A hand trap is an unofficial term used to describe monster effects that are activated from the hand in response to an opponent's actions. They are not actual Trap Cards in any way, but function similarly as a previously unseen card effect used to surprise or disrupt the opponent. In fact, in many situations they can be more useful than actual Trap Cards, as cards in the hand are in most cases less vulnerable than cards on the field.
One of the first hand traps released was "Kuriboh", which could be discarded to nullify the battle damage from an attack. Hand traps first became popular during the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX era with cards such as "D.D. Crow", "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness", and "Honest", and became ubiquitous in the metagame as further hand traps such as "Effect Veiler" and "Maxx "C"" were released.
There are several categories of hand traps. Some hand traps are used to inhibit or punish an opponent, such as those listed above, while other hand traps can be used to turn the tide of battle or stop a battle altogether such as "Swift Scarecrow" and "Battle Fader". Some archetypes and series such as ""C"", "Yo-kai Girl", "Ghostrick", "PSY-Frame", and "Nekroz" contain numerous hand traps.
- 1 Examples
- 2 Countering hand traps
- 3 Trap Cards that activate from the hand
Ignition and preventing targeting
- D.D. Crow
- Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries
- Nekroz of Trishula
- Sauravis, the Ancient and Ascended
- Time Escaper
In response to Monster effect or Summon
In response to draw or adding card to the hand
In response to attacks
- Battle Fader
- Battlin' Boxer Veil
- Ghostrick Jackfrost
- Ghostrick Lantern
- Nekroz of Valkyrus
- Rainbow Kuriboh
- Sphere Kuriboh
- Swift Scarecrow
- Swordsman of Revealing Light
- Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow
- Bujingi Crane
- Elemental HERO Honest Neos
- Nekroz of Decisive Armor
- Score the Melodious Diva
- Zoodiac Whiptail
In response to damage
In response to destruction
- Astrograph Sorcerer
- Chronograph Sorcerer
- Deep-Eyes White Dragon
- Divine Serpent Geh
- Ghostrick Specter
- Malefic Truth Dragon
- Red-Eyes Retro Dragon
- Triamid Sphinx
Countering hand traps
- "Called by the Grave" will banish the discarded monster from the Graveyard and negate all monster effects from cards with the same name, including the banished monster.
- "Debunk" can be used to stop and banish hand traps.
- "Divine Wrath" can stop any monster effect, including those that are activated from the hand.
- "Macro Cosmos" neutralizes hand traps that specifically state they need to be sent to the Graveyard to activate.
- "Maxx "C"" can backfire if you can perform more Special Summons than the cards in your opponent's deck, as then they will lose by decking out. The opponent would also be reluctant to use "Maxx "C"" if they knew you had a Virus waiting for them, or if a Virus you previously activated is still lingering.
- "Mind Crush" and "Dragged Down into the Grave" can be used to stop hand traps before they can be activated.
- "Mind Drain" renders all hand traps useless.
- "Number 104: Masquerade" is useful against hand traps that activate during the battle phase. (However, "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness" and "Ghostrick Mary" still have effects that can be activated in response to the 800 damage from "Masquerade".)
- "Respect Play" and "The Eye of Truth" allow you to see if your opponent has hand traps in their hand.
- "Triple Tactics Talent" can be activated on any turn in which the opponent activated a monster effect during your main phase, including a hand trap, to allow you to choose one of three powerful effects.
Trap Cards that activate from the hand
Some Trap Cards allow for their activation from the hand when certain conditions are met, making them similarly tricky to anticipate and deal with. Some examples are "Black Sonic", "Delta Crow - Anti Reverse", "Red Reboot", "Tachyon Transmigration", "Typhoon", "Evenly Matched", and "Infinite Impermanence".