Home > 2010/09 - Toronto, Canada, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Top 16 Feature Match: Roy St. Clair VS Nick Ristoski

Top 16 Feature Match: Roy St. Clair VS Nick Ristoski

September 5th, 2010

One of the few Decks we didn’t get to take a look at yesterday was piloted to the Top 16 this weekend by Nick Ristoski: a LIGHT Beatdown Deck called “Gemini City.”  Packing Skill Drain, Gemini Spark, and Hero Blast, Ristoski’s Deck is extremely good at disrupting his opponent’s combos.

His opponent is Roy St. Clair, wielding his signature X-Saber Deck with triple XX-Saber Emmersblade.  St. Clair mowed through the opposition yesterday with Cold Wave and triple Trap Stun, playing XX-Saber Hyunlei to the hilt in a field where Duelists often Set far too many cards to their Spell and Trap Card Zone.  The pickings wouldn’t be so easy today.

St Clair started us off with a single Set Spell or Trap Card.

Ristoski’s hand was Monster Reborn, Pot of Duality, E – Emergency Call, Honest, Book of Moon, and Skill Drain.  He activated Emergency Call, searched Elemental Hero Stratos from his Deck, Summoned it, and used its effect to get Elemental Hero Neos Alius from his Deck as well.  Stratos attacked for 1800 Battle Damage, and Ristoski activated Pot of Duality in Main Phase 2 to reveal Cyber Dragon, Dark Hole, and Hero Blast as the top 3 cards of his Deck: he added Hero Blast to his hand and shuffled the rest back. (Hero Blast is a Trap that returns an “Elemental Hero” Normal Monster from your Graveyard to your hand, then destroys an opposing monster with the same or less ATK than the one you got back.)  Ristoski then Set 3 cards to his Spell and Trap Card Zone.

St. Clair activated Trap Stun as soon as he started his turn.  Reinforcement of the Army got him X-Saber Pashuul from his Deck, and he Normal Summoned XX-Saber Boggart Knight, then activated its effect, trying to bring out Pashuul for XX-Saber Hyunlei: Ristoski Chained Book of Moon, turning Boggart Knight face-down and stopping the Synchro Summon!  St. Clair ended.

Ristoski drew Reinforcement of the Army, activated it, and got another Neos Alius from his Deck.  He Summoned it, attacked Boggart Knight, and destroyed it.  He then activated Skill Drain and destroyed Pashuul with Stratos! (Normally, Pashuul cannot be destroyed by battle, Skill Drain negates this effect.)

St. Clair activated Monster Reborn, Special Summoning his Boggart Knight from the Graveyard.  He Checked Ristoski’s Graveyard (no monsters for Hero Blast), and Normal Summoned XX-Saber Emmersblade.  With 2 X-Sabers on the field he Special Summoned XX-Saber Faultroll and hesitated a moment.  St. Clair committed, Special Summoning a second Faultroll.  “You can’t Hero Blast now without a guy in the Graveyard, but you could Hero Blast after I attack, but only a guy with low ATK…” He sent Emmersblade to attack Elemental Hero Stratos, crashing into it for 500 Battle Damage.  Emmersblade’s effect triggered, and St. Clair Special Summoned another Boggart Knight. Boggart Knight attacked over Stratos for 100 Battle Damage, and St. Clair sent a Faultroll after Elemental Hero Neos Alius.  Ristoski activated Honest‘s effect in Damage Calculation, and Faultroll was destroyed.  St. Clair Set his last card to his Spell and Trap Card Zone.

Ristoski drew Thunder King Rai-Oh, with Monster Reborn and another Neos Alius in hand.  He had Skill Drain active, and Hero Blast Set.  He Summoned another Neos Alius, attacked Boggart Knight, and both were lost in battle: Hero Blast was now online.  He activated it, returned Neos Alius to his hand from the Graveyard, and destroyed the second Boggart Knight.  “That’s pretty broken,” remarked St. Clair.  Ristoski moved to Main Phase 2, activated Monster Reborn, took Pashuul, and Tuned it to Neos Alius to Synchro Summon Goyo Guardian (4+2=6).

St. Clair attacked with Faultroll, and used Book of Moon to turn Goyo Guardian face-down!  Goyo Guardian was destroyed.

Ristoski drew Solemn Judgment, and ended his turn: neither his Neos Alius nor his Thunder King Rai-Oh could beat Faultroll.

