Home > 2018/10 - Niagara, ON, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Round 3 Feature Match: Jeff Jones versus Hanko Chow

Round 3 Feature Match: Jeff Jones versus Hanko Chow

October 20th, 2018

Jeff Jones has won two YCS Championships in his prestigious Dueling career, capturing his first win at YCS Anaheim in 2009, and then scoring a repeat victory at the 75th YCS a year later in Edison, New Jersey.  In the eight years that have passed since he’s topped and won more tournaments than we can count, including victory at the UDS Invitational in Kissimmee, Florida in 2017, where he captured the Ultimate Duelist Series Championship Belt and the title of Ultimate Duelist.


That Ultimate Duelist status imparts upon Jones a lifetime VIP status at YCS tournaments like this one, which means Jones had Round 1 and Round 2 Byes for this tournament.  He’s only just entering the competition here in Round 3, fresh off a relaxing morning watching other people fight for their lives.  He’s playing a Dark World Danger! deck that aims to loop his opponents into oblivion starting with Armageddon Knight or Dark Grepher, leading into Firewall Dragon shenanigans.  And now the entire tournament’s going to get their first look at the surprising strategy Jones brought here to YCS Niagara.


But his opponent is beloved Canadian Duelist Hanko Chow!  A renowned innovator himself, Chow hails from Barrie, Ontario and earned his reputation over the past few years with a series of Regional Top 8 showings that hinged on cards like Number S0: Utopic Zexal to create very different win conditions; strategies that most of his opponents would never see coming.

So let’s see if he sees this coming.


Jones chose to open the Duel with a hand of two Armageddon Knights; Living Fossil, Reinforcement of the Army; and The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak. He searched his Deck for Dark Grepher with Reinforcement of the Army, activated its effect by discarding Ancient Cloak, and sent Destiny Hero – Malicious to his Graveyard from his Deck.  He banished Malicious to Special Summon another from his Deck in defense mode, combined it with DarkGrepher and Link Summoned Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights.

He activated her effect to send Overdone Burial, Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade, D.D.R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation, and Autonomous Action Unit from his Deck to his Graveyard, Special Summoning another Armageddon Knight.  Its ability let Jones send Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite to his Graveyard, he banished his second Malicious to Special Summon his third, and he combined it with Isolde for Summon Sorceress.  He used her effect to target Armageddon Knight and Special Summon The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots.


Jones banished The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak from his Graveyard to search another Boots to his hand, banished Malicious and Dark Grepher to get back his Phoenix Blade, and Special Summoned his second Boots to Xyz Summon Leviair the Sea Dragon.  That got him back his Dark Grepher, he discarded another Armageddon Knight for Grepher’s effect, and he sent Cannon Soldier to his Graveyard!  He activated Boots’ effect in the Graveyard to search The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine, combined Armageddon Knightand Leviair the SeaDragon, and Link Summoned Knightmare Phoenix!


The plays continued: Jones combined Summon Sorceress and Gepher for Firewall Dragon, Set and activated Shade Brigandine, and Link Summoned Knightmare Mermaid.  He used its effect with Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade to Special Summon Knightmare Corruptor Iblee to his side of the field, drew Snoww, Unlight of Dark World, and combined Iblee and Shade Brigandine to Link Summon Knightmare Cerberus.  “Chain Link 1, Firewall to Special, and Chain Link 2, Iblee?”


“That’s good.”  Hanko got the Iblee on his side of the field.


Jones Special Summoned Snoww with Firewall’s effect and Hanko started thinking through Jones’ plays.  “He’s about to add back Armageddon Knight and Cannon Soldier, Link 2 monsters away for any Link 3 or Link 2, to Special Summon Cannon Soldier from hand, and use CannonSoldier’s effect to sacrifice a monster next to Firewall, triggering Firewall to Special Summon Armageddon Knight from hand.” From there Chow knew Jones would load up Grapha, DragonLord of Dark World to the graveyard and recycle it again and again, triggering Firewall Dragon’s ability with Cannon Soldier for 500 damage per activation.  There was no way out.


Chow had talked through the plays in about twelve seconds and instantly conceded. Chow clearly wasn’t surprised, being such an unconventional combo player himself.  But now that he knew what he was up against, could he beat it?



“Do you like this format?” Chow asked Jones, as they both shuffled their decks relentlessly.


“Ummm, yeah!” Jones elaborated: “Every format has its upsides and downsides, but I like this one.  Comparatively to other things.”  The shuffling continued.


Chow decided to open the second Duel, since… yeah, if he didn’t open he was gonna get burned to death by Cannon Soldier.  He Set two cards to his backrow.


Jones had Monster Reborn; Allure of Darkness; Living Fossil; The Phantom Knights of SilentBoots; Danger!? Jackalope?; and The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine. He activated Allure to draw D.D.R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation and Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World, banishing Grapha.


He Set The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine, activated it, and Special Summoned The Phantom Knights of SilentBoots.  “Continue,” acknowledge Chow, politely.  Jones combined both monsters to Link Summon Knightmare Phoenix, pitched Danger!? Jackalope? on summon to target one of Chow’s Set backrow cards, and Chow chained the targeted Waterfall of DragonSouls to pitch Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior.  He drew two cards.


