Exciting & YCS Toronto Top16 Report!!!

Frazier Smith

Hey, duelists! It’s been a little while but I hope you’ve been enjoying the September format as much as I have. I have so much to discuss in this tournament report, but I wanted to start off by advising everyone to attend at least one of the ARG Circuit Series tournaments coming up. So far, we have three scheduled—one in Fort Worth, Texas, one in Columbus, Ohio, and one in Worchester, Massachusetts. There will be over $10,000 in prizes and plenty of events to compete in. Above all else, you’ll also get to have a lot of fun, too!

Circuit Fort Worth

[ccDeck="Monsters"]2 High Priestess of Prophecy:1 Justice of Prophecy:3 Spellbook Magician of Prophecy:3 Temperance of Prophecy:1 World of Prophecy[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Spells"]1 Book of Moon:3 Pot of Duality:3 Spellbook Library of the Crescent:2 Spellbook of Eternity:2 Spellbook of Fate:1 Spellbook of Life:1 Spellbook of Power:3 Spellbook of Secrets:2 Spellbook of the Master:2 Spellbook of Wisdom:2 The Grand Spellbook Tower[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Trap"]1 Bottomless Trap Hole:1 Compulsory Evacuation Device:3 Fiendish Chain:1 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast:1 Solemn Warning:1 Torrential Tribute[/ccDeck]

Round 1 vs. Constellars
Game 1: I opened with Spellbook of Crescent, Spellbook of Secrets, Spellbook of the Master, and Temperance of Prophecy. I played all four of them and brought out World of Prophecy on turn one! The advantage was far too much for him to deal with and I won in a few turns.

Game 2: He opened with Pleiades and some backrows. We grinded for a bit and there was one turn where I needed to draw a trap card to go along with my Spellbook of Fate. It would ensure I would live to see my next turn, and at that point the game would be over because of my card advantage. I instead drew another Spellbook Spell Card and he summoned four monsters to push through my one defense. Times like that make me wish I mained [ccProd]Mirror Force[/ccProd].

Game 3: I opened with Spellbook Magician of Prophecy (Blue Boy), Secrets, Eternity, and Fate. I set up The Grand Spellbook Tower and realized that the only way he could win through my hand would be if he had [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd] for my one Fate, so I searched out the second copy before ending my turn. He opened with Mystical Space Typhoon to hit one of my Fates and I watched as he played right into the second one. He summoned Constellar Pollux and Constellar Klaus, then I activated Fate to banish one of them and the game pretty much ended from there. I took so much control that on his next turn he just summoned three monsters, which was every card he had, including a random [ccProd]Guardian of Order[/ccProd]! I hadn’t seen that card in years! I had World of Prophecy on the field, though, so there was nothing he could do. I was now 1-0.

Round 2 vs. Madolches
Game 1: He won the roll and set four backrows before activating [ccProd]Madolche Ticket[/ccProd] and setting a monster. Every card he had was on the field. I just opened with the typical Spellbook play of Blue Boy, Tower, Fate, and some backrows. I refused to attack his facedown monster. On the next turn he kept looking at it, probably thinking if he wanted to attack into my Spellbook of Fate, but he opted to just pass. This was great news for me, the more turns I get the better. I drew two cards next turn thanks to my field spell, and the situation continued to worsen for him as I still did not attack his facedown monster. I think he finally caught the hint because on the next turn he flipped up Serene Psychic Witch and attacked one of my Magicians. I didn’t feel the need to respond to it because next turn I was going to bring out Temperance to finally wrap things up, and that’s exactly what I did. When the game ended, he still had that same Serene Psychic Witch on the field that I refused to attack since turn one.
Game 2: He opened with Serene Psychic Witch and [ccProd]Emergency Teleport[/ccProd] to make [ccProd]Naturia Beast[/ccProd]! He set three backrows before ending his turn. I opened with Compulsory Evacuation Device, Fiendish Chain, and Book of Moon. The rest of my hand was really good, but I obviously couldn’t use it since all spell cards would be negated for free. I set all three—Compulsory, Fiendish, and Book of Moon. On the End Phase, he flipped a Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy my set Compulsory. Then he debated for a second before flipping another Mystical Space Typhoon to hit my set Fiendish Chain!!! I was blown away as he hit the exact two cards he needed to win the game! On the next turn he summoned [ccProd]Madolche Magileine[/ccProd], searched out [ccProd]Madolche Hootcake[/ccProd], and then flipped his last backrow, Madolche Palooza! He summoned the rest of his hand and attacked me for game as I stared at my useless set Book of Moon—the only card he missed with his two Typhoons. That was saddening and scary to say the least. I didn’t want to let Naturia Beast come out again so I sided in the third Rivalry of the Warlords to go first.

