Last weekend Korey McDuffie won the 2014 North American World Championship Qualifier and became our new North American Champion! McDuffie used Traptrix Hand Artifacts, or HATs, to score his invite to the World Championship – and he wasn't alone. Of the six North American players heading to Italy next month, five of them played HAT variants.
McDuffie's build showcases several recent changes to the strategy. Artifact Beagalltach and Artifact Ignition are seemingly missing from the deck, but McDuffie's decision not to play them gave him a serious edge over his competition. Both cards can become dead draws halfway through a duel, so cutting them helped improve his deck's consistency. In the place of Ignition, McDuffie ran a full set of Mystical Space Typhoon. While most players are siding their Typhoons, McDuffie used them in the Main Deck to counter Fire Formation - Tenki, Fiendish Chain, Skill Drain, and Miracle Fertilizer, as well as destroy his Moralltachs in a pinch. Encountering so many Typhoons in game one likely surprised many of his opponents.
In his Side Deck McDuffie played three more cards for Traptrix Myrmeleo to search: Acid Trap Hole and a pair of Dark Trap Hole' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Deep Dark Trap Hole">Deep Dark Trap Hole. Acid is awesome against Geargiarmor; when going first in game two or three, McDuffie could side it in and grab it with Myrmeleo before his opponent could set up a Geargiarmor. Dark Trap Hole' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Deep Dark Trap Hole">Deep Dark Trap Hole offers extra removal against Sylvans, Dragon Rulers, Mermails, and Lightsworn – banishing big monsters that can resist Fire Hand or Moralltach's simple destruction tricks. The Transmigration Prophecy was a surprising, but smart pick with an abundance of match-up utility. Besides recycling cards in his own graveyard, McDuffie could use Transmigration to send monsters – Soul Charge targets, Lightsworn and Bujingi monsters – in his opponent's graveyard back into their decks.
Traptrix Hand Artifact variants are poised to remain one of the biggest decks of the format, right up until the release of Duelist Alliance. It won't be playable at the World Championship due to Moralltach being Limited, but you can be sure we'll see plenty more of this strategy over the next month in regular TCG play.