Round 9 Feature Match: Mohammad Zaiem Ahmad vs. Chase Simpson
Both Duelists in this Feature Match have 7-1 records. The winner here will have a great shot at making it into the Top 32, while the other Duelist will still need good tie-breakers and another victory next round to make it into the Top 32. Mohammad Zaiem Ahmad is running an X-Saber Deck, strongly boosted by the recent release of The Shining Darkness. His opponent, Chase Simpson, is running a Gladiator Beast Deck that includes Elemental Hero Prisma and Thunder King Rai-Oh. Thunder King Rai-Oh’s ability to stop Ahmad from searching his Deck with XX-Saber Darksoul’s effect may make this a favorable matchup for Simpson.
Ahmad won the dice roll and opened up with X-Saber Airbellum, Bottomless Trap Hole, Torrential Tribute, XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, D.D. Crow, and XX-Saber Darksoul. He Set Darksoul and Torrential Tribute, ending his turn.
Simpson was up! He Summoned Gladiator Beast Retiari. “Glad Beasts,” Ahmad sighed. He flipped Torrential Tribute to destroy Retiari and his own Darksoul. Then Simpson Set a back row and ended his turn. Ahmad searched his Deck for XX-Saber Emmersblade in the End Phase and added it to his hand thanks to the effect of Darksoul.
Ahmad drew XX-Saber Ragigura next turn. He Summoned X-Saber Airbellum and attacked, but Simpson flipped Book of Moon to stop the attack and put Airbellum face-down. Ahmad Set Bottomless Trap Hole and ended his turn.
Simpson Summoned Gladiator Beast Laquari, but lost it to Bottomless Trap Hole. Then he Set a card to his back row and ended his turn.
Ahmad drew X-Saber Airbellum. He flipped up his on-field Airbellum and attacked, but lost it to Simpson’s Set Dimensional Prison. He Set XX-Saber Emmersblade in Main Phase 2 and ended his turn.
Simpson Summoned Gladiator Beast Murmillo next turn! He attacked Ahmad’s Set Emmersblade. Neither monster was destroyed and neither player took damage. Simpson tagged out his Murmillo for Gladiator Beast Equeste and targeted the Retiari in his Graveyard with its effect. Ahmad discarded D.D. Crow from his hand to remove Retiari from the game. Simpson Set a back row and ended his turn.
Ahmad drew XX-Saber Faultroll next turn! He Normal Summoned Fulhelmknight, then Special Summoned Faultroll. He activated Faultroll’s effect to Special Summon Darksoul from his Graveyard and then Tuned it to Fulhelmknight to Synchro Summon XX-Saber Hyunlei. Hyunlei targeted Simpson’s back row Enemy Controller, but Simpson chained it to switch Hyunlei to Defense Position. Ahmad attacked with XX-Saber Faultroll and XX-Saber Emmersblade, ending his turn and adding XX-Saber Fulhelmknight from his Deck to his hand in the End Phase due to Darksoul’s effect.
Simpson Summoned Elemental Hero Prisma next turn and revealed Gladiator Beast Gyzarus from his Extra Deck to send Gladiator Beast Bestiari from his Deck to his Graveyard. Then he attacked and destroyed Hyunlei and Set the last 2 cards in his hand to his Spell and Trap Card Zone.
Ahmad drew Brain Control next turn! He activated Faultroll’s effect to Special Summon Fulhelmknight from his Graveyard. Then he tuned Fulhelmknight to Emmersblade to Summon XX-Saber Hyunlei and destroy both of Simpson’s back rows. Simpson instantly conceded, with nothing but a Prisma on his field.
Chase Simpson will be going first in Duel 2! He Set 3 cards to his back row, Summoned Gladiator Beast Equeste, and ended his turn.
Ahmad opened up with Rescue Cat, XX-Saber Faultroll, Mystical Space Typhoon, Gottoms’ Emergency Call, XX-Saber Ragigura, and Torrential Tribute. It was a normally strong opening hand, greatly weakened by Simpson’s opening play of Setting 3 cards to his back row. A single Gladiator Beast War Chariot would annihilate Ahmad’s hand.
Ahmad Set Mystical Space Typhoon and Torrential Tribute and ended his turn. It was a smart decision, because he could Chain either one of them to a tagged in Gladiator Beast Bestiari.
Simpson attacked with Gladiator Beast Equeste next turn and tagged it out to Special Summon Gladiator Beast Hoplomus in Defense Position, telegraphing a War Chariot. Ahmad flipped Torrential Tribute to clear the field. Simpson Set a 4th card to his back row in Main Phase 2 and ended his turn.
