Home > 2019/09 - Niagara Falls, ON, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Round 9 Feature Match: Johnny Li vs. Caulin Bradshaw

Round 9 Feature Match: Johnny Li vs. Caulin Bradshaw

September 22nd, 2019

Johnny Li and Caulin Bradshaw are both 7-1 here at the beginning of Day 2, and both competitors hail from Texas: Li is from Austin while Bradshaw resides in Dallas.  They know a lot of the same people but have never formally met, nor have they ever played each other. Li is piloting a True Draco Deck with Sky Strikers and a Spellbook draw engine while Bradshaw is running Orcust Cyber Dragons.

Li won the roll and opted to play first, opening with a hand of two Dragonic Diagram, two Sky Striker Airspace – Area Zero and Sky Striker Mecha – Shark Cannon.  He Set Shark Cannon, fired off Area Zero to reveal two Sky Striker Mobilize – Engage! and Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, taking an Engage and sending his Set Shark Cannon to the Graveyard. He activated Engage to search his Deck for Sky Striker Mecha Modules – Multirole, activated it, then used it to target his Area Zero to trigger its effect and Special Summon Sky Striker Ace – Raye from his Deck.  He Link Summoned Sky Striker Ace – Kagari, got back his Engage, activated Dragonic Diagram and used it to destroy his other in-hand Area Zero to get True Draco Apocalypse.

He continued, activating his second Engage to search Sky Striker Mecha – Widow Anchor and drawing Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior.  He activated the second Dragonic Diagram, Set Apocalypse and Tributed it to Normal Summon Ignis.  He destroyed it with Diagram  to search True Draco Heritage, activated it and drew two cards: Spellbook of Secrets and Widow Anchor.  He searched Spellbook Magician with Secrets, gave up Kagari to Link Summon Sky Striker Ace – Shizuku, then Set two cards to his backrow.  He used Multirole in his End Phase to recover and Set Engage, then searched another copy with Shizuku.  “Pass turn.”

Bradshaw was up.  He confirmed which card in Li’s backrow was Set with Multirole, then Normal Summoned Cyber Dragon Core.  Li responded with Widow Anchor to take control of it and Bradshaw activated the effect of Danger! Nessie!, discarding his Orcust Cymbal Skeleton.  He Special Summoned Nessie, drew, and Summoned Orcust Harp Horror, Link Summoning Knightmare Phoenix.  He pitched Knightmare Mermaid for Knightmare Phoenix’s effect, destroying the card he knew to be Li’s Set Engage.  He then Summoned Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon, eliminating Li’s Shizuku and the pilfered Core.

Bradshaw banished Orcust Knightmare to send World Legacy – “World Wand” to his Graveyard, banished the Wand to bring back his Orcust Knightmare, then banished Cymbal Skeleton to revive Harp Horror.  Bradshaw sent both back to his Graveyard to Link Summon Galatea, the Orcust Automaton, targeted Wand with her ability and sent it back into his Deck, searching and Setting Orcustrated Babel.  He traded her up for Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star.  Li flipped True Draco Apocalypse, targeting Ignis Heat and reviving it.  Bradshaw sent Multirole to the Graveyard with Dingirsu’s effect.

Bradshaw attacked Ignis Heat with Knightmare Phoenix, then made direct attacks with Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon and Dingirsu to lower Li to 2200 Life Points.  In Main Phase 2 Bradshaw Linked Dingirsu and Knightmare Phoenix away to Link Summon a fresh Galatea, ending his turn.  In Li’s Standby Phase Bradshaw activated Galatea’s effect, then used Orcust Knightmare’s effect on Galatea, loading Cymbal Skeleton to his Graveyard and reviving Dingirsu to send Li’s Dragonic Diagram to the Graveyard.

Li had drawn Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter, holding Sky Striker Mobilize – Engage! and Spellbook Magician of Prophecy.  He Normal Summoned the Magician to search his Deck for Spellbook of Secrets, activated that to get Spellbook of Knowledge, then activated that with the Magician to draw Sky Striker Mecha – Hornet Drones and Nibiru, the Primal Being.  He played Engage and Bradshaw predictabily negated it with Orcust Crescendo.  Li activated Hornets, Special Summoned a Sky Striker Ace Token and used it to Link Summon Sky Striker Ace – Shizuku.

