Solemn Scolding was big this week, as we saw both Pendulum duelists and Kozmo players stripping down their trap lineups in a bid to out-speed the competition. Scolding cracked the Top 8 at Regional Qualifiers in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the United Kingdom last weekend, after seeing limited play in mid November and then disappearing from logged results for several weeks.

#####CARDID=18915#####

With so many Pendulum decks going trap-free in the wake of the Master of Pendulum Structure Deck, a rise in Solemn Scolding was inevitable – if you play it and your opponent doesn't, and neither of you run any other trap cards, you have a big advantage. Shutting down whatever your opponent most needs to Summon or resolve, Scolding kicks your opponent's most important leg right out from under them so you can capitalize. It's awesome against Wavering Eyes in particular, as competitors struggle to find ways to combat the high-impact spell card.

Kozmos can play Scolding defensively to protect an established field and create two-turn win scenarios, or it can shield an OTK and force through a game-ending string of attacks that might not connect otherwise. As Pendulum decks slow down a bit with the addition of the new Magician cards, Scolding's exactly what some Kozmo duelists are looking for, letting you give up one shot at a combo piece to ensure that you win on your first push.

Scolding's quite costly at 3000 Life Points, but in a format where OTKs are so prominent that much LP is often meaningless; you're either winning or losing in one go. Trends will surely shift to compensate if Solemn Scolding becomes more popular, but for now it's a great way to set yourself apart from the pack.

-Jason Grabher-Meyer