Home > 2010/06 - Chicago, Illinois, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Round 10 Feature Match: Steven Kraml vs. Michael Lee

Round 10 Feature Match: Steven Kraml vs. Michael Lee

June 20th, 2010

Both of these Duelists have 6-3 records heading into this round, and would require a miracle of tie-breakers to make it to the Top 32. But sometimes it’s all about style! Steven Kraml is running a Remove Brainwashing Deck, packed with cards like Lava Golem, Volcanic Queen, and Grinder Golem, big monsters that get Special Summoned to his opponent’s field, but that he can take control of with Brainwashing. It’s a creative strategy that’s brought him a fair amount of success here this weekend. His opponent, Michael Lee, is running X-Sabers.

Kraml’s opening hand was Caius the Shadow Monarch, Morphing Jar, A Cat of Ill Omen, Lava Golem, Gravekeeper’s Commandant, and Nightmare Archfiends. He discarded Commandant to get Necrovalley from his Deck, then activated it, and Set A Cat of Ill Omen and Nightmare Archfiends.

Lee Normal Summoned XX-Saber Emmersblade. He Set 2 cards to his Spell & Trap Card Zone and ended. Play was back to Kraml.

He drew another Lava Golem, and Flip Summoned A Cat Of Ill Omen, but Lee responded with Saber Hole to negate the Summon. Kraml Set Morphing Jar.

Lee Summoned X-Saber Airbellum, and Synchro Summoned XX-Saber Hyunlei. Both of Kraml’s Spell/Trap cards were destroyed. XX-Saber Hyunlei then attacked Morphing Jar, and each Duelist lost 3 cards and got a new hand. Lee activated Gottoms’ Emergency Call, bringing back Emmersblade and Airbellum to make direct attacks. Kraml discarded another Cat for Airbellum’s effect, and Lee Special Summoned XX-Saber Faultroll. He Tuned Airbellum to Hyunlei for XX-Saber Gottoms, Tributed Emmersblade to make Kraml discard Caius the Shadow Monarch, and brought Emmersblade back with Faultroll. He Tributed that next, this time making Kraml discard Grinder Golem. He Tributed Gottoms last, discarding Dust Tornado.

Kraml drew, and Set his last 2 cards: A Cat of Ill Omen and Starlight Road.

Lee Special Summoned Emmersblade with Faultroll, attacked A Cat of Ill Omen, and Kraml placed Mirror Force on the top of his Deck with Cat’s effect.

Kraml Set the Mirror Force next turn.

Lee activated Heavy Storm on his turn, but Kraml Chained Starlight Road! He kept his Mirror Force, and Special Summoned Stardust Dragon. Lee Summoned a second Faultroll, activated Book of Moon to turn Stardust Dragon face-down, and then brought back Airbellum with Faultroll. He Synchro Summoned XX-Saber Hyunlei, destroyed Mirror Force, Normal Summoned XX-Saber Boggart Knight, and used his second Faultroll to Special Summoned X-Saber Airbellum. Hyunlei attacked to destroy Stardust Dragon, and everything else attacked for the win!

“Ouch, that was pretty bad,” remarked Kraml, going for his Side Deck. Lee made use of his Side as well, and the second Duel began moments later. “Let’s hope I can see a better hand!”

Michael Lee

This time Kraml opened with Remove Brainwashing, Gravekeeper’s Commandant, Gravekeeper’s Spy, Starlight Road, Owner’s Seal, and Grinder Golem. A much better hand! He discarded Commandant to get Necrovalley, activated it, and Set Starlight Road, Remove Brainwashing, and Gravekeeper’s Spy.

Lee activated Mind Control, and Kraml responded with Remove Brainwashing, taking Spy back! Lee Set a monster, then Set 3 cards to his back row.

Kraml drew Solemn Judgment, Set it, and ended.

Lee Set a second monster.

Kraml drew another Commandant and passed.

Lee Normal Summoned X-Saber Airbellum. He Flip Summoned XX-Saber Darksoul, Tuned it to Airbellum, and Synchro Summoned XX-Saber Hyunlei. He activated her effect, but chose to destroy only Necrovalley, afraid of another Starlight Road from Kraml. Hyunlei attacked and destroyed Gravekeeper’s Spy, and Kraml Summoned another copy in Defense Position. Lee ended, and got XX-Saber Faultroll from his Deck with Darksoul’s ability.

Kraml drew Battle Fader. He discarded Commandant to get a second Necrovalley, activated it, and Special Summoned Grinder Golem to Lee’s side of the field, Special Summoned his 2 Grinder Tokens, and then took his 3000 ATK Grinder Golem back thanks to Remove Brainwashing! Grinder Golem then ran over Hyunlei, and Kraml ended.

Lee Summoned XX-Saber Boggart Knight, Flip Summoned XX-Saber Emmersblade, and activated Dust Tornado, targeting Necrovalley. Now free to target cards in his Graveyard, Lee Special Summoned XX-Saber Faultroll, activated its effect to Special Summon X-Saber Airbellum, and Tuned it to Faultroll to Synchro Summon XX-Saber Gottoms. Now Kraml activated his Solemn Judgment, since he was faced with losing his Grinder Golem for sure to an attack from XX-Saber Gottoms. If Lee had Gottoms’ Emergency Call here it was all over. But he activated Call of the Haunted instead, almost just as good. He Special Summoned XX-Saber Hyunlei (he couldn’t Summon Gottoms, since its Synchro Summon had been negated). He rammed Emmersblade into Grinder Golem, taking 1700 damage and dropping to 5600 Life Points to Special Summon XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. Fulhelmknight attacked a Grinder Token, Boggart Knight attacked the other, and Kraml was down to 800 Life Points. Hyunlei then destroyed Gravekeeper’s Spy. Lee Synchro Summoned another XX-Saber Gottoms, Tributed Boggart Knight to force the discard of Battle Fader, and ended.

Kraml drew Dimensional Fissure, activated it, Set Owner’s Seal to keep it safe from Gottoms, and ended. He couldn’t stop Gottoms’ attack, and a turn later it was all over!

Michael Lee takes a 2-0 victory over Steven Kraml and his Remove Brainwashing Deck, finishing in the Swiss Rounds with a 7-3 record!

Steven Kraml


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)
In the second Duel, when Lee activated Dust Tornado to try and destroy Necrovalley, Kraml needed to negate it with Solemn Judgment. Not doing so let Lee Special Summon monsters with Call of the Haunted, XX-Saber Faultroll, and XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, so by the time Kraml played that Solemn it was too late. If Kraml had kept Necrovalley on the field Lee wouldn’t have been able to Summon XX-Saber Gottoms, and a win would have been out of the question.

Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)
In Duel 2, Kraml used Remove Brainwashing to take back the Gravekeeper’s Spy Lee was trying to steal with Mind Control. This type of play demonstrates a great strength of Kraml’s Deck. A lot of the most popular Decks use Brain Control and Mind Control in the Main Deck, and Remove Brainwashing counters them perfectly. That makes it a useful card even if Kraml doesn’t draw monsters like Grinder Golem that he wants to give to his opponent and steal back.

P.J. Tierney (Duelist from across The Pond)
Starlight Road is a card that can drive fear into opponents. In Duel 1 Kraml was able to activate it to negate Lee’s Heavy Storm, and then Summon a Stardust Dragon with its effect. Although he lost that Duel, Starlight Road was enough of a threat to Lee to make him only destroy 1 card with XX-Saber Hyunlei in Duel 2, even though Kraml had several targets on the field for the Saber’s effect.

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