Home > 2023/06 - North America Remote Duel YCS, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Round 2 Feature Match: Vladis Baranovskis vs. Iordanis Michailidis

Round 2 Feature Match: Vladis Baranovskis vs. Iordanis Michailidis

June 24th, 2023

Vladis Baranovskis has been a Top Cut Duelist in YCS main events for nearly a decade, including Top Cut finishes last year at YCS Dortmund, YCS Pasadena, YCS Minneapolis, and the 2022 Europe Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Championship! He’s here at the North America Remote Duel YCS this weekend piloting an innovated Melffy Spright Deck packing Gishki monsters, revolving around the powerful effects of Evigishki Neremanas!

His opponent is Iordanis Michailidis from Tennessee, wielding a powerful Branded Deck packed to bursting with from-the-hand negation. While both of these strategies revolve around long strings of plays and grinding combos, Michailidis was probably going to be playing more for disruption, while Baranovskis was going to try and power through. And while Baranovskis has lots of gas in the tank thanks to his Gishki effects – many of which aren’t limited by once-per-turn restrictions – Michailidis could drop the Gimmick Puppet Nightmare lock at almost any time. He’d have a distinct advantage going first in Game 1.

Michailidis opened Game 1 with Branded Opening, discarding a second Opening to search his Deck for Guiding Quem, The Virtuous. He Summoned it and used Quem’s effect to send Blazing Cartesia, the Virtuous, to the Graveyard, then activated Branded Fusion to send Fallen of Albaz  and Despian Tragedy from his Deck to his Graveyard to Summon Lubellion the Searing Dragon. He made Lubellion’s effect Chain Link 1, discarding Super Polymerization; Chain Link 2, Quem’s effect targeting Cartesia; and Chain Link 3, Despian Tragedy’s effect. Everything resolved, getting him Aluber the Jester of Despia and Cartesia, and he shuffled back Lubellion and a card from his Graveyard to Fusion Summon Mirrorjade the Iceblade Dragon

He Normal Summoned Aluber and used its effect to search his Deck for Branded Lost. He activated it, used Cartesia’s effect, and Fusion Summoned Granguignol the Dusk Dragon. The resulting chain of Granguignol’s effect and Branded Lost saw Michailidis search Tri-Brigade Mercourier and send Albion the Branded Dragon to the Graveyard. He moved to his End Phase, used Albion’s effect and Set Branded in Red

Baranovskis activated Gishki Shadow, discarding it to search a Gishki Ritual Spell Card; Michailidis countered with Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. Baranovskis discarded Gishki Vision to search for a Gishki Ritual Monster, this time succeeding and getting Evigishki Neremanas from his Deck. He activated Focused Aquamirror and added Gishki Grimness to his hand. He Normal Summoned it, tried to use its effect to Summon a Gishki from his Deck, and his opponent cut him off with Tri-Brigade Mercourier, then used Mirrorjade to banish Baranovskis’ Grimness from the field. Michailidis brought back Cartesia with Quem and Baranovskis conceded, eager to move to Game 2.

Michailidis takes Game 1 in short order!

Iordanis Michailidis scores a big opening, and repels Vladis Baranovskis’ every move for an easy win in Game 1! Would the opportunity to go first in the second Duel allow Baranovskis a better opportunity? We were about to find out, as both competitors swiftly sided and settled in for Game 2.

Baranovskis opened with Gishki Abyss, activating its effect to search his Deck for a Gishki monster with 1000 or less DEF… and losing its effect to Infinite Impermanence. He pressed on, Summoning Spright Blue and using its effect to search… nothing, as Michailidis had the Ash Blossom again! Baranovskis overlaid his two monsters to Xyz Summon Gigantic Spright, and used its effect successfully, detaching Spright Blue to Special Summon Spright Jet. That got him Spright Starter, and he activated it to Special Summon Spright Carrot at the price of 1000 Life Points. He used the effect of Gishki Vision, discarding it to get Evigishki Neremanas from his Deck to end.

Play was to Michailidis. He observed the Attributes of his opponent’s monsters, riffled through his Extra Deck, and was clearly telegraphing a Super Polymerization. Sure enough, he activated it discarding Nibiru, the Primal Being, eating Baranovskis’s Gigantic Spright and Spright Jet to Summon Garura, Wings of Resonant Life. He followed up with Fusion Deployment, revealing to Special Summon Cartesia. He brought out Granguignol the Dusk Dragon, made his Chain, and drew with Garura, using Granguignol’s effect to send Albion the Branded Dragon to the Graveyard. He moved to the Battle Phase, attacked with Granguignol, and moved to Main Phase 2, then the End Phase. He used Albion’s effect to Set Branded Opening.

Baranovskis was up, but once his turn arrived, Michailidis flipped the Branded Opening. He discarded Fusion Deployment, brought out Quem, used its effect, and sent Fallen of Albaz to the Graveyard. Baranovskis activated Gishki Nekromirror, Tributed his opponent’s Quem, and Summoned Evigishki Neremanas (he lost 3000 Life Points in the process). He used Nuremenas’ effect on Summon to bring back Gishki Abyss: he made its effect Chain Link 1, Michailidis responded with Granguignol as Chain Link 2, and Baranovskis fired back with Nuremenas’ negation as Chain Link 3. He resolved his Abyss to search Gishki Grimness and Normal Summoned it, using its effect to Special Summon another Abyss from his Deck. 

That second Abyss got Baranovskis Gishki Shadow from his Deck, which he discarded to get Gishki Aquamirror. He Linked Grimness and Abyss to Link Summon Spright Sprind, activated its effect, and Tributed one Neremanas from his hand to Summon another! He Special Summoned Abyss again and got another Gishki Shadow. When Mich tried to break Baranovskis’s field with Nibiru, the Primal Being, Baranovskis negated it with Neremanas! As Baranovskis continued his plays Michailidis conceded the Duel, knowing the Nibiru was his last shot.

Baranovskis battles back with multiple copies of Evigishki Neremanas!

Vladis Baranovskis comes roaring back in Game 2, unleashing a tsunami of Gishki Summons to press through Infinite Impermanence and Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, and then bashing his way to a win on his second turn! Almost none of the Gishki effects are definitive once-per-turns, and the second Duel of this Match demonstrated exactly why that’s so dangerous.

One more Duel would decide which competitor would move on 2-0 from this Match.

Michailidis started the Duel with Branded Opening, sending Gimmick Puppet Nightmare to his Graveyard and searching Aluber the Jester of Despia. That got him Branded Fusion, he activated it, and sent Fallen of Albaz and Blazing Cartesia, the Virtuous to the Graveyard to Fusion Summon Albion the Sanctifire Dragon. The trap was set.

Baranovskis drew for his turn, and Michailidis activated the effect of the Sanctifire Dragon, placing Gimmick Puppet Nightmare on Baranovskis’s field and Summoned his own Fallen of Albaz. He Summoned Lubellion the Searing Dragon with the Albaz, sending Infinite Impermanence, and he pitched Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring to Fusion Summon Mirrorjade the Iceblade Dragon next. Baranovskis Set one card and passed.

Michailidis drew for his turn, shifted Aluber and Albion to attack mode, Normal Summoned Fallen of Albaz, and attacked with everything for the win!

Michailidis takes an assertive win to close out the Match!

Vladis Baranovskis demonstrates the impressive power of Gishkis in Game 2, but gets ousted in the first and third Duels by Iordanis Michailidis powerful Branded plays! Michailidis moves on with a 2-0 record.