Why Were They Banned? Part 4: Banned Trap Cards

Welcome back to the final part of the Banned Cards series. Hopefully you enjoyed the lengthy discussion on the banned Spell Cards last time.

For this article, we will be taking it a bit easier. There are only 9 traps currently on the list. Therefore, I will just be going through this section alphabetically, since there are so little.

Step Into the Ring

Last Turn is a Trap card that has a unique effect. You can only activate it when your LP are 1000 or less. When activated, you choose a monster on your field, then send all other cards on the field and both player’s hands to the GY. Then, your opponent Special Summons a monster from their deck. Both monsters then proceed to the Battle Step. The player of the monster that remains on the field after this final battle wins the duel. Otherwise, it is a draw.

The wording of the card is a bit strange, but it has implications. You get to choose the monster on your field, and your opponent gets to summon one, so all they would need to do is summon a stronger one, right?

Well, the reason this card was banned is that it is possible to guarantee a win with this card. If you keep, say, a Jowgen the Spiritualist on your field, your opponent would not be allowed to summon a monster. You could also summon a Last Warrior From Another Planet with Magical Scientist.

Konami banned this card on the April 2006 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

No, it cannot. All this card would promote is stall playing, and would make the game unfun. The fact that it can clear the field and both hands without destruction is also a problem.

Let’s Summon Everyone

Return from the Different Dimension is a Normal Trap with an effect similar to Dimension Fusion. By paying half your LP, you can Special Summon as many of your banished monsters onto the field. However, the monsters summoned by this effect are banished during the End Phase.

The obvious deck choice to fully utilize this card was Dragon Rulers. Most of the monsters banish themselves to summon out the others, or can help search out more monsters. During your next turn, you can then summon everything back for an OTK.

Konami banned this card on the January 2014 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

Similarly to Dimension Fusion, it cannot. Many of the top decks today focus on banishing monsters, and this would allows those decks to have even more power. Thunder Dragons or Orcusts would have a boost with this monster.

Another Version of Playing Chicken

Royal Oppression is a Continuous Trap that allows both players to pay 800 LP to negate the Special Summon of, or effects that Special Summon, monster(s).

Many decks chose to run this card because it helped limit their opponent’s plays. However, there were cases where it can backfire. Both players have the ability to use this effect to negate Special Summons, so if they manage to out your own field, it may not be possible to come back. It’s important to note that it was often flipped up after building your own board, making the drawback considerably less relevant.

Konami banned this card on the September 2011 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

Absolutely not. This card promotes extremely degenerate gameplay. It would be extremely detrimental to the game because now, more than ever, we rely more on Special Summons. Even if it were to come back to 1, then it would create a game where the person who draws this card first is almost guaranteed to win the game.

It should stay on the list for a very long time, in my opinion.

How About We Tie Instead?

If you have 7000 LP less than your opponent, you can activate Self-Destruct Button. Both players’ LP become 0.

There really was no cool deck or combo that you can try to play utilizing this card. All you really needed to do was just find ways to make your LP lower; you could play cards like Upstart, or just take damage from battle. Once you’ve taken enough damage, you can just flip this card over before your opponent does the final damage and steal the game from them.

All this card did was promote stall tactics. Konami banned this card on the January 2014 banlist. Players would mess up tournament standings due to the sheer amount of Draws produced.

Can It Come Back?

We already have a problem with how the new Time rules work in competitive play. This card would only exacerbate these issues. It promotes degenerate play, and should never come back.

The Peter Tingle

Sixth Sense is a normal Trap Card that lets you choose two numbers from 1 to 6, then roll a die. If it lands on one of the numbers you called, you get to draw that many cards. Otherwise, you send cards from the top of your deck to the GY.

There are a few schools of thought on what number to call with this card. Most would probably call 5 or 6, in order to draw the maximum amount of cards if possible. However, for decks that might rely more on the GY, it would be a better idea to call 3 or 4. Drawing that number of cards is fine, but milling 5 or 6 is also excellent.

Before the card was even released in the TCG, Konami limited it. The card had too much potential, but due to the deck it was played in, it was very powerful, even at 1. Dragon Rulers did not care if they were in the hand or the GY, since they can be summoned from any place.

Konami finally banned it on the January 2014 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

No, it cannot. Even if you may have a 66% chance (on average) of milling cards, being able to draw up to 6 cards for free is too broken in this game. As I discussed in the previous article, cards that let you draw cards for little to no cost are too good.

Even if it is a trap, that means nothing if the opponent can use it to draw into all of their handtraps or outs for next turn.

