Round 2 Feature Match: Paul “Empty Jar” Cooper vs. Sherwin Lakhmani

Paul Cooper is a pretty big name in the YGO Community. He is well known for playing his signature Hieratic Dragon deck and is back in style with that deck today! Can the mighty Egyptian Dragons defeat the evil power of Sherwin Lakhmani's Evilswarms? Ophion is a very difficult card for the Hieratic engine to deal with so let's see how this plays out!

Round 1

Paul won the dice roll and elected to start the duel off. His first hand consisted of Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit, Hieratic Dragon of Su, Wattaildragon, Battle Fader, Pot of Duality and Swift Scarecrow. Paul began his turn by activating Pot of Duality, revealing Hieratic Dragon of Eset, Hieratic Dragon of Nebthet and Maxx "C". Paul decided to take Eset and shuffled the other two cards back into his deck. After resolving Pot of Duality he passed his turn to Sherwin.

Shermin drew for his turn and moved into his main phase . He normal summoned Evilswarm Thunderbird and entered his battle phase to attack Paul for 1650 direct damage! After his successful attack, Sherwin set 2 cards to his back row before ending his turn.

Paul began his turn by drawing Hieratic Dragon of Eset. He then special summoned Tefnuit since Sherwin controlled a monster and he did not, and then tributed Tefnuit to special summon Hieratic Dragon of Su. After Su was successfully summoned, Tefnuit's effect activated in the graveyard to special summon Wattaidragon from the deck. Sherwin thought for a moment before responding with Torrential Tribute and chaining Evilswarm Thunderbird with its effect so as to dodge the Torrential Tribute. Paul checked his graveyard, pondering for a moment about whether or not to continue his onslaught and elected to end his turn.

Sherwin drew for his turn and returned his Thunderbird to the field. He then normal summoned Evilswarm Mandragora for the turn and attacked directly for 1950 and 1550, dropping Paul to 2850 Lifepoints. After the attack, Sherwin overlaid his two Evilswarm monsters for Evilswarm Ophion and used its effect to search for an Infestion Pandemic. He set one card and passed back to Paul.

Paul drew Cardcar D on his turn. He normal summoned it in main phase 2 and used its effect to tribute itself and draw 2 cards. He drew Forbidden Lance and Hieratic Dragon of Nebthet before Cardcar D pushed him to his End Phase. Due to having more than 6 cards in his hand, Paul discarded Wattaildragon during the End Phase.

Sherwin drew for his turn, then moving into the Main Phase he normal summoned Evilswarm O'Lantern. When he entered his Battle Phase to try and end the game, Paul stopped his onslaught with a Battle Fader. Sherwin moved to his Main Phase 2 and tributed O'Lantern to destroy Battle Fader, banishing it from the game. He then ended his turn.

Paul drew Pot of Duality and activated it to reveal Forbidden Lance, Hieratic Dragon of Nebther and another Cardcar D. After thinking for a moment he took the Cardcar D. He set the Forbidden Lance in his hand and then normal summoned Cardcar. Cardcar activated its effect, giving Paul another Pot of Duality and Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit.

Sherwin drew for his turn then normal summoned Evilswarm Kerykeion. He attacked, trying to end the game again only to be stopped by Swift Scarecrow. In his Main Phase 2, Sherwin used Kerykeion's effect to banish Evilswarm Mandragora and add Evilswarm O'Lantern to his hand. He then XYZ summoned another Ophion and used its effect to search out Infestation Infection. He then set 2 cards to his back row and ended his turn.

Paul drew Battle Fader for his turn and used Pot of Duality to reveal Hieratic Seal of Convocation, Hieratic Dragon of Su and Mystical Space Typhoon. He took Mystical Space Typhoon and shuffled the other's back into the deck. He then set MST and ended his turn.

Round 1 and 211Sherwin drew for the turn and normal summoned Evilswarm Heliotrope, he entered the Battle Phase to attack. Paul thought for a moment before activating MST to destroy Sherwin's set Book of Moon and then special summoned Battle Fader to end the Battle Phase. Sherwin then ended his turn without taking further action.

