It's a small change that makes a massive difference in how this new Truadeis perceived, and it's particularly interesting from a Side Deckperspective. Hey, Trunade! is easily one of the best solutions to match-upswhere large backrows are common, like Paleozoics.
Hey, Trunade! arrives at a strange time where hand traps are dominating thecompetitive scene and at least two of the most frequently-played normaltraps have nothing to lose from its effect. Trickstar Reincarnation'schainable to removal, and it'll probably be activated long before Trunadehas a chance to bounce it off the field. Evenly Matched is rarely setanyways, but there are some traps in Games 2 and 3 that validate Trunade'sexistence.
A More Balanced Approach To Mass Removal
There's been endless debate over the state of cards like Giant Trunade,Heavy Storm, and Harpie's Feather Duster. These cards answered backrow in away that defined entire formats, and the Limit on Harpie's Feather Dusterin the OCG is perhaps the single most important distinction between it andthe TCG.
While it was legal, Giant Trunade was well known as an OTK-enabler, and itseffect didn't leave players with any choice about how to effectively useit. It was a -1 if you simply tossed it on the field without a secondthought, but if you timed it correctly it was an essential part ofso many OTK's.
On the September 2011 Forbidden & Limited List Giant Trunade wasswapped out for Heavy Storm. Interestingly, Heavy Storm itself was comingoff a year-long stint on the Forbidden List, a first since it wasintroduced to the Limited List way back in 2003. In terms of card economyHeavy Storm was a potentially more devastating card, but it lackedsomething that made Giant Trunade so powerful: it couldn't return your ownspells and traps to your hand. That's the real reason Giant Trunade wasForbidden: its potential to break mechanics by repeatedly reusing FieldSpells, Continuous Spells, and Continuous Traps.
While Giant Trunade was legal some of my favorite plays involved abusing itget back my own cards. I'd activate Dragon Ravine, use its effect to searchDragunity Phalanx, then reload it to search Dragunity Dux. But there wereso many better plays, especially with cards like Call Of The Haunted andFiendish Chain, as well as floodgates like Dimensional Fissure, MacroCosmos, and Skill Drain. You could Special Summon Lonefire Blossom withCall Of The Haunted, activate Lonefire's effect to Summon a Plant, thenTrunade the Call Of The Haunted back to your hand. Heavy Storm accomplishedthe same goal of keeping backrow in check withoutenabling insane combos.
Unfortunately Heavy Storm created such massive shifts in card advantagethat its very existence shaped backrow line-ups and trap choices. It waseventually Forbidden in 2013 in the TCG, and it's remained there eversince. Denko Sekka, Holding Legs, Twin Twisters, and Heavy Storm Dusterhave addressed the problem of large backrows in their own way, and now Hey,Trunade! has arrived as another solution to set cards. What makes thisrework of Giant Trunade so much more palatable is the scope of its effect:it only returns set cards to the hand.
Unlike Giant Trunade it's impossible to abuse Hey, Trunade! with spells andtraps that stick around on the field. It's just as effective as everagainst set Normal and Counter Traps, and depending on your match-up thatmight be all you need. Still, its uses are fewer and further between, andthat places it squarely in the realm of Side Deck tech. It's devastatinglyeffective against the right line-up of traps, but it's a liability againstbuilds that forgo Solemns and Trap Holes for hand traps.
Bouncing The Bountiful Backrow
The latest Forbidden & Limited List returned Torrential Tribute andBottomless Trap Hole to the Unlimited List – a change that seems to make asolid argument for bumping up backrow removal in all forms. Whether Hey,Trunade! makes the cut is still up for debate, but it's a solid and easysolution to many other Normal Traps that are seeing Side Deck play.Floodgate Trap Hole, Mind Crush, and set copies of Quick-Play Spells likeCosmic Cyclone and Twin Twisters end up bumped off the field by Hey,Trunade!
Mass removal's often necessitated by a numbers game, and Hey, Trunade! iscertainly a winner in that respect. Against decks with truly massivebackrows, like Paleozoics, Trunade shines as a one-card answer to a stackedline-up of dangerous traps. If you can't afford the discard from TwinTwisters, or you need a card that can solve three or more backrowsimultaneously, Trunade's once again an excellent pick.
