How to Play Trap Dustshoot
Trap Dustshoot is arguably the best trap card in the game at the moment. It allows you to take the best card in your opponent’s hand and it gives you valuable information by letting you know every other card in your opponent’s hand. It eliminates the luck factor and having to play the odds since you know exactly what your opponent is holding. Since the unbanning of Heavy Storm in September, this card has gained insane popularity as people are forced to consider whether or not your opponent is holding Heavy and are generally forced to keep more cards in hand as a result. This allows for Trap Dustshoot to be a live card more often than when people carelessly set three or four backrow turn one. Since this card has no activation requirements other than your opponent having four or more cards in hand, something that is a common occurrence, there are several times where you can activate Dustshoot. Keep in mind that it may not always be optimal to activate it as soon as you draw it. I’m going to give my opinion on when I think it best to activate Trap Dustshoot to achieve the most effective result.
When to Activate it Immediately
Logic behind activating it immediately – There are a couple ideas that go into why you should activate Dustshoot immediately. The first is the potential that it’s dead. What if they opened up Starlight Road or Solemn Judgment and decided to set their entire hand making your Dustshoot dead the rest of the game? The other piece of logic that goes into this is that by activating immediately, you guarantee you know the other five cards in their hand and that you rob them of their best card. If you wait, you risk them summoning or setting their best monster. You also risk them setting spell or traps before you activate Dustshoot and you might only learn three cards instead of all five. Now I’m going to give you some scenarios where I think it would be most optimal to activate Dustshoot immediately.
Against an Unknown Deck – Let’s say that it’s game 1, you won the dice roll, and you opened with Trap Dustshoot. You don’t know what your opponent is playing. At this point, I’d generally say that it’s best to play the Dustshoot as soon as they draw for their turn. Information is always important, but going from facing a completely unknown deck to knowing your opponent’s entire hand and robbing them of their best card is a huge advantage. For this reason, I think you should always activate Dustshoot immediately in this situation. This is one of the more common situations.
When Drawn After Turn One – As the game drags on, people will generally have fewer cards in their hand as both players dwindle each other’s resources away. If you draw Dustshoot past turn one, it’s generally a good idea to go ahead and activate it to ensure that resources are not reduced further to the point where Dustshoot is dead.
One Card Investment Decks – One of the main reasons Plants are the best deck is because their ability to make one card investments that are rather low-risk. For example, summoning Tengu, Tour Guide, or Thunder King costs the Plant player almost nothing, but can mean serious trouble for the opponent. These are the power plays in Plants. One of the benefits of holding Dustshoot is to break up your opponents combos while they are in the middle of doing them (More on this to come). When you look at a deck like Plants and all it takes is to summon Lonefire while they have Tengu on the field, holding Dustshoot isn’t going to be breaking many combos since their combos don’t really require multiple cards in hand. Any deck that plays a bunch of one card investments that don’t require much support from other cards like Plants is a deck that I think you should play Dustshoot immediately against.
Against Decks that Set a Lot – Let’s say it’s game three and you’re going first against Gravekeeper’s. Here you wouldn’t really want to hold your Dustshoot as they will likely set 3-4 backrow which would leave your Dustshoot dead the entire game.
When to Hold Dustshoot
Logic Behind Holding Dutshoot - At this point you might be thinking “Is there ever a time where I should hold Dustshoot?” I assure you there are several times where it would be more advantageous to do so. These are times when you are able to gain card advantage by doing so, you are able to break their combos, or they play tutors.
Baiting MST – Let’s say it’s game three and you know your opponent is playing Agents. You start with setting a monster and have the option of setting Solemn Warning and Dustshoot. In this situation, I would only set the Dustshoot for several reasons. The first is that the cards essentially do the same thing, get rid of one of your opponent’s monsters. Yu-Gi-Oh! 101 says don’t set two cards that do the same thing without a reason to do so. Not only do you not have a reason to set two defensive cards, but I can give you a good one not to as well. Working on the assumption that your opponent plays 2 Mystical Space Typhoon and 1 Heavy Storm, there’s about a 45% chance of opening one of those. If your goal behind holding Dustshoot is that that you want them to MST your Dustshoot so that you can chain it to get a plus 1 why would you take your roughly coin flip chance of them having one of the three removal cards (it would be correct for them to play it if they had it assuming they were going to summon a monster they didn’t want to get Warninged like Earth, Venus, or Rai-Oh) and cut it in half by setting a second card? It would still be correct for them to use the removal card if they had it, but what if they hit your Warning? Now you held your Dustshoot for nothing and your Warning is gone while you could have made them waste their Mystical Space Typhoon.
There’s also an exception to always playing it when you drew it outside of turn one here. For example, let’s say that you allowed them two draws off of Maxx “C,” something that you cannot always avoid. Then they were allowed to draw for their turn, giving them a total of three cards they didn’t have the turn before and something like 6 cards in hand with a very minimal field, if any at all. This is extremely similar to the first turn. They now have several new cards in hand not to mention that keeping MST in hand is often a better play than setting it even when you have the choice. That being said, there’s a pretty significant chance that they have an MST in hand and the game state is close enough to how it was first turn so that holding your Dustshoot is probably better than activating it immediately, despite it not actually being the first turn.
