Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Holes vs Trap Holes in Yu-Gi-Oh
Due to poor translations into English, the "Hole" cards are easily confused with the "Trap Hole" set, which are actually a different archetype. To make matters worse, two Hole members ("Chaos Trap Hole" and "Gemini Trap Hole") actually carry the Trap Hole name, further muddying the waters.
Many Hole cards are spells and traps that emphasize monster removal, though a few oddballs fall into the archetype thanks to their original Japanese names. Thus, you'll see an odd mishmash of cards today, but most focus on eliminating enemy units. So, which pitfalls reign supreme? These are the ten best Hole cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Link Hole
Like many of its kin, Link Hole can destroy enemy monsters. You need to control a link monster with a link value of four or more to activate at, then you destroy enemy monsters up to the number of link monsters with at least link three that you control.
While it's nice that Hole doesn't need to target its victims, its conditions make it tricky, and if you have plenty of link monsters fielded, you're less likely to need a removal. You can also only activate one per turn and can't choose to blast your units, limiting its overall potential.
9. Gemini Trap Hole
Remember, thanks to a poor translation, this is a Hole member, not a Trap Hole. Gemini monsters aren't super common, but when you're using their best members, this trap offers a nice counterattack when one falls.
You can only activate it when a gemini monster who has unlocked its effect (they begin as normal monsters) is destroyed by battle. At that point, you destroy all monsters your opponent controls, similar to the classic "Raigeki" spell. While this offers a powerful removal, you can only apply it after losing your monster, meaning you have to forfeit a solider before accessing its power. In most cases, you're better off with the classic "Mirror Force."
8. Chaos Trap Hole
Chaos Trap Hole only works on the common light and dark attributes, but you can switch Chaos out with a side deck card if your opponent isn't running any. By paying 2000 life points, this trap negates the summon of one or more light/dark monsters and banishes them.
Sure, you lose a hefty chunk of life points, and Chaos only hinders certain cards, but it prevents field entrance effects, can potentially remove multiple monsters, and denies graveyard recoveries by exiling its targets. Additionally, since it's a counter trap, your opponent can only chain other counter traps to it, making Chaos hard to negate.
7. Chain Hole
When your opponent chains a monster's ability to the activation of a card or effect, you can unleash Chain Hole to negate that effect. Then, your opponent must banish a card from their hand or deck with the same name as the card you negated, and if they can't, you get to banish a random card from their hand.
Thus, Chain Hole can both block an opposing card and weaken your foe's hand, but since most enemy decks run multiple copies of monsters, your opponent will likely exile from their deck and avoid the hand punishment. Still, an interesting card that certainly has its uses.
Dimensionhole simply banishes a monster you control until your next standby phase, and you can't use the zone it occupied in the meantime. So, what's the benefit?
Well, removing your monster sheds any debuffs it may have been suffering (like ATK reducers), and you can reposition their zone when they return. This lets you rearrange link monsters to better direct their arrows and places extra deck monsters in main monster zones. It also triggers "when this card leaves the field" traits seen on units like "Elemental HERO Absolute Zero," and it's a good way to protect your unit from field-wipes like "Dark Hole" (who we'll soon see).
5. Hidden Armory
Armory's English translation doesn't contain the word "Hole," but it's indeed an archetype member thanks to its original Japanese name (its artwork also hints towards the fact). It sends the top card of your deck to your graveyard, then lets you add an equip spell from your deck or graveyard to your hand, adeptly searching for a weapon and stocking your graveyard.
Armory's downside is that you can't normal summon or set the turn you use it, so employ it in pendulum decks or other builds that don't rely on normal summons.
4. Pendulum Hole
As a counter trap, Pendulum Hole can only be responded to by other counter traps, and it negates a pendulum summon, shuffling any summoned monsters into the deck. While it only works on pendulum summons, remember you can remove any monsters who were cast, not just pendulum monsters.
I recommend Pendulum Hole as a side deck card. Remember, official tournaments often use the "best two out of three" format, letting you switch out cards with your side deck in-between your games. Swap in this trap when you face pendulum decks to drastically stall their strategy.
3. Phantasm Spiral Grip
Another seemingly-random member included thanks to its Japanese title, Phantasm makes an excellent support for normal monster decks. You can equip it to any normal monster, who gains 500 ATK. Additionally, when the equipped monster is destroyed by battle, you can special summon a "Phantasm Spiral Dragon" from your hand, deck, or graveyard, equip it with Spiral Grip, and inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.
Talk about a penalty; this fields a high-level monster from nearly any zone, boosts its power, lands some hefty effect damage, and prepares the same combo again. Remember that you can trigger the effect yourself by purposefully attacking an enemy unit with higher ATK.
2. Tachyon Chaos Hole
While it's a Hole member and Chaos trap, Tachyon actually supports the Galaxy archetype. When a face-up Galaxy xyz monster you control is destroyed by battle or your opponent's card effect and sent to your graveyard, Tachyon destroys and banishes as many face-up cards your opponent controls as possible.
Face-down units are unaffected, but this offers a rare field-wipe that leaves your own units unscathed. Additionally, instead of drawing during your draw phase, you can banish Tachyon from your graveyard to revive a Galaxy xyz monster from your graveyard. It won't have any xyz units, but since it wasn't summoned from the extra deck, it can occupy a regular monster zone.
1. Dark Hole
Alongside Raigeki, Dark Hole is one of the best monster removals in the game, and it's limited as of this writing, meaning you can only include one in your deck. Dark Hole simply destroys all monsters on the field, annihilating them without the need to target. Of course, this blasts your own units, so wait until your opponent has more to lose before activating this magic.
Independent of archetype and handy in just about any structure, I use Dark Hole in most of my own decks, and it's a surprisingly affordable bargain, costing well under a single dollar!
Supporting the Hole Cards With Traptrix Monsters
Whiles Holes and Trap Holes are separate archetypes, the two are connected through the Traptrix monsters, a series of units designed to search out and empower your hidden arsenal. Still, many Hole cards are versatile enough to be used by any deck, so don't hesitate to include some even outside the Traptrix theme.
Many of today's entries make great side deck options, and since traps are generally pretty cheap, they won't burn a hole (ironic, I know) in your wallet. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of monster-destroying spells and traps, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill