Is Trap a stillborn mechanic?

void Posts: 65
edited December 2015 in MtGPQ General Discussion
Despite the clickbaity thread title I'll try my best to remain constructive when opening the discussion over the newly released Trap cards.

I have used 4 trap cards thus far: Dreadwaters, Priest of the Blood Rite, Tainted Remedy and Shadows of the Past and unfortunately none of them manage to carry their weight. Trap cards are simply too slow and too inconsistant for the game as it is. Right now the key of MtGPQ is that each card you play have an immidiate impact on either the board or your opponents next turn and trap effects provide neither.

I'll provide a quick analysis over the trap cards I've got to play with and close the thread with some thoughts over the reasons why the cards are as bad as they seem.

Dreadwaters, Blue, 16 mana, Spell
- Trap 5 Blue: The first card in your opponent's hand is Destroyed.
To contradict everything I just said Dreadwaters isn't that bad. It's a well designed Mythic that gives Jace another control tool and more importantly a way to thin your opponents hand. The problem is that as Jace you don't really want to thin your opponents hand, you want to lock it and control his ability to play cards. Dreadwaters is an unnecessary card right now but that doesn't make it bad.

Priest of the Blood Rite, Black, 15 mana, Creature
- When this creature enters the battlefield summon a 5/5 Demon with flying. Trap 5: You take 2 damage.
Priest should be an auto include in most Black decks but that's not really because of the cards strenght but rather because Black does not have many better options at the moment. While the trap mechanic here is neat and fitting it doesn't play a major role in a vacuum. The card would work well in a setting where your goal was not to win the most games as fast as possible.

Tainted Remedy, Black, 15 mana, Support
- Trap 3 Black: Each Creature you control gains 1 life and each Creature your opponent controls takes 1 damage.
This card is bad and more or less the reason I started this thread. It's a card that fits a fast Black deck that aims to swarm the board with cheap minions to get value out of the negligle effect, if it triggers. Unfortunately fast Black decks do not exist at the moment. Tainted Remedy is overcosted and there is no reason to play it. A dead card that should not exist.

Shadows of the Past, Black, 14 mana, Support
- Trap 2 Black: Your opponent takes 4 damage and you gain 4 life.
Somehow they managed to print a card worse than Tainted Remedy. Even if the Trap: Colour-mechanic worked as it should Black is the least favourable mana for other Planeswalkers so even triggering this is even more unlikely than other Trap effects. It gives Black an access to healing, something that the colour needs, but the chance of actually triggering the trap is so miniscule this card would work better as an activate-card.

In a true PvP environment this mechanic could be a useful tool but the effects the cards provided would still be too weak. None of the trap cards deliver an actual punishment upon triggering. The problem with Trap cards is that they are not control tools but tools for fast decks but the colours these cards are handed to simply cannot play fast.


  • Blahahah
    Blahahah Posts: 738 Critical Contributor
    They seem like they might be good, so I'm waiting for some cards that really sink into it.
  • Its a trap!

    The only time I found them useful (and/or mildly annoying) is that one storyline boss that has the trap that blows up your first card if you match. I ended up having to sit on a 3 mana spell to take care of it.

    I can see that being very useful against AI, since the AI is dumb.

    Of course that was also something I played demonic pact against so it didn't even matter lol