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The Better Than You Card of the Week #3: Booby Trap TB

posted 11/18 by John of Team BTY

Booby Trap
Reversal: Special
Whenever a card causes you to discard this card, your opponent discards 1 card.
When your opponent successfully plays a card that lets him see your hand, you may discard this card and he discards 2 cards.
When overturned by an Action card or Pre-match card, reverse that card and end your opponent’s turn. You may put this card into your hand.
F: 2 D: 0

Booby Trap, in its orginal form, was an underplayed reversal whose primary function was to reverse one of the most popular cards in the game - Comissioner Rules - at 0F, and it debuted in a time when there were very few action reversals below 5F that didn't require a specific trigger (JBI) or alter your deckbuilding approach (All Talk, No Action). Booby Trap never found a niche, but now it has been resurrected in a more interesting and versatile form.

First, this is a complex card so we need to look at its different functions. It is important to note that its Fortitude Cost of 2 is only a factor for one of its effects, that being its "When overturned..." text. It has two other functions that rely on it being in your hand, and those do not require you to have any fortitude at all.

The ability that links Boob Trap TB with its original counterpart is the second one, which forces your opponent to disard 2 cards if he plays a card that lets hims ee your hand. There are not as many cards commonly played now that allow your opponent to see your hand, but the ones that are played are powerful. The card compliments a discard deck well, because if your opponent gets the jump on you and plays Break It Out, Break You Down or A Few Heel Men, Booby Trap will set them back a bit.

The most useful reason to pack Booby Trap TB seems to be its first ability. This ability, while worded similar to Ego Boost's, is unique because it will trigger when you discard the card due to one of your OWN cards. Booby Trap will in fact trigger itself when used for its "When your opponent plays a card that lets him see your hand" effect, actually forcing your opponent to discard 3. With Booby Trap, you can stock your deck with effects that cause you to discard, and share the pain with your opponent. Pre-match cards like Chicago Street Fight and J.R. Style Slobberknocker, cards like Shoot Headlock and Regal's Upper Class Punch, all gain an added dimension when you're packing Booby Trap TB.

A particularly fun trick is to pair Booby Trap TB with pre-match discard effects to maximize the strategy of prematch hand destruction. Dare to Take a Challenge becomes a potent discard tool, forcing a 3-card discard instead of 2. When you pack Houston TX as your venue, your opponent will have to discard at least 1 card (and possibly several), forcing you to discard in return - if you're holding a Booby Trap TB you can add to their troubles, especially when followed up with an Old School Psychology to strip your hand of what cards remain should they play any more prematch.

Superstars who have the ability to pick the card up repeatedly can turn it into a recursive discard engine. Chicago Steet Fight or Shoot Headlock in a Brothers of Destruction or Undertaker/Deadman Inc deck will allow you to force your opponent to discard at least 1 card every turn. The Spirit Squad can pick up Booby Trap every turn they play Gimme An S..., and a Spirit Squad deck built around the Mitch Superstar card would certainly appreciate the extra discard.

Last but not least, Booby Trap is an increasingly useful overturn reversal. In the last two sets Raw Deal received 6 cards playable by all players that will trigger its discard effect, not to mention superstar specifics like You Think I'm a Psycho?. Shoot Action and For the Love of the Game can be found in a majority of decks these days, it seems. Heat decks have picked up a huge boost from Backfire - and Booby Trap can stop that game-ending overturn.

So whether as a reversal of increased utility in today's metagame, an effect to punish decks that pack cards to get at your hand, or a powerful supplement to any discard deck with the possibility of endless recursion, Booby Trap TB is a useful and versatile card that can find a spot in a wide variety of decks. Booby Trap TB is....Better Than You!

-John of Team BTY