Both of these duelists are regulars on the Shonen Jump Championship scene — Ackerman has competed in six Shonen Jump Championships, while this is Gaspar’s fourth. Both are quality individuals who put in respectable showings, with both duelists having made Top 8 at SJC Durham.
“That’s your only Top 8 too, right?” asked Gaspar.
“Yeah, I’m a bum,” said Ackerman with a smile. Both duelists exchanged a handshake and shuffled each other’s decks before getting started.
Ackerman won the roll and opened with a set card to each zone. Gaspar did the same, and Ackerman activated Mystical Space Typhoon from his hand to destroy Torrential Tribute. He tributed his set Spirit Reaper for Zaborg the Thunder Monarch, destroyed Gaspar’s set Treeborn Frog with its effect, and attacked to bring him down to 5600. “Your turn,” he said.
Gaspar took back his Frog in defense position, set a card to each zone and passed. Zaborg attacked his set monster, but it was destroyed before battle by Ring of Destruction. Ackerman set a second spell or trap and ended.
Another back row card immediately hit Gaspar’s side of the field — at 3200 life points he needed to slow this game down. He ended his turn.
“56 to 32, right?” asked Ackerman. Gaspar nodded. Ackerman activated Heavy Storm from his hand, costing himself two cards from the field (Mirror Force and Pot of Avarice) but destroying Gaspar’s set Sakuretsu Armor. That was all the opening that Ackerman needed; he summoned Cyber-Stein, brought down Cyber End Dragon, and pierced through Treeborn Frog for game.
Robert Ackerman takes the first duel!
“I shouldn’t’ve Ringed,” bemoaned Gaspar. Indeed, he had played too fast for the cards he had, and Ackerman had accepted Gaspar’s quick tempo and slammed him over it. Both duelists did some side decking, Ackerman taking more time than his opponent, and Gaspar readied himself to begin the second, and for him hopefully not final, duel of the match.
Gaspar opened with the expected play of a set card to each zone. Ackerman gave his hand a shuffle, a careful examination and sorting, and then set three cards: one monster and two spell or trap cards. Gaspar flip summoned Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive on his turn, took his card for its effect, and sent the little train off into battle like the risk-free non-investment it was. Ackerman flipped Enemy Controller to turn it to defense, telegraphing that his set monster was a highly important one. Gaspar set a monster, set a second spell or trap, and passed. If Ackerman was going to let him have free cards, Gaspar was darn well going to use them.
Ackerman activated Mystical Space Typhoon, hitting Gaspar’s. He chained it to destroy Ackerman’s Royal Decree, another devastating play that cost Ackerman options. He summoned Cyber-Stein, set two back row cards, and flipped Morphing Jar! Not only had he equalized all of Gaspar’s hard work, but he was actually up one on-field card! No wonder why he had been so free with his plays.
He flipped the Smashing Ground he had just set, and then opted to pay the 5000 life points for Cyber-Stein’s effect. Ackerman brought down Cyber End dragon, a dangerous move since Gaspar still had one set spell or trap. Gaspar had no response. Ackerman attached Megamorph to the Dragon, and again, Gaspar could do nothing. Cyber End Dragon attacked, but that one last card was Sakuretsu Armor, and Cyber End was destroyed! Cyber-Stein then tried to attack, but bounced off of Gaspar’s set monster, Apprentice Magician!
Another Smashing Ground cleared the Apprentice, and Ackerman ended his turn. It was 2900 to 8000, in Gaspar’s favor. Things were looking up, but Gaspar had nothing on the field.
He had nothing but monsters in his hand. He set one and ended. Hand of Nephthys stared at him from his hand: if he’d kept the Apprentice, he would have been able to unleash Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys this turn.
Ackerman tributed his Stein for Zaborg the Thunder Monarch, destroying Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive, Gaspar’s set card. Jar and Zaborg both attacked and Ackerman passed.
Gaspar drew yet another monster, and he again had to set and pass with nothing in his back row. Ackerman flipped his set Reinforcement of the Army, searched his deck for Exiled Force, summoned it, and tributed it to destroy Gaspar’s set D. D. Warrior Lady. Morphing Jar and Zaborg attacked again, lowering Gaspar to 1800 life points.
He drew dead yet again, and set a monster. Ackerman was destroying him, even after missing on the Cyber End Dragon play. He drew, activated Graceful Charity, and discarded Spirit Reaper and D. D. Assailant. He set two cards to his back row, reducing himself to one card in hand, and then used Book of Moon to turn his Morphing Jar face down. He flipped the Jar, drew into Nobleman of Crossout with its effect, and it was over! Zaborg swung for game!
Robert Ackerman takes a decisive victory over Omar Gaspar, moving on with a 5-0 record!