Home > 2013/04 - San Diego, California, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Top 8 Feature Match: Steven Ma Versus Michael Steinman

Top 8 Feature Match: Steven Ma Versus Michael Steinman

April 8th, 2013

Michael Steinman has topped three WCQ tournaments, and three more YCS events.  His opponent, Steven Ma, has been playing Monarchs for over half a decade but has never topped a Regional.  He may be the first competitor in history to Top 32 a YCS before making the Top 8 of a Regional Qualifier.

Kind of cool.

Steven Ma is playing Frog Monarchs with Jinzo and Light and Darkness Dragon, while Michael Steinman is playing Fire Fist Rabbit.  This is a pretty new match-up at the YCS level, with Monarchs really making their first impact this year at YCS Austin two weeks ago, so let’s see how this turns out.

The competitors shook hands, and Ma opened the Match with Pot of Duality, revealing Treeborn Frog, Maxx “C”, and Caius the Shadow Monarch.  He added Treeborn to his hand and Set a monster.

Steinman’s hand was Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear; Mystical Space Typhoon; Bottomless Trap Hole; Mirror Force; Gene-Warped Warwolf; and Heavy Storm.  He Set Bottomless.

Ma Normal Summoned Swap Frog, using its effect to send Ronintoadin to his Graveyard.  He attacked for 1000 Battle Damage, then returned the Frog to his hand.

Steinman drew Reborn Tengu and considered Summoning it, but wound up just passing.

Ma Tributed Treeborn Frog for Jinzo and attacked to drop Steinman to 4600 Life Points.

Steinman drew Dimensional Prison and had no immediate out to that Jinzo.  He Normal Summoned Reborn Tengu and Set Heavy Storm, then debated a moment and Set Mystical Space Typhoon.

Ma brought back his Treeborn Frog in Defense Position, then Tributed it for Enemy Controller to take Reborn Tengu.  He brought the Frog back, then moved to his Battle Phase to make direct attacks with Tengu and Jinzo.  Steinman had just 500 Life Points left.  In Main Phase 2 Ma Tributed Frog and Tengu for Light and Darkness Dragon!  It negated Tengu’s effect, dropping to 2300 ATK.

Steinman drew Forbidden Lance: no help there.  He flipped his Heavy Storm to wear LADD down to 1800 ATK, then Normal Summoned Gene-Warped Warwolf to run it over.  Its effect destroyed Jinzo, and Ma used its ability to Special Summon Ronintoadin in Defense Position.  Steinman Set Mirror Force, Dimensional Prison, and Forbidden Lance.

Ma brought back his Treeborn Frog next turn and Tributed it for Dark Dust Spirit, destroying Ronintoadin and Warwolf.  He attacked, but Steinman banished Dark Dust with Dimensional Prison.  Ma had five cards left in hand, with Treeborn and Ronintoadin in the Graveyard.

Steinman drew to two in hand with four cards Set: he Summoned Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear, and attacked into Battle Fader, calling the play before Ma made it.

Ma Special Summoned back Treeborn Frog.  He overlaid Treeborn and Battle Fader for Slacker Magician.


Ma followed up by banishing for Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, but lost it to Bottomless Trap Hole.  He Normal Summoned Swap Frog to kick another Treeborn Frog to his Graveyard, then returned Swap to his hand.

Steinman drew Fiendish Chain, and then took a moment to read Slacker Magician’s effect.  He Set Fiendish.

Ma didn’t Special Summon his Treeborn Frog, but did Normal Summon Swap Frog: Steinman negated its effect with Fiendish Chain.  But Ma knew it was a cost to return Swap Frog to his hand, and he promptly hopped it back to safety.

Steinman drew another Fiendish Chain but didn’t have an empty Zone in which to Set it.

Ma Normal Summoned his Swap Frog again, this time sending another Swap to the Graveyard.  He returned the on-field copy to his hand.

Steinman drew Fire Formation – Tensu and passed.

Ma activated Pot of Duality, revealing Caius the Shadow Monarch and two Maxx “C”.  He took Caius, then targeted Steinman’s Bear with Soul Exchange: Steinman Chained Forbidden Lance.  That left Ma to Tribute his Magician for Caius, banishing Bear.  He didn’t attack.

Steinman drew Tour Guide from the Underworld and called Effect Veiler: “Yeah,” replied Ma, dropping a Veiler to negate Tour Guide’s effect.  Steinman filled his back row again.

Ma Special Summoned Treeborn Frog, then discarded another Treeborn to Special Summon Swap Frog in Defense Position: he sent his last Swap Frog to the Graveyard.  He returned Caius to his hand, then Tributed Treeborn for it, walking into Fiendish Chain.  He banished Swap Frog to Special Summon Ronintoadin, then Xyz Summoned Gachi Gachi Gantetsu.


Steinman drew another dead Mystical Space Typhoon and passed.  He turned Tour Guide to Defense Position.

Ma Summoned his Treeborn Frog back, then Summoned Effect Veiler to Synchro Summon Formula Synchron and draw a card.  He Tuned it to Caius to Synchro Summon Scrap Dragon, then targeted his Gachi Gachi and Tour Guide destroying the latter.  Scrap Dragon then attacked into Mirror Force.  “Your move.”

