Round 2 Retrospective

October 22nd, 2011

Another round, another set of undefeated Duelists! Take a look at Round 2’s round-up of Duelists, and see what happened at a few of the top tables!

At our first featured table, we had Sean Coovert’s T.G. Deck facing off against Diego Colin’s Synchro Summon Deck.

Coovert opened up the Match with Pot of Duality, Dimensional Prison, Solemn Judgment, Solemn Warning, Horn of the Phantom Beast, and Reborn Tengu. He activated Pot of Duality, revealing Skill Drain, T.G. Warwolf, and Bottomless Trap Hole from the top of his Deck, and chose to add Skill Drain to his hand. He Set 5 cards to his back row and Summoned Reborn Tengu.

Skill Drain beats all the meta Decks,” he explained, justifying his choice. “And I had Solemn Judgment to protect it.” Coovert didn’t yet know if Skill Drain would be an effective choice against Colin’s Deck at the time he chose it, but he figured it was worth the risk, considering how damaging Skill Drain could be to the most popular Decks.

In Duel 1, Coovert saved his Solemn Judgment for late in the Duel, causing Colin read it as a useless card that Coovert couldn’t activate. That’s why, later on, when Colin Tribute Summoned Caius the Shadow Monarch, he chose to target Coovert’s newly Set Bottomless Trap Hole with Caius’s effect, instead of the Trap Card that has been Set since the first turn. Coovert Chained Bottomless Trap Hole to banish the Caius, and kept his Solemn Judgment face-down. In retrospect, it would’ve been a better play for Colin to target the old Trap Card, since he knew by that point that it was less likely to be Chained.

In Duel 2, Coovert used Trishula to banish Sangan from the field, Thunder King Rai-Oh from the Graveyard, and One for One from Colin’s hand, securing him the victory. “I figured he sided out Effect Veiler against T.G.’s, so I had nothing worry about,” Coovert told me. Colin had no back rows at the time.

Sean Coovert and his T.G. Deck took the 2-0 victory against Diego Colin’s Plant Synchro Deck.

At our next featured table, we had Robert Russo with a Synchro Summon Deck against Norman Tun’s Twilight Deck.

In Duel 1, Tun recovered from Russo’s big play involving T.G. Hyper Librarian and Formula Synchron by Summoning 2 Chaos Sorcerers and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning to win the Duel.

I asked Russo if there was anything he would’ve done differently in Duel 1 if he could, and he answered, “I had Brionac on the field with Call of the Haunted just sitting there. If I had used Brionac’s effect to return Call to my hand, I would’ve been in a better situation. I could’ve used the Call to bring back Formula Synchron, and used the Formula Synchron it to Synchro Summon on my opponent’s turn.”

Duelists frequently use Brionac’s effect to recycle cards like Call of the Haunted that may stay on the field meaninglessly, giving them a second shot at using them. It’s an effective way to use Brionac’s effect to return your own cards to your hand.

Since Russo drew a bunch of cards in a single turn with T.G. Hyper Librarian in Duel 1, Tun’s regret was simple. “I regret not playing more Maxx “C”s,” Tun told me. Maxx “C” would’ve helped.

Robert Russo won Duel 2, and Tun started off Duel 3 by Summoning Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress and ending his turn. Lyla’s effect sent Judgment Dragon, Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior, and Effect Veiler from the top of his Deck to his Graveyard in the End Phase. Russo opened up Duel 3 with Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, Effect Veiler, Leeching the Light, Tour Guide From the Underworld, Enemy Controller, and Spore. He Summoned Kycoo and attacked Lyla; but Tun sent Honest from his hand to the Graveyard to win the battle and destroy Lyla! Russo was never able to recover.

I asked Russo if he thinks he made the right play by attacking Lyla with his Kycoo. “It Set me back far,” he told me, “but if it went off, it would’ve been worth it. So I don’t really regret it. But once he used Honest, I knew I lost that game.”

It’s important to realize that even when a move costs you the Duel, it still may have been the best possible play in that situation. Russo weighed the benefit of a successful Kycoo attack, with the risk of losing out to Honest, and decided that the risk was well worth it.

At our next featured table we have Christian Zukowski running Infernities against Robert Holtz’s Synchro Summon Deck.

In Duel 1, Zukowski was playing around Effect Veiler instead of D.D. Crow. This decision may have cost him the victory. He activated Infernity Inferno to discard Heavy Storm and Infernity Beetle from his hand to the Graveyard and send Infernity Necromancer and Infernity Archfiend from his Deck to his Graveyard. Then he Normal Summoned Infernity Mirage and used One for One to discard his other Beetle and Summon another Mirage. He Tributed 1 Mirage to try to Special Summon Necromancer and Beetle. Then he used Necromancer’s effect to try to Special Summon Archfiend, but lost out his Archfiend to D.D. Crow. He was stuck without any other good plays.

“I wish I had read the Crow, he told me.” If I did, I would’ve Infernoed away the 2 Beetles instead of the Heavy Storm, and then I would’ve went for a single Mirage. Instead of wasting One for One so early, I could’ve gone for something different.”

I asked Zukowski if he thought he made the right play, and even though it cost him the Duel, he believed he made the right choice. “Veiler is a more played card in the Main Deck,” he told me. “I’d probably make the same play again.”

Robert Holtz eventually defeated Christian Zukowski 2-0 in the round.

At the next table, we have Gage Copeland’s “Mystic Valley Turbo” Deck that uses Mystic Piper, Cyber Valley, and Master Hyperion, going up against Robert DiMartino’s Gladiator Beasts.

In Duel 1, DiMartino Set 3 back rows and Summoned Laquari on his first turn. His opponent used Pot of Duality to get a Heavy Storm from the top of his Deck and clear the field of all 3 cards. But DiMartino had a good reason for Setting all 3 cards. “I needed to protect my monster, negate his first turn effects, and set up for next turn.” DiMartino’s Set Gladiator Beast War Chariot, Trap Stun, and Book of Moon would’ve done all of those things. DiMartino definitely doesn’t regret the play. “There’s only 1 Heavy Storm,” he told me. “You should never be afraid of just 1 card.” DiMartino believes that the risk of losing to Heavy Storm was well worth it, if it meant he’d also raise the odds of protecting his Gladiator Beast and setting up his next turn.

In Duel 2, Copeland’s Deck took off by using Mystic Pipers and Cyber Valleys for draw power.

In Duel 3, DiMartino thought his opponent had Herald of Orange Light in his hand and was playing around it. But once Dark Hole was gone, DiMartino Summoned Steelswarm Roach and a Gladiator Beast, dramatically changing the game. “Roach didn’t do anything since he didn’t have Master Hyperion or Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, but I felt confident after that.” DiMartino felt safe committing multiple monsters to the field once Dark Hole was gone. Even if Zukowski had Herald of Orange Light in his hand, using it to take down just 1 of DiMartino’s multiple monsters would still leave DiMartino in a dominating position. DiMartino managed to win Duel 3 with his field of multiple monsters.

When I asked Copeland if there’s anything he would’ve done differently to change the outcome of the Match, he answered, “I would’ve sided out more of my effect monsters. I would’ve sided out the Valleys and the Pipers, because he has those Chariots. Normal Summons are definitely the key to my Deck.” Copeland believed that if his Side Deck plan didn’t create a situation in which his Normal Summons were easily countered and lowered his defenses, he may have won.

In the end, Robert DiMartino took a 2-1 victory over Gage Copeland.

And that’s how our featured Duelists felt about Round 2! Check back to get the inside scoop on what went down in Round 3.