Home > 2022/11 - YCS Pasadena, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Round 9 Feature Match: Blake Funderburke Versus Vladis Baranovskis

Round 9 Feature Match: Blake Funderburke Versus Vladis Baranovskis

November 6th, 2022

Day 1 is almost over, and with two more Swiss Rounds tomorrow before the Top Cut, every win is precious! Blake Funderburke is fresh off a big finish at YCS Quito last month, where he took 3rd Place with his teammates Esala Wathuthantrige and Aaron Chase Furman. Funderburke’s three for three in Team YCS events: he made the Top Cuts at Team YCS Atlanta and Team YCS Las Vegas as well. But today he’s on his own, sitting at Table 16 with a 7-1 record, in striking distance of the Top Cut tomorrow.

His opponent is globally renowned competitor Vladis Baranovskis, whose long list of accomplishments includes a recent Top Cut finish at the European Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Championship back in August. Baranovskis played Danger Tearlaments at that event, and he’s stuck with the Tearlaments theme as it’s evolved. Both Duelists are playing Ishizu Tearlaments this weekend and both are highly skilled, so this is truly anybody’s game.

Let’s see who takes it!

Funderburke opened with a hand of Mudora the Sword OracleKelbek the Ancient VanguardBystial Druiswurm, and two copies of Agido the Ancient Sentinel. He Special Summoned Mudora pitching Agido, and used Agido’s effect to send five cards to the Graveyard from both players’ Decks. The result? Funderburke made a chain with Tearlaments Scream as Chain Link 1, Kelbek Chain Link 2, and Agido from his hand at Chain Link 3. Baranovskis added his own Agido to the chain as Chain Link 4, Kelbek at Chain Link 5, and his own Scream at Chain Link 6. Baranovskis searched Tearlaments Sulliek with his Scream, both players milled 10 more cards each, and Funderburke resolved his Special Summon. Kelbek triggered to peel another five cards off each Deck, and Scream got Funderburke his Sulliek. With so many similar effects this all felt very mirrored.

Time for another new chain! Funderburke activated Tearlaments ScheirenTearlaments HavnisTearlaments Reinoheart, and Tearlaments Heartbeat targeting Tearlaments Cryme. Baranovskis made his Tearlaments Reinoheart Chain Link 5, his Scheiren Chain Link 6, his Heartbeat targeting his Cryme Chain Link 7, and finally Tearlaments Merrli as Chain Link 8. Funderburke banished Mudora as Chain Link 9, targeting Baranovskis’s three activating Tearlaments. Baranovskis responded with his Keldo, targeting Funberburke’s three Tearlaments monsters that were on the Chain as well. Funderburke used his Keldo to target Baranovskis’s other Tearlaments Reinoheart, his Cryme, and his Keldo. 

Everything resolved. Cards were shuffled away. “And we end up with a whole bunch of nothing,” quipped Funderburke. 

Yup. That’s accurate.

“So, nothing happened!” laughed Baranovskis. 

Funderburke Special Summoned Druiswurm, targeting Baranovskis’s Diviner of the Herald to banish it, then used Druiswurm and Kelbek to Link Summon Dharc the Dark Charmer, Gloomy. He used Dharc to steal Bystial Magnamhut, Linked it to Dharc, and Link Summoned Spright Sprind, using its effect to sendTearlaments Merrli to the Graveyard. Baranovskis chained Agido, then Bystial Magnamhut, targeting Tearlaments Merrli. Baranovskis Special Summoned Bystial Magnamhut and Kelbek, and Funderburke overlaid to Xyz Summon Abyss Dweller. “I will just end my turn.” Baranovskis got Bystial Druiswurm in the End Phase. 

“We’re both handshaking,” laughed Baranovskis. “We’re doing the exact same thing.” 

Funderburke activated Abyss Dweller’s effect in Baranovskis’s Draw Phase. “Big shocker…” Baranovskis turned his monsters to attack mode, moved to the Battle Phase and swung with Bystial Magnamhut over Abyss Dweller, destroying it. Agido attacked over Spright Sprind, and Kelbek made a direct attack for a grand total of 2400 damage. 

