With the dawning of Arc V, all summoning methods have finally returned to share the same stage together. While decks dedicated to various summoning method have emerged, Arc V has also introduced a theme capable of using all Extra Deck summoning methods in one deck! Join me beyond the break as I delve into the Different Dimension, exploring the deck of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s latest series rival!
(Warning: slight spoilers for those who haven’t seen the first 13 episodes of the series).
The D/D theme is a group of monsters used by Arc V’s main rival, Reiji Akaba (known as Declan in the dub). He’s the young CEO of Leo Corporation (essentially, Kaiba Corp/Industrial Illusions in the Arc V universe). Reiji is known for being a master of all summoning methods, but when the series protagonist Yuya Sakaki introduced Pendulum Summoning to the world, Reiji had a new method to master. To do so, he printed some Pendulum cards of his very own!
Before covering the D/D monsters themselves, it’s paramount to cover the “Covenant” theme of Spells and Traps that are as vital to the D/D as Spellbooks are to Prophecy monsters.
The D/D & Covenant themes are currently OCG Exclusive. No TCG names exist for the vast majority of these themes at the time of writing. The names used are translations that may differ from the Official TCG versions. Translation notes can be found at the bottom of this article.
The D/D (Different Dimension) theme has made contracts with various entities across the Dueling Dimensions, which are essentially leases to borrow power once each turn. The most important of which is Covenant with the Hellgate, which adds D/D Monsters to our hand once each turn. Covenant with the Swamp King lets you Fusion Summon D/D monsters, and Covenant with the Valkyrie lets you Discard a D/D or Covenant card to destroy an opposing threat. Each contract stipulates a price of 1000 Life Points to be paid promptly every Standby phase, and they all can only activate once per turn. While the life point cost is hefty, rest assured that the theme has plenty of ways at…avoiding the otherwise necessary payments.
Now let’s get down to business, shall we?
First let’s meet our Chief Executive Overlords, the monsters who will be spending their time swarming the field and winning our games. These monsters are the D/D/D, the “Different Dimension Daemons” who reign over the field. Starting from the top we have D/D/D Hell Armageddon the Cruel End Overlord. The strongest monster in the deck who fears not opposing Bottomless Trap Hole nor Torrential Tribute nor Mirror Force. He serves to help finish games with a last aggressive push. He’s also a low-scale card, who can power-up your weaker monsters to topple larger threats. Despite being our CEO, he’s mostly just a figurehead. He’s great muscle, but there are other members with more utility.
Fortunately our COO does more than enough to compensate. D/D/D Abyss Ragnarok the Complete Oblivion Overlord, while lacking some of the raw power of our CEO, makes up for it by prolonging swarms, resulting in large fields. His monster effect is also powerful. By sacrificing spare D/D minions, he can banish a targeted opposing monster. He even provides for his own sacrifices, by bringing out a D/D/D from the grave upon Summon, just to tribute it away. As a Pendulum Monster, he can be likened to Soul Charge. A bit more conditional, but when you see how he interacts with our Synchro and Fusion monsters, he’s potentially even more devastating.
Let’s take a quick look at our Extra Deck Division for a moment. D/D/D Blaze Overlord Temujin and D/D/D Gale Overlord Alexander both help you swarm your field with monsters to use as Tribute, Fusion, Synchro or Xyz material, or even to just beatstick with. Their effects are similar, but not quite the same. Temujin will trigger only when another D/D monster is Special Summoned, while Alexander can trigger when another D/D is Normal or Special Summoned. However Temujin has no level cap on what you can revive, while Alexander can only grab level 4 or lower D/D minions. Lastly Temujin has an effect to return Covenants out of the grave back to your hand, that Alexander lacks. As you can see, these two monsters play very well with our COO Abyss Ragnarok. These 3 monsters form a vicious cycle amongst themselves that results in a very large field that could end the game then and there! The balancing factor here is that Abyss Ragnarok’s Pendulum effect will halve an opponent’s battle damage the turn you use his effect. Unlike Soul Charge, you can still attack with the monster’s you’ve swarmed with, decimating the opponent’s field, possibly rendering them too vulnerable to fight back, and you even deal some damage! It is worth noting however that Abyss Ragnarok’s monster effect has no such drawback, so if you can get some Pendulum Summons going, these swarms can strike at full power!
Speaking of decimation and Pendulum Summons, our next tycoon is his own OTK! D/D/D Conquest Overlord Kaiser is in charge of obliterating unsuspecting opponents, capable of tearing through fields of face-up threats. Even if his push isn’t successful, just being able to negate all opposing cards upon Pendulum Summon is a great asset. His multi-attacking effect is rarely short of targets, since he can just destroy
either Pendulum Spells or Covenant cards. It’s also worth noting that he, Alexander, and our next Overlord are all level 7 should the need for such an Xyz play arise.
Now that you know what the deck is working towards, let’s take a look at the more procedural steps we have to take to get there.
