Home > 2010 United States WCQ, Championships > Round 3 Feature Match: Chris Bowling vs. Eric Dunson

Round 3 Feature Match: Chris Bowling vs. Eric Dunson

July 10th, 2010

Chris Bowling won the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG U.S. National Championship in 2008, becoming the U.S. Champion. Today he’s looking to repeat that performance, and is 2-0 so far with X-Sabers. His opponent is New York’s Eric Dunson. He’s also 2-0 here today, one of many Duelists in the WCQ playing Blackwings. If he can take early control of the Duel with something like Royal Oppression, or even a key Icarus Attack, he could walk away from this table victorious.

Bowling opened the Match with Thunder King Rai-Oh, Rescue Cat, X-Saber Airbellum, Trap Stun, Torrential Tribute, and Summoner Monk. He Summoned Thunder King, Set his 2 Traps, and ended.

But Dunson had Heavy Storm! He activated it, destroying Bowling’s Torrential and Trap Stun, and then Summoned Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn to attack and destroy Thunder King! He Set 2 cards to his back row.

Bowling drew Mind Control, Summoned X-Saber Airbellum, and lost his monster to Bottomless Trap Hole.

Dunson pressed on, seeking to take advantage of the opening he’d created. He Summoned Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame, attacked with it, and attacked again with Sirocco.

Bowling was down to 4100 Life Points. He drew Bottomless Trap Hole, and Summoned Rescue Cat. He sent it to the Graveyard, Special Summoned XX-Saber Darksoul and another Airbellum (both in Attack Position), and activated Mind Control. He took control of Sirocco, Tuned it to Airbellum, and Synchro Summoned Colossal Fighter. Bowling attacked Shura, Dunson boosted its ATK by discarding Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow, and Colossal Fighter was destroyed! Colossal Fighter revived itself from the Graveyard, Shura’s effect Special Summoned Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor in Defense Position and Darksoul destroyed it in battle. Bowling Set Bottomless Trap Hole, moved to his End Phase, and used Darksoul’s effect to get X-Saber Pashuul from his Deck to his hand when Darksoul was destroyed by Rescue Cat’s effect.

Dunson was up. He Set a card to his Spell and Trap Card Zone as his only move.

Bowling drew Royal Oppression, attacked with Colossal Fighter, destroyed Shura, and Set Oppression to end.

Dunson Set a third card to his Spell and Trap Card Zone, and when Colossal Fighter attacked next turn, he responded with Mirror Force to blow it away! Bowling Set Pashuul and ended.

Dunson Set a third card to his back row yet again, with 1 card left in-hand. He looked at it a moment, thinking, before ending his turn.

Bowling drew Trap Dustshoot. He Set it, then Set Bottomless Trap Hole, with Oppression and another Bottomless already Set.

Dunson Summoned another Sirocco. Bowling responded with Bottomless Trap Hole, Dunson Chained Icarus Attack to Tribute Sirocco, and Bowling lost 1 Bottomless and his Oppression. Dunson pressed on, removing Vayu and Sirocco from his Graveyard to Special Summon Blackwing Armed Wing. Bowling responded by removing it with Bottomless Trap Hole, and Dunson ended.

Bowling passed his next turn.

Dunson did the same.

Play was back to Bowling, who now had Trap Dustshoot Set with a hand of Summoner Monk, Heavy Storm, and XX-Saber Emmersblade. He Summoned Emmersblade, attacked for 1200 Battle Damage, and ended. The Duel stood at 5700 Life Points to 3700, with Dunson leading.

Dunson Set a Spell or Trap next turn.

Bowling drew Faultroll, eyeing the Heavy Storm in his hand and his opponent’s 3 tempting face-down cards. He activated the Storm, and Dunson Chained Starlight Road! He Special Summoned Stardust Dragon, his 2 remaining face-down cards safe. Bowling turned Emmersblade to Defense Position.

Dunson Summoned Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame next turn, attacked Emmersblade, and destroyed it! Bowling Special Summoned XX-Saber Darksoul in Defense Position, and Dunson Special Summoned Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind. Gale attacked Darksoul, and Stardust Dragon attacked directly, dropping Bowling to 1200 Life Points. He grabbed XX-Saber Boggart Knight from his Deck in the End Phase.

Bowling drew Gold Sarcophagus next turn, and Dunson activated Mind Crush, forcing him to discard the Boggart Knight Bowling had just searched! Bowling Summoned Summoner Monk, discarded Gold Sarcophagus for its effect, and immediately conceded when Dunson Chained Royal Oppression!

Eric Dunson scores an early lead over Chris Bowling, and despite an apparent comeback from the former National Champion, Starlight Road seals the first Duel for Dunson! Both competitors made swift use of their Side Decks before starting Duel 2.

Eric Dunson

Bowling opened with Cold Wave, Gorz the Emissary of Darkness, Book of Moon, XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, Thunder King Rai-Oh, and Mind Crush. He Summoned Thunder King, Set Book, and ended. Book of Moon would be able to stop Dunson from using Black Whirlwind.

