Home > 2010/10 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Semifinals: James Neumann Versus Thanh Nguyen

Semifinals: James Neumann Versus Thanh Nguyen

October 10th, 2010

Only 4 competitors remained in this tournament, and the winner of this Match was guaranteed to go home with a set of the Darklord Prize Cards!  The victor would also win their way to the Finals, where they’d Duel for a heap of prizes and the honor of being a YCS winner.  James Neumann was piloting X-Sabers, while his opponent Thanh Nguyen was running Plant Synchro.

Neumann’s opening hand was Solemn Warning, XX-Saber Faultroll, Cold Wave, Reinforcement of the Army, Sangan, and XX-Saber Faultroll.  He Set Sangan and Warning.

Nguyen Special Summoned Cyber Dragon, Tributed it for Caius the Shadow Monarch, and the Summon was negated by Neumann’s Solemn Warning!  Nguyen Set 2 Spell or Trap Cards.

Neumann drew XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, Summoned it, and attacked for 1300 Battle Damage.  Reinforcement of the Army got him another Fulhelmknight in Main Phase 2, and ended.

Nguyen activated Dark Hole, destroying Sangan and Fulhelmknight!  Sangan got Neumann XX-Saber Darksoul from his Deck, and a groan from Nguyen.  He Summoned Sangan and didn’t attack.

Neumann Set Mirror Force and Darksoul.

Nguyen attacked into Darksoul with Sangan, and in the End Phase Neumann got XX-Saber Boggart Knight.

Neumann drew XX-Saber Emmersblade, and activated Cold Wave: Nguyen negated it with Solemn Judgment.  Neumann Set Emmersblade.

Nguyen took control of XX-Saber Fulhelmknight with Mind Control, then Tuned it to Sangan to Synchro Summon Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and get Dandylion from his Deck.  He discarded Dandylion for Brionac’s effect, targeted Neuman’s Set Spell or Trap, and was denied by Effect Veiler: he Special Summoned 2 Fluff Tokens.  He Normal Summoned Debris Dragon, Special Summoned Dandylion, and Synchro Summoned Scrap Dragon by Tuning Debris Dragon to Dandylion and a Fluff Token.  That got him 2 more Fluff Tokens, and he destroyed 1 with Scrap Dragon’s effect to destroy Emmersblade.  He then attacked with Scrap Dragon straight into Mirror Force!  He Set another card to his back row, stymied with 2 Fluff Tokens stranded on the field.

Neumann Summoned Fulhelmknight, attacked a Fluff Token, and was blocked by Book of Moon.  He Set a Spell or Trap.

Nguyen flipped his Set Cold Wave, Normal Summoned Super-Nimble Mega Hamster, and attacked to destroy Fulhelmknight.

Neumann passed.

Nguyen attacked directly with the Hamster, and Set his last card to his back row.

Neumann Summoned XX-Saber Boggart Knight.  He activated its effect to Special Summon Emmersblade, then Special Summoned Faultroll to Special Summon Fulhelmknight from his Graveyard!  He started debating his further options when Neumann voiced that he was ready to go to Duel 2.

James Neumann scores an explosive finish to the first Duel, as Boggart Knight and Emmersblade lead to Faultroll and a Duel win!

Nguyen started us off with Lonefire Blossom, Tributing it to Special Summon another Lonefire, and then Tytannial, Princess of Camellias.  He Set 3 Spell or Trap Cards and ended.

Neumann’s hand was Giant Trunade, X-Saber Pashuul, Dark Hole, Mind Control, XX-Saber Emmersblade, and XX-Saber Darksoul.  He activated Dark Hole to destroy Tytannial, then Set Emmersblade.

Nguyen Special Summoned Cyber Dragon, Normal Summoned Thunder King Rai-Oh, and attacked with Thunder King: Emmersblade was destroyed and Neumann Special Summoned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight in Attack Position.  Nguyen turned Fulhelmknight face-down with Book of Moon, and attacked to destroy it.

Neumann drew Nobleman of Crossout, and activated Giant Trunade.  He took Thunder King with Mind Control, Summoned Pashuul, and Tuned it to Thunder King for Goyo Guardian.  Goyo destroyed Cyber Dragon, Neumann Special Summoned it, and play was to Nguyen.

Nguyen cleared the field with Dark Hole then Set his 3 remaining cards to his back row.

Neumann Set Darksoul.

Nguyen Set a fourth Spell or Trap Card.

Neumann drew and Set another Darksoul.

Nguyen flipped Pot of Avarice, sending Cyber Dragon, 2 Lonefire, Tytannial, and Thunder King Rai-Oh back to his Deck from his Graveyard to draw 2 cards.  He Set a monster, then Set a Spell or Trap.

Neumann drew, now holding Nobleman of Crossout and 2 Boggart Knights with 2 Darksouls Set.  He Summoned Boggart Knight, Flip Summoned a Darksoul, and activated Nobleman of Crossout: Nguyen negated it with Solemn Judgment.  Neumann attacked, hitting Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, and Nguyen used Ryko to destroy the face-down Darksoul.  Nguyen sent Spore, Book of Moon, and Debris Dragon to the Graveyard.  Neumann ended, getting Fulhelmknight from his Deck with Darksoul’s effect.

Nguyen Set another Spell or Trap, with 3650 Life Points remaining.

Neumann turned Darksoul to Defense Position and scored a direct attack with Boggart Knight.  He Summoned Fulhelmknight in Main Phase 2, Nguyen responded with Torrential Tribute, and Neumann Set a Spell or Trap, then got another Fulhelmknight with Darksoul in his End Phase.