St. Clair attacked for 2400 Battle Damage with Faultroll, and Set another Spell or Trap Card.

Ristoski drew and Set Bottomless Trap Hole, then Summoned Neos Alius.

St. Clair activated Giant Trunade, getting Skill Drain off the field and taking Ristoski’s Solemn Judgment and Bottomless Trap Hole out of the picture.  That left him free to activate Faultroll’s effect: he Special Summoned Pashuul, activated Mind Control to take control of Neos Alius, and Ristoski conceded.

“I was Skill Drain locking myself,” reflected Ristoski.  “I wanted to use that Monster Reborn to bring back Honest, but couldn’t do it.”  Skill Drain kept Ristoski from using Honest’s effect to return itself to Ristoski’s hand, so he couldn’t destroy the second Faultroll.

Nick Ristoski plays an impressive early game, but Book of Moon turns the Duel around for Roy St. Clair, who is now just one win away from a seat in the Top 8!

Book of Moon lets Roy St. Clair take down Goyo Guardian, and it was all smooth sailing from there.

Ristoski opened Duel 2 with 2 Bottomless Trap Hole, Cyber Dragon, Honest, Elemental Hero Neos Alius, and Solemn Judgment.  He Set Solemn, Set both copies of Bottomless, and Summoned Neos Alius.

St. Clair Set a monster, Set a Spell or Trap, and ended.

Ristoski drew Solemn Warning and attacked with Neos Alius, destroying St. Clair’s XX-Saber Darksoul.  He Set Warning, and St. Clair got XX-Saber Faultroll from his Deck.

St. Clair activated Giant Trunade!  Ristoski Chained Solemn Judgment, dropping to 4000 Life Points.  St. Clair Set another monster.

Ristoski drew D.D. Crow and attacked into another Darksoul.  “You have no fear!  That could’ve been an Emmersblade,” quipped St. Clair.  In the End Phase, he searched an Emmersblade from his Deck.

This time St. Clair had Cold Wave!  He activated it, and Ristoski couldn’t stop it.  St. Clair Normal Summoned Boggart Knight, and Special Summoned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight.  He activated Faultroll’s effect, targeting Darksoul, but lost it to D.D. Crow. “Well, game’s not over yet then.  Go Honest?” St. Clair spent some time, contemplating his next move.  He sent Boggart Knight to attack, and sure enough, drew out Ristoski’s Honest.  Boggart Knight was destroyed.  “It’s your turn.”

Ristoski drew Pot of Duality, still locked down under Cold Wave.  Neos Alius attacked Fulhelmknight and St. Clair negated the attack with Fulhelmknight’s effect.

St. Clair Set a card to his back row, then activated Gold Sarcophagus: he removed Trap Stun from his Deck, setting it aside to add it to his hand 2 turns later.  He Set a monster and ended, not activating Faultroll’s effect.  St. Clair was almost unwittingly playing around his opponent’s Solemn Warning.

Ristoski drew Monster Reborn.  He attacked Fulhelmknight with Neos Alius, destroying it: “I needed to get rid of the Tuner, it’s too scary.  Main Phase 2.”  He activated Monster Reborn, Special Summoned Honest, and added it back to his hand.

St. Clair activated Faultroll’s effect, and Ristoski blasted him with Solemn Warning!  Faultroll was destroyed, and Ristoski dropped to 2000 Life Points.  St. Clair had 2 cards in-hand, a Set monster, and a Set Spell or Trap Card. He’d get his Trap Stun next turn.

Ristoski drew Gemini Spark, and activated Pot of Duality to choose between Book of Moon, E – Emergency Call, and Mind Crush.  He added Mind Crush to his hand, shuffling the other 2 cards back into his Deck.  His hand was now Mind Crush, Honest, Cyber Dragon, and Gemini Spark, with 2 Bottomless Trap Hole Set and Neos Alius in face-up Attack Position.  He sent Neos Alius to attack, hit Emmersblade, and St. Clair labored over his decision a bit before Special Summoning another Emmersblade.  Ristoski Set Mind Crush and Gemini Spark.

St. Clair took his Mind Crush in his Standby Phase next turn, and Ristoski activated Mind Crush, forcing him to discard it.  St. Clair revealed his hand of Dark Hole, Monster Reborn, and Book of Moon.  He turned Emmersblade to Defense Position.  He Set another Spell or Trap to finish.

