Alternate Format Analysis – Trinity: Removal

Designing a deck in an unfamiliar format isn’t easy by any means.
It’s difficult to gauge the speed and tempo of a new format, which can make preparing for a grind game particularly difficult. On top of that, it’s important to learn about the staple cards, combos, and decks archetypes which are commonly seen in that format.
In this article, I’ll be covering the most commonly seen generic cards in the Trinity Format.
If you’re unfamiliar with Trinity, you can read an Introduction about it here!

Commonly Seen Maindeck Cards:

SemiGeneric Staple cards

Most formats have a bunch of generic cards which are often found in a plethora of different decks. These are generally regarded as the “Staple” cards of the format, but by no means do they have to go into every single deck. Today, I’ll be covering the main Monster, Spell and Trap removal cards of the format.

Monster Removal

With No Costs

And you thought that he was just a clown.

Soul Taker is Premium Monster Removal in Trinity Format. There’s practically no cost to the card, and the only restriction is seen in how it has to target a face-up monster. It’s difficult to trump a card with so few restrictions, but many decks – especially those which have a low damage output – opt not to play the card, as giving the opponent 1000 LP can sometimes cost you the game. What’s also notable is how Soul Taker causes some monsters – Such as Lightpulsar Dragon – To miss the timing when they’re sent to the Graveyard. This extra versatility doesn’t come up too often, but it can swing a game in your favour when playing against Yang Zings or Chaos Dragons!

Bottomless Trap Hole, Floodgate Trap hole and (sometimes) the regular Trap Hole also see a fair amount of play. If your deck can make Traptrix Rafflesia, you have access to all of the above, and Traptrix Myrmeleo can also search them as a +1! Although Floodgate trap hole doesn’t actually remove a card from the field, it essentially renders the target useless; In a highlander-esque format, “Floodgating” a 1-of monster in a deck which revolves around that monster can be a game ender. For this reason, Floodgate Trap Hole often sees a little more play than Bottomless. The regular Trap Hole is much better than you’d expect; Stopping a Normal Summon is very powerful – But it’s inferior to the other two major “Hole” cards. Still, having extra cards to search with Traptrix Monsters can be useful, especially in a format where you usually only play 1 of each of the other traps.

Mass Removal

Torrential Tribute and Needle Ceiling are the next best thing when considering costless mass removal. They both have the downside of being trap cards – inherently making them slower and giving the opponent the chance to remove them with Spell/Trap removal – but blowing out a whole field of monsters is nothing to Scoff at. Needle Ceiling may seem worse, but in a strategy revolving around set Monsters – Such as Shaddoll or Ghostrick, it can be a power play in itself.

Protip: Unless you want to OTK, try not to attack into backrow with more than 2 or 3 monsters.

All of the Mirror Force variants die to Spell/Trap removal, but can act as one-sided blowout cards. The regular Mirror Force can save you for a turn, and is always something to watch out for unless you have protection from destruction. Drowning Mirror Force avoids the “destruction” clause – making it much more potent – but it only works when you have no monsters, which causes it to be situational at best. Quaking Mirror Force is a good way to set up a field to be blown out with Evilswarm Exciton Knight, but just setting monsters can help stop your opponent’s plays regardless.

Storming Mirror Force isn’t advised (outside of specific matchups), since it’s almost always a -1 on resolution, unless your opponent has committed heavily to the Extra Deck. Remember that Trinity is much slower than most Advanced formats – It’s unlikely that your opponent will ever have more than one or two Extra Deck monsters on board. Blazing Mirror Force is dangerous, and should probably only be played in very aggressive builds, or at the very least, decks which can avoid taking lots of damage outside of the Blazing Mirror Force. Try not to play this one in conjunction with Solemn Warning!

With Discard Costs

Worse than Raigeki, Still very playable. Protip: Side this out vs less creature heavy matchups.

Lightning Vortex is the Raigeki of the format. Since Raigeki is Forbidden, and Dark Hole is Proscribed, there really aren’t too many mass monster card removal options left. Lightning Vortex removes all face-up monsters that your opponent controls, but with two restrictions: Firstly, in the same vein as Soul Taker, Lightning Vortex only gets rid of face-up monsters. This isn’t too much of a problem, since setting monsters is relatively uncommon, but a quick response with a Book Of Moon could thwart your OTK plans. Secondly, Vortex requires you to discard a card upon activation. This means that in order to preserve card equity, you need to remove at least 2 of your opponent’s monsters, or discard something useful, like a Performage Damage Juggler. Despite all of this, Vortex is easily the best proactive mass removal card of the format. To avoid getting blown out by it, try not to overextend too much!

Raigeki Break and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast (And to an extent, Karma Cut) are all trap cards which have a heavy discard cost associated with them. Because of this, only decks which can afford the discard tend to play them. Raigeki Break and Wind Blast can both double up as either Monster Removal or Spell/Trap removal, which is somewhat useful. Paleozoic Dinomischus also falls into this category, and can also later be used as material for a Summon of some kind. However, note that the discard of Dinomischus happens on resolution – this inherently makes it much stronger than Raigeki Break & co. Dinomischus being negated by a wiretap or Solemn Judgment will only ever be a +0 in terms of card advantage. The other traps would be a -1!

