Right now there were three Zombie matchups at Table 2, Table 3, and Table 4, and only one of those Zombie decks hadn’t received a feature match yet. With all six of the involved duelists having a strong shot at Day 2, I wanted to cover the one Zombie player we hadn’t seen — John Burkhead.
Burkhead opened the match with a hand of Mezuki, Heavy Storm, Reckless Greed, Threatening Roar, Card of Safe Return, and Goblin Zombie — an altogether awesome hand. He set Roar, set Reckless, and set Goblin Zombie, ready to search for pieces to his draw loop combo. Kobrofsky activated Allure of Darkness, drew two, and removed Caius the Shadow Monarch. He summoned Snipe Hunter, discarded Destiny Hero – Malicious to target Threatening Roar, and Burkhead chained it. Kobrofsky tried to attack, Burkhead tapped his Threatening Roar, and Kobrofsky removed Malicious to summon another from his deck in defense mode. He set one spell or trap and ended. Burkhead drew Book of Life.
He activated Heavy Storm, Kobrofsky chained Crush Card Virus tributing Malicious, and Burkhead chained Reckless Greed. He drew two, lost nothing but Mezuki, and activated Book of Life to bring it back after flopping Card of Safe Return; it got him another Reckless. The Book removed his opponent’s Malicious too, and Mezuki and Goblin Zombie both attacked; the Goblin cost Kobrofsky his Sangan from his deck.
Kobrofsky set a monster, Burkhead flipped Reckless Greed, and drew two cards: including another Reckless. He activated Foolish Burial, sending Plaguespreader Zombie to his graveyard from his deck, and then brought up Plague with its effect, cycling a card on and off the top of his deck courtesy of Card of Safe Return. He then Synchro summoned Revived King Ha Des, and searched out another Plaguespreader Zombie with Goblin Zombie’s effect! Yes! Finally, someone didn’t dive for Goyo!
Burkhead normal summoned Plaguespreader Zombie, Synchro summoned for Goyo Guardian this time (perfectly excusable now that a Zombie Synchro was down), then removed his Mezuki to bring up Goblin Zombie for another draw. But Revived King attacked into Destiny Hero – Defender! Goyo Guardian attacked to destroy it, and Burkhead opted to take it despite its effect. Goblin Zombie sent Krebons (his third Dark) off the top of Kobrofsky’s deck. A set spell or trap ended the turn. Huh. This could go very poorly.
And it did. Kobrofsky drew for his turn, and then drew for Defender. He special summoned Dark Armed Dragon, removed a Dark to destroy Goyo Guardian, and then removed another to destroy Defender (which then became another Dark to remove). Another Dark was removed to target Burkhead’s Reckless Greed, and he chained it. Brain Control let him take Revived King Ha Des, he activated Monster Reborn for Goyo Guardian, then revealed Emergency Teleport for game!
Tyler Kobrofsky devastates John Burkhead’s superb opening hand, sweeping Game 1 in an instant! Burkhead would need to pull out all the stops to keep his Day 2 dreams alive. Both competitors sided and shuffled quickly.
Burkhead opened this time with Card of Safe Return, Brain Control, Giant Trunade, Reckless Greed, Zombie Master, and Plaguespreader Zombie. He set Reckless and passed. Kobrofsky activated Allure of Darkness, removed one Malicious, and then discarded his second for Destiny Draw. He removed his second to special summon his third in attack mode, then activated another Allure; this time he removed Destiny Hero - Doom Lord. He normal summoned Thunder King Rai-Oh, attacked with Malicious, and ended his turn by setting two cards to his back row.
Burkhead drew Threatening Roar. He activated Brain Control to take Thunder King, Kobrofsky handed it over, and Thunder King attacked Malicious; Kobrofsky chained Crush Card Virus, destroying Thunder King, Zombie Master, and revealing Burkhead’s hand! Burkhead set another spell or trap and ended. “I’m so tired of being Crushed all day.”
Kobrofsky summoned another Thunder King, attacked for 1900 damage, and next turn Burkhead drew Goblin Zombie. He had nothing going on; he set Goblin Zombie and ended, knowing he could protect it from Thunder King with the Roar. He had just 2600 life points left, and Kobrofsky summoned Snipe Hunter.
He passed priority for its effect, and then tried to move into his battle phase; Burkhead flipped Roar. He drew another Goblin Zombie next turn, and then activated Giant Trunade, chaining Reckless. That got him Allure of Darkness and Burial from a Different Dimension. He activated Allure, drew Torrential Tribute and Upstart Goblin, and removed Goblin Zombie from his hand. He activated Upstart, drew Monster Reborn, and all this was happening under Crush — Burkhead’s deck really didn’t care much about it.
