Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G back here with the last bit of the limited section on our Forbidden and Limited List and this time it’ll be over Traps. Traps like other limited cards are cards too good to be at three in the game, or were at one stage, but not too broken to where the game is much better if they weren’t in them. Traps maybe get more leeway for power levels considering their downsides of having to be set most of the time before being activated. There are some great effects on these Limited Traps, so it’s time to talk about them now.
We start off with one of the two cards still on the F/L List despite getting an errata. Imperial Order is a Continuous Trap that negates the effects of all Spell Cards while this is face-up on the field, but you must pay 700 life points during each Standby Phase (this is not optional) or destroy it if you can’t. Note if you have 700 life points exactly left, you will still be forced to pay the cost and lose. Imperial Order is a great card still considering how strong Spells can be. Not being able to shut it off does prevent certain decks from using it, since most other decks need Spells as well, but it is a great card in decks not too reliant on Spell Cards. Before the errata, Imperial Order’s 700 life point cost was paid only on your turn and it was optional, meaning any deck could play it just to turn off the opponent’s Spells while you do whatever you want with them after you destroy it. Imperial Order was banned in August of 2004 being one of the first banned cards as well, but once it got the errata to where the cost was on both player’s turns and not optional, it went back to one in March of 2017.
Imperial Order is fine at one. Any more and that’s just too much for decks to deal with considering how important it is to have and use your good Spells. One is perfectly fine considering the cost is mandatory unless you don’t have enough life points, meaning decks light on Spells or not so reliant on them can use it, while decks that like to use Spells or rely on them will pass on it.
More floodgates here. Macro Cosmos is a Continuous Trap that banishes any card sent to the graveyard. Note it isn’t like Dimensional Fissure to where it banishes monsters only, it banishes everything. The improvement of the effect needed a downside to balance it over Dimensional Fissure and that’s why Macro Cosmos here is a Trap. It does have another downside players don’t think about where it can also summon Helios – The Primordial Sun from the hand or deck, meaning your opponent can hit Macro Cosmos with something like Solemn Warning. Nobody was really playing Helios for Macro Cosmos and they most certainly won’t with this at one, which is what happened to it in September of 2013 in the TCG along with Dimensional Fissure, which makes sense since Macro Cosmos does have the better effect over Dimensional Fissure despite being a Trap.
Macro Cosmos is fine at three. The big thing here is monsters and Dimensional Fissure covers that as well and I thought that was fine at three as well. Sure banishing certain Spells or Traps will hurt, but we all know the big deal here is with monsters being banished. Macro Cosmos will be nice at three for certain decks, because its like D-Fissure where you can’t just splash it into every and any deck because you likely need the graveyard as well.
The last real FTK card I’ll talk about now. Magical Explosion is a Normal Trap that can be activated when you have no cards in your hand, which then you burn the opponent for 200 damage per Spell in your graveyard. This was useful with many draw and consistency Spells digging through your deck and loading the graveyard with them while you can just set Magical Explosion and do massive burn. It helps with using Into the Void so you can draw a card as well as discard your whole hand at the end of the turn. If you can get Life Equalizer off as well, the FTK is easier when you can make your opponent only have 3000 life points, which you can get done with Chicken Game when that was around as well as Upstart Goblin since those two cards can help put a bigger life point difference between you and the opponent. This at three though made Life Equalizer not as necessary, and thankfully this was limited in March of 2010 before we got the Chicken Game situation. FTKs were very possible with a card like this.
Honestly, this should just be banned. It can still cause FTKs to this day if you build the proper deck and it feels like it’ll be prominent in another FTK when that comes around. The OCG banned this already, so I don’t get why the TCG won’t ban this. It’s built for FTK decks.
Back to floodgates. Skill Drain is a Continuous Trap that at the cost of 1000 life points negates the effects of every monster on the field just as long as Skill Drain is on the field. This is most useful in decks with monsters that have effects that don’t really matter if not straight up having negative effects. Skill Drain was semi-limited in 2010 for the most part, but beyond that it was at three before it’s limitation in April of 2015. What got this card limited is that Qliphort could make use of it by Normal Summoning their Qli monsters and get around the downside of them having to be Normal Summoned with an original ATK of 1800 because Skill Drain will make them 2400 or 2800 ATK with Tribute Summoning depending on which Qli you summon, also if you already have Apoqliphort Towers on the field before activating this, then Towers is unaffected by it and it gets all the effects.
Skill Drain is fine at one. Shutting down monster effects just isn’t fun to deal with. All you got to do is throw Skill Drain into something like Qli and get big monsters on the field with great ease while having a ton of traps to stop your opponent from doing anything. Skill Drain might not make Qli meta at three, but for the betterment of the game it should probably stay at one.
Part of the most iconic line of Traps in the game probably. Solemn Judgment is a Counter Trap that at the cost of half your life points (so it’s never dead unless you somehow have only 1 life point left) you can negate the summon of any monster or the activation of any Spell/Trap and destroy it. Back when this card was first printed, nobody saw the true power of this card. Half of your life points is a lot and if I’m being honest, cards weren’t as powerful back then excluding the ones that are now banned. As the game was getting faster and more powerful with cards, Solemn Judgment was seen for its potential as effects were worth negating more often. Things were beginning to pick up and you needed to pay that half of your life points to make sure you don’t lose. Solemn Judgment got limited in September of 2009 and later banned in the TCG in September of 2013 before returning to the game in February of 2018 at one.
