Tej Trivedi won TCGplayer's New Jersey YGO State Championship using a modified version of HAT – more accurately acronymed as KAT! The 'K' stands for Kuribandit, which replaced Fire and Ice Hand in Trivedi's Main Deck. Running Kuribandit over the Hands has become increasingly popular since the North American WCQ, a trend largely owed to the added consistency Kuribandit grants. By revealing more cards, Kuribandit let Trivedi find Artifact Sanctum, Soul Charge, or Solemn Warning earlier in the duel. Excavating monsters also speeds things up by yarding targets for Traptrix Dionaea, Soul Charge, and Call Of The Haunted.
It's not just two Furry Fiends that sets this deck apart. Trivedi also played a slightly expanded Artifact line-up that included Artifact Caduceus. By Summoning Caduceus ahead of an Artifact Beagalltach play, Trivedi could nab a few extra draws while destroying his opponent's cards and setting up multiple Rank 5 Xyz. It's a huge, game-changing play that's tough to pull off, but Double Cyclone, Call Of The Haunted, and Kuribandit help make it happen from time to time.
Trivedi Side Decked Malevolent Catastrophe – another way to trigger his Artifacts while also destroying opposing backrow cards. Doomcaliber Knight was a smart pick for the inevitable HAT match-up; its huge ATK makes it stronger than all of his opponent's Main Deck monsters besides Moralltach. If Trivedi's opponent tried to Summon something bigger, Doomcaliber's effect would kick in and put a stop to it. He could also use Doomcaliber to attack set monsters like Fire Hand or Geargiarmor and negate their effects.
Kuribandit makes a huge difference for Traptrix Artifacts – enough to get players to drop Hands from their builds entirely. Alan Gomez placed second at the Virginia State Championship with a similar strategy, although he elected to max out Kuribandit and played fewer Artifacts. These decks are already distancing themselves from Korey McDuffle's WCQ-winning HAT build, and we'll continue to see this strategy evolve as Duelist Alliance hits the TCG later this month.