Home > 2010/05 - Washington, DC, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Top 16 Feature Match: Robert Russo vs. Agustin Herrera

Top 16 Feature Match: Robert Russo vs. Agustin Herrera

May 16th, 2010

Robert Russo is running X-Sabers and facing off against Agustin Herrera’s Synchro Cat Deck. A win here will bring one of these Duelists into the Top 8, one step closer to winning the 3 new prize cards.

Herrera won the dice roll and chose to go first. He Set a monster and ended his turn.

Russo opened up with XX-Saber Darksoul, XX-Saber Ragigura, Book of Moon, XX-Saber Faultroll, XX-Saber Boggart Knight and Bottomless Trap Hole. He Set Bottomless Trap Hole and Darksoul, ending his turn.

Herrera flipped his face-down Gravekeeper’s Spy next turn, in order to Special Summon one from his Deck in Defense Position. Then he Normal Summoned Gravekeeper’s Descendant and Tributed his Attack Position Gravekeeper’s Spy to destroy Darksoul with his Descendant’s effect. Russo chained Bottomless Trap Hole to remove Gravekeeper’s Descendant from play. In his End Phase, Russo grabbed a Faultroll from his Deck and added it to his hand with Darksoul’s ability.

Russo drew Solemn Judgment next turn! He Normal Summoned XX-Saber Boggart Knight, used it to Special Summon XX-Saber Ragigura from his hand, and tried to return Darksoul to his hand with Ragigura’s effect. Herrera pitched D.D. Crow from his hand to remove Darksoul from the Graveyard instead. Next, Russo Special Summoned 2 copies of Faultroll from his hand. Then he used one Faultroll to attack and destroy Gravekeeper’s Spy before attacking directly with Ragigura, Boggart Knight, and the other Faultroll, dropping Herrera to 2200 Life Points. Russo Set Solemn Judgment and Book of Moon, ending his turn.

Herrera Special Summoned Dark Armed Dragon next turn, but Russo flipped Solemn Judgment to negate the Summon! Then Herrera Set 3 back rows so he had no hand, and activated Allure of Darkness to draw 2 cards and remove a Chaos Sorcerer from his hand. He flipped his face-down Brain Control to try to gain control of Faultroll, but Russo flipped Book of Moon to put the Faultroll face-down. Then Herrera flipped Smashing Ground to destroy the other Faultroll.

Russo flipped his Faultroll face-up again next turn, but lost it to Bottomless Trap Hole. Then he Summoned X-Saber Airbellum and attacked directly with Ragigura, Boggart Knight and Airbellum, ending the Duel!

Robert Russo

Agustin Herrera will be going first in Duel 2!

Herrera Set 1 card to his back row and Summoned Doomcaliber Knight before ending his turn.

Russo opened up with Bottomless Trap Hole, X-Saber Airbellum, XX-Saber Darksoul, Heavy Storm, Giant Trunade and XX-Saber Boggart Knight. He Summoned Boggart Knight and activated its effect, forcing Doomcaliber Knight to Tribute itself to negate and destroy Boggart Knight. Then he Set Bottomless Trap Hole and ended his turn.

Herrera Summoned X-Saber Airbellum next turn, but lost it to Bottomless Trap Hole.

He passed to Russo, who activated Giant Trunade before Summoning X-Saber Airbellum and attacking directly with it. Herrera lost a Thunder King Rai-Oh from his hand due to Airbellum’s effect. Russo Set Saber Hole and passed.

Herrera tried to Special Summon Cyber Dragon next turn, but Russo flipped Saber Hole to negate its Summon. Then Herrera Summoned Doomcaliber Knight and attacked over Airbellum.

Russo Set Darksoul next turn.

Herrera attacked it with Doomcaliber Knight, and Doomcaliber Knight Tributed itself to negate the effect of Darksoul.

Russo drew Starlight Road next turn and passed with no field.

Herrera Summoned Rescue Cat! He Tributed it to Special Summon X-Saber Airbellum and Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter from his Deck. Both monsters attacked Russo directly, and he lost a copy of XX-Saber Faultroll from his hand due to Airbellum’s effect. Herrera Tuned his 2 monsters together to Synchro Summon Ally of Justice Catastor in Main Phase 2. Then he Set another card to his back row and ended his turn.

Russo drew Cold Wave next turn. He activated Heavy Storm and Herrera’s Dark Bribe and Bottomless Trap Hole were destroyed. Russo Set Starlight Road and ended his turn.

