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Top 10 Trap Cards in "Yu-Gi-Oh: Master Duel"

Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

Drowning Mirror Force

Drowning Mirror Force

Traps in "Yu-Gi-Oh"

While traps aren't as common as monsters and spells due to their slower speed (they need to be set for a turn before activation), they wield powerful effects that interrupt opposing plays.

Obtaining traps in free-to-play online game Master Duel is easier than ever; you don't need to worry about a physical price tag, and since you can find specific cards, you don't need to booster hunt. Many of the game's best traps are the same as in the TCG, but with altered ban lists, you'll find a few surprising additions you can legally run—here are the ten best non-banned traps in Yu-Gi-Oh: Master Duel!

Heavy Storm Duster

Heavy Storm Duster

10. Heavy Storm Duster

Archetype: None

With Harpie's Feather Duster finally unbanned, I'll admit Storm Duster's use has decreased, but it's still a worthy spell/trap removal, targeting and destroying up to two spells/traps. You can't conduct your battle phase the turn you play it, but that's easily avoided by activating on your opponent's turn.

Plus, we'll later see a spell-blocking card that stops removal like Feather and Twin Twisters, giving situations where you'll be glad you had Duster in tow.

Floodgate Trap Hole

Floodgate Trap Hole

9. Floodgate Trap Hole

Archetype: None (but probably Traptrix)

Floodgate can fit any deck, changing a monster (or more than one, useful against pendulums) that was just summoned to face-down defense position, and it can't change its position. This clogs up opposing zones with useless, effectless monsters (effects aren't active while face-down).

But you're almost certainly going to find this in Traptrix themes, which reward players for utilizing trap cards, especially the Trap Hole series. Expect to see Bottomless Trap Hole and Chaos Trap Hole as well.

Shaddoll Schism

Shaddoll Schism

8. Shaddoll Schism

Archetype: Shaddoll

Schism offers excellent and ongoing fusion summons, banishing material from your field or GY to fusion summon a Shaddoll during the main phase. It cannot attack directly, but after you summon it, you can send an opponent's monster with a matching attribute to the GY, an excellent removal that dodges targeting and destruction blocks.

While they can hold their own, Shaddolls are a great side theme in MD, often paired with Invocation themes to create powerful fusion lockdowns.

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Time Pendulumgraph

Time Pendulumgraph

7. Time Pendulumgraph

Archetype: Pendulum Magicians

Time Pendulumgraph prevents opponents from targeting your spellcasters with trap/cards effects, a nice bonus to its main ability. It targets and destroys a Pendulum Magician (in either your monster or pendulum zone) and an opponent's card.

This can be used to activate destruction effects often seen on the Magicians, and it triggers the search power of fellow support Star Pendulumgraph. But perhaps best of all, if Time fails to destroy two cards, it lets you send an opposing card to the GY; I've had many games where opponents chain onto Time by spending the card I target, only to realize I'm still going to pop a card upon resolution.

Solemn Judgment

Solemn Judgment

6. Solemn Judgment

Archetype: None

You never know when a Solemn will ruin your day, stopping any summon or spell/trap card at the cost of half its controller's life points. A hefty fee, but worth it to nullify an opponent's key play. And since it's a counter trap, it can only be responded to by other counter traps, which are relatively rare.

While potent, keep in mind that Judgment can't stop the effects of cards already face-up on the field.

Skill Drain

Skill Drain

5. Skill Drain

Archetype: None

Surprisingly unlimited (as of this writing), even in the TCG, Skill Drain costs 1000 life points to activate, but continuously negates the effects of all monsters on the field! If your opponent doesn't have a non-monster trap removal in hand, this often completely ruins their turn.

Sure, your own monsters are affected too, but by the time you use Drain, hopefully you'll have activated the abilities you want. Some decks even benefit from effect negation, like Qliphorts.

Evenly Matched

Evenly Matched

4. Evenly Matched

Archetype: None

Avoid this card's hefty real-life price by using it for free online. Evenly Matched activates at the end of either player's battle phase, making your opponent banish cards of their choice so they control the same number as you.

Plus, if you control no cards, you can activate Evenly from hand. It counts itself when it resolves, so your opponent keeps one card, but if you play second, you can go immediately go to the end of your battle phase, banish all but one opposing card, then proceed with your combos in the second main.

Tri-Brigade Revolt

Tri-Brigade Revolt

3. Tri-Brigade Revolt

Archetype: Tri-Brigade

Tri-Brigades are one of the game's top themes, in part thanks to this amazing trap. The archetype swarms the field with its monsters, using them as material for link summons. Many banish themselves and others from GY to extend the combo.

Thing is, when you activate Revolt, you summon any number of your GY or banished beasts, beast-warriors, and winged beasts, then use them as Tri-Brigade link material, letting you easily field the imposing Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen, who banishes opposing cards. Not only that, but your recovered materials head back to your GY, letting you reuse previously-banished cards.

Vanity's Emptiness

Vanity's Emptiness

2. Vanity's Emptiness

Archetype: None

Our last two cards are banned in the TCG, but only limited (as of this writing) in Master Duel, letting you play a single copy of each. Vanity's Emptiness prevents both players from special summoning, and it destroys itself if a card is sent from your field or deck to the graveyard.

Still, since the vast majority of competitive decks rely on combo special summons, shutting down the mechanic (after performing your own of course) almost guarantees you the win as long as you can protect Emptiness.

Imperial Order

Imperial Order

1. Imperial Order

Archetype: None

Another TCG-banned net, Order negates the effects of all spell cards; brutal when chained to something like Pot of Desires or Pot of Extravagance, ruining the effect while still forcing the activation cost.

Keeping Order active requires you pay 700 life points at each standby phase, but that's a paltry sum for its powers, and you can always decline if you have spells you need to use. But for best results, play in spell-light themes like Tri-Brigade and True Draco.

Banned Traps in Master Duel

Today we saw the game's best legal traps, but keep an eye on its adaptable banlist. Ace banned cards include Sixth Sense, Royal Oppression, Ultimate Offering; there's always the chance they'll drop to limited or semi-limited. But for now, vote for your favorite trap and I'll see you at our next YGO countdown!

© 2022 Jeremy Gill

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