This match began in a rather unconventional way — with a hug. Melia and Lee laughed as they embraced: they’re both from the same team.
“This guy drove me to Montreal,” explained an elated Melia. “It’s all us, man!” exclaimed Petitpas, before settling down into his seat and shuffling up. Teammates or not, only one of these competitors was moving on, and that fact quickly dawned on these two competitors.
“Now only one of us is going to the finals,” remarked Petitpas.
Melia nodded. “Yup, it depends on luck and skill. With this deck, I’ve 2-0’d everyone but my last round. Unfortunately I know your deck and you don’t know mine.”
‘It’s okay,” assured Petitpas. Melia won the roll and opened with a set card to each zone.
Petitpas special summoned Cyber Dragon and normal summoned Cyber Phoenix. He sent his Cyber Dragon to attack first, destroying Melia’s set Sangan and sending his opponent to search for Snipe Hunter. Cyber Phoenix then attacked, and Melia dropped to 6800 life points. “Set,” announced Petitpas, setting a card to his back row. “And, it’s you.”
His opponent special summoned a Cyber Dragon of his own. “No response.” He tributed it for Raiza the Storm Monarch, sending Cyber Phoenix back to the top of Petitpas’ deck. Raiza then attacked Cyber Dragon, as Melia played right around Petitpas’ set spell or trap card. Sure enough it was a bluff, and Petitpas flipped it on his next turn — Call of the Haunted, which Melia stopped with Royal Decree. Petitpas could do nothing but set a monster.
Snipe Hunter came down for Melia, but when he discarded Disk Commander to try and destroy Petitpas’ set monster he missed the roll. Raiza attacked into the set monster instead, revealing it to be Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive, and Snipe Hunter attacked directly. Play was to Petitpas.
He summoned Cyber Phoenix again, set another card to his spell and trap zone and ended. Things weren’t going well for him. Snipe Hunter discarded Melia’s second Royal Decree to destroy Phoenix and Melia pressed with the security of his Decree. He summoned Destiny Hero — Fear Monger, attacked with three monsters in quick succession and dropped Petitpas to 1300 life points! A set spell or trap ended his turn.
Petitpas dropped Overload Fusion, bringing Melia’s emotional momentum to a sudden halt.
Petitpas brought out Chimeratech Overdragon with 2400 ATK, losing his own Torrential Tribute to its effect. He attacked Snipe Hunter and Fear Monger before trading off with Raiza the Storm Monarch and setting two back row cards.
“Fear Monger’s effect,” declared Melia, bringing back Disk Commander to draw two cards on the turn that followed. He then activated Pot of Avarice to shuffle back all five monsters in his graveyard and get yet another card! “Good job, bro,” said Petitpas, who was playing the game out but seemed resigned to his defeat.
Melia summoned Spirit Reaper, attacked to force the discard of Jinzo, and then attacked with Disk Commander. Petitpas set a third back row card but Melia dropped Heavy Storm a turn later! With Petitpas sitting at just 700 life points there was nothing he could do but flip over the three traps he had in his back row.
Royal Decree and some quick, precise decision-making win Melia the first duel of the match!
Melia looked at me. “Can I say hi to someone?” Of course. “Okay! Hi to Sketchy D!”
“Yeah, say hi to Sketch,” chimed in Petitpas.
“He’s my original teammate and partner,” Melia explained. Done and done.
Melia opened with Destiny Draw, discarding Destiny Hero — Fear Monger and drawing the Malicious he no doubt wished he could have opened with. That hurts. He set a monster, Petitpas set a card to each zone and play was back to Melia. He tributed his set Sangan for Raiza the Storm Monarch, targeted Petitpas’ set monster with Raiza’s effect and searched his own deck for Snipe Hunter thanks to Sangan. The monster was spun to the top of Petitpas’ deck and Melia used Metamorphosis to trade Raiza for Ryu Senshi. He then attacked with Senshi and activated Confiscation, stripping Petitpas of Magical Merchant and passing with no backfield. A momentous turn for Melia.
Petitpas set another monster. “I end.” Melia played another Destiny Draw and discarded Malicious, drawing two and then bringing another to his field. “You better win this,” jested a cheerily resigned Petitpas. “I refuse to lose to anybody but the champ!”
“It’s coming,” assured Melia. He tributed his Malicious for another Raiza, bounced Petitpas’ set monster yet again and then attacked, dropping his teammate and opponent to 1600.
“I have four cards for Snipe Hunter next turn,” mentioned Melia.
“Okay,” replied Petitpas. He drew and set two back row cards and a monster. Melia laughed as Petitpas grinned — he had no intent of making this easy.
Melia summoned Snipe Hunter, discarded to destroy Petitpas’ set Magical Merchant, and then pressed for the win with an attack from Raiza!
“You got it!” announced Petitpas with a smile and a handshake. There was no bittersweet victory here — both duelists got out of their seats for another hug, and Petitpas congratulated his teammate for the sharp play and the well-earned victory.
Russell Melia moves on to the finals, two duels away from winning an invitation to tomorrow’s National Championships.