Welcome to my next CDS article, and in this revival of my old article series, I will be discussing a theme that never got to shine. I’m sure you’ve guessed it by the obvious title, but this is all about the Fortune Ladies! The Fortune Lady archetype never caught on for a variety of reasons; mostly that it was an anime archetype without enough outside support. But ever since their release, loyal Fortune Lady duelists have wished for the level manipulating enchanters to shine. Let’s gaze into the hidden seances of a Fortune Lady deck, especially as it can adapt to the future that is fast approaching…
Background and an Introduction to the Archetype:
The Fortune Lady archetype is an anime-originating archetype that was used by Carly Carmine in the Yugioh 5D’s anime. Carly originally used the ‘Fortune Fairy’ archetype, a troupe of Normal monsters that evolved into the Fortune Ladies we all are familiar with, after she became corrupted by the Earthbound Immortals and transformed into a Dark Signer. In terms of theme, each Fortune Lady carries a different effect based around methods for winning a duel. (For your convenience, I will be using their OCG-translated name) Lighty lets you Special Summon any Fortune Lady you need, Firey lets you destroy monsters and inflict damage, Windy lets you destroy Spells or Traps, Watery lets you gain card advantage to the hand, Darky lets you gain card advantage to the field, and Earthy lets you burn your opponent to death. While most of these effects are more complicated than that, the archetype as a whole is simple – 6 effects working in tandem to make a deck.
But how could we talk about the Fortune Ladies without discussing their most important effect? Each of your Standby Phases, all Fortune Lady monsters you control increase their Level by 1. This is important because their ATK and DEF is completely based on their Level. While this was seen as nothing special in the Synchro Era, it definitely offers quite a bit of potential following the release of so many powerful Xyz monsters. The trick of the Fortune Lady archetype and Xyz Summoning is to get the ladies to stick around long enough so that their Levels can actually make a difference.
Lastly for my introduction, we have to talk about the support cards for the Fortune Ladies, because these Spell and Trap cards are the reason people have even tried to make Fortune Ladies over the years. First up is the namesake for this article – Fortune’s Future. This Spell card is a +1 in card advantage, all that is required is one banished Fortune Lady. This has the potential to generate massive advantage, leading to the most popular Fortune Lady variants that have appeared over the years. Taking a walk down memory lane, the first iteration was Chaos Fortune Lady, using Chaos Sorcerer, Dark Simorgh and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning to banish Fortune Ladies for tons of draw fodder. Next was the splash in the competitive scene, a Fortune HERO variant that popped up at Long Beach in 2012 (going undefeated in day 1 which caught everyone by surprise), that used Miracle Fusion to get the Fortune Ladies banished, and Destiny HERO Diamond Dude works extremely well with a deck running so many Spell Cards. After that, Spellbook Fortune Lady showed up for a while, since Spellbook of Life increases the Level of the summoned Spellcaster, which means even more ATK for Darky. Before we get too lost in the past, let’s dive into the next generation of Fortune Ladies! Yes folks, I’m talking the Power of the Pendulum!
Get the Advantage Swinging in your Favor:
As a Casual Deck, you probably are not expecting too much to come out of the Fortune Ladies. But let me tell you, they are amazing at letting you gain insane amounts of advantage quickly, all due to one specific Spellcaster – Watery. Watery’s effect is simple – Draw 2 cards when it is Special Summoned, as long as you control another Fortune Lady. What better way is there to Special Summon Watery than Pendulum Summoning? The summon can also allow you to Special Summon another Fortune Lady to fulfill the condition for Watery’s effect, and if you happen to have multiple Watery in hand already… Time to start digging through your deck. This game mechanic basically revolutionizes the Fortune Lady theme, allowing you to rely less upon Darky as your only way to trigger free draws. But which Pendulum monsters work the best? There are a handful of awesome engines coming soon that pair extremely well with the Fortune Ladies!.
The Igknights assemble, forming a theme of Vanilla Pendulum Monsters that share the common effect to search out a new FIRE/Warrior monster by destroying both of your scales. This theme also allows you the best generic Pendulum access that will be legal in the TCG in the near future, because you have multiple Spell Cards that can search either scale: Reinforcement of the Army and Summoner’s Art. This engine is therefore the most consistent way of setting up matching Pendulum Scales, and if you draw extra Igknights, that just means you can add to your swarm and gain access to a large amount of pressure to overwhelm the opponent with a large field of monsters. Just remember, you do not have to Xyz Summon with the Igknights, recurring beatsticks can be a win condition on their own.
