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Doomkaiser Dragon
Card# CSOC-EN043

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2006 Yu-Gi-Oh! United States National Championship
Metagame Staff

It’s over, and the newest US National Champion is also by far the youngest!


Austin Kulman, age eleven, defeated Overdose’s Emon Ghaneian and Comic Odyssey’s Matt Laurents on his way to the finals. Beating each in game three of their respective Top 8 matches with a Return from the Different Dimension play for the win, his ingenuity, control, foresight, and raw talent combined with a bit of luck and fate to let him dominate two of the country’s most respected duelists. Beating the odds-on favorite Emon Ghaneian, and then coming back from incredible card disadvantage against Laurents, he put forth a stunning showing that is even impressing online critics.


He then moved on to face Team Unseen’s Mark Garcia, the only duelist in the Top 8 to not run Return from the Different Dimension. Heavily teched against Return, he was packing a ton of defensive spells and three Royal Decree to shut down the potent swings in momentum that Return generates. His deck was designed to beat exactly what Kulman was running. Losing the first duel, Kulman managed to fight his way back to a 2-1 victory after some clever side decking and incredible play decisions, claiming victory in a matchup that a lesser duelist would have lost.


Never before has a US Champion been so embraced by the other competitors. Chants of the champion’s name, cheers, and comments of praise followed Kulman all day long, only intensifying every time he won a match. When he claimed the US title with a final blow to Garcia’s life points, the crowd filling the Dueling Dome utterly exploded, with cheers so loud they shook the Dueling Dome to its very foundations.


Now, after competing against each other with such amazing intensity, Mark Garcia, Matt Laurents, Miguel Flores, and Austin Kulman will have to realign their focus. As of this morning, they were all opponents. But as of right now, with the tournament finished, they’ll need to become a team. After last year’s disappointing showing from American representatives at Worlds, this varied batch of will be responsible for improving the country’s international track record.


A nation’s hopes ride on their shoulders.


Our congratulations to all the competitors who played in the 2006 US National Championships, with a special tip of the hat to the new American champion, Austin Kulman!


Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Champion
Miguel Flores
  Miguel Flores
Benjamin Sirichotiratana
  Mark Garcia
Mark Garcia
  Mark Garcia
Stephen Tsilimos
  Austin Kulman
Emon Ghaneian
  Austin Kulman
Austin Kulman
  Austin Kulman
Victor Reinert
  Matt Laurents
Matt Laurents



