Shane Morris is undefeated going into this round with Big City, one of the few players at the top tables not playing Monarchs or Destiny Heroes. Playing a build similar to that run by Jeff Jones, he was actually being observed by Jones from the peanut gallery. Twenty years of age, he hails from Brantford, Ontario.
He’s up against the also-undefeated Andrew Hayton, a duelist who really seems to have his act together this weekend. Perhaps to an uncharacteristic degree? Andrew Hayton has had several feature matches at major tournaments, but has always missed out on the bubble. Today may be his day to finally step up and claim his place amongst Canada’s greats.
. . . or he might just do some wacky stuff and lose. Either way, it’ll be a heck of a show!
Hayton took his seat and unrolled his Cyber Dragon mat. He looked his opponent in the eye: “I don’t know if you heard, but, uhh, I played in Nationals 2007.” He tapped his mat and grinned in faux-haughtiness. “You should be scared!”
Morris shook his head, and won the opening roll to start the game off with E — Emergency Call. He searched his deck for Stratos, who in turn got him Elemental Hero Wildheart. He set Trap Dustshoot, another spell or trap card, and activated Swords of Revealing Light to end his turn.
Hayton drew and revealed his hand when Morris flipped Dustshoot. He grinned maniacally: Hayton didn’t have any monsters! “You seeeeem mad. It’s unfortunate, how all that just resolved a moment ago.” Hayton searched his deck for Stratos with Reinforcement of the Army, summoned him, and plucked Disk Commander from his deck. He proceeded to discard the Commander for Destiny Draw. He very obviously drew into Heavy Storm, and activated it to wipe away his opponent’s Swords of Revealing Light and Solemn Judgment.
“Hey, I had that on turn 1!” He didn’t, as was evidenced by it not being in his hand when Dustshoot resolved.
Premature Burial nabbed him his Disk Commander and two free cards, and Brain Control stole Elemental Hero Stratos from Morris! In main phase 2 he traded it for Darkfire Dragon with Metamorphosis to keep Morris from getting Stratos back! The calculated move got Stratos into the graveyard without letting him be destroyed by battle, meaning that Morris wouldn’t be able to bring him back with Hero City.
“I just summoned Darkfire Dragon in a feature match!” Hayton set a card to his back row and ended.
Morris summoned Elemental Hero Wildheart and attacked Darkfire Dragon, passing with nothing in his back row. He was wide open, and Hayton took advantage, tributing his Commander for Cyber Dragon and attacking Wildheart before attacking directly. It was 1700 to 6400 in Hayton’s favor.
Morris played Skyscraper 2 — Hero City, but couldn’t take anything back but Wildheart! Still, Morris pressed on, searching his deck for Elemental Hero Ocean with E — Emergency Call. He set Ocean, then set his last two cards to his spell and trap zone. Play was to Hayton.
Cyber Dragon ripped apart Wildheart and Stratos destroyed the set Ocean. Hayton set another monster and ended. “Where’s a Crush Card when I need it?”
Wildheart erupted out of Morris’ graveyard in defense position, and Exiled Force was summoned and tributed to eliminate Hayton’s Cyber Dragon. He flip summoned Destiny Hero — Fear Monger, attacked Wildheart with Stratos and attacked directly for 1000 damage. Morris had only 700 life points remaining.
He brought back Wildheart and set another monster, still barely holding on. Hayton summoned Snipe Hunter and discarded Destiny Hero — Malicious to target the face down monster but missed! He discarded Pot of Avarice and hit, destroying another Wildheart. As Hayton moved into his battle phase both duelists ran the numbers and Morris conceded the first duel.
An unorthodox Metamorphosis play creates a series of events that are just too much for Shane Morris to overcome. Andrew Hayton wins the first duel!
“Remember: I made this deck myself.” Hayton was lying through his teeth — he was playing a netdeck of Theerasak Poonsombat with Chiron the Mage thrown in. “I call it T-Deck. The ‘T’ stands for ‘totally awesome’.”
Morris opened with a set card to each zone, and flipped Royal Oppression at the first opportunity!
“What? You’re not very nice.” Hayton reeled. “That’s okay, I don’t need cards to win anyway.”
Hayton set one spell or trap and Morris flip summoned Elemental Hero Wildheart and then normal summoned another! Both Heroes attacked directly for a total of 3000 damage.
Hayton blinked, dumbounded. “I gotta say, this game is starting off awesome.” He drew for his turn, activated Brain Control and took control of one Wildheart. “I’ll bump their heads together. So that they will learn.” He shook his fist and ended his turn.
Morris activated The Warrior Returning Alive and targeted one of his Wildhearts, but D. D. Crow shut him down by removing the Wildheart from play on the chain. Morris summoned Elemental Hero Ocean and tried to attack, but lost Ocean to Ring of Destruction. Morris set a spell or trap, Hayton set a card to each zone, and play was back to Morris.
He summoned Exiled Force and attacked, running into Fear Monger — neither monster was destroyed. He ended his turn without tributing, setting one spell or trap instead. Hayton summoned Snipe Hunter, called priority, and discarded Malicious to target Royal Oppression. He rolled a 1! “Once again, I’m going to target Royal Oppression!” He pitched Metamorphosis and missed again!
“WHAT IS THIS?”
The comically flustered Hayton discarded another Metamorphosis and rolled a 6! He attacked with Snipe Hunter, but ran into Mirror Force. Morris was up. He summoned another Exiled Force, but walked right into Torrential Tribute. He passed and Hayton passed back. Morris used The Warrior Returning Alive, brought back Elemental Hero Wildheart and attacked directly.
Hayton used Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy the Royal Oppression and special summoned Destiny Hero — Malicious, finally able to do so now that Oppression was gone. He then flipped his set Snatch Steal, took control of Wildheart, and attacked. Next turn Morris revealed another Wildheart and his own Snatch Steal, enough to finish Hayton off!
Both duelists sided and shuffled before resuming the match.
“I’ll go first this game,” announced Hayton, pitching Malicious for Destiny Draw not once, but twice! He removed one of them from his graveyard to special summon his last from his deck. He set a monster, set two back row cards and ended. “Your move.”
Morris searched out Elemental Hero Stratos with Reinforcement of the Army, then summoned him to search again, this time pulling Elemental Hero Wildheart. Stratos attacked into Malicious, but Hayton tributed him for Crush Card Virus! Morris lost his Stratos, and his in-hand Elemental Hero Wildheart! He played Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Hayton’s set Royal Decree, and set two cards.
Hayton drew and Morris flipped Royal Oppression! Hayton was unfettered this time though, and summoned Card Trooper, used its effect, and attacked for 1900 before setting a spell or trap to conclude his turn.
R — Righteous Justice came off the top for Morris, and, when he tried to use The Warrior Returning Alive, he lost his target, Stratos, to D. D. Crow. He attempted to Snatch Steal Hayton’s Card Trooper, but lost Snatch Steal to Twister! Morris was being outplayed to a vicious degree.
Hayton hit him with Card Trooper again, and set another monster. Morris revealed another R — Righteous Justice as his draw next turn, and a turn later he was eating 1900 damage from Card Trooper plus 2100 from a Cyber Dragon. Morris drew E — Emergency Call as his final card in the match and offered Hayton the handshake.
Andrew Hayton moves on undefeated!