Round 5 in review!

October 22nd, 2011

Once again we’re joined 8 of our undefeated Duelists to see the strategies and decisions that got them this far in the tournament. Let’s see how the fifth round of the tournament went for them!

At our first featured table, we have Billy Brake vs. Bobby Brake, Dueling against one another in a Synchro-centric Feature Match!

In Duel 1, Bobby used Lonefire Blossom to Special Summon Dandylion, activated Enemy Controller to Tribute Dandylion and take control of Reborn Tengu and Special Summon 2 Fluff Tokens. Then he activated One for One to Special Summon Spore from his Deck. He Tuned Spore with a Fluff Token to Synchro Summon Formula Synchron and draw a card. Next, he Special Summoned Spore from his Graveyard by banishing Dandylion from his Graveyard, and Tuned it with Reborn Tengu and the last Fluff Token to Synchro Summon Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. Billy lost a Caius from his hand and a face-down Debris Dragon due to Trishula’s effect. Bobby attacked over Tengu with Trishula and used Debunk to banish Tengu and negate its effect.

This play left Billy with only a single card in his hand, and nothing on the field.

Billy used Dark Hole next turn and Set his last card – Glow-Up Bulb.

Bobby used his last 2 cards next – he Special Summoned Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, and activated Pot of Avarice next. Then he drew Thunder King Rai-Oh and Solemn Judgment off of the Pot of Avarice and proceeded to win the Duel.

Billy was critical of his brother’s play. He wasn’t thrilled with the fact that Bobby burned through so many of his most powerful cards to Summon Trishula; but Bobby insists that it was worth it. Bobby thinks that, since Billy only had 2 cards in his hand before Trishula struck, making the play would essentially guarantee his victory.

In Duel 2, Billy used Trap Dustshoot to force Bobby to reveal Maxx “C”, One for One, Monster Reborn, Dandylion, D.D. Crow, and Reborn Tengu. Billy sent Maxx “C” back to Bobby’s Deck, since he had a Maxx “C” of his own to counter all of Bobby’s Special Summon plays. Bobby knew Billy had the Maxx “C” since he saw him take it with a Sangan search, and as a result, he wasn’t willing to pull the trigger and make a slew of Special Summons at any point. This gave Billy the opportunity to win the Duel with just a couple of attacks from Caius.

A smart choice with Trap Dustshoot, which also takes into account the cards that you have in your own hand, can win you a Duel. Billy did it in Duel 2, and managed to push the Match to a third Duel as a result.

In Duel 3, Bobby Set a Debunk and passed on his first turn. Billy Summoned Reborn Tengu, attacked, and Set Book of Moon with Maxx “C” in his hand. Bobby used Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Book of Moon, then activated One for One by discarding Dandylion. Billy Chained Maxx “C”, and Bobby negated it with Debunk. Billy wasn’t able to recover.

Debunk is a popular card this weekend, and Duelists using it like Bobby Brake did in this Match are able to defeat Duelists who rely on powerful from-the-hand effects.

At our second featured table, we have Jeff Jones running Karakuris against Dalton Bousman’s

In Duel 1, Bousman took 2 Tuners from his Deck, T.G. Cyber Magician and T.G. Striker, when he was able to search his Deck for 2 T.G. monsters. He already had 1 T.G. Striker in his Graveyard. Since he only used 3 Tuners in his Deck, when Jones destroyed all of the Tuners, Bousman was unable to make any big plays that would enable a comeback by using a Tuner.

When cards in your Deck are as easy to search for as the T.G. monsters, it’s important to keep track of what’s left to search for. Bousman lost track in Duel 1, and after searching his Deck for his last Tuner, he later wished he had left a Tuner in his Deck for later.

In Duel 2, by keeping track of which Traps were used and which were most likely face-down, Jones was able to push damage with Naturia Beast. Naturia Beast stayed on the field for the entire Duel, stopping Bousman from using Spell Cards, and it eventually won Jones the Duel with some successful attacks.

Locking an opponent down with Naturia Beast or Naturia Barkion will often secure a victory. Figuring out which cards an opponent has face-down or in his hand, like Jones did in this Duel, will help to achieve that goal with those 2 Naturia monsters.

Jeff Jones using Karakuris took a 2-0 victory over Dalton Bousman.

