Artifact Traptrix: Top 32 ARGCS Championship / 3rd Place ARG Player Championship Tournament Report

Whats up guys! This past weekend I was able to finish in the top 32 of the ARG Circuit Series Championship and finish 3rd in the Player Championship on Friday. For both tournaments, I played a very similar Artifact Traptrix deck. In my opinion, the deck was very unique and played differently when compared to other Artifact Traptrix decks that made the top cut at the Circuit Series. Before I explain my choices, I have always been a major fan of Artifacts since the cards came out this past May. One of my friends, Manny Vargas, had the deck built before Primal Origins came out and after watching him dominate everyone with the deck in preparation for YCS Philadelphia I knew that Artifact Traptrix would be a strong and consistent choice. Before walking into the Circuit series I had a variant of the K.A.T. (Kuribandit Artifact Traptrix) built since early June and had planned on using it. However; as the championship came closer and closer I disliked the deck more and two of my other friends, Tahmid and Marcus, convinced me that regular Artifacts were the better choice. So I decided to switch to regular Artifacts literally the night before the Player Championship started. The list I eventually used on Friday was: Monsters: 15

Spells: 12

Traps: 14

Extra: 15

Side: 15

At first glance a lot of people may think that this is a standard Artifact Traptrix Deck, and for the most part it is. There are however a few key differences that I thought made the deck stand out from standard Artifact variants. The first thing is there were zero Fire Hand and Ice Hands in the main. I also opted to play a third Traptrix Dionaea, and Double Cyclone in the main as well. Also you will notice that I play 2 Abyss Dweller, Number 101: Silent Honor Ark, and 2 Consteller Pleiades and opted not to play cards like Diagusto Emerald, Lavalval Chain, Steelswarm Roach, etc. While I decided to not main deck the Hands, I believed that they did have to at least be sided. So let’s just dive right into why I made the choices I made.


yugioh-ice-hand-drlg-en047-fire-hand-drlg-en046-secret-1st-15498-MLM20103285353_052014-FSo like I said before, I decided not to play the Hands in my main deck. Before walking into the 20k on Friday, I told my friends that I would not main the Hands in Artifacts no matter what, and to be quite honest I haven’t really a huge fan of them in the deck ever since H.A.T was created. The one event I mained them in Artifacts was at ARG D.C. because my friend Dalton told me they were really strong for that event and were strong against the field. While they performed up to par for that event, I still believed for this event that the Hands were not gonna cut it in the main deck for several reasons. The first and main reason was the mirror match. I knew if I were to play the Hands in my deck it would make my deck have the same problem that all H.A.T. decks have, which is that it is extremely passive and dependent on your opponents’ interactions to make your stronger plays occur. By this I mean that your opponent has to commit cards to their field or attempt to make any form of push against your field, and then you counter their push to gain advantage right back with your Hands or Artifact Sanctum into a Artifact Moralltach. I also knew that Artifacts have a hard time dealing with early aggression because of how the deck functions; it’s meant to slowly gain advantage and have more dragged out games, so I needed to have a build that would be aggressive, that can deal with aggression, and had a strong chance of winning the mirror, and the Hands did not have the application that I wanted in the main deck. While I felt like not maining the Hands was the best choice, I was losing four-six monsters in the process, so this left me wondering about what monsters can fill the slots that the Hands had in the deck.


