Rhymus Lizo is from New Jersey, and represents Team Overdose. A relatively unknown player until last week, he made the Top 4 at SJC New Jersey. Seventeen-year-old Toko Masaki is from Memphis, TN. Masaki has never competed in Nationals, never made Top 4 at a Regional, and yet here he was, sitting at table 1.
“This is a first for me” said Masaki, happy to be at table 1.
“You’re at table 1 for a reason, buddy!” Lizo greeted him with a smile, but no desire to underestimate his opponent.
After a double-tie of opening rolls, Lizo won and opted to go first. He opened with a facedown card in his spell and trap zone and passed. Masaki summoned Giant Rat and attacked with it, prompting Rhymus to read the card before deciding to use Mirror Force on it—a characteristic Lizo move, removing Masaki’s strong opening option.
Next turn, Lizo summoned Asura Priest, but a Book of Moon cut its attack short. Masaki summoned Berserk Gorilla, special summoned Gigantes, attacked with both and then set a single spell or trap.
Heavy Storm hit the field on Lizo’s side next turn, and he followed it up with a Delinquent Duo, leaving Masaki without any cards in hand. Lightning Vortex wiped out his field. It seemed to be a mistake: though the destruction of Gigantes would’ve wiped out the face down spell or trap anyway, Lizo was being careful. He then summoned Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, attacked with it to remove Gigantes and D. D. Assailant from the game, and passed.
Masaki was at a big disadvantage, and a bluff set of Obnoxious Celtic Guardian didn’t help him when it was blown away a turn later by attacks from Kycoo and a freshly-summoned Tribe-Infecting Virus. However, he had better luck with Giant Rat, setting it an then seeing it whacked by Tribe-Infecting Virus in battle after a quick summon of Sangan. It brought up Gyaku-Gire Panda, and after some brief thought, Lizo slammed Sangan into it. He pulled Sinister Serpent, moved to main phase two, and used Tribe’s effect to take out the Panda, paying with Sinister Serpent.
Another turn followed and Masaki took down the Tribe with Enraged Battle Ox, which was in turn wrecked by Kycoo. A turn later, Lizo had Jinzo and Kycoo on the field as well as a set spell or trap, and Masaki had nothing.
Grace was in Masaki’s favor, and he topdecked Snatch Steal! It was 4000 to 100 in Lizo’s favor, but Masaki was hoping for a comeback. Jinzo ran over Kycoo and passed.
“Grace” was an ironic term, though. “Graceful Charity” announced Lizo, discarding two cards for it. A Book of Moon and a Nobleman of Crossout later and Jinzo was toast. Lizo then delivered the coup de grace, summoning and attacking with Sinister Serpent to win the game.
Death by Serpent. Ouch.
Masaki opened game two with the traditional face down card to each of his zones. Lizo seemed to expect something and sent his Asura Priest into Masaki’s face down Giant Rat. Masaki brought out another, and was surprised to realize that Asura Priest could attack again. It did, and in response, Compulsory Evacuation Device hit the Rat to bump it back to Masaki’s hand. He followed up his play by summoning the Giant Rat, again special summoning Gigantes, and attempting to ram them both at Lizo. Scapegoat prevented him from attacking, so he left all four tokens on the field, and Lizo pinned himself down by setting a face down monster.
Both competitors went on the defensive and Masaki turned his attack position monsters, aside from Gigantes. He set a D. D. Assailant, and went Lizo went to use Nobleman of Crossout on it, another Compulsory Evacuation Device put it back in his hand. He took out Lizo’s face down card with Gigantes and Lizo fired back with another Nobleman of Crossout, this time successfully hitting Giant Rat. He summoned Asura Priest, attacked Giant Rat, and brought up Gyaku-Gire Panda.
The Panda became enormous due to the presence of the Scapegoat tokens on the field—Masaki hadn’t looked to goat-lock Lizo, he was looking to fuel enormous angry pandas!
“I’m at 5200, you’re still at 8000,” announced Lizo after the panda ripped its first fluffy target into shreds. Play turned to Lizo and he used Giant Trunade to clear the field. He was setting himself up to sweep the match.
Tribe-Infecting Virus hit the field from his hand, and a call of “Beast” wiped out both the Panda and the sheep. Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning was special summoned, attacking Gigantes and then Masaki. Tribe-Infecting Virus attacked and Lizo set two cards.
Heavy Storm smacked them both, but a chained Book of Moon from Lizo’s spell and trap zone turned the Black Luster Soldier face down. Snatch Steal stole the Tribe, and an attack turned the Black Luster Soldier face up for Smashing Ground to destroy it. Masaki then discarded a card to destroy the Tribe he had taken with Snatch Steal in order to deprive Lizo of his 1000-life point gain.
The winds shifted as Lizo started throwing monster after monster, one monster a turn, at Masaki. He wore down his hand, then used Call of the Haunted to bring up Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. He attacked with it, but ate nothing but sheep. Masaki kept the offense coming though, using Enemy Controller next turn to take the Soldier. He used its own effect to remove it from the game, set a card, summoned an Enraged Battle Ox, and passed.
Lizo looked to close the trap next turn. He summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, but it was quickly hit by Book of Moon. That Battle Ox was taken with a Snatch Steal and it promptly attacked. Masaki was down to topdecking. He drew a Panda, summoned it, and smacked the Battle Ox.
It was all over next turn though—Breaker turned face up, Premature Burial brought back Tribe-Infecting Virus, and that in turn took down the Mighty Panda. Masaki had no cards on the field nor in his hand, and with two direct attacks, Lizo finished him off.
Rhymus Lizo continues his undefeated streak!
Both competitors shook hands and complemented each other. “Oh man . . . I thought I had it when I saw he was playing a Beast deck, but that was hard! He had all that tech stuff. It was a really good match.” Lizo scooted off to see how his teammates were doing, giving a shout-out to his girlfriend on his way off. “I love you, Charlene!”
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.