Even though Dragons of Legend came out more than a month ago, the cards that came from that set are still making an extraordinary impact on the current meta. Cards like Soul Charge, Kuribandit, Mathematician, Wiretap and not to mention the Fire and Ice Hand duo have evolved decks to make them better, made completely new decks by themselves and have revolutionized the way we play Yu-Gi-Oh. This mass effect only grew with the release of Primal Origin, which gave us the Artifacts, and new support for a lot of different archetypes, notably Traptrix and Madolches. While Madolches are making their own way through the competitive tables, becoming easily one of the best decks of the format, all these smaller archetypes are making a name for themselves, banding together to make a deck that is taking the competitive scene by storm: Hand Artifact Traptrix.
It’s practically the Plant Synchro of May/June 2014. A mish-mash of different archetypes, put together to make something that works: and boy does it work. Why? Because the deck responds to opponent destruction by bringing that destruction right back at them while also maintaining board presence, and searching out integral ways to stopping your opponent from going off. It basically lives off of your opponent doing anything, punishing them for playing aggressively while putting up small but efficient monsters or large Xyzs if they decide to not do anything to you.
The deck is basically three engines put together, so let’s break it down: there’s the Hands, the Artifacts, and the Traptrix monsters. The Hands are your main pushers: you can use them without fear of being destroyed, because they trigger if they are, or you can set them and wait for your opponent to attack them. Fire Hand destroys Monsters when it’s destroyed, and summons Ice Hand from the deck, which in turn destroys Spell or Traps when it dies, and replaces itself with a Fire Hand. Also, they’re level 4, which makes them perfect for Rank 4 Xyz summons if they’re not being used to crash into things and wipe your opponent’s field. They make a 6 card engine that basically stops your opponent from doing much or makes them waste important Xyz monsters to try and get rid of them.
This is where the Traptrix Monsters come in. Traptrix Myrmeleo is a level 4 Insect monster that, when Normal Summoned, can search your deck for any “Hole” Normal Trap card and add it to your hand. That means you can instantly get Bottomless Trap Hole, a card so good they limited it two formats ago, or Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, which is becoming an increasingly good card this format. Both of these cards stop your opponents’ Xyz plays, and since they’re searchable by Myrmeleo, you’re bound to get them soon, letting your Hands do whatever they want while your opponent is powerless. The H.A.T deck can also run Traptrix Dionaea, which is a one card Xyz since it Special Summons any Traptrix from your graveyard, which means either itself or Myrmeleo; oh, did I forget to mention that when Myrmeleo is Special Summoned, you can destroy one of your opponent’s Spell or Traps? Pretty dandy with Dionaea.
And if that wasn’t enough, the deck also has the Artifacts running around in it, making it even worse to deal with. The Artifacts, newly released in Primal Origin, are an archetype of level 5 Light Fairy-Type Monsters that can set themselves facedown in your Spell and Trap Card Zone as Spells. If they happen to be destroyed while they’re there during your opponent’s turn, they Special Summon themselves, and their effects trigger. The most notable of these is Artifact Moralltach, otherwise known as “the Blue Artifact”, that when Special Summoned during your opponent’s turn, can target and destroy a face-up card your opponent controls. There’s also Artifact Beagalltach, which destroys up to two of your own Spell/Traps when it’s destroyed, which makes getting out Moralltach & poppng your opponent’s cards even easier. Their effects are pretty easy to trigger with all the backrow removal going around these days, but this process is made even simpler by their support cards, Artifact Ignition and Artifact Sanctum. Ignition lets you destroy a Spell/Trap on the field, then set an Artifact monster to your Spell/Trap Zone straight from your Deck, which is great to get a Moralltach on board so it can be destroyed by Beagalltach, or just for destroying a set Moralltach or Beagalltach to start the process even faster. Sanctum summons an Artifact straight from the Deck, triggering its effect right away if it’s during your opponent’s turn. Oh, and since they’re level 5 Light monsters, they can overlay for Constellar Pleiades, one of the best Rank 5 Xyz monsters in the game, or any other Rank 5 Xyz. Putting up board presence, destroying cards AND Rank 5 Xyz Summoning? That’s a lot for an 11 card engine.
All in all, the deck is fan-friggin-tastic, even if it loses its appeal after being played for a while. But that doesn’t mean it’s unstoppable; there are plenty of ways to get around this deck, although it has many different aspects to it. Stopping cards that activate in the Graveyard is probably the best thing to do, since both the Artifacts and the Hands trigger in grave, so cards like Dimensional Fissure, Soul Drain, Skull Meister, D.D Crow and Debunk are great cards against this deck. You can even think of using Skill Drain, since a surprising amount of their effects activate on field as well. You could lock them from Special Summoning with something like Vanity’s Emptiness, or since they run different Types and Attributes of monsters, you can play Gozen Match or Rivalry of Warlords to really put them in a pickle.
Not only is it easy to beat with popular Side Deck cards, but the deck right now is also EXTREMELY expensive. The Hands are 10 bucks a piece, making them a $60 engine, Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare (which is probably a staple since you can search it) is $13, and the Artifact cards? Sanctum is $50, Ignition is $30, and Moralltach is $20. Put em all together and it makes for a hefty sum. For a deck that’s easily beat when played against properly? I don’t know. The deck definitely has its up sides; it’s consistently topping for a reason. But for the price, it’s up to you players to decide if you want to run the infamous H.A.T Deck.