Yata, but As A Trap

Time Seal is a normal Trap Card that, when activated, makes your opponent skip their next Draw Phase. Unlike Yata Garasu, it does not require any sort of battle damage done to the opponent.

Back during when it was used, players used it to limit their opponent’s future plays. Tempo was based solely on card advantage, and denying the opponent the possibility of gaining more was crucial.

Konami banned this card on the April 2006 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

Despite the fact that it is a Trap card, I am hesitant on wanting to bring it back. As I said before, denying the opponent the possibility of drawing into their answers for your board is a sure way to win. That fact has not changed in the 13 years since Time Seal’s ban.

However, some may argue for bringing it back. The main argument for this card is the fact that it is a trap, so it will take a longer time to see any sort of return on its usage. It’s also considerably less prone to actually locking the opponent fully out of drawing like Yata.

The Forceful Sentry… As A Trap

Similar to The Forceful Sentry, Trap Dustshoot lets you look at your opponent’s hand and shuffle a card back into their deck. However, you can only activate it when they have 4 or more cards in the hand, and you can only shuffle back a monster.

If you just came from my previous article, you will already know my feelings for Sentry. A card that allows you to look at the opponent’s hand and interfere with it is detrimental to the health of the game. Gaining knowledge of the opponent’s hand is tantamount to winning the game outright.

Konami banned the card on the March 2012 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

As I had just explained, no it cannot. Cards that let you look at the opponent’s hand (even if it is a trap) and let you interfere in a significant way should not be in the game.

Some of you may want to compare Trap Dustshoot to Appointer of the Red Lotus. The difference between the two, however, is that Appointer requires that you reveal your own hand, which eliminates your advantage. Not only that, but it doesn’t permanently get rid of the card.

Normal Green Search Red, Normal Red Search Yellow, Normal Yellow Search Green, Shock Master

Ultimate Offering is a Continuous Trap Card that, by paying 500 LP, lets you Normal Summon an additional time. If you’ve played the game for at least a month, you’ll know just how important the Normal Summon can be at times.

To have the ability to have additional summons without having to run a main-deck engine or go into another monster is very powerful. A lot of the most powerful effects in the game start off with a Normal Summon. Trickstar Candina used to be full Orcust Combo. Souleating Oviraptor is a full Guardragon Combo. Neo-Space Connector used to be full Gouki Extra-Link. Normal Summons are one of the most important parts of the game.

As the title of this section alluded, the most famous deck that utilized this card was Gadgets. Red Gadget, Yellow Gadget, and Green Gadget all search each other. The fact that this effect wasn’t once per turn meant that you can abuse them with Ultimate Offering. For a measly 1000 LP, it was possible to get a Number 16: Shock Master on your side of the field.

Konami banned this card on the September 2013 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

Unfortunately, it cannot come back. As I said, Normal Summons are very powerful. Even if this is a Trap, the ability to gain multiple Normal Summons per turn is powerful.

Feeling Empty on the Inside

The final card on the Forbidden section of the Yu-Gi-Oh! banlist is Vanity’s Emptiness. It is a Continuous Trap that, while face-up on the field, prevents both players from Special Summoning. If another card on your field or deck is sent to the GY, this face-up card is destroyed.

As should be apparent today, Special Summoning is extremely important for the game. Being able to stop the opponent from doing that, and then being able to easily get rid of it on your turn is a powerful ability to have.

Every deck at the time was running the card. It was just too good not to.

As an aside, one of my friends showed me a funny interaction with this card and D/D/Ds. If, for some reason, you didn’t have full combo but opened this, you can set Vanity’s and summon out a D/D/D Cursed King Siegfried. During the opponent’s turn, you’d activate the Vanity’s to lock them out. Then, during your turn, you use Siegfried’s effect to negate the Vanity’s, letting you do your combos while keeping in on the field for your opponent next turn.

Konami banned it on the March 2017 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

Simply put, no. Cards that can easily stop the opponent from summoning are not good for the game. This is especially true with Vanity’s, because it is possible to interrupt the opponent at an important part of their combo and stop them from continuing.

Conclusion

We have now reached the end of the article series. I hope you all enjoyed reading my thoughts on the banned section of the Forbidden/Limited list. If you are interested, I might also write about the rest of the banlist.

Although some of us may hate what the banlist does to our favorite decks (Orcust, in my case), there is no denying that it is absolutely necessary. The banlist allows this game to move forward and grow. It helps push us to greater heights, thinking of new deck ideas and plays in order to perform well in the competitive scene.

Now, we wait for the next banlist and the inescapable changes to come.

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