Simpson drew My Body as a Shield next turn. Things weren’t looking good. He desperately Summoned Rescue Cat and Tributed it. “Chariot?” he asked. “Yeah,” Simpson replied. He flipped Chariot, Cat was destroyed, and Ahmad ended his turn.
Simpson attacked with Gladiator Beast Laquari next turn and tagged out to Summon Gladiator Beast Equeste and return Gladiator Beast War Chariot from his Graveyard to his hand. He Set 2 more cards to his back row, giving him 5 cards there, and ended his turn.
Ahmad drew and Set XX-Saber Darksoul next turn, before passing to Simpson who Summoned Gladiator Beast Darius! Simpson attacked XX-Saber Darksoul with Equeste and Ahmad flipped Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Simpson’s Set Chariot. Then Darksoul was destroyed by Equeste in battle and Simpson flipped Gladiator Beast War Chariot to negate Darksoul’s effect. Darius attacked directly next, and both Gladiators tagged out. Gladiator Beast Equeste and Gladiator Beast Laquari came in, returning Gladiator Beast War Chariot from his Graveyard to his hand. He Set it in Main Phase 2 and ended his turn.
“I’m not winning this,” Ahmed said. He Set XX-Saber Ragigura and 2 back rows, ending his turn with only 2650 Life Points.
Simpson Summoned Gladiator Beast Bestiari next turn. Then he used Equeste to attack and destroy Ragigura and Gladiator Beast Bestiari and Gladiator Beast Laquari to end the Duel!
Ahmad will be going first in Duel 3! He opened up with Gottoms’ Emergency Call, My Body as a Shield , Book of Moon, Mirror Force, and 2 copies of XX-Saber Emmersblade. He Set Emmersblade, Set Book of Moon, and ended his turn.
Simpson Summoned Gladiator Beast Darius next turn. He attacked and destroyed Ahmad’s Set Emmersblade with it and Ahmad Special Summoned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight from his Deck with Emmersblade’s effect. Simpson tagged out for Murmillo, targeted Fulhelmknight with its effect, and Ahmad flipped Book of Moon to put Fulhelmknight face-down. Simpson Set a back row and ended his turn
Ahmad flipped Fulhelmknight next turn and attacked Murmillo, but lost his monster to Dimensional Prison. Then he Set an Emmersblade and a Mirror Force before passing to Simpson.
Simpson Summoned Thunder King Rai-Oh next turn and attacked with it, but Ahmad flipped his Set Mirror Force! Rai-Oh and Murmillo were destroyed! Simpson ended his turn.
Ahmad flipped XX-Saber Emmersblade next turn and attacked with it. Simpson dropped to 6700 Life Points. Ahmad Set Saber Hole and ended his turn.
Simpson Set a monster and passed back to Ahmad, who drew Torrential Tribute. He switched his Emmersblade to Defense Position and ended his turn.
Simpson Set another card to each zone next turn and passed back to Ahmad, who drew Mystical Space Typhoon. He Set Mystical Space Typhoon and then ended his turn.
Ahmad Summoned Elemental Hero Stratos next turn! Ahmad allowed the Summon to be successful, and Simpson searched his Deck for Elemental Hero Prisma and added it to his hand with the effect of Stratos. He thought for a while. “Why didn’t I playtest more? Especially against that Deck. I knew it would be good.” He flipped Gladiator Beast Secutor and then attacked Emmersblade with Elemental Hero Stratos. Ahmad flipped Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Simpson’s Set Gladiator Beast War Chariot. The attack went through and Ahmad Special Summoned Fulhelmknight from his Deck in Attack Position! In Main Phase 2, Simpson fused his face-up Secutor with his face-down Gladiator Beast Bestiari to Summon Gladiator Beast Gyzarus, but Ahmad negated the Summon with Saber Hole! Simpson Set a back row and ended his turn.
Ahmad drew Bottomless Trap Hole next turn. He Set it to his back row along with Gottoms’ Emergency Call and lost the Bottomless Trap Hole to Simpson’s Set Dust Tornado in the End Phase.
Simpson attacked Fulhelmknight with Elemental Hero Stratos next turn, and Ahmad negated the attack with Fulhelmknight. Then Darius attacked and destroyed Fulhelmknight, dropping Ahmad to 7600 Life Points. Simpson still had 6700 Life Points. Simpson tagged out his Darius to Special Summon Gladiator Beast Equeste from his Deck and return Gladiator Beast War Chariot from his Graveyard to his hand. He Set 1 card to his back row and ended his turn.
