Some people might say that trap cards are no longer important in Yu-Gi-Oh.
They might say that it’s not worth it to have to set them up before playing them when there are so many spell cards you can use right away.
And I’ll say this:
You just set my trap card off.
Some of the most powerful cards in the game are trap cards, which have effects that run from strong to broken to almost cruel.
When used well, a trap card can turn the tide of a fight in an instant.
But where should you set your traps?
Here is my list of the best Yu-Gi-Oh! trap cards that aren’t banned.
You’ve used up some of the cards in your hand and taken some time to set up your combos. Now you have a few monsters on the field.
You attack, hoping to do some damage, but a monster effect from your opponent stops you in your tracks.
This can be very annoying at times, but a card like Chivalry will help make things easier. It depends on the case.
24. Dark Bribe
I wouldn’t put Dark Bribe in a competitive deck, but it’s great for milling decks.
Giving your opponent a card in exchange for stopping one of their spells or traps is risky because you don’t know if the card they draw will help you or hurt you.
If you can, save a few Dark Bribes for later.
They might come in handy.
There are a lot of “hand traps” and cards with effects in the graveyard in the metagame today.
Debunk tries to get rid of these effects for free.
The bad thing about this card is that it does nothing if your opponent doesn’t use any of its effects.
If they do, though, you’ll have a huge edge over them.
22. Destruction Jammer
Destruction I think Jammer is a very underrated card. It’s too easy for your opponent to wipe out your whole field, and this card helps a lot with that.
You do have to throw away a card, but that’s a fair price to pay to keep multiple monsters from being killed.
21. Forced Back
Play this card if you’re facing someone and really want to give them the middle finger.
It would be much better if it could stop special summons as well as normal and flip summons,
But it’s still a pretty good card since it can stop a normal or flip summon and send the monster back to your opponent’s hand.
Unless they set a card, it takes the place of their normal call for the turn.
20. Magic Cylinder
As if there was any other way to start a list about trap cards.
Magic Cylinder was the best joke card back in the day. Instead of doing big damage to you, your opponent takes it on themselves.
And against the right decks, Magic Cylinder is still a very strong card.
If you’re up against a deck like Deskbots, which can easily make monsters with 5,000 attack, Magic Cylinder will save your life.
Since Magic Cylinder is an older card, most players have forgotten about it. This makes it a great tech card that no one will ever guess.
19. Mind Crush
Here’s another card that makes you feel like the King of Games.
Mind Crush was something Yami Yugi did to get rid of the old evil in the hearts of duelists, or something like that.
Even though the real card doesn’t quite do this, it’s still a very strong card.
If you can name a card that your opponent has in their hand, they have to throw it away.
In current Yu-Gi-Oh, your opponent is probably looking through their deck for cards to add to their hand.
Mind Crush is the right answer to this, preventing your opponent from getting the pieces they need for their combo.
Just make sure you don’t forget what they were looking for. Or, if you can do it quietly, you could write it down…
18. Anti-Spell Fragrance
The scent that puts an end to pendulums!
With Anti-Spell Fragrance, both players have to set up their spells like traps before they can be used.
This is bad for any deck, but especially for pendulum decks because pendulum monsters can’t be set.
This means they’ll never get their scales up, and if they don’t have a back-up plan, they’ll probably just give up right there.
Even though pendulum decks aren’t as popular as they were in 2016, Pendulum Magicians are still played quite a bit (including by me, because it’s still my best deck!).
So it’s always a good idea to have one or two copies in your side deck.
Even if your opponent isn’t using a pendulum deck, Anti-Spell Fragrance will still slow down their plays, giving you more time to bring out your big guns.
17. Bottomless Trap Hole
Bottomless Trap Hole is a great way to get rid of enemies in the game.
This trap card not only kills a powerful monster, but it also sends it away.
Since banished monsters are much harder to bring back than monsters in the graveyard, Bottomless Trap Hole will probably get rid of one card for good.
When your opponent has spent a lot of resources to bring out a big monster, like Saryuja Skull Dread or Borreload Dragon, is the best time to play this card.
