Metalfoes are one of the best strategies in the OCG, right up there with ABC-Dragon Buster and D/D’s. We got our first taste of Metalfoes in The Dark Illusion, but even more will arrive when Invasion: Vengeance drops in November. By the time that set hits, I fully expect Metalfoes to be the best Pendulum deck available. But even without the new support, Metalfoes can still do a lot of the things that make it so powerful in Asian metagames. And with Performapal Monkeyboard getting hit on the new F&L List, I’m eager to delve into another Pendulum strategy.
So what makes Metalfoes so good? One factor is that they try to abuse a type of summoning that synergizes well with Pendulums: Fusion Summons. Fusion Summons and Synchro Summons are both awesome with your Pendulums, because they let you fill your Extra Deck while producing on-field results. While Xyz Summoning is easy, it effectively wastes your Pendulum Monsters, because rather than going to the Extra Deck they wind up going to your graveyard. Any strategy that tries to abuse two synergistic types of summoning is probably doing something right, and the potential could just be broken.
Metalfoes cards are pretty easy to understand – all of the monsters are practically the same. They vary in Level, but they’re all Fire Psychic Normal Pendulums. They each have the same Pendulum effect too, which lets you destroy another face-up card to set a Metalfoes spell or trap from your deck once per turn. That’s fantastic. Not only does it let you play the lowest number of themed spells and traps possible, but it gives you a form of card advantage when combined with other Pendulums. Destroying a Pendulum is hardly a minus since it just goes to your Extra Deck. It’s also an obvious form of card selection, which will help you combo off and makes the entire deck more consistent.
There are three Metalfoes support cards to choose from and the first is by far the most important: Metalfoes Fusion. It’s a pretty straightforward Polymerization for Metalfoes, but it has the upside of a second effect when it’s in the grave: you can shuffle it back from your graveyard to draw a card, which is just crazy to me. It has applications outside of just Metalfoes, since you can discard it for whatever and immediately replace it with a fresh draw. Regardless of that, recycling Metalfoes Fusion is obviously great because not only do you get an extra draw every time you use it, but you can get away with running fewer copies than you would any other Fusion Spell; it just keeps recycling itself.
The two Metalfoes traps are a bit weaker, but they’re still must-plays just because of that easy Metalfoes card selection, and since you want multiple cards to search so you can use more than one Metalfoes effect per turn. Metalfoes Counter lets you Special Summon a Metalfoes from your deck whenever a card you control is destroyed, and you can banish it from the graveyard to get back a Metalfoes Pendulum from your Extra Deck.
Metalfoes Combination is also solid, a Continuous Trap that allows you to Special Summon a Metalfoes from your grave whenever you Fusion Summon as long as it has a lower level than the Fusion Monster. If its sent from the field to the grave you can also search a Metalfoes from your deck, giving it resilience and potential combos with your Metalfoes.
The last Metalfoes are the Fusions. There are three, each with different summoning requirements, and two of them don’t even have effects. Metalfoes Adamante is a Level 5 with 2500 ATK and DEF, requiring a Metalfoes monster plus anything with 2500 ATK or less as Fusion Materials. Metalfoes Crimsonite Level 9 with 3000 ATK and DEF that needs a Metalfoes and two monsters with 3000 ATK or less.
Finally, Metalfoes Orichalc is Level 8 with 2800 ATK and 2200 DEF, fusing just two Metalfoes. It has a solid effect, granting all Metalfoes double piercing damage when they battle Defense Position monsters. When it’s sent from the field to the graveyard it also blows up a card on the field. While the Metalfoes Fusions aren’t great at creating card advantage with their effects, they do have a ton of ATK that can help you end the Duel.
That said, the coolest thing about Metalfoes might not be their Fusion Summons at all.
Synchro Summoning with Pendulums is bonkers, and if you’ve ever had someone summon Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer against you then I’m sure you understand. Tuning with Pendulums is just as good as fusing because you get to fill your Extra Deck; it doesn’t cost you as many resources as normal because you can just Pendulum Summon all those cards back later. There are several ways you can incorporate Synchro Summoning into Metalfoes, but there’s one method that accomplish a lot while asking very little.
Metalfoes are such a powerful strategy in part because they get to abuse one of the greatest Synchros ever: Ultimaya Tzolkin. The key is Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow. You can Special Summon Gofu as long as you control no monsters, and when you do it produces two Vague Shadow Tokens. They can’t be tributed or used for Synchro Material…but that won’t stop you from using them as Fusion Materials!
You can fuse a Vague Shadow Token and a Metalfoes monster to Fusion Summon the Level 5 Metalfoes Adamante, and because Gofu’s conveniently a Tuner, you can put them both in the yard to summon Ultimaya Tzolkin. If you’re worried about triggering its effect fret not, because Metalfoes are also conveniently good at setting cards from their deck. That triggers Tzolkin to summon Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon every time.
You can make other power plays with Gofu as well: Tune it with Metalfoes Silverd or Metalfoes Steelen for a Level 7 or Level 8 Synchro, and just use the tokens for a Fusion Summon to bring out a ton of damage and end the duel. Gofu allows for so many explosive plays, and if I wanted to bring Metalfoes to a tournament, this is what I’d use:
Metalfoes – 40 Cards
3 Metalfoes Volflame
3 Metalfoes Steelen
3 Metalfoes Goldriver
3 Metalfoes Silverd
3 Archfiend Eccentrick
3 Majespecter Raccoon – Bunbuku
3 Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow
2 Maxx “C”
1 Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin
1 Luster Pendulum , the Dracoslayer
1 Rescue Rabbit
3 Pot of Desires
3 Painful Decision
2 Metalfoes Fusion
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Upstart Goblin
1 Metalfoes Counter
1 Metalfoes Combination
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
Extra Deck: 15
1 Metalfoes Crimsonite
2 Metalfoes Orichalc
2 Metalfoes Adamante
1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
1 PSY-Framelord Omega
1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Void Ogre Dragon
1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
1 Ultimaya Tzolkin
1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
1 Number 61: Volcasaurus
1 Shark Fortress
1 The Phantom Knights of Breaksword
This deck is pretty straightforward; I just want to max out on all the cards I think are really important while making sure to include the various searchables and other power cards the deck runs. Painful Decision’s especially sweet because you can search for a low or high Pendulum Scale, but it also acts as an additional Pendulum Monster so you can guarantee that you go off.
The Majespecter engine seems way too good not to use in just about every Pendulum list. Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin is really strong and it’s indisputably one of the best ways to fight Burning Abyss. Similarly, Archfiend Eccentrick is just a very good Pendulum. It can fill multiple roles and it answers anything that can cause problems for you, so it’s just really nice to have.
While I don’t think Mystical Space Typhoon is really the best spell and trap removal available, this is one of the few strategies where I’d want to play it. Normally I think Cosmic Cyclone and Twin Twisters are a strict upgrade, but because you can potentially destroy your own cards – stuff like Metalfoes Combination or one of your Pendulums – to do more stuff, I think Mystical Space Typhoon gets the nod here.
Some Duelists have even tried combining Metalfoes with other themes to go even deeper. Anytime your Metalfoes Pendulum effect can synergize with another strategy it’s worth looking into, so anything that benefits from being destroyed is on the table. There are two interesting directions you can go, the first being Kozmos.
Kozmotown interacts pretty well with all of the Metalfoes; not only does it let you shuffle back any Kozmos you’ve drawn to find better cards, when you destroy it you get to search a Kozmo to your hand. You can set up huge Pendulum Summons to put a bunch of Kozmos into play, and there are a ton of things you can do from there.
Kozmo Sliprider’s awesome because it can act as a Level 5 Material for Fusions and Sychros, while also destroying a spell or trap that could be your own and to your benefit. Even just dumping out a ton of damage is probably enough, but if you can get a Kozmo into play you can destroy it with your Metalfoes to search a bunch of cards practically for free. Each Kozmo ship can just get a smaller one, and then you can start again with Kozmo Strawman reviving whichever ship was the largest.
Yang Zings are an even more powerful option. If you open with one Metalfoes Pendulum Monster and three Yang Zing cards you have the combo as long as you can Normal Summon one of the Yang Zings. There are a lot of possibilities, but the standard finish with just those cards is Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy, Herald of the Arc Light, and Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing. That’s obviously absurd, and since there are so many interchangeable cards in the combo, you’re very likely to open with it thanks to your high redundancy.
There are also a ton of cards that can act as extenders to make your field even bigger. For example, if you draw two Metalfoes you can end with a couple extra cards, or if you have Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing things can get super crazy.
The strategy can also make a lot of powerful plays even if you don’t have your ideal opening; it feels very similar to Fire King Kozmos to me. The biggest issue with the strategy is that you totally fold to a lot of hand traps. Maxx “C” can hurt pretty bad, Jiaotu, Darkness of the Yang Zing is very vulnerable to Effect Veiler, and even Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit can do some damage to you.
Metalfoes are a super fun Pendulum theme that I really liked. With so many options and a ton of great support coming out soon, I don’t think I’ll put them down for a while. What do you think of Metalfoes, and which version of the deck is your favorite?