He activated True Draco’s Return targeting Ignis, then sacked off the Return to Summon Dinomight Knight.  That took out Dingirsu, and True Draco Heritage got him another True Draco Apocalypse.  Li ran some brief math, entered his Battle Phase and attacked Galatea with Shizuku, destroying Galatea.  Dinomight Knight took down Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon and Li Set Apocalypse.  He moved to his End Phase and searched Engage with Shizuku once again.

Bradshaw drew to two in hand and checked through his Graveyard.  He banished Cyber Dragon Core from his Graveyard and Li Chained the effect of Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter, returning his True Draco Apocalypse to the field.  Bradshaw Special Summoned Cyber Dragon from his Deck, then Contact Fused it with Shizuku for a Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon.  He Normal Summoned Cyber Dragon Herz next, Linked for Knightmare Cerberus making Cerberus’ effect Chain Link 1 and Herz’s effect Chain Link 2; he searched Cyber Dragon with Herz and pitched Knightmare for Cerberus.  He banished the Orcust Knightmare targeting Cerberus, sending World Legacy – “World Wand” to his Graveyard.  Then he activated that, banishing it to revive Orcust Cymbal Skeleton.  He Linked that with Knightmare Cerberus for Longirsu, the Orcust Orchestrator and banished Skeleton to revive Dingirsu. The Dingirsu sent Li’s Dinomight Knight to the Graveyard.

“Enter Battle Phase.”

“One sec.”  When Bradshaw tried to leave his Main Phase Li Special Summoned Nibiru, the Primal Being to clear the field!  Bradshaw got a Primal Being Token with 5100 ATK and 2100 DEF.  Li used True Draco Apocalypse in Bradshaw’s End Phase to destroy his own True Draco Heritage: that let him destroy Bradshaw’s Orcustrated Babel and halved the stats of the Primal Being Token.

Li attacked the Token with Nibiru to destroy it, Set a card to his backrow and ended.  Bradshaw banished Orcust Crescendo in Li’s End Phase to retrieve Orcust Cymbal Skeleton.

Bradshaw drew for turn and Special Summoned Cyber Dragon, Normal Summoning Cymbal Skeleton.  He fused both for Chimeratech Fortress Dragon, banished Skeleton to bring back Dingirsu and sent Nibiru to the Graveyard.  He attacked with Chimeratech Fortress Dragon, Li flipped Sky Striker Mecha – Widow Anchor and took Dingirsu, staying in the Duel!  Bradshaw passed.

Li drew Sky Striker Ace – Raye, holding Engage with one True Draco Apocalypse face-up and another fadce-down.  He played Engage to search another Widow Anchor, drawing Set Rotation.  He activated it, searching his Deck and Setting Sky Striker Airspace – Area Zero for Bradshaw and Dragonic Diagram for himself.  He flipped his Diagram and used it to trade his face-up True Draco Apocalypse for Disciples of the True Dracophoenix from his Deck.  The Apocalypse blew away Dingirsu and Li used Disciples of the True Dracophoenix to send Dinomight Knight, True King’s Return and Heritage back into his now-very-slim Deck, drawing Heritage.  He flipped his face-up Apocalypse to target Disciples, didn’t use its destruction effect, then activated Heritage to draw Dinomight Knigh and Nibiru.

Li Normal Summoned Raye, used Heritage to Tribute Summon Dinomight Knight, attacked over Chimeratech Fortress Dragon and made a direct attack with Raye.  He then used Raye’s effect to bring out Shizuku and make another direct attack, Set Widow Anchor and ended. The Duel stood at 2200 LP to 1500 with Li in the lead.

Bradshaw was out of ammo: he Special Summoned Cyber Dragon in defense mode and Set a monster. Li Set True Draco Apocalypse next turn, destroyed it with Dragonic Diagram and that was all Bradshaw needed to see to move to the second Duel.

Johnny Li guides the majority of a long, grinding Game 1 to capture the first Duel! It’s been a while since we’ve seen Johnny Li in a Top Cut, but one more win like that and it could easily happen this weekend.  Time was closing in: only eleven minutes remained in the Match.

