Jae Kim is a Southern California native, and a widely-respected innovator within several online communities. This is his first SJC T8 finish. Tyrome “T-Money” Cox, from Richmond, Virginia has made the Top 8 in three Regional events in the past year. This is also his first SJC T8, representing Crew!! “With two exclamation points.” Right on, T-Money. Right on.
Both players exchanged some casual discussion beforehand, recognizing each other from their online reputations. “Have a good game, man,” said Kim.
“We’ll see if I get a good hand,” replied Cox. He drew his cards and let out an “Oh my God.” It was hard to tell if he was happy or not.
He certainly wasn’t when Kim opened with Pot of Greed. Setting a face down card to his spell and trap zone, he passed. Cox matched the move and passed right back—an interesting first turn.
Kim set another spell or trap and passed again. Cox set a monster and passed as well. Kim summoned Spirit Reaper, useed Nobleman of Crossout to remove Cox’s face down Night Assailant from play (nabbing one out of his deck as well), and then tried to attack with the Reaper. Cox attempted to Ring of Destruction it, but Kim Book of Moon’d it into face down defense to keep it on the board.
Cox looked a touch perturbed, but quickly fired off a Mystical Space Typhoon to take out Kim’s face down spell or trap and revealing Call of the Haunted. He then summoned Tribe-Infecting Virus, attacked the face down Reaper to bring it face up, then destroyed it with Tribe’s effect by discarding Metamorphosis. He set a card and passed.
It was the opening Kim needed. He used Snatch Steal to take Tribe-Infecting Virus, tributed it for Airknight Parshath, and attacked directly to draw a card and cause some damage. “Three in hand,” he announced, passing play to Cox. Cox was highly out-drawn.
He needed to do something drastic to regain his footing, so he used Premature Burial to bring back the Tribe. He discarded Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning to destroy the Airknight and then attempted to attack. Kim countered with Mirror Force, leaving Cox with nothing to do but to add a second face down to his spell or trap zone.
Kim kept up the pressure, summoning another Spirit Reaper and attacking, but it hit nothing but a Scapegoat. Cox then played Graceful Charity, set a monster, and passed play. Kim hit the lone set card with Dust Tornado, revealing Monster Reincarnation, in the end phase. Cox had nothing but a single monster face down and three sheep.
Kim attacked a sheep with the Reaper, passed, and Cox flipped up his Magician of Faith to Graceful Charity yet again. It bought him a Swords of Revealing Light, and he discarded Sinister Serpent in the process.
Kim couldn’t attack next turn, but a Book of Life let him bring up a second Spirit Reaper in defense position while eliminating Cox’s Sinister Serpent. He turned the second Reaper to defense position and passed.
Both players passed back and forth, Kim momentarily held off by Swords. Two turns later, though, the Revealing Light faded and Cox needed to do something to keep himself around – he set one card to his spell and trap zone and passed.
Kim played Lightning Vortex and attempted to attack to ruin Cox’s hand, but another Scapegoat saved him. Next turn, though, Kim used Dust Tornado on Cox’s replacement set, Call of the Haunted, prompting Cox to blurt an expletive we can’t print.
“Oh man, don’t put that on Metagame!” Cox laughed.
Kim summoned Pyramid Turtle, and the life point totals were 8000 to 4700. The Turtle and one of the Reapers finished off the remaining two sheep, and the last Reaper attacked directly. Cox was having major issues, and with Premature Burial, Call of the Haunted, Monster Reincarnation, and Tribe-Infecting Virus all in the graveyard, nothing but Lightning Vortex would save him.
He set a single card and passed. Kim quickly hit it with Mystical Space Typhoon, then attacked with one Reaper to reduce Cox to topdecking, then swung with the turtle for some damage. He wisely turned the second Reaper to defense and passed.
Cox topdecked Different Dimension Capsule, looked at it, and scooped. “You got this one, man.”
Jae Kim wins game one!
Cox opened game two and began with Delinquent Duo, stripping Kim of Mystical Space Typhoon and Vampire Lord. Cox set a spell, Kim set two, and play moved back to Cox.
He summoned Breaker, broke Kim’s face down Mirror Force, and attacked for 1600. “Yes! I did damage!”
Kim played Heavy Storm, summoned Giant Rat, attacked with it, destroyed it, summoned Pyramid Turtle with its effect, attacked with it, saw it perish in battle as well, and then used its effect to bring up Vampire Lord. Vampire Lord then attacked Breaker.
Kim was in for a surprise, as Cox used Snatch Steal on the Vampire Lord, played Tsukuyomi to turn it face down and take more permanent control of it, flipped it face up, and attacked with both monsters! The life point totals were 6600 to 2700, advantage to Cox.
Kim took his Vampire Lord back, destroying it with Exiled Force. Cox fired back, attacking directly with Mystic Swordsman LV2. Next turn the Swordsman took out Kim’s Sinister Serpent, and cox set a face down.
Kim tried to attack with a freshly-summoned D. D. Warrior Lady, but Book of Moon turned it face down, just in time for a Mystic Swordsman slash! He turned his set Tsukuyomi face up, turned the Mystic face down, played Swords of Revealing Light to flip up the D. D. Warrior Lady, and then used Lightning Vortex to take it out. He then attacked directly to win game two!
“I’m just gonna make a fifty-five card deck” quipped Kim, shuffling his side deck into his main. “What? That’s against the rules!” Cox laughed as the table judge was obligated to tell Kim he couldn’t do that.
“Oh, ok” Kim grinned, stripping fifteen cards out of his deck—definitely a cool way to side deck.
Kim opened game three, and did so strongly with a Sangan and a face down spell or trap. Cox dropped a card to each zone, set, and passed. Kim used Dust Tornado to take out Cox’s Torrential Tribute during Cox’s end phase, used Mystic Swordsman LV2 to take out the face down monster, and attacked with Sangan. The next turn went about as well, but this time Cox had a Sinister Serpent to rely on for defense.
Cox had to use Lightning Vortex on turn three to fight back, as he was low on monsters. He set one card to defend himself with, and Kim used Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy it, revealing Scapegoat!
Kim used Graceful Charity, sacked Sinister Serpent, Breaker the Magical Warrior, and then summoned Injection Fairy Lily. He swung directly with her, and the life point totals were 6000 to 2600 for Kim.
Cox drew a card and Kim flipped one of his signature plays—Trap Dustshoot! It took out Tsukuyomi, and then Kim flipped two copies of Mind Crush! He knew what was in Cox’s hand, so he called Heavy Storm and Nobleman of Crossout, removing them both.
Cox had nothing to do. He passed, Injection Fairy Lily attacked, and that was the game!
Jae Kim moves on to the 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.