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You Just Activated My Trap Card! Meme

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"You just activated my trap card!" is a catchphrase derived from the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game, which is typically used as a warning from one person to another that something malicious is about to occur or someone is about to get owned.


Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game is a Japanese collectible card game developed and published by Konami, based on the fictional game of Duel Monsters created by manga artist Kazuki Takahashi. The game was first launched in 1999 and distributed worldwide throughout the 2000s, mainly in Japan, North America, Europe and Australia. In July 2009, it was named the top selling trading card game in the world by Guinness World Records with over 22 billion cards sold worldwide. In the game, Trap Cards are a special type of playable card that can be used to inhibit your opponent and make the duel turn easier for you. These cards could also be "activated" during your opponent's turn.

NA ENERGY DRAIN TRAP CARD] Selecti lise op monsteron yuut side of the field Increase the ATK and DEF of the monster by an許mount oquil to the number of cards ih yout oppotents handxo0 points unt he End Phase Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Yu-Gi-Oh! Online gamesMIRROR FORCE TRAP CARD] IMITED EDITION Activate only when an opponent's monster declares an attack. Destroy all Attack Position monsters your opponent controls. 44095762 ©1996 KAZUKI TAKAHASHI Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links Yugi Mutou Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Yu-Gi-Oh! Online purple text violetCRUSH CARD VIRUS [TRAP CARD] LIMITED EDITION GLDI-EN038 Tribute 1 DARK monster with tooo or less ATK. Check all monsters your opponent controls, your opponent's hand, and all cards they draw (until the end of your opponent's 3rd turn after this card's activation), and destroy all monsters with 1500 or more ATK. 57728570 ©1996 KAZUKI TAKAHASHI Seto Kaiba Yugi Mutou Yu-Gi-Oh! Online Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game flower purple

Fake Trap Cards

Fake Yu-Gi-Oh Trap cards were shared on DeviantArt as early as July 22nd, 2004, when ~MaJoRoesch uploaded a fake trap card featuring child television show character Barney. Since then, over 1000 other fake cards have been posted to the site and they continue to be shared on Tumblr.

罠. 民 TRAP CARD ] ©2009 Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game purple pink violet text picture frameCHRIS HANSEN 民 [ TRAP CARD ] IST EDITION 234-358 This card activates when any Pedophile type monsters are played. It instanly destroys all Pedophile type monsters and takes half of the total attack power of all Pedophile monsters from the opponent's Life Points. 26783049 の2008 Chris Hansen To Catch a Predator Predator forehead

"The Playa"

The phrase is often associated with a demotivationalimage macro of a man playing Yu-Gi-Oh cards in a library. The image became popular through its usage in You Laugh, You Lose forum threads throughout 2008, with the earliest dated instance posted to Digg on July 23rd, 2008. The man depicted in the image remains unidentified. MY TRAP CARD You have activated it Halo 3 Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Android: Netrunner Magic: The Gathering photo caption drinkYOU jUST ACTIVATEID MY TRAP CARD Yugi Mutou Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Yu-Gi-Oh! GX


As early as in September 2005, YTMND users began using the phrase "you have activated my trap card" outside the context of the card game, often paired with "Not So Fast, Kaiba", another catchphrase that stemmed from a Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfiction that year. In 2007, the phrase "you've activated my trap card" was referenced in the Ars Technica forums and 4chan. It was first defined on Urban Dictionary in July 2009.

Due to its atypical method of play, many Yu-Gi-Oh card players sought out help with using Trap Cards on Yahoo! Answers between 2008 and 2009. The image macro featuring "The Playa" has also appeared on the Body Building Forums and gaming site Joystiq.

Advice Animal

The image has also evolved into an advice animal style image macro called Cunning Black Strategist. As of February 2012, there are over 1000 different instances and has appeared on FunnyJunk and Tumblr.


Usage on the Korean Web

Circa 2008, the image macro of "The Playa" also spread across the Korean imageboard site DCInside, where it became primarily associated with bait and switch threads. The image macro was initially posted onto the Board Game gallery, but became heavily used as a bait and switch image with the Yu-Gi-Oh soundtrack "Passionate Duelists" on the World of Warcraft gallery.

