Take your seats – because with DUOV, this deck is ready to perform!
Entrance of the Abyss Actors:
For many of you, the only card you’ve ever known from today’s theme is Abyss Actor – Curtain Raiser for its Pendulum effect. Or perhaps you saw Abyss Actor – Hyper Director in your DUOV box, and just set it aside immediately thinking it was completely irrelevant. Well, by the end of this article, I sincerely hope I change your mind, because this Fiend Pendulum deck is ready to take on the dueling world by a storm.
The Abyss Actor theme consists of DARK/Fiend Pendulum monsters, supported by a sub-theme of Abyss Script Spell cards. These Spell cards have 2 effects – 1 to give you advantage in the duel, and the second if your opponent destroys them that is seriously devastating. As an example, Abyss Script – Abysstainment has a first effect that lets you tribute 1 Abyss Actor to set an Abyss Script from your GY to your field. Its second effect, triggered by your opponent destroying the set card by a card effect while you have a face-up Actor in your Extra, lets you summon any number of Abyss Actor monsters from your deck. Yes, any number. So let this be the start to this articles theme – insane advantage that is only compounded by the Pendulum mechanic itself.
Similar to many other Pendulum themes, this deck has a full toolbox at its disposal. Abyss Actor – Mellow Madonna is your primary search option, having a Pendulum Effect that lets you trade 1000 LP for any Abyss Actor from your deck. Getting to Madonna is extremely easy, as Abyss Actor – Extras is a Level 1 monster that has a Pendulum effect to Special Summon itself while your opponent controls any monster and a monster effect to tribute itself to place any Abyss Actor to one of your Pendulum Zones. Don’t forget the aforementioned Abyss Actor – Hyper Director, a Link 1 that can summon any card in your Pendulum Zone, then replace it with an Abyss Actor from your deck. Just another way to get to your Madonna.
So this deck can search its monsters just fine, but what about its Scripts? Glad you asked. Abyss Actor – Superstar may be a Level 7 monster, but that’s nothing for a Pendulum theme. Its monster effect lets you set any Abyss Script straight from your deck. Also, Abyss Actor – Curtain Raiser is imperative here for its monster effect, as that lets you send any Script from your Deck to the GY to recycle one of your face-up actors from your Extra deck. Unlike to most pendulum decks, its monster effect is more valuable than its pendulum effect! Don’t forget that you recycle your Scripts super easily with Abysstainment, but you can also use the Pendulum effect of Superstar to get back a Script from your GY to your hand.
Despite its clear power in this area, this theme also has more fun tools at its disposal, such as Abyss Actor – Comic Relief. Its Pendulum effect is key here, as it lets you swap one of your Abyss Actors for a monster your opponent controls. The primary option you should be swapping is Abyss Actor – Wild Hope, who searches any Abyss Actor card when destroyed by battle or card effect. Yet another way to Madonna. Hope also lets you fix your scales, switching your other Actor to a Scale 9, making you able to Pendulum Summon Level 3-8 monsters, which happens to be almost this entire theme. The other fun tool at this deck’s disposal is Abyss Actors’ Curtain Call, a trap that effectively lets you Pendulum Summon from your Extra Deck during your opponent’s turn by returning them to hand first, letting you summon as many as you can, new April rules or not.
The last thing to note about this theme is its removal options. Since your Scripts are so accessible, you can rely on them at almost any point of the duel. Abyss Script – Rise of the Abyss King lets you destroy face-up cards on the field up to the number of Abyss Actors you control, but if you have a Level 7 or higher Actor, your opponent can’t respond! Abyss Script – Fantasy Magic is your backup plan, spinning monsters to hand that aren’t destroyed by battle with a targeted Actor during the turn. The last removal option is unique in Abyss Script – Fire Dragon’s Lair, letting you banish cards from your opponent’s Extra Deck. All these removal options combined – you have quite a variety of tools at your fingertips.
For those of you who have never seen this theme before, hopefully this gives you a bit of insight into what they can do. But nothing shows off the sheer potential of this theme like a combo string, so let me run through one from my test duels to showcase the true hidden power of this theme.
Opponent went first, ended on a board of Ultimaya Tzolkin, Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, Destiny HERO Malicious, and 2 set backrow.
