I've always prided myself on my ability to do well against the competitive decks, and I've learned how to effectively play a large variety of rogue strategies, always trying to find the deck with an edge over the competitive scene. What I'm not used to is playing one strategy for a while and it suddenly becoming the next big thing.

I've been playing Traptrix for months now, even earning a Regional Top 8 in a format dominated by Dragon Rulers and Dragon Ravine. So when I found out that Traptrix were getting a new monster in Primal Origins, I was ecstatic! I've been tinkering around with my older builds for a while now, and while I'm still not at my final build, I was able to come to a build that I felt confident taking to the first TCGplayer YGO Series tournament this past weekend in Orlando.

DECKID= 100282 Traptrix Hands seems to be one of the big breakout strategies of this past weekend. There were three variants that made the Top 8 at the YGO Series Open, and eight in the Top 32 of YCS Philadelphia. There are a wide variety of engines that fit together in this new strategy, but I decided to stick to my roots and use my all-time favorite card, Mist Valley Falcon, along with a full suite of Continuous Traps to abuse with it.

While that seems to be far less popular than other engines played with Traptrix this weekend, this build worked out very well for me, earning me 3rd place after Swiss at the YGO Series. While I couldn't squeeze it down to 40 cards – something I was set on – the long-game control plan of the deck as a whole made the couple extra answers a non-issue.

The Bag Of Trix
Traptrix as a whole haven't done too much before this weekend, but the individual monsters are already incredibly powerful. Traptrix Myrmeleo has been a favorite splash into decks such as last format's +1 Fire Fist decks for its ability to continually generate easy card advantage. Whenever Myrmeleo's Normal Summoned, you get to search a "Hole" trap card, which is pretty ridiculous. Bottomless Trap Hole's one of the premier traps of competitive play already, banishing nearly any threat. On top of that, you can search out the original Trap Hole, which answers most Normal Summons and disrupts the early games of many strategies. You've also got Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, which can take down a very wide variety of effects. There are even a few strong Side Deck options that Myrmeleo can search as well, most notably the Dragon-slaying Dark Trap Hole' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Deep Dark Trap Hole">Deep Dark Trap Hole, and the Soul Charge-stopping Giant Trap Hole.

If searching a "Trap Hole" card wasn't enough, Myrmeleo also destroys a spell or trap your opponent controls whenever she's Special Summoned! That greatly increases the power of a lot of already powerful cards like Call Of The Haunted, and adds even more value to the incredibly strong Soul Charge. However, the biggest thing that makes this effect so incredible is the new addition to the Traptrix arsenal: Primal Origin's Traptrix Dionaea!

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Traptrix Dionaea's a godsend to the Traptrix strategy as a whole. Much like Traptrix Myrmeleo, Dionaea provides constant card advantage every time you Summon it. When Normal Summoned, Dionaea Summons any Traptrix from your graveyard. Dionaea gets a lot of comparisons to the now-Limited powerhouse Coach Soldier Wolfbark, but she's arguably even better. While she isn't as easily accessible, the monster Dionaea revives keeps its effects. That means in addition to reviving a monster as a quick +1 or to make a 1-card Xyz, she also nets an additional +1 from the monster she revives. Summoning back Myrmeleo can be an absolute blowout, clearing a backrow before making a powerful Xyz! With the current popularity of Black Horn of Heaven, that often allows powerful monsters to stick that normally would fall to the traps.

But clearing backrow isn't the only bonus Dionaea has over Wolfbark. When Dionaea's Special Summoned, you can set one of your Trap Hole cards from your graveyard, priming it for a second use! While it gets banished at your next turn's End Phase, you still have a turn with an extra Trap Hole, making a lot of players play around it entirely for their turn. Even when you don't kill anything with your recycled trap card, it generally means you stopped your opponent's entire turn's worth of plays. Think of it like Crimson Blader. When your opponent's locked out under Blader, they'll often have to forego making plays just to escape its effect, leaving them open to a big attack the next turn. While these Traptrix decks are not the most likely to put a full 8000 damage on board in one turn, pushing through the last of the damage necessary to finish off an opponent in the late game's pretty easy, making the free turn allowed by the extra Trap Hole a huge bonus.

The last two Traptrix monsters aren't seeing much play at the moment. Traptrix Nepenthes is a perfect example of a card that looks amazing on paper, but in practice doesn't work out very well. She allows you to search out a Traptrix Monster to your hand or Summon one to the field whenever you activate a Trap Hole card, but her stats make her awkward to Summon and keep alive without the support of out-of-place monsters like Lonefire Blossom, and her dependence on having a Trap Hole's a much bigger problem than it might first seem.

Traptrix Atrax is a favorite of mine, but unfortunately most builds don't have enough space to run it. It allows you to activate Trap Hole cards from your hand instead of needing to set them first, keeping them out of harm's way, especially from mass removal like Evilswarm Exciton Knight. However, that's not the best part. Atrax also says your Normal Trap cards can't be negated, allowing you to play through Trap Stun and Royal Decree with ease, and keeping many of your cards safe from Wiretap. While it may not be important now, if Traptrix continues to be a popular deck going forward it may become necessary due to an increase in Trap negation. We'll see where that goes in the coming weeks.

True Handiwork
Between Traptrix Myrmeleo and Traptrix Dionaea, you have a constant stream of free card advantage, but with the bulk of it coming from searching traps that can be played around that engine isn't quite enough to carry games on its own. Luckily, we've also been gifted with what are probably the most splashable cards since Reborn Tengu: Fire Hand and Ice Hand! The hands take the resilience of Reborn Tengu and tack on incredibly powerful spot removal effects, making them an almost auto-include in nearly every deck. If you've been reading the other articles here on TCGplayer over the past few weeks, you've already heard more than enough about how great these cards are, but trust me; it's anything but mere hype.

