Even more than that, Legacy of the Valiant comes out practically a week from today, and that's going to shift the format dramatically. New Bujin and Gravekeeper cards are going to hit the TCG pretty hard, and there will definitely be people trying out Mobius the Mega Monarch. Well, more people than there were on Team Granmarg, anyway. (If you're on a legitimate team and you call yourself 'Team Granmarg,' that's amazing and I love you).
So what can we take away from the last three weeks of testing and really use as helpful information for the coming months of competition? Backrow-intensive decks are going to be popular, and people will probably be building to counter those trap-heavy strategies. Inzektors have been driving that second point home lately with promising Regional success, so that's something to keep in mind during deck building. Unless you're going to be playing Inzektors yourself though, that probably doesn't help you fight off the load of traps that are going to be flipping in your general direction. As far as splashable solutions go, probably the best advice right now is to start testing with Trap Stun.It's A Trap!
Once you get past that and start to look at the card effect itself, you have to play the comparison game. While it's tremendously strong, Royal Decree does virtually the same thing as Trap Stun, except for more turns. Why would you purposely use a card that does the same thing as another, but does it less? The biggest difference is Trap Stun's lax interaction with your own traps. If you're going to be packing Royal Decree you basically have to be defenseless as long as it's active, and that limits Decree to strategies that can get away with a lot of hand-traps or Quick-Play Spells. Frog Monarchs are a good example, as are some Karakuri variants. There were some Dragon Rulers that tried to get on that bandwagon last format also, since all they really had in the way of non-monsters was draw power and Return from the Different Dimension.
Trap Stun swoops in like a glorious, purplish angel with a lightning jetpack, ready to disable traps just long enough for you to safely establish a field or make sure a play gets forced through. Afterward, it has the courtesy to step away so you can hold your position with whatever defensive traps you have set. If Decree was like disabling two swordsmen's shields, Trap Stun's like ripping your opponent's shield away just long enough to stab him a couple times.
Beyond that, it can turn off floodgate cards for a turn without clearing them completely away, a use that doesn't see nearly as much discussion as I think it should. If you had Rivalry of Warlords or Gozen Match out because your opponent's deck can't handle that kind of restriction, but you also needed to make a Synchro or Xyz Monster with the wrong type or attribute, you could Trap Stun and make your play with no interference. Once the turn ends, those floodgates turn back on and lock up the game again. Imperial Iron Wall, Macro Cosmos, Light-Imprisoning Mirror and a handful of other cards all fall under Trap Stun's jurisdiction in that way. The utility's outstanding, and you don't need to waste a Mystical Space Typhoon to get around your own barriers.
There's a super important interaction between Trap Stun and Abyss-sphere that you should know about since Mermails are likely going to be popular this format; at least for the first while before we see things shake up with Legacy of the Valiant. A lot of people think that a negated Abyss-sphere won't leave the field, where just as many believe it destroys itself anyway. Here's how it is: in the TCG, specifically for the US, Abyss-sphere doesn't destroy itself. The part of Abyss-sphere that self-destructs is considered an effect. If you go over to Europe or the OCG though, it's considered a condition and it WILL destroy itself even under Trap Stun or Royal Decree. Keep that in mind while you're playing against Mermails and you might be able to lock them out of the few important spells they run.Step Light, Strike Hard.
If Summon-stopping traps are a concern, you can activate Trap Stun at the beginning of the turn before you try to bring out Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En or Naturia Barkion. Making sure they get to the field uninterrupted is just as good as taking your opponent's traps offline indefinitely, and Trap Stun stops working at the end of the turn so you can still fall back on Musakani Magatama. It's sort of like Royal Oppression in the way that you do all of your own Special Summoning, and then make it impossible for your opponent, but backwards; you make sure they can't use their defensive cards, and then you're free to activate all of yours later.
Geargia are probably going to use Trap Stun too as the format moves on, since they're so defensive anyway. Solemn Warning, Torrential Tribute and Bottomless Trap Hole are all bad news for most Geargia decks, especially when it comes to putting Gear Gigant X on the field. Between Geargiarmor and Gigant X netting you free cards, you'll have a strong enough card economy that the -1 from Trap Stun won't be a problem. Even one search from Geargiarmor negates the loss completely. It won't stop Warning, but you can activate Trap Stun and chain Geargiagear to make sure Bottomless, Compulsory and Torrential Tribute don't bat away your monsters. When Warning's not a direct threat or it's already been used and you're staring down three set cards, that play can help you safely build your field and try to apply pressure.
There's more to Trap Stun than just opening up a turn and hoping for the best after you've created a set-up. Yaichi's one way to clear locked traps so they can't be used later, but it's not the best example. Inzektors take that honor; using Trap Stun to freeze out backrows and then destroying everything with Inzektor Hornet and Inzektor Dragonfly is unreal. Depending on your hand and your opponent's field you could blow up every card they control, but as long as you have Dragonfly and Hornet, you're getting at least two. Going -1 to activate Trap Stun's not great, but meeting that with a +1 Hornet from the graveyard, a +1 from Dragonfly's effect, another +1 from the Hornet and a final +1 from the Centipede you Special Summoned with Dragonfly feels pretty good. You're scoring a +3 for nothing, and your opponent won't be able to stop any of it without hand-traps.Not Just A Flash In The Pan
Looking at the way the immediate future of the game's headed, Trap Stun's basically got everything it needs to catch the spotlight. The only things it can't stop are Counter Traps, and literally every Counter Trap is reactionary; thanks to that, you can just use Trap Stun at the start of a turn and dance right through anything and everything anyways, Spell Speed 3 or not.
If there's a better example of a low-risk, high-reward card, I can't think of it. Trap Stun fits just about anywhere, has next to no negatives, and generally requires smart decision making and a good sense of the game to get the most out of. It's user-friendly and has more utility than Batman's belt. There's essentially no reason to not at least test with Trap Stun right now, and you can plan on seeing it over the next few months.