The most notorious acronym deck in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! is the widely reviled"H.A.T." deck from 2014, named for its use of the "Hand" monsters, theArtifact engine, and the Traptrix. Though it managed to win the NorthAmerican World Championship Qualifier that year, it was far from a favoritestrategy for most players and watching mirror matches could bring even themost optimistic duelist to tears.

The deck's strength came from a mix of ironclad defenses and a slew of waysto clear threats and recoup resources. With Fire Hand and Ice Hand pickingoff cards left and right, and Artifact Moraltach adding a surprise factorand some muscle, the strategy was almost impenetrable once it was dug in.Though it existed before the era of Big Turn 1's, it would use a series ofadvantageous trades to control the game and whittle you down over time,often punishing every move you'd make.

Over the years we've had newer acronym decks held together by… well, by thefact that they're all acronyms. Artifacts are often one of the three themesin any given deck of that type, like thisFabled Artifact Plant deckI wrote about in 2014.

Fast forward to now and today we're not HATing or FAPing, we're MATinginstead. Take a look at the list below!

DECKID=109980For better or worse, the Extra Deck space is relatively loose here. You'llhave the luxury of adding anything that suits your preference; I'm partialto Number 61: Volcasaurus and Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger since younever know when you might need to OTK your opponent.

But before the competitive scene starts up again next weekend, feel free tomix it up and have fun! Let's talk about the core of this strategy.

No Tricks Here, Except The Trap Ones
I don't want to say "this deck would be useless without Traptrix Sera", butit's the keystone to the MAT strategy, at least if we want it to functionfaster than a snail's pace. If you take a look at all the Link-1 monstersyou'll see just how limited your options are for filling up a column onyour first turn. Since Mekk-Knights require multiple cards to occupy acolumn if you want to summon them for free, you'll need plenty of cards toset and plenty of cards to make Link-1s with.

For the longest time I was convincedthere was some D/D strategywith Mekk-Knights, but there's hardly any synergy there that can reallymerit that marriage. D/D Savant Kepler or Dark Contract with the Gate meantan easy Linkuriboh, sure, but then what? If you didn't have access toMekk-Knight Purple Sky there just wasn't a follow-up play. With so manytraps needed for easy Mekk-Knight summons, the deck was faced with a ton ofconflict and incongruence right from the start.

But with Traptrix and Traptrix Sera you have an excuse to actually playrelevant traps. You'd gain net card economy with any Traptrix monster, justby playing the trap cards you're forced to set to make use of theMekk-Knights. Consider Traptrix Myrmeleo: Normal Summon it and fetch a Holecard. Turn Traptrix Myrmeleo into Traptrix Sera and the Hole card yousearched nets a summon off Sera's effect. It's a good start to a lot ofgreat stuff.

When you factor in Traptrix Myrmeleo's ability to pop cards when it'sSpecial Summoned and that your "Hole" trap card might hit a powerful ExtraDeck monster that took a multi-card investment for your opponent to field,the math is drastically better than any other column-filling option. OtherLink-1 monsters can't compete with the output you get from that.

That's exactly what Mekk-Knights need - something else that helps you outor hurts your opponent for a minimal investment, neatly dovetailing withthe rest of your plays. Sure, the various Mekk-Knight-centric World Legacycards like World Legacy's Secret and World Legacy Whispers will counterlots of opposing strategies, but you've got a long road lying ahead of youwith just Mekk-Knight Purple Sky in your corner. Traptrix Sera paysdividends beyond a single Traptrix monster.

Ah Yes, Traptrix Kagari, The Best Traptrix
Not to contradict myself, but I also like Sky Strikers as an intermediatestepping stone for larger plays. While they don't build to the samesnowball effect as Traptrix Sera does without a bigger commitment, it's aneasy way to climb through various Link monsters including Mekk-KnightCrusadia Avramax.

With Sky Striker Mecha - Hornet Drones you'll go into Sky Striker Ace -Kagari to retrieve your Hornet Drones. Play it again and turn both yourmonsters into Sky Striker Ace - Kaina and Sky Striker Ace - Hayate for twomonsters quickly summoned from the Extra Deck. Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramaxisn't an instant win button but when a single Hornet Drones forwards youtowards that Link-4 while alsostacking your columns in a favorableposition, it makes the cut for general usability.

A lot of the other cards are pretty obvious and don't need a ton ofexplanation. With a concentration on trap cards, especially Normal Trapsand "Hole" trap cards, it only makes sense to buff up the deck with threecopies of some of my favorites. Trap Trick, Artifact Sanctum, The PhantomKnights of Shade Brigandine, all of the best ones easily make the cut.

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Ok, I'm kidding about The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine, but it worksin a unique way with Traptrix Sera to net an even better end result thanthe aforementioned Link. Starting with Traptrix Myrmeleo and The PhantomKnights of Shade Brigandine adds Traptrix Rafflesia to your ranks which isquite a formidable defense.

You'll have Hole trap cards for days as well as built in defense with thetwo Traptrix monsters, giving you a chance to stock up on resources beforea final push. Mekk-Knights, Artifacts, Traptrix… none of those themes canpull off a board with 27 negates on the Turn 1 but just a few key cardsnets you a reasonable defense while you bide your time.

While the Extra Deck certainly has space to grow, there's enough wiggleroom to add or subtract the Sky Striker support in favor of somethingyou're more attached to. Invoked is a popular fallback, rarely needing morethan eight cards in the Main Deck to function. Or perhaps you're morecomfortable with more Mekk-Knights, like Mekk-Knight Red Moon. Again, thatflexible Extra Deck means you can tilt this concept in a lot of differentdirections.

Or maybe you want to load up on Solemn Judgements and just say no toeverything? That's valid.

Whatever your flavor MAT can be another flexible another acronym deckthat'll frustrate your opponent for duels to come.

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee, hoping one day to run in5th Congressional District on the platform of "Fabled Link Monsters forEveryone." You can find him onTwitteror building a bonfire in his backyard to attract the local wildlife foran audience with his ukulele. Hailed as the only person capable ofcooking Minute Rice in 56 seconds, Loukas is always looking atexpanding his backyard to house every dog in the world without a home.Well, and those with homes already.