Anthony Alvarado was the lone representative of Team Overdose who made the cut to Top 8. With Top 8 contenders Rhymus Lizo and Kris Perovic narrowly knocked out of the race in Round 9 yesterday, Alvarado was the team’s last hope for a Cyber-Stein.
Jimmy Bueno was one third of the Top 8 entrants representing Team Blaze, a hot new group from Archdale (no pun intended). With three competitors in the Top 8, this local team of understated powerhouses outshone every other team in the metagame!
Alvarado opened game one after winning the coin flip, and his first move was a big one: Delinquent Duo. It cost Bueno his Mobius the Frost Monarch and a Waboku, and Alvarado then set a card to each of his zones. Bueno headed into his first turn with a two-card disadvantage.
He played Swords of Revealing Light to flip up Alvarado’s face down Exiled Force, and then set a monster. Alvarado fired back, using Breaker the Magical Warrior to break the Swords and then tributing Exiled Force to take out the face down D. D. Assailant that Bueno had been protecting himself with. A turn later, Alvarado leaned on Bueno some more with an attack from Breaker, and it was three cards in hand, one set spell or trap, one set monster, and Breaker the Magical Warrior, against Bueno’s two cards in hand and single set spell.
Bueno used a Magician of Faith to return Swords to his hand as he hid behind it, trying to continue building his hand. A lucky topdeck got him a Delinquent Duo, and Alvarado lost Scapegoat and Jinzo.
A turn passed in which Alvarado did nothing but eye Swords of Revealing Light. Bueno was up again, and he flipped up Tribe-Infecting Virus to attack Breaker the Magical Warrior, resulting in double destruction. Next turn, Alvarado dropped a Tribe-Infecting Virus of his own, and attacked right past Bueno’s single face down spell or trap. A topdecked Smashing Ground came down from Bueno’s hand and he passed yet again.
The life point total was 7000 to 3800 in favor of Alvarado. He set a spell or trap and then turned Sinister Serpent to attack, poking Bueno with it. He was clearly missing that Jinzo, but his face didn’t belie that fact at all. Bueno drew and set a spell, and then ate some more damage from the Serpent before Alvarado set another spell, carefully matching Bueno card for card in the spell or trap zone.
Bueno again did nothing, and had two cards in hand when he passed. He’d lose them both to Delinquent Duo, courtesy of Alvarado’s face down Magician of Faith on the next turn. Magician of Faith and Sinister Serpent attacked and Bueno found himself slowly being taken apart by the smallest monsters in Alvarado’s deck.
Unable to draw a monster, Bueno finally found Premature Burial, and used it to bring up Mobius the Frost Monarch. Alvarado retorted with Torrential Tribute, and next turn he removed his Magician of Faith and Breaker to special summon Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning.
“Torrential Tribute,” announced Bueno, still maintaining his cool despite his losing position.
Alvarado set a monster, Bueno set another spell, and play moved back to Alvarado.
“I’ll flip summon Apprentice Magician, and attack,” he announced, smiting Bueno for another bit of damage.
Bueno drew a card, set everything he had left to his spell and trap zone, and passed. Alvarado drew as well, summoned Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, and announced his intent: “Attack for game.” There was no Question in his statement.
The attack went through, Bueno went down, and Anthony Alvarado took game one!
Alvarado took his time side decking, and conversed with Bueno while he did so.
“You anxious” he asked?
“Well, I didn’t do too well in the first one.”
“Yeah, you didn’t get your goats or anything.”
With that short Exchange finished, game two commenced.
Bueno opened with the usual face down card to each zone, immediately matched by Alvarado when play passed. Bueno used Creature Swap to give his opponent Peten the Dark Clown, tributed his stolen D. D. Warrior Lady for Jinzo, and then slammed into Peten. He removed Peten to special summon one out in defense.
“Cards in hand?” he asked.
“Your move.” He seemed to be feeling a bit of momentum.
Alvarado played methodically—not slowly, but at an unnerving pace. He inquired as to Bueno’s hand count (three cards) and then summoned Asura Priest. He played Lightning Vortex and Bueno brought out another Peten. Asura Priest attacked it, but Bueno was ready! Flipping Ring of Destruction, he saved his Peten, and suddenly the match was in his favor. Alvarado set his last cards, leaving him with only two spells or traps, and passed.
