Team Alpha Omega was being represented by Max Suffridge, a 20-year-old duelist from Lousville Kentucky. Bryan Coronel was fighting for Team Overdose. At 18 years of age, he was one of two OD members still in contention to represent Jersey City on Day 2.
“Gravekeeper?” asked Coronel, gesturing to Suffridge’s deck. He’d seen his opponent play another OD member earlier. “Wow, no one scouted your deck for me.” Suffridge won the roll and opened with a face down card to his spell and trap zone.
Coronel came out swinging, summoning D. D. Assailant and attacking into Scapegoat. He attacked a Sheep token after giving it some thought.
Suffridge topdecked Pot of Greed and immediately activated it. He summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, set two spell or traps and passed. Coronel would have a tough time continuing his early aggression, barring a big play.
However, he had it! He summoned Tribe-Infecting Virus and used its effect to take down Breaker, but Suffridge chained Ring of Destruction to take it down. Breaker was destroyed and D. D. Assailant took out another sheep. “I’ll let it go,” said Suffridge, at least giving the impression of an option with his last face down card. He drew, passed, and the Assailant took down another of his Sheep tokens. He seemed to be trying to build one big push before Coronel started reinforcing his field.
Assailant destroyed the last sheep and all Suffridge did was set another card. Coronel set one as well, and then attacked directly. More sheep hit the field to get in the Assailant’s way. Another set spell or trap hit the field on Coronel’s side and Dust Tornado took it out immediately, though he lost his Ring of Destruction.
It was a small opening, but it was enough for Suffridge. He drew, used Metamorphosis, brought down Thousand-Eyes Restrict, and sucked up the Assailant. He set a card before swinging directly. Coronel was either trying to bluff him by fingering his set spell or trap or he actually had something that he was holding back. Suffridge set another spell or trap and play moved to Coronel’s turn.
Coronel summoned D. D. Warrior Lady and played Lightning Vortex, discarding Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. The Lady attacked directly and while Suffridge teased a play, flicking his set card, he accepted the progression of the end phase and took his turn. He activated Snatch Steal, took the Warrior Lady and attacked with it. Coronel flicked his set card as well—there was so much bluffing in this match that it was starting to not matter to either player.
He set Magician of Faith, and it was soon flipped by Ceasefire. Suffridge ran the D. D. into it and opted to remove, not wanting to give Coronel any life points. He set another spell or trap and passed. Coronel pressed on him, summoning Kycoo and then attacking. Suffridge flipped Scapegoat.
“Oh my God,” exclaimed Coronel in slight annoyance. He whacked a Sheep token, but could not continue doing so, as a turn later Suffridge played Swords of Revealing Light. Suffridge held him off, at least on the battlefield.
Where he could not protect himself, though, was in his hand—Coronel hit him hard with Delinquent Duo on the next turn. Coronel then flipped his set Magician of Faith (his only play last turn due to being held back by the Swords) and took Duo back. He used it again, and suddenly had a commanding lead in the game.
Suffridge now looked a bit worried. He needed to press an offensive, and did so by summoning Tsukuyomi. He turned the Kycoo face down and then attacked the Magician of Faith. “The Faith?” asked Coronel, in a bit of disbelief. It was a smart decision for a few reasons, but questionable for others. It was a risk, and time would tell if it was a smart one.
Coronel had three set spells or traps at this point, and looked at them each before deciding not to use any. Magician of Faith went down, Tsukuyomi went up, and Coronel drew for his next turn.
He tributed Kycoo for Airknight Parshath and looked to attack a Sheep token with it. Mirror Force destroyed it before the damage could go through. Call of the Haunted brought it back up though, and it attacked again! “Nice,” Suffridge admitted.
Next turn Suffridge played Tsukuyomi, turned Airknight Parshath face down, and then removed it from play with Nobleman of Crossout. Tsukuyomi attacked, but was hit with Book of Moon. Suffridge then took himself down by using Delinquent Duo – he was unhappy when he saw the cards he discarded. Nobleman of Crossout and Sinister Serpent.
Coronel topdecked Graceful Charity, used it, tossed Sinister Serpent and Heavy Storm, and then took down Tsukuyomi. A turn later he’d bought himself a Thousand-Eyes Restrict and a D. D. Assailant, and started tearing apart Suffridge’s remaining field by sucking up his only face down monster. Suffridge did nothing on his next turn and Coronel only drew before setting a monster.
