This was the match that everybody here at the Seattle Center wanted to see — the dueling prodigy and former National Champion Austin Kulman, versus Shonen Jump Champion and highly consistent independent Cesar Gonzalez! How could we not feature it? Both duelists couldn’t wait to get into this match and play began swiftly.
Kulman opened the first duel with Destiny Hero - Doom Lord, Solemn Judgment, Dark Armed Dragon, Breaker the Magical Warrior, Heavy Storm, and Krebons. He summoned Krebons, set Heavy Storm and lost it next turn to Cesar’s Breaker the Magical Warrior. Breaker attacked, Kulman paid 800 life points, and Cesar set three spell or trap cards — he was off to a huge start.
Reinforcement of the Army let Kulman search out Elemental Hero Stratos, but when he summoned him, Cesar negated the summon with Solemn Judgment. Kulman set his own Solemn, passed, and Cesar summoned Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude, activating him for a free Destiny Draw! Both monsters attacked and Kulman paid 1600 life points to keep Krebons on deck.
He summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior next turn, used his token to destroy another of Cesar’s Solemns, then attacked over Diamond Dude. Kulman had Torrential Tribute, Dark Armed Dragon, and Doom Lord, and ended his turn without making another move.
Cesar got his two free cards with the Destiny Draw from last turn, and activated Heavy Storm. He chained Emergency Teleport, Kulman did not negate it with Solemn, and Cesar special summoned Krebons from his deck. Cesar Synchro summoned for Goyo Guardian, special summoned Dark Armed Dragon, then normal summoned Dark Grepher! Dark Armed Dragon shredded apart Kulman’s two monsters and Goyo, the Dragon, and Dark Grepher all attacked for game!
“Destiny Draw was good,” remarked Cesar, shuffling up and siding.
“Did it win you the game?” asked Kulman.
“Yeah. The D-Draw gave me Krebons and Heavy Storm.” He’d had a rough hand otherwise, though Kulman’s decision not to set Torrential Tribute may have been a mistake as well. Play quickly moved to Game 2.
Kulman opened with Destiny Draw, discarding Destiny Hero – Malicious! He had Destiny Draw, Monster Reborn, Bottomless Trap Hole, Allure of Darkness, Doom Lord, and Diamond Dude. He discarded Doom Lord for Destiny Draw, drew Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer and Solemn Judgment, and summoned Diamond Dude — his effect hit Dark Armed Dragon, putting it on the bottom of the deck. Kulman set Bottomless Trap Hole and ended.
Allure of Darkness with Doom Lord was Cesar’s first move, followed by Elemental Hero Stratos searching Diamond Dude. Stratos took out Diamond Dude and a set spell or trap ended Cesar’s turn.
Brain Control came off the top of Kulman’s deck, and he activated Allure of Darkness, drawing another Solemn and Krebons. He pitched Kycoo for Allure’s effect, removed Malicious, and special summoned another from his deck in defense position. He normal summoned Krebons, Synchro summoned Thought Ruler Archfiend and Cesar had no response. Thought Ruler then ran over Stratos, gaining Kulman 1800 life points. He set both copies of Solemn and ended, losing one Solemn to Mystical Space Typhoon in the end phase.
Cesar summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, but lost out to Bottomless Trap Hole and passed with an open field! “You’re at 7100, correct?” asked Kulman. Cesar verified that, and Kulman removed his second Malicious to special summon his third. It was followed by another Krebons courtesy of Emergency Teleport, and Kulman Synchro summoned Colossal Fighter, and then activated Monster Reborn to take Cesar’s Stratos! That was game, and Cesar immediately scooped.
“I had triple Malicious,” commented Cesar, a bit downtrodden. “I looked at my hand and was like . . . pretty gooood!”
“Do you want me to go first?” grinned Kulman as both duelists shuffled up.
Cesar scowled. “If you weren’t fourteen, I’d laugh at you. Draw.”
He opened up Game 3 with Allure of Darkness, removing Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude before setting a card to each zone. “Your turn.” Kulman had Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, Solemn Judgment, Mystical Space Typhoon, Crush Card Virus, Monster Reborn, and Emergency Teleport. He set Solemn, set Mystical Space Typhoon, and summoned Kycoo to attack Cesar’s face-down card: Sangan. Sangan got Cesar Malicious and Kulman set a third spell or trap card; Cesar discarded Malicious in the end phase for Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, spinning Mystical Space Typhoon.
He activated Brain Control next turn to try and take Kycoo, really wanting to use his Malicious, but Kulman shut him down with Solemn Judgment! That would either win or lose him the match right there. Cesar shook his head and set a card to each zone. “Go.”
Kulman counted Cesar’s Darks in his graveyard: two. He activated Mystical Space Typhoon from his hand and blew away Cesar’s face-down Dimensional Prison! Kycoo attacked, hit Cesar’s face-down Mystic Tomato, and Cesar special summoned Krebons. Kulman had Monster Reborn and Crush Card Virus in hand, and activated Reborn to take Cesar’s Malicious. He set the Crush, now out of in-hand cards.
Cesar tributed his Krebons for Caius the Shadow Monarch, targeting Kycoo with its effect and removing it. Caius attacked Malicious, Kulman tributed it for Crush Card Virus, and Caius went down: Cesar had Emergency Teleport and another Malicious in hand. Kulman set another spell or trap next turn, Cesar activated Heavy Storm, and Kulman had to chain Teleport to get a Krebons just to defend himself! Cesar used his own Teleport to get Krebons, brought out his last Malicious, and Synchro summoned Colossal Fighter. Colossal Fighter attacked, took down Krebons, and Cesar passed with one card in hand. Kulman was down to topdecking.
He topped and summoned Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude, activated his effect and missed. Colossal Fighter smashed him next turn, Cesar set a monster, Kulman set Compulsory Evacuation Device, and activated it next turn to get rid of Colossal Fighter. He set Bottomless Trap Hole, but it didn’t matter: Cesar summoned Krebons, flip summoned Spirit Reaper, and attacked for game!
Cesar Gonzalez moves on to the Top 8!