Day 2
It all comes down to this! One year of Shonen Jump Championships and Regionals was to draw to a close in mere moments, as the final two competitors of the US Nationals squared off to crown a US Champion!
Mark Garcia and Miguel Flores have each earned a spot at the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championships in Japan, so to a certain extent the pressure was off—or was it? After making it this far, the number-one spot was only two short duels away, and both players wanted it.
With their invites won and locked, and their trips to Tokyo a sure thing, one pressure replaced another for both of these worthy competitors: now each wanted to win the coveted US title and the glory that comes with it.
Team Anarchy’s Stephen Tsilimos was in high spirits as he waited for the start of the Yu-Gi-Oh! US Nationals Top 8. He had every reason to be: the round was about to start, and his opponent was nowhere to be found.
The second and final day of the Yu-Gi-Oh! National Championships is underway. The first place player of the Swiss rounds, who has become the first person at a U.S. National Championship to go through Day 1 undefeated, was Miguel Flores.
Today Matt Laurents of Comic Odyssey faces Victor E “Victory” Reinert for the chance to go to Japan in August. Each player’s deck is using its own set of tricks that served both duelists well in day 1. Now they must face each other and see who has the cleverest ploys and strongest strategies.
This was it! The most anticipated match of the quarterfinals pitted Emon Ghaneian, who some have called the hottest player of 2006, against an incredible underdog.
Day 1
Check out the Top 8 decklists here!
Profiles of the Top 8 players!
Esteemed duelists, welcome to my seminar on Darwinian Deckbuilding. Please note that this seminar is rather avant-garde and the contents thereof are purely representative of myself, and do not necessarily represent the wider philosophy of Duel Academy.
It’s round 8, and the dominant deck cards of the day have most certainly been established!
Team Comic Odyssey is still in the running with two team members on the bubble, but Team Unseen has the same number of duelists in contention going into round 9!
Eight rounds have passed at the Yu-Gi-Oh! National Championships, and as I look down the tables, one question comes to my mind.
San Francisco is good to Matt Laurents—he made Top 4 at the Shonen Jump Championship here in December of last year. Now he’s back in San Francisco with a 6-1 record at the Yu-Gi-Oh! National Championship.
Kris Perovic really needs no introduction for today's tournament, but why not make him feel embarrassed? He has finished in the Top 8 of two Shonen Jump Championships and is one of the original members of the goliath Team Overdose.
Hello again, class. We’ve been watching for some of the brilliant and daring moves we’ve seen today. Plays we’ve seen and then thought, “How clever! That’s the sort of thing that I would do, you know.”
Matt Laurents is one of two Comic Odyssey members with 5-1 records going into round 7, matching Osmon Ortiz’s equally impressive performance here today.
Students, students! I was hoping that the attendees at the prestigious U.S. National Championship would be more brushed up on some of the rules used in our most cherished game. But never let it be said I was a poor teacher. Here’s a list of rules some players got wrong in the competition today. How many of these did you know?
David Monterroso is from Los Angeles and is representing Team Hustle. Vincent Tundo, from New York, is not affiliated with any team. His deck was the reason for this feature match, and you’re about to see why.
Austin Kulman is an eleven-year-old champion hailing from Team Fusion. He’s come here to prove that he will be the next National Champion. Standing between him and glory is Robert Lopez. He is firm in his resolve, with the image of Wolverine being torn asunder by The Hulk getting his point across.
I need to come clean with everyone. The moment I set foot into the press area to help bring you live coverage of U.S Nationals, I asked every judge I found to keep an eye out for anyone running Morphing Jar #2.
Shane Scurry is recognized as one of the game’s greatest deckbuilders. The fuel behind the fire of the former Team Scoop’s success, his decks have driven Paul Levitin and Carlos Santiago to a total of eight Shonen Jump Championship Top 8 finishes between them.
We were at the halfway mark in the event, and both of the Tsilimos brothers from Jacksonville, Florida, were 4-0. Representing Team Anarchy, James has already had to go through opponents like Anthony Alvarado to get to where he was today.
Feroze Ramcharan might not be the member of Nexus with the best accomplishments, but he's definitely one of their great personalities.
Mike Sexton of Team Hustle was set to take on Evan Vargas of the former Team Savage. After a long absence, Evan Vargas is back in action here at the National Championships, and doesn’t seem to be showing any trace of rust.
Good afternoon, class. My name is Dr. Crellian Vowler, PhD in Dueling and Department Chair of Tournaments here at Duel Academy. I’ll be informing you today of some of the more interesting elements from the U.S. Yu-Gi-Oh! National Championship; namely, the things that the other writers won’t tell you . . . or can’t tell you.
Both players wished each other luck and set up their decks for play, while the table judge ensured that both players knew the lay of the land.
Both players had 1-1 records, meaning whoever lost this match would be out of Top 8 contention. And they were given a feature match, too! No pressure at all, right?
Nareg Torossian, the Shonen Jump Champion of Indianapolis, is on my list of players to watch for the day. Representing Team Rampage, his ambiguous play style and cerebral mind games are studded with touches of sardonic humor that make him exceedingly difficult to read.
Steven last had a feature match when he finished in the Top 4 at the Baltimore Shonen Jump. When we saw Kirk’s Cyber-Stein build, we knew that we had to see it in action. Would Cyber-Stein rule the match? Or would Steven successfully overcome its destructive forces?
Richard Treadwell is an accomplished Yu-Gi-Oh! veteran who placed in the Top 4 of Shonen Jump Durham earlier this year. David Simon is better known as the online personality "F00B". He was part of the original Team Savage and frequently traveled and competed with Evan Vargas, among others.
While all of today's players are indeed great, only four duelists today can earn the chance to compete against the best on the planet. Here are my picks on who you will see in the Top 8 tomorrow.
With Round 1 underway, it’s a great opportunity to take a look at the field and for some of us to give you our personal projections on who will make it to Day 2.
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