Now at the mid-way mark in the tournament, it seemed like a good chance to open up feature matches to the X-1 players. With the Samurai-slinging Shonen Jump Champion Jonathan Moore going up against Steven Kimball’s Zombie deck, this one was a no-brainer choice. Moore was representing the new Kamikaze Krew, but Zombies are a bad matchup for his signature Samurai, and Kimball’s deck had been designed in conjunction with Jose Arocho, a veteran Zombie player in this format.
Moore looked at Kimball while he shuffled. “I have no idea what you’re playing. Do you know what I’m playing?”
“Well . . . I’m gonna guess Six Samurai.” Kimball grinned. “You did pretty well with those before.”
Moore blinked. “Oh . . . Dang.”
He won the roll and opened with nothing but a single set card to his back row. “This sucks.” Moore leaned back in his chair, arms folded, and next turn Kimball summoned Giant Rat for a quick 1400 damage. He set one card to his back row and ended. “Go ahead.”
Play was back to Moore, who was holding Heavy Storm, Solemn Judgment, Monster Reborn, The Six Samurai – Irou, The Six Samurai – Yaichi, and The Six Samurai – Kamon. He summoned Irou, attacked over Giant Rat, and wondered aloud about his matchup. “I wonder if that’s Turtle or Kinetic . . . If he’s playing Zombies I’ll be sad.” Kimball summoned Pyramid Turtle from his deck. “Oh.” He set one card to his back row and ended. Kimball tried to activate Royal Decree, but Moore chained Phoenix Wing Wind Blast from his first turn, discarding Yaichi for its cost. That let him keep his set Solemn Judgment as a live card.
“Okay . . .” Moore busted out his pen and made some notes. “Roy-al . . . De-cree . . .” He paused. “Zom-bieeeees . . .” He ended his turn.
Kimball slammed Pyramid Turtle into Irou, trading it for Il Blud. Il Blud ran over Irou, Kimball set two cards, and he announced that he was finished. Moore activated Six Samurai United. Kimball had no response, and Moore brought back Yaichi with Monster Reborn. “I get a Bushido Counter.” He summoned Kamon, placed a second Bushido Counter on United and then ditched it for two draws. Yaichi took out Royal Decree. “Dangit.” Moore had clearly hoped he could hold Kamon for that.
Reasoning got him another copy of Irou in defense mode, as Kimball called Level 7. Moore set one more card to his back row and ended. “Your move, sir.”
Il Blud attacked Yaichi, and Moore destroyed Kamon to keep Yaichi around. The duel stood at 5400 life points to 7200, with Kimball leading. He activated Card of Safe Return, and then activated Book of Life to target his Pyramid Turtle and Moore’s Irou: Moore responded with Mystical Space Typhoon, destroying Card of Safe Return. Pyramid Turtle came up in defense mode and Irou was removed. A set monster ended the turn for Kimball.
Moore activated Yaichi’s effect, and Kimball chained the targeted Enemy Controller, tributing it to take control of Irou. Moore turned Yaichi to defense mode and ended, retrieving his Irou. He had two cards in hand, two Samurai on the field, and one set spell or trap. Kimball drew and had two cards in hand with two monsters on the field.
He flip summoned his set Morphing Jar (drawing an “Oooh, TP2 — nice!” from Moore) and each player got a new hand. He activated Monster Reborn, took Moore’s The Six Samurai – Kamon, and thought over his moves. Kamon took out Yaichi, Il Blud took down Irou, and the Jar attacked directly. Kimball set two cards to his back row, set a monster, and ended.
Moore removed two Samurai from his graveyard to special summon Enishi, Shien’s Chancellor! He removed Il Blud with Enishi’s effect, then normal summoned another copy of Yaichi! He special summoned Grandmaster of the Six Samurai and targeted one of Kimball’s two face-down cards in his back row. Kimball flipped it: Crush Card Virus, and he tributed Sangan!
But Moore chained Solemn Judgment! Sangan got Kimball Pyramid Turtle from his deck, and Moore laughed: “That better not be a Mirror Force,” he remarked, eyeing Kimball’s one remaining back row card. Grandmaster attacked Morphing Jar and Moore ended his turn. The duel stood at 2350 to 5800 in Kimball’s favor.
The Pyramid Turtle Kimball had searched for last turn hit the field and rammed into Yaichi, giving Kimball access to Ryu Kokki. Kamon ran over Yaichi, Kokki hit Grandmaster, and Creature Swap in main phase 2 let Kimball trade Kamon for Enishi. Enishi then destroyed Kamon! Kimball set his last card to his back row.
It was Trap Dustshoot! It revealed Moore’s hand of Grandmaster of the Six Samurai, Reinforcement of the Army, and two The Six Samurai – Zanji. “I believe I’ll send back Grandmaster,” smiled Kimball.
“Yeah, that’s enough of that.” Moore conceded and dove into his side deck. A couple minutes later the second duel began.
He opened with a set spell or trap card yet again. “Did I just start off the same way I did last time?” Yes you did, Jon Moore. Kimball summoned Pyramid Turtle, attacked for 1200 damage, and set a spell or trap to end. Moore summoned Spirit of the Six Samurai next turn, special summoned Grandmaster, attached the Spirit to Grandmaster and attacked. Mirror Force blew away the Spirit but the attack continued: Pyramid Turtle was destroyed and Kimball special summoned Ryu Kokki. Moore gave a noise of displeasure: he had two more Grandmasters in his hand, but they were currently unusable.
Next turn Kimball summoned Pyramid Turtle again, but lost his field to Torrential Tribute. He passed with an open field, Moore set a spell or trap, and next turn Kimball summoned Zombie Master. He discarded Giant Rat for Zombie Master’s effect, but Moore discarded another Grandmaster to spin away Zombie Master on the chain, interrupting the effect! Kimball passed, but Moore had to pass back.
Kimball summoned Zombie Master and discarded Cyber Dragon, trying to bring back Pyramid Turtle: Moore chained D.D. Crow’s effect to remove Pyramid Turtle from the graveyard in response. Premature Burial brought back Ryu Kokki though, and both of Kimball’s Zombie monsters made direct attacks. Moore was down to 2600 life points.
He topped into Reinforcement of the Army! He’d been holding Lightning Vortex, but now wouldn’t have to use it. He activated Reinforcement of the Army, searched his deck for Spirit of the Six Samurai and summoned it. He special summoned Grandmaster, attached the Spirit to it, and then ran over Zombie Master to draw a card. He activated Swords of Revealing Light and ended, holding the Monster Reborn that he’d drawn with the Spirit’s effect.
He set one spell or trap, and then attacked Kokki with Grandmaster. Kokki was destroyed by battle, Spirit got Moore another draw, and the Spirit was then destroyed in place of Grandmaster (who would’ve fallen to Kokki’s effect otherwise). He ended his turn.
Kimball activated Card of Safe Return, and then brought back his Pyramid Turtle with Monster Reborn to draw an extra card. “I will pass.” Moore activated Six Samurai United, and then played Monster Reborn to bring back Spirit. He attached it to Grandmaster, pitched away the United to draw a card, and topped Enishi. “Well, that was dumb of me.” He then sent Grandmaster to attack Kimball’s face-down monster: Kinetic Soldier! Moore dropped to 1400 life points, setting a card and then pitching Shien for Lightning Vortex, clearing the field.
“Go ahead.” Kimball had to pass next turn. Swords of Revealing Light was destroyed, and Grandmaster attacked for 2600 damage. “Your move.” Kimball drew to three cards with Card of Safe Return on the field. He had to pass yet again.
Moore topped Reasoning! He activated it, knowing a special summon here would mean game. Kimball called Level 4, Moore flipped another Shogun Shien off the top of his deck, and the match moved to a third and final duel!
“You’re going first, right?”
“Yes,” replied Kimball.
“Go second,” whispered Moore. Kimball just started playing.
He set a monster and ended. Moore summoned Exiled Force, tributed it, and destroyed Kimball’s face-down Goblin Zombie, a horrible move! “No Bueno!” Moore couldn’t believe he did that. He set two cards to his back row and ended as Kimball went and got a Zombie Master from his deck.
He summoned it next turn, discarding another Zombie Master to bring it up. He discarded a third Zombie Master next, then activated Book of Life to special summon Goblin Zombie. He tried to attack, but Threatening Roar stopped him from entering his battle phase.
Moore topped into Grandmaster! He activated Six Samurai United, summoned Zanji, special summoned Grandmaster, and drew two cards with United. He followed it up by special summoning Great Shogun Shien and ran over two Zombie Masters, then considered his next attack. “You’re just gonna do that all over again too, if I leave you with that Zombie Master. And you could do it with Card of Safe Return, too.” He sent Zanji to bump heads with the last Zombie Master and ended.
Heavy Storm hit the table on Kimball’s turn, but Moore chained Threatening Roar — he lost his other set card in the trade though, and Kimball set a monster. Moore set a spell or trap, passed, and Kimball flip summoned Giant Rat. The Rat attacked Grandmaster and Moore considered his one set card: Phoenix Wing Wind Blast. “Oh wait! Sure.” He let the attack go and Kimball took 700 damage.
That got him Kinetic Soldier, and Kinetic attacked Grandmaster: the Wind Blast spun it away, at the cost of another of Moore’s Grandmasters. Kimball set a monster and play was back to Moore.
Grandmaster attacked Kimball’s set monster, another Giant Rat, and he pulled yet another Kinetic Soldier! Shien attacked the Goblin Zombie, thinking Kimball couldn’t get anything beyond his three Zombie Masters. Kimball pulled Spirit Reaper. Moore face-palmed.
Monster Reborn let Kimball bring back Giant Rat. He tried to activate Book of Life, but he’d forgotten about Shien. He summoned Spirit Reaper, traded his Giant Rat for another Kinetic Soldier, and both Soldiers took down Moore’s Grandmaster and Shien. Spirit Reaper then attack directly, costing Moore his Brain Control — the one last card he had. Both duelists had 5600 life points left.
Moore topped Solemn Judgment, set it, and ended. Kimball turned one Kinetic to defense mode, summoned Pyramid Turtle, and attacked twice. Moore passed, and next turn Kimball summoned another Pyramid Turtle. “12?” he asked, pressing one Pyramid Turtle forward as a gesture of attack. Moore nodded and scooped, knowing he couldn’t defend himself.
Some questionable plays and some flawed side decking definitely hurt Jonathan “Jenius” Moore in this one, as Steven Kimball steamrolls him with Zombies!