In a general sense, the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG's a volatile, roaring ocean; it doesn't stay the same very long, even if it always just looks like water. We as a community can more or less expect the Top 8, Top 16 or Top 32 of an event to look vaguely similar to the rest in the same format – currently Geargia, Bujin, Artifacts, Madolches and all the usual offenders. What changes is the tech; there are subtle card choices that show off all kinds of interesting points about the process of deck building, and unique preparations players undertake to compete in a specific metagame. Tech choices reflect a shifting understanding of the format and a range of opinions amongst different players.

For example, Skull Meister was a three dollar card for the last eternity or so, and last week it skyrocketed to around thirty dollars. The Reasoning for that was mostly Fire Hand and Ice Hand, but there are plenty of monsters that activate in the graveyard right now. Who used Skull Meister and brought it to popularity again? Cory Davis had two in his Side Deck when he won YGO Open Atlanta two weeks ago; you can check out that decklist over in our Deck Archive if you're interested in seeing what his build was like. That was all it took, and Skull Meister was suddenly a hot card again.

Before Skull Meister's recent jump, there was another card that had a similar spike and I just can't avoid talking about it today: Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare.

The Best Bad Dream
Of the sixteen decks that made the Top Cut at TCGplayer's YGO Open in Atlanta, seven of them were using Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare in their Main Deck. That same weekend at YCS Philadelphia, at least five of the Top 32 had it in their Main or Side. Compared to the popularity of the card before those events, that's approximately twelve more people using it than usual. It was one of those Super Rares that settled around the price-point of "what's that card again?"

Despite that, looking at Skullmeister now it's hard to see why it wasn't wildfire before. Without digging too far below the surface it has obvious potential, and its new-found popularity seems justified. Like Memory of an Adversary, there are just some cards that slip through the cracks and go unnoticed.

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Like most Trap Hole traps, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare works to put monsters that were Summoned that turn six feet into the graveyard. The difference here is that unlike other Trap Holes, this one doesn't catch a monster the moment it hits the field. Instead, the monster has to activate its effect on the same turn that it arrives: realistically though, that's more of a semantic difference than anything else. It's not like Bottomless Trap Hole does anything to a monster that's been out for a few turns either, so the window of opportunity's similar.

Another point that sets Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare apart from other Trap Holes is that monsters with immunity to destruction can't protect themselves from it. Since it negates the opposing monster's effects before it destroys them, your opponent has to watch and cry as their monster gets negotiated off the field with ruthless indifference. The fact that the monster needs to be Special Summoned makes Nightmare a little more particular about what you get to destroy, but if the way the game's been heading recently is any indication, no one's going to know what a Normal Summon is by next year anyway.

Lookin' at you, Pendulum Summoning.

The real appeal of Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare is that there are basically no Xyz or boss monsters right now that would get Special Summoned and not use their effects on the same turn. Virtually every Xyz that sees play on the competitive circuit activates its effect the first turn they're on the field. Gear Gigant X searches for something, Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack makes Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens, Number 11: Big Eye tries to steal something, Ghostrick Alucard shoots at backrow – just about the only Xyz that doesn't is Gem-Knight Pearl, and I'd bet someone's tried.

It's not just Extra Deck monsters that you can count on shooting out, though. If your opponent uses Geargiarsenal to Special Summon a Geargiarmor, you can bet that Geargiarmor's definitely going to activate its effect to flip face down. That's your opportunity to practice tank-busting. Lonefire Blossom and other cards that Special Summon from the deck and graveyard reek of opportunity, too. Since most people pull a second Lonefire out and try to use it immediately to deck-thin, you can bust up their garden for one card. Of course Soul Charge could lead to some problems there, but Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare can pop any monsters that Soul Charge brings back from the graveyard. I believe that's called a "checkmate"?

Because so many monsters activate their effects on the first turn that they're on the field, and so many monsters are Special Summoned, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare's essentially an Effect Veiler on steroids. Except it puts the rage on your opponent, so that's nice. Effect Veiler's a whole different ball game, but the fact remains that they're both effect negating cards. Instead of shutting the monster off for a turn, you're shutting it off completely and throwing it into the graveyard. Things like Scrap Dragon that have an effect which will trigger when it's destroyed or removed from the field still get to activate and resolve, since they're off the field when they activate, but anything that triggers on the field's at your mercy while you have Nightmare set.