Solemn Judgment is a card you could argue could come back. Sure it can negate powerful cards, but sometimes a deck can just play through the Solemn Judgment. The game has gotten really fast now, it’s insane. Maybe a second Judgment would be nice, three might still be pushing it.
The other limited Solemn card, Solemn Warning is another Counter Trap that at the cost of 2000 life points can negate the summon of any monster or the activation of a card/effect that would summon a monster and destroy that card. Negating the right monster could be detrimental to your opponent, especially if that monster could of got their plays started or if you stopped their big boss monster from coming out after they put forth a fair investment into it. Just like Judgment, people didn’t see the potential in Warning at first, but it was much quicker to see how good the card was compared to Judgment as it was semi-limited in March of 2011 (not even a year after it came out) and later it was limited in March of 2013.
I think Warning at two will be fine as well, once again it’s easier to play through and unlike Solemn Judgment, Warning isn’t always live since you need more than 2000 life points to use it. Again, three might be pushing it, especially with Solemn Strike still at three and how similar to Warning it can be at times. Still, don’t think two Solemn Warning will be a big deal, maybe even three.
Skill Drain’s brother is here. Soul Drain is another Continuous Trap that at the cost of 1000 life points prevents monsters in the graveyard and that are banished from activating their effects. We are now in an age where graveyard effects are crucial for many decks. It isn’t every day anymore that you see a meta without a graveyard reliant decks, especially one that needs effects in the graveyard. The banished zone is more niche, but it is relevant as we have had effects trigger upon being banished, see the Dragon Rulers. Just like negating monsters on the field, the game got to a point where negating graveyard and banished monster effects was just too good, so the TCG limited it in September of 2013.
Soul Drain is another one fine at one. It’ll be a card played in decks like Qliphort once again, only in the side deck this time around probably, and it’ll cripple any graveyard reliant deck. It’s basically like Skill Drain to a deck like Burning Abyss that needs graveyard effects, so it does warrant a limit. Again, it probably won’t make a deck meta at three, but it might just be better for the game with it at one.
True King’s Return
The only limited Continuous Trap that doesn’t really stop your opponent from playing the game. True King’s Return as I mentioned is a Continuous Trap that when it is sent from the Spell/Trap zone to the graveyard, you can destroy any monster on the field. This is nice after using True King’s Return to Tribute Summon a True Draco monster, giving them field clearing beyond Master Peace. Return also has two effects that you cannot activate in the same chain and each is a once per turn: one lets you target a True King or True Draco in the graveyard and Special Summon it in Defense Position while the other lets you Tribute Summon a True Draco or True King on the opponent’s turn. The first effect is mostly nice for the Level 9 True King monsters to go for their own Rank 9 monster since reviving the True Dracos you love to Tribute Summon doesn’t give you their effects, but just another body to tribute over to maybe draw off of with True Draco Heritage. The second effect of giving you a Tribute Summon on the opponent’s turn is nice as if you tribute Return, you can later destroy an opponent’s monster while getting something like Dinomight Knight or Ignis Heat on the field or before its ban you could summon Master Peace for more pops. True King’s Return was the best trap in the deck and it was limited in September of 2017.
I honestly think the card is fine at three again. Popping the monster and the Tribute Summon on the opponent’s turn isn’t too broken considering there is another Trap in the archetype that does that as well, so the problem is the reviving, if you could call it one. Reviving a monster in True Draco isn’t as good without Master Peace to use it as tribute material to be protected from monster effects, so the best you got is to tribute over it for another True Draco so it can have its effects and later draw with True Draco Heritage. True King’s Return is fine at three again.
Wall of Revealing Light
Not limited for the reason you might think of. Wall of Revealing Light is a Continuous Trap that lets you pay life points in multiples of 1000 and then your opponent cannot attack with monsters with an ATK less than or equal to the amount of life points you paid. Paying 3000 shuts down most of the monsters in the game, and while that’s annoying, you can easily get rid of Wall of Revealing Light. The goal of this card is to get you to low enough life points to use cards like Last Turn, Self-Destruct Button, or Life Equalizer. The main point is to lower your life points to use cards that are poorly designed with their effects because they are only used for degenerate plays. Wall of Revealing Light was limited in September of 2007 because it had a decent effect as well as getting your life points to a lower number.
The card is fine at three, it isn’t a real problem card for the game. The three cards I mentioned are real problems, and two of those are banned while Life Equalizer probably should be as well. Wall of Revealing Light isn’t a problem, but it can expose problems maybe, so three of it is fine.
So we got mostly cards that stop your opponent’s plays while the others are for FTKs, a specific deck, and a card that exposes the problems with cards that require certain life points. All of these cards, excluding one, are fine for the game and some of them can even return in multiples. Traps still have that inherent negative of being set before being usable, so this makes some cards a little less powerful, but still good if well designed. Well now I’m done with the limited section and now there’s just the four cards that are semi-limited and then I’m done with this whole series.
Thanks for Reading,