Top 6 Underestimated Trap Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh
Yu-Gi-Oh incorporates psychological warfare with its facedown trap cards, making the decision to attack a whirlwind of bluffs and mind games. Most fans are aware of the destructive potential of entries like Mirror Force or Bottomless Trap Hole, but today we'll highlight a few lesser-known gems.
Are these guys always going to be super-competitive in the meta game? No. Are they still potent and interesting cards? Heck yes. Let's get to it and investigate six underestimated traps!
6. Royal Decree
Effect: Negates all other traps on the field.
This card is last not because it's less useful, but because it's more recognized by the community. Royal Decree simply negates all other Traps until destroyed. This completely shuts out the defenses of most opposing decks, letting you relax whenever you need to attack. Best time to play it? In response to an opponent's Trap, essentially making them waste the card.
Of course, you won't be able to play further traps either, so you'll probably want to focus your deck on monsters and spells instead.
How to counter it: You'll need a non-trap capable of destroying traps. Spells like Mystical Space Typhoon do the trick.
5. Abyss Stungray
Effect: Special Summons this card as an Effect Monster with 1900 Attack and 0 Defense that cannot be destroyed in battle.
Metal Reflect Slime popularized the trap-to-monster cards with its 3000 Defense, but Abyss goes the extra mile by being completely immune to battle destruction. While its actual Defense stat is, well, abysmal, that'll hardly matter as it can't be destroyed through combat. Unlike Metal, Abyss also employs a moderate Attack value, and it counts as a Level 5, Thunder-type, Light-attribute creature
How to counter it: Abyss isn't immune to effect destruction, so you'll need to utilize some sort of removal. Since it counts as both a trap and a monster, it's vulnerable to several destructive cards. Also, if in Defense Position, utilize a monster with piercing damage to take advantage of its low stats.
4. Safe Zone
Effect: Target one Attack Position monster. That card cannot be targeted or destroyed by your opponent's card effects and cannot be destroyed in battle or attack your opponent directly. If this card would leave the field, destroy the targeted monster, and vice versa.
What the text basically says is that the monster you use this on is almost completely immune to card effects; it can't be destroyed or targeted by them, and it's invulnerable to battle destruction! That's awesome, but there are a few downsides. First, if Safe Zone or the targeted card leaves the field, the other will too. Second, the targeted card can still attack, but only on monsters, not directly.
Keep in mind that you can actually use this on an opponent's monster as long as it's in Attack Position. Normally you wouldn't want to give them extra defenses, but in desperate situations you can do so to potentially add another way to abolish the monster by destroying Safe Zone.
How to counter it: Destroy Safe Zone to also remove the card it's affecting. Plus, remember that it doesn't completely fortify a monster; there are effects that neither target nor destroy but can remove, like the fearsome Drowning Mirror Force.
3. Fairy Box
Effect: When your opponent's monster declares an attack, flip a coin and call it. If you call it right, the attacking monster's Attack becomes 0 until the end of the Battle Phase. Pay 500 Life Points on your Standby Phases or destroy this card.
An older but still impressive trap, Fairy Box gradually depletes your life to offer a formidable barrier. Whenever your opponent attacks, there's half a chance their attack will do nothing! Even better, if they're swinging at a monster of yours, and their Attack gets reduced to zero, they'll be the one taking damage and getting destroyed.
Consider using cards that impact coin flips, like Second Coin Toss, to skew the odds in your favor.
How to counter it: Either utilize a removal, risk the 50/50, or stall until your opponent can no longer afford to pay Fairy Box's Life Point requirement.
2. Oasis Of Dragon Souls
Effect: Target a monster in your Graveyard and Special Summon it in Defense Position. It becomes Wyrm Type. When this card leaves the field, destroy that monster, and vice versa.
Bearing a strong resemblance to the popular Call Of The Haunted trap, Oasis also revives a monster from the Graveyard for free. This time, it joins in Defense Position and as a Wyrm. This makes Oasis superior in situations where you simply want a monster to take a hit for you. By playing this on your opponent's turn, you can shift the targeted monster to Attack Position on your turn if you need.
How to counter it: Like Safe Zone, removing the trap removes the card it's impacting, giving you multiple venues for offense. Also, simply destroy the monster in battle if you have something bigger.
1. Ordeal Of A Traveler
Effect: When an opponent declares an attack, they choose a random card in your hand and guess whether it's a monster, spell, or trap. Reveal the card, and if they guessed wrong, return the attacking monster to the opponent's hand.
Another oldie but goldie, Ordeal makes it irritatingly difficult to land a successful attack. Unlike Fairy Box, there's no Life Point drain, although the opponent will get to peek at cards in your hand. Still, even if they know what's there, as long as you keep a mix of all three types of cards, odds are they'll guess wrong and not only fail to attack, but lose a monster.
And note that the monster that returns to the hand isn't targeted or destroyed, so Ordeal can bypass defenses like Safe Zone or Mound Of The Bound Creator.
How to counter it: If you don't have a removal handy, try to keep your opponent's hand low to increase the odds of guessing correctly. You can also simply not attack until you prepare defenses in case things don't go your way,
Which card do you prefer?
While these entries aren't quite the cream of the trap crop, they're potent and fun cards nonetheless. Because they're lesser-known, they can also take opponents by surprise and turn the tide of a duel.
Whether they stand the test of time or not, feel free to vote for your favorite, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
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© 2017 Jeremy Gill