A final note that I need to explain on this subject is take into account what they sided against you, or rather what they sided out. For instance, if I’m playing against Plants, I’m not going to keep in both my MSTs and Heavy Storm. This lowers your chance from about 45 percent on down to a much lower number that they will have MST or Heavy and that you will successfully be able to hold Dustshoot here for a plus. That being said, if you’re playing Plants or another deck where it makes sense for your opponent to side out one or more of their removal cards, be warned that it will be much harder for you to successfully hold your Dustshoot here for a plus.
Decks with Tutors – Another time I’d want to hold my Dustshoot is if I’m playing against a deck with a lot of tutors like Reinforcement of the Army or E-Emergency Calls. If they are playing 1 Rota and 3 E-Calls, it’s much more likely that they’ll open with one of those to search for Stratos than actually opening Stratos himself. For this reason, against decks with multiple tutors, it’s generally better to hold Dustshoot and wait for them to search out the card they need and then for you to put it back off of Dustshoot.
Two Card Investment Decks – One of the best uses of Dustshoot is to break up an opponent’s combo while they are in the middle of it. This can only work if their combo requires them to invest at least two cards. A prime example of this is Six Samurai last format. Let’s say that they summon Kageki and activate the effect. To his effect you chain your Dustshoot and return their Kagemusha. Assuming that they don’t have two Kagemusha in hand, you tore their play apart and left them with an attack position Kageki that you can easily run over. An example this format would be against Karakuri when they summon Ninishi. Respond to her summon with Dustshoot and break their combo (remember, Ninishi’s effect to allow a second normal summon is continuous, meaning you can’t chain to it, so do it when they summon her)
Dustshoot Post-Side Boarding
Dustshoot is obviously best when you’re going first. This leads many people to want to side board it out for another card when they are forced to start second. Whether or not it is right to do this is not exactly a black and white answer, especially in the current format. Take a look at Rabbit for example. Ideally they start by going Rabbit into Laggia and setting multiple backrow. This means that if you’re going second, even if you open with Dustshoot (roughly one in seven games), it’s going to be dead. Drawing after the first turn and there’s no chance of it being live in such a matchup. This means that you’re going to want to side it out when you are going second in matchups where they play a relatively low monster count or they set multiple backrow in a single turn (one often leads to the other).
That being said, let’s look at a deck like Plants. They run 5-6 traps on average and maintain a relatively high hand count throughout the game. This means that even if you draw Dustshoot past turn one, going second, there’s still a good chance that you will be able to use it. This goes for any deck with a high monster count such as Plants, Agents, Lightsworn, etc.
Zero Trap Theory
Dustshoot is the closest thing we have to a staple that is a trap; however, I think that there are still some decks that should not play it. Let’s take a look at Frog Monarchs. They generally play zero or one trap with the one trap being either Dustshoot or Treacherous Trap Hole with the mindset of “Dustshoot is the best trap in the game, why not play it since it doesn’t conflict with Frog?” or “Why not play Treacherous? Since I don’t play any other traps, it will always be live!” I don’t really agree with this. One of the biggest advantages of not playing any traps is that the standard three spell and trap removal cards are totally dead. Let’s say that your opponent is going first and they start by setting MST. A couple turns down the road you draw into your Dustshoot and set it while they have a big enough hand. Their MST which should have essentially been a -1 as it was totally dead is now a 1 for 1. Instead your Dustshoot or Treacherous could have been a more lively card that would not have allowed for their MST to be live. Instead I think it would be better to side Treacherous in decks where you could either play zero or one trap because they will side out their entire spell and trap removal. This will allow you to get the most out of your cards and keep their cards dead.
Playing Around your Opponent’s Dustshoot
You certainly can’t do anything about them going first and opening Dustshoot, but you can sometimes play around it on a smaller scale. If you draw to 4 cards in hand you can retain player priority when you draw to activate a spell speed 2 or higher card from your hand before your opponent can activate anything. If you were drawing to four and choose to play a card like Mystical Space Typhoon, Maxx “C,” Enemy Controller, or Book of Moon using your player priority, it would drop you down to three cards in hand and your opponent could not activate their Dustshoot.
One thing that you probably want to keep in mind is that if you are drawing MST as your fourth card in hand while they have one set and you have one set, you may not want to activate MST with priority to dodge their Dustshoot. This is because they probably play more Mystical Space Typhoons of their own than they do Trap Dustshoots and if you use priority to use your MST and theirs was MST and they chain to destroy your set, you lose out and they got a plus 1.
Alright guys, that about wraps it up for this week’s article! I hope you all learned something about how to play Trap Dustshoot. Until next week guys, play hard or go home!