Game 3: I opened the usual, getting my Tower set up with Blue Boy and Fate, and then won quickly by dropping High Priestess of Prophecy on turn two backed by a Spellbook of Wisdom. I was now 2-0.
Round 3 vs. Mermails
Game 1: I realized his deck was really big so I figured it was some kind of water. He opened with two backrows and one set monster. I summoned Blue Boy to get Fate and kept it in my hand before setting Solemn Warning and activating Tower. I was playing around Abyss-Sphere. I proceeded to my End Phase and he said he had no response, so I decided to use Spellbook of Fate on his set monster. It was an Abysslinde of course, and I confirmed my suspicions. The game continues at a slow pace and the field spell draws me too many cards before I completely overtake the duel.

Game 2: I opened with [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] and Secrets to get the usual setup. It was just like old times as I watched him struggle to make a single play. I even had a gut feeling that he might have had a couple Effect Veilers in his hand, but they would have been rendered useless by Dimensional Fissure. The game ended when I protected the Blue Boy and drew a few extra cards thanks to Tower. I was now 3-0.

Round 4 vs. Prophecy
Game 1: I lost the die roll and opened atrociously with 2 High Priestess of Prophecy, Temperance of Prophecy, Justice of Prophecy, Pot of Duality, and Spellbook of Eternity. On his first turn, he activated Pot of Duality and grabbed Spellbook of Crescent. I figured that his hand had to be equally as bad as mine, but then he tried to activate it during the same turn and I informed him that he could not do that. We argued for a bit about reading cards because he kept saying that he didn’t have any other Spellbooks in his grave, and I instructed him to just read the entire thing. He passed with two backrows and I used Duality to grab Secrets, then played it to get a Spellbook of Wisdom. I summoned Justice and went to the End Phase. Unfortunately, since I already had both copies of High Priestess in my hand, I had to add World of Prophecy. On the plus side, I had seven cards in hand so I had to discard one, and you can guess which one that was. He played Spellbook Library of the Crescent next turn and I have to assume that it didn’t hit anything useful because he merely ended again. I summoned both Priestess next turn and won from there. I couldn’t believe I opened so badly and still won. I was actually going to scoop that game because I didn’t want him to see what I was playing, but his first turn Duality and Crescent mishap made me think that I could pull it out, and I did.

Game 2: He opens with Kycoo and one backrow before passing. I stare at my hand for a minute and realize that I can do many things, but the best play was to simply MST his backrow, summon my own Kycoo, play Spellbook of Secrets to grab Spellbook of Power, and beat over his Kycoo. I searched Spellbook of the Master and then copied Secrets to get Spellbook of Fate. I set Fate and Fiendish Chain before ending. On his next turn he just activates The Grand Spellbook Tower which thoroughly confuses me since I blatantly have a Kycoo that will remove his in grave Spellcaster. I didn’t argue with it, though. I won shortly after. I was now 4-0

Round 5 vs. Sorosh Saberian: Mermail Spirit

Game 1: I controlled the game with Tower and Fate for a while, then dropped his lifepoints pretty low with Priestess. By the time he finally made a play, I was able to double Power over his [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd] for game.

Game 2: I wasn’t in such a great position to begin with and then an end phase Abyss-Sphere combined with Chain Whirlwind hit two of my backrows. I chained both of them, Spellbook of Fate and [ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd], but I missed and he killed me next turn. I would have died even if I called it right, too.