16. Solemn Warning
Almost all of the Solemn cards are strong cards that can get rid of other cards.
And Solemn Warning is the weakest of the bunch, which shows how powerful this set of traps is.
For 2000 LP, you can cancel a monster’s special summon and kill it.
Even better, if that monster would be brought back by a spell or trap, you can also destroy that.
This is a great way to get rid of annoying field spells like Boot Sector Launch, which let you special summon two monsters every turn.
For only 2000 LP, you can’t pass up this deal.
15. Lost Wind
Where was I on this list again…? Lost Wind, sure!
Lost Wind lets you cancel the effect of a special-summoned monster on the field, and then you can use it again as long as your opponent summons a monster from their extra deck, which will definitely happen since this is current Yu-Gi-Oh.
The crazy thing about Lost Wind is that these cancels don’t happen at the end of the turn, they happen all the time!
This means that your opponent can’t use that monster for the rest of the battle. If that’s the only copy they have, it’s too bad.
14. Heavy Storm Duster
One of the best ways to get rid of a spell or trap in current Yu-Gi-Oh!Oh, this trap card is a combination of two banned cards: Heavy Storm and Harpies Feather Duster.
This trap lets you destroy up to two spells or other traps on the field, but the turn you use it, you don’t get a fight phase.
Since you can destroy up to two cards, you don’t have to destroy one of your own if your opponent only has one.
To get the most out of this card, play it when it’s your opponent’s turn. So you get the most damage and the fewest problems.
13. Compulsory Evacuation Device
Compulsory Evacuation Device is such a well-known card in Yu-Gi-Oh that putting a card back into your hand from the field is often called “Compulsing” a card.
Bringing a monster back to your hand from the field can be either an attack or a defensive play, so it can be used to solve most problems.
Compulsory Evacuation Device is a great way to send a big monster back to the extra deck if your opponent calls it from there.
This is also a good way to waste your opponent’s time and money.
If your opponent tries to destroy one of your valuable monsters, you can force one of your own monsters to bring it back home to safety.
12. Royal Decree
If your opponent read this list and got some thoughts from it, Royal Decree says no to all trap cards.
If a monster, spell, or trap was stopped, it was probably because of a trap card.
When you play Royal Decree, you can call as many creatures as you want without thinking that they will be destroyed.
The only real downside is that you can’t even set off your own traps.
But if you have a monster or a spell that can destroy Royal Decree whenever you want, you can easily get rid of it.
Well, that’s not my field, but you get the idea.
11. Imperial Order
The (better) follow-up to Royal Decree lets you get rid of all spell cards every rest phase for 700 life points.
This cost used to be flexible, but it had to be made more expensive to make this card at least somewhat fair.
In Yu-Gi-Oh, many combos depend more on spells than on traps.
This is because spells are faster to play, which makes them great for flooding the field as quickly as possible.
Stopping this completely will give you a huge edge over your opponent, and the 700 life points a turn are well worth it.
The problem is the same as with Royal Decree, and the answer is the same, too: just throw in a Mystical Space Typhoon somewhere and you’ll be fine.
10. Solemn Strike
This Solemn guy really hates summons, doesn’t he?
Solemn Strike lets you cancel the effect of a summoned or monster creature for 1500 life points, but it also kills the creature.
This is not only cheaper than Solemn Warning by 500 life points (every little bit helps, right? but it also lets you stop the effects of monsters.
Monster effects keep getting better and better with each set, so this card will be a great trick for any deck for a long time to come.
9. Storming Mirror Force
Even though I’d love to include the first Mirror Force on this list, the sequels are much better than the first one.
The original Mirror Force let you destroy all monsters your opponent controlled that were in attack position. Storming Mirror Force takes that a step (or five) further by letting you return them to your hand.
This means they have to call up all those monsters again.
If any of those monsters came from the Extra deck, they’ll have to sacrifice all of those materials again.
Storming Mirror Force gets extra credit for carrying on the legacy of the original Mirror Force and putting fear back into the battle phase.
8. Eradicator Epidemic Virus
This virus is the toughest in Yu-Gi-Oh because it has outlasted the original Crush Card Virus (Errata’d but not forgotten, 2008–16).
