There have been many changes in the Advanced format. One noticeable change is the increase in Scapegoats and other weak Defense-type walls such as Spirit Reaper. Foxfire is a new monster with weak stats from the Rise of Destiny set that, when destroyed due to battle, returns to the field during the end phase. Normally, a duelist would have to deal with monsters like Goat tokens by either attacking while letting the opponent stall, or by waiting for some kind of monster removal to get rid of that Spirit Reaper. Instead of trying to find ways to get around the monster, how about we try going through it?
That’s where trample comes in. Trample is a term used to describe dealing damage to a defense position monster when you normally couldn’t. Monsters with the trample effect will have this text: “When this card attacks with an ATK higher than the DEF of your opponent’s Defense Position monster, inflict the difference as Battle Damage to your opponent’s Life Points.” That’s what we call the trample effect.
Why use trample? For one example, you can deal unexpected and game-winning damage to your opponent. Some duelists may hide behind a wall of Goat tokens, thinking he or she is safe. But those 0 DEF monsters will be hurting when trample hits the field. With Scapegoat seeing a lot of play in the Advanced format metagame, as well as weak monsters with special effects, trample has never been such an important element in a deck. Of course, there may be duelists who don’t use Scapegoat or other weak monsters, so you should at least have some trample in the side deck, ready to bust out for some Goat-smashing action.
Let’s take a look at what we have to use as trample. The first monster with trample was Spear Dragon, the 1900 ATK beatstick. It could overpower strong monsters on its own, and run over weaker monsters while dealing some very nice damage. The downside was that Spear Dragon turns to defense position after attacking, and with 0 DEF, it is an easy target for any monster, especially another trampler.
Spear Dragon gets an upgrade in the form of Airknight Parshath. At five stars, it can’t be summoned to the field as easily as Spear Dragon, but once you do get it out, that’s bad news for your opponent. With Airknight attacking, it’s as if you were drawing two cards per turn compared to your opponent’s one. Naturally, after a few turns with such an advantage, you’ll secure a victory easily. This is an excellent trampler as long as you can get it onto the field.
Our next trampler is Enraged Battle Ox. At 1700 ATK, it’s not as strong as Spear Dragon or Airknight Parshath, but it’s more stable. Enraged Battle Ox is easily played, but not so easily defeated, like Spear Dragon or Airknight Parshath. Spear Dragon goes into defense mode, and 0 DEF isn’t exactly a great number, since anything can run over it. Airknight Parshath doesn’t go into defense mode, but it requires a tribute and may get stuck in your hand, even costing you the duel.
Enraged Battle Ox doesn’t have any of these problems, although the 1700 ATK will get beat by Breaker the Magical Warrior, Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, Berserk Gorilla, and the like. But while the Ox is on the field, it’s not the only monster to get the trample effect—its friends also gain trample. That’s because Enraged Battle Ox gives all Beast, Beast-Warrior, and Winged Beast-type monsters on your side of the field the same effect. Combine this with cards like Berserk Gorilla and you’ve got a Level 4 2000 ATK trampling monster. Thanks to Enraged Battle Ox, Beast decks are easily some of the best trample decks available.
Of course, there are some “outdated” cards that have the trample effect, like Mad Sword Beast. Sure, it has the trample effect, but with 1400 ATK, this card’s an easy and dangerous target. Mystic Tomato and Shining Angel are seen in many competitive decks in the current metagame, especially in Chaos decks utilizing Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning or Chaos Sorcerer. 1400 ATK means that Shining Angel and Mystic Tomato can suicide into Mad Sword Beast, destroying it while searching for another monster like D. D. Warrior Lady or Don Zaloog to continue the attack. Perhaps Mad Sword Beast could work in a deck using protective cards like Messenger of Peace. But for the most part, this is an example of a trampler that you might want to think twice about.
Airknight Parshath isn’t the only trampling tribute monster. Dark Driceratops is a 2400 ATK one-tribute monster that has some significant advantages and disadvantages compared to the Fairy powerhouse. With 2400 ATK, this big dinosaur isn’t afraid of popular, easy-to-access monsters like Berserk Gorilla or Blade Knight. It can overpower most monsters often seen in tournament play, and help to maintain control of the field. However, although Dark Driceratops can do more damage in terms of life points, the same can’t be said about card advantage. Dark Driceratops doesn’t let you draw a card when it does damage, whereas Airknight Parshath does. To be honest, most of the time I’d rather have seen Dark Driceratops staring me down over an Airknight Parshath. But I’m biased—I used to run three Airknights in my Fairy deck with much success, so take that into consideration.
Sometimes it’s not the monster that has the trample effect, but the effect of a magic card instead. For example, Big Bang Shot can be used to give any monster the power of trample, along with a 500 ATK boost. Now your Black Luster Soldier has 3500 ATK, can attack twice per turn, and has trample? That spells game over. Of course, it has a nasty side effect. When Big Bang Shot is removed from the field, the monster it’s attached to is removed from play. So that’d make that Envoy susceptible to both monster and magic or trap removal, and well . . . that’s no good. However, it can also be used in your favor. Equip your opponent’s monster with Big Bang Shot and slap down a Giant Trunade. The result? You get the equip back, and your opponent’s monster gets removed from the game. Not bad at all. And just think about four Goat tokens alone on the field when you summon Asura Priest and equip Big Bang Shot.
There are the main tramplers that you might see in today’s metagame. How could you take advantage of such a great effect? Obviously, most of the tramplers have a decent or high ATK power, and you’re also likely to be doing damage every turn, so a Beatdown theme would work nicely. Let’s see an example of how a Trampling Beatdown deck would look like.
3 Berserk Gorilla
3 Enraged Battle Ox
3 D. D. Warrior Lady
2 Spear Dragon
2 Airknight Parshath
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior
1 Tribe-Infecting Virus
1 Sinister Serpent
1 Pot of Greed
1 The Forceful Sentry
1 Change of Heart
1 Snatch Steal
1 Premature Burial
1 Swords of Revealing Light
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Heavy Storm
2 Giant Trunade
2 Big Bang Shot
2 Nobleman of Crossout
3 Book of Moon or Enemy Controller
1 Ring of Destruction
1 Call of the Haunted
2 Dust Tornado
3 Robbin’ Goblin
Robbin’ Goblin works perfectly in this deck. Most likely you’ll be able to deal some damage each turn. Combine that with Robbin’ Goblin and you’ve got yourself some pretty easy and powerful hand disruption. Nobleman of Crossout complements the beatdown aspect nicely, while Big Bang Shot can give the necessary boost to overpower stronger monsters, like Berserk Gorilla taking down Jinzo, as well as giving the non-trample monsters the trample effect, letting them deal more damage more quickly. Giant Trunade will combine nicely with Swords of Revealing Light, Premature Burial, and Big Bang Shot, plus it gives a nice opportunity to easily rush your opponent. It’s up to the player whether to run Book of Moon or Enemy Controller. Book of Moon will cancel important effects like Jinzo or Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning, as well as setting up for a Nobleman of Crossout. On the other hand, Enemy Controller will also put the monsters into defense position, but can switch monsters like Goat tokens into ATK mode to set up for some nice damage or take control of a stronger monster. Personally, I’d use Book of Moon over Enemy Controller in this deck, but that’s just me.
I hope that I shed some light on the trampling aspect of Yu-Gi-Oh! and its importance and value in a duel. Card advantage isn’t the only way to win a duel. You may have a full hand of cards, but if you can’t stop the damage your opponent is dealing, your cards will be useless. Having a balance of card advantage and damage-dealing may be the best way to go.