Counter Traps

Solemn Warning and Solemn Strike are both commonly played, but rarely in conjunction with Paleozoic monsters. This is because you can’t chain a Paleozoic to a Spell Speed 3 effect. The Life point cost of both of these cards is pretty steep, and can be your downfall when activated at the wrong moment.

Despite this, being able to negate more or less any monster effect or Summon is getting close to the epitome of “versatile”. In order to evade the steep life point cost, Black Horn of Heaven is sometimes a better option for “negating” Extra Deck Summons. if your deck has a lot of floaters, the regular Horn of Heaven does the job just as well. Tributing a set Sangan or a Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss to play a Horn of Heaven is notably powerful.

Attached to a Monster

Cards is nuts. Fight me.

This is a card that most TCG players likely haven’t heard of: Engraver of the Mark (aka Zorro). Ignore the “Handtrap” effect, we’re just looking at the destruction effect. Once per turn, you get to pop a card? This guy is more or less a slower Zoodiac Drident that you can Normal Summon. Typically, you get to pop 2 cards with Engraver, since your opponent’s main way of destroying him is by attacking. That means that you get to activate the destruction effect once on your turn, and then once again on your opponent’s turn. And if it survives past then? I’ve played slow matchups where this guy has gotten rid of my opponent’s entire board. Any deck with enough protection can definitely benefit from Engraver of the Mark. Many sceptics will argue that the effect is too slow to see much play. And for some matchups, that’s true. But the potential is definitely there, and no more so than in a slower format like Trinity. Don’t underestimate Zorro.

Not Quite Removal

Compulsory Evacuation Device doesn’t destroy anything, but can remove any Extra Deck monster on the spot. Your opponent just spent all of their resources on a boss monster? Back it goes. Book of Moon is usually a -1 on resolution, but it can help put monster into defense position to be trampled over, or to set a monster before its effect can activate. Other commonly seen negation cards are Breakthrough Skill and Lost Wind, as well as Fiendish Chain, the last two of which can also help stop attackers. Note that Dimensional Barrier is pretty awful in Trinity: Decks rarely rely heavily on just 1 type of Extra Deck monster.

Spell/Trap Removal


With No Costs

One-For-Ones are never really that bad, nor are they amazing. Heavy Storm Duster is preferable.

Mystical Space Typhoon is the bread and butter of S/T removal. It’s the OG removal card, and is as close to staple as you can get. Heavy Storm Duster is the only card that is a close contender, as it has the potential to be a +1 in terms of card advantage. Even so, Paleozoic Olenoides is coming close to seeing more play than Mystical Space Typhoon these days, mostly because of how it can turn into a monster to be used later. It also has more synergy with other paleozoic cards than MST, as it can be used to summon another Paleozoic monster from the grave.

Cosmic Cyclone has a hefty cost associated with it, but can be useful against a variety of strategies, especially the commonly seen Paleozoic cards. Banishing a Spell/Trap card with a graveyard effect can be critical to surviving the grind game. Many players opt to run a Cosmic Cyclone alongside an MST. But be warned: 1000 LP is still a heavy cost.

Heavy Storm, Twin Twister, and Cold Wave are all Proscribed, which means that they’re very, very rarely seen. It’s probably not worth playing any of these without good reason, as they aren’t searchable with by any consistent means and usually don’t contribute much to your general strategy.

Attached to a Monster

So, this one is really stretching it, and by no means is it a “Staple”. But personally, I really like Breaker the Magical Warrior. He’s a 1900 point beater who can double up as Spell/Trap removal as a +1. At the very least, he’ll force a backrow activation from your opponent, which can help protect your future plays. If your deck doesn’t have to many normal summons, it’s something worth trying out – Especially when he can later be used for a rank 4 play, or as Link or Synchro Material. He’s likely much worse than Engraver of the Mark, but Breaker serves a different purpose (and the effect is immediate!).

Not Quite Removal

Giant Trunade doesn’t destroy any cards, but instead bounces them all to the hand. This makes it an effective combo piece and OTK enabler, but not so useful in the grind game. It’s commonly seen in decks which play a lot of Pendulum Monsters, or continuous recursion cards – Such as Premature Burial or Call of the Haunted.


Phew! Hopefully this segment has been of some use to you – getting into a new format is difficult, especially one with as many unfamilliar cards and alternate gameplay styles as Trinity. Whether you need to add some backbone to a deck, or are just reading about a new format: I hope that this article has taught you something about Trintiy!


Until next time – Stay Groovy!



Creator of the Trinity Format; article writer and tabletop games enthusiast.

Latest posts by TreetopDuelist (see all)



Creator of the Trinity Format; article writer and tabletop games enthusiast.


  • November 29, 2017 at 6:26 pm



    Exiled Force and Archfiend Eccentrick maybe deserve a mention? Force less so because its objectively worse but Eccentrick is a really good card as we both know XD

  • TreetopDuelist
    December 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm



    Archfiend Eccentrick is definitely a card worth mentioning! It was on the draft for this article but accidentally got removed – The card is better than MST in many cases!

    I do like Exiled force, but it’s not really up to the standard of the format. Requiring a normal summon or revival card to only break even in terms of card advantage isn’t “generic enough” in my opinion. Also, Evilswarm O’Landern is better in pretty much every way (Outside of the ROTA synergy).

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