Table 1 and round nine . . . the pressure is on as two undefeated duelists face off. One is a Shonen Jump champion from one of the most well-known teams in the game, Comic Odyssey. Neither player in this match was going to make the mistake of underestimating his opponent, with so much on the line.
They opened the game with a handshake, and Ryan won the die roll, opting to go first. He drew, studied his hand briefly, then set two spell or trap cards and ended. Jonathan drew and made a strong opening play by activating Pot of Greed. He duplicated Ryan’s move by setting two spell or trap cards and ending.
These guys were not the stalling kind, as play moved along at a breakneck pace. You wouldn’t think to look at them that they’d been sitting at these tournament tables all day long. Ryan summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, and Jonathan checked his set spells and traps. Ryan chose a target, finding Scapegoat, and Jonathan chained the activation. Ryan attacked a Sheep token and ended his turn.
The game continued on for a few more turns of setting monsters, spells, and traps, as both players focused on building up their field rather than mounting an offense. Ryan continued to pick off Jonathan’s Sheep tokens, and lost a set Lightning Vortex to Jonathan’s Mystical Space Typhoon. Ryan didn’t have much luck with Lightning Vortex in this match, as you will see.
Jonathan eventually went on the offensive, summoning Blade Knight and attacking Ryan’s face down monster. Ryan was ready for him, and responded with Enemy Controller to switch Blade Knight to defense position and prevent the attack. Ryan then struck back with Breaker, taking out Blade Knight before setting another monster and ending his turn.
Ryan had quite a few monsters set by this time, and Jonathan needed to do something about it. He summoned Exiled Force and tributed it to destroy one face down monster. He chose well, taking out Ryan’s Magician of Faith. Ryan again struck back with Breaker, set another monster to take Magician’s place, and ended.
Jonathan set a monster, and ended. Ryan drew, and studied his hand and the field. Jonathan had five cards in his hand—quite a few options, so Ryan needed to proceed with caution. He looked through his graveyard, then flip summoned Magician of Faith to take back Lightning Vortex. He flip summoned Don Zaloog, then tributed Magician of Faith to summon Jinzo. Jonathan was staring down a field full of attackers. Ryan attacked Jonathan’s face down monster with Breaker, then attacked directly with Jinzo. It could have been devastating, but Jonathan had a set Scapegoat handy. Ryan took out a Sheep token and ended.
Jonathan drew and surveyed the situation. His field was empty except for three Sheep tokens, and Jinzo, Breaker, and Don Zaloog loomed on the horizon. Monster removal is good in these situations, so Jonathan activated Reinforcement of the Army to fetch out D. D. Assailant. He looked through his graveyard, then summoned D. D. Assailant to take out Jinzo. Ryan summoned Tribe-Infecting Virus and discarded his own D. D. Assailant to remove all Beast-type monsters from the field, effectively mowing down the remaining Sheep tokens. He then summoned Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, using its effect to remove Jonathan’s last monster before attacking directly for 1600 with Tribe-Infecting Virus. Jonathan drew, examined his graveyard, and activated Heavy Storm, wiping out Ryan’s set Torrential Tribute. He then activated Snatch Steal, scooping up Ryan’s Soldier and attacking directly. Life points now showed Jonathan with 6400 and Ryan at 3600.
Ryan drew and gained 1000 life points due to Snatch Steal. He summoned Tsukuyomi, flipping the Soldier face down, then activated Creature Swap to trade Tsukuyomi for the face down Soldier. He didn’t get to enjoy it for long, because the first card Jonathan activated on his next turn was Nobleman of Crossout. Easy come, easy go.
Undaunted, Ryan began his next turn with Graceful Charity. Jonathan had two cards in hand, and Ryan activated Delinquent Duo to take them both. Jonathan drew, summoned Don Zaloog, and attacked directly, prompting Ryan to respond with Call of the Haunted to bring D. D. Assailant back to the field. Jonathan withdrew his attack. Ryan drew, set another spell or trap, summoned another D. D. Assailant, and attacked Jonathan’s Don Zaloog, but didn’t opt to remove. Jonathan set a monster and ended.
Ryan continued with his offensive streak, attacking Jonathan’s set Apprentice Magician. Jonathan brought out and set Magician of Faith, and Ryan attacked again, but didn’t remove either monster from play. Jonathan took back Snatch Steal. That didn’t bode well for Ryan. Sure enough, on Jonathan’s next turn, he used Snatch Steal to take one D. D. Assailant and suicide it into the other one.
