Evenly Matched – #SDBT-EN038
At the end of the Battle Phase, if your opponent controls more cards than you do: You can make your opponent banish cards from their field face-down so they control the same number of cards as you do. If you control no cards, you can activate this card from your hand.
Date Reviewed: April 20th, 2023
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is awful. 3 is average. 5 is excellent.
Hello Pojo Fans,
Evenly Matched is our Throwback Thursday choice this week and one that,while printed six years ago originally, has had several reprints.
Five reprints in six years means the card is in high demand and can be a money card in a set that the company is wanting to push. Not only a money card, Evenly Matched is a powerhouse of a trap that won’t ever stop being played, guaranteed.
Simply cost-free to use, just wait until the end of the Battle Phase and activate this Normal Trap. The only clause is that your opponent has to have more cards than you do on the field. Once activated, you board-wipe until you both have the same number of cards on the field. Wow, simple and destructive, what’s not to love? Destructive isn’t really a good descriptor of it either, because it doesn’t destroy, Evenly Matched forces your opponent to banish the cards they are getting rid of face-down so there’s almost no shot of them getting them back. On top of that, if you control no cards, Evenly Matched becomes a hand trap and can be activated from the hand. There’s no greater feeling I’m sure than starting up your turn, going immediately into the Battle Phase with nothing on the field and seeing the frustration appear on your opponent’s face (never bought/had Evenly Matched). Sure, your opponent can counter this with negation, but you are losing nothing if they do, it is a 1-for-1 at the very worst and a blowout at best.
Such a dominant, powerful trap. It had to be made a trap, otherwise it would be limited or banned. There’s a reason players play this in a set in their Deck, or have it as a Side Deck staple. Some play this as their only trap. If you play on the regular, you probably have this card, and in a set.
Until Next Time
Throwback Thursday this week brings us to probably the best card in the game to banish cards face-down, Evenly Matched.
Evenly Matched is a Normal Trap that you can activate from the hand if you control no cards and can be activated at the end of the Battle Phase if the opponent controls more cards than you, forcing the opponent to banish cards they control face-down until the number of cards they control equal the number you control. Considering you’re likely using this from the hand more often than not and therefore controlling no other cards, you’re likely forcing the opponent to remove everything but a singular card, which is very powerful board breaking power. Banishing said cards face-down also makes those cards very hard to recover back. Even if you set this and had maybe a few cards on the field, you can likely use this to wipe a good chunk of the opponent’s board. The only negative is that the opponent chooses what they keep and banish, meaning they’ll 100% keep their best card. With that said, you likely set the opponent back a ton still with all the resources they’ll lose. The best use of Evenly Matched is turn 2 after you let the opponent make their board, making this better mainly in the Side Deck over the Main, but the card is powerful enough to justify maining in several different strategies still. Still a great card after 6 years.
Advanced Rating: 4.5/5
Art: 5/5 Would love to see more from the Six Samurais in the future.
Fitting after we just covered Kashtira Big Bang, Evenly Matched is today’s Throwback Thursday topic, one of the more polarizing staples in Yugioh’s history. Evenly Matched is a Normal Trap that debuted in the TCG back in 2017, and has weaved in and out of side decks ever since. Evenly Matched has one specific effect that can only be activated at the end of the Battle Phase if your opponent controls more cards than you, forcing your opponent to banish cards face-down until they control the same number of cards as you do. As Evenly Matched still counts as a card you control, unless you do some weird shenanigans like destroying it with your own Mystical Space Typhoon at Chain Link 2, generally your opponent will still be left with one card. Importantly, if you control no cards, you can activate Evenly Matched from your hand, hence this card’s claim to fame: Evenly Matched is an incredibly powerful boardbreaker, often forcing your opponent to respond with a Trap negate or lose almost their entire field. Backrow decks in particular have a rough time against Evenly Matched, since many of their cards tend to be floodgates that can’t protect themselves. After deleting most of your opponent’s board, you can build during the Main Phase 2, so much like Dark Ruler No More, this card is balanced (supposedly) by robbing you of the chance to finish the game. Many want Evenly Matched gone for the same reasons people wanted Raigeki gone in the past; it’s a one-card solution that can flush entire boards down the drain. Is it balanced? Perhaps not, but that gets into the topic of staples versus power creep, which is a topic for another day. Evenly Matched isn’t always relevant, as meta boards constantly fluctuate in size, but whenever it is, it can almost always turn the tide of the duel.
Art: 3.5/5 Samurai Shodown (1993)
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