Home > 2010/01 - Los Angeles, California, SHONEN JUMP Championships > Round 7 Feature Match: Richard Clarke vs. Matt Highline

Round 7 Feature Match: Richard Clarke vs. Matt Highline

January 10th, 2010

Richard Clarke and Matt Highline are both 5-1 in this tournament, and we were looking at both competitors for Feature Matches this Round, so covering them both in one Match is pure luck. Clarke is playing a new version of his Disaster Dragon Deck, packing new tech like “Yamata Dragon” and “Genesis Dragon.” Last round he took his opponent’s “Dark End Dragon,” Tuned it to “Magna Drago,” and brought down “Trident Dragion” for the win.

But his opponent is Matt Highline, one of the day’s few Fortune Lady Duelists! Highline is using Fortune Ladies in conjunction with “Chaos Sorcerer” and Destiny Hero monsters, using the Ladies for extra draw power with “Fortune’s Future.” It’s an interesting concept that’s served Highline well here today, carrying him to a 5-1 record thus far.

Clarke started the match with a Set monster. Highline had “Dimensional Alchemist,” “Phoenix Wing Wind Blast,” “Destiny Draw,” “Heavy Storm,” “Trap Dustshoot,” and “Reinforcement of the Army,” a pretty tremendous hand – but no Fortune Ladies. Reinforcement got him “Elemental Hero Stratos,” Stratos got him “Destiny Hero – Malicious,” and he discarded it for “Destiny Draw.” He drew “Fortune’s Future” and “Cyber Valley,” attacked with Stratos, and hit Clarke’s “Masked Dragon”! Clarke Summoned another “Masked Dragon” from his Deck in Defense Position, and Highline Set Wind Blast and Dustshoot.

He flipped Dustshoot next turn, revealing Clarke’s hand of “Magna Drago,” “Koa’ki Meiru Drago,” “Debris Dragon,” “Red-Eyes Wyvern,” and 2 copies of “Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon!” He sent one of the Wyverns back to his opponent’s Deck, then activated “Phoenix Wing Wind Blast” discarding Alchemist to send back “Masked Dragon” to his opponent’s Deck!

Clarke Summoned “Debris Dragon,” removed it from the game to Special Summon “Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon” (REDMD), and Special Summoned back his “Masked Dragon” from his Graveyard. He removed the “Masked Dragon” for another REDMD, Special Summoned “Koa’ki Meiru Drago” from his hand, and attacked with Drago over Stratos. Both REDMD’s then made direct attacks, leaving Highline at just 2300 Life Points. In the End Phase Clarke revealed his last card, “Magna Drago,” to keep “Koa’ki Meiru Drago” on the field.

Highline drew “Emergency Teleport,” Set it, and Summoned “Cyber Valley.” Clarke turned one REDMD to Defense Positoon, attacked “Cyber Valley” with Drago, and “Cyber Valley’s” effect ended the Battle Phase while getting Highline “Bottomless Trap Hole.” Clarke Set a monster and revealed Magna Drago again for “Koa’ki Meiru Drago.”

“Ouch, that was too fast” remarked Highline. “That was a good hand you opened with…” Both competitors had come out with big plays, but Clarke had just outdone his opponent. Highline Set a card to his back row, took another attack from REDMD, and it was all over!

Richard Clarke comes out fast and hard with two REDMD and “Koa’ki Meiru Drago,” making the most of an all-monster hand and sweeping the first Duel! Both competitors Side Decked (Highline brought in 2 “Lightning Vortex” and 2 “Royal Oppression”), and Duel 2 began moments later.


Highline opened with “Allure of Darkness,” both “Royal Oppressions,” “Dimensional Alchemist,” “Chaos Sorcerer,” and “Fortune Lady Light.” He activated Allure, drew “Elemental Hero Stratos” and “Bottomless Trap Hole,” and removed Sorcerer. He Summoned “Elemental Hero Stratos,” searched his Deck for “Destiny Hero – Malicious” and Set “Bottomless Trap Hole.” He Set Oppression and ended. “I feel like that’s a bad move, but whatever.” Highline laughed.

Clarke Set a monster, then Set 2 cards to his Spell & Trap Card Zone. Highline Summoned Alchemist, removed another “Chaos Sorcerer” from the top of his Deck and attacked with Stratos. Stratos destroyed Clarke’s Set “Totem Dragon,” and “Dimensional Alchemist” struck directly for 1800 damage. Highline activated “Gold Sarcophagus” in Main Phase 2 and removed “Brain Control” from his Deck. He’d get to add it to his hand in 2 turns.

Clarke Set another monster, a far cry from the aggression his demonstrated in the last Duel. Highline drew “Lightning Vortex,” and this time he removed “Fortune Lady Dark” with Alchemist’s effect. Stratos attacked a second “Totem Dragon,” and Alchemist made another direct attack.