A few turns passed with drawing, setting, and rebuilding of fields. Ryan drew, and studied his graveyard as he shook his head. The life points hadn’t changed much at this point; Jonathan had 6100 and Ryan had 3600. Ryan finally decided to summon Sangan and attacked Jonathan’s face down D. D. Warrior Lady. Jonathan didn’t want to remove the monsters from play, so Ryan searched out a monster, offered Jonathan a quick peek, and added it to his hand. A few turns passed in a defensive manner, then Jonathan attacked Ryan’s face down Sinister Serpent with D. D. Warrior Lady. This time, he did opt to remove the monsters. Ryan drew and activated Heavy Storm to destroy Jonathan’s set Ring of Destruction. He set a monster and a spell or trap card, and ended.
The spectators were eager to see a bit more action, but they weren’t going to get it for a few more turns. Both players proceeded cautiously. Finally, Jonathan summoned Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer and attacked. However, no damage was dealt—Ryan had a set Enemy Controller ready to go. Ryan then summoned D. D. Assailant, used Snatch Steal to take Kycoo, and attacked. Jonathan drew, looked at his cards, and ended. Ryan drew, set a spell or trap, and ended. The game crept along for a few more turns, and then the end was near. Ryan played Pot of Greed, then summoned Enraged Battle Ox and attacked! Damage will be done!
Jonathan responded with Magic Cylinder, spelling certain death for Ryan! Instead of falling in defeat, Ryan activated Book of Moon, flipping Enraged Battle Ox face down to save his skin. The crowd loved it. Jonathan drew. His battle zone was clear and he had three set spell or trap cards. Ryan had one and one face down monster. Jonathan ended his turn. Ryan flip summoned Enraged Battle Ox, and tributed it for Airknight Parshath. Jonathan responded with Torrential Tribute. Jonathan drew, then activated Premature Burial to bring back his own Airknight, and attacked directly to win the game.
Ryan opted to side deck a few cards, while Jonathan left his deck intact. Ryan again went first, and opened with Pot of Greed. He must have had a good hand, because spectators behind him were very enthusiastic upon viewing it. It probably put him at somewhat of a disadvantage, because Jonathan couldn’t help but draw conclusions. Ryan set a monster, then set a spell or trap card and ended. Jonathan did the same.
Ryan drew, flip summoned Magician of Faith, and took back Pot of Greed. He activated it, then activated Reinforcements of the Army to fetch out D. D. Warrior Lady. He attacked Jonathan’s face-down Tribe-Infecting Virus, then attacked directly with Magician of Faith. During his end phase, Jonathan activated Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Ryan’s set Book of Moon.
Jonathan activated Graceful Charity, discarding Sinister Serpent and Scapegoat. He set a monster, two spell or trap cards, and ended. Ryan drew, took back his Serpent and studied the graveyard, then set a monster and a spell or trap card. It looked like it might be a repeat of the first game—extended bouts of defensive play interspersed with occasional flurries of action—and that’s about what happened for the next few turns. Ryan’s Torrential Tribute cleared the field of monsters, and his Heavy Storm wiped out spells and traps. Goats littered the field and slowed down the game as both players strove to rebuild their resources. Ryan lost his Lightning Vortex again to Jonathan’s Don Zaloog, and retaliated by summoning Blade Knight to wipe out Don. The life point totals were still relatively stable at this point, as Jonathan had 7500 and Ryan had 6900.
Jonathan set a monster, and ended. Ryan played Premature Burial to return his D. D. Warrior Lady to the field, and attacked the set monster, running headlong into Jonathan’s Mirror Force. Ryan set a monster and ended. Jonathan summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, and Ryan retaliated with Bottomless Trap Hole. Jonathan flip summoned Blade Knight to attack directly. The game swung back to several turns of defensive play, with the occasional loss of life points on each side. With the totals at Jonathan at 6500 and Ryan at 5900, the game picked up a bit. Ryan drew, checked his set cards, and brought out Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning in defense position, using his effect to remove Jonathan’s face-down Blade Knight, then attacked Jonathan’s face-down Magician of Faith with D. D. Assailant, and didn’t remove the monsters from the game. Jonathan took back Pot of Greed, and activated it on his following turn.
Jonathan then used Premature Burial to bring back Tribe-Infecting Virus, naming Beast to remove all Sheep tokens from both sides of the field. He then tributed Tribe-Infecting Virus for Jinzo and attacked, only to be stymied for the turn by Ryan’s Enemy Controller. Jonathan summoned his own Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, and used its effect to remove Ryan’s D. D. Assailant. What’s better than one Soldier? Two Soldiers! Jonathan activated Snatch Steal, taking Ryan’s Soldier and adding insult to injury by attacking him directly with it.
Ryan attempted to respond in kind on his next turn by targeting his Soldier with Snatch Steal. It would have worked, too, if it hadn’t been for Jonathan’s meddling Book of Moon. The Soldier went face down, Snatch Steal went to the graveyard, and things looked very, very bad for Ryan. Jonathan flip summoned the face-down Soldier, attacked with both—and that was game. Jonathan claimed the 2-0 victory.
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.