Nguyen activated Royal Decree, Summoned Debris Dragon, and Special Summoned Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter.  He Synchro Summoned Iron Chain Dragon, attacked directly, and sent 3 cards off the top of Neumann’s Deck to his Graveyard: Emmersblade, Pulling the Rug, and Reinforcement of the Army.

Neumann Summoned Fulhelmknight and ended.

Nguyen attacked, and Fulhelmknight’s effect negated the attack.  Nguyen Set a Spell or Trap.

Neumann drew, now holding Boggart Knight, D.D. Crow, and Gorz the Emissary of Darkness.  He Turned Fulhelmight to Defense Position.

Nguyen attacked to destroy Fulhelmknight.

Neumann drew Solemn Warning and Set Boggart Knight.

Nguyen ran over Boggart Knight.

Neumann drew Cold Wave and passed.

Nguyen attacked directly with Iron Chain Dragon.

Neumann Set GottomsEmergency Call and a monster.

Nguyen Flip Summoned Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter next turn to destroy Neumann’s Gottoms’ Emergency Call, then Tributed Ryko for Caius!  Neumann conceded and we were on our way to Duel 3.

Neumann had Solemn Warning, Mystical Space Typhoon, XX-Saber Faultroll, XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, Pulling the Rug, and another Mystical Space Typhoon.  He Set Typhoon.

Nguyen Set a monster, and 3 cards to his back row.  He lost Book of Moon to Mystical Space Typhoon in the End Phase.

Neumann Summoned Fulhelmknight, attacked into Super-Nimble Mega Hamster, and Nguyen Special Summoned Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter from his Deck in face-down Defense Position.  Neumann Set Solemn Warning, Mystical Space Typhoon, and Pulling the Rug.

Nguyen Flip Summoned Ryko next turn, destroying Pulling the Rug.  He Tributed Ryko for Caius, but the Summon was negated with Solemn Warning.  He Set a third Spell or Trap.

Neumann drew Monster Reborn.  He had Faultroll and Boggart Knight in hand, with Fulhelmknight and Typhoon on the field.  He passed.

Nguyen Summoned Lonefire Blossom, Tributed it for another, and Tributed that for Tytannial, Princess of Camellias.  Tytannial attacked, Fulhelmknight negated the attack, and Nguyen ended with 1 card in hand.

Neumann drew Solemn Judgment.  He Set it, turned Fulehlmknight to Defense Position, and ended.

Nguyen activated Monster Reborn, Special Summoned Lonefire, and Tributed it for its effect: Neumann Chained Mystical Space Typhoon, destroying Nguyen’s Bottomless Trap Hole.  Nguyen brought out Dandylion.  He attacked with Tytannial, destroyed Fulhelmknight, and made a direct attack with Dandylion.

Neumann drew GottomsEmergency Call.  He Set it and ended.

Nguyen attacked with Dandylion and Tytannial again, dropping Neumann to 2100 Life Points.  He Set a monster.

Neumann drew Nobleman of Crossout.  It was now or never: he Summoned Boggart Knight, then brought back Fulhelmknight with Monster Reborn.  Nguyen targeted it with Book of Moon and Neumann negated it with Solemn Judgment.  He Special Summoned XX-Saber Faultroll, but Nguyen flipped Torrential Tribute!  He destroyed a total of 7 monsters, including his Sangan and Dandylion: he Special Summoned 2 Fluff Tokens and got Debris Dragon from his Deck.


Nguyen Summoned Debris Dragon, got Dandylion, and Synchro Summoned Stardust Dragon!  Neumann immediately conceded!  Nguyen was on his way to the Finals, where he’d play Kenny Kwan and his Quickdraw Deck.


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)
XX-Saber Fulhelmknight is an incredibly powerful card, but in Duel 3, we saw a common tactic Duelists are using to outplay it.  Many X-Saber Duelists will attack almost any Set monster they see with Fulhelmknight, trying to use its Special Summon effect.  But if that Set monster is Snowman Eater or Super-Nimble Mega Hamster, that aggression can backfire.  While the Hamster doesn’t fit in every Deck (you need other Beasts to use its effect), Snowman is really easy to fit in your Side Deck, and can be a powerful weapon against X-Sabers, Gladiator Beasts, and Anti-Meta strategies. 

Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)
In Duel 1, Nguyen Normal Summoned Super-Nimble Mega Hamster and used it to attack and destroy Neumann’s face-down XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. While it was unfortunate for Nguyen that he couldn’t use his Hamster’s effect, this was unquestionably his best play. Nguyen needed to destroy Neumann’s Fulhelmknight before it could take down a Fluff Token and Special Summon an X-Saber back from the Graveyard with its effect. Summoning the Hamster was Nguyen’s only way to do it.

P.J. Tierney (Duelist from across The Pond)
Nguyen lost his Scrap Dragon and Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier to Mirror Force in Duel 1, but he could have prevented this from happening. When he tried to send Neumann’s Set Spell or Trap (the Mirror Force) back to his hand with Brionac’s effect, Neumann was able to keep it on the field thanks to Effect Veiler. Nguyen then Summoned Scrap Dragon and chose to destroy Neumann’s Set monster (XX-Saber Emmersblade) instead of the Mirror Force. It would have been better for Nguyen if he had destroyed the Mirror Force instead, especially when you consider how important that card was to Neumann as he decided to discard Effect Veiler to protect it.

Click here to check out the next feature match.