“Standby Phase, Totem’s effect” announced Clarke, Special Summoning his “Totem Dragon” in Attack Position. He removed it from the game to Special Summon REDMD, Highline responded with “Royal Oppression,” Clarke Chained “Trap Stun” to try and negate Oppression, and Highline tried to Chain “Bottomless Trap Hole”! He couldn’t activate it because REDMD wasn’t actually on the field at that point – not a misplay deserving of a penalty, but one that revealed Highline’s set Bottomless. Clarke activated the REDMD’s effect to Special Summon “Red-Eyes Wyvern” from his hand, attacked Alchemist with the Wyvern, and Highline took back his “Chaos Sorcerer” from his removed zone. REDMD then attacked Stratos, destroying it, and Clarke Set a monster before activating “Stamping Destruction”! He destroyed the “Bottomless Trap Hole” and ended.

Highline got his “Brain Control,” and activated “Lightning Vortex” by discarding “Destiny Hero – Malicious.” REDMD and Wyvern were both destroyed. He Set a monster, Set “Emergency Teleport,” and ended. Clarke passed, Highline drew “Fortune Lady Dark,” passed back, and Clarke Set another card to his Spell & Trap Card Zone. Highline drew “Reinforcement of the Army.”

He activated it, searching out “Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude.” With 5200 Life Points to his opponent’s 4400, Highline Summoned Diamond Dude and flipped “Heavy Storm” to the Graveyard! Next turn he’d get to activate its effect. Diamond Dude attacked, hit “Exploder Dragon,” and “Exploder Dragon’s” effect destroyed the Destiny Hero. Play was to Clarke. He Set a monster, ended his turn, and Highline drew.

He activated his “Heavy Storm” effect he scored with Diamond Dude, Chained his “Emergency Teleport,” and Highline Summoned his “Krebons” before clearing Clarke’s “Trap Stun” and “Bottomless Trap Hole.” Highline Special Summoned his second “Destiny Hero – Malicious” from his Deck by removing the first from his Graveyard, Synchro Summoned “Red Dragon Archfiend,” and removed Malicious and Dimensional Alchemist to Special Summon “Chaos Sorcerer”! He then Tributed “Fortune Lady Light” for “Fortune Lady Dark,” attacked with “Red Dragon Archfiend” and destroyed Clarke’s “Red-Eyes Wyvern.”

“Chaos Sorcerer” attacked, “Fortune Lady Dark” attacked, and Clarke had just 100 Life Points left! Highline Set his second Oppression. Clarke drew to 2 cards in hand and mused briefly, then activated “Totem Dragon’s” effect in his Standby Phase to Special Summon it. He Tributed it for “Enemy Controller,” took Highline’s “Chaos Sorcerer” and used its effect to remove “Red Dragon Archfiend” from the game. He Set a monster and handed back the Sorcerer to finish.

Highline drew “Torrential Tribute,” holding “Brain Control” and “Lightning Vortex.” “Fortune Lady Dark” gained a Level, attacked “Masked Dragon,” and Clarke Summoned another from his Deck. Highline removed it from the game with Sorcerer in Main Phase 2, and Clarke conceded when he saw his next draw.

Some strong plays and a little bit of luck from Diamond Dude sets off a series of events that lead to Matt Highline taking total control over the second Duel! Both Duelists made quick use of their Side Decks, with just 8 minutes left in the Match. Just as Highline presented his Deck, Clarke pointed out that Highline had forgotten to shuffle in the monsters he’d removed from the game in the previous Duel. If Clarke hadn’t seen the mistake, or had just let it go, Highline could have taken a Match-destroying game loss. Both of these competitors are really at the apex of sportsmanship in Dueling.


The good deed paid off immediately, as Clarke started the final Duel with “Gold Sarcophagus,” searching out “Future Fusion”! He Summoned “Koa’ki Meiru Drago,” Set a card to his back row and revealed REDMD for Drago. Highline had “Royal Oppression,” “Fortune’s Future,” “Krebons,” “Chaos Sorcerer,” “Destiny Draw,” and “Lightning Vortex.” He Summoned “Krebons,” Set Oppression and ended.

Clarke activated his Set “Book of Moon,” turning “Krebons” face-down to attack it with Drago! He revealed REDMD to finish. Highline drew “Bottomless Trap Hole,” activated “Lightning Vortex,” and discarded “Chaos Sorcerer” to destroy Drago – ouch. He’d cost himself 2 cards and he lost his Sorcerer. Clarke Set a Spell to his back row next turn and ended.

Highline drew “Destiny Hero – Malicious”! He discarded it for “Destiny Draw,” drew “Plaguespreader Zombie” and “Cyber Valley,” then Special Summoned Malicious from his Deck. He Normal Summoned “Plaguespreader Zombie,” Tuned it to Malicious, and Synchro Summoned “Stardust Dragon”! He attacked for 2500 damage, Set “Bottomless Trap Hole” in Main Phase 2 and ended! Highline was now in a very strong position.