Game 3: We have no time for game three but do not want to draw. It is widely understood by many of the better players that draws are essentially just losses. We shuffled up quickly drew our opening hands while the clock ticked down. I opened with Spellbook Library of the Crescent to grab Spellbook of the Master then followed it up with Dimensional Fissure before summoning my Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. The Blue Boy searched for Spellbook of Secrets so I could set up the typical Tower and Fate play. I also had a Fiendish Chain and a Mind Crush to go with it. I was comfortable to say the least. He drew and looked displeased with the situation so he resorted to beatdown, which was all he could do. A Marksman came down to attack my Blue Boy and I used Fate to banish it. I would normally just flip my guy facedown, but in this situation I could not because Dimensional Fissure would ruin my Tower. On the next turn I drew two Priestesses and hit him for 500 damage. I passed back and he summoned Abyssgunde to swing at my Spellbook Magician. At this point, a judge stopped the game after talking with someone from the crowd about a procedural error. Apparently, I had played Crescent in the same turn that I activated Dimensional Fissure. Sorosh and I were both confused as neither of us noticed it, and there were three judges watching the match from the start. With only 20 seconds left on the clock during my turn one, I had rushed and played everything in my hand so quickly that no one noticed—or at least no one that should have noticed. The judge immediately told me that I was getting a game loss so I appealed.

It took quite some time before the head judge made it to our table, but when he finally showed up, he simply gave us a warning and told us to continue playing. I opted to Fiendish Chain Abyssgunde in hopes of topping one of six cards that would be a blowout—Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, Spellbook of Eternity, or Spellbook of Secrets. I had two of each left in my deck, and either of them would put me in a huge winning position. Of course I drew Spellbook Magician of Prophecy next turn, which is exactly what I needed! I searched out Spellbook of Power to beat over Abyssgunde and swung for another 500 damage to drop him to 6900. I was still at 8000 and it was my last turn of time. He would get one more turn before the duel ended. I noticed he had one backrow which I was reading to as Abyss-Sphere, which if I was him, I would have been saving, too, especially since Dimensional Fissure was on the field. With Spellbook of Power I searched out Spellbook of Fate and had exactly two Spellbooks in my graveyard. A hard decision had to be made. I could either bounce his backrow so that if it actually was Abyss-Sphere, he couldn’t use it on his last turn, therefore making it a dead card, then I would overlay for Gachi Gachi Gantetsu and hope that Mind Crush would hold it down for me. The other play, and the one that I opted for instead, was to set the Spellbook of Fate and make Shining Elf in defense.

He ended up topping the only card in his deck that could get him out of the situation, which was Dark Hole, and I blindly used Mind Crush before he could summon anything. I called Mermail Abysslinde since he had a good reason to be holding onto her, but he revealed zero copies in his hand of Marksman and Abyssgunde. That would be game. I was now 4-1.

I definitely think I misplayed and should have bounced his backrow with Spellbook of Fate before making a Gachi Gachi in defense because there are so few outs to that situation. Even if he topdecks MST, he would still need a crazy hand to get through my Mind Crush. Playing in time is not joke. It warps all the rules of the game, causing some degenerate plays to become great plays, and vice-versa.

Round 6 vs. Billy Brake: 7-Axis Fire Fist
Game 1: I was seated at the table first when he showed up and mentioned that I was his third Prophecy match in a row. I stared at him in bewilderment, wondering if perhaps he was saying that to intimidate me since that would mean he had beaten the prior two. He won the die roll with an eleven and opened up with a flurry of plays that made me incredibly nervous because of the raw aggression behind it. First he summoned Brotherhood of the Fire Fist- Leopard and tributed itself to set Fire Formation – Tenki. Next, he activated Tenki to add Brotherhood of the Fire Fist- Spirit to his hand and then played Fire Formation Tensu! He used his additional normal summon to bring out Spirit which brought back Leopard, and tuned to make Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Horse Prince. The Prince brought out Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Rooster, which then searched for Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Gorilla. He set two backrows before ending his turn. At the end of it all, he had two monsters, four backrows, and three cards in hand! That means he was technically +3 from the start!

On my turn, I summoned Blue Boy, turned his Rooster facedown with Spellbook of Fate, attacked over it, then set all of my cards and activated Tower. He tried to push through it all next turn but I had enough protection to last for a while. In the next three to four turns, I had so many more cards than him that I had forgotten how well he started. One resolution of World of Prophecy is far too much for Fire Fist.

Game 2: He opened with the exact same play as game one, and my hand wasn’t really that great (I drew World of Prophecy). I lost in a few short turns after he used Effect Veiler on my Temperance.

Game 3: I opened up with the usual Blue Boy, Fate, and Tower and let him play his Tenki and everything because I had a Temperance of Prophecy and Spellbook of Wisdom for next turn. He made his play, set some backrows, and ended. I drew two cards thanks to Tower, then played Crescent with my freshly cleaned grave, and proceeded to drop Temperance. He tried for a Torrential Tribute, which was already a minus for him, but I played the searchable Lance and continued to summon World of Prophecy! I blew up everything and saw that he had a facedown Imperial Iron Wall in the mix. He had one card in hand and I had five cards total. I reestablished Tower and Fate, and had Eternity and Secrets for next turn. I won shortly after. I was now 5-1.