Paul drew a Hieratic Seal of Convocation. He then tributed his Battle Fader for Hieratic Dragon of Nebthet, then used Nebthet's effect to tribute Eset from his hand to destroy one of Sherwin's Ophions. Sherwin had no response and the Ophion was sent to the Graveyard. He then attacked Ophion with Nebthet, trying to run over Ophion with the Lance he had on the field but Sherwin responded with Dimensional Prison to banish Nebthet and Paul conceded the game.

Round 1 and 215Sherwin Lakhmani's Evilswarms shut down Paul Cooper's signature Hieratics without much issue. However, the side deck is a dangerous weapon and Paul intends to use it to full effect!

Round 2

Paul elected to start the match off, opening up with Royal Decree, XYZ Encore, 2 copies of Mystical Space Typhoon a Hieratic Dragon of Eset and a Hieratic Dragon of Su. He set his 4 spell and trap cards and ended his turn.

Sherwin began the duel by summoning Evilswarm Ketos and attacking Paul for 1750 damage, dropping Paul to 6250. After dealing first blood, Sherwin set 3 cards to his back row. Upon entering the End Phase, Paul activated Royal Decree to lock down all of Sherwin's traps!

Paul drew Cardcar D for his turn before normal summoning Hieratic Dragon of Eset thanks to its effect. He then tributed the Eset to special summon Hieratic Dragon of Su from his hand. Eset's effect got him a Wattaildragon from the deck before he overlaid his 2 dragons into Constellar Ptolemy M7. He used M7's effect to return his Eset from the Graveyard to his hand and then attacked over Evilswarm Ketos for 950 damage, dropping Sherwin to 7050. He then ended his turn.

Sherwin drew to 3 cards in hand before special summoning Evilswarm Mandragora. He then normal summoned a Heliotrope and overlaid his Evilswarms into Evilswarm Ophion. Paul checked his back row for a moment and then responded to the summon with XYZ Encore, sending Ophion back to the Extra Deck and then special summoning the Heliotrope and Mandragora back to the field in defense position as level 3s! Sherwin doesn't run any rank 3s so he passed his turn with nothing to do.

Paul drew Pot of Duality and used M7 to add Su back to his hand from his Graveyard. He then normal summoned Eset and then tributed it to special summon Su. Eset got him a Wattaildragon and overlaid the them into Photon Strike Bounzer. He then overlaid Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger before attacking Sherwin's monsters. Gaia inflicted a total of 1950 damage to Sherwin, brining him down to 5100 Lifepoints.

Sherwin drew to 2 cards in hand, and normal summoned Evilswarm Kerykeion. He attempted to activate its effect, only for Bounzer to negate it and inflict 1000 damage. Sherwin ended his turn, not able to do much.

Paul drew another XYZ Encore and then used Pot of Duality to reveal Tefnuit, Battle Fader and Nebthet. He added the Tefnuit to his hand and then entered his Battle Phase to attack over Kerykeion for 1000 damage and then attack directly with Bounzer for 2700. This brought Sherwin down to 1400 life points.

Sherwin drew his last card and then conceded the game to Paul.

An early Royal decree wins the duel for Paul, locking down all of Sherwin’s cards and preventing him from being able to stop Paul's plays.

Round 3

Paul started the game off with a handshake as a sign of good sportsmanship and wished Sherwin a good game. Sherwin will start this game normal summoning Evilswarm Thunderbird and setting 3 cards to his back row before ending

Paul opened with Nebthet, Su, Mystical Space Typhoon, XYZ Encore and a Battle Fader. He drew Wattaildragon for his turn then set 2 cards to his back row and passed.

Sherwin drew for his turn then normal summoned O'Lantern. He entered his Battle Phase and attacked Paul for 1650 damage twice, dropping him to 4700 lifepoints. He then overlaid the two of them for Evilswarm Ophion and used its effect to search for Infestation Infection. He set 1 card to his back row before passing back to Paul.

Paul Drew Electric Virus and thought about his plays for a moment, he had to play this carefully. He discarded Electric Virus to take control of Evilswarm Ophion. Sherwin unfortunately did not have a response and was forced to give up his boss monster to Paul. Paul then attacked Sherwin with his own monster for 2550 damage, dropping him to 5450. He then thought about his next play before tributing Ophion for Wattaildragon and passing his turn.

