More Bang For Your Buck: Performapals

Loukas Peterson

3/1/2017 11:00:00 AM

It always amazes me when someone gets really stoked about a deck only to completely abandon the idea when they find they're missing one or two cards for it.

Sure, it probably wouldn't be the smartest idea to attempt a Blue-Eyes White Dragon deck with only one Blue-Eyes, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater when you're making your deck. I once had a friend completely swap strategies because he didn't have an Upstart Goblin.

Thanks to reprints in… ok, I'm not going to list out all the sets where we've seen reprints of once-expensive cards… but everything from Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer to Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer is collectively less expensive than a pack of Hot Pockets these days. Months ago, the deck below may have cost you an arm and a leg. But not anymore!

Not it maybe costs a toe and a finger. Check it out.

    Performapals Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Gem-Knight Lazuli
2 Jigabyte
1 Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
1 Masked Chameleon
2 Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
1 Performage Trick Clown
2 Performapal Dag Daggerman
2 Performapal Guitartle
3 Performapal Lizardraw
1 Performapal Partnaga
3 Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer
1 Performapal Radish Horse
3 Performapal Secondonkey
1 Performapal Skullcrobat Joker
1 Performapal Springoose
3 Star Drawing
1 X-Saber Palomuro
Monsters [29]
3 Brilliant Fusion
2 Dark Hole
1 Igknight Reload
3 Instant Fusion
1 Soul Charge
Spells [10]
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
Traps [1]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
2 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
1 Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
2 King of the Feral Imps
1 Majester Paladin, the Ascending Dracoslayer
1 Naturia Beast
1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
Extra Deck [15]

Sure, this build may be missing some of the bells and whistles like Pot of Desires and Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, as well as some of the new hotness like the Zoodiac monsters, but a lot of the most important cards for Performapals are a dime a dozen.

Feel free to go crazy with your cheap cards.

Dante, But With More Hats
You may have noticed a resemblance between Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss and Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer, but there's also a striking resemblance between those two monsters and Raremetalfoes Bismugear.

Are the three some cross-themed set of triplets? Perhaps clones? I'll leave the speculation of what that means to the conspiracy theorists out there, but my point is that our Dante-in-disguise in the main powerhouse of today's deck - and for good reason. When you Special Summon it, which you'll chiefly do via Pendulum Summoning, you'll pop two of your cards and search any other Performapal monsters you want. If only it could search Performapal spells, too.

With a large core of the good Performapals being Level 4 or having a Scale that's not 4, the deck is really good at making consistent Summons across a broad spectrum of possibilities. And with Performapal Guitartle and Performapal Lizardraw, you'll be speeding through your deck. The stellar play sequence is to first activate Performapal Guitartle and then subsequently destroy the Lizardraw. If you can do that, then congrats, you've just channeled the power of Pot of Greed.

But there are lots of other Performapals that wind up being worth far more on the table than their 12-cent price point would suggest. Performapal Dag Daggerman is one of the newest Performapal monsters; fresh from Raging Tempest, I'm not sure if I should call it under the radar since no one's really playing Performapals as a standalone strategy anyways.

Performapal Dag Daggerman's monster effect refuels your hand like a sort of Performapal-specific Dark World Dealings, but its Pendulum effect is the one we're really concerned with. In short, Xyz aren't as costly; the turn you play Dag Daggerman, you can get a Performapal back from your graveyard to your hand. With such an importance placed on an early King of the Feral Imps, you may be forced to use a Pendulum Magician as an Xyz Material on Turn 1. In that sort of situation, Dag Daggerman gets it right back to your hand.

 Performapal Dag Daggerman
Performapal Dag Daggerman127249
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN003
Level 5
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2000 / 600
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect: During your Main Phase, if this card was activated this turn: You can target 1 "Performapal" monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Performapal Dag Daggerman" once per turn.
Monster Effect: During your Main Phase, if this card was Pendulum Summoned this turn: You can send 1 "Performapal" monster from your hand to the Graveyard; draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Performapal Dag Daggerman" once per turn.

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Other Performapal monsters fill niche roles like boosting ATK or protecting your Life Points. Fortunately you have more than just Performapal Pendulum Magician to search out your other monsters. Performapal Skullcrobat Joker's an obvious shoe-in, but Performapal Secondonkey's another powerful searcher if you have Pendulum scales in place. If you don't have both your scales, Secondonkey yards a Performapal instead, which may seem underwhelming.