Round vs. 7 Constellars
Game 1: He wins the die roll and opens up with [ccProd]Constellar Sheratan[/ccProd] to search a guy before setting a backrow. I simply go Blue Boy, search Power, attack over Sheraton with no fear of [ccProd]Honest[/ccProd], and then set up my Tower and Fate with two other real backrows. This game ended quickly after that.

Game 2: He opens with the most annoying first turn card for my deck to see, Thunder King Rai-Oh. I fortunately play infinite traps and opened with Torrential Tribute, Compulsory Evacuation Device, and Fiendish Chain. Eventually, it gets to a point where I’ve cleared the Thunder King, but he summons a Constellar Pleiades and has a backrow. I drop High Priestess of Prophecy, he does not respond to her summon, so I attempted to destroy Pleiades with her effect. He chains Fiendish Chain, and I chain Spellbook of Wisdom. He thinks for a moment before activating the effect of Pleiades to bounce High Priestess back to my hand. After using the Wisdom, I no longer have three Spellbook Spell cards in my hand, so I used Secrets to grab a Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, set up my usual Tower and Fate, and took the duel easily from there. The momentum swing from a Priestess summon against the slower decks is just too much for them to handle. I was now 6-1.

Round 8 vs. Madolches (young Asian kid)
Game 1: He wins the die roll and opens with four set backrows, a set monster, and a faceu-up Madolche ticket. I guess I don’t have to worry about what he’s playing anymore. I obviously never declare an attack on it, and the game ends once Tower draws me too many cards. I remember one play he made out of desperation where he flipped Hootcake, used Compulsory Evacuation Device to return it to his hand (he was trying to trigger Madolche Ticket), but I chained Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and put the Ticket on the top of his deck. Needless to say, that crushed him

Game 2: He opens with a Kycoo and 4 backrows. My hand is weak as it contains two High Priestess of Prophecy, two Mystical Space Typhoons, Compulsory, and a Spellbook of Fate. He simply swings for three turns straight, and in that time I have only managed to draw a Tower, another Mystical Space Typhoon, and a Temperance of Prophecy last but not least. I used all three Mystical Space Typhoons on his four backrows, hitting nothing but bluffs—literally cards that could not be activated like Madolche Palooza and Madolche Ticket—then I played Tower and tried for the Temperance play. The one backrow he had left turned out to be Bottomless Trap Hole, which I found out when he flipped it on my World of Prophecy. It was some of the worst luck I’ve had in a while. I missed the one real backrow with my Typhoons. I would be going first in game three.

Game 3: My deck did exactly what it was made to do on the first turn, giving me a Blue Boy, Fate, and Tower, and a few backrows. One of them was Rivalry of the Warlords, which thoroughly destroys the Madolche deck I found out after flipping it. He couldn’t do much and I won shortly after. I was now X-1 at the end of Day 1. I checked up on Sean McCabe and he was also X-1. Not a bad showing for our hotel room, I thought.

Round 9 vs. Dragunities
Game 1: I started this game out in a dominant position and kept it all the way through, but it takes me a long time to actually kill him, and he won’t scoop despite seeing that I have +7 on him. It took us something like thirty minutes just to finish game one.

Game 2: He opens with the crazy Dragunity combo that ended with a Stardust Dragon, Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, and Hieratic Dragon King of Atum. My hand is really strong because I have Torrential Tribute, Compulsory Evacuation Device, Fiendish Chain, Blue Boy, Mystical Space Typhoon, and Bottomless Trap Hole. I think I have a chance, and I spend way too much time trying to win this game when I should have just scooped and went to game three to save time, especially knowing that my deck cannot do damage in time. Eventually I scoop when the clock has only two minutes left, and we shuffle up for game two.

Game 3: This game goes into time pretty early and he starts summoning Dragunity Dux and declaring attacks because his hand is weak. He also sided in Mind Drain against me? Despite his best efforts to give me the game, I could not come back after taking a direct 1700. When it ended, I had two Fiendish Chains, Bottomless Trap Hole, and Spellbook of Fate set. I also had The Grand Spellbook Tower and Spellbook Magician of Prophecy face-up. He had nothing but a Dux in defense and Mind Drain face-up when it ended. I was furious. I was not necessarily mad at my opponent, though I did allow him too much time to speak about nonsense throughout the match, but more so mad with myself for not conceding game two, especially after I kept thinking about how I judged him for not scooping game one knowing he would lose eventually. I was now X-2 and had to win the next round to make Top32. Great, here comes the bubble.