You can get rid of a lot of cards and traps from your opponent’s field, hand, and draws by using this trap.
If you know that your opponent is using a deck with a lot of spells, like Sky Strikers or Noble Knights, this can be devastating or even win the game.
I think it’s well worth the price, even though it’s a bit high.
Especially since you can see the next three cards your opponent will draw, no matter what kind they are.
7. Infinite Impermanence
When I say that this trick card changed how people played the game, I don’t say it lightly.
Duelists had to think about which column their spells and traps were played in because of Infinite Impermanence.
This was something that had never really mattered before.
You can stop a monster affect and a spell or trap in the same column as this trap by using Infinite Impermanence.
The crazy thing about this trap is that you can set it off with your hand if you have to.
A catch for the hand.
This is a level of surprise that will be hard for your opponent to plan for or stop.
6. Witch’s Strike
A negate to a negate?
This Yu-Gi-Oh is on the same level as “Inception.”
Negating summons is becoming more and more common; half of the cards on the list do it in some way.
And Witch’s Strike is the worst thing that can happen to your opponent if they use too many negative effects.
It destroys their whole field and hand.
If your opponent plays one too many Solemn Strikes, this card will leave them with no way to defend themselves.
Then all you have to do is attack, and the game is practically yours.
5. There Can Only be One
We’ve all thought it, so I’ll just say it: annoying airport security rules have been removed from Yu-Gi-Oh.
Well, this guy has your back!
With this trap, each player can only control one monster of each type. Any others are sent to the graveyard (note that the word “sent” means that your opponent won’t be able to cause destruction effects).
Most Yu-Gi-Oh decks will only play with one type of card.
This makes sense, since it makes sense for your deck to have a theme, such as Dragons or Spellcasters.
But this also means that There Can Only Be One will probably destroy any deck you face, which is a great way to stop your opponent from doing anything.
4. Dimensional Barrier
Most decks only have one type of monster, and many also only have one type of Extra-deck summon.
Dimensional Barrier stops one type of extra-deck summoning for an entire turn and also cancels the benefits of those cards while they are on the field.
If your opponent is using one of these decks, it will be hard for them to do well.
This card was made before it was at its best, so it doesn’t stop Link monsters or their effects from happening.
But 4 out of 5 isn’t too bad.
3. Wall of Revealing Light
Who knew that a wall could be so stifling?
You can pay multiples of 1000 life points for the Wall of Revealing Light, which stops your opponent from striking unless their attack is stronger than the life you lost.
If you pay 4000 life points, you can stop almost every monster in any deck. It even stops the Egyptian God cards, which are pretty important.
This means that your opponent will have to work very hard to figure out how to get out of this crazy trap.
Because your opponent can’t fight at all if you use this ability, Wall of Revealing Light has been on the limited list for a long time.
I wouldn’t bet on it coming off any time soon.
2. Solemn Judgement
I never thought this card would come off the list of cards that can’t be played, but I’m so glad it did.
Solemn Judgement says no to all traps, summons, and magic.
It will cancel out just about every effect you can think of.
This crazy amount of stopping power is made even stronger by the fact that you have to pay half your life points to use it.
This means that, unlike with Solemn Warning or Solemn Strike, you can counter cards with any number of life points.
If you only have two life points left, which is a pretty bad condition, you can fire this off without much trouble.
This makes Solemn Judgement a useful trap all the way to the end.
1. Evenly Matched
Evenly Matched is, unfortunately, the trap card that is most broken and unfair.
When your opponent plays this card, they have to get rid of cards from their field until they have the same number of cards as you.
Because you can play this card from your hand even if you don’t have any cards in play, you can use a cruel strategy:
All you have to do is skip your main phase 1 and go straight into the battle phase. Then, you can use this card to destroy your opponent’s whole field at once.
After that, you have your whole main phase 2 to set up a defense board, leaving your opponent with nothing.
Evenly Matched is so hard to get rid of that it’s almost impossible, making it the best trap card in Yu-Gi-Oh!