You'll see the most traps in any given match-up after Game 1 when youropponent's playing first in Game 2 or 3. It's an ideal situation forSummon-response traps like Bottomless Trap Hole and Floodgate Trap Hole,and it's also the domain of the entire Solemn series. Solemn Warning,Solemn Strike, and the freshly-Limited Solemn Judgement are easily sweptaside by Hey, Trunade, and when they show up in multiples of three or morethere are few better cards for the job. Solemn Judgment can negate Trunade,but I'm of the opinion that baiting out a Judgment with a single Trunade isworth it in the long run.
It's the lack of a discard cost that really sells Hey, Trunade! against itscompetitors. Twin Twisters isn't sustainable everywhere, especially indecks that can't leverage the discard into an advantage-generating playdown the line. When you can use the discard for a future playyou'll absolutely want to pick Twin Twisters over other backrow removal,and that's obvious, right? Nobody's picking Cosmic Cyclone over TwinTwisters when they have cards they desperately need to drop off into thegraveyard.
Since Hey, Trunade! can't touch face-up cards it's not even in the realm ofdiscussion when you're looking for Side Deck picks to counter floodgatesand other face-up spells and traps. The biggest face-up threats from nextformat are Anti-Spell Fragrance, SPYRAL Resort, and Time Pendulumgraph, andif your deck is vulnerable to these cards you'll still want to side heavilyfor them. Trunade finds its home in strategies that aren't concerned withthe most prominent continuous floodgates in the game, and especially thosethat can deal with them using on-theme methods.
Looking For Other Synergies
The role that's set up for Trunade is definitely narrow, and outside of themost ideal conditions it's essentially a counter side to a specific set oftrap cards. Siding in a single spell to launch OTK's and establish boardsisn't bad, but it's hard to recommend in the current climate of hand traps.
Cards like Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit,and Droll & Lock Bird are far more likely to disrupt your plays thanany Trap Hole or Solemn Counter Trap. Is it worth siding a card thatspecifically answers set traps that aren't chainable to removal?Dimensional Barrier's a particularly dangerous card this format thattotally dodges its effect.
Hey, Trunade! is interesting in a deck like Trickstars where you're largelyinterested in keeping your Normal Summon safe. The biggest threats toTrickstar Candina are Solemns, and while hand traps can also be an issuethey won't stop Trickstar Lycoris from resetting Candina. Lycoris itselfwill burn your opponent if it's on the field when Trunade resolves, andputting cards back in your opponent's hand increases the potential burndamage from a Trickstar Reincarnation next turn. Finally, Trickstar LightStage can lock down backrow, preventing it from being chained to removal,before kicking it off the field with Trunade.
The Artifact engine's back at full power with Artifact Moraltach returningto unlimited. Artifact Sanctum's easily countered by Trunade and eitherforces Sanctum's activation preemptively or kicks it off the field withouttriggering its effect. You can also return your own Artifacts to your handif you're playing a larger engine with Artifact Ignition. There are plentyof other themes where spells and traps can be set directly from the deck –namely Metalfoes – and Hey, Trunade! gives us a unique opportunity tobounce those cards back to the hand.
The progression of spell and trap removal in this game has reached a pointwhere a card like Hey, Trunade! is a niche option. It would have beenfantastic in an era without Twin Twisters, but for right now it's hard torecommend for any match-up outside of Paleozoics. Even there your opponentwill have a much easier time negating Trunade than halting Denko Sekka'sSummon. That said, Trunade has none of Denko Sekka's restrictions and won'tburn your Normal Summon. It's another option in a sea of spell and trapremoval, and I think it has enough advantages to warrant Side Deck slots inthe right strategy.
Until next time then
Kelly Locke is a West Michigangamer and writer. In addition to writing onTCGplayer, Kelly writes a personal blog covering Yu-Gi-Oh!, Destiny, andother hobbies. You can follow him onTwitter and check out his Youtube channel. He also studied marketing at Western Michigan University.