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The Dark Illusion: No Escape

July 29th, 2016

The Dark Illusion has a ton of great stuff for fan-favorite themes and new Decks alike, but it’s also jam-packed with cards you can play anywhere.  Today we’ll look at two of the set’s top Traps: The Forceful Chokepoint and Floodgate Trap Hole.

You activate The Forceful Checkpoint when your opponent declares an attack.  Then you look at your opponent’s hand, and if you see any Monster Cards there your opponent’s attack is negated and you get to choose a monster that your opponent has to discard from their hand.

That might seem like a simple effect, but it gives you a lot of advantages.  Cards like Trap Dustshoot and Mind Crush were always prized for the side benefit of revealing your opponent’s options: it’s much easier to outplay your rivals when you know what cards they have.  That’s huge, and The Forceful Checkpoint is easier to activate than most cards offering that kind of intel.

On the surface, the effect of The Forceful Checkpoint trades your Trap Card for one monster from your opponent’s hand – an even trade, right?  But since it blocks an attack as well, you’ll often be saving a monster that you would’ve lost, too; you stop your opponent from pressuring your field, and then you fire back at their hand.  That kind of disruption can be really surprising, and it’s a great way to eliminate problem monsters before they hit the field.

Take Dark Destroyer.  With 3000 ATK it’s almost impossible to attack over, but it can’t be targeted by effects either, and even if you manage to destroy it your opponent can just banish it to Special Summon something else.  It’s a tough nut to crac

But if you discard Dark Destroyer from your opponent’s hand with The Forceful Checkpoint before it hits the field, you work around all of those pitfalls.  Preempting threats like Ehther the Heavenly Monarch, Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin, and Dark Lady can shatter your opponent’s intended line of play and leave them scrabbling for a new plan… which you’ll know exactly how to beat, because now you know all their cards.

Meanwhile Floodgate Trap Hole plays around a lot of troublesome monsters in different ways: you can activate it when your opponent Summons one or more monsters to turn them all to face-down Defense Position.  Whatever monsters you put face-down stay that way, because Floodgate Trap Hole stops your opponent from changing their battle positions.

If that sounds a lot like Quaking Mirror Force you’re correct: Quaking turns all your opponent’s Attack Position monsters to face-down defense mode and locks them that way, just like Floodgate Trap Hole.  But Floodgate has some big advantages.  First, the activation timing’s better.  You activate Quaking Mirror Force in response to an attack declaration, which gives your opponent lots of time to Summon monsters and use their effects to remove Quaking before they attack: Sliprider; Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer; Erebus the Underworld Monarch; The Phantom Knights of Break Sword… it’s a long list of popular monsters.

Floodgate Trap Hole outplays them all, since you activate it at the point of Summon, not in response to an attack.  It hits all the monsters that were Summoned too, so it can even lock down an entire Pendulum Summon.  If you clog your opponent’s field with monsters they might not be able to Summon anything else, leaving you to pick them apart when you’re ready to safely take the Duel.  While Floodgate’s great against Pendulum Summons, it’s a beating against all sorts of Normal Summons, Tribute Summons, and Special Summons too, working wonders to slow your opponent’s momentum.

It doesn’t target, it won’t trigger Graveyard effects, and it’s huge against Burning Abyss.  Not only will it lock stuff like Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss and Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss on the field where they can’t use their effects, it traps them face-down; they won’t count as “Burning Abyss” monsters.  And since Malebranches are destroyed when their controller has a non-“Burning Abyss” monster on the field, suddenly everything your opponent Summons is going straight to the Graveyard.

And the best part?  It’s a Trap Hole!  You can mimic its effect with Traptrix Rafflesia, or search it from your Deck with Traptrix MyrmeleoFloodgate Trap Hole makes two of the game’s best trap toolboxes even better.

You can get your hands on Floodgate Trap Hole and The Forceful Chokepoint at The Dark Illusion Sneak Peek this weekend, or when the set launches on August 5th!