It all came down to this: if Jason Holloway could overcome Jerry Wang in this match he’d win his first Shonen Jump Championship title. If Jerry won, it would mean his second title in six weeks.
He won the roll, and, after wishing Holloway good luck, he opened with Allure of Darkness, removing Dark Grepher for its effect. He activated Destiny Draw next, discarding Destiny Hero – Fear Monger. He set a spell or trap card, set a monster, and ended his turn.
Holloway fired back with an Allure of his own. “No response,” replied Jerry, and Holloway removed Jinzo. He special summoned Dark Grepher by discarding Dark Magician of Chaos, then discarded Destiny Hero – Fear Monger to send Destiny Hero – Malicious to his graveyard from his deck: Jerry blasted him with D.D. Crow, removing Malicious from play! That left Holloway to set a card to his back row and attack with Grepher, straight into Jerry’s Sangan.
The Sangan got him Spirit Reaper, and in the end phase Jerry flipped Phoenix Wing Wind Blast! He discarded Torrential Tribute to spin away Holloway’s spell or trap card, and then drew for his turn.
He activated Monster Reborn and Holloway conceded then and there! Both players moved to siding and shuffling in an instant.
“I’ll go first,” noted Holloway, opening with Elemental Hero Stratos, Destiny Hero – Plasma, Trap Dustshoot, Sangan, Spirit Reaper, and Strike Ninja. He summoned Stratos, searched his deck for Destiny Hero – Disk Commander, and then set Trap Dustshoot. “Go.”
Jerry drew, and Holloway flipped the Dustshoot: Jerry had Morphing Jar, Return from the Different Dimension, Brain Control, Allure of Darkness, Mind Crush, and another spell that was whisked away too quickly for this reporter to identify. He set one card to his back row; Holloway summoned Spirit Reaper and attacked, forcing Jerry to discard Mind Crush. “That Trap Dustshoot really hurt me,” remarked Jerry, taking 1800 damage from Stratos. Holloway ended, and next turn Jerry set everything but his Allure.
He activated it, losing the two spells he drew and passing. “Go.” Holloway continued to draw nothing but monsters, but his poor hand was still better than Jerry’s no-monster spread. He tributed Stratos for Jinzo, attacked for 2400 damage, and turned Reaper to defense mode.
Monster Reborn let Jerry bring back his opponent’s Stratos, He used Brain Control to take Jinzo, tributed it for a face-down monster, and ended. Holloway activated Gold Sarcophagus next turn, searching for Heavy Storm and removing it from play. A set monster ended his turn. Jerry had three cards set, drew to one card in hand, and had a set monster and Stratos on the field. He sent Stratos to attack Holloway’s set monster, Sangan, and Holloway got Snipe Hunter from his deck. Jerry ended, Holloway was up, and he was one turn away from claiming that Heavy Storm.
He summoned Snipe Hunter in the meantime, discarding Disk Commander with priority to try and destroy Stratos. The roll missed! Holloway had to make another pitch, and discarded Destiny Hero – Plasma — to miss again! He now had just three cards left in his hand, and two monsters on the field. Wang was actually up a card at this point, with a set monster, Stratos, and three set cards in his back row, plus one in hand. Granted, Holloway’s Heavy Storm would make a big difference next turn, but Jerry seemed well on his way to a recovery.
Holloway sent Snipe Hunter to attack Jerry’s set monster, Destiny Hero – Malicious, and passed! That Snipe Hunter was going down — Holloway had nothing to stop Jerry from attacking with Stratos. Or anything else, for that matter.
The duel stood at 2700 to 8000, with Holloway leading. Jerry removed Destiny Hero – Malicious from his graveyard to special summon another, pondered Malicious’ position for a while before placing him in defense mode. Stratos ran over Snipe Hunter, Jerry ended, and Holloway drew for his turn before taking his Heavy Storm.
He played it, and Jerry chained The Transmigration Prophecy, returning his Monster Reborn and Reinforcement of the Army to his deck. He lost Mystical Space Typhoon and Return from the Different Dimension. Holloway continued his turn, activating Premature Burial to bring back Jinzo. He summoned Strike Ninja, turned Spirit Reaper to attack position, and lashed out: Jinzo took down Stratos, Strike Ninja cleared away Malicious, and Jerry lost Dark Armed Dragon to Spirit Reaper! He was left with just one card in his hand, and he conceded on the following turn.
Jason Holloway fights back, winning the second duel to push this match to game 3!
“I’ll go first,” announced Jerry, drawing his opening hand. He got things started with Allure of Darkness, drew two, and quickly removed Destiny Hero – Fear Monger. He set one card to his back row, ended, and Holloway drew his sixth card.
He activated Reinforcement of the Army, searched out the ubiquitous Stratos, summoned him, and dug through his deck to find Destiny Hero – Disk Commander. Stratos attacked, Jerry took 1800 damage, and Holloway ended. Jerry flipped Heavy Storm, destroying Holloway’s Royal Decree! He then set five cards to his back row, everything in his hand save one card.
Holloway unleashed Heavy Storm next turn, and Jerry flipped Solemn Judgment! Stratos attacked, and Jerry dropped to 1300 life points. Holloway set one card to his back row. Jerry drew, considered his options, and checked his four set cards. “End my turn.”
Holloway attacked, and Jerry flipped Return from the Different Dimension to bring out his Fear Monger in defense mode! He now had just 600 life points left. Holloway made no attack on the replay, set a second spell or trap, and ended. In the end phase Jerry flipped Crush Card Virus, tributed Fear Monger, and blew away Stratos! Holloway revealed his hand: 2 D.D. Crow, Disk Commander, and Premature Burial.
Jerry activated Allure of Darkness! He removed Jinzo for its effect, set a monster and ended. Holloway topdecked Dark Armed Dragon and lost it to Crush Card Virus! He activated Premature Burial, targeted Stratos, and brought him to the field to search his deck for Destiny Hero – Malicious. He set a monster, attacked Jerry’s face-down monster, and Jerry repelled Stratos with Wind Blast, discarding Destiny Draw! Holloway ended, seemingly with a huge advantage in both cards and life points.
Jerry flip summoned Card Trooper and sent three non-monsters to his graveyard to power it up — It attacked, hitting Disk Commander. He ended his turn with just one card set in his back row. Crush Card Virus ate Holloway’s Stratos and he passed.
Next turn Jerry activated Card Trooper again, this time sending Sangan and Malicious to the graveyard: Holloway took away Malicious with D.D. Crow, and Jerry set another spell or trap card. Next turn, Holloway activated Destiny Draw, discarded Malicious and drew two. He removed Malicious to special summon another from his deck, special summoned Dark Armed Dragon, and Jerry activated Solemn Judgment! He was down to 325 life points.
Holloway summoned Snipe Hunter and it was all over — Jerry needed to stop both of Holloway’s monsters, and his face-down Brain Control wasn’t going to stop either of them. Holloway gave Jerry a sincere handshake and thanked him for the match.
Jason Holloway is your new Shonen Jump Champion!