But Dunson had Heavy Storm again! He activated it, destroyed Book of Moon, and ran over Thunder King with Sirocco! A Set Spell or Trap ended his turn. There was an eerie sense of Deja Vu, with Dunson’s opening moves in the second Duel mirroring those in the first so perfectly.

Bowling drew Sangan and Set it. Dunson had Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame, just like last time, and attacked Sangan with it. Bowling searched his Deck for Rescue Cat with Sangan’s effect, Dunson Special Summoned Vayu with Shura’s effect, and Vayu and Sirocco made direct attacks. Bowling Special Summoned Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness after Sirocco’s attack, Special Summoning a 2000 ATK Emissary of Darkness Token. That left Dunson to Tune Vayu and Sirroco together, Synchro Summoning Goyo Guardian – a monster big enough to best Gorz.

Bowling drew X-Saber Airbellum and considered activating Cold Wave. He went for it, and Dunson had no response. Bowling Summoned Rescue Cat, sent it to the Graveyard to Special Summon XX-Saber Darksoul and X-Saber Airbellum, and Tuned them together to Synchro Summon Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. He had 3 cards left in his hand: he discarded Mind Crush to send Goyo back to Dunson’s Extra Deck, then attacked with his Emissary of Darkness Token – he knew that if he attacked with the Token and Dunson had Kalut to discard, the Token was the 1 monster that wouldn’t go to the Graveyard, keeping Shura’s effect from activating. But Dunson didn’t seem to have Kalut this time. Shura was destroyed, and Brionac and Gorz made direct attacks! Dunson was down to 2800 Life Points, and Bowling discarded his remaining 2 cards to send both of his opponent’s face-down Spell or Trap Cards back to the hand! It was a huge risk: Bowling was giving up a lot of cards, with the hope that he could win the Duel next turn. Dunson wouldn’t be able to Set those cards again on his next turn due to Cold Wave. Bowling searched his Deck for XX-Saber Emmersblade with Darksoul’s effect and ended!

This turn was make-or-break for Dunson. If Bowling had made the wrong decision in sending those 2 Set cards back to Dunson’s hand, and Dunson could survive, it could mean the end of this Match. Dunson Normal Summoned Blackwing – Blizzard the far North, Special Summoned Shura, and Tuned to Synchro Summon his own Brionac! “That’s the one card I hoped you didn’t have,” remarked Bowling. Dunson discarded Torrential Tribute to bounce away Bowling’s Brionac, removed Vayu and Sirocco from his Graveyard to Special Summon Blackwing Armed Wing, and attacked Gorz with it, discarding Kalut to win the battle! Brionac attacked the Emissary of Darkness Token, destroyed it, and Dunson ended. Bowling had nothing but that Emmersblade!

His draw next turn wasn’t helpful either: XX-Saber Faultroll. He could Set Emmersblade, but Brionac would just bounce it away. “You got it,” announced Bowling, “I still think it was worth doing the Brionac… but that Blizzard, and then that Kalut – that hurt.”

Eric Dunson takes a 2-0 victory, winning over Chris Bowling with Blackwings!

Chris Bowling


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)
Bowling seemed ready to make a huge comeback in the first Duel, but Dunson’s Starlight Road finished him off. Bowling was stuck with a tough decision: If he just kept attacking with Emmersblade, Dunson would have had as many as 5 turns to recover and win the game. But if Heavy Storm had cleared the field, Bowling would’ve been safe to make more Summons. The problem? Even if Heavy Storm worked, Bowling didn’t have much follow-up. His hand was Summoner Monk (and he’d already used Rescue Cat) and Faultroll. He wouldn’t have been able to Special Summon Faultroll, and he didn’t have a card to discard for Summoner Monk’s effect. He probably should’ve waited to see at least 1 more draw, and attacked with Emmersblade in the meantime.

Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)
Synchro Summoning Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier after activating Cold Wave is a strong play if you think you can win the Duel with Brionac on your next turn. It forces your opponent to take down Brionac without using Spell or Trap Cards. Unfortunately for Bowling, Dunson was able to rise to the challenge and get rid of Brionac with his own copy. Regardless, clearing Dunson’s field with Brionac after activating Cold Wave was a great move for Bowling. He saw his investment in Brionac as his only shot of winning. If Dunson had been holding different cards in his hand, Bowling’s play might have paid off.

P.J. Tierney (Duelist from across The Pond)
Some Decks can find it difficult to get past a first turn Thunder king Rai-Oh from the opponent, but Blackwings have several ways to get rid of it. First off, you can Summon Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind and cut Thunder King’s ATK in half, making it easier to destroy in battle. Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow can give any “Blackwing” monster that attacks Thunder King enough of a boost to take it down in battle. Of course there’s a much simpler way of getting that Thunder King Rai-Oh out of the way, just Normal Summon Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn and run over it! In Duels 1 and 2, Bowling opened up with Thunder King Rai-Oh, and in both Duels Dunson Summoned Sirocco right away to destroy it.

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