At the next featured table, we have Aaron Miles running X-Sabers against Rafael Mendoza’s T.G. Deck.

At one point in Duel 1, Mendoza had Steelswarm Roach on the field with Skill Drain, Call of the Haunted, Book of Moon, and Solemn Warning face-down. With no back rows of his own, Miles activated Heavy Storm, destroying all 4 of the face-down cards! From there, he was easily able to dominate the Duel and come out ahead.

I asked Mendoza how he let such an advantageous play get through him. “Throughout the whole tournament,” he told me, “I’ve gotten through with bluffing Starlight Road. But I’m not actually running it.” Unfortunately for Mendoza, Miles didn’t fall for his bluff. It turned out to be a costly gamble for Mendoza.

I asked Mendoza if he’d do anything differently if he could play the Match a second time, and he answered, “I definitely wouldn’t Set 4 back rows at once. That was just too much.” Mendoza says he’s giving up on risking so many cards to bluff the Starlight Road, since losing 4 back rows was too much for him to handle.

In Duel 2, Miles flipped Trap Stun, forcing Mendoza to activate Solemn Judgment while at 7500 Life Points! Afterwards, his Life Point payments from Solemn Warning and Skill Drain left him vulnerable. A small attack from a T.G. Rush Rhino that Miles was given with TG1-EM1 ended up winning him the Duel.

Whenever possible, it’s usually good to time your Life Point payments so that Solemn Judgment is the last Trap Card requiring Life Points payment that you activate.  Paying half of your Life Points before paying set amounts with cards like Skill Drain and Solemn Warning can be dangerous. Paying half of your Life Points after using all of your Trap Cards that require stable Life Point payments is a much safer play.

Aaron Miles took a 2-0 victory over Rafael Mendoza’s with X-Sabers.

At our last featured table, we have Paul McCann facing off against Barrett Keys in a Planets mirror-Match!

In Duel 1, McCann had complete control, pushing with Tragoedia and Ally of Justice Catastor, so Keys knew he’d have to win despite constantly having fewer cards. When he lost his Sangan, he searched his Deck for Honest. Then he just needed McCann to Summon a second monster that his Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning could attack twice in order to win the Duel and wipe out all 6500 of McCann’s Life Points. Eventually, his wish came true. When his opponent Summoned Tour Guide From the Underworld, Keys was able to Summon Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning on the following turn and win the Duel! He attacked Tragoedia with his Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning and boosted its ATK with Honest, and then attacked over a Tour Guide for his second attack to win the Duel!

When you’re falling behind in a Duel, it’s always a good idea to come up with a last-ditch plan for victory. Keys knew that his hope of Summoning Summoning Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning and boosting it with Honest to win could be his only shot at winning, so he did everything he could to make it happen.

In Duel 2, McCann took a win with Tragoedia and Chaos Sorcerer. McCann wanted to get his Herald of Orange Light into the Graveyard, so that he could eventually banish it and Special Summon with Leviair, so he used his Herald of Orange Light’s effect to discard an additional card and negate an Effect Veiler used against his Tragoedia; but he didn’t realize that Tragoedia would lose 1200 ATK as a result of his discard, so that it couldn’t destroy Keys’s Venus or Leviair in battle.

It’s important to always consider all cards on the field when making a play. If McCann had considered the effect of his Tragoedia when he made his play with Herald of Orange Light, he may have chosen to do things differently.

Keys used Trap Dustshoot on McCann’s first turn in Duel 3, revealing Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Tragoedia, Master Hyperion, Chaos Sorcerer, Archlord Kristya, and The Agent of Mystery – Earth. By sending Earth back to McCann’s Deck, he left McCann with nothing but boss monsters and Tragoedia. When Keys finally damaged McCann to let him Special Summon the Tragoedia, he made sure he had a way to destroy it that turn; Keys Summoned Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier to banish the Tragoedia on the same turn that it was Summoned, and sealed the victory.

A strategic choice with Trap Dustshoot can sometimes destroy an opponent’s chance of victory. That’s why it’s important to consider all cards your opponent has when choosing a card with Trap Dustshoot.

Bobby Brake, Jeff Jones, Aaron Miles, and Barrett Keys are move on at 5-0!