He summoned Plaguespreader Zombie, flip summoned Goblin Zombie, and tried to Synchro summon Goyo Guardian; he lost out to Thunder King’s effect. Moments later he had his Goblin Zombie and Plaguespreader Zombie back, and he sent both to the graveyard for Goyo Guardian again — this time backed by Card of Safe Return. Things were moving incredibly quickly. Goblin Zombie’s effect let Burkhead search out Mezuki, and Goyo Guardian slammed into Snipe Hunter, taking control of it. Burkhead set two cards to his back row and ended with Mezuki and Burial from a Different Dimension in hand. “Go ahead.”
Kobrofsky drew to five cards in hand, and activated Monster Reborn to bring back his Thunder King. He activated Emergency Teleport, special summoned Krebons, and Synchro summoned a Goyo Guardian of his own. Burkhead had no response.
Another Teleport got him another Krebons, and Burkhead flipped Torrential Tribute to wipe the field! Kobrofsky had just two cards left in hand. A set spell or trap ended his turn, and in the end phase Burkhead spun it away with Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, discarding Mezuki.
Next turn he removed Mezuki to special summon Goblin Zombie, drawing with Card of Safe Return. Burial from a Different Dimension brought Mezuki, Plaguespreader Zombie, and Goblin Zombie back to his graveyard, and he retrieved the Plaguespreader with Book of Life — that removed Kobrofsky’s Goyo Guardian too. A flurry of cards later Burkhead had Goyo Guardian, Zombie Master, and Plaguespreader Zombie on the field, and he Synchro summoned Revived King Ha Des. He removed Mezuki, brought up Goblin Zombie, and had four cards in hand. He brought up Plaguespreader with its effect, Synchro summoned another Revived King Ha Des, and Kobrofsky conceded!
John Burkhead takes the second duel, moving us to a third game! Play began swiftly.
Kobrofsky got things started with Elemental Hero Stratos, searching out Destiny Hero – Malicious. He set a spell or trap to end.
Burkhead had two Card of Safe Return, Card Destruction, Crush Card Virus, Burial from a Different Dimension . . . and topdecked Foolish Burial! He did the only thing he could do; he activated both copies of Safe Return, and then activated Burial to send Plaguespreader Zombie to his graveyard. He set a card on top of his deck to bring Plaguespreader back, and then drew that card and another: Brain Control. He activated it to take Stratos, attacked with Plaguespreader, and lost it to Phoenix Wing Wind Blast; Kobrofsky discarded Malicious and Plaguespreader was removed from play. Stratos struck for 1800 damage, Burial from a Different Dimension brought back Plaguespreader (after a judge clarification on how that card worked in conjunction with Phoenix Wing Wind Blast), and Card Destruction fell from Burkhead’s hand. By the end of the turn he was completely committed, with his remaining cards face down: one monster and one spell or trap.
Kobrofsky summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, and Burkhead chained Crush Card Virus! Kobrofsky lost his Stratos, Breaker, and his in-hand Dark Grepher, but pressed on. He removed Malicious to summon another, played Emergency Teleport for Krebons, and Synchro summoned Colossal Fighter! It attacked straight into Burkhead’s face-down Goblin Zombie, which got him Mezuki from his deck. Kobrofsky set one card to his back row and ended with one card in hand. Burkhead was up.
He drew another Goblin Zombie and set it. His opponent drew and revealed Torrential Tribute, then discarded Allure of Darkness to spin away Goblin Zombie. Colossal Fighter made a direct attack, Burkhead set Goblin Zombie, and Kobrofsky topped Crush Card Virus, revealing it for his last turn on Crush.
Kobrofsky removed his second Malicious for his third, bringing him out in attack mode. He sent Malicious to attack, and smacked into Goblin Zombie! Malicious’ attacked was repelled, Colossal Fighter took it down, and Burkhead got Mezuki. Kobrofsky set a spell or trap and ended. It was the last one from his hand.
Burkhead topped Book of Life! He special summoned his own Goblin Zombie, removed Kycoo from his opponent’s graveyard, and drew two. He normal summoned Goblin Zombie, discarded for its effect pitching Mezuki, and Kobrofsky chained Crush Card Virus. Two Mezukis got Burkhead his Zombie Master and Goblin Zombie back, plus four draws! Foolish Burial sent Plaguespreader Zombie to his graveyard, he brought it back with Mezuki, drew two, and Synchro summoned Revived King Ha Des. He brought back Plaguespreader Zombie, traded Revived King for Colossal Fighter, and then brought back all three Mezukis with Burial! He removed one for another summon, Synchro summoned again, and it was just a blur of cards. He Synchro summoned Stardust Dragon, removed Mezuki for Revived King, drew two, then brought back Plaguespreader with its effect to draw one total. He Synchro summoned for another Stardust, set two cards to his back row, then a third, and ended his turn by discarding two cards. “I don’t really need all these Recklesses,” he quipped. Kobrofsky scooped moments later, knowing Burkhead had Phoenix Wing Wind Blast set and ready to blow away Colossal Fighter.
John Burkhead moves on with an 8-1 record, almost guaranteed to take Zombies to Day 2! It was like a workshop on how this Zombie business should be done!