Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Show Me the Way: Trap Dustshoot

We've all been there before.  Your opponent has an Effect Veiler, stopping you getting that Black Luster Soldier off the field outside of Dark Hole.  He grabbed that Maxx "C" with Sangan right before you were about to swarm.  She snatches that Archlord Kristya with Pot of Duality, ready to be dropped (for game?) next turn.  These are unfortunate (and common) situations, but luckily for you, there's a nice way out!  Enter Trap Dustshoot.

Trap Dustshoot is, hands down, one of the best trap cards this format.  Most of you have had your fair share of Typhoons and Storm destroying your back row, resulting in a nice one-for-one for your opponent (assuming you both play conservatively!).  But what if I told you that you could gain advantage off of your opponent's trap hate?  Instead of being the eager-beaver, Monster-chugging card players that we are from time to time, it might be a better idea to hold off on enthusiastically flipping that Dustshoot during your opponent's standby phase.  Instead, bait it out with a Typhoon or Heavy Storm.

Now, why would you do this?  Why is this a good play?  Here's the answer: card advantage.  Once again (as we will often do in our articles!), let's look at the card advantage involved in an opponent's Typhoon hitting your Dustshoot

Card advantage for your opponent: -1 from activating and resolving Typhoon + 1 from destroying your facedown Dustshoot - 1 from the resolution of Trap Dustshoot = -1 + 1 -1 = [-1]!  In other words, if your opponent hits a face down Trap Dustshoot with Typhoon or Storm, it'll result in a [-1] in terms of card advantage for them, which means a cool, easy [+1] for you!  Neat!

Assuming the game isn't going to end this turn, and the state of the game is relatively stable for the next few moves, it'll only be to your advantage when you play this way.  This is because you've easily eliminated one of your opponent's options - and how much easier can it really get?  Your opponent does all the work!  The [+1] off Dustshoot doesn't just have to be from Typhoon or Storm - you can chain to a multitude of other cards to net you your precious plusses: Dust Tornado, Trap Stun, Scrap Dragon's effect, a Black Rose nuke, a Brionac bounce (targeting your Dustshoot for a cool [+2]!), or pretty much anything that removes spells or traps from the field.  

If you find yourself in the situation presented in the opening paragraph too often, you might want to consider adding consistency to this play.  But how?  Trap Dustshoot has rightfully earned its place on the limited section of the ban list.  Here's the answer: play Mind Crush.  You saw the Veiler/Maxx "C"/Herald of Orange Light/Kristya go to the hand with Sangan, Duality, and so forth.  You know it's there, you just need it out the way!  Mind Crush does this job easily.  

You can also apply what you just learned about the card advantage associated with the interaction of Dustshoot and Typhoon to Mind Crush.  Your opponent plays Duality, getting The Agent of Creation - Venus.  He activates Typhoon or Storm before he summons it next turn, and you chain that Mind Crush!  Two of these, along with a copy of Trap Dustshoot, will consistently help out with your opponent's cards in the hand that plague your existence (or maybe just you winning the game).

Remember, though card advantage accounts for a lot of good moves, it isn't strictly everything.  If your opponent is ready to drop that Kristya this turn and you have no other answers, you should play Dustshoot or Mind Crush.  Sure, in this case, it might be a [+0] (or break-even/one-for-one), but it's better than losing the game.  Above all else, practice makes perfect.  You'll naturally get the hang of predicting what your opponent does the more you play competitively, and you can use this to your advantage.  

So practice, practice, practice, and you'll be able to tell when it's a good time to try to plus off of Dustshoot/Mind Crush plays or when you're in danger of losing the game.  Simply put, there's no better substitute for practice!  Though this might seem obvious, you'll get the hang of playing conservatively and utilizing card advantage in games only when you actually play the game and think about these concepts while doing so!  Make a conscious effort from here on out, then being aware of the card advantage and playing conservatively is only second nature - like driving a car or riding a bike.  Don't give up, practice makes perfect!  

Dr. House


  1. Nice blog! Keep it up! Talk about blackwings! They are strong in this format? (sorry for my english, because i'm brazilian xD )

  2. Thank you! We'll probably end up doing an "In the Spotlight" feature on Blackwings sometime, depending on what sort of support they get. We'll check it out and see how it goes. :D