January 19th was a momentous day for any Yu-Gi-Oh! fan as Master Duel was unexpectedly introduced by Japanese entertainment powerhouse Konami. A like-for-like simulation of their now 25-year-old trading card game which now has accumulated more than 40 million downloads throughout PC, old and next gen consoles, as well as mobile devices.
As an avid player myself, I wanted to share what I think are the best 21 trap cards in the game.Without further to do, let’s list what we think are the top 21 trap cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
The Best 21 Traps to Use in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
21) Magic Cylinder
(When an opponent’s monster declares and attack: Target the attacking monster; negate the attack, and if you do, inflict damage to you opponent equal to its ATK.)
One of the most iconic cards in the anime as well as real-life play, Magic Cylinder has seen its play in both Yu-Gi-Oh! Master duel as well as the TCG. An effective card to catch your opponent by surprise at anytime during the duel. Unfortunately, it is a Super Rare in the game so be careful with your CP!
20) Heavy Storm Duster
(Target up to 2 Spells/Traps on the field; destroy them. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this card.)
A great card for any beginner/intermediate player, however, it does require the cost of skipping your Battle Phase. Using this card during the End Phase of your opponent’s turn is a great way to clear your adversary’s backboard and go for the win!
19) Compulsory Evacuation Device
(Target 1 monster on the field; return that target to the hand.)
Simple but effective! Widely known as Compulse in the TCG, this card is great to avoid any trouble with monsters that trigger effects in either the graveyard or banished zones respectively.
18) Anti-Spell Fragrance
(Both players must Set Spell Cards before activating them, and cannot activate them until their next turn after Setting them.)
A great side deck card in the TCG but for Master Duel it can be a bit tricky to… you guessed it! Master! A great card for Eldlich players and trap-heavy decks! However, use with caution as this card does mean you won’t be able to activate Spell cards at your leisure!
17) Bottomless Trap Hole
(When your opponent Summons a monster(s) with 1500 or more ATK: Destroy that monster(s) with 1500 or more ATK, and if you do, banish it.)
Another old-school card and the best Hole normal trap card in Yu-Gi-Oh! Want to banish a monster on summon without any effects? BTH is the card for you!
16) Imperial Order
(Negate all Spell effects on the filed. One per turn, during the Standby Phase, you must pay 700 LP (this is not optional), or this card is destroyed.)
A card so powerful it is BANNED in the TCG! Imperial Order got the chop in the real-life card game back in February 2022 but in Master Duel, it’s completely legal! Just like our previous entry Anti-Spell Fragrance, this completely interrupts the flow of any spell-heavy Deck. Paying 700 LP every Standby Phase is a risky strategy for anybody, hence why Imperial Order is a card specifically for expert players!
15) Storming Mirror Force
(When an opponent’s monster declares an attack: Return all your opponent’s Attack Position monster to the hand.)
Similar to the Compulsory Evacuation Device, this Mirror Force card sends all attacking monsters back to your opponent’s hand, a great strategy to get you out of a sticky situation!
14) Wall of Revealing Light
(When you activate this card, pay any multiple of 1000 Life Points. None of your opponent’s monster with ATK equal to or less than the Life Points you paid can attack.)
Not used as much in the TCG, but this card has had a massive resurgence in Master Duel as casual vintage players duel with low ATK decks like Watt and Harpie. A great attack-negating trap for combo Decks!
13) Solemn Strike
(When a monster(s) would be Special Summoned, OR a monster effect is activated: Pay 1500 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy that card.)
A more reasonable Solemn card (more on that later) as this only requires you to pay 1500 LP. In this current format, this card perfectly counters any effects that might decrease your chances of winning a Duel or even fully negate a dreaded Special Summon form the Extra Deck (I’m looking at you Zeus!)
12) Royal Decree
(Negate all other Trap effects on the field.)
The perfect Eldlich, The Golden Lord counter! Royal Decree stops all traps on the field! This card is heaven for any player who doesn’t use Trap Cards in their deck or their defences relying fully on Spell cards.
11) Lost Wind
(Target 1 face-up Special Summoned monster on the field; negate its effects, also its original ATK is halved. If a monster is Special Summoned from your opponent’s Extra Deck, while this card is in your GY (except the Damage Step): You can set this card, but banish it when it leaves the field.)
