Round 11 Feature Match: Nik Ristoski vs. Luis Zambrana
With just 2 Rounds left in this tournament, the number of each Deck archetype in contention for Day 2 is narrowing. Nik Ristoski is one of the Blackwing Duelists still in the running, currently 8-2 with a teched out version packing Dark Eruption.
His opponent is Luis Zambrana, running an Elemental Hero Absolute Zero Deck. Zambrana is also 8-2, so whomever wins this Duel will have a chance to lock their seat in the Top 32 by winning their next Match in Round 12. Whoever loses here will need some lucky tiebreakers and a Round 12 win to make the cut.
Zambrana opened the Match with Deep Sea Diva, using her effect to Special Summon Spined Gillman from his Deck. He Tuned the 2 together to Synchro Summon Magical Android, Set a card to his Spell & Trap Card Zone, and ended, gaining 600 Life Points.
Ristoski opened with a hand of Black Whirlwind, Bottomless Trap Hole, My Body, Brain Control, and 2 Icarus Attack. He Set Icarus Attack, Set Bottomless, and ended his turn, with no monster in sight.
Zambrana attacked him with the Android for 2400 damage, then gained 600 Life Points again. Ristoski drew Dimensional Prison, Set it, and ended. He flipped it next turn to remove Magical Android when it attacked. In Main Phase 2, Zambrana searched his deck for Elemental Hero Stratos with Reinforcement of the Army. He Summoned it, activated its search effect, and Ristoski had to Chain with Bottomless Trap Hole. Zambrana searched his Deck for Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude and Set another card to his back row to finish.
Ristoski finally drew a monster. He activated Black Whirlwind, Normal Summoned Blackwing – Bora the Spear, and got Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow from his Deck with the Whirlwind. Bora attacked, Zambrana responded with Dimensional Prison, and Ristoski Chained Icarus Attack, destroying Prison and Divine Wrath. Ristoski Set another Icarus Attack.
Zambrana destroyed it with Heavy Storm, then Summoned Diamond Dude and activated its effect, revealing Gorz. Then he attacked for 1400 damage. Ristoski drew Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn, Summoned it, and attacked Diamond Dude. He then Set My Body As A Shield.
Zambrana activated Miracle Fusion, removing a Diva and Diamond Dude for Elemental Hero Absolute Zero! He refused to attack, knowing Ristoski had Kalut, and Set a card to his back row instead. Ristoski drew Book of Moon, Set it, and ended. Zambrana attacked with Absolute Zero, Ristoski responded with Kalut, and Zambrana Chained Divine Wrath, discarding Destiny Hero – Malicious and sending Absolute Zero over Sirocco to destroy it!
Ristoski drew Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame and passed. He took another hit from Absolute Zero, dropping to 1200 Life Points. His My Body As A Shield was now useless, as he couldn’t pay its activation cost.
He drew Blackwing – Blizzard the Far North and Summoned it, Special Summoning Blackwing – Bora the Spear. He Tuned them together to Synchro Summon Goyo Guardian, attacked Zero, and Zero’s effect then destroyed Goyo. Zambrana attacked with Mystic Tomato next turn, but Ristoski stopped it with Book of Moon. Zambrana Set Mirror Force, Ristoski Summoned Shura, and when he attacked Mystic Tomato, Shura was destroyed. Zambrana Flip Summoned his Tomato and attacked for the win next turn.
A rough opening hand for Nik Ristoski leads to ruin in the first Duel, as Luis Zambrana plays to a conservative pace and chalks up the win! Both competitors did some extensive side decking, with Zambrana mechanically applying what appeared to be a routine prepared for a Blackwing matchup.
Ristoski opened the second Duel with Bottomless Trap Hole, Royal Oppression, Dimensional Prison, Mystical Space Typhoon, and 2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunters. He Set Ryko, Set Bottomless, and ended.
Zambrana activated Reinforcement of the Army, searched out Elemental Hero Stratos, Summoned it to use its search effect to get Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude, but lost Stratos to his opponent’s Bottomless Trap Hole. He Set a card to his Spell & Trap Card Zone to end.
Ristoski drew Blackwing – Bora the Spear and Set Oppression. Zambrana Set a monster, Set a card to his back row, and ended. Ristoski drew Dark Eruption, Flip Summoned Ryko, destroyed his opponent’s face-down Plaguespreader Zombie, and sent Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn, Bottomless Trap Hole, and Heavy Storm to the Graveyard. Ryko attacked for 200 damage: “Well… it ain’t much, but it’s something,” he said. He Set another Ryko and Dimensional Prison to finish his turn.
Zambrana Summoned Mystic Tomato, attacked into Dimensional Prison, then Set a second Spell or Trap.
Ristoski drew Blackwing – Blizzard the Far North. He Flip Summoned Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, and the targeted Dust Tornado was Chained to destroy Ristoski’s Royal Oppression. His Ryko sent Dark Armed Dragon, Book of Moon, and Nobleman of Extermination to the Graveyard, and he attacked with both Rykos. He Set Mystical Space Typhoon.