Round 10 Geargia Karakuri
Game 1: He won the die roll, set a monster and three backrows then passed to me. I went for a bold play by using Spellbook of Secrets to grab Spellbook of the Master, and then summoned Temperance of Prophecy. He tried to use Bottomless Trap Hole on it, but I told him it was only 1000 attack, so he flipped it back face-down. I already had a Spellbook of Wisdom in my hand so I wasn’t too worried about it, regardless. I used Master to search Spellbook of Fate (I realized that he would use Bottomless on my monster and I would use Wisdom to counter it, so I couldn’t search Spellbook Library of the Crescent), then traded my Temperance for World of Prophecy! I got back Secrets and Master, played Wisdom to stop Bottomless, and then attacked his face-down card thinking that I was in a strong enough position to do so. It turned out to be Geargiarmor. I set some traps and ended my turn. Surprisingly, he ended up OTKing me in a flurry of plays that started with an End Phase Call of the Haunted followed by [ccProd]Trap Stun[/ccProd] and serious amounts of level 7 Synchros. He stole my World of Prophecy with Number 11: Big Eye and attacked for game.

Game 2: The pressure was on. I was on the bubble and down a game. All of my hard work was about to be for naught. I couldn’t afford to just lose both rounds of Day 2 and not top. I snapped out of my negative mindset and got mentally prepared to win the next two games. I opened with Justice of Prophecy and Spellbook of Secrets. I set Bottomless Trap Hole and ended my turn. He summoned Banisher of the Radiance and I decided to put an end to that immediately. On the next turn, I dropped High Priestess of Prophecy and swung the game so far in my favor that he scooped on his next turn.
Game 3: This was it. He opened in the same exact way as game one with three backrows and a set monster. This time, however, my hand was absolutely terrible. I opened double Priestess, Spellbook of the Master, Spellbook of Fate, Mystical Space Typhoon, and Torrential Tribute. I set both Mystical Space Typhoon and Torrential before ending my turn. I knew it was about to get ugly. I was afraid that one of his backrows would be Trap Stun again, too. On his turn, he flipped Geargiarmor, searched an Accelerator, overlayed for [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd], detached to search for [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd], and then thought for a moment. I was holding onto my Torrential Tribute because he had not normal summoned yet, and there wasn’t enough threatening damage on board to warrant it. He proceeded to summon Gearframe, and I let that go, too. Then he pitched to summon Machina Fortress and I tried to activate Torrential Tribute but he had Trap Stun! With one more summon, he would kill me. Luckily, he only was able to swing with those three monsters to drop me to 2000 lifepoints. Next, he equipped Gearframe to Gear Gigant X. I assume he made that play because it still had a material on it, and he was hoping to resolve the effect again. I thought he was going to end his turn, but he decided to randomly activate one of his backrows, which was Mystical Space Typhoon, to target my other backrow—my own Mystical Space Typhoon. I chained it to punish him and destroyed his last Spell/Trap. He shook his head in disappointment then reluctantly set another backrow.

I had to pray for a third Spellbook. I didn’t care what it was, as long as it was a Spellbook Spell card. I drew without looking at it, rubbed the sleeve face down on my mat, and picked it up slowly to reveal Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. It was a start! I not had to hope that his last card in hand was not Effect Veiler, and I would be able to do some serious damage. I summoned the Blue Boy timidly, and activated his effect. He had no response, and I could feel my heart pumping absurdly fast. I wanted to win so badly. I grabbed Secrets and used it to search Spellbook of Wisdom. I summoned one High Priestess of Prophecy and activated Spellbook of the Master to copy Spellbook of Secrets, searching for Spellbook of Power. I removed Spellbook of Secrets to destroy his backrow, which was Dark Hole, then I summoned the second High Priestess of Prophecy! I activated Spellbook of Power and had both Priestess attack over Machina Fortress. I used Power’s effect to search for The Grand Spellbook Tower, then I set my whole hand. I removed Spellbook of Power to destroy his Machina Fortress and stymied him from getting to see my hand since I no longer had one. I passed to him and immediately flipped Spellbook of Wisdom on one of the High Priestess. I did this to make sure I had two Spellbooks in the graveyard for Spellbook of Fate so that I could turn my Blue Boy face-down if he was threatened. My life was too low for sloppy play. He merely summoned a Geargiarsenal and attacked my Spellbook Magician, but I flipped him face down and searched for Eternity. The next turn would end it all and secure my place in the Top32. Close call.