Our first entry with regards to Handtraps, a copy of Lost Wind can be used not once but TWICE! Negating a card whilst simultaneously halving their ATK power!? It’s too good to be true right?
10) Solemn Warning
(When a monster(s) would be Summoned, OR when a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect, is activated that includes an effect that Special Summons a monster(s): Pay 2000 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy it.)
Our second Solemn entry, Warning requires you to pay a little more than Strike but this card can also counter Spells and Traps! Worthy of a top 10 entry!
9) Mind Crush
(Declare 1 card name; if that card is in your opponent’s hand, they must discard all copies of it, otherwise you discard 1 random card.)
Another OG card! Mind Crush is a perfect way to test out your opponent during a duel! Declaring a common card (Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring for example) is a must when activating this card. If you call wrong however, you must pay the consequences instead and discard one yourself!
8) Witch’s Strike
(If your opponent negates the Normal or Special Summon of a monster(s), or activation of card or effect: Destroy all cards your opponent controls and in their hand.)
In a time where Yu-Gi-Oh! is all about anticipating your opponent and negating cards, there’s no better than Witch’s Strike! Want to negate my cards? Ok, sure but your cards will pay the price!
7) Harpie’s Feather Storm
(If you control a WIND Winged Beast-Type monster: Until the end of this turn, negate any monster effects your opponent activates. If you control a “Harpie” monster, you can activate this card from your hand. If this card in its owner’s Spell & Trap Zone is destroyed by an opponent’s card effect: You can add 1 “Harpie’s Feather Duster” from your Deck or Graveyard to your hand.)
If you play Harpie, this is the perfect card for you! Maybe not a meta archetype as such, but this card is so good that surely it’ll make everyone and anyone consider playing this super fun Deck!
6) Drowning Mirror Force
(When an opponent’s monster declares a direct attack: Shuffle all Attack Position monsters your opponent controls into the deck.)
Another Mirror Force card makes our list but just misses out on our top 5! Drowning Mirror Force is a must when playing against an opponent whose sole objective is to fill their board with monsters! This card will make them go bye-bye for sure! Nonetheless, they must attack you directly in order for you to activate this card!
5) Infinite Impermanence
(Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; negative its effects (until end of this turn), then, if this card was Set before activation and is on the field at resolution, for the rest of the turn all other Spell/Trap effects in this column are negated. If you control no cards, you can activate this card from your hand.)
Into the top 5 and we see what is commonly known as Imperm. This card is undoubtedly the most known Handtrap in the game as it can be used straight from your hand if you control no cards on the field. Also when you activate this set card on the field, it will lock the column it was activated! Very useful to catch your opponent by surprise!
4) There Can Be Only One
(Each player can only control 1 monster of each Type. If a player controls 2 or more monsters of the same Type, they must send some to the GY so they control no more than 1 monster of that type.)
Running a pure Warrior deck? No problem! There Can Only Be One is perfect for you to keep this Duel purely sword and shield based! Perfect against any archetype that require combos with more than 2 Types such as Sky Striker!
3) Red Reboot
(When your opponent activates a Trap card: Negate the activation, and if you do, Set that card face-down, then they can Set 1 other Trap directly from their Deck. For the rest of this turn after this card resolves, your opponent cannot activate Trap Cards. You can activate this card from your hand by paying half of your LP.)
A great Counter-Trap to be use din the most difficult of situations! Makes your opponent completely trapless for the rest of the turn. But you must pay a hefty cost! In desperate need? Sure, you can also improvise and use Red Reboot as a Handtrap! You’ve just got to pay half of your LP instead…. OUCH!
2) Evenly Matched
(At the end of the Battle Phase, if your opponent controls more cards than you do: You can 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.)
Without question the best Handtrap in the game! It is probable that whoever plays Evenly Matched first, wins the Duel. I still can’t believe it myself that it’s only a Super Rare! An absolute game changer but not the best.
1) Solemn Judgement
(When a monster(s) would be Summoned, OR a Spell/Trap Card is activated: Pay half of your LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy that card.)
A fair card for a fair price. The crown takes it what could be possibly the most iconic Trap in all of Duel Monsters. By paying half of your LP, you can negate anything, without question. Released all the way back in 2003 and coming up to 20 years since the card’s first printing in the TCG, there’s nothing more iconic than Solemn Judgment.