Bueno set a card to his spell and trap zone, but it was quickly hit with a Dust Tornado. Next turn Alvarado set Magician of Faith, but Bueno cleared it off the field by tributing Peten for Zaborg the Thunder Monarch. He used Metamorphosis to turn it into a Dark Balter the Terrible and then swung directly. He now had a great deal of card advantage and a monster capable of offing virtually any effect monster.
That’s exactly what it did next turn, beating up on the face down King Tiger Wanghu with which Alvarado was trying to buy some time. Dark Balter tore through the Tiger and next turn tore into Alvarado. A turn later Alvarado still didn’t have a monster to fight back with, nor anything with which to defend himself, and Balter attacked once more.
“You’ve got it,” announced Alvarado, scooping his cards.
Both players again side decked, and decks were presented simultaneously with six seconds remaining on the side deck clock. Alvarado quickly opened game three, again setting a face down card to each zone. Both competitors were showing a great capacity for hiding the stress they were surely both feeling.
Bueno again returned Alvarado’s double-set with one of his own—the ball would be in Alvarado’s court to kick off the aggression.
Indeed he did, summoning D. D. Warrior Lady and attacking into a copy of Peten the Dark Clown. He opted not to remove, and Bueno summoned another in place of the destroyed one with its effect. In the end phase of the turn, Bueno flipped Scapegoat, but the table judge revoked the play. Peten’s special summon disallowed the activation of Scapegoat, and the card went back face down. It was a definite monkey wrench in Bueno’s plan.
Bueno set Sinister Serpent and turned it into Thousand-Eyes Restrict. He attempted to suck up D. D. Warrior Lady, but Ring of Destruction from Alvarado’s side of the table blew up Thousand-Eyes Restrict and prevented its effect from resolving.
Play passed back to the Overdose player and he set a monster. D. D. Warrior Lady cleared out another Peten, and Bueno special summoned his last one. He went on to set another monster, another spell or trap, and then passed. Alvarado was clearly looking to make this a long game, and Bueno communicated that he was willing to do the same.
It gave Alvarado reason for pause. He pondered his next move for about a minute, and then summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior. He immediately used Breaker’s token to break Bueno’s latest face down spell or trap as Bueno winced a touch and flipped the card. Mirror Force. Breaker smashed the last Peten, D. D. Warrior Lady attacked the face down (a Sangan) and removed it, and that was the turn.
Bueno was now at a serious disadvantage and though he set a card to each of his zones next turn, Alvarado was clearly the aggressor. He kept the hurt coming, as next turn he tributed Breaker for Airknight Parshath and ran it into Bueno’s face down, revealing Spirit Reaper! The life point totals were 6300 to 8000 with Alvarado in the lead. Snatch Steal blew away the Reaper, and Alvarado set another spell or trap.
“Two, two, three, my favorite formation” mused Alvarado.
“What?” asked Bueno.
“Two, two, three” motioned Alvarado, indicating his monsters, spells and traps, and hand.
“Ah, ok.” Bueno was a bit thrown off. “How many cards in hand?”
“Two, two, three. Three cards in hand” reiterated Alvarado. Bueno set a couple cards and passed.
Airknight attacked again, but ran smack dab into Needle Ceiling. Alvarado set a monster, but next turn, Bueno played Heavy Storm to gain a bit of card advantage. Unfortunately, he still only had two cards in hand to two in Alvarado’s and two on his field.
Bueno kept playing defensively and a Nobleman of Crossout tore up his face down monster. A turn later, Magician of Faith brought the Nobleman back, and this time Bueno got to attack directly with D. D. Assailant and the Magician.
“Yeesh, do you have another one?”
“I do, and it’s in my hand,” said Alvarado.
Bueno had no choice but to go aggro. He summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, attacked the Magician of Faith, and set a card.
“I believe that’s a bluff,” said Alvarado, activating Premature Burial to bring up Airknight. Airknight attacked, D. D. Assailant attacked, and a turn later Bueno was in a losing position. He set his topdecked card and Alvarado blew it away with Dust Tornado.
That was enough for Bueno, and he offered Alvarado the handshake. Anthony Alvarado moves on to the semi-finals!
This article was originally written by Metagame.com, what was formerly the official website for large Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament coverage. It has been preserved by GoatFormat.com so that players can learn from this historical tournament coverage.