Ristoski drew Dark Hole.  Neos Alius attacked Emmersblade, and St. Clair Special Summoned his third copy rom his Deck.

St. Clair passed.

Ristoski drew a second Honest!  He Normal Summoned it, attacked Emmersblade, and St. Clair Special Summoned XX-Saber Darksoul in Defense Position.  Neos Alius attacked it to destroy  it, and Ristoski returned Honest to his hand.  Darksoul got St. Clair Boggart Knight from his Deck.

St. Clair Summoned Boggart Knight, activated its effect, and Ristoski Chained Bottomless Trap Hole.  Boggart Knight was removed, and St. Clair Special Summoned X-Saber Pashuul in Defense Position.

Ristoski drew Thunder King Rai-Oh and activated Dark Hole: he Chained Gemini Spark, Tributing Neos Alius to destroy St. Clair’s Set Book of Moon.  He drew Effect Veiler with Gemini Spark, Summoned Thunder King Rai-Oh, and lost it to St. Clair’s Bottomless Trap Hole.

St. Clair activated Monster Reborn: he Special Summoned Emmersblade, attacked for 1300 Battle Damage, and knocked Ristoski down to 700 Life Points.  St. Clair still had 6100, and Set a Spell or Trap to end.

Ristoski drew another Cyber Dragon, Special Summoned it, and attacked Emmersblade for 800 Battle Damage.  St. Clair got XX-Saber Fulhelmknight: he still had Dark Hole, so he still had a shot at the win.  Ristoski Set 1 of his 2 Honests.  Did St. Clair have what he’d need to dodge the Bottomless Trap Hole and take the Match-winning shot, despite Ristoski’s bigger hand?

Next turn he moved to Main Phase 1 and activated his Set card: GottomsEmergency Call.  He Special Summoned Boggart Knight in Attack Position, and Darksoul in Defense Position.  He activated Mind Control, targeted Cyber Dragon, and took control of it.  He then Tuned it to Fulhelmknight, Synchro Summoned Stardust Dragon (5+3=8)!  Ristoski activated Bottomless Trap Hole, St. Clair Chained Stardust’s effect, and Normal Summoned X-Saber Pashuul.  He Tuned it to XX-Saber Darksoul, Synchro Summoned Ally of Justice Catastor (3+2=5), and attacked Honest to destroy it.  Boggart Knight then attacked to seal the Match, no Dark Hole required!

Ristoski's Trap Cards helped him keep a lid on St. Clairs aggression, but it just wasn't enough in the end.

Roy St. Clair overcomes Nick Ristoski’s Gemini City Deck in a 2-0 victory, and is now headed to the Quarterfinals 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)
The third Duel might have gone better if Ristoski had played his Gemini Spark differently.  When he drew his second Honest, Ristoski Summoned it and attacked St. Clair’s face-up Emmersblade.  St. Clair Special Summoned Darksoul, and Ristoski attacked that as well, letting St. Clair search his deck for Boggart Knight.  With Cyber Dragon in hand, and his Life Points low, Ristoski could have destroyed Emmersblade with Gemini Spark instead of attacking it, then Set Honest.  With Gemini Spark and Hero Blast, Ristoski’s Deck has lots of ways to destroy Emmersblade.  He just kept attacking instead, letting St. Clair gather cards with Darksoul and speeding along the Duel at a pace that wasn’t in his favor.

Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)
In Duel 2, St. Clair suspected that Ristoski had Honest in his hand, so he used his XX-Saber Boggart Knight instead of his XX-Saber Faultroll to attack Elemental Hero Neos Alius. This was a great play. St. Clair knew that if Ristoski had the Honest, he’d use it against either monster that St. Clair attacked with. By attacking Neos Alius with Boggart Knight instead of Faultroll, St. Clair was able to keep his Faultroll on the field and lose his weaker monster instead.

P.J. Tierney (Duelist from across The Pond)
In Duel 1, when St. Clair wanted to make a XX-Saber Hyunlei play, he activated Trap Stun at the start of his turn. While a Duelist would normally wait until the opponent activated a Trap Card before then Chaining Trap Stun (making the opponent lose a vital card as well as its effect), St. Clair knew that Ristoski’s Deck would be running several copies of Solemn Warning, a Counter Trap that St. Clair can’t Chain his Trap Stun to.

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