20140614094358!TraptrixDionaea-PRIO-EN-R-1ESo this maybe something that seems weird to a lot of people because the vast majority of Artifact variant decks only play two Traptrix Dionaea but for both tournaments at the ARG I opted to play 3. In my quest to find an Artifact Traptrix build that met the applications that I wanted to have, I needed to find strong standalone monsters that could be well rounded against the field, and at the event Dionaea was the only monster I could think of to fill the void of no Hands. While Dionaea doesn’t seem like the best choice in hindsight. The card fit the applications that I wanted my ideal monster to have. By playing a third Dionaea I was able to have higher chances of drawing one, which not only can lead me to have a beater to fight with, but, I had another monster that could make a power play with Traptrix Myrmeleo or Dionaea to get another Trap Hole online and XYZ into a rank 4, which is one of the decks stronger plays. Over the fifteen or more rounds I expected to play, I expected that having the extra Traptrix Dionaea would increase the odds of me being able to get quicker access to rank 4s when needed. Another very useful application that also came with Dionaea is that on its own, it can stop you from getting beat out in the mirror and in other match ups. Now, how can Traptrix Dionaea stop you from losing on its own without another Traptrix monster to abuse with it? The answer to that question is that Dionaea can be bluffed as a Hand. If your opponent knows that you are playing Artifacts, then the only known monsters that can be set are Hands, so they will not be blindly attacking into your set monsters. Also if you have to set your first Dionaea, that means that you have no way to use it in the early game, and it has practically no utility on its own. So, you are trading a card that will not help you in your early game to be able to buy time and help get to your stronger cards in your deck so you can be in a more favorable position. Throughout both tournaments I won quite a few games just because I was able to buy time by bluffing a dead Dionaea or even a dead Myrmeleo as a Hand. Not only that, but having that set monster in the mirror match will also make your opponent play differently to play around your set “Hand” which can also lead to free wins. On the opposite end of the argument, if your opponent decides to blindly run into a Hand without accepting the punishment, you can side in the hands game 2 and 3 and punish them for blindly attacking.


300px-DoubleCyclone-DP10-EN-C-1EThis card was by far the best last second change I could have made to my deck. Friday morning I was ready to play in the tournament, but the Double Cyclone was a Malevolent Catastrophe in the main deck. I felt like Malevolent Catastrophe was a good tech in the main since it could be a blowout card in the mirror and it was an unexpected, well-rounded card. As I was about to hand in my decklist I sat next to Furman and Tahmid and we all were looking at each other’s builds to see what we were playing. I noticed Tahmid was playing Double Cyclone and he liked the card a lot. After some consideration, I decided to put it my deck because it makes your multiple-Artifact bad hands better. This past year I started to really learn the value of cards that can make bad hands better, and that they can make a huge impact on your tournament experience. Also, I realized that Malevolent had one problem that Double Cyclone didn’t. While Malevolent can be more powerful then Double Cyclone and can just win the game on its own, Malevolent was dependent on my opponent attacking me, and I was trying to main deck cards that were more reactive and could apply pressure on their own. Double Cyclone was able to fit that application while Malevolent did not. I did however opt to side one for the mirror just because of how strong the card could be.