One of the first things you want to see, other than a Covenant with the Hellgate, is D/D/D Rebellious Overlord Leonidas. While you control him, you take no effect damage, and when he sees your life being taken from you by a card effect (Covenant or otherwise), he summons himself to take it back. He’s among the first cards you search with Covenant with the Hellgate due to how easy he is to bring out, and his large attack stat. Don’t forget that he’s a low scale. Usually you’ll want him to hit the field, but sometimes holding him back to use as a set scale can lead to game ending Pendulum Summons.
Moving along, we have the heads of our R&D department, the D/D Magical Astronomers, Kepler and Galilei. Together, you have the largest scale combination in the game. Kepler however is the most useful of the two. Kepler is a mandatory 3-of, as he searches any Covenant you need. The only way you’ll be able to Pendulum Summon either the COOverlord or the CEOverlord is with Kepler set as your scale. Galilei however has its own niche effect that adjusts and refines the board as you see fit. You can rescue a D/D or Covenant from an untimely termination or have it re-set your pendulum scale, or even dodge effect negation and the like. Unfortunately he’s more re-active than pro-active, and we have other low-scale options.
Our next pendulum pair is the team of D/D Proud Chevalier and D/D Proud Ogre. Ogre can help put pressure on the field, while Chevalier can get a pendulum to set your scales, however neither of them are particularly amazing. Ogre However has a nice Scale of 8, which is perfect for Leonidas and Kaiser. Depending on how Pendulum-Centric you want to make your deck, you can use Ogra at 1 or 2 copies. Chevalier can be used, but we have better means of putting Pendulums from the Extra deck back into the hand.
This finally brings us to the grunts of our operation. D/D Lilith and D/D Night Howling form a powerful team. Night Howling is the theme’s tuner who sets up Synchro Summons with ease, while Lilith recovers any D/D card from your grave or Extra Deck when summoned. Thanks to them, we can invest in Extra Deck Summons without wasting resources. You can theoretically get by with 2 of each, but I find them too resourceful to not use 3, even if you run the risk of getting dead draws. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
There’s one last summoning method I haven’t really touched upon. Xyz Summoning in D/D decks aren’t quite as simple as Fusion or Synchro Summoning. It usually requires a combination of using Night Howling with D/D Cerberus. D/D Cerberus has the power to make any D/D Monster you control a Level 4 Monster, which is crucial for accessing Rank 4 Monsters. His Pendulum Scale is just low enough to leave room for high level Pendulum Summons and the boost has marginal uses. Cerberus is really the only other way the deck can access Rank 4s, barring getting 2 Lilith on the field. Note that Cerberus also gives you access to level 8 Synchros too, but unfortunately Night Howling’s restriction will only let you access Blood Mefist (granted the burn effect can be useful in whittling away life similar to Gagaga Cowboy.) Many builds opt to forgo him though, as he isn’t particularly remarkable.
That isn’t to say our Xyz boss isn’t worth it though. D/D/D Wave Overlord Caesar brings a powerful insurance policy to the table. You can activate it during either players turn to insure any damage dealt to your monsters (including himself) from destruction. Even if they are destroyed by card effects, he will have them re-spawned at the end of the turn’s battle phase. Be wary though, as an opponent can choose to destroy your monsters without entering the battle phase, but at least you’ve averted taking damage. He isn’t bad, but if you aren’t running Cerberus, you won’t be seeing him often, if at all.
With the theme’s monsters out of the way, let’s discuss the theme’s traps.
Lease Laundering was our first way to mitigate the costs of those measly covenant costs. Generally speaking, we want our covenants to stay in effect for as long as possible, so Lease laundering isn’t an ideal practice.
D/D/D Resource Management is perhaps the most useful D/D trap. With it, we can convert used or dead cards into any 2 D/D monsters. Unfortunately, its a tad slow, and awkward to work with early game at times.
D/D Recruit is another themed trap that pales in comparison to Resource Management in all but 1 area. D/D recruit can recur used Covenants. Wise opponents will know how heavily we rely on them, and will try to cut us off from them. It’s not an ideal method of recursion, but it is worth mentioning.
Now I’d like to talk about a tech choice of mine that I’ve grown to like for the D/D Deck, Kuribandit. Kuribandit loads your graveyard with D/D cards and can search for your Covenants. The card helps make your recursion traps live as well as Night Howling. Remember, Kepler and Lilith trigger off either being normal or special summoned. Another tech choice can be found in Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon. Odd-Eyes searches for Kepler, and can even be Pendulum Summoned with Proud Ogre as your Scale.
Now let’s take a look at our completed business model, the decklist!
1 D/D/D Conquest Overlord Kaiser
2 D/D/D Abyss Ragnarok the Complete Obliteration Overlord
3 D/D/D Rebellious Overlord Leonidas
3 D/D Magical Astronomer Kepler
2 D/D Proud Ogre
1 D/D Cerberus
3 D/D Lilith
3 D/D Night Howling
2x D/D/D Oracle Overlord D’Arc
2x D/D/D Blaze Overlord Temujin
2x D/D/D Gale Overlord Alexander
1x D/D/D Sniper Overlord Tell
1x D/D/D Wave Overlord Caesar
1x Dark Highlander
1x Chaos King Archfiend
1x Number 11: Big Eye
1x Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
1x Photon Strike Bounzer
1x Constellar Ptolemy M7
1x Evilswarm Exciton Knight
During my time of writing this article, we’ve received news of new D/D support. So I’ll touch on them here. For the most part the deck plays the same, but we’ve gained one notably useful boss monster.