Bradshaw chose to start the second Duel.  He opened with Cyber Emergency to search Cyber Dragon Core, Summoned it and searched Cyber Repair Plant.  He Link Summoned Salamangreat Almiraj to search Cyber Dragon Herz, then searched Galaxy Soldier with Cyber Repair Plant.  He pitched Herz to Special Summon Galaxy Soldier searching another Soldier and Cyber Dragon with his two effects.  He pitched the Cyber Dragon to Special Summon the second Galaxy Soldier, Xyz Summoned Cyber Dragon Nova and upgraded into Cyber Dragon Infinity.  He Set a card, then activated Danger!? Jackalope? from his hand to discard World Legacy – “World Wand”, Special Summoning Jackalope and drawing a card.  He Linked it to Almiraj to Link Summon Knightmare Cerberus, traded that for Knightmare Mermaid and discarded another Core to Special Summon Orcust Knightmare.

Bradshaw continued, Linking the Knigthmares for Galatea, the Orcust Automaton.  He banished Orcust Knightmare to load up Orcust Harp Horror, banished that to Special Summon Orcust Cymbal Skeleton and banished Wand to bring back Orcust Knightmare.  He Linked Knightmare and Skeleton for a second Galatea, searching Orcustrated Babel.  He traded in the first Galatea for Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star, attached Harp Horror to it, and then fused it away for Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon.

Li drew for turn and Bradshaw banished Orcust Knightmare, chaining Galatea’s effect; he targeted Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon with Knightmare and Set Orcust Crescendo, then sent World Legacy – “World Wand” to his Graveyard.  He then flipped Trap Trick, banished Eradicator Epidemic Virus and Set another copy.  He flipped that, Tributing Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon and Li responded with Set Rotation, looking at an agonizing hand of four spells and a trap card!  He Set Area Zero for himself and blew away Babel by replacing it with Diagram, then lost everything but his True Draco Apocalypse when Epidemic Virus resolved. The Area Zero’s effect went off and Bradshaw negated it with Cyber Dragon Infinity!

“You’ve got this one,” stated Li, eager to get to the final Duel.  A little over four minutes remained in the Match.

Caulin Bradshaw makes an explosive opening with Cyber Dragon Infinity and double Galatea into Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon and a searched Eradicator Epidemic Virus, leaving Johnny Li with no way to recover and pushing the Match to a third Duel!  The power ceiling of the Orcust Cyber Dragon Deck really is incredible, but Li would get his choice of starting position for Game 3.  This was definitely going to time.

Li opened with Sky Striker Mecha – Hornet Drones, bringing out a Token and Link Summoning Sky Striker Ace – Kagari.  He was playing at a methodical but very quick pace; he clearly had no interest in winning this one by being sketchy and playing the clock.  Li took back his Drones and Link Summoned Sky Striker Ace – Kaina, then played Hornet Drones again for another Token, placing this one in defense mode.  He Link Summoned Shizuku next, then Set three cards to his backrow.  He grabbed Sky Striker Mobilize – Engage! with Shizuku in his End Phase.  Seconds remained in the Match and Li had done nothing to try and deprive his opponent of his remaining time.

Bradshaw fired through his moves like a man possessed: he Normal Summoned Cyber Dragon Core as fast as humanly possible, searched Cyber Revsystem and played Machine Duplication to Special Summon two Cyber Dragons!  He Contact Fused for Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon to clear Shizuku and entered his Battle Phase literally two seconds before time was called!  That meant he could attack to destroy Li’s remaining Token Monster and then make direct attacks to win under time, just getting in under the wire!

“That was stressful!” remarked Bradshaw, breathing for what seemed like the first time in three minutes. Both Duelists played exceptionally well and demonstrated great sportsmanship, but you have to give Li massive credit for such a demonstration of integrity.  At a 7-2 record he’d still have some shot at the Top Cut, so we may still see him in the Top 32.

Meanwhile Caulin Bradshaw continues on with an 8-1 record, probably a lock for the knockout rounds!  Cyber Dragons are putting in big work this weekend in Niagara Falls.