Kyle Duncan has exploded these past couple of months, coming into his own at Shonen Jump Championship Philadelphia with a huge win that put Recruiter on the map in North America. He then made the finals of SJC Hamilton, narrowly losing out to then-unknown Corey Fabish.
“Corey Fabish ran my deck,” remarked Gonzales, taking his seat. “Netdecker,” he joked, grinning. Fabish had won Hamilton with a deck resoundingly similar to the one Gonzales used at Philly. Duncan laughed. Gonzales made Top 8 at Philly himself, but lost out to Snatch Steal. That’s at least one threat he knows won’t be a problem here today!
“I finally get my feature match,” he said. “Go Cesar.” He smiled.
He won the die roll, and opened quickly with a set card to each zone. Duncan activated Nobleman of Crossout, peeling one Gravekeeper’s Spy off of Gonzales’s field and one more from his deck. He then summoned Sangan, attacked directly, set a spell or trap card and ended his turn. “Go.”
Cesar set another card to each zone, leaving himself with two cards set in his back row, and indicated a pass with a casual wave of his hand. Duncan immediately set a second to his back row too, and attacked with the Sangan again. His attack ran aground on Don Zaloog, forcing him to discard Magician of Faith! Still, he wasn’t done. He tributed his Sangan for Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch. Gonzales chained Bottomless Trap Hole, and lost Smashing Ground from his hand to Thestalos before the Monarch was removed from play. Duncan pulled Treeborn Frog with his Sangan’s effect, and play was to Gonzales.
Cesar flipped his Don Zaloog to attack position, attacked against a field devoid of monsters, and ran right into Mirror Force. He set a monster, Duncan set one too, and lost it to Nobleman of Crossout; the card removed from play was Treeborn Frog. Oof.
Gonzales set a spell or trap and passed. Confiscation stole his last card, another Smashing Ground, and Duncan set Nimble Momonga. Gonzales summoned Zaborg the Thunder Monarch though, destroying the Momonga and then attacking Duncan directly. Duncan passed his next turn, Zaborg dropped him to 1700 life points, Cesar set a monster, and Duncan set another spell or trap. Gonzales flip summoned Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive, activated Reinforcement of the Army to search his deck for D. D. Warrior Lady, summoned it, and all three of his monsters attacked. With Duncan’s Mirror Force spent early, Cesar could attack with virtual impunity. Torrential Tribute was Duncan’s only out and Cesar was playing into it fearlessly.
“That’s game,” admitted Duncan. Both duelists immediately scooped and started side decking. There was no witty banter from either now. Since each duelist had one loss so far this match was do-or-die. Failure here was a ticket to the side events for the rest of the weekend.
Duncan opened with a set to each zone, and Gonzales summoned Mystic Swordsman LV2. It attacked, but destroyed nothing but Sangan. Duncan pulled Mystic Tomato with its effect and Gonzales set Enemy Controller, but lost it to Mystical Space Typhoon in the end phase. Mystic Tomato attacked and destroyed Mystic Swordsman LV2 on the following turn. Duncan reinforced it with one set back row card. Gonzales set another back row card, summoned Exiled Force, tributed it to destroy Tomato, and passed. Duncan activated Heavy Storm, summoned Spirit Reaper, attacked with it directly, and forced Gonzales to discard D. D. Warrior Lady. Gonzales looked shocked.
Still, he fought back. He special summoned Cyber Dragon, set a monster and ended. Duncan tributed his Reaper for Zaborg the Thunder Monarch, destroyed the set monster and ran over Cyber Dragon. Gonzales opened fire with Smashing Ground to destroy Zaborg and attacked with Asura Priest directly. Both duelists were down to topdecking.
Duncan set a monster, Gonzales set one too, and Duncan flip summoned his set Old Vindictive Magician. It destroyed Gonzales’ set Spirit Reaper, and was then tributed for Thestalos to discard Gonzales’s Asura Priest. Gonzales reeled. He drew, set his topdecked card to the spell and trap zone, and ended.
Duncan activated Pot of Avarice, shuffling back all five of the monsters in his graveyard. Thestalos attacked directly, but Ring of Destruction destroyed it, bringing the life points totals down to 1700 to 2100. Gonzales topdecked a monster and set it, but Duncan had the answer.
“Do you have game?” Gonzales asked.
“Yeah” said Duncan, matter-of-factly. He tribute summoned for Zaborg and Gonzales scooped. Two duels had passed in just over nine minutes. Both duelists side decked carefully, feeling no time pressure whatsoever.
Gonzales opened the third and final duel with one set spell or trap card, then one set monster. “I end,” he said, making eye contact with Duncan. Duncan did the same, passed, and Gonzales flip summoned Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive. It attacked, routing Duncan’s set Treeborn Frog, and Gonzales set a monster.
Duncan fired back with just another set card to his back row, and Gonzales snapped Heavy Storm to the table. He lost his Torrential Tribute, but got rid of Duncan’s Mirror Force and Call of the Haunted. Gonzales then tributed his Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive for Cyber Dragon, activated Last Will, and used its effect to bring out Cyber-Stein. It was all over — Cyber Twin Dragon hit the field and attacked alongside Cyber End Dragon, bringing the match to a close!
Cesar Gonzales scores a huge win, moving on with a 5-1 record!