The Best Hand Traps of the Current Format


Hand traps have played an important role in the game since they entered it, or at least since D.D. Crow. And in every format, some hand traps end up being better than others. This article will examine the most relevant exemplars from the current format. Let us see what it is that makes them good!

Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring is perhaps the most popular hand trap ever made. It is so useful and generic that it should be the first hand trap considered when building any deck. It can hit a wide variety of decks in this format and every format. Against Virtual World, It can stop the second effect of Virtual World Gate - Qinglong to search Virtual World Monsters, it also stops Virtual World Mai-Hime - Lulu from sending a Virtual World card from deck to the grave then adding another one from deck to hand. Against Drytron, a deck that relies heavily on searching a great many cards, making for many prime Ash Blossom targets. It can stop a Vital Benten search or a search by Drytron Alpha Thuban or Cyber Emergency and Preparation of Rites.

Against Eldlich variants, it can stop Eldlixir of Scarlet Sanguine from resolving to summon Eldlich the Golden Lord. Its absence from the field means that the Golden Land trap cards are just defensive bodies that cannot create much of a threat. Depending on the variant being played, it can also hit some vital cards such as Zoodiac Barrage, Numeron Network, Aleister the Invoker, or even searches by Dogmatika Ecclesia, the Virtuous and Nadir Servant.

It might not be too effective against some other decks. Prank-Kids can usually either chain block it or use Prank-Kids Fansies to send the card they wanted to search up to the graveyard before retrieving it with Prank-Kids Dodo-Doodle-Doo. As for the Dragon Link deck, it generally takes more than one hand trap to stop what they're up to.

Overall, it is very good against most decks and can do well against rogue decks. However, it's not necessarily enough on its own to stop the opponent in their tracks.

Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

PSY-Framegear Gamma

PSY-Framegear Gamma is an amazing hand trap. Actually, it's meant to punish hand traps, though it is also a hand trap itself. Compared to the other hand traps in this article, it's unique in that it does more than just negate a monster effect—it also destroys them. It can be used both offensively and defensively. If you are going first with a deck with a bunch of spell cards that search out cards before committing to a summon, you can protect your cards from potential hand traps with Gamma. Going second, meanwhile, you can interrupt your opponent's plays with the card.

Most decks rely on resolving monster effects, so Gamma will almost always be live, as long as you don't have monsters on the field or have a PSY-Framelord Lambda on the field. It doesn't matter what your match-up is most of the time, but you need to be playing a deck that can run Gamma in order to benefit from it.

PSY-Framegear Gamma

Nibiru, the Primal Being

This one is somewhat underrated in this format. Nibiru, the Primal Being has largely been absent from the main decks as the format was leaning on the control side at the beginning with trap cards playing a prominent role. However, with so many strategies now running around that special summon a lot, Nibiru should once more be taken into consideration. The Drytron deck summons a lot and Dragon Link needs to go through a lot of resources before establishing an ideal board. Virtual World needs to go through some summons before ending on a True King of All Calamities. It also is very effective against the new Bird Up deck (Lyrilusc Tri-Brigade) as it stops them from ending on Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess and Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds. It also hurts Harpies which are somewhat on the rise.

Other decks are not intimidated by Nibiru, mainly control versions of Eldlich, Subterror, and Paleozoics. But having Nibiru as an option in the side deck would always come in handy during the course of a tournament in some shape or form as combo decks will always be a threat.

Nibiru, the Primal Being

Ghost Belle/Skull Meister

Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion is huge this format. Although its effect is once per turn like Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, it can stop many strategies from doing what they are meant to do. Golden Lord's graveyard effect to summon itself would be negated, Prank-Kids cards such as Dodo-Doodle-Doo and Prank-Kids Rocket Ride won't be able to retrieve combo pieces from the graveyard. Dragon Link might lose a combo piece through the negation of Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. It also can stop Drytron Gamma Eltanin. As for the Virtual World matchup, it can stop Virtual World Roshi - Laolao and Virtual World Xiezhi - Jiji.

As for Ghost Belle's partner in crime to cover her weaknesses. Skull Meister can negate any card or effect that activates in the graveyard. This makes it perfect for stopping cards such as Cyber Angel Benten, Qinglong, all the main deck Prank-Kids monsters, and numerous other cards. Skull Meister has the advantage of not being a once-per-turn card.

Overall, both are very versatile cards against many decks this format, and Ghost Belle especially deserves to take a spot in the main deck. You can check out my previous article, where I talk extensively about those two cards in addition to D.D. Crow.

Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion Skull Meister

Droll & Lock Bird

Droll & Lock Bird brings a lot of decks to their knees. It, unfortunately, doesn't hit that many decks in this format, but it still deserves a spot because it wins some matchups all by itself. Does your opponent have a lot of draw cards like Pot of Desires or Pot of Prosperity? Activate it after the draw resolves and they cannot draw or search anymore this turn. Are you facing Drytron or Dragon Link? Just drop Droll early and their turn comes down to a crashing halt. Is your opponent playing Invoked Dogmatika and just activated Nadir Servant or Magical Meltdown You can most likely end their turn right there.

Drawing and searching are the backbone of most decks. Depending on how much they rely on them, the effectiveness of Droll goes up. No one likes to face a card that restricts them from freely going through their deck for the rest of the turn.

Droll & Lock Bird

Artifact Lancea

Interestingly enough, Artifact Lancea is probably one of the best hand traps this format. Almost every top deck right now relies on banishing cards. Eldlich needs to banish its traps to set others from the deck while Virtual World for example needs to banish Virtual World Gate - Qinglong to search for their monsters, not to mention the deck's reliance on Pot of Desires. Dragon Link also needs to banish monsters from the graveyard to continue their plays and the same is true for the Bird Up deck.

It might not be worthy of a main deck spot at the moment as it does nothing against decks like Drytrons that don't need to banish anything, but it is a solid option for the side deck.

Artifact Lancea

Your hand traps of choice will depend on deck-space, the consistency of your deck, and the format itself. Which of these hand traps are you using this format? If you are using others and seeing success with them, please share your experience with other players in the comment section below!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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unmooglich(25.02.2021 16:38)

Dont forget that you can stop the red-eyes fusion with ash

Skystriker(25.02.2021 00:53)

Ash doesnt work on numeron. Its cost just like verte anaconda, you cant ash it.

Pharaoh7(25.02.2021 14:06)

You are right, it escaped me that it is a cost.

Reaper007(25.02.2021 00:20)

Love lancea. This card will never die

Tossacoin(25.02.2021 00:20)

Ash doesn't stop Numeron Network