That said, remember Dag Daggerman? Combined with Secondonkey, you'll have full scales right then and there! I typically search a Performapal Lizardraw to end by drawing a card, but with so many choices your best option will depend on the rest of your hand.

Xyz And Fusions And Synchros, Oh My!
It's hardly fitting to say Synchros take up a large portion of the Extra Deck since I'm only playing Naturia Beast and Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer, but both are insanely powerful as preventative and proactive measures. Sure, there are other Synchros you can play if you're leaning towards that kind of monster, but King of the Feral Imps searches the Level 1 Earth Tuner X-Saber Palomuro, so Naturia Beast's a must-have.

With Secondonkey, Performapal Pendulum Magician, and Star Drawing, you have more than enough Earth monsters to fulfill Naturia Beast's requirements. And with all the Pendulum monsters and the searchable Masked Chameleon, Ignister's just as easy.

Speaking of Star Drawing, it's the non-Performapal way to gain card economy. Look at it this way: with Performapal Guitartle, Performapal Lizardraw, Star Drawing, Performapal Dag Daggerman, Performapal Secondonkey, and Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer, you can draw and add three cards to your hand in just one turn!

If you're playing against a Pendulum Deck or anything that relies on spells, you'll have a good chance of making a Naturia Beast on Turn 1. Otherwise you could make a field of Traptrix Rafflesia and multiple Xyz for a strong opening setup. Either way, you can follow up by swarming your opponent with a bunch of Xyz a turn later. I actually played Number 61: Volcasaurus for a while since Star Drawing can be a Level 5 as well, so feel free to play harder into a Rank 5 toolbox. You have plenty of extra cash to throw around since the core build is so affordable.

Thanks to the huge tumble these cards took on the secondary market, cards like Instant Fusion and Brilliant Fusion are way more accessible too. Sure, a playset of Instant Fusions is 15 dollars and Brilliant Fusion is 10, but those are the priciest cards in this thing. An extra Normal Summon or extra Xyz Summon no longer costs an arm and a leg, literally or figuratively.

 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
Gem-Knight Seraphinite68090
Set Hidden Arsenal 7: Knight of Stars
Number HA07-EN058
Level 5
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2300 / 1400
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

1 "Gem-Knight" monster + 1 LIGHT monster // Must first be Fusion Summoned with the above Fusion Material Monsters. During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon/Set 1 monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

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Gem-Knight Seraphinite's probably the most expensive card outside the Main Deck, but it serves several purposes that all strengthen your core plays. Seraphinite's not flashy, but the extra Normal Summon can be crucial in making Naturia Beast or an extra Xyz. And with Gem-Knight Lazuli, you can send Master Pendulum, the Dracoslayer straight to the graveyard and get it back for free to complete your scales.

Pendulum decks don't provide the same sort of arsenal as Warrior Toolbox did back in the day, but the Performapal suite's surprisingly versatile and you can mix it with loads of other strategies. Depending on your budget or your personal preferences, you can easily modify the Main and Extra Decks in today's strategy for some quirky fun.

Throw in Chocolate Magician Girl and borrow a Toadally Awesome, and you have an easily accessible boss monster on Turn 1. Perhaps you'd like to add Nefarious Archfiend of Nefariousness alongside Jigobyte – that's basically asking to be splashed with True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer and True King Lithosagym, the Destroyer.

If you're not concerned with rarity and you have zero Yu-Gi-Oh! cards to your name, today's deck weighs in pretty cheap, even for a Bang For Your Buck column. It's more expensive than slapping three Structure Decks together but it really drops in price if you remove the Fusion Monsters and related cards. Either way, you could add a Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and still not go over our $100 threshold if you're a smart shopper.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he enjoys freezing in the cold only slightly less than his job as a software engineer. When he's not playing cards, you can find him on his kayak reading a book and playing the ukulele or at his painting desk, probably on his 30th cup of coffee for the day. Hailed on the only one capable of cooking Minute Rice is 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking for another creative outlet.

Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you love creating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send the following to to have your deck featured in the “Re-Routing” deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will be filed and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck should be TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs make Loukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses. “Winning” is not a strategy per se, and neither is “beating your opponents before they beat you.”

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love with the deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and if you throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; be warned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack. Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! –LJP

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