Steinman drew Solemn Warning and Set it.

Ma brought back Treeborn Frog and Tributed it for Raiza the Storm Monarch, returning one of Steinman’s face-downs to the top of his Deck and then making a direct attack for game!


Steven Ma takes total control over the first Duel, as Michael Steinman struggles with a string of dead spell and trap removal, coupled with dead traps under Jinzo.  Combined with a monster-starved draw, it all made for an inescapable situation for Steinman.  Steven Ma takes Game 1!

A mid-Round Deck check was suddenly called, and both competitors tried to figure out how to spend their time during the void between Duels.  Ma was the first to break, calling his mom from the Feature Match table to tell her how he was doing.  Once that was over, Ma and Steinman talked over the previous Duel: “I really needed him to not know that returning Swap Frog was a cost,” commented Steinman, referring to his Fiendish Chain play.  With so many dead cards there was just nothing he could do to pull that one out.  Hopefully with some Side Decking he might stand a better chance in Game 2.

After some lengthy Side Decking, Steinman opened with Rescue Rabbit; Dimensional Prison; Torrential Tribute; Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear; and two Pot of Duality.  He Summoned Rabbit and Ma had the Effect Veiler to stop it.  Steinman Set Prison and Torrential.

Ma blew away the Torrential with Mystical Space Typhoon, then activated Monster Reborn to bring back his Veiler.  He Tributed it for Caius the Shadow Monarch, banishing Rabbit and attacking into Dimensional Prison.  With two cards left in hand he Set one to his Spell and Trap Card Zone.

Steinman drew Tour Guide from the Underworld and Summoned Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear, attacking to score 1600 Battle Damage and get a free copy of Fire Formation – Tenki.  He flipped it in Main Phase 2 to get another Bear, then Set a Pot of Duality.  He left it there a moment, likely seeing if he could draw out a Mystical Space Typhoon, then flipped it to reveal Dark Hole; Fiendish Chain; and Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Gorilla.


He took Fiendish Chain and Set it.

Ma Normal Summoned Swap Frog to send Treeborn Frog to his Graveyard, then took it back.

Steinman drew Solemn Judgment and attacked with Bear, scoring another hit and getting another Tenki!  That got him Gorilla from his Deck a moment later, and his second Pot of Duality revealed another Tenki, Banisher of the Radiance, and Dimensional Fissure. “Not Tenki!”  Steinman laughed, placing Tenki back on top of his Deck as he decided between Banisher and Fissure.  He settled on Fissure after a moment’s thought, then Summoned Gorilla: Ma destroyed both of his monsters with Treacherous Trap Hole, and Steinman Set Solemn Judgment, activating Dimensional Fissure.

Ma Normal Summoned Swap Frog to attack for 1000 Battle Damage, then returned it to his hand.

Steinman drew Dimensional Prison with his backrow completely filled.  His hand was Bear, Tour Guide, and Prison, with a field of two face-up Tenki, Dimensional Fissure, a Set Solemn Judgment, and a Set Fiendish Chain.  He Summoned Tour Guide from the Underworld to Special Summon another, then Xyz Summoned Leviair the Sea Dragon.  That let him bring back his Rabbit, which Special Summoned two Gene-Warped Warwolf from his Deck.  Ma was at 4700 Life Points.  Steinman attacked with Leviair, then a Warwolf, then one more Warwolf for game!


An early game Caius on Rescue Rabbit comes back to haunt Steven Ma, as Leviair the Sea Dragon creates an explosive win for Michael Steinman!  Nineteen minutes – and one more Duel – remained in the Match.

Ma started the final Duel with a handshake, and Set one Spell or Trap.

Steinman’s hand was Dimensional Fissure; Solemn Judgment; Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear; Rescue Rabbit; Mirror Force; and Fire Formation – Tensu.

Steinman activated Dimensional Fissure, then Normal Summoned Rescue Rabbit for its effect, knowing Fissure protected him from Veiler or Maxx “C”.  He Special Summoned two Gene-Warped Warwolf and attacked, pushing through a fast 4000 Battle Damage!  Steinman Xyz Summoned Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King in Main Phase 2, then used its effect to get Fire Formation – Tenki, which he promptly activated to fetch Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear!  He Set Mirror Force, Judgment, and Tensu.  This one could be over pretty fast!

Ma activated Soul Taker, destroying and banishing Tiger King.  The Duel stood at 9000 Life Points to 4000.  Ma flipped Heavy Storm, but Steinman shut it down with Solemn Judgment, dropping to 4500 Life Points.  Ma Set a monster and a back row card.

Steinman drew his third Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear and Summoned it, pitching Tenki to target Ma’s face-down, monster (Effect Veiler).  Ma Chained Enemy Controller to take control of the Bear.  Steinman ended and took it back.

Ma passed.

Steinman drew another Dimensional Fissure and Summoned a second Bear, swinging for a combined total of 3200 Battle Damage.  He brought out Gagaga Cowboy in Main Phase 2 and that was it!


Mike Steinman moves on to the Top 4 with Fire Fist Rabbit!