Ricky Riles is from local Team GG, and he promised me before the event began that if he received a feature match he would either win big or lose in one of the most incredible ways imaginable. Joey Skiles just came off a victory over Jake McNeely with a deck featuring both The Earth — Hex-Sealed Fusion and Skyscraper 2 — Hero City. One way or another, I think its time for Ricky to make good on his promise. Both players have one loss right now, but, thanks to the cut to Top 16, both are still in contention. Joey won the opening roll, 3 to 2, and opted to start the match.
Joey opened up with a set spell or trap and passed over to Ricky who set a monster and activated Wave-Motion Cannon. Joey special summoned Cyber Dragon and attacked into Ricky’s set Des Koala taking 2000 damage for the 5 cards in his hand. Ricky drew and the Cannon passed its first standby phase. Smashing Ground eliminated the Dragon, and Ricky set a card to each zone before passing. Joey set a card to each zone as well and passed over to Ricky. The Cannon could do 2000 points of damage now if he chose to fire it off, but he instead chose to set a spell or trap and pass. Joey added another spell or trap to his field and passed back to Ricky again.
That Cannon was looking awfully threatening, and Joey simply didn’t have an answer for it at the time. Ricky was content to just wait things out and passed his turn. Joey passed as well, and tried to destroy Wave-Motion Cannon in the draw phase with Mystical Space Typhoon. Solemn Judgment prevented it, and Ricky flipped another Koala and launched Wave-Motion Cannon for a quick win. It looked like this was going to be a blowout victory for Ricky as Joey’s deck just didn’t seem to work for him in the first game. Still, there was at least one more game to go, and the players dove into their side decks for help.
Between games, Joey made the mistake of revealing how many cards he was side decking (2) while Ricky simply smoke-screened, likely keeping his deck exactly the same. Joey opted to begin again, and this time he started with a set to each zone. Ricky came back with a D. D. Warrior Lady and attacked into The Earth — Hex-Sealed Fusion causing 100 damage due to its DEF. Ricky destroyed it in main phase 2 with a Smashing Ground before setting a card and ending. The Bottomless Trap Hole was destroyed by Dust Tornado in the end phase and action was to Joey. He studied his hand intently before summoning Elemental Hero Sparkman. Miracle Fusion came down, Fusing The Earth — Hex-Sealed Fusion and Sparkman. It’s Shining Flare Wingman time, folks! Elemental Hero Shining Flare Wingman came into play and, after Smashing Ground cleared away D.D. Warrior Lady, the Wingman attacked.
Cyber Dragon came down for Ricky and Reinforcement of the Army fetched a D. D. Assailant for him as well. The Assailant joined Cyber Dragon on the field and rammed into the Wingman removing it from play. Cyber Dragon attacked directly as well and left the score at 5900 to 4600 in Joey’s favor. Joey had his own Reinforcement of the Army, however, and he used it to bring Elemental Hero Stratos to his hand. Heavy Storm cleared the backfield, but Ceasefire was chained to deal some more damage to Joey. He then summoned Stratos and fetched an Elemental Hero Wildheart to his hand. Then, he attacked into Cyber Dragon destroying his own Stratos. Skyscraper 2 — Hero City hit the field and brought Stratos back to the field in defense mode and brought a Sparkman to his hand. Ricky dropped Swords of Revealing Light, attacked Stratos, and immediately realized his mistake. Stratos came back once again and fetched Elemental Hero Clayman for Joey. He set a card to each zone and passed over to Ricky who was hanging on by his Swords of Revealing Light.
He ended his turn after attacking Joey’s set Sparkman, and next turn Hero City brought the Sparkman back into play. Joey set another monster and Ricky took the bait. He attacked into D. D. Warrior Lady and suddenly, Cyber Dragon was gone. We were at the last turn of Swords, and Ricky set another spell or trap before ending. Joey put Stratos back into attack mode before ending and the Swords of Revealing Light expired. Ricky played some defense with a set monster and passed back to Joey who activated a Reinforcement of the Army. Wildheart was brought to his hand and then summoned. Stratos attacked into a set Spirit Reaper. Still in battle, Joey used Ring of Destruction to clear the Reaper and open the way to a direct attack from Wildheart. Ricky was at 2800, and he summoned Cyber Dragon and tributed for Mobius to destroy that pesky Hero City. Stratos was attacked for the fourth time of the match and Ricky ended his turn. Joey set a card to each zone and switched his Wildheart to defense position before passing back to Ricky. Ricky had just drawn into Snatch Steal and contemplated its use. Mobius destroyed Wildheart and play returned to Joey, who set another monster.
