Devastating Traps: Torrential Tribute
Devastating Traps: Torrential Tribute
(Editor’s Note: You might think it strange that we’re doing an article specific to Torrential Tribute. After all, who doesn’t know how devastating it can be? Turns out, the answer is a lot more people than you’d think, including some players good enough to make it to the Top 64 of the biggest TCG tournament of all time. For the final article of Devastating Traps Week, it came down to either Torrential Tribute or Mirror Force, and we decided that Torrential Tribute would be the way to go as it can now cause an impact up to 4 times per Duel instead of once.)
Back in March, the Forbidden and Limited cards list changed, allowing 2 copies of Torrential Tribute per Deck. Having 2 copies of this Trap Card in your Deck (and your opponent’s one too) will have a much bigger impact on Duels than you think, and here’s why.
For those who aren’t fully aware of it by now, Torrential Tribute is a Trap Card that destroys every monster on the field whenever a new one is Summoned. It’s essentially a Dark Hole that you can play on either Duelist’s turn. Having 2 Torrentials in your Deck plus a Dark Hole means you have 3 cards that can instantly turn a Duel in your favour, but since your opponent is likely playing all 3 as well you have to be even more careful when Summoning monsters. Furthermore, Summoning is something that nearly every Deck does in some capacity. Even Decks with no monsters often run Ojama Trio to stick useless monsters on your side of the field so they can inflict damage with cards that count monsters.
Using Torrential Tribute to protect yourself.
The most common use of Torrential Tribute is to destroy your opponent’s monsters when they’ve got too many on the field. If you’re controlling 1 or even no monsters and they have 2 or more, using Torrential on their next Summon is a no-brainer. Cards like Dark Hole and Mirror Force can do similar things, but there’s no guarantee that your opponent will declare an attack, or they might be about to Set a card to stop your field wipe next turn. Worse yet, they could have just Summoned an Inzektor they intend to wipe your face-down card with Inzektor Hornet before attacking. Torrential makes sure you get rid of those opposing monsters before it’s too late.
Torrential Tribute also helps out in shutting down big combos before your opponent can finish them. Let’s take Dino Rabbit for example. Your opponent’s just Summoned Rescue Rabbit and banished it to Summon 2 copies of Sabersaurus. Now would be a good time to activate Torrential Tribute, as if you don’t destroy those monsters as soon as they’re Summoned, your opponent will most likely Xyz Summon Evolzar Laggia. Since Laggia can negate Trap Cards with its effect it’s pointless to wait for the Summon of the bigger monster. Better to put a stop to things right now.
If your opponent has a Tuner and a non-Tuner monster on the field it’s often wise to play Torrential Tribute before they Synchro Summon (depending on the Levels they control they can Summon Stardust Dragon or Naturia Barkion, which are both able to stop your Trap Card from resolving). If your opponent controls 2 Level 3 or Level 2 monsters, it’s best to destroy them now before Wind-Up Zenmaines and Gachi Gachi Gantetsu are Summoned, since they can protect themselves from Torrential Tribute.
The key here is to destroy the monsters that will be used to create the monster that can protect itself. Mirror Force will almost always be too late to help you, as the monster with built in protection is the one that will be doing the attacking.
Using Torrential Tribute to break through opposing defences.
There’s more than one way to use a Trap Card, and you can put together some really nice combos with Torrential Tribute. One example would be where your opponent controls a monster that you can’t defeat in battle (either a high ATK one or something like Spirit Reaper / Gellenduo). If you were to Summon a monster that you don’t mind destroying (Sangan for example) you could respond to your own Summon with Torrential Tribute and clear the field, giving you the opportunity to follow it up with some direct attacks if you can Summon more monsters.
Another neat play is to use Torrential Tribute to guarantee your effects go off. If your opponent plays Effect Veiler, Fiendish Chain or Skill Drain they’ll almost certainly want to catch you out by using them on your Effect Monsters. One neat way to get around them though is to activate your monster effect as soon as you Summon it, let you opponent Chain their card, and then respond with Torrential Tribute to wipe the field. Since your monster’s no longer face-up on the field it can no longer be negated by cards like Effect Veiler and you can get your effects off. One example of this would be in the Top 64 Feature Match of YCS Long Beach (Duel 3), where Simon Dewhurst made sure his Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity wasn’t shut off by his opponent’s Effect Veiler, and he could continue with his Wind-Up combos.
Torrential Tribute is one of those cards that rewards clever play, whether you’re using it to defend from your opponent or set up a Duel-winning turn. If you can play around your opponent’s copies and make the most of your own, then your chances of winning Matches and tournaments will greatly increase!