My older Traptrix builds often ran into issues with certain continuous cards, like Royal Decree and Skill Drain. With more ways of summoning Myrmeleo, it's been easier to take down some of these, but with the Hands in the mix, virtually nothing's impossible to answer. The hands require special attention to play around. Your opponent has to force them to miss the timing to their optional triggers, or prevent them from destroying cards in the first place. The effort your opponent puts into clearing your hands safely often leaves them in a poorer position, ready for you to capitalize on.

The question with the hands isn't whether or not to run them, but how many copies to run them at. A large percentage of the time you'll be crashing your Hands into your opponent's monsters to tear apart their field, so you want to have enough to make a significant dent, however you don't want to end up drawing too many monsters in your opening six; if that happens, you can't keep control with your traps, leaving the choice of whether you should run two or three of each Hand up in the air.

The decision will generally depend on how many other monsters you're playing in your deck, as the strategy's main control hinges around your backrow. Generally, you want no more than fifteen non-hand trap monsters in your deck, just to avoid drawing too many of them. Whether or not you should play two or three sets of Hands generally comes down to what other monster suites you play.

The Sweet Suites!
Yeah, you heard that right: monster suites. As in, there are multiple to choose from. There's a lot of space available to you if you opt to play a Traptrix Hand deck. Even if you go the most pure route and simply go for playsets of each of the two main Traptrix and the Hands, that's only twelve monsters total, leaving you space for another small batch of monsters to fill in the gaps.

These are general "good stuff" decks, as I like to call them. All of your cards are simple, strong stand-alone cards that are a great mixture of sheer strength and high utility. As such there are a good handful of small "good stuff" engines that can flesh out the remainder of your build, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

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The first suite I want to talk about is the accelerator suite. Simple card drawing monsters like Cardcar D and Maxx "C" speed up the strategy to get to your powerful card pairs faster. With so many cards that can get extra value out of Traptrix Myrmeleo, like Call Of The Haunted and Traptrix Dionaea, adding monsters that not only get you to Myrmeleo more reliably, but also to get you the powerful cards to combo with it, can give you a big leg up on your opponents. In addition, the acceleration lets you see your Hands faster, and can strip apart opposing early games in surprisingly quick fashion. The downside's that the space those draw cards take up can interfere with the deck's flexibility; that said, you can easily opt to use an accelerator suite alongside another monster suite if you Shrink down the number of Traptrix and Hands in your deck just slightly.

The basic core of Fire Fists is another powerful monster suite! Splashing in three Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear and a Coach Soldier Wolfbark gives the deck a powerful monster removal engine and an extra way of making Rank 4 Xyz! The Bears become a self-sustaining monster supply through the Fire Formation – Tenkis that they search out, and the ability to play both the mass negation of Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King and the incredibly resilient Bujintei Kagutsuchi opens up a solid set of plays that other Traptrix builds don't have.

If you feel you have the space, you can even splash in a single Mother Grizzly. Since it's a Beast-Warrior to grab with Tenki, Grizzly gives you a searchable route into your chain of Hands, crashing her into a monster to access Ice Hand! It's one of the strongest engines you can splash. While I haven't been playing the Fire Fists myself, my good friend Isaac Chou managed to finish just behind me in Swiss at YGO Series Orlando playing Fire Fists in his Traptrix Hand build.

Traptrix Hands is most definitely an Anti-Meta deck at heart, and because of that, all of the popular Stun cards fit in just fine. Thunder King Rai-Oh continuous to be one of the best stand-alone monsters in the entire game, and monsters like Banisher of the Radiance, Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo, and even Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer all have a strong position against popular decks. The key to using them effectively in the Main Deck is to be sure that you don't let them interfere with your common plays, namely your Hands.

Your deck revolves around graveyard-based effects and Special Summons quite a bit, so playing a Fossil Dyna or Banisher at the wrong time could be disastrous. But when you use them properly, these cards can shut out many decks, including the mirror match. Running over a Hand with Banisher on the board can be a huge momentum shift in your favor, and cannot be taken too lightly. I've opted to side a pair of Banishers and Fossil Dynas in my deck, but it's definitely a solid main deck option as well.

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My personal favorite suite's the set of Mist Valley Falcons with accompanying traps. If you've read my previous article on the card, you'll know that Mist Valley Falcon has huge utility and generates card advantage through the recycling cards. Cards like Call Of The Haunted and Fiendish Chain can get multiple uses, greatly increasing their value, but the Traptrix give Falcon even more utility. With your heavy backrow protecting your monsters, it's easy to have a Falcon return a Traptrix Myrmeleo from the field back to your hand, allowing you to Normal Summon Myrmeleo again the following turn to search yet another trap. I've won plenty of games off of repeatedly summoning the same Myrmeleo and searching out every Trap Hole in my deck.

On top of that, you can recycle Traptrix Dionaea to Summon out another Traptrix from the graveyard every turn, triggering their Special Summoning effects. The fact that Dionaea's trap-setting ability deters your opponent from making big moves is another huge upside to Mist Valley Falcon. Your opponent will play around the Trap Hole you set in order to wait it out for a turn, generally leaving you free to Summon a Falcon and return the set trap to your hand the following turn, before it gets banished. With the trap now a permanent threat, your opponent's forced to play into it or tread lightly for the entire game.

Not Even Our Final Form!
I've been going over plenty of ways to play the Traptrix Hands, but I haven't even gotten to touch on what's probably the biggest build of the weekend! Come back tomorrow when I go in depth on the pros and cons of the Artifact engine in the Traptrix Deck, and discuss the directions you can take your Spell and Trap lineup in this wide open strategy!

-By Bobby Kenny