20131108220201!ConstellarPleiades-HA07-EN-ScR-1E (1)Now onto the extra deck. Like I mentioned earlier I my extra deck is a little different from what a lot of people would typically play in Artifacts. Running down my list I play a lot of two of like Abyss Dweller, Number 101: Silent Honor Ark and Constellar Pleiades but opted to not play cards such as Diagusto Emerald, Lavalval Chain, or Steelswarm Roach. Making a choice to play multiple “two-ofs” can be a strong game plan because you have access to multiple copies of the same card, but, you are running the risk of reducing the versatility of what options you can XYZ into over the course of a long tournament. While I am usually an advocate for diversity, I felt like running multiple copies of the same cards would be stronger for a few reasons. In testing, multiple Dwellers, 101, and Pleiades all came up consistently. Even though some of the cards l mentioned have come up in specific situations, they felt kinda unnecessary in order to win the games they came up in. Instead, I opted to focus on playing cards that came up more often, which would mean that they’ll definitely be needed for Soul Charge plays as well. 300px-SoulCharge-DRLG-EN-SR-1EWhich leads me to my next point, Soul Charge actually made a major impact on those three slots in my extra deck. Normally, if I was living the dream and had two level 4 and 5 monsters, I would end with a Pleaides and either a 101 or Dweller, but usually my Soul Charge plays would be for one Xyz, and I didn’t want to leave myself in a situation where I would play a copy of any of my “go-to” Xyz’s and then not be able to win by not having a second copy for later in the game. Since Artifacts usually do not make a lot of Xyz on their own during the course of a match, I just wanted to guarantee that I would have the necessary “tools” or cards that would come up the most. I accept that if an unplanned scenario came up where I needed x card to win, but it rarely came up in testing, I would accept the loss for the amount of wins that I would have for playing those two of cards. Surely enough, every card in my extra deck was live and I had zero regrets with the choices I made. From Friday to Saturday I made a few changes from my deck based on the results of the Friday tournament. My two loses were to Luke Feeney in the finals of the championship playoff who was playing K.A.T., and “Based Loli”’s Spellbooks in the 2nd/3rd place playoff. Along the way I beat Loli round 1, Infernity, Sylvan and Gears. As for the changes in the deck, they were: Main: -1 Cardcar D +1 Double Cyclone Extra: -1 Gagaga Cowboy +1 Cairgorgon Antilluminescent Knight Side: -2 D.D. Crow -2 Debunk -1 Maxx “C” +2 Banisher of the Radiance +2 Necrovalley +1 Dimensional Fissure Changes in the Main: I found that during the tournament on Friday that Cardcar D was not as good as I hoped it would be. Whenever I would draw it, I was kind of upset to see it because it would make me lose my tempo on my opponent and cause me to give them more time to develop their board. While getting a +1 off of a card is a great benefit, in my eyes, sacrificing a turn to continue your board setup and instead of applying pressure to your opponent was not worthwhile. Not to mention, there are numerous outs to Cardcar like Breakthrough Skill, Book of Moon, etc. CardcarD-SP14-EN-C-1EWhile these cards can stop Myrmeleo and all of your other monsters, at least you are left with a monster that can still attack and do other productive things towards winning the game. If Cardcar D gets stopped, your opponent got a one-for-one and put you back a turn since your summon did nothing productive. I also watched the same thing happen against Sylvans with Kuribandit, if Kuribandit was stopped by the opponent, the Sylvan player was typically put at a stand still and could not really do anything for that turn and then they gave their opponent another turn to set up their board, which can easily cause problems in this format where most of the decks are fast paced. Since Double Cyclone performed well at Friday tournament, I wanted to increase my chances of seeing it in my opener so I opted to put the second one in my deck. Sidedeck Changes: Before I explain the changes in the side, I want to give a major shout out to Marcus, Furman, Silverman, and Tahmid for all influencing me on the changes in my side. I essentially switched the D.D. Crows for Necrovalleys because Necrovalley was a stronger card against the same match-ups that D.D. Crow would be used in. Not only that, but Necrovalley is a field card and stays on the field while D.D. Crow can only be used once and only stop one play. Then Banisher of The Radiance and Dimensional Fissure were switched for Debunks and Maxx “C” for essentially the same reason. Floodgate cards are way stronger than cards that can only stop one play, and they can just steal games on their own. 20140614095138!CairngorgonAntiluminescentKnight-PRIO-EN-SR-1EThroughout the tournament my “floodgates” won me 3/9 of the matches I had to play at the Championship, so who knows what would have happened if those cards were my original three card choices. But those five changes impacted 33% of my tournament experience, and those choices stole me three whole matches I would have struggled with to win otherwise. Having those cards literally changed my entire tournament experience, and without those cards there was no way I was topping. Then with the newfound floodgates, Cairgorgon Antilluminescent Knight went in simply to protect my floodgate cards, I must have switched that last slot in my extra deck at least ten times before the tournament actually started. As for the tournament results this is what I played against and the results: RD1: BYE RD2: BYE RD3: Water won 2-0 RD4: K.A.T won 2-0 RD5: Dragons win 2-1 RD6: Fire King lost 0-2 RD7: Sylvans won 2-1 RD8: H.A.T lost 1-2 RD9: Geargia lost 1-2 RD10: Water won 2-1 RD11: Spell book won 2-0 Top 32: Water Lost 0-2 So thats my Artifact Traptrix deck analysis from the ARG weekend. While I’m not sure of what exactly I am going to play at the Rhode Island ARG, I am leaning towards something like what I played at the 20k. Hope you guys enjoyed the deck analysis/ mini tournament report and please leave a comment below if you guys have any questions about anything. ‘Til next time! -Negative Ned

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