Suffridge set one spell or trap. His movements were now slow and methodical. He slowly shuffled the two cards he had in hand as he watched yet another face down monster hit the field across the table. He drew, played his topdecked Graceful Charity, and discarded Jinzo and Morphing Jar. He took a deep breath and fingered his Mystical Space Typhoon. “Which one’s the good one?” he asked, looking at Coronel’s two face down spells or traps. He blew away Bottomless Trap Hole, used Book of Moon on Thousand-Eyes Restrict, and then summoned Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. Coronel had one more face down spell or trap, and the single attack position D. D. Assailant.
Suffridge held his breath and attacked it. Coronel was out of answers, and the attack went through. Suffridge wins game one!
“Man, I had no outs other than that.” Suffridge had made a spectacular comeback, and play moved to game two. He took a well-deserved breath for the first time in several minutes.
Coronel opened quickly with a set card to each zone. Suffridge played Pot of Greed, summoned Sangan and played Messenger of Peace. Coronel had the answer though, flip summoning D. D. Warrior Lady, summoning Breaker, breaking the Messenger, removing the Sangan with Warrior Lady, and attacking to put Suffridge at 5900.
Metamorphosis turned Sinister Serpent into Thousand-Eyes Restrict on Suffridge’s side next turn, but Book of Moon prevented it from inhaling Breaker. Suffridge played another Messenger, passed, Coronel set a spell or trap, passed, and Suffridge finally got to suck up that Breaker. He attempted to activate Premature Burial but then realized he could not. He had no legal target, and it returned to his hand.
Coronel had nothing to do next turn but set another spell or trap, and Suffridge made him pay for it at the first chance he could. He refused to pay for Messenger, played Heavy Storm, and then used Graceful Charity. He discarded Sinister Serpent and then thought for a while before ditching a Scapegoat, leaving Thousand-Eyes Restrict against an open field. He set one monster and ended his turn.
Nobleman of Crossout removed the face down, revealing that Coronel had succeeded in robbing Suffridge of his D. D. Warrior Lady. He passed, holding a Smashing Ground but apparently feeling he didn’t have a strong enough follow up attack—risky, but perhaps wise.
One set monster was again Suffridge’s only play. He shuffled his hand. “No matter how much I shuffle ‘em, they don’t change.” Play shifted to Coronel.
He used Smashing Ground to destroy Thousand-Eyes Restrict, played Premature Burial to bring back Breaker the Magical Warrior, tributed it for Airknight Parshath, and attacked. The set card was Sinister Serpent! Coronel took his draw, topdecked Graceful Charity, and used it. Out of a hand of Jinzo, King Tiger, Scapegoat, Lightning Vortex, Apprentice Magician and Magician of Faith, he discarded the Tiger and Jinzo.
The tables quickly turned though, as Suffridge replayed the Sinister and used Metamorphosis to trade it for Thousand-Eyes Restrict. He sucked up Airknight Parshath, attacked, and Coronel flipped Scapegoat. One of them went down.
Coronel set a monster and passed. Two more went down over the next two turns and all Coronel could do was set another monster. Book of Moon flipped Thousand-Eyes Restrict back down, Suffridge set a second spell or trap, and passed. He was gunning to continue inhaling Coronel’s monsters and run him to time.
His opponent wasn’t having any! Coronel summoned a Serpent of his own and attacked Thousand-Eyes Restrict, knocking it off the field. He set a card, the Vortex as a bluff, and passed. Suffridge fired right back though, summoning Breaker, breaking the Vortex to Coronel’s dismay, and clearing out the remaining sheep. Coronel set a second monster, passed, and there was a minute and a half left in the match.
Suffridge summoned Tribe, matching his Breaker and face up attack position Sinister Serpent. He attacked into Magician of Faith, Coronel took back Lightning Vortex, and Magician perished. Serpent flipped the face down face up with an attack, revealing Spirit Reaper. Suffridge blew it up with Ring of Destruction, Tribe attacked directly, and when time was called it was Coronel’s turn and the score was 3750 to 3650. Suffridge had a slim lead of 100 life points.
Coronel tried to clear the field with Asura Priest, but it was laid low by Sakuretsu Armor. Lightning Vortex destroyed the Serpent, Breaker, and Tribe-Infecting Virus. Coronel had used his normal summon, so he set a face down and looked worried.
Suffridge drew, flipped Call of the Haunted, and took back Tribe. He attacked with it, and Coronel flipped his set card, showing Sakuretsu Armor! His opponent set a monster and next turn he summoned a Tribe-Infecting Virus of his own. It attacked, straight into a Gravekeeper’s Spy, and Coronel took a bit of damage while the Spy was joined by another. The game ended, life point totals were compared, and Suffridge won both game two and the match!
Max Suffridge of team Alpha Omega moves on to Day 2 of the 2005 American Nationals!