By July 2010, the image spawned numerous parodies on DCInside's Photoshop Source Material gallery (shown left) and quickly gained mainstream exposure through usage on other websites like Naver webcomics.

Search Interest

According to Google Insights, online interest in Yu-Gi-Oh trap cards predates 2004, however, online interest in the phrase "you've activated my trap cards" did not commence until January 2008. This interest gradually increased until it exploded in June 2010.

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Fast effects & Timing

Fast effects are card activations and effects with a Spell Speed of 2 or higher, including monster Quick Effects, Quick-Play Spell Cards, and Trap Cards (which includes both activating Trap Cards, and activating the effects of things like Continuous Trap Cards).

Fast effects can be activated by either player – even during their opponent’s turn, as long as the conditions are appropriate. When both players want to activate fast effects at the same time, they are placed on a Chain (see pages 38-41 of the v8.0 rulebook).

Sometimes, it can make a big difference WHO places their fast effect on the Chain first. This guide will help you figure out who, at any point in time, has the chance to activate the next fast effect (in other words, who gets to “go next”).

Usually, the turn player has the chance to “go next” and activate the next fast effect.

However, during a Chain, the chance to go next passes back and forth between players. (Chain rules: see pages 38-41 of the v8.0 rulebook.)

Also, if the turn player doesn’t wish to take any actions, and instead wants to move along in the turn (for example, to the next Step or Phase), the opponent has an opportunity to go next, and activate a fast effect, before the turn proceeds.

Follow the chart at the bottom to see which player can “go next” regarding fast effects.


Turn Player Actions

Each Phase and Step starts with the turn player in box A of the chart listed below. This is when the game state is “open”, meaning the turn player has complete freedom of action.

Many actions can ONLY be performed when the game state is open (when you’re in box A). Examples:

  • Normal Summon (including Tribute Summon)
  • Set a card
  • Perform a Special Summon that does not start a Chain (including Xyz Summon, Synchro Summon)
  • Change a monster’s Battle Position
  • Attempt to move to the next Phase/Step
  • Draw a card for your normal draw during the Draw Phase
  • Declare an attack
  • Activate an Ignition Effect
  • Activate a Spell Speed 1 Spell Card

If the game state is “open”, the turn player may perform any of the above actions that is appropriate. They can also choose to activate a fast effect, if they wish.


When Is the Game State No Longer “Open”?

Whenever either player performs an action, the game state is no longer open.


How Do I Make the Game State “Open” Again?

Basically, when nothing is going on, and neither player wishes to do anything, the game state goes back to being “open”.

Technically, this means:

  • IF the Turn Player has the chance to activate the next fast effect
  • AND the turn player passes to the opponent
  • AND the opponent then passes back
  • AND no Chain is currently being formed

…then the game state is open again.


How Does the Turn Move to the Next Phase or Step?

If the game state is open, and the turn player chooses not to do anything, and the opponent waives the chance to activate a fast effect, and both players agree to have the turn proceed, then you move to the next Phase or Step.


StatusAre we now in a Chain?Who has the next opportunity to activate the next fast effect? (Who "goes next"?)Where are we on the chart?
The game state is open. The turn player gets to take the next action, and can take any action that is appropriate for that phase/step.NoTurn PlayerA
After an action that does NOT start a Chain
(Normal Summon/Set  of a monster, Set a Card, Special Summon that does not start a Chain, declare an attack, change battle position, etc.)
If there is an effect that is triggered.YesThe player who did NOT activate the last effect on the Chain. (Follow the normal Chain rules.)D
If there is no effect that can be triggered.NoTurn PlayerB
If the Turn Player passes.NoOpponentC
Turn player activates a card or card effect
(Spells, Traps, Spell/Trap effects, or Monster Card effects  - of any Spell Speed)
YesThe player who did NOT activate the effect. (Follow the normal Chain rules.)D
After a Chain resolvesIf there is an effect that is triggered.YesThe player who did NOT activate the last effect on the Chain. (Follow the normal Chain rules.)D
If there is no effect that can be triggered.NoTurn PlayerB
If the Turn Player passes.NoOpponentC
Turn player passesNoOpponentE


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Top 10 Yu-Gi-Oh Trap Cards You Can Activate From Your Hand

Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

Why Activate Trap Cards From Your Hand?

