Todd Carlson, an avid VS System player and fan of many other card games, comes here today tempted by the alluring first place prize. “I wants me some phat loots.” He was in Costa Mesa merely a month ago playing in a VS System mega weekend, where he placed ninth and barely missed Top 8. He hopes to break that bad luck today by coming away a victor in the match. A former resident of Frankfurt, Germany, he now lives in Washington State. He wishes to give a shout-out to all his friends at Olympic Cards and Comics in Lacey, Washington.
James Pennicott is a well-known writer and European competitor here today with an innovative burn deck loaded with creative tech designed to wreck the format. Both Royal Oppression and Kinetic Soldier are main decked, with a side deck so odd as to be unbelievable. He wishes to give shout-outs to Paul Doherty, Mark Lightfoot, and Chris Bell, all three people to whom he seems to owe his immortal soul.
Matches are rarely interesting without banter, so I was most happy when James opened up the match by saying “So . . . you don’t play the game that often, so you’ll scoop this match to me, right?” “No! Unless you want to pay for my trip from Washington state.” James topped that. “London, England.” “Okay, you beat me.” “High roll to go first?” suggested Todd, referring to his tin of dice. “Even or odd?” “High roll!” “Even or odd to decide whether we use high roll or even or odd?” The table judge, “the lovely Julia Hedberg,” in James’ words, suggested high roll. James won choosing rights despite his objections to the method, and he started the match.
After presenting side decks and shuffling, James led with one set spell or trap, quickly cleared away next turn by Mystical Space Typhoon. James was down a copy of Magic Cylinder. Spirit Reaper hit the field, attacked and discarded a Ceasefire, and Todd followed by setting one spell or trap and a Royal Oppression, activated on James’ draw. James grinned and set his entire hand. “This is going to be an interesting game,” quipped James, expecting something funny to come of a matchup of Royal Oppression. Todd summoned Green Gadget and used its effect to search for a Red Gadget.
The two exercised their skills in human beat boxing as Todd shuffled his deck, churning out phat beats. Todd turned his Spirit Reaper to attack position, attacked, and his Green Gadget and Reaper hit a Mirror Force, which quickly met Solemn Judgment. “Dark Bribe?” asked Todd. James revealed it, and the score was 7700 to 4000 as Reaper and the most jealous Gadget hit the graveyard. Todd summoned his Red Gadget and searched for Yellow Gadget, setting a spell or trap and passing his unsuccessful turn.
“I’m so confused,” sighed Todd.
James activated Swords of Revealing Light, and Yellow Gadget summoned next turn searched another Green Gadget. The crimson Machine went to defense, and Todd set another spell or trap. James set another spell or trap, and Todd asked “Do people in the UK believe in monster cards?” James thought for a moment. “No.” Todd activated Heavy Storm in a manner too shy to be questioningly but too curious to be sheepishly. James met it with a Solemn Judgment. When Green Gadget was summoned, Torrential Tribute was there to give his Machine an error message as it hit the field. The seasick Gadget searched a blushing Gadget, and Todd passed play, quite possibly irritated at excess non-color adjectives. When James set a monster next turn, Todd was awestruck. “Whoa, dude! You do play monsters!” He summoned Banisher of the Light on his turn, and passed, letting Swords hit the removed from play zone.
James set another monster, and Todd doubled his surprise. Todd summoned Drillroid, and attacked into a Des Koala. He chained Shrink on Des Koala to reduce overall damage from the flip effect, and took 800 damage from Koala plus 200 from the attack. Banisher hit the other Koala for another 1000 damage, and, when Todd tried to play Fissure from his spell or trap zone later, James had Book of Moon. Todd set another spell or trap. James set a spell or trap, and passed. Todd drew, and agonized. “Dimension Wall is the absolute low here.” He carefully considered his move, as he was sitting at 2000 life points. He passed his turn. James set a monster and passed. Todd summoned a Red Gadget, activated the effect, and chained his own Torrential Tribute when James had no response. He passed his turn after retrieving a Yellow Gadget, sans beat-boxing or special adjectives.
James set a monster, and when Todd summoned Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer next turn he ran him into Kinetic Soldier. Todd stared blankly for a moment. “You’re just full of surprises.” James set another monster, and Todd drew for the turn and set a monster of his own. James set another monster, and Kycoo revealed it to be Stealth Bird, removing the 1700 DEF monster from the field. James set a spell or trap. Todd agonized over his next move, still fearing a Dimension Wall. Todd blew Enemy Controller, tributing D. D. Warrior Lady. He set Kycoo to defense, attacked with the borrowed Kinetic Soldier, and blew Hammer Shot to destroy the Kinetic in a clever set of plays. James summoned Exiled Force, tried to attack the Kycoo, and hit Dimensional Prison. Kycoo attacked and ran headlong into Gravity Bind. James set a monster. Todd passed. James passed, and Todd returned the set monster. James drew, shaking his head. He set a spell or trap and passed. Todd filled up his spell and trap zone, the score 1800 to 2000. James set a spell or trap and passed, and Todd blew a Shrink to free up a slot in his spell and trap zone. Stealth Bird was flipped, and Todd used Solemn Judgment. James had the Dark Bribe though, and the last of Todd’s 2000 life points dwindled away that turn.
Todd and James had to think carefully about the next game. Todd seemed to be siding out Royal Oppression for other options against the fast burn deck, and it was unknown whether James would keep his copies of Royal Oppression in. The two counted out their side decks after a banter-free session. “That whole game was bad; I don’t like burn.” Todd was bummed about his bad luck facing a burn deck.
Carlson went first with a monster set and three spells or traps to follow. James set four cards and presented his first threat of the game with Wave-Motion Cannon. Todd revealed Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror at the end phase, and on his next turn revealed Red Gadget. The monster was greeted by a Torrential Tribute, which also removed his set Morphing Jar from the picture. Yellow Gadget met Todd’s hand, and he passed. James revealed his next surprise of the match, Injection Fairy Lily. She met another Torrential Tribute from James, which met Dark Bribe. “You’ve got Solemn Judgment,” Todd predicted with a heavy sigh. He flipped over his own Solemn, and James met it with another Dark Bribe. The 4000 life points lost from Solemn Judgment was enough to clinch it for James.
The post-match wrap-up concerned what the two players sided in or out, and also a question from Todd: “Did you have the Dimension Wall first game?” When James denied it, Todd shrugged. “This is my worst matchup.” “I really like that teched Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror.” “Yeah, would have made an interesting feature against Dark Armed Dragon.” Todd happily wished James luck, and James moves on undefeated to round 3 with his interesting burn deck!