But Clarke got his “Future Fusion.” He activated it, Highline Chained “Royal Oppression,” and Clarke Chained “Trap Stun” to force “Future Fusion” through! He announced that his intended Summon was “Five-Headed Dragon,” and sent 2 “Totem Dragons,” “Red-Eyes Wyvern,” REDMD, and “Yamata Dragon” to the Graveyard from his Deck.

“Yamata?! My god, I haven’t seen that card in forever! That’s amazing!” Highline was impressed. Clarke Summoned “Magna Drago,” removed it from the game for REDMD, then activated its effect to Special Summon Drago from his Graveyard. REDMD attacked “Stardust Dragon,” Stardust went down, and Drago attacked for 1900 damage. He then destroyed “Royal Oppression” with “Stamping Destruction”! He revealed “Genesis Dragon” to keep Drago on the field. Play was to Highline.

He Summoned “Cyber Valley,” activated its third effect and removed the Valley and “Fortune Lady Dark” from his hand to return “Lightning Vortex” to the top of his Deck. He then activated “Fortune’s Future,” sending Lady Dark to his Graveyard and drawing the Vortex! He activated it, discarded “Allure of Darkness,” and REDMD and Drago were destroyed! He still had “Bottomless Trap Hole” Set, but it was his only card left!

Clarke Set a Spell or Trap, and in his End Phase he removed “Red-Eyes Wyvern” to Special Summon REDMD from his Graveyard. Highline destroyed and removed it with “Bottomless Trap Hole.” Next turn Clarke would get his “Five-Headed Dragon.”

Highline drew for his turn and time was called. He placed his draw back on top of his Deck, Special Summoned “Plaguespreader Zombie” in Defense Position and ended. Clarke Special Summoned “Five-Headed Dragon” – Clarke had 5500 Life Points to Highline’s 5300. Clarke would have the last attacking turn.

But he didn’t need it! Clarke activated “Lightning Vortex,” destroyed “Plaguespreader Zombie,” and Highline conceded, knowing he’d take tremendous damage from “Five-Headed Dragon”!

A truly awesome match, featuring two unique Decks from two equally unique Duelists! “Good luck” offered Highline, shaking Clarke’s hand. Richard Clarke moves on, 6-1 with his Disaster Dragons!


See what our panel of experts had to say about this Duel after the event was over.

Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)

In Duel 1, Highline sent “Red-Eyes Wyvern” back to Clarke’s Deck with “Trap Dustshoot.” He would have been better off if he had chosen to send “Koa’ki Meiru Drago” back to Clarke’s Deck instead. Drago pinned down the Malicious in Highline’s Graveyard. Sending it back to Clarke’s Deck would have given Highline more options for cards that could rescue him from his poor position. As it turned out, Highline drew “Emergency Teleport” on his next turn. This means that if he had sent the Drago back to Clarke’s Deck, he could have Special Summoned Malicious and “Krebons” on his next turn and Tuned them together for “Colossal Fighter” to turn the game around.


Matt Peddle (2009 Canadian National Championship Runner-Up; Five-Time Top 8 National Finalist)

In the first Duel, Highline underestimated the impact “Koa’ki Meiru Drago” would have on his Deck. This should have been the monster he sent back with “Trap Dustshoot” or the card he saved “Phoenix Wing Wind Blast” for. With a “Destiny Hero – Malicious” in his Graveyard, Highline was one good draw away from coming right back into the game with a level 8 Synchro Monster. Sure enough he draw “Emergency Teleport,” but was unable to Special Summon because he hadn’t dealt with “Koa’ki Meiru Drago.”


Michael McTavish (Top 8 Finalist – 2009 Canadian National Championship)

Sometimes players have to make a choice between slow, conservative play and fast, aggressive play. Clarke made the right choice during game 1 of this match. His all-monster hand demanded that he either try and put down his opponent quickly, or watch as control of the game slipped away. One more look at Clarke’s sportsmanship in pointing out Highline’s easily made mistake of forgetting to shuffle in his removed from play pile is worth noting. Every Duelist should strive to match that integrity. A great Match by both players.


P.J. Tierney (Duelist from across The Pond)

Highline could have survived a little bit longer had he picked a different monster with “Trap Dustshoot’s” effect. If he had sent back  a “Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon” (REDMD), Clarke would have only been able to Summon 1 of them instead of 2. If that REDMD were to be destroyed, Clarke would then have to wait until he got his “Red-Eyes Wyvern” into the Graveyard, and then not Summon anything for a turn in order to activate its effect in the End Phase.

Clarke was able to get to his “Future Fusion” very quickly in Duel 3, something that every Dragon Deck wants to do. By declaring “Five-Headed Dragon,” “Future Fusion” lets you send any 5 Dragon-Type monsters from your Deck to the Graveyard. That lets you send however many REDMDs and Wyverns you need, and you can then remove the Wyverns to bring out REDMD’s in the End Phase. You’ll also be sending other Dragons to the Graveyard, so that REDMD can bring them back next turn.

Click here to check out the next Feature Match.