An often-overlooked aspect of counterplay – whether it's Game 1 interactionbetween tech choices or a battle of Side Deck cards in Games 2 and 3 – isthe necessity to find your counters before it's too late.

Timeliness matters in Yu-Gi-Oh! and it's especially important that yourfloodgates, hand traps, and other counters are ready when you need toanswer your opponent's plays. You can run a dozen Counter Traps specific toa single match-up and just never see them. The point of running counters tospecific match-ups is to give yourself an advantage you might not haveotherwise, but that strategy's wasted if you can't find the very cards toswing the duel in your favor.

I stress searchable Side Deck cards and searchable Main Deck counters for areason: you're more likely to see them, and they'll almost certainly have abigger impact on the duel. Themed interruption and the negation orfloodgate effects of boss monsters are just more reliable than genericoptions.

Mistake's a solid card with high match-up utility and a commanding effecton search-heavy strategies, but it doesn't see much play outside of theoccasional Paleozoic list. Thunder Dragon Colossus does its job better withvastly more survivability. More importantly it's a themed Fusion Monsterthat's extremely likely to hit the field on Turn 1.

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Even searchable removal's immensely valuable so long as the cards you'retrying remove aren't floodgate effects like Colossus. But not everystrategy has on-theme removal, and even some that do simply won't playthem. No two themes are created equal, so many themed removal options justaren't worth it. Generic options like Heavy Storm Duster, Twin Twisters,Kaijus, and any number of hand traps fill that void with mostlyunsearchable removal and interruption effects, but Trap Trick changes thisdynamic – at least for Normal Traps.

Trap Trick's a fascinating card that can effectively search any Normal Trapthat you can run at least two of. There are over nine-hundred Normal Trapsin the game, but until now there hasn't been a way to directly search themwithout meeting an extremely narrow set of conditions or paying a pricethat's much too high for serious competitive play.

Trap Trick, on the other hand, exchanges itself in a one-for-one trade thatinstantly sets up a new trap activation. It's a game changer for NormalTraps, and it's well worth talking about from both a Main Deck and SideDeck perspective.

New King Of Utility
Normal Traps fill any number of niche roles, and by extension Trap Trick'sequally capable of acting as removal, negation, or some other form ofinterruption. Heavy Storm Duster covers backrow removal, Torrential Tributeanswers the call for monster removal following a Summon, and Mind Crushinterrupts combos by discarding freshly-searched cards. There are dozens ofoutstanding traps we could spend time discussing, but I think the value ofTrap Trick from a utility perspective is obvious enough. What makes TrapTrick worth playing isn't so much its pool of targets, but rather its easeof use.

Setting a trap during your opponent's turn would normally be a liability,but the card set by Trap Trick is live immediately. That won't help you ifyou're attempting to respond to an activation or Summon, but it does meanthat you won't be waiting another turn to activate your traps. You canactivate Trap Trick to set Mind Crush, then activate Mind Crush immediatelyafter so long as your opponent doesn't have an effect of their own to use.Keep in mind that this is slightly easier to play around than setting MindCrush normally; your opponent can sneak in an activation by chaining toTrap Trick, or activating something after Trap Trick resolves.

Trap Trick still beats targeted removal by chaining to cards like TwinTwisters or Heavy Storm Duster. It's extremely vulnerable to non-targetingremoval, but effects like that are few and far between. Sky StrikerManeuver - Afterburners! is the most common instance of non-targetingbackrow removal and that's mostly limited to a single match-up. You'llrarely need to worry about losing your card to removal, and in fact TrapTrick is an excellent pick to bait out destruction effects.

Since Trap Trick actually sets a trap you can use that trap's effect lateronce it's loaded into the graveyard. Breakthrough Skill and PhantomKnights' Fog Blade appreciate this, and so do dozens of themed traps likeMagician Navigation, Altergeist Manifestation, and Until Noble Arms areNeeded Again. Conversely, Metaphys can take advantage of the banishcomponent of Trap Trick by triggering Metaphys Ascension directly from thedeck.

We've seen trap heavy builds of Metaphys find success at Regionals alreadythis year – Trap Trick could be a huge boost in the right build.

Even More Consistent Trickstars
I'm a huge fan ofthis Top 8 Trickstar buildfrom the Winnipeg Canada Regional which ran three copies of Trap Trick.With four Normal Traps to choose from, Trap Trick would have had excellentutility by acting as another search effect for Trickstar Reincarnation, orby finding monster negation, or removal.

Heavy Storm Duster and Infinite Impermanence are obvious choices to playwith Trap Trick, but it's the other two targets that really make this trapline-up interesting. More searches for Trickstar Reincarnation means,plainly, more disruption, but it also helps to load Reincarnation in thegraveyard earlier to boost Summoning power by the third turn of the duel.

