Top 16: Anthony Eckroth vs Mario Ramos

Welcome back Alter Reality Gamers! We have a powerhouse match for you here played between Anthony Eckroth’s Evilswarms and Mario Ramos’s Mermails! Ophion is definitely a contender in this matchup, being able to lock Mermails out of their high level monsters almost entirely. The Mermail deck has evolved into something more than Rank 7 spam though and seems to focus on Rank 3 and Rank 4s more. Will this be enough to surmount the powerful onslaught of Evilswarms? Let’s find out!

A handshake starts the duel.

Game 1

Mario has elected to go first and starts out by setting a monster and a backrow.

Anthony draws to Infestation Infection, Torrential Tribute, Evilswarm Thunderbird, Macro Cosmos, Seven Tools of the Bandit and Evilswarm Kerykeion before summoning his Thunderbird and setting the 4 trap cards.

Mario draws, but not before Anthony activates Macro Cosmos! Mario was lucky and had a Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy the Macro before ending his turn.

Anthony draws and sets Dimensional Prison .

Mario sets 1 and passes.

Anthony draws Effect Veiler before summoning Evilswarm Kerykeion and overlaying into Evilswarm Ophion. Mario activates Solemn Warning but is shut down by Seven Tools of the Bandit! Anthony activates Ophion’s effect but is cut short by Breakthrough Skill before ending his turn.

Anthony 7000, Mario 6000

Mario sets 1 and passes

Anthony draws and activates Upstart Goblin, giving Mario 1000 lifepoints in exchange for drawing into an Evilswarm Castor. Not wanting to over commit, Anthony passes his turn.

Anthony 7000, Mario 7000

Mario sets another before passing again

Anthony draws and sets Infestation Pandemic before ending.

Mario draws before activating Reckless Greed to draw 2 more! With 7 cards in hand he thinks about his plays briefly before banishing Breakthrough Skill from his graveyard to negate the Ophion’s effect. Infestation Pandemic quickly stopped that play though! Mario set 1 more before passing, unable to make plays around the Ophion.

Anthony drew and set a Dimensional Prison.

Mario passes, unable to draw.

Anthony draws Mandragora before activating Ophion’s effect to search for Infestation Pandemic. He summons Evilswarm Castor and uses its effect to normal summon Evilswarm Mandragora and overlays into another Evilswarm Ophion. He activates the new Ophion’s effect to search for his 3rd Infestation Pandemic. Anthony enters his battle phase and attacks Mario’s set Mermail Abysslinde with the material-less Ophion. Linde throws out Mermail Abysspike onto the field. Pike then activates its effect, discarding Atlantean Dragoons to search out both Atlantean Marksman and another Linde. Anthony sets his 2nd Pandemic before passing.

Mario sets 1 and passes.

Anthony draws Upstart Goblin before passing. With a full backrow he couldn’t use the Hoban!

Mario, finally able to draw, still can’t do anything and discards Leed for having too many cards in hand.

Anthony draws a second Effect Veiler before passing.

Mario draws for his turn and activates Tidal’s effect by discarding himself and Atlantean Marksman to sends Mermail Abyssmegalo to his graveyard. Marksman activated its effect and targeted one of Anthony’s facedown cards, destroying Infestation Pandemic before ending his turn.

Anthony draws Fiendish Chain for his turn before using his freed up S/T Zone to activate Upstart Goblin and trade 1000 lifepoints for Rescue Rabbit! Anthony quickly summons his Rabbit and banishes it for 2 Evilswarm Heliotrope. Entering battle, Anthony sends an Evilswarm Heliotrope to destroy Mario’s set Linde. Mario brought out an Abyssturge with Linde’s effect and used its effect to discard Mermail Abyssgunde and return Marksman to his hand. Gunde special summoned Pike, who discarded Marksman to add his final Linde to his hand from his deck. Marksman blew away Torrential Tribute with its effect before Heliotrope and Ophion plowed through the Pike and Turge. The final Ophion swung directly for 2550. Anthony finished his turn by overlaying into Abyss Dweller and setting Fiendish Chain. Mario blew away the new set card with an end phase MST.

