There’s a common idea that Trap cards are too slow in today’s game. While it’s true that they’ve fallen out of favor compared to hand traps due to the game’s speed, they aren’t completely gone. Time and time again, we’ve seen generic Trap cards like Infinite Impermanence, Torrential Tribute, and Solemn Strike prove that they can still play in the big leagues. Not to mention the bevy of Floodgates that go around. There is another category worth talking about, Archetypal Trap cards! Believe it or not, a lot of them are quite good and still see play today.
With that out of the way, let’s dive right in and see what’s the cream of the crop! We’ll mostly be focusing on the recent competitive landscape, so no Infernity Barrier.
Table of Contents
Fruits of Rebellion
Let’s kick things off with a card that needs little to no introductions! Tri-Brigade Revolt is among the cream of the crop for archetypal traps, no questions asked. The card gives disruption and value all in one go! Banishing a card your opponent controls off Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen plus follow-up with Tri-Brigade Nervall is nothing to scoff at.
Ever since Phantom Rage, Tri has been making waves! However, it wasn’t until Lightning Overdrive that Revolt really started to shine, as the introduction of Bearbrumm made it easy to access. Before that, people had to run multiple copies or run clunky techs such as Trap Trick just to make it work. From there we’ve seen a couple of variants become successful such as Zoodiac, DPE, Lyrilusc, and so on. Revolt played a big role in nearly all of these, often being critical to the deck’s game plan.
While it hasn’t been doing so hot ever since GRCR with the rise of Adventurer piles, there is hope for our Beast, Winged-Beast, and Beast-Warrior friends! The deck has been seeing a comeback post-Albaz Strike, as the Branded cards pair with Tri-Brigade surprisingly well! Mirrorjade and Revolt make for a tough duo to deal with, especially with Mercourier giving added protection to boot.
Shaddoll Schism is an infamous archetypal trap card that played a major role in bringing the deck back into the limelight. The card’s been fairly quiet since then, but running across one can be fatal, winning the game right on the spot. How does the deck manage to do so?
There’s only one culprit to be found, and it’s none other than El Shaddoll Winda! As it turns out nearly every deck in the current game needs multiple Special Summons to function. Very few decks can play with only 1 SS permitted.
It’s especially painful should the opponent use an activated effect that Special Summons a monster and Schism is chained. If they don’t see an out, the game is pretty much over. Shaddoll decks are also crafty in this regard, as they play El Shaddoll Fusion to make a second one should the first Winda be threatened by a card like Infinite Impermanence. Aside from that, dedicated Shaddoll decks can bring out Construct or Apkallone if needed.
Ironically, Schism is more notorious in Invoked Dogmatika than it is with actual Shaddolls. This is because Dogmatika Maximus and Nadir Servant allow them to dump Apkallone directly to the GY! Apkallone not only acts as the Shaddoll monster for Winda, it even gets you to this archetypal trap directly! Mechaba and Aleister protecting the win condition is a bonus.
Despite its success, as time went on Shaddoll and Schism have fallen out of the meta. Winda is more than capable of stealing some tops here and there, of course. Its last showing was a decent finish at YCS Charlotte, placing top 32. Regardless of its usage, Schism remains a force to be reckoned with and is one of the best archetypal trap cards in the modern era.
Nightmare Taken Flight
Floowandereeze is doing fairly well for itself in spite of the likes of Adventurer, Branded, and whatnot. It’s not as prolific, but it’s notable enough to where people even side Zombie World for it. This is partly because of their high consistency and access to strong turn-enders such as Dimension Shifter and Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds.
Floowandereeze and the Dreaming Town is another part of their success. This sly Trap card does so much for the deck. Empen, which is a nasty floodgate in its own right often searches this card to complete the board. Sure they get to Normal Summon on your turn, now what? Everything unfolds as they summon Robina and begin their massive NS combo.
Floowandereeze gets to gather even more cards and drop another big bird to stop you in your tracks. Whether it’s Mega Raiza to mass spin your cards away or Apex Avian to seal the deal, your opponent is in for a tough flight. Not to mention that Town stops them from playing too, as it has a mass Book of Eclipse effect to seal their monsters.
