Saturday, January 18, 2014

Seven Tools vs. Trap Stun

The demise of the Droolers has brought resurgence to trap heavy decks. Bujins, Geargias, Madolche, and Gravekeepers are all experiencing a bit of a renaissance.  With their raise to prominence comes renewed interest in anti-trap cards including Seven Tools of the Bandit. 

Seven Tools was a staple of mine in the days of the Solemn trio (i.e. two Warnings and one Judgment).  Few plays were more satisfying than negating one these powerful traps. Not only did it disrupt their strategy, it almost always led to a life point advantage.   However, I am a bit more skeptical about its use today. 

Let’s compare Seven Tools with Trap Stun, another popular anti-trap card.

             Category                                                   Seven Tools                                        Trap Stun
Negation of more than one trap                                     No                                                      Yes
Negation in response to activation                                Yes                                                     Yes
Negation of continuous traps                                        No                                                      Yes
Negation of a counter-trap                                           Yes                                                      No
When it comes right down to it, the preference of Seven Tools over Trap Stun depends on your dread of counter-traps. I have listed the most playable counter-traps below.

There are currently 88 legal counter-traps in Yugioh.  Of these, only 32 are decent enough to be considered playable. Seven of these 32 are restricted to particular archetypes. Of the remaining 25, only four are seeing regular play: Solemn Warning, Divine Wrath, Black Horn of Heaven, and Debunk. Warning is limited and Black Horn and Debunk are found only on side deck lists.  That leaves Divine Wrath, which will likely see more play as quick effect monsters gain in popularity. 

So should you include it? Using one card to chase two or three is generally a bad idea.  The chances that Seven Tools will be set and ready to spring on your opponent’s counter trap are low.  More than likely, you will be paying a 1,000 LP to do what Trap Stun would do for free. I suspect some players may be beguiled by having negated a Warning or Divine Wrath.  It feels good, but it is likely biasing your opinion. I would wait for the day when at least three counter traps are considered staples.

Postscript: As I was reviewing the deck lists from the most recent ARG tournament, I noticed that Trap Stun was showing up in Hieratic Rulers as well as Geargia.  Seven Tools is an effective way to keep your traps from being emasculated by Trap Stun.  Given Geargias heavy penchant for back row cards, playing Seven Tools is beginning to make more sense. The usefulness of the card may depend on the prevalence of these decks. 

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