Since either scale is available in a pinch, this engine is by far the best at setting up the scales when you have the Fortune Ladies in the hand. All you need is Watery and some other Lady, and you have immediate access to 2 draws with the Igknight scales setup. It is especially synergistic because the Igknight scales range from 2-7, which allows Windy, Watery, Darky and Earthy to be Pendulum Summoned. The other main benefit is that you have a reliable contingency plan to reset your scales when needed, with the help of Dark Factory of Mass Production. Beyond just Igknights, but there are also other additional benefits in general to running Pendulums in Fortune Ladies. The main issue is that it cleans up the cloggy hands that were infamously aligned with the archetype. All of the Fortune Lady variants that I have described in the past have run into one big problem: either they didn’t run enough Fortune Ladies to benefit enough from the draw power or they ran too many which led to large numbers of dead draws. But finally with a Pendulum setup, cloggy hands can be alleviated by having a Pendulum Summon ready. This gives all of your free draws with Watery and Fortune’s Future a higher purpose, giving you the luxury to run more tech cards since you have a stable frame in which to setup. However, before I get too far down the Theory-Oh path, let’s introduce the second set of Pendulum Scales, Yuma’s Pendulum Magicians.
While the Igknight theme is a bit lacking in variety of effects, the Magicians offer a greater range of power and strategic depth when supporting the Fortune Ladies. Sadly, there are not multiple Spell Cards that gives you access to your scales for this option – but there are multiple Pendulum Monsters. Firstly, Insight Magician is an amazing advantage-based option, giving you a monster to Pendulum Summon while setting up your scales. On the other hand, Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon is your power-searcher, allowing you to search Insight whenever you need extra help preparing your scales. Also, don’t let me finish without bringing up Pendulum Call, a Spell Card that instantly searches both Scales at the cost of a discard. The Igknights may have better chances when you have too many Pendulum monsters, but the Magicians have an amazing time when you do not have any Pendulum monsters at the ready. That is the main difference between the two engines, and now that you understand the choice of engines, let’s discuss the other benefit to Magicians, supporting the centerpiece, Lighty.
Lighty is the Fortune Lady that ties together the theme, when she leaves the field by a card effect, her place is filled by a brand new Fortune Lady Special Summoned straight from the Deck. In the past, the best way to trigger her effect was Carly’s Field Spell, Future Visions. While Visions is still an amazing card at disruption, it would probably be more beneficial if a new Field Spell could take its place while still retaining the ability to trigger Lighty’s effect. Isn’t it wonderful that the perfect replacement happens to be related to a pendulum theme? Introducing Arc in the Sky, the Field Spell that allows you to destroy a card you control to add Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon from the deck to the hand. With this Spell, your advantage train truly begins to gain steam. Destroy Lighty, Add Odd-Eyes, then Lighty Special Summons Darky from the deck. If you kill an opponent’s monster with Darky, you get Lighty right back to your field and then Odd-Eyes lets you grab Insight Magician during the End Phase. So in summary, this 2-card combo nets you Odd-Eyes in the extra, Insight in the hand, Darky and Lighty on your field. And if Lighty survives your opponent’s turn, you can do it again on your next turn. So again, let’s tally up with a comparison of the two Pendulum Engines:
Igknight Fortune Lady:
- 3 Fortune Lady Dark
- 3 Fortune Lady Water
- 3 Fortune Lady Light
- 4-6 Level 4 Igknight Monsters
- 4-6 Level 5 or Level 6 Igknight Monsters
- 2-3 Fortune’s Future
- 2-3 Future Visions
- 4 Reinforcement of the Army OR Summoner’s Art
- 3 Fortune Lady Dark
- 3 Fortune Lady Water
- 3 Fortune Lady Light
- 3 Dragon’s Lair Magician
- 3 Dragon’s Vein Magician
- 3 Insight Magician
- 2-3 Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon
- 1-2 Arc in the Sky
- 3 Fortune’s Future
- 2-3 Future Visions
- 3 Pendulum Call
Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning: These blasts from the past actually still can be used in Fortune Ladies today. BLS and Chaos Sorcerer can be used in order to fuel Fortune’s Future in a pinch whenever you have both Light and Dark in your Graveyard. I have found these options to seem a tad obsolete with the advent of powerful Xyz monsters, but it never hurts to have great topdecks. Lastly, this gives a bit more monster control, as each of their banishing effects can be great if timed well.
Give and Take: Before you go and look this card up, I would bet you that you have no clue what this card even does. If you do know this card, props to you. Anyways, CLICK HERE for those who don’t remember ‘horrible’ 5Ds filler cards. Anyways, this tech card is AWESOME in Fortune Ladies because it serves 2 purposes. 1 – It is a major ATK booster in a pinch, especially in an Igknight variant. Simply use Give and Take on one of the Level 5 Igknights, and voila, that is an extra 2000 ATK points on your DARK. This card gives you the power to run over anything, including Towers. Also, it is important to note that this card does not cause a replay during your opponent’s turn. If you do manage to summon a Pendulum monster, there is no harm done as it just goes back to your extra for additional summoning, but if you summon back a Fortune Lady, perhaps Watery, you actually are making your own fodder to run-over and then trigger the effect of Darky. This trap card may not be good in most decks to date, but the Fortune Ladies can definitely make good use of it.
Dimension Gate: Similar to the function of Arc in the Sky, Gate allows you to banish Lighty on a whim to trigger its effect whenever you’ve already returned it for Visions or if you failed to have Future Visions out when it was summoned. Either way, it fills its role well.