Ricky was visibly displeased with his draws and set another monster. Things continued to not go very well for him as Mobius took down The Earth — Hex-Sealed Fusion. Joey drew and actively searched his graveyard. Mystical Space Typhoon destroyed Ricky’s Mirror Force and Miracle Fusion came down to bring out Elemental Hero Shining Flare Wingman once more! Without Mirror Force, the massive Wingman obliterated Mobius and took Ricky down with it! This match is going to game 3!
Skyscraper 2 — Hero City is a lot nastier than it seems isn’t it? It was Ricky’s turn to start this time around, and with 13 minutes left there seemed to be enough time for Joey’s deck to work its magic. He opened with a set to each zone and passed over to Joey who dropped D. D. Warrior Lady. The Lady crashed into Gravekeeper’s Spy and Ricky took another from his deck. Joey had nothing to set in main phase 2 and had to pass over to Ricky. D.D. Survivor dropped from Ricky’s hand and ran into the Warrior Lady. The two Spies then hit home for 1200 a piece. Ricky considered setting two more cards but didn’t. Cyber Dragon came down for Joey but was removed from play by Bottomless Trap Hole. Another one came down and Joey activated Reinforcement of the Army for Elemental Hero Stratos. Stratos was normal summoned and granted Joey an Elemental Hero Sparkman. Cyber Dragon took down Survivor and Stratos ate a Spy. Joey then passed the turn without setting any cards. Ricky drew and found his third Spy before activating a Reinforcement of the Army of his own. He pulled D. D. Assailant and summoned it, attacking into Cyber Dragon, removing both from play.
In main phase 2, Ricky switched his Spy to defense and set a spell or trap before passing. Joey set a card to each zone and passed back to Ricky who checked his graveyard before setting a card to each zone. It was back to Joey’s turn and he set another card to each zone. Ricky drew into Swords of Revealing Light, but he didn’t play it. Instead, he set the third Spy. Joey threw a Mystical Space Typhoon at Ricky’s Ring of Destruction, but the Ring was chained, destroying Stratos. Joey summoned Elemental Hero Wildheart and activated Miracle Fusion, Fusing an on-field The Earth with Wildheart to make Elemental Hero Wildedge. Ricky decided he wanted to use Solemn Judgment against the Fusion, but once he allowed the Miracle Fusion to resolve, it was too late for him to do so. Wildedge wiped two Spies off the field and then hit a set Mystic Tomato. The Tomato fetched Sangan, and Wildedge hit that monster as well. Sangan fetched Morphing Jar and Joey considered his next attack. He looked intently at his face down card. Knowing that Ricky had a set Solemn, he tried to Ring his own Wildedge. Ricky had to use the Solemn dropping him to 1650. Sparkman hit directly, dropping Ricky to 50 life points. Ricky set the Jar and a Solemn Judgment before playing Swords of Revealing Light. Joey set his hand to the spell and trap zone and passed to Ricky who flipped his Jar with 2 set spell or traps and Swords on the field. At this point, time ran out.
Ricky would get to finish his turn, and then take one more turn to his opponent’s two. Joey was still at 3000 though, so he was looking pretty good. Ricky filled out his spell and trap card zones with a Mirror Force and a Dimensional Fissure and dropped D.D. Survivor into play. Smashing Ground destroyed Wildedge and play was to Joey. Joey set three cards and a monster, and it was now Ricky’s final turn. He started by summoning D. D. Warrior Lady, and then Survivor attacked into a set The Earth. Sakuretsu Armor couldn’t stop it due to a Solemn Judgment, and Call of the Haunted couldn’t stop the next attack due to another Solemn. Finally, Morphing Jar managed to seal the deal and give Ricky the win he had longed for. Unfortunately, we later found that the pressure had gotten to Joey, and he discovered a set Trap Hole that could have destroyed the D. D. Warrior Lady or forced a Solemn and won him the game. It was a huge tragedy for Elemental Hero fans everywhere, as Ricky Riles receives the biggest gift of his career in the form of a misplay from Joey Skiles and moves on with only one loss.