Sherwin drew and passed his turn without action.

Paul drew Nebthet for turn and passed.

Sherwin drew and passed

Paul drew and played Duality, electing to add Hieratic Seal of Convocation to his hand and passed his turn again.

Sherwin drew and then activated Infestation Infection, sending back Heliotrope to add a Kerykeion to his hand. He then summoned and used Kerykeion to banish Ophion from his grave to add back O’lantern to his hand. He normal summoned O’lantern and XYZ summoned into another Ophion. Paul thought for a moment about his options. He allowed the play to continue and Sherwin searched for Pandemic. When he declared an attack, Paul activated XYZ Encore. Paul's card returned Ophion to the Extra Deck yet again and then summoned out the Evilswarm O'Lantern that was attached as a material. Sherwin then tributed Olantern to destroy Wattaildragon.

Paul drew another Wattaildragon and passed.

Sherwin drew and played another Kerykeion, banishing O'Lantern and adding Thunderbird back to his hand then. He normal summoned the Thunderbird with Kerykeion’s effect. Sherwin then attacked directly, but Paul used his Battle Fader to end the battle phase and protect his Life points. He then overlaid the two Evilswarms into another Ophion before ending his turn.

Paul drew Forbidden Lance, he then tributed his battlefader to summon Nebthet from his hand. He then used Nebthet’s effect to tribute another Nebthet to attempt to destroy Ophion, but Light Imprisoning Mirror was activated in response! Paul thought for a moment about a response to Light Imprisoning Mirror before chaining Forbidden Lance on Nebthet to make sure Neb’s effect went through. Ophion was destroyed, but because of Light Imprisoning Mirror the tributed Nebthet could not special summon another dragon from the deck. Paul then punched Sherwin's life points for 1200 damage. Sherwin tried to respond with Mirror force but forgot that Forbidden Lance had been used, wasting the powerful removal card. Paul then passed his turn to Sherwin.

Sherwin used Infection to return Heliotrope from his hand to search for another Kerykeion. He normal summoned the Kerykeion, banishing Ophion to bring back another Kerykeion. He XYZ summoned into his final Ophion, but Paul responded with XYZ Encore immediately, returning Ophion to the Extra Deck before special summoning the 2 Kerykeions in defense mode at level 3 each. Sherwin set 1 card to the backrow and passed.

Sherwin 2

Paul drew Eset for turn. He normaled Eset and overlayed into Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh. Sherwin responded with Compulsory Evacuation Device before Zenmaioh could use its game changing effect. Paul used Seal of Convocation to add Tefnuit to his hand. He then special summoned the Tefnuit before ending his turn.

After Sherwin drew his card and used Infection to add a fresh Kerykeion back to his hand Paul conceded defeat and the match.

A strong flow of Kerykeions and the impassable wall of traps allows Sherwin Lakhmani to take win his round 2 match against Paul Cooper!

Here is a follow up interview with Sherwin:

Sherwin Round 2Hometown: Plano, Texas
My Locals: Lone Star Comics and Games (Now Collected Comics and Games)
Deck I am Playing Today: Evilswarm
Why I am Playing it: I expected there to be a lot of dragons honestly, I guess I was right because I’ve played Dragon Rules and Hieratics back to back.
Deck I am most Sacred of:
Definitely Prophecy, if they have the Breakthrough Skill or something similar and force out The World I lose.
Has your deck been performing well for you so far?: Yeah it is running just as I planned, I haven’t had any major misplays yet but I am kind of regretting siding Ketos as he hasn't been all that useful.
What I Will Spend the Prize Money On: Gas money card!

Sherwin will continue on to round 3 with a 2-0 record. He has elected to Play Hard instead of Going Home.

Kalen Nelson
Head of Press Staff for ARG Circuit events. I enjoy long walks on the beach, Party Hard by Andrew W.K and making awesome live commentary for the ARG LiveStream. Always feel free to come hit me up at events and say hi!