I ended up finishing in 11th place after swiss, which is kinda funny since I finished in 11th place at Nationals after swiss, too. I also had someone entrust a couple of Number 11: Big Eyes to me before either event. I found it strange how that all worked out. Anyways, Sean McCabe, Dale Bellido, and Hoban all won their rounds as well so we all topped.

Top32 vs. Evilswarm

Game 1: He won the roll and opened up pretty weak it seemed with [ccProd]Evilswarm Thunderbird[/ccProd] and a backrow. My hand wasn’t that strong either, but I had two copies of Pot of Duality, I had no way of getting both Fate and Tower set up on turn one so I had to choose. My hand wasn’t so defensive either, which made me prioritize Spellbook of Fate over The Grand Spellbook Tower. On the following turn, I ended up topping Spellbook of Secrets, but when I tried to go for Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, he had an Effect Veiler! It completely ruined everything. I played a Duality and grabbed a Fiendish Chain, but he made short work of me soon enough by dropping Heliotrope. I couldn’t stop myself from taking too much damage early on, and a late game Infestation Pandemic on my Torrential Tribute would seal the deal. I lost game one. It had become apparent to me that decks that utilize Rescue Rabbit, regardless of drawing the card, will always be my weakness. I was annoyed that I got stuck with one of the few Evilswarm players to make the top cut.

Game 2: This game went pretty quickly since I opened with the standard setup and got to go first. He scooped early on to conserve time.

Game 3: As we were siding for the final game, he randomly decided to volunteer information to me. “I don’t side Eradicator, so don’t worry,” he said almost jovially. I looked up at him to see if he was lying to me, trying to find anything on his face that would betray him. He looked sincere enough, but I was too afraid to take the word of my competitor in the playoffs. In my mind, there was no reason for him not to side [ccProd]Eradicator Epidemic Virus[/ccProd]. His deck was all dark monsters, and it’s an auto-win vs Prophecy. He opened with double Evilswarm Castor and my palms start to sweat. I did not want to see Ophion turn one because I had defensive cards and he would just protect himself. Fortunately, he ended up summoning Number 66: Key Beetle. I was confused as to why he opted for that monster, but when he activated Deck Lockdown, it all became clear to me. He was trying to make sure I didn’t play a single card for the entire game. I asked him if that little lock actually worked like that, and he said yes. I looked at my hand and saw Compulsory Evacuation Device so I didn’t bother to call a judge just yet to verify. If I did want to know the real answer, I would wait until the second Standby Phase anyways, that way he would feel secure leaving it there for two turns under the “protection” of Key Beetle. I set Compulsory and Rivalry of the Warlords and hoped that he didn’t have Safe Zone. He drew and summoned Evilswarm Thunderbird. I waited until he attacked to activate Rivalry, so he used the effect of Thunderbird to banish itself. I thought for a while before using Compulsory. I knew that with that Beetle there, he would lose his Thunderbird forever, but we were close to time and I didn’t want to take 2500. On my next turn, I decided to set Blue Boy since his Deck Lockdown would be destroyed during his Standby Phase, and he brought back his Thunderbird to attack it. I searched Spellbook of Eternity since my hand already had everything I needed to take control. The Rivalry never left the field and things got so out of hand once Temperance and Priestess arrived. I won decisively.

Top16 vs. Patrick Hoban Dragunity Ruler

After finishing my Top32 match, I checked with Dale and Pat to see if they won. Dale had lost to the same Dragunity guy that beat me in round 9 (the one who sided [ccProd]Mind Drain[/ccProd] against Spellbooks), and Pat had won his match against Constellars. Pat sat with me for the next hour or so and we talked about winning the event and how cool it would be if we played each other in the finals. Halfway into our conversation, Sean McCabe walked up and asked if we knew who we had to play in the Top16. Neither of us were aware, but he quickly checked his phone and used his vast ESPN knowledge to find that we were actually playing each other next. Talk about awkward.