Zambrana Summoned Diamond Dude, revealing Divine Wrath with its effect before attacking one of the Rykos. He ended, and lost his Solemn Judgment to Mystical Space Typhoon in the End Phase. Ristoski drew Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow, Summoned Bora, and attacked Diamond Dude. Ryko went to Defense Position.
Zambrana Set a monster, then Set a card to his Spell & Trap Card Zone. Ristoski drew Dimensional Prison, Set it, and attacked with Bora, losing out to Zambrana’s own Prison. Zambrana Normal Summoned Deep Sea Diva, Special Summoned Spined Gillman, and sent Diva to attack Ryko. Ryko was destroyed, and Spined Gillman made a direct attack, lowering Ristoski to 5100 Life Points. Zambrana still had 7100 Life Points, and he Synchro Summoned Magical Android to gain another 600.
Ristoski drew a second Blackwing – Blizzard the Far North, and ended his turn. Android attacked and Ristoski flipped Dimensional Prison to eliminate it. Zambrana Set a second monster, ended with no back row, and Ristoski attacked next turn with Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame to destroy the oldest Set monster on Zambrana’s field – Treeborn Frog. Shura’s effect got him Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor from his Deck, and he attacked with it, destroying Zambrana’s Sangan. Sangan’s effect got Zambrana Battle Fader. Ristoski Tuned Vayu to Shura in Main Phase 2 for Magical Android and ended, going to 5700 Life Points. He had 2 Blizzard, Kalut, and Dark Eruption in hand.
Zambrana brought back his Treeborn Frog, Tributed for Caius the Shadow Monarch, and removed Android before attacking for 2400 damage. He ended his turn by Setting a card I his Spell & Trap Card Zone.
Black Whirlwind was Ristoski’s next draw. He Summoned Blizzard, brought back Shura, and Tuned both to Synchro Summon Goyo Guardian. He attacked, but Zambrana had another Dimensional Prison! In Main Phase 2, Ristoski removed Vayu and Sirocco from his Graveyard, Special Summoning Blackwing Armed Wing. He was just trying to survive at this point, but he still had that Kalut in hand.
Zambrana brought back his Treeborn Frog again, Tribute Summoned Destiny Hero – Malicious, and then removed the Frog and Diamond Dude for Miracle Fusion! He Summoned Elemental Hero Absolute Zero, attacked Armed Wing, lost the battle due to Kalut, but Zero’s effect destroyed Armed Wing. Malicious and Caius then made direct attacks, and Ristoski had just 100 Life Points left! Another Set Spell or Trap was Zambrana’s last move.
Ristoski activated Black Whirlwind, and Summoned Sirocco, but a Chained Mystical Space Typhoon destroyed Whirlwind before he could get its effect! He activated Dark Eruption, took back Kalut, and attacked Caius, discarding Kalut to boost Sirocco over Caius and destroy Caius.
Treeborn Frog was Special Summoned yet again, and Zambrana placed one of his 2 in-hand cards back on top of his Deck to Special Summon Plaguespreader Zombie. He Tuned it to Malicious to Synchro Summon Colossal Fighter with 2900 ATK. He then removed his Graveyard Malicious to Special Summon another, attacked Sirocco, and Ristoski graciously conceded.
Luis Zambrana is 9-2: a single win away from a seat in the Top 32!
See what our panel of experts had to say after the Duel.
Jason Grabher-Meyer (The Old Man of Dueling)
Divine Wrath made a big impact in the first Duel of this Match. It let Zambrana destroy Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn, by stopping Kalut’s effect, but Zambrana used its discard cost to load his Graveyard with Destiny Hero – Malicious. Tyler Nolan made similar plays in the Round 3 Feature Match, where Nolan discarded Volcanic Shell, and set up plays with Pot of Avarice. If you play a Deck that can find ways to benefit from Divine Wrath’s discard cost, it could be a powerful addition to your strategy. It’s especially good against Infernities, so keep it in mind over the coming weeks.
Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)
In Duel 1, Zambrana held back on attacking Sirocco with Elemental Hero Absolute Zero, knowing that the Divine Wrath in his hand could be used to discard a Malicious and negate Ristoski’s Kalut. Instead, he Set Divine Wrath and ended his turn. This was a great play that allowed Zambrana to keep his strongest monster on the field and use it to overpower Ristoski.
P.J. Tierney (Duelist from across The Pond)
Dark Eruption isn’t a card most Blackwing Duelists use in their Decks, but it’s something to consider. Eruption lets you choose any DARK monster with 1500 ATK or less from your Graveyard and add it back to your hand. In a Blackwing Deck that means using Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind and Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow’s effects again to take down stronger monsters in battle, or Summoning another Synchro monster with Blackwing – Blizzard the Far North. It also works well with the Blackwing Side Deck, getting back D.D. Crows to stop your opponent’s Graveyard combos in their tracks.