Herrera attacked directly with Catastor, dropping Russo to 3700 Life Points. Then he Set one card to his back row and passed to Russo, who drew a card, Set both cards in his hand to his back row, and ended.

Next turn, Herrera attacked directly again with Catastor, and Russo dropped down to 1500 Life Points.

Russo drew Faultroll next turn and conceded, knowing Catastor would finish him off.

Agustin Herrera

Robert Russo will be going first in the final Duel of the Match!

Russo opened up with Dust Tornado, Giant Trunade, XX-Saber Faultroll, XX-Saber Darksoul, XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, and Call of the Haunted. He Set Darksoul and Dust Tornado before ending his turn.

Herrera Summoned Doomcaliber Knight and attacked Darksoul. Doomcaliber Knight Tributed itself to negate Darksoul’s effect. Next, he Set 2 back rows and ended his turn. In the End Phase, Russo flipped Dust Tornado to destroy Herrera’s newly set Skill Drain.

Russo Summoned Fulhelmknight next turn and attacked directly with it. Then he Set Call of the Haunted and ended.

Herrera Summoned Beast King Barbaros next turn. He attacked with it, but Fulhelmknight negated the attack. Russo activated Call of the Haunted in Herrera’s End Phase to revive Darksoul.

Russo played Cold Wave next turn. Then he Special Summoned XX-Saber Faultroll and Tuned Darksoul to Fulhelmknight to Synchro Summon Hyunlei and destroy a Set Tuner’s Scheme. Next, Russo tried to Special Summon Fulhelmknight from his Graveyard with Faultroll, but lost out to D.D. Crow. Hyunlei attacked and destroyed Barbaros, and Faultroll attacked Herrera directly, dropping him to 3900 Life Points. Russo Set XX-Saber Emmersblade in Main Phase 2 and searched his Deck for Fulhelmknight in his End Phase with the effect of Darksoul.

Herrera was in trouble. He Summoned Doomcaliber Knight, but still couldn’t use any Spells or Traps due to Cold Wave. Doomcaliber Knight attacked Russo’s Set Emmersblade, and both monsters went to the Graveyard when Doomcaliber Knight Tributed itself to negate Emmersblade’s effect.

Next turn, Russo Summoned Fulhelmknight and activated the effect of XX-Saber Faultroll to Special Summon Darksoul from the Graveyard. He Tuned Fulhelmknight to Darksoul in order to Synchro Summon Goyo Guardian, and Goyo, Faultroll, and Hyunlei attacked directly, ending the Match!

Robert Russo advances to the Top 8 with X-Sabers!

Post-Event Analysis!

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

Jason Grabher-Meyer (The Old Man of Dueling)
Herrera used his Doomcaliber Knights to their full potential in the second Duel. He opened with it, and forced Russo to give up XX-Saber Boggart Knight. A couple turns later, Herrera attacked over X-Saber Airbellum with a second Doomcaliber, then negated the effect of XX-Saber Darksoul a turn after that. Russo shaped the early game with his first Doomcaliber, then used the second to take down 2 monsters with just 1 of his own. Needless to say, Herrera won that one. It’s a perfect example of what we discussed over on the Strategy Site.(http://www.konami.com/yugioh/articles/?p=1851)

Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)
In Duel 3, when Russo activated Dust Tornado in Herrera’s End Phase, he could have Set his Call of the Haunted face-down with the second effect of Dust Tornado. Then, he would’ve been able to activate it on his next turn to Special Summon XX-Saber Darksoul. Afterwards, he could’ve Normal Summoned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight and Special Summon XX-Saber Faultroll, one turn earlier than he did. It’s important not to forget about Dust Tornado’s second effect. Dust Tornado isn’t just a card that destroys Spells and Traps – it also helps set up some really powerful plays!

P.J. Tierney (Duelist from across The Pond)
Cold Wave is one of the strongest cards in an X-Saber Deck. Since most of the Deck’s biggest combos rely on several smaller combos going to plan, one timely Bottomless Trap Hole or Book of Moon could wreck everything. Cold Wave is exactly what a Saber Duelist like Russo needs when he’s about to make ‘that big play’, as it stops the opponent from playing any of their Spells and Traps until Russo’s next turn, cutting off anything that could stop all those X-Saber combos, as well as any chance of a comeback. Once Russo played his Cold Wave in Duel 3, Herrera’s days were numbered.

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