Anthony 7000, Mario 5450

Mario draws for turn before setting another monster and backrow before passing.

Anthony drew and activated Reinforcement of the Army to search for Evilswarm Castor. He then activated Abyss Dweller’s effect before summoning Evilswarm Castor to the field. He sent Abyss Dweller to attack into a set Mirror Force and used his final Pandemic to save all of his Evilswarms. Castor attacks over the set Linde and both Ophions attack for 5100 damage. Anthony considers his plays for a moment before sending Castor back to his deck with Infestation Infection and grabbing Evilswarm Kerykeion. Kerykeion was summoned for Castor’s extra normal summon and used its effect to banish Castor and re summon Thunderbird. When he tried to overlay for Gagaga Cowboy, Mario responded with Bottomless Traphole, effectively ending Anthony’s turn.

Mario set 1 monster a backrow and banished Megalo for Aqua Spirit in defense mode before ending his turn.

Anthony drew Bottomless before attacking both of Mario’s monsters and Mario scooped when he saw his next draw the following turn.

Anthony managed to throw out the early game Ophion who was packing a Seven Tools of the Bandit sealed the game entirely for Anthony. Mario is far from out of this match though and gets to go first going into game 2!

Game 2

Mario begins by discarding Tidal for Mermail Abyssteus. Teus activates its effect to search for a Mermail Abyssgunde before Mario banished a Linde and Gunde from his hand to summon Tidal. He overlayed into Master of Blades and set 3 cards to his backrow before ending.

Anthony began with Rescue Rabbit, Upstart Goblin, Dark Hole, Kerykeion and Infestation Pandemic. For his turn he drew another Kerykeion and played Dark Hole, his only true out to Master of Blades. He summoned Rabbit and made 2 Heliotrope before upstarting into MST. He threw his Heliotropes into a Mirror Force but had an infestation Pandemic to save the day. Abyss-Sphere came up next in an attempt to save his life points. MST was chained to the other set. But it was another Abyss Sphere! The destroyed sphere netted Linde into Abyssleed and the living Sphere grabbed Teus. Anthony, with only his two Kerykeions left in his hand thought about his plays before overlaying into Number 101: Silent Honor ARK in his Main Phase 2 and stealing Abyssleed. Sphere died in the end phase and sent Teus to the grave.

Anthony 8000, Mario 9000

Mario drew before banshing Linde and Teus for Tidal and attacking Ark, forcing it to detach a material. He set 1 and passed.

Anthony drew Fiendish Chain before summoning Kerykeion and using its effect to banish one Heliotrope from his grave to re-summon another the other one and overlay into Ophion. The evil dragon searched for Pandemic before Anthony set Fiendish Chain and the newly acquired Pandemic to end his turn.

Mario drew before summoning Abysspike. He discarded Tidal to activate its effect, but Fiendish Chain was activated as Anthony tried to shut him down! Mario thankfully had MST to force his effect through and searched for an Abysslinde from his deck for next turn.

Anthony drew Mandragora before using Ophion to search for Infection. He summoned Kerykeion and used its effect to banish a Heliotrope to add Kerykeion back to his hand and used Kery’s effect to summon out Mandragora. He attacked for 5250 damage before overlaying into another Ophion and setting Infection.

Anthony 8000, Mario 4750

Mario drew and set to pass.

Anthony drew and summoned Kerykeion and entered his battle phase to receive a handshake from Mario to end the match. Ophion dominates the game, locking Mario out of his major Rank 7 plays! Game 2 was decided by a huge commitment to Master of Blades only to have it fall to an unfortunate turn 1 Dark Hole. Anthony will continue on into the Top 8 today and still has a chance to play off for $1,500 in prize credit!

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!