What’s With Traps?

A short discussion on the way newer archetypes are being created involving Trap Cards.

As a trend in recent archetypes, I’ve noticed that Konami has some sort of a fascination with making a reasonable archetype, and then slapping an extremely overpowered Trap Card into the deck. The Trap tends to err on side of being “auto-win” in nature, typically drastically changing the tide of the duel. Why do I even bring it up? Basically, I’m kind of fed up with this style of card design. Essentially, Konami creates a balanced archetype, but then adds an extremely overpowered Trap card causing them to be better than all the other decks. There pack sells, they hit the single overpowered card and then it’s over; rinse repeat. To a degree this has always been true, the reason I bring it up now is because the trend has for some reason become highly centralized around Traps.

As an example, we have the two really big decks this format: Satellarknights and Shaddolls. Both are pretty reasonable archetypes in my opinion, bar their Trap Cards: Stellarnova Alpha and Sinister Shadow Games. Both cards, in a practical sense, completely circumvent the decks main weakness. Satellarknight are incapable of interacting with the opponent and only provide “self touch” effects like searching and summoning. Stellarnova Alpha is literally the be all and end all of disruption to the opponent. Shadolls are really slow and don’t have a whole lot of great ways to get to the graveyard. Sinister Shadow games activates any Shaddoll monster from the deck, then on top of that it speed flip summons monster whenever you feel like it. Both cover up the weakness the deck should probably have, and can usually provide an almost winning situation against other decks when resolved, and lastly in my opinion both don’t actually need to exist at all for the deck to function, and I’d wager they shouldn’t exist.

We can look back at recent past archetypes and see the continued trend. Artifacts have Sanctum, which literally completely circumvents the entire archetypes purpose. Other cards come to mind like Abyss-Sphere and Geargia Gear, which really don’t need to exist in the archetype because they don’t serve the archetypes purpose, but are so purely overpowered there’s no reason to not use them.

In general, most new archetypes eventually or initially receive at least one overpowered card under the pretext that it’s fair because only this archetype is allowed to use it, like an archetype specific Pot of Greed. This idea makes a lot of business sense, because it put preconstructed archetypes head and shoulders above player created decks, and also prevents anything unforeseen because the cards cannot be splashed. The problem is that it really stifles the game, in my opinion. By precedence, these cards should be considered unfair and easily worthy of putting on the ban list, because similar cards are limited and banned. These cards are used of equal ease and power in the said archetypes, so it’s not any more metered or fair, meaning I don’t really understand why these cards don’t just get outright banned after 1 format; in my perfect little world they wouldn’t have been created in the first place, considering how blatant there creation as overpowered cards was.

Can’t Konami just create interesting powerful cards and let us create decks for ourselves? Things will be created that will end up being overpowered and “broken”, but that’s why we have the ban list to begin with: the fix any problems that come up in the game by accident, not by design. I suppose I’ll end my little rant there.

QOTW? Question of the Week:

Is it just me or is their just an unruly amount of price hype for cards right now? The most obvious mention is Vanity’s Emptiness. Don’t get me wrong, the card is good, but the price is just so stupid! Who would pay or trade with that value? Ulti Karma Cut: $20, Mischief of the Yokai: $10. The format is only 3 months long and ending in a few weeks, I really don’t understand it. What do you guys think?

Written by: Kyle Oliver

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