In Yu-Gi-Oh, most traps activate from the field, but those that trigger from your hand offer several advantages. First, they avoid delays, as traps on the field have to be set for at least one turn before you can play them. They also dodge removals, as traps are vulnerable to destruction while set, and many trap-negating cards (like "Royal Decree") can't obstruct those activated from your hand.

Thus, playing traps from your hand allows immediate and unexpected abilities. However, only a few traps allow hand access, and often you must satisfy certain conditions before they'll trigger. So, which hidden pitfalls reign supreme? These are the ten best hand-activated trap cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!

10. Typhoon

Hand-Activated When: Your opponent controls two or more spells/traps while you control none.

An homage to the classic quick-play spell "Mystical Space Typhoon," this trap simply destroys any face-up spell or trap on the field. The potential hand activation is nice, but in most cases, you're simply better served with Mystical Space, as it's available immediately without being set and can target face-down cards.

9. Zefra War

Hand-Activated When: You have two "Zefra" cards in your pendulum zones.

War simply destroys another of your Zefra cards and any card your opponent controls. While spending two of your units to annihilate only one of your opponent's isn't ideal, this quickly moves your pendulum Zefras into your extra deck, empowering cards like "Chosen of Zefra," and it's an instant effect. Plus, the ability to target any of your opponent's cards (monster, spell, or trap) makes it a versatile removal.

8. Phantasm Spiral Battle

Hand-Activated When: "Umi" is on the field.

Spiral Battle relies on having only normal monsters fielded (at least one), a likely event when running the normal-centered Phantasm set, and it simply destroys any opposing card. You can activate it from your hand as long as "Umi" is anywhere on the field—even your opponent's side. Additionally, remember that many cards change their name to "Umi" when fielded, leaving you several to choose from.

You can also banish Battle from your graveyard to equip a normal monster you control with all applicable Phantasm Spiral spells you control. To make good use of this, first attack with a monster who already has them attached, then banish Battle to transfer them to a different unit and empower its strike in the same combat phase.

Phantasm Spiral Assault
Phantasm Spiral Assault
Phantasm Spiral Dragon

7. Phantasm Spiral Assault

Hand-Activated When: "Umi" is on the field.

Another of the Phantasm Spiral series, Assault also activates from your hand with Umi fielded. It targets a "Phantasm Spiral Dragon" you control; if it ever destroys three effect monsters in battle while equipped with three Phantasm Spiral spells with different names, you automatically win the duel!

Plus, you can banish Assault from your graveyard to prevent the destruction (whether through battle or effect) of one or more normal monsters you control. Use Assault to empower Spiral Dragon, then banish it when he needs protection, providing more time to access his instant-win condition.

6. Phantasm Spiral Power

Hand-Activated When: "Umi" is on the field.

Like Battle, you can only employ Assault while you control at least one normal monster and no effect monsters. It makes an opposing monster lose 1000 ATK and DEF while negating its effects until the end of the turn. This works great when your opponent attacks while the difference in your monsters' ATK is less than 1000 (letting you triumph in the clash), or you need to cancel a dangerous effect.

Additionally, you can banish Power from your graveyard to equip a Phantasm Spiral spell from your hand or graveyard to a normal monster you control, an excellent way to recycle a spent equipment. I enjoy using Power in my own Phantasm decks, especially since it's cheap and easy to test, costing well under a single dollar!

5. Tachyon Transmigration

Hand-Activated When: You control a "Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon" monster.

Transmigration is a counter trap (noted by its arrow in the upper-right corner), letting you activate it even in response to other counters. You can activate it from your field while you control a "Galaxy-Eyes" monster, or from your hand if it's a "Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon."

Either way, Transmigration negates all activations of opposing cards before it in the current chain, potentially negating not just one but multiple enemy units at once. Use Transmigration when your opponent initiates a combo to thwart their entire stack.

4. Delta Crow - Anti Reverse

Hand-Activated When: You control exactly three Blackwing monsters.

You can activate Delta from the field while you control at least one Blackwing, and it offers a powerful spell/trap removal, annihilating all opposing face-down spells and traps. Of course, many face-downs are traps or quick-play spells that could potentially be activated in response, but those with specific activation windows will miss their timing, and any regular spells sets as bluffs will be destroyed.