Different Dimension Gate: While the last card was a trap designed to only banish Lighty, this Spell allows you to banish Lighty AND a monster your opponent controls. So while the last was a more versatile option, this tech card is a more aggressive and disruptive option to trigger the effect of Lighty. Remember, a free deck summon IS worth it, especially when that can lead to taking over the duel and hopping aboard the advantage train.
Chicken Game: While this Field Spell is more famous in stupid FTK builds, you can also use it to great effect as a pseudo Upstart Goblin, especially in a deck that should be running Terraforming to search out Future Visions ASAP. Chicken Game is simply another option to search out with Terraforming if you already have access to Visions, because you get a draw and then you replace Chicken Game with Future Visions, preventing your opponent from benefiting from this card’s effect. And who doesn’t love a good game of Chicken?
Wavering Eyes: While this card may seem out of place in something other than Qliphort, Wavering Eyes is amazing in Pendulum decks whenever you have a good chance of drawing 3 or more Pendulum monsters. What is especially potent about this Quickplay spell card is that it has even more benefits if your opponent is using Pendulum monsters too. If all 4 scales are destroyed, that is a +2 for you, and you just loaded 2 Pendulums into your extra to summon in the near future. To be honest, this works best in the Magician build, so I would not advise trying it out in the Igknight variant.
Battle Fader/Swift Scarecrow/Threatening Roar: In a deck all about combos, and generating insane advantage once you reach your potential, it is VERY important that you make it to later in the game. Therefore, I highly suggest running some form of protection, whether it be hand traps or more typical protection such as Mirror Force.
Additional Pendulum Engines: So far, I keep bringing up Igknights and Magicians as the possibilities, but other Pendulum Suites could work as well. I have not yet messed around with these ideas, but they still sound cool:
- Majespecter – All are Spellcasters, and Windy can be tributed for their Spell and Trap support. Basically Windy fills in to give them backrow disruption too, so the Fortune Ladies offer more than just draws.
- Risebell the Summoner /Archfiend Eccentrick – This scale combination allows for the best ‘Pendulum Effects’ offered to this sort of build; however, there is very few ways to consistently get both of these lovely scales. However, the free Level Boost each turn gives a decent amount of ATK to your Ladies over time, and Eccentrick’s ability to destroy targets can be very useful.
- Symphonic Warrior – They have a common search card, and both of the Pendulums have strong effects if you are using the tuners. So therefore, you basically open up Synchro Summoning with this set of pendulum scales. And don’t forget both scales can be searched by Symphonic Warrior Sizerrs.
- Empowered Warrior – Both scales of the Empowered Warrior Pendulum suite are searched by Reinforcement of the Army. Works best when used in a more Chaos-Focused variant.
- Many more Pendulum pairings to come. This dream only gets better as more and more generic Pendulum monsters arrive to the game.
Completed Example Decklists:
The following are my Fortune Pendulum builds. For those who stuck it out, thanks for reading all the way through this article! There may be issues with this build and/or introduction to Pendulums and Fortune Ladies, but they are only meant as a starting point for your own deck-building endeavors in the future!
Fortune Igknight: Click Here
Fortune Magician: Click Here
To all of you who have kept up with reading my strategy articles, thank you so much for your support. I would like your feedback in the comments below as to which of the following ideas I should pursue as the next article I write. Fortune Ladies was chosen by the Org staff, now it’s your turn to pick what you want to see next! For your convenience, I’ve added a short description for each option,:
- Black Luster Soldier & Gaia the Fierce Knight
- Brand new support is coming soon in Dimensions of Chaos for Black Luster Soldier, but this new support shines without even touching the Ritual monsters.
- Key Cards: Awakened Gaia the Fierce Knight, Galloping Gaia the Fierce Knight, Black Luster Soldier – Sacred Soldier
- Endymion, The Fusion Citadel
- It has been over 1.5 years since I last wrote about Spell Counters – It’s time to revisit the mechanic and introduce a new way to approach the deck.
- Key Cards: Magical Exemplar, Performage Tricklown, Endymion the Master Magician
- You can build type-centric decks around many types, so let’s introduce how to build one around the newest type, Wyrms. This is no Yang Zing Article, but the deck certainly uses their Synchros to great effect!
- Key Cards: Paternal Seahorse, Bird of Paradise Lost, Romantic Royal Swamp Oarfish
- “C” Monarch
- The monarchs are powerful monsters that need a tribute engine to function, and the “C” theme is pretty much the best at providing support in that regard. Meet the Monarch deck that relies on Insects!
- Key Cards: Counterattacking “C”, Doom Dozer, Verdant Sanctuary
- Morphtronic Synchro
- While this deck isn’t necessarily receiving support in the TCG in the near future, OCG builds finally have a brand new boss and power fields are unevitable with the power of another 5Ds archetype!
- Key Cards: Stardust Sifr Spark Dragon, Morphtronic Smarfon, Morphtronic Celfon