Then take into consideration Traptrix Mermeleo and Traptrix Dionaea and you have both searchability and recursion, letting you use your two or three copies more quickly, more efficiently and over and over again. Plus Dionaea gives you an Xyz Monster for your trouble; Special Summoning a Dionaea from your graveyard on your Normal Summon of another Dionaea lets you set Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare from your graveyard and goes into any generic Rank 4 as a +1. It's been said before that decks win when they can access Extra Deck monsters more efficiently than the other decks in their metagame, and Traptrix do that to an outstanding capacity.

Ditch The Competition
Now that Primal Origin's street legal and we have all of the new cards it brought to the TCG at our disposal, Artifacts are running wild like so many duelists predicted they would. Five Artifact decks made the Top 16 at the YGO Open in Atlanta, all packing multiples of Artifact Moralltach and Artifact Beagalltach, and three using Artifact Scythe. On top of that, YCS Philadelphia had four more. They're excellent cards, so it makes perfect sense. The most relevant part lies in the spells and traps. Thanks to Artifact Ignition and Artifact Sanctum, Artifact players have six Reinforcement of the Army that also do other stuff. Anyone running Artifacts is guaranteed to Special Summon monsters with effects that trigger on their Special Summon left and right. That makes them a prime target for Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, whether you stop the first Artifact, the second or the Xyz they inevitably make with them. No matter how you approach it, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare's going to be live and effective against them for most of the game.

Geargia are still a thing too, representing three of the Top 16 in Atlanta and two of the Top 32 in Philadelphia. They were the second most played deck at each, and they've been a dominating force for the entire format. Between Geargiarsenal-Summoned Geargiarmors trying to flip face down and all of the Xyz that might come to the field throughout the course of the duel, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare's the last thing your opponent wants to see flip up. Though it doesn't hit all of the Geargia monsters, it does literally hit the only ones that matter. Without Xyz or Geargiarmor, the Geargia deck has to sit idle and spin its wheels in place while you rip it apart.

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Then there are Madolches, which Chris LeBlanc carried to the winner's circle at YCS Philadelphia. I talked about that last week in my article on Madolche Anjelly, which you can check out right here if you missed it. If you didn't miss it, here's a link straight to LeBlanc's 1st Place Madolche decklist for the sake of convenience. Anjelly's the sole card that propelled Madolche back into competition, but it also doubles up on the deck's vulnerability to Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare. More often than not, Anjelly's going to Special Summon Madolche Hootcake or Madolche Messengelato, and both are guaranteed to keep things rolling by activating their effects. Madolche Mewfeuille Special Summoning a Madolche from the hand's another wrong step for any of your opponents looking to avoid getting rocked.

Unanimously across the board there are monsters in every deck that activate their effects the first turn they're on the field, and listing even just the most played ones by name would be tremendous. Bujin, Six Samurai, Gladiator Beasts, Plant Synchro, Traptrix, Inzektors, Infernities, Evilswarm, Lightsworn, Chaos Control, just about every Ritual deck ever made… the list rambles on. There are so many targets that it's just as live as most other traps at every phase of the game.

No Greater Crater
All things laid on the table, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare has every facet of being a wildly successful trap for the foreseeable future. It's totally generic, so you can push it into your trap lineup no matter what you're running. There's no cost of any kind, so you can be confident it won't be a dead draw like Solemn Warning can be. It breaks through monsters with built-in protection, narrowing the field of what it can't smash.

Were you one of the few that had faith in Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare before it became a trend? If so, how long were you using it before, and if not, why weren't you playing it? Sometimes it's just a matter of playstyle, and other times it's a factor of Royal Decree or running an alternate win condition deck that has no use for that kind of thing, I'm sure, but I'd be excited to hear your Reasoning. Regardless though, Nightmare's only getting more popular and you can probably count on seeing your opponent's flip it on you pretty soon.

-Beau