I opened with a hand of Curtain Raiser, Superstar, Wild Hope, Comic Relief, Fire Dragon’s Lair, and a second Superstar.
- Activated Curtain Raiser to the Pendulum Zone, then used its Pendulum effect to Special Summon itself.
- Normal Summoned Wild Hope.
- Activated Comic Relief, then used its Pendulum Effect to swap Wild Hope and Crystal Wing, then Comic was destroyed.
- Next I link Summoned Hyper Director using Curtain Raiser.
- Activated my first Superstar to the Pendulum Zone.
- Using the effect of Hyper Director, Superstar was summoned, then I placed Mellow Madonna from my deck in the Pendulum Zone.
- Activated Superstar, setting Rise of the Abyss King from my deck.
- Activated Abyss King, destroying Tzolken and my Wild Hope.
- Wild Hope activates, adding Extras to the hand.
- Activated Extras to my Pendulum Zone, then used its Pendulum effect to Special Summon itself.
- Next, I used the monster effect of Extras, placing Wild Hope into my Pendulum Zone.
- Activated the effect of Mellow Madonna, paying 1000 and adding another Superstar to hand.
- Activated Wild Hope’s Pendulum effect, making Madonna Scale 9.
- Then, I pendulum Summoned. Curtain Raiser came from my extra deck to the zone Hyper points to, and the other 2 Superstar were summoned from my hand.
- Curtain Raiser’s monster effect was used, sending Abyss Script – Romantic Terror from my Deck to the GY, then I got to return Extras to my hand.
- Then I attacked for game, with Curtain Raiser attacking over Malicious and Crystal Wing and 2 Superstars attacking directly.
While this combo seems like a ‘perfect hand’ scenario, I want to stress that you should know it is far from it. In a perfect world, you want to wait until you can summon Madonna, that way you can use her monster effect as well. Whenever you activate an Abyss Script or its effect, Madonna summons a Level 4 or lower Abyss Actor directly from your deck, giving you even more immediate power to the board. So this combo happened with a pretty poor hand, but due to the absurd search power within the archetype, you were still able to pull off a great combo, not even needing 2 additional Abyss Scripts from your deck. This is the true power of Abyss Actors – regardless of the hand, the show must and will go on. So, let’s talk about how we can support this theme further with a bit of outside support.
Avoiding the Restrictions:
What I failed to mention earlier when describing the key components of this archetype and its supporting subtheme was that there are a ton of restrictive conditions placed on its effects. If you use the monster effect of Hyper Director or Extras, or the Pendulum effect of Madonna or Wild Hope, you are locked into summoning Abyss Actors only for the rest of the turn. Therefore, you have to be extremely judicious with the outside support you choose to run with the theme. But as with most Pendulum themes, the answer doesn’t fall too far from the network of synergistic cards…
The first engine that works well in support of the Actors here is the Mythical Beasts. Just a small engine of 2 Mythical Beast Master Cerberus and 1 Mythical Beast Jackal King can be exceptional, specifically due to Hyper Director’s first effect. Since it summons any card from your Pendulum Zone, you just make sure you pull out your Jackal King before any of your restrictions fall into place. This also gives your deck protection from threats such as Nibiru or hand traps that could disrupt your more integral plays once Hyper Director gets a Madonna on your field. Since both Mythical Beasts are Spellcasters, it also makes sense that we can run Magicians Souls as well. But this has quite the extra synergy with the theme, due to their reliance on the Scripts.
Since the Abyss Scripts are searched extremely easily from the deck, Souls gives you the power to trade the useless scripts away for free draws. This is also important because unlike many other decks in recent times that have turned to souls, you do not need to and should not use its draw effect immediately upon summon. Why? Because you can send all those free Scripts you will set with a Superstar later in your turn to turn that into significant usable card advantage. Remember, the Actor restrictions just lock you into summoning Actors only, you can still use other monster effects! Anyways, Abyss Actor already goes off with just 1 monster, just look at the combo above where everything really started with Curtain Raiser into Hyper Director.
