Home > 2010/10 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Round 2 Feature Match: Russ Hunter VS Mike Valdez

Round 2 Feature Match: Russ Hunter VS Mike Valdez

October 9th, 2010

Earlier today we examined Russ Hunter’s Hero Beat Deck in a Deck Profile.  An offshoot of the LIGHT Gemini Beatdown strategy that won YCS San Jose for Angel Flores 2 weeks ago, it packs a different spread of Elemental Heroes to take advantage of big monster removal while dropping the LIGHT component.  Hunter traveled here this weekend from Lexington, Kentucky, and his opponent is Mike Valdez from Rockland New York.  Valdez is a Machina Gadget Duelist, playing some creative choices like Blue Thunder T-45.

Hunter started the Match with a friendly handshake and a hand of Deep Sea Diva, Solemn Warning, Book of Moon, Burden of the Mighty, Elemental Hero Wildheart, and Torrential Tribute.  He Summoned Wildheart, activated Burden, and Set everything but Diva.

Valdez Summoned Blue Thunder T-45.  He attacked, seemingly telegraphing Honest, and Hunter responded with Book of Moon to turn it face-down.  Valdez destroyed Wildheart in Main Phase 2 with Fissure and Set a card to his Spell and Trap Card Zone.

Hunter drew and Summoned another Wildheart, attacking to destroy Blue Thunder.

“That guy’s pretty beefy,” remarked Valdez.  He Summoned Machina Gearframe, activated its effect, and got Machina Fortress from his Deck.  He then discarded Green Gadget and Fortress to Special Summon the Fortress, and Hunter destroyed both of Valdez’s monsters with Torrential Tribute!  Wildheart survived thanks to its Trap-dodging effect.  Valdez discarded Machina Force to try and bring back Machina Fortress, but Hunter negated the Summon with Solemn Warning.  But Valdez had Monster Reborn!  Reborn brought back Fortress with 1800 ATK, and after a great deal of effort he attacked to destroy Wildheart!

Hunter drew Mirror Force.  He Summoned Deep Sea Diva, used her effect to Special Summon Spined Gillman in Defense Position, and Tuned them together to Synchro Summon Magical Android: he lost it to Bottomless Trap Hole and Set Mirror Force.

Valdez drew and attacked with Fortress, losing it to Mirror Force.  He Set his last card to his back row.

Hunter drew E – Emergency Call, searched Elemental Hero Stratos from his Deck, and Summoned it to get another Wildheart from his Deck.  He attacked into Dimensional Prison.

Valdez was topdecking, and Set the card he drew.

Hunter drew Elemental Hero Ocean, Summoned Wildheart, and attacked for 1500 Battle Damage.

Valdez Sumoned Red Gadget, got Yellow Gadget with its effect, and ended.

Hunter drew Elemental Hero Heat and Summoned it with 2000 ATK!  He attacked Red Gadget with Wildheart, attacked for 2000 Battle Damage with Heat, and dropped Valdez to 3900 Life Points.

Valdez Summoned Yellow Gadget, got Green Gadget, and Set a Spell or Trap.

Hunter drew Monster Reborn, Summoned Ocean, and attacked with it to destroy Yellow Gadget.  Wildheart attacked for 1500, and Heat attacked with 2200 ATK to Valdez’s remaining 1700 Life Points but Dimensional Prison from Valdez kept the Duel going.

Valdez activated Giant Trunade to get rid of Burden of the Mighty, then Summoned another Blue Thunder: it attacked Wildheart to destroy it, and Valdez Special Summon a Thunder Option Token.  The Token then traded off with Ocean in battle.  Valdez ended with no Spell or Trap Cards Set.

Hunter drew Bottomless Trap Hole, holding Burden and Monster Reborn.  He activated Reborn, Special Summoned Machina Fortress, and activated Burden of the Mighty to drop Blue Thunder’s ATK to 1300.  Machina Fortress attacked to destroy it, and Valdez was down to 500 Life Points.  Hunter Set Bottomless.

Valdez drew to 2 cards and Set them both: 1 monster and 1 Spell or Trap Card.

Hunter drew another Emergency Call, activated it, got Elemental Hero Heat, and Summoned it: its ATK went to 1800.  Machina Fortress attacked Valdez’s Set Green Gadget, and Hero Heat attacked directly to end the Duel!

Mike Valdez kicks out of a flurry of early game monster removal cards, powering through with Monster Reborn!  But Russ Hunter wrestles him back down with Mirror Force, and proceeds to win the Duel with direct shots from 2 Elemental Hero Heats.  One more win like that and Hunter would have a 2-0 record.

Hunter's Elemental Hero Wildhearts turn out to be a smashing success in Duel 1!

Valdez opened Duel 2 with Red Gadget, getting Yellow Gadget and then Setting 2 cards to his back row.

Hunter had Miracle Fusion, Royal Oppression, Elemental Hero Wildheart, 2 Thunder King Rai-Oh, and E – Emergency Call.  He Summoned Wildheart and attacked Red Gadget, then Set Oppression and Emergency Call.

Valdez Set a monster.

Hunter drew Divine Wrath.  He activated his Set E – Emergency Call and got Elemental Hero Stratos from his Deck: he tried to Summon it for its Spell and Trap destroying effect, it resolved, and it destroyed Valdez’s Bottomless Trap Hole.  Stratos attacked, and Valdez stopped the attack with Fiendish Chain.  Wildheart then attacked into D.D. Warrior Lady, and both monsters were removed with her effect.  Hunter Set Divine Wrath.

