Jackson Hamilton hails from Carlsbad, California, and, at just age 12, had scored up a flawless 2-0 record with Dark Armed Dragon. He was up against Robert Lim from Richland Washington, a representative of Team Fusion. Team Fusion was playing an innovative deck here this weekend, a Macro Cosmos build playing Allure of Darkness and Cyber Valley, but eschewing Van’Dalgyon the Dark Dragon Lord. Instead, Lim and the rest of the Washington-based team are playing Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi. The deck is high on defense, especially by the standards of this metagame.
Lim opened up game 1 with Reinforcement of the Army, activating it to search for D.D. Survivor. He summoned the Survivor, activated Dimensional Fissure, and lost it to Mystical Space Typhoon next turn. Hamilton had no follow-up though, and set one card to his back row to end.
Cyber Valley hit the field and removed both itself and D.D. Survivor next turn, letting Lim get two cards for the permanent removal of just one! He set two cards to his back row, ended, and the Survivor came right back. But Hamilton fired back with Allure of Darkness, removing Snipe Hunter and then setting a monster. “Go.”
A set spell or trap was Lim’s only move, and when Hamilton passed next turn he flipped Macro Cosmos in the
end phase. Next turn Lim activated Allure of Darkness, removed D.D. Scout Plane from play and summoned Exiled Force. He activated its effect with priority and Hamilton cleared the field with Torrential Tribute in response, desperately defending himself. Scout Plane and Survivor came back in the end phase.
Next turn Lim tributed his Scout Plane for Crush Card Virus! Hamilton lost Dark Magician of Chaos and Dark Armed Dragon, but set one spell or trap. Ouch. It was a terribly rough turn, and Scout Plane came back in the end phase. That Virus was really going to hurt Hamilton’s chances at recovering.
Trap Dustshoot sent Snipe Hunter back to Lim’s deck next turn, but Hamilton decided to leave Lim with his in-hand Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi! Lim promptly tributed both his monsters for Hino, swung, and cost Hamilton the rest of his two-card hand! Hino was sent back to Lim’s hand in the end phase, and Survivor and Scout Plane returned.
Crush Card Virus revealed Hamilton’s draw next turn, Allure of Darkness, and Hino-Kagu’s effect kicked in. He activated the Allure, but couldn’t hit a Dark monster. Hamilton activated his last set card, Return from the Different Dimension, but Lim flipped Dark Bribe — Hamilton drew into Dark Armed Dragon and had to discard it for the Virus. Next turn Lim summoned a second D.D. Survivor and attacked! Both Survivors and Scout Plane swung straight at Hamilton’s life points, ending the duel.
Robert Lim’s deck goes off like clockwork, performing just as planned against Hamilton’s Dark Armed Dragon strategy. Both duelists dove into their side decks to prepare for game 2!
“Alright. I’ll go first.” Hamilton came out swinging, opening up with Armageddon Knight and sending Destiny Hero - Disk Commander to his graveyard from his deck. He set one spell or trap and ended quickly. Lim fired back, setting a monster and then placing two cards face-down in his spell and trap zone. “Go ahead.”
Hamilton set another spell or trap card, wary of Morphing Jar, but then pressed with Armageddon Knight straight into Lim’s face-down Kinetic Soldier! This was a big, relatively common play today, and was going to define the tournament landscape as the day progressed. Lim turned the Soldier to attack next turn, pressed, and Hamilton was forced to flip Raigeki Break. He discarded Dark Magician of Chaos to try and destroy Kinetic, but Lim chained Enemy Controller to tribute the Kinetic and take Armageddon Knight! He tributed it in main phase 2 for Mobius the Frost Monarch, targeted Hamilton’s Dust Tornado, and lost his set Solemn Judgment.
Next turn Hamilton activated Mystical Space Typhoon, wiping away Lim’s Dark Bribe and leaving him with nothing but two cards in hand and Mobius the Frost Monarch on the field! He then summoned Elemental Hero Stratos, used his effect to grab Destiny Hero – Fear Monger from his deck and then set one back row card. Lim had Snipe Hunter, Reinforcement of the Army, and Grand Convergence in hand once he drew for the following turn, and shuffled his hand for close to a minute before deciding on his play. Summoning Snipe Hunter and losing his field to Torrential Tribute would be ruinous.
So he attacked with Mobius, and ran into Mirror Force. Lim set the Convergence as a bluff and ended. Hamilton didn’t buy it and summoned Fear Monger, striking directly with both of his monsters for 2800 damage. “You’re at 5200. Go.”
Lim drew into Enemy Controller, less than ideal when he was outmatched in field presence. He activated Reinforcement of the Army, searched out D.D. Survivor and summoned him. He set one more card to his back row and ended. “Pass.”
Hamilton activated Destiny Draw next turn, discarding Destiny Hero – Dasher. He then tributed Fear Monger for Darklord Zerato! “Zerato attacks.” Hamilton was really just not going to be deterred by his opponent’s bluffing. Zerato smashed through D.D. Survivor and Elemental Hero Stratos attacked directly. Lim dropped to 2400 life points, while Hamilton still had 4200.
Brain Control let Lim steal Darklord Zerato! He summoned Snipe Hunter, activated Enemy Controller, and tributed the Snipe to steal away Elemental Hero Stratos. Together with the pilfered Darklord, that was 4600 damage, and the duel was over!
Lim offered Jackson a handshake and an apology: “I totally topdecked that Brain Control.” Robert Lim pulls out a heated second duel to score a 2-0 victory, moving on undefeated with Hino-Kagu-Tsuchi Cosmos!