Vladis moved to Main Phase 2 and searched Primeval Planet Perlereino with Terraforming, activating it to search his Deck for Tearlaments Havnis. Baranovskis activated Tearlaments Scream, then Normal Summoned Mudora and overlaid it with Agido for an Abyss Dweller of his own. He Set one card to his Spell and Trap Card Zone and ended.

Funderburke drew Tearlaments Havnis and Baranovskis hit him with Dweller. Funderburke was holding Kelbek the Ancient VanguardTearlaments CrymeTearlaments SulliekBystial Druiswurm, and the Havnis. He fanned his Graveyard for a moment, looked through his options, and in response to Dweller he chained the effect of Mudora the Sword Oracle, targeting Baranovskis’s Mudora, his own Dharc, and his own Spright Sprind; everything went back to their owners’ Decks. 

“Normal Summon Havnis…” 

“That is A-Okay.”

Funderburke entered Battle and took out Baranovskis’s Kelbek with Havnis, then activated Druiswurm’s effect, targeting Baranovskis’s Scheiren. But Baranovskis had a Druiswurm of his own! He chained its effect, banishing the Scheiren to deprive Funderburke of his Special Summon! Baranovskis Special Summoned his Druiswurm, Funderburke Set two cards to his Spell and Trap Card Zone, and that was it for the turn! 

Vladis Baranovskis

Baranovskis Normal Summoned Reinoheart, making its effect Chain Link 1 and Scream Chain Link 2. He sent three cards to his Graveyard, then another with Reinoheart, resulting in a chain of Merrli and Havnis. Baranovskis resolved them, Fusion Summoning Mudragon of the Swamp and Tearlaments Kitkallos. Chain Link 1 was Tearlaments Kitkallos, Chain Link 2 was Primeval Planet Perlereino, targeting one of Funberburke’s face-downs. Funderburke chained the other face-down, Tearlaments Sulliek, and targeted Kitkallos. Havnis went to the Graveyard, Perlereino destroyed Funberburke’s Cryme, and Funderburke made a chain with Havnis at Chain Link 1, and Cryme at Chain Link 2. 

Funderburke fused Havnis and Scheiren to Fusion Summon his Kitkallos, and he attempted to use its effect; Baranovskis chained the effect of Havnis, then Tearlaments Sulliek targeting Tearlaments Kitkallos. He sent his Kitkallos to the Graveyard, summoned Havnis, and sent three cards to the Graveyard, hitting Tearlaments Reinoheart. He sent off five cards with Kitkallos, sent three more, and activated Scheiren’s effect. Funderburke responded with Bystial Druiswurm, targeting the Scheiren, and Baranovskis chained Keldo, shuffling back the Scheiren, as well as his Kitkallos and Heartbeat. 

Baranovskis moved to the Battle Phase, and with his Tearlaments Kitkallos down 500 ATK from Tearlaments Scream, Funderburke immediately conceded! 

Baranovskis Takes Game 1

Game 1 proves almost eerie, as both competitors mimic each other’s moves for several turns. Blake Funderburke blinks first with Abyss Dweller, Baranovskis punishes him for it, and victory becomes inevitable! Play quickly moved to Game 2.

Funderburke had two copies of Tearlaments Scream, an Agido the Ancient SentinelTearlaments Havnis, and Primeval Planet Perlereino. He played Perlereino to go get Tearlaments Scheiren, activated Scream, activated Scheiren, and pitched Agido, then sent Bystial DruiswurmBystial Magnamhut, and another Bystial Magnamhut to the Graveyard. That formed a chain, with Chain Link 1 Agido and Chain Link 2 Scream. Funderburke sent three cards to the Graveyard to start, then both players sent five cards to the Graveyard from their Decks. He sent five more cards to his own Graveyard, as Exchange of the Spirit had been sent to the Graveyard earlier in the turn.