Supporting this combo piece will be a playset of Where Arf Thou?, because yet again, this archetype has a Level 1 monster that can also be searched that is also pretty cool. Remember, Abyss Actor – Extras is a gateway to all of your happiness and success, since it Special Summons itself and places a Madonna into your Pendulum Zone, so there is no harm in searching that with Arf instead if you do open up with a Souls. With this description out of the way, we’ve covered all of the key cards in today’s decklist, so all that’s left is to lay it out for you to look at.
||| Abyss Actor – Comic Relief
||| Abyss Actor – Curtain Raiser
||| Abyss Actor – Extras
||| Abyss Actor – Mellow Madonna
||| Abyss Actor – Superstar
||| Abyss Actor – Wild Hope
||| Magicians Souls
| Mythical Beast Jackal King
|| Mythical Beast Master Cerberus
|| Abyss Script – Abysstainment
| Abyss Script – Fantasy Magic
| Abyss Script – Fire Dragon’s Lair
|| Abyss Script – Opening Ceremony
|| Abyss Script – Rise of the Abyss King
|| Abyss Script – Romantic Terror
| One for One
||| Where Arf Thou?
|| Abyss Actors’ Curtain Call
||| Abyss Actor – Hyper Director
| Beat Cop from the Underworld
| Black Luster Soldier – Soldier of Chaos
| Borreload Dragon
| Borrelsword Dragon
| I:P Masquerena
| Knightmare Phoenix
| Knightmare Unicorn
| Relinquished Anima
| Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians
| Underclock Taker
| Zefra Metaltron
The Remaining Abyss Scripts:
I discussed most of the scripts in the introduction to the theme, but there are two other ones that are best understood now that you are more acquainted with what the theme can do. First up is Abyss Script – Opening Ceremony. Its first effect is simple – gain 500 LP for each Actor you control. Its second effect is ridiculous, if the set card is destroyed by your opponent while you have an Actor in your Extra, you draw until you have 5 cards in hand. This card is key for letting you trigger Madonna’s Monster effect, also it is a great search with Superstar which would otherwise send your searched Script to the GY during the End Phase. More importantly, this card keeps you in the duel. Many decks can OTK through 8000 LP, but how about 10,000 or even 11,000? That becomes tougher, and Ceremony gives you that boost to survive an onslaught in many matchups.
The second script fills a similar role, but specifically during the opponent’s turn. Abyss Script – Romantic Terror‘s first effect lets you trade a face-up Abyss Actor Pendulum monster, by returning it to the hand, for a different Actor from your Extra Deck. Its second effect, when destroyed while set, lets you set any number of Scripts from your deck. This card is cool for 2 main reasons. First, it is a Quickplay spell so it can trigger Madonna during your opponent’s turn. Secondly, since Actor commits so hard to the field, this lets you have the monster you need for a follow up turn if things go south. Remember, everything with Abyss Actor can start with 1 card, so this guarantees you have the right card to start with for the most benefit. Third, it can let you reuse Superstar yet again for another Script search if you tribute a copy away with Abysstainment. All three reasons make this one of the most powerful scripts in your arsenal.
Additional Tech Options:
- Abyss Actors and Scripts:
- Abyss Actor – Leading Lady: This is yet another searcher for the theme, getting monsters with its Pendulum Effect and Scripts with its Monster Effect. But with Madonna now existing, Lady is outclassed unless you want the ATK reduction effect.
- Abyss Actor – Sassy Rookie: The in-theme destruction protection, also it acts as a decent stall option. However, there are many better cards, and it would take a lot to justify running even just 1 copy with all the search power available to Actors.
- Abyss Actor – Evil Heel: This is the original boss monster for the theme and it can definitely still pack a punch. This card becomes more relevant again when the final Actor is imported to the TCG, but I’ll leave that discussion for later.
- Abyss Actors Back Stage: This trap card used to be awesome for a Pendulum theme. Loading 2 Pendulums into the extra for free for future summons was great. Then the Link rules came into effect, and this card become less good. Now, you should only run it if you want another way to search things, as this searches any 2 monsters when combined with Curtain Raiser.
- Abyss Playhouse – Fantastic Theater: For all the searching available to the theme, they just couldn’t make the field spell searchable… Its first effect gives even more searching, letting you you reveal an Actor and Script to get another Script from the deck. Its second effect unlocks the destruction effs of your Scripts, changing a monster effect into ‘destroy 1 set Spell/Trap’. This is a good card, but just too slow for the current game.
