lets you send a Dinomorphia Trap from your deck to the GY. Also inflicts 500 damage if your LP are 2000 or lower.
The way the Traps necessitate one of them makes you glad to draw either, but Therizia is clearly better than Diplos. Both have an additional effect of Summoning the other from the GY when they are destroyed. It comes up sometimes, since your own Traps require their destruction at times. That way Diplos can at least resurrect Therizia later on to give some extra benefit.
Next up, let's go over the Traps themselves:
- Dinomorphia Domain - Fusion Summon a Dinomorphia by using Monsters from your hand, Deck, or field.
- Dinomorphia Alert - Summons up to 2 Dinomorphia from your GY that have a total of 8 or less Levels. You can't attack with them, nor Summon non-Dinomorphia Monsters for the rest of the turn.
- Dinomorphia Brute - Destroy a Dinomorphia Monster you control and an opponent's card.
- Dinomorphia Shell - Summons a 3,000 DEF Token during the opponent's Battle Phase, which redirects all attacks for that turn.
- Dinomorphia Sonic - Negates the activation of a Spell/Trap. You must control a Dinomorphia and destroy it afterwards.
- Dinomorphia Reversion - While you control a Dinomorphia Fusion, you can copy the effect of a Counter Trap in you GY by banishing it.
We didn't repeat for each one individually, but all come with the cost of paying half your remaining LP. Another aspect is the prevention from taking any damage, once you are at 2,000 LP or less. To take effect, they have to be banished from the GY, and are split into blocking Battle Damage or Effect Damage, which makes these effects look quite bloated. The Trap that stands out the most is Domain, which works without a setup and counts as a third way to get a Dinomorphia on field.
Last, but not least, the Fusion:
- Dinomorphia Kentregina - Has 4,000 ATK, but loses ATK based on how much LP you have left. Can copy the effect of a Normal Dinomorphia Trap in your GY as a quick effect, by banishing it and paying half you LP as cost.
- Dinomorphia Stealthbergia - While at 2,000 LP or less, you don't have to pay LP for Traps or Dinomorphia Monster effects. In response to an opponent's Monster effect, you can inflict damage equal to the Monster's ATK.
Both have their place in the deck, but getting started you'll often want to go with Kentregina to get an advantage. Once you activate her quick effect to copy the Domain you used before, you'll have the pair on the field. The Fusions also Summon a Level 4 Dinomorphia from the GY if destroyed. That means you can bring back Therizia, set a Domain, and start all over again!
Good Old Dinos
What's great about generic Dinos is that they speak to our Caveman instincts. Simple. Big numbers.
- Souleating Oviraptor - On Summon, searches a Dino or sends it to the GY. Can destroy another Dino on the field to Summon a Dino from your GY.
- Ultimate Conductor Tyranno - Can be Summoned from your hand by banishing 2 Dinosaurs from your GY. By destroying a Monster in your hand or field, you can set all the opponent's Monsters face-down as a quick effect. Can attack all Monsters the opponent controls, and send defense position Monsters to the GY, while inflicting 1000 damage.
- Babycerasaurus & Petiteranodon - Want to be destroyed by Oviraptor or Tyranno to Summon Dinos from the Deck.
- Miscellaneousaurus - Can be discarded to protect your Dinos from card effects for the rest of this Main Phase. Also lets you banish itself and other Dinos from your GY to Summon one from your Deck with a Level equaling the banished amount of Monsters.
- Giant Rex - Benefits from the GY banish effects of Miscellaneousaurus and Tyranno.
- Dinowrestler Pankratops - Summons itself from hand if your opponent controls more Monsters. Can also tribute itself as quick effect to target and destroy a card the opponent controls.
There's not much to add here. When things add up you can Summon up a storm of Dinosaurs and easily overwhelm the opponent. The fact that there's two semi-limited cards should be proof enough of their strength. There's usually no real need to play such a high amount of the baby dinos, but the lack of Lost World seems to have been compensated that way.
From best to worst in one swoop. Amazement Monster and Attraction Traps are the kind of deck that gets needlessly complicated, but doesn't have the payoff to warrant it. Basically, Attraction Traps can be equipped and either give you an advantage, or harm the opponent, depending on which side the Monster is on that it's equipped to. Having to keep track of these dual effects and switching shenanigans is quite the mental workout.
The archetype is about the size of Dinomorphia, and therefore also needed filler. This time around it's in the form of the unrelated (but equally low power) Performage Monsters.
The Monsters are all reliant on the Traps to make plays. The three small ones swap things around and cycle the Traps, while Arlekino acts as the boss Monster that ties it all together.
- Amazement Ambassador Bufo - On Summon, equips an Attraction from your GY to an opponent's Monster. Can equip an already activated Attraction to a new target as quick effect.
- Amazement Attendant Comica - On Summon, sets an Attraction from your Deck. Can equip an already activated Attraction to a new target as quick effect.
- Amazement Assistant Delia - Summons itself from hand by revealing an Attraction in hand. You can send an Attraction from hand or field to the GY to replace it with another from the Deck.
- Amazement Administrator Arlekino - Can Summon itself from hand if a Trap has been activated. If your opponent Summons a Monster, you can equip an Attraction from your deck to it. On your turn, you can banish Attractions from your GY to target and destroy that many cards the opponent controls.
There might be some hope left for these, as their own effects don't convey much without knowing how good the actual Attraction Traps are. At least in a meta where Traps are all over the place, you can be sure to get Arlekino out whenever you need to.
Putting the "Action" in "Attraction"
Let's be real here. We could go over what all these fun-looking cards do, but the reality of the situation is that they all do something so minor, that it's not worth going into detail for. Even if you can establish lots of Traps, there's no guarantee that the Monster they are equipped to will even stay on field. With the fast pace of Yugioh, Monsters are used for some Summon every other turn, so your precious toys get removed without a warning.
Let's take Rapid Racing for example. When you have it equipped, you can interrupt the opponent by shuffling away a card in their GY. When an opponent has it equipped, you can change its position and increase its Level. That's like attempting to fight off a wildfire with a water gun. Another point Rapid Racing demonstrates, is the lack of interactions with Link Monsters. Wonder Wheel has the same issue.
For the Extra Deck, there's some hope with Time Thief Redoer. Your chances of stealing a Trap and enabling its shuffle effect aren't too bad, and the Performages can help you, seeing how they are best used as Rank 4 Summon fodder. Unfortunately, the selection of good XYZ Monsters is limited, as the Extra Deck had to be cluttered with not one, not two, but three Rank 7s, when the only Level 7 is Arlekino, which you'd rather keep on field than waste for some random Number 74: Master of Blades.
Which Loaner Deck is your favorite? Are you gonna use them for the event? Let us know down in the comments!