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Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links adds ARC-V characters and Pendulum Summons to digital card game

Swing and a hit for fans of even more math in their matches.

Digital card game Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links has announced characters, cards and mechanics from the ARC-V series will arrive on September 28th, altering online competitive matches with the rule-bending Pendulum Summons and bringing some coinciding log-in bonuses of cards and other currencies, to boot.

The fresh batch of additions is the latest update for the popular client, which allows players to match up with each other for a slightly truncated version of the standard Yi-Gi-Oh! TCG format. Duel Links, which is available on PC, Mac and mobile devices, limits the number of cards in each duelist’s deck, their Life Point Total and the size of the monster and trap zones on the game board. This keeps matches short and manageable without sacrificing the complex and heady strategy the title is known for.

The characters migrating over from the ARC-V anime series include protagonist Yuya Sakaki, Zuzu Boyle, Gong Strong and Sylvio Sawatari. This fourth spin-off from the original run first aired in 2014 and brought several new ideas and concepts to both the show and the card game at the center, largely to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise. Like past content updates, these characters will likely need to be unlocked through their respective missions and Legendary Duelist encounter.

Cards, archetypes and skills based on ARC-V’s run will also make its way into the game, with Pendulum Summoning likely being the most exciting item on the list. The signature style lets a player possibly summon several monsters depending on how they have arranged their board. It’s a tad complicated, but essentially two monster cards with the Pendulum ability can be placed in specific zones to summon more with a certain value between numbers printed on the left and right side of their card text. It takes a bit of setup, but the payoff could be huge under the right circumstance.

Duel Links players who log in during the launch of the new content can nab two ultra rare, prismatic foil Pendulum monsters - Stargazer Magician and Timegazer Magician - along with a number of tickets, gems and card sleeves and a game mat with artwork from the ARC-V anime. A full list of the cards included in the upcoming Boxes can be found on publisher Konami’s website.

Duel Links has been one of the best ways to play the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG digitally (and one of Dicebreaker's best digital board games) since its 2016 release. Beginner friendly and free-to-download, it offers a more manageable experience for those wanting to learn how to play Yu-Gi-Oh! for the first time. That might change once Master Duel releases sometime in the future. Konami hasn’t provided a release date but said the cross-platform client will be available on all major consoles and mobile, and it is positioning it as the main avenue for competitive play.

This image from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Fandom wiki does perhaps the best job explaining Pendulum Summons, but it's still a knot of text.

Fervor for the paper version hasn’t slowed down with the rise in online play. A recent Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon booster case sold for a whopping $584,000 at auction to become the most valuable Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG product sold in such a fashion. While the secondary market has suffered from a rash of counterfeiting in the recent past, dozens of rare and valuable Yu-Gi-Oh! cards from sets both old and new still manage to entice ridiculous amounts of cash to exchange hands.

The ARC-V update will arrive on Duel Links September 28th at no additional cost to current or new players, though grabbing in-game currencies and randomised boxes certainly will.

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