Throw in its potential hand activation, and you have a powerhouse of a card. Plus, you can always swap it out with your side deck if your opponent isn't running many face-downs.

3. Black Sonic

Hand-Activated When: You control exactly three Blackwings and no other monsters.

Black Sonic works similarly to the infamous "Mirror Force," as you can activate it when your opponent attacks a Blackwing you control. However, rather than destroying all opposing attack position monsters, Sonic banishes them, adeptly preventing graveyard recoveries and circumventing destruction immunities. And since link monsters can only exist in attack position, Sonic has aged quite well.

Unlike Delta, you can't control monsters other than your three Blackwings to use Sonic from your hand, so you might want to set it when commanding non-archetype members.

2. Harpie's Feather Storm

Hand-Activated When: You control a Harpie monster.

One of the best Harpie cards in the game, you can use Storm while you control a wind-attributed winged beast-type monster (likely a Harpie). Storm negates any opposing monster effects until the end of the turn, not just dulling an activated effect but preventing additional tricks later in the round.

While Storm is easy to play from your hand, if it happens to be destroyed while set on the field, you can add "Harpie's Feather Duster" from your deck to your hand. Duster is an exceptional spell that destroys all opposing spells/traps; sadly, it's long been banned. That said, as of this writing, it's only limited (allowing one copy per deck) in the Asian OCG, and the TCG's traditional format allows one of everything, so Storm's bonus can still be used in the right arenas.

1. Evenly Matched

Hand-Activated When: You control no cards.

Evenly Matched dominated the meta upon release for its brutal, archetype-independent effect. At the end of any battle phase, you can activate Matched if they control more cards than you, forcing them to banish the difference from their field. Not only is banishing a superior removal to destruction, but Matched's hand-activation condition combos well with itself, as using it while you control no cards forces your foe to banish their whole field.

A ruthless effect that can really turn the tide of a duel, just remember that Matched only works at a battle phase's end, so you'll have to survive the attacks to access it. Remember, you can even use it when your own battle phase ends (even if you didn't make any attacks), in which case you should utilize your second main phase to prepare your field.

More Hand-Activated Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh

In addition to today's traps, monsters like "Ebon High Magician" and the "Magical Musketeer" series allow you to activate traps from your hand, letting you play nearly any card from relative safety. Then there's the misleadingly-named hand traps, monsters whose effects activate from your hand for more concealed shenanigans.

Don't be afraid to set traps when necessary, but activating from the hand is a great way to catch opponents by surprise and protect your cards. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of hand-resolving traps, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill


About Yu-Gi-Oh! Trap Cards

Trap Icon
Trap Cards will help you out with different effects, just like Spell Cards. The big difference between them is that you can activate Trap Cards during your opponent’s turn. Many Spell Cards have effects useful for offense, but Trap Cards have the ability to surprise the opponent by disrupting their attacks and strategies. Using Trap Cards can sometimes be tricky, since your opponent might have to do certain things before you can unleash them.

Before you can activate a Trap Card, you must Set it on the field first. You cannot activate a Trap in the same turn that you Set it, but you can activate it at any time after that—starting from the beginning of the next turn.

Normal Trap Cards:
Normal Trap Cards have single-use effects and once their effects are resolved, they will be sent to the Graveyard, just like Normal Spell Cards. They are also similar to Normal Spell Cards because once activated, their effects are not likely to be stopped. However, your opponent can destroy your face-down Trap Cards on the turn they were Set, or before the time is right to activate them. Because of this, you must be smart about how you use your Trap Cards.

Continuous Trap Icon
Continuous Trap Cards:
Just like Continuous Spell Cards, Continuous Trap Cards remain on the field once they are activated and their effects continue while they are face-up on the field. Some Continuous Trap Cards have abilities similar to the Ignition Effects or Trigger Effects that can be found on Effect Monster Cards.
Counter Trap Icon
Counter Trap Cards:
These Trap Cards are normally activated in response to the activation of other cards, and may have abilities like negating the effects of those cards. These types of Traps are effective against Normal Spell Cards or Normal Trap Cards, which are otherwise hard to stop, however many Counter Trap Cards require a cost to activate them.

Activated trap card


NOGLA activated my TRAP CARD and it ended his entire UNO CAREER!


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