Valdez Summoned Yellow Gadget, and Hunter Chained Divine Wrath to its effect to negate the Gadget search effect and destroy Yellow Gadget.  Valdez Set a Spell or Trap.


Hunter drew Dark Hole.  He Summoned Thunder King Rai-Oh, attacked into Dimensional Prison, and ended.  Stratos still couldn’t attack.

Valdez passed.

Hunter drew Burden of the Mighty and activated it.

Valdez passed.

Hunter drew and Summoned Deep Sea Diva, getting another Diva and Special Summoning it.  Hunter Tuned a Diva to Stratos, Synchro Summoned Goyo Guardian, and attacked with Diva and Goyo for a total of 3000 Battle Damage.  In Main Phase 2 he Tuned them together for Stardust Dragon.  He had Burden face-up and Oppression Set, with Miracle Fusion and Dark Hole still in-hand.

Valdez drew to 6 cards in-hand.  He activated Giant Trunade, discarded 2 Machina Fortresses to Special Summon 1 of them, then activated Solidarity to attack over Stardust Dragon and destroy it.  He then Set a Spell or Trap.

Hunter drew Cyber Dragon!  He Special Sumoned it, then Fused it with Fortress to Summon Chimeratech Fortress Dragon!  He attacked for 2000 Battle Damage, then activated Burden and Set Oppression again.  Valdez was down to 2800 Life Points.

Valdez cleared the Fortress Dragon next turn with Smashing Ground, then Set a second Spell or Trap.

Hunter passed, holding another Cyber Dragon.

Valdez drew to 2 cards in hand: he took a moment to look through Hunter’s Graveyard, then activated Monster Reborn: Hunter Chained Royal Oppression to negate Valdez’s Special Summon.

Hunter drew Torrential Tribute and Set it.

Valdez Set a third Spell or Trap.

Hunter drew another Deep Sea Diva and passed.

Valdez passed.

Hunter drew Elemental Hero Heat, Summoned it, and lost it to Bottomless Trap Hole.

Valdez drew, now holding 3 cards in-hand, and he Summoned Machina Gearframe: he didn’t activate its effect, and flipped another Solidarity to attack for a total of 3000 Battle Damage.

Hunter drew Monster Reborn.  He had 3 cards that could force Valdez to activate Royal Oppression and pay 800 Life Points, while Valdez had 2800 Life Points remaining.  Hunter went for it: he Special Summoned Cyber Dragon and Valdez let it go!  Hunter sent Gearframe and Cyber Dragon to the Graveyard for another Chimeratech Fortress Dragon, and this time Valdez negated the Special Summon, quickly realizing his mistake.  “I honestly forgot,” he commented, reeling in his seat.  “Royal Oppression has an effect!”  Hunter activated Miracle Fusion, and Valdez negated that Special Summon as well, dropping down to 1200 Life Points.  Hunter then activated Monster Reborn, targeted Stardust Dragon, and Valdez negated that as well, now down to 400 Life Points.  Hunter Summoned Deep Sea Diva, activated her effect, and Valdez Chained Fiendish Chain to negate it!  Hunter ended with 3400 Life Points left.

Valdez Set another Spell or Trap.

Hunter drew Book of Moon and Set it, then shifted Diva to Defense Position.

Valdez drew to 4 cards in-hand.  He activated his Set Dark Hole to destroy Diva, then Summoned Red Gadget: he activated its effect and Hunter Chained Torrential Tribute.  Valdez got Yellow Gadget and ended.

Hunter drew and Set Dimensional Prison: he still couldn’t get a monster.  “Saucy!” exclaimed a cheered Valdez, who was thankful to not get attacked and lose that turn.

He Summoned Yellow Gadget, got Green Gadget from his Deck, and attacked into Dimensional Prison.  He Set a Spell or Trap.

Hunter drew and activated a second Burden.

Valdez Summoned Green Gadget, and had no Red Gadget left to search his Deck for: Green Gadget attacked into Book of Moon.

Hunter drew another Burden!  He activated it, then ended, not activating Dark Hole.

Valdez discarded Machina Force to try and Special Summon Machina Fortress, and the Summon was negated with Oppression.  He Flip Summoned Green Gadget with a total of 1800 Attack Points, and Normal Summoned D.D. Warrior Lady with 300 ATK.  He attacked with Green Gadget: it didn’t look like had enough damage for game, but he activated Limiter Removal, and Hunter conceded!

Both Duelists went for their Side Decks, but time was called!  Since neither Duelist had drawn their opening hands for Duel 3, the Match was called then and there – a draw.

A strong showing from Russ Hunter wins him the first Duel, but a last-minute Limiter Removal lets Mike Valdez fight back and push the Match to a Draw!  Both Duelists move on with a 1-0-1 record.

You just know Valdez is going to want a Day 2 rematch.


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)
Plays like Hunter’s Wildheart + Torrential Tribute combo in Duel 1 were a big part of his Deck’s strength. Hunter was able to eliminate 3 of his opponent’s cards (Gearframe, Fortress, and the Green Gadget Valdez discarded) with just Torrential, while his Wildheart stayed on the field.  Hunter showed us that you can take a popular strategy like LIGHT Gemini Beatdown, change up the cards, and make something totally new. 

Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)
In Duel 2, Valdez allowed Hunter to use the effect of his Elemental Hero Stratos, when he could’ve negated its effect with Fiendish Chain! Stratos is a central card in almost every Deck it’s used in, and it’s especially key to Elemental Hero Decks. Since Valdez had the opportunity to negate its effect, he should’ve taken that opportunity to deprive Hunter of the free effect.

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