D/D/D Oracle Overlord D’Arc is yet another counterpart of St. Joan (of Arc). Despite turning, well, Dark, D’Arc retains her life-giving effects, and just as importantly, her huge attack score. She gives you some much needed variety in your fusion summons, providing a solid stand-alone boss for when Temujin isn’t an optimal play, and you aren’t quite ready to engage in swarms. If past precedents hold, D’Arc’s life gain effect will apply before Leonidas nullifies the damage, meaning the two won’t conflict with one another, and you stand to gain as much as 3000 life points each turn! What’s more, she turns Abyss Ragnarok’s burn into life too, letting you gain some life back proactively instead of just waiting for your standby phase to roll by. She plays nice with Ring of Destruction, and She’s even a level 7 for Rank 7 xyz material.
D/D/D Sniper Overlord Tell comes with his own “Rank-Up” type of summon effect, which is pretty important considering the theme doesn’t Xyz Summon well. He’s a decent monster, but D’Arc would’ve appreciated that additional effect to send a D/D card to the graveyard, since she is a much more common play.
D/D Pandora isn’t remarkable either. She’s notable in that she’s a level 5 for Night Howling to tune with, but there’s already access level 8 synchros with Cerberus’ effect.
D/D/D Dragon Overlord Pendragon
is the only Dragon in the theme, so you’ll have to rely on any copies of Odd-Eyes you use, or multiples of itself to summon it. It may perform well in some future dedicated build, is not actually a dragon! How it’s future will shape up from here I can’t say, but for now, I’ve set it aside.
While D/D can be a bit clunky at times, the damage output they can put out is very real. The theme’s major pushes all involve either a big Pendulum Summon, or a series of revival effects that trigger other revival effects. In such pushes the resources you spend are often given right back to you as large oppressive beaters. Typically early game you will be using whatever means you have to get at a Hellgate, then a Leonidas or D’Arc. Afterwards your focus shifts to getting D/D Lilith set up and in the grave ready to go with Night Howling and other revival effects. Covenant with the Valkyrie, Leonidas, and D’Arc will be holding the fort until you can let loose. The D/D theme takes practice to get used to, but I hope this helped you in your preparations.
I apologize for the delay in posting since my last article. Life has a way of getting one all wrapped up in it and the D/D require a lot of testing to get familiar with them, let alone developing a comfortable build to use. Thank you for reading!
Did you enjoy the article? Was it helpful? Any Combos or tech choices you feel I missed? Please share your (on topic!) thoughts in the comments below!
“Why didn’t I notice it sooner? Pendulum Summoning is not yet complete!
I have seen the possibilities of further evolution in Pendulum Summoning, and I’ll have you bear witness to it here and now!”
1) The D/D, or “Different Dimension” theme, was designed to be able to induce any kind of Extra Deck Summon. It’s important to note that while D/D does stand for “Different Dimension” these cards aren’t written as the D.D. monsters we’ve grown up with. Think Elemental HERO vs Hero kid. D/D =/= D.D. much like HERO =/= Hero. Just to make clear in case it wasn’t already. Plus you wouldn’t really want to use the D.D. cards here anyways, even if you could.
2) “契約書 Keiyakusho” translated literally is “Contract Book/Written Contract” which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue as well as Spellbook. We couldn’t call them “Contracts” because there are several TCG “Contract” cards already that shouldn’t be a part of this theme. Thus we went with Covenant. I guess we could’ve called them Contract Scrolls, but you guys get the idea.
3) The Org had a small debate going on about how to properly name Covenant with the Valkyrie. The Valkyrie in question was named Dark Witch in the TCG, who is barely visible on the card. With some dissent, we decided to use “Valkyrie” for the DN name. If Konami decides to ever print the Valkyrie theme, both this Covenant and the original monster would be “Valkyrie” cards. The card is great for the deck regardless of what you call it, but we believe that “Valkyrie” would be the best way to go here, since calling it Dark Witch in the first place (eons ago when the game was just developing) is an error we’d like to think wouldn’t happen nowadays where names = power.
4) D/D/D Hell Armageddon the Cruel End Overlord was a name that finally came together after a while of postulating and procrastinating. The Japanese name reads “D/D/D Great Death Lord Hell Armageddon” and I’m sure you all can note how this won’t be its TCG counterpart’s name. We at the Org like to try our hand at aiming for a close localization-style of translation for several cards, and the result was as you see here. “Great Death Lord” is pronounced identically to “CEO” in Japanese and that’s what we aimed for.
5) D/D/D Complete Oblivion Overlord Abyss Ragnarok has a similar pun. “Kaichou” in Japanese means “President” or “Chairman” (of a company/society). However, Ragnarok is a “Kai chi ou” which is rough to translate but something like “Lord of Destroying Foes”. We went with a pun on COO, Chief Operations Officer.