Town adds an extra layer to their board and even helps them come back a bit if their field gets hit with a blowout spell such as Lightning Storm or Raigeki. Its effects may not seem all that bad at first, but this dream is a nightmare to those that face it.
Dogmatika Punishment isn’t as flashy as some of these other cards on the list. Despite that, its flexibility has made it a mainstay in a couple of decks since its release. Punishment hits the balance just right, being a solid option but never too overbearing to deal with because of its ED lock. Dealing with your opponents’ monsters is one thing, but plussing off Extra Deck effects takes the cake here.
If a deck is making use of the Dogmatika package, it’s going to have this Normal Trap. There’s so much you can do with it too! Between Titaniklad creating a mini loop with Ecclesia, Omega messing with the GY, N’tss being two pops, and Apkallone turning the entire Shaddoll deck online, there’s a lot to love here. Some decks like Pure Eldlich use it even without Nadir! This gives it a unique edge where it’s both a strong archetypal and generic trap, which very few cards can boast in their resume.
The Endless Grind
Eldlixir of Scarlet Sanguine may seem pretty middling from the looks of things, but it’s one of Eldlich’s best cards. The deck has been kicking it ever since its release in SESL, marking 2 years of success. Even to this day, both Cyberse Eldlich and Branded Eldlich have been topping like nobody’s business.
This trap is one of the many reasons why that’s the case. The value and sticking power that Sanguine gives is no laughing matter. Scarlet works best with a Golden Land trap, as the two can be banished later on to repeat the process. Scarlet and Conquistador gets Conq/Huaquero plus another Scarlet and so on. Even if you only see Scarlet on its own, it still gets you to a disrupt either way.
Sanguine has a nice amount of depth to it aside from just dropping Eldlich on the field. If your opponent is trying to get rid of a Golden Lord in the GY, you can chain Sanguine to save it! Another example is if you already have Golden Lord on the field, you can go for another one on their turn and then push for a massive OTK turn 3!
Gustav Max burns for 2000 LP and gets the Eldlich in GY so you can revive it for a 3500 body! After that, you stack Liebe to have a massive 4000 ATK finisher! You might want to hold off on its effect so Golden Lord can hit directly after Liebe runs their field over.
Regardless of the variant of Eldlich, you’re often going to see people maxing out on Scarlet Sanguine. It’s one of the best cards in the deck and there’s no doubt about that.
There are a lot of really crazy archetypal trap cards, but we don’t have enough time to discuss them all. Here are some of the other ones that come to mind.
Virtual World Gate – Chuche is an underrated trap, as it not only acts key piece if placed with Kauwloon, it gives the deck reliable removal that can deal with both combo and control matchups. Making a great pair with Shenshen is a nice bonus for sure.
Dinomorphia Frenzy is pretty similar to Shaddoll Schism, but it’s going to be more prominent and much harder to deal with once we get DIFO. It’s seen success both in pure Dinomorphia and Branded Despia + Therizia engine a while back over in the OCG.
Tearalaments are a new deck coming in Power of the Elements and their arsenal of trap cards is insane. Salic and Metanoise are not only ridiculous pieces of disruption that let you combo off hard on the opponent’s turn, but they’re also great to mill as well. Tear has everything it needs to succeed over in the TCG, so keep an eye out for them! It’s more resilient than Splight at times, as they do not rely on the NS sticking on the field.
Mathmech Superfactorial is similar to Revolt but brings out a boss with more oomph in nearly every way. Once Circular arrives in POTE, you’re bound to have some headaches dealing with these math problems.
Feather Storm and Artifact Sanctum have locked many a player out from doing anything because of their crippling effects. They’re easy to slap in the Side Deck as going first win buttons. Should Dagda eat it instead of Scythe, expect to see some Sanctum usage go up a bit.
Last but not the least, Dragonmaid Tidying has been a relevant mainstay in both its actual deck and Dragon Link as a searchable extender and answer to most things on the board! This is going to come up even more once DIFO hits, as you want to avoid getting wiped out by a single Fallen of Albaz.
And thus we reach the end of our look at some of the best Archetypal Traps in the modern game! What do you think of these Trap cards? Do you agree that they’re some of the best, or are they overhyped? If I missed something that should be on the list, feel free to let me know down below! Until next time friends, Renren out!