- Fiend-Type Support:
- Tour Guide from the Underworld: Bet you didn’t see this coming. This monster actually works well if you change the Souls engine into a fiend one, as it pulls a Comic Relief from the deck, when then gives you Hyper Director access… and so on. Long story short, cool stuff.
- Phantom Skyblaster: Sometimes extra Link Zones is just worth it to a Pendulum deck. Skyblaster makes that easy, especially when you already have a Curtain Raiser or Extras on the board. A summon would then unlock Zefra Metaltron, which is typically difficult for Pendulum decks to reach prior to a Pendulum Summon.
- Pendulum Support:
- Pendulum Halt: At the end of your turns, you can have a minimal hand size. Thus, Halt can let you draw a few cards before setting your scripts and ending your turn. Its downside is still great to overcome though.
- Dracoslayer Engine: Luster Pendulum is still a great card to pair with Actors, especially when you consider that it can trigger Wild Hope while searching another copy. And since it can be summoned with Hyper Director, you really don’t have to worry about it clogging your zones now. Also, this unlocks non-targeted, non-destruction removal in the form of Ignister Prominence, which is another worthy addition to the theme.
- Wavering Eyes: Pendulum deck that benefits from clearing out scales? Yes please. Also, since Madonna is a win condition, this can help to unclog the really bad hands where you don’t have much else to lean on. However, since any Level 4 or lower Actor and any other pendulum does the same, it is definitely an ‘extra’ option.
- Magical Abductor: This card is interesting as it can be used to search Madonna, but if summoned by Hyper Director, it can also be used to search Souls for your next turn. This is a bit more of a win-more option, since you are only using her full capability when you have an Actor setup, but it is an option nonetheless if you want to lean heavier into Spellcasters.
- Rescue Hamster: Trade Ferret for more high-leveled Actors? This can be a decent trade, especially when you know that Curtain Raiser will just recycle them. This also lets you get pendulums back that you have multiple copies of in your Extra deck, so versatility!
There is one card in particular that has yet to be imported for the Abyss Actors, and I was truly hoping it would come out with or before Hyper Director. But alas, it is still out of reach. But let me introduce you to what has been translated as Abyss Actor – Twinkle Littlestar (YGOrg Translation). This is another Level 4 Actor Pendulum that happens to naturally be a Scale 9. Its Pendulum effect lets an Actor you control attack monsters 3 times, and its monster effect lets itself attack up to 3 times. Plus, it cannot be destroyed by battle during your turn.
So if you are asking yourself how this could help, just think back to Fantasy Magic. Just use that Abyss Script on Twinkle, and 3 of your opponent’s monsters get returned to the hand. Sure, this comes at the cost of LP, but this opens up so many more OTK possibilities. Or, as briefly mentioned above, combine Twinkle’s Pendulum effect with Evil Heel, whose monster effect lets you recover a Script each time it destroys a monster by battle. That’s a +6 swing in card advantage. This one card would help the theme come full circle, until at least they receive legacy support again in some future reality…
As the performers take their bows, I hope that you reflect and realize that your opinion of this Pendulum theme has changed. This deck is not anime garbage anymore, not since the game original Hyper Director was released, and even then, this had some fun trick plays up its sleeve. It can put on a show like no other deck – destroying monsters with easy with a flip of the Rise of the Abyss King script or spinning them away with a bit of Fantasy Magic. For at the end of the day, the playhouse takes no hostages as the show must go on. So get on board the Wild Wagon already (hopefully someone got this pun), and join in the fun of the theater. And you might not be banished to the Abyss when you face someone who has. Thanks for reading, and catch you next time with a trip to the gardens.
Reminder, I also take suggestions for future CDS articles! I really want to see some input from you! If you wish to see a CDS article about the archetype, theme, or strategy you love, feel free to private message me on the YGOrg Discord server, the YGOrganization Forums, or just post a comment in response to this article on our Facebook page with your ideas to keep under consideration! On most YGO-related communities my username is Quincymccoy, so feel free to reach out. As of now, I have a couple of outstanding requests that I am looking into: Cyberse, Generaider, HERO, Mecha Phantom Beast, Shaddoll, Speedroid, Vehicroid.