Jones used the effect of Danger!? Jackalope?To Special Summon Danger! Chupacabra! from his Deck, then Link Summoned Summon Sorceress.  He had Monster Reborn, D.D.R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation, and Living Fossil.  He brought back The Phantom Knights of SilentBoots with Fossil, placing it in a Zone Summon Sorceress was pointing too, and when Jones tried to use her effect Chow flipped Skill Drain!  “Any response?”


“Euhhh, no.”


“That was rather scary,” quipped Chow, breathing for the first time in about two minutes as Jones re-evaluated his options.


Chow cheerily went off in the interim. “You still haven’t Normal Summoned! That’s crazy!  So many starters, extenders…mm-hm, mm-hm.” Chow was thinking through Jones’ plays just as much as Jones was.


“Attack for 2400,” announced Jones.


“Take it.”  Chow took a direct shot from Summon Sorceress.  “How much time do we have?”


Feature Match Judge Joe Frankino confirmed 25 minutes.


“Lots of time, lots of time,” said Chow, pleased.  Jones ended his turn.


Chow activated True Draco Heritage, used it to Summon Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior, and destroyed Jones’ Living Fossil to remove The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots. He activated Dragonic Diagram, then used a second True Draco Heritage to draw a card.  He popped it with Diagram to get Disciples of the True Dracophoenix from his Deck, and he activated it to return everything in his Graveyard but Waterfall to his Deck for a draw.


Chow sacked off Disciples for Majesty Maiden, the True Dracocaster, then sent Ignis Heat over the Sorceress to destroy it and made a direct attack with Majesty Maiden.  A Main Phase 2 Cardof Demise got him two draws but he could only Set one card to his backrow.  He wound up discarding a Majesty Maiden and Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter.  A little rough.


Jones drew Snoww, Unlight of Dark World. The duel stood at 5100 Life Points to 4600 Life Points with Jones still narrowly leading, but the Snoww just didn’t help.  Jones conceded moments later.


“Yayyyy, we get to go to Game 3,” laughed Chow.  “Please don’t FTK me.”


Jones made no promises.



Hanko Chow opens Duel 2 with a clutch SkillDrain to buy some time, then runs Jeff Jones out of options on a weak hand to take the second Duel! Would Jones blow him out once again?  Or could Chow survive and take two Duels back-to-back?  We were about to find out.


“You’re going first I assume?”


“Yes,” confirmed Jones. Chow gave Jones’ deck an extra-thorough shuffle and talked to himself about the match-up.  “You have so many ways to start that combo… and even if I do stop you, you still just make a pretty good board?”   The Duelists exchanged a fist bump.  “Please don’t open with an FTK.”


This time Jones had Danger! Mothman!; Danger!? Jackalope?; Dark Grepher; Danger! Dogman!; and The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak.  He Normal Summoned Dark Grepher and pitched The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak to send Destiny Hero – Malicious to his Graveyard, banishing it to Special Summon another.  He combined it with Grepher for Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights, sent his four Equip Spells to his Graveyard to Special Summon Armageddon Knight in defense mode, then used its ability to kick Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite to his Graveyard.


Jones banished his second Destiny Hero – Malicious to Special Summon his third, Link Summoned Summon Sorceress, banished The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak to get The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots, then banished Grepher and Malicious to retrieve DivineSword – PhoenixBlade.  He Special Summoned another The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots, overlaid for Leviair the Sea Dragon, Special Summoned back Dark Grepher, and tossed Danger!? Jackalope? to load Cannon Soldier to his Graveyard.  He Special Summoned Danger!Nessie!, combined Leviair the Sea Dragon and Armageddon Knight for Knightmare Phoenix just like last time, and then he used Grepher and Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights to make his Firewall Dragon.


He Link Summoned Knightmare Mermaid with Knightmare Phoenix, pitched Divine Sword –Phoenix Blade to Special Summon Knightmare Corruptor Iblee from his Deck, drew Snoww,Unlight of Dark World and linked Iblee and Nessie to Link Summon Knightmare Cerberus next to Firewall Dragon.  He made Chain Link 1 Firewall Dragon’s Special Summon, Chain Link 2 Iblee, and Chain Link 3 Firewall’s effect to add.  He targeted Cannon Soldier and ArmageddonKnight, gave Chow Iblee, and Special Summoned the Snoww.

Jones banished The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots to fetch The Phantom Knights of ShadeBrigandine, Set it and activated it, and combined it with Knightmare Mermaid to Link Summon Proxy Dragon next to Firewall Dragon.  He Special Summoned Armageddon Knight, sent Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World to the Graveyard, used Proxy Dragon and ArmageddonKnight to Link Summon Knightmare Unicorn, brought out Cannon Soldier, brought back Grapha, Tributed Unicorn, Special Summoned Snoww from hand, used Cannon Soldier to Tribute Grapha, took back Snoww to revive Grapha, and then Tributed Grapha with CannonSoldierto Special Summon Snoww, completing the loop.


That was all Chow needed to see, and he immediately offered the handshake!



“By the way, Armageddon Knight or Dark Grepher is a one-card FTK.”  Jones laughed sheepishly.  “No one knows.”


Jeff Jones moves on with a 3-0 record.  “Good luck!”


“Thank you,” replied Chow.  “I’ll need it.”


“Me too!” laughed Jones.  “I just need to keep doin’ that.”


And he might?  We’ll keep an eye on what’s apparently Jeff Jones’ 1-card FTK deck throughout the day.