Pat and I continued to talk about one of us winning the event and I said that whoever won out of our match should definitely have smooth sailing on the way to the finals. We wished each other luck, waited until our deck check was complete, and began our match. I won the die roll and would be going first. That would be huge in this matchup since I might be able to stymie him from getting a good start.

Game 1: I opened with Secrets, Master, Temperance, Tower, Fate, and Eternity. It was an extremely strong opening to say the least. I went for the World play and refilled my graveyard using the extra plusses so that my Spellbook of Fate could be at three. I passed back to him and that’s when things got real. He thought for a long time before finally activating Dragon Ravine. I chained Spellbook of Fate to try to stop him immediately, but he played a second one! He pitched for Ravine’s effect to find Dux, and then went into Hieratic Dragon King of Atum with Mystletainn. He used its effect to bring out Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms. He removed two Dragons from his grave to bring out Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders. He overlayed both to summon Number 11: Big Eye, and activated its effect to take my World of Prophecy! Next, he overlayed for Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger on top of his Atum!

He swung with World of Prophecy and Gaia Charger before ending his turn. He had three monsters on the field and Dragon’s Ravine with a Blaster in hand. I drew to four and thought for a moment before activating Spellbook of Eternity to add Spellbook of Power to my hand. I proceeded to use Spellbook of Secrets to add Spellbook Magician of Prophecy and used his effect to grab Spellbook of the Master. I played Spellbook of Power and copied it with Master to boost my Blue Boy to 2500 attack! I then removed two Spellbooks from the grave to activate Spellbook of Fate, turning World of Prophecy facedown. I swung over World of Prophecy and triggered Spellbook of Power twice to add Spellbook of Life and The Grand Spellbook Tower to my hand.

Next, I activated Spellbook of Life to bring back World of Prophecy, adding back Spellbook of Fate and Spellbook of Eternity! I wasn’t done yet. I then revealed four different Spellbooks in my hand to destroy his entire field! I established my Tower again and set Fate before ending.

Someone from the crowd exclaimed, “Holy crap, it’s only turn three!” The spectators looked on in astonishment as we had both made great use of every option available to us. Strangely enough, I still didn’t feel comfortable even after establishing such a strong position in the game. He drew for his turn and removed Tempest and Blaster to summon Redox from the grave. I was anxious to find out what he drew. He searched for another Blaster and a [ccProd]Dragunity Phalanx[/ccProd]. Then things got a little wild when he activated Cards of Consonance followed by a series of other draw cards like [ccProd]Sacred Sword of Seven Stars[/ccProd] and Upstart Goblins. I couldn’t believe so much happened with only one draw. He set three backrows and passed. I drew and got my plus from Tower before ending. On the next turn it would all fall down as he flipped up Return from Different Dimension. He didn’t win on that turn, but he made me use up so many resources that on the next turn I was nearly powerless when he summoned [ccProd]Scrap Dragon [/ccProd]for game.

Game 2: We were extremely close to time so we rushed to get out as many plays as possible before the end of round procedure. That was all wishful thinking on my part, though, because Pat had a couple Reckless Greeds to accelerate his turns and make sure that we didn’t need any extra time. I also caught another taste of Return from Different Dimension, which I saw coming when he activated Gold Sarcophagus and removed Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. It doesn’t matter if you see Return coming, you can’t really do much about it, regardless. It is easily the most powerful card in the game right now. And that was all I needed to see to scoop it up! After the match, I wished him luck and thought about the events of our match. I realized how bad the Dragon matchup was for Prophecy when going against a good player. The fact that the deck now plays its own field spell is really a problem for Prophecy. The whole strength of the deck is to keep The Grand Spellbook Tower on the field and recycle your cards. When that doesn’t happen, you have a very fragile deck. It also doesn’t help that the Dragon decks accelerate when playing their field spell over yours.

After all was said and done, I went to collect my prizes, did a couple YouTube videos with Jarel “Pro” Winston, and settled down. We would be leaving Toronto that night. I was pleased with the performance because I really wanted to top with Prophecy, being the Dark Magician and all. I was also now at 11 tops with 10 different decks. That was an accomplishment in itself for me.

Now I’m looking forward to the ARG Circuit Series starting with the first one in Fort Worth, Texas. I hope to add one of those first place trophies to my shelf as well! Hope to see you there!

And Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!

-Frazier Smith

-The Dark Magician

Frazier Smith

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