Of course, Trickstar Reincarnation's more than just a bit of handdisruption and a graveyard-activated Monster Reborn: it's also a key playerin an interaction with Droll & Lock Bird that wipes out the opponent'shand. Trap Trick nearly guarantees seeing Trap Trick early in the duel, soas long as you can draw a Droll & Lock Bird and bait out an opponent'ssearch effect you can drop their hand count down to zero. I'm stillsurprised this interaction has remained legal for over a year with nothingbeing changed about Trickstar Reincarnation or Droll & Lock Bird, butTrap Trick lets players lean into that win condition provided they canachieve the more difficult part: actually drawing the hand trap.

Trap Trick searches Artifact Sanctum too: another high-utility card thattriggers two of the best temporary floodgates in the game. Artifact Scythecompletely shuts down your opponent's ability to Summon from the Extra Deckfor an entire turn, and unlike Dimensional Barrier it doesn't exclude Linksfrom its floodgate effect. It's terrific against virtually every majorcompetitive strategy, but the Artifact engine has faced one major challengesince its introduction in Primal Origin: the threat of drawing anArtifact monster before drawing Sanctum is seriously worrying.Luckily Trap Trick makes it much more likely that you'll see Sanctum first.

Faster access to Artifact Scythe, Artifact Moralltach, and optionallyArtifact Lancea is a game-changer for Artifact hybrids. I don't think it'sa must-run necessarily, and especially since Trap Trick limits the numberof traps you can activate for the remainder of the turn, but it's atremendous boost for decks that can support it. One of Trap Trick's owndisadvantages is that it gives away the name and location of thefreshly-set trap, but since Artifact Sanctum is both immediately chainableand punishing if destroyed it ends up mitigating Trap Trick'sdrawbacks.

Ultimately Heavy Storm Duster may be the single best search with TrapTrick. Trickstars, for example, don't have on-theme spell and trap removaloutside of the lockdown effect of Trickstar Light Stage. They're reliant onthe Extra Deck or generic options, so Trap Trick's role in the deck issimply to act as six more copies of Heavy Storm Duster.

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It's an alternative to loading up on Twin Twisters or Red Reboot, and Ithink in a build that's already stocked with Normal Traps it's an excellentfit. By setting Heavy Storm Duster Trap Trick can help you break out ofsituations where you're trapped under floodgates or losing momentum againstheavy backrow, and that's enough of a game changer to put it on everyone'sradar.

Many of today's best traps are Continuous Traps and as a result there'snothing Trap Trick can do with them. Gozen Match and Rivalry of Warlordscan't be set from the deck, but Artifacts and Dimensional Barrier can fillin as temporary floodgates with slightly more consistency thanks to TrapTrick. Obviously Trap Trick isn't a fit for every deck, and even thoserunning plenty of traps might not be running sufficient Normal Traps forTrap Trick to be live. Larger trap line-ups also run into problems withTrap Trick's restrictions on trap activations. Altergeists can make itwork, asJack Verma's Top 16 build from YCS Milanshows.

Verma's build leverages two of the same cards as the Artifact Trickstarbuild we previously looked at – Heavy Storm Duster and InfiniteImpermanence – as well as Mind Crush. While he couldn't use it to searchany of his themed trap cards he could instead side Trap Trick toeffectively increase the numbers of one of his Normal Traps. That gave hima bit more stopping power in specific match-ups where InfiniteImpermanence, Duster, or Mind Crush happened to be more effective.

There's still plenty of space to explore Trap Trick this format, and Ithink at some point in the future we'll be talking about it as a stapleSide Deck or pick to search out a crazy new trap. It's easily the bestsleeper hit in Soul Fusion and worth grabbing copies now if youcan. It can only get better from here.

Until next time then

-Kelly


Kelly​​​ ​​​Locke​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​a​​​ ​​​West​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​​​​gamer and writer. In​​​ ​​​addition​​​ ​​​to​​​ ​​​writing​​​ ​​​onTCGplayer,​​​ ​​​Kelly​​​ ​​​writes​​​ a ​​​​​​personal​​​ ​​​blog​​​​​​ ​​​covering​​​ ​​​Yu-Gi-Oh!,​​​ ​​​Destiny,​​​ ​​​and​​​​​​other​​​ ​​​hobbies. You​​​ ​​​can follow​​​ ​​​him​​​ ​​​on​​​​​​​​​Twitter​​​​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​check​​​ ​​​out​​​ ​​​his​​​ ​​​​​​Youtube​​​ ​​​channel​​​. He​​​ ​​​also studied marketing at Western Michigan University.