Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
How Traps Work in Yu-Gi-Oh
In Yu-Gi-Oh, traps are the slowest card type, as they have to be set for at least one turn before they can be activated. However, they compensate with a plethora of nasty effects, many of which can activate on your opponent's turn, interrupting their plays and ruining their plans.
10 Best Anti-Trap Cards
Traps remain a big threat, as one ill-timed "Mirror Force" could cost you the duel. But they're not invincible—in fact, several cards are designed to keep them in check. So, how can you best escape your opponent's snares? These are the ten best anti-trap cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Tyrant's Temper
- Kozmo Dark Eclipser
- Herald of Purple Light
- Rose Archer
- Sorcerer of Dark Magic
- Mirage Dragon/Pitch-Black Warwolf
- Dark Simorgh
- Royal Decree
10. Tyrant's Temper
Temper doesn't technically negate traps, but it essentially achieves the same end, as it makes your face-up monsters immune to other trap effects. Traps generally attack monsters, making this a prime defense against both your opponent's cards and your own field-wide destructive forces (like "Torrential Tribute").
However, you have to sacrifice a monster to activate Temper. Use it in response to a removal that would destroy one of your monsters anyway, or forfeit a cheap token (like the ones produced with "Scapegoat") to mitigate the cost.
9. Kozmo Dark Eclipser
Here's a powerful if archetype-specific anti-trap measure. As a level nine monster, Eclipser needs two tributes to normal summon, but he bears an impressive 3000 ATK and can't be targeted by your opponent's card effects. Additionally, whenever a trap is activated on either player's turn, Eclipser can banish a Kozmo monster from your graveyard to negate and destroy that trap.
Thus, as long as your graveyard has sufficient fodder, you can indefinitely counter whatever threats your opponent employs. As icing on the cake, when Eclipser is destroyed (either by battle or effect), you can banish him from your graveyard to search a level eight or lower Kozmo monster from your deck, helpfully restocking your hand.
8. Herald of Purple Light
Purple Light works as a "hand trap" and should stay safely nestled in your hand until needed. When your opponent activates a trap on either turn, you can send Purple Light and another fairy-type monster from your hand to the graveyard, negating and destroying the activated trap.
Spending two cards to shield against one isn't ideal, but Purple Light works in any fairy deck, doesn't obstruct your own traps, and quickly fills your graveyard with light-attributed fodder (useful for summoning the Chaos monsters).
7. Rose Archer
Rose Archer offers a similar guard as Purple Light, but now for plant decks. When your opponent activates a trap on either turn, if you control a plant monster, you can send Archer from your hand to the graveyard to negate and destroy that trap. Thus, negate the trap with only one card, making Archer a prime shield for plant-focused decks. Just note that Archer herself is a warrior, not plant, so pass on her if you're running cards like "Solidarity" that rely on only using one monster type.
For more anti-trap prowess, plant decks should also consider "Rose Lover," who can special summon a plant from your hand and make it immune to traps for the turn.
6. Sorcerer of Dark Magic
Sorcerer can't be normal summoned or set, and is only special summoned from your hand by tributing two level six or higher spellcasters you control. Their levels don't necessarily need to match, they just need to be at least six; use the pendulum Magicians to quickly swarm high-level fodder.
Once fielded, Sorcerer wields a brutal 3200 ATK and can negate and destroy any activated traps. Thankfully, with no pesky "once per turn" restriction, you're free to use this trait multiple times each round, letting you negate an unlimited number of traps. And since the effect is optional, your own traps can still successfully resolve, meaning Sorcerer won't hinder your hidden tricks.
Wiretap only works once, but its counter status lets you chain it to any trap, even other counters. When a player activates a trap, you can play Wiretap to negate its activation and shuffle it into the deck. Not only does this block the trap from resolving, it hides it away in your foe's deck, preventing graveyard recoveries.
And since Wiretap doesn't destroy its target, it works even when your opponent employs cards that shield their traps from destruction.
4. Mirage Dragon/Pitch-Black Warwolf
With the exact same battle stats and effect, Dragon and Warwolf only differ in type and attribute, letting you choose one based on what synergizes best with your theme. Both carry a mediocre 1600 ATK but prevent your opponents from activating traps during the battle phase.
Considering that several powerful traps (like "Mirror Force," "Evenly Matched," and "Scrap-Iron Scarecrow") can only be activated during the battle phase, they'll shut down many opposing threats and ensure your troops can attack without fear.
3. Dark Simorgh
Simorgh doesn't technically negate traps, but he's one of their best countermeasures. He counts as both dark and wind while fielded, and you can special summon him from your hand by banishing one dark and one wind monster from your graveyard. Or, you can revive him from your graveyard by instead banishing them from your hand. Either way, Simorgh enjoys a sturdy 2700 ATK and prevents your opponent from setting any cards! Since nearly all traps have to be set, you've negated your opponent's ability to prepare any (although their current ones are unaffected) while also guarding against flip monster effects.
Plus, if you combine Simorgh with the trap "Anti-Spell Fragrance," which forces both players to set spells at least one turn before activating them, you'll also shut down your opponent's ability to play magic cards, particularly brutal against pendulum decks (who won't be able to access their scales).
One of the most infamous original Yu-Gi-Oh monsters, Jinzo now has his own archetype, and both he and his upgrade "Jinzo—Lord" prevent any traps from being activated. Additionally, all face-up traps are negated, guarding against both current and future cards.
While this field-wide net restricts you as well as your opponent, you can avoid the snare by either not running traps or by giving Jinzo the equip spell "Amplifier," which lets you (but not your opponent) use traps even with him active.
1. Royal Decree
Decree is the continuous version of its counterpart "Trap Stun," indefinitely negating all other trap cards on the field. You can chain Decree to a trap's activation to essentially negate and waste that card, but remember that it can't stack onto counter traps, so in some cases you'll want to unleash it as soon as possible.
Versatile and lacking any life point drains or other drawbacks, I often employ Decree in my own builds and recommend it for any trapless deck, especially since it costs well under two dollars!
More Ways to Negate Traps in Yu-Gi-Oh
In addition to today's trap-oriented checks, traps can be stopped by catch-all negate effects, like that of "Mist Valley Apex Avian." That said, remember that counter traps can only be responded to by other counter traps, so sometimes it's better to employ cards specifically designed to stop them.
Not every set card is a trap, as your opponent can bluff by setting spells, but with today's cards in hand, you'll be prepared to thwart their tricks. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of trap-stopping abilities, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill