Jorge Vasquez has travelled here today from Phoenix, AZ to play a budget version of the popular Diamond Dude Turbo deck. He’s not exactly a regular on the circuit, but if there’s any place to change that, it’s right here at the 50th Shonen Jump Championship. Paul Levitin still doesn’t need any introduction seeing as he’s been a veteran of these events for years now. Years. As you’ve probably already seen from Jason’s deck profile, Paul is running an unconventional, rather risky build of Gladiator Beasts. The big question to be answered is whether or not Paul can get Gladiator Beast Heraklinos to the field before Jorge’s deck comes online.
Paul won the opening roll and decided to go first. He started off by asking his opponent how many cards he had in hand. Apparently years of SJC experience doesn’t equate to “remembering how many cards you start the game with.” He set 3 spell or traps along with a monster and passed over to Jorge. Jorge started off with Reasoning, and Paul called for a level one monster. Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude flopped off the top, however, and his effect whiffed, hitting an Evil Hero Infernal Prodigy. Dude was tributed for Jinzo, and Jorge attacked. Enemy Controller blocked the attack and play passed back to Paul. He flipped Gladiator Beast Bestiari and normal summoned Gladiator Beast Laquari to join it. Test Tiger hit the field next, and it was tributed to tag out Bestiari and replace it with Gladiator Beast Secutor. Laquari took down Jinzo and Secutor struck directly. Secutor’s effect triggered at the end of the battle phase, bringing Gladiator Beast Hoplomus and a new Laquari out of the deck. In main phase 2, Paul sent both Laquari’s back to the deck along with Hoplomus to bring out Gladiator Beast Heraklinos! Paul passed with one card in hand and Jorge played another Reasoning.
Paul considered negating it, and after sizing up his opponent for a good 15 seconds, he pitched Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror to do so. Jorge set a spell or trap and passed back to Paul who swung with both of his monsters. Jorge had Mirror Force, but Heraklinos negated it with ease, allowing another 3300 damage through. At the end of the battle phase, Secutor brought out another Laquari and a Hoplomus, and Jorge was in big trouble. Paul didn’t have a hand, but Jorge absolutely needed to get rid of that Heraklinos. He activated Monster Reborn targeting Jinzo, but Solemn Judgment from Paul shut it down, causing Jorge to scoop up his cards.
Both players went into their side decks for game 2, but Jorge looked visibly puzzled regarding what he should side in against Gladiator Beasts. The changes were quick, and just a minute later the players were shuffling up. Jorge now knew that he couldn’t allow Paul to bring out Heraklinos again, or it would likely be game over for good this time. Jorge started out with Destiny Draw pitching Destiny Hero – Dasher to draw two cards. He set a spell or trap and then summoned Diamond Dude, once again whiffing on the effect. Bestiari came down for Paul next turn and hit Diamond Dude before tagging out for a 2100 ATK Laquari. He followed up with a set spell or trap and passed over to Jorge, who blasted Paul’s set Ojama Trio with Mystical Space Typhoon during the end phase. Reasoning came down for Jorge, and this time Paul called six. He was wrong, however, and Evil Hero Infernal Prodigy popped off the top of the deck in defense mode. Elemental Hero Stratos joined it bringing Evil Hero Malicious Edge to Jorge’s hand, and Premature Burial was up next targeting Destiny Hero – Dasher! Paul chained with the effect of D.D. Crow to remove him from play, and Jorge declared an attack with Elemental Hero Stratos! He hadn’t read Laquari’s effect, and Stratos was destroyed! At the end of the battle phase, Laquari swapped out for Murmillo and Infernal Prodigy bit the dust as well.
Jorge passed over to Paul who swung for 800 and swapped out his Murmillo for Laquari before setting a card and passing. Jorge set a card and passed to Paul who attacked only to find Dasher coming back to the field thanks to Escape from the Dark Dimension! He had the answer though in the form of Book of Moon, and Laquari continued its assault. At the end of the battle phase, Hoplomus took over for Laquari, and Paul set a spell or trap. Dasher’s effect allowed Jorge to summon another Dasher off his draw, who was quickly tributed for Malicious Edge! Edge wrecked Hoplomus and forced through some damage, and Paul appeared to be stuck. It wasn’t so, however, as Secutor and Test Tiger hit the field, allowing Paul to fetch Murmillo out of the deck and eliminate Malicious Edge. He attacked and then switched out Murmillo for Gladiator Beast Darius bringing Hoplomus out from the graveyard in defense mode. Paul passed, and Jorge used his second Dasher’s effect to bring down a third Dasher! This one was tributed for Jinzo, and Jinzo swung over Gladiator Beast Darius dealing some damage and sending Hoplomus back to the deck. Things were looking up for Jorge until Monster Reborn came down for Paul, stealing away Jorge’s Malicious Edge! Jinzo went down and Jorge was left with nothing on the field! One turn later it was all over as Paul swung one more time with Malicious Edge for game! Paul Levitin takes a 2-0 victory for Gladiator Beasts over Jorge Vasquez!