Ahmad drew XX-Saber Darksoul next turn. He activated Giant Trunade to return Simpson’s Set card to his hand and then switched both copies of XX-Saber Emmersblade to Attack Position. Emmersblade attacked Stratos, and Ahmad Special Summoned XX-Saber Boggart Knight from his Deck in Attack Position. Then Boggart Knight attacked and destroyed Equeste, dropping Simpson to 6400 Life Points. Ahmad’s other Emmersblade attacked Stratos next, and he Special Summoned XX-Saber Ragigura from his Deck in Defense Position. He activated its effect to return XX-Saber Fulhelmknight from his Graveyard to his hand. He was only running 1 copy of Boggart Knight in his Main Deck, so he couldn’t Special Summon a second one with Emmersblade to attack over Stratos. Ahmad Set Torrential Tribute in Main Phase 2 and ended his turn.
Simpson Summoned Elemental Hero Prisma next turn. Ahmad flipped Torrential Tribute to clear the field, and Simpson Set 1 card to his back row, ending his turn.
Ahmad drew another copy of XX-Saber Darksoul next turn and Summoned Fulhelmknight to the field. He attacked directly with it, Set My Body as a Shield, and ended his turn.
Simpson was up. He Summoned Elemental Hero Prisma, revealed Gladiator Beast Gyzarus to send Gladiator Beast Bestiari from his Deck to his Graveyard, and then activated Brain Control to take control of Fulhelmknight! He Special Summoned Test Tiger next, and Tributed it to send back Prisma and Special Summon Darius from his Deck. He activated the effect of Darius to Special Summon Gladiator Beast Bestiari from his Graveyard and Fusion Summon Gladiator Beast Gyzarus. Then he activated its effect to destroy Ahmad’s Set My Body as a Shield and the Fulhelmknight on his own side of the field. Gyzarus attacked directly, and Ahmad dropped down to 4200 Life Points. Gyzarus tagged out and Simpson Special Summoned Darius and Laquari from his Deck. Darius’s effect Special Summoned Equeste from his Graveyard, and Simpson fused all 3 of his monsters together to Special Summon Gladiator Beast Heraklinos! He ended his turn.
Ahmad drew XX-Saber Faultroll next turn, Set XX-Saber Darksoul, and ended.
Simpson Summoned Laquari, attacked Darksoul with Laquari, and then attacked directly with Heraklinos, dropping Ahmad to 1200 Life Points. Simpson tagged out Laquari to Special Summon Equeste from his Deck and returned a Murmillo from his Graveyard to his hand. During the End Phase, Ahmad searched his Deck for X-Saber Pashuul and added it to his hand with the effect of Darksoul.
Ahmad drew another Faultroll next turn and realized he couldn’t win. He Summoned X-Saber Pashuul and attacked into Heraklinos, taking out the rest of his own Life Points.
Chase Simpson advances with an 8-1 record and a great shot at making the Top 32!
See what our panel of experts had to say about this Duel after the event was over.
Jason Grabher-Meyer (The Old Man of Dueling)
Ahmad may have played too aggressively in the third Duel. If he’d Special Summoned XX-Saber Darksoul instead of Fulhelmknight when his first XX-Saber Emmersblade was destroyed, he could have Set his second Emmersblade and Mirror Force next turn and buy more time. There’s no way Simpson would have tagged out for Gladiator Beast Murmillo against Darksoul, and Ahmad could have wiped away 2 monsters with his Mirror Force.
Michael Kohanim (2009 World Championship Competitor)
In Duel 2, Ahmad Summoned and Tributed a Rescue Cat, even though he was expecting Simpson to negate it with Gladiator Beast War Chariot. Ahmad was in a tough position, but would have been better off using his Mystical Space Typhoon to blindly destroy one of Simpson’s Set cards. At least this way, he’d have a small chance of destroying the War Chariot and making a comeback by resolving the effect of his Rescue Cat.
P.J. Tierney (Duelist from across The Pond)
In Duel 3, Zaiem made a smart move by activating Mystical Space Typhoon in response to an attack from Elemental Hero Stratos. Simpson had just flipped Gladiator Beast Secutor face-up and had Gladiator Beast War Chariot Set, ready to negate the effect of the XX-Saber Emmersblade that Stratos was about to destroy. Since you need to control a face-up “Gladiator Beast” monster to activate War Chariot, Zaiem knew exactly what Simpson had in mind when he flipped the Secutor, and his Mystical Space Typhoon made sure he got the effect of his Emmersblade.