Funderburke made a new chain, activating Tearlaments MerrliTearlaments SulliekTearlaments Scream, and Heartbeat on Tearlaments Sulliek as Chain Link 4. Baranovskis had effects to chain too: Tearlaments ReinoheartTearlaments Scheiren, and Kelbek the Ancient Vanguard. Funderburke activated Keldo as Chain Link 8, targeting Scheiren, Reino, Kelbek, and his own two Bystial Magnamhut, sending them all back to their respective Decks. Both players sent another five cards to the Graveyard. Funderburke got Tearlaments SulliekTearlaments CrymeTearlaments Reinoheart, and Fusion Summoned Tearlaments Kitkallos with Tearlaments Merrli.

Funderburke activated Tearlaments Scheiren. Baranovskis chained Agido the Ancient Sentinel, then Keldo the Sacred Protector. It targeted Funberburke’s Exchange of the SpiritTearlaments Scheirenand Mudora, sending them back to Funberburke’s Deck. Both Duelists sent another five cards to the Graveyard. Funderburke used two of his Tearlaments Fusion effects, and thus had no triggers. Baranovskis activated his Tearlaments Havnis and Funderburke chained the effect of Keldo, putting back Baranovskis’s Mudora and Keldo. Baranovskis responded with his Mudora, putting back Funberburke’s Mudora and Keldo, as well as his own Cryme. 

The mirroriest of mirror matches continued mirroring along.

“I still have Havnis?” Baranovskis confirmed that Funderburke hadn’t used it yet this turn. Funderburke used Kitkallos, and Baranovskis responded with Tearlaments Havnis, Summoning it to send three cards to the grave. Moments later, Baranovskis was Fusion Summoning a Kitkallos, Funderburke sent five cards to his Graveyard including Exchange of the Spirit, and he sent Tearlaments Merrli to his Graveyard. Baranovskis made a new chain: Chain Link 1 was Tearlaments Kitkallos and Chain Link 2 was Agido from his hand. He Special Summoned the Agido, then Special Summoned Kelbek the Ancient Vanguard, and searched Tearlaments Scheiren. 

Funderburke pressed on: he Normal Summoned Tearlaments Reinoheart, and used it as Xyz Material for Abyss Dweller.  He Summoned another Tearlaments Reinoheart, Set two and passed. He detached for Abyss Dweller in Baranovskis’s Draw Phase.

Baranovskis Xyz Summoned his own Abyss Dweller! He pitched Agido to Summon Havnis, sent three more cards from his Deck to the Graveyard, and detached for Dweller’s effect. Funderburke responded by flipping Tearlaments Cryme, punting the Abyss Dweller, and Funderburke used his Havnis to Fusion Summon Tearlaments Kaleido-Heart. Its effect shuffled away Baranovskis’s Kitkallos, and Vladi had nothing left on the field but Havnis. 

With three cards in hand Baranovskis activated Instant Fusion! He Special Summoned Mudragon of the Swamp and used its effect, calling Dark. He then activated Triple Tactics Talent, taking control of Funberburke’s Kaleido-Heart! He moved to Battle, ran over the Abyss Dweller over with Kaleido-Heart, and attacked for 1600 damage with Havnis. 

“Main Phase 2…” Baranovskis Linked Tearlaments Kaleido-Heart and Scheiren for Dharc the Dark Charmer, Gloomy, targeted Kaleido-Heart, and Funderburke Chained Keldo to shuffle it and more cards into his Deck, stopping the potential theft.  Baranovskis lost his Mudragon of the Swamp and ended.

Funderburke’s Field, Moments Before His Concession

Funderburke Normal Summoned Tearlaments Reinoheart, but he had no real follow-up and time was ticking. Funderburke conceded then and there, offered the handshake and explained: “You’re X-1, and I don’t want to drag you down with a tie. You’re my tiebreaker, too.” Knowing he was outmatched in this specific Duel, Funderburke gave the clean concession and a full three Match Points to Baranovskis, instead of struggling to create a tie that would only be worth one point per player; a rare decision.

As a result, Vladis Baranovskis moves on to Day 2 with an 8-1 record, now just one win away from an almost guaranteed shot at the Top 32!