“A win would mean so much to me,” groaned David Bui in a joking tone. “But Matt Peddle’s gonna ruin it!” Both duelists laughed.
I really had no intention of making the bubble match feature a Metagame-alumni event, but I knew if I didn’t feature Matt Peddle at least once today our readership was going to be waiting outside of the Convention Center with torches and pitchforks. A win here would give Peddle a shot at his fourth Nationals Top 8, but a win for Bui would be a massive windfall, and a Nats Top 8 would catapult his reputation.
“Last I played you I beat you with Don Zaloog,” grinned Peddle.
“You destroyed me so hard!”
“Yeah, and I want to make sure you remember that!” Both duelists laughed and a ton of good-natured banter ensued.
Bui opened with Reinforcement of the Army, searched for Elemental Hero Stratos, grabbed Destiny Hero – Disk Commander from his deck, and then discarded him for Destiny Draw. He finished his turn with a set spell or trap.
Peddle summoned Gladiator Beast Laquari, and Bui fired back with Bottomless Trap Hole. “There he goes,” remarked Peddle. He set one card to his back row, ended, and Bui was back up. “I’ll Reinforcement again,” he announced, searching out Dark Grepher with Reinforcement of the Army. He normal summoned Grepher, discarded Malicious for its effect, then sent Dark Magician of Chaos to his graveyard from his deck. That let him special summon Dark Armed Dragon, and he removed Dark Magician of Chaos to target Peddle’s set Enemy Controller.
He chained it, and turned Dark Armed Dragon to defense position. Stratos and Grepher attacked for 3500 damage, and Bui set another spell or trap. He had Cyber Valley and D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation in hand, just waiting on that Dark Magician of Chaos.
Peddle shuffled his hand and mused . . . “How does one solve this problem?” He had five cards in hand and they were “not very good” by his own admission. “That’s just sad.” He summoned Gladiator Beast Bestiari and Bui flipped Solemn Judgment to negate its summon and destroy it. Did he jump the gun? Peddle still had our cards left, but he needed to get that Dark Armed Dragon off the field to have any shot at winning this first duel. Even if he did, Bui had that Dark Magician of Chaos locked and loaded with D.D.R. for next turn.
Brain Control let him take Elemental Hero Stratos. Stratos attacked Dark Armed Dragon, destroyed it, and Peddle set a spell or trap before passing Stratos back. Ouch. It was the kind of play Peddle clearly hated to make, and it was all he could do.
Next turn, Bui discarded Cyber Valley to bring out Dark Magician of Chaos with D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation. That got him back his Reinforcement of the Army. He removed Malicious from his graveyard, special summoned another in attack mode, and pressed. “If I walk into a Mirror Force this is all over.”
Peddle just gave his head a quick shake and scooped. “I totally god-handed you,” acknowledged Bui. Both duelists moved to side decking, and after some joking about the upcoming Philadelphia event, it was all on Peddle.
He opened with a single spell or trap, and Bui summoned Card Trooper. He sent Dark Magician of Chaos, Destiny Hero – Plasma, and Heavy Storm to the graveyard to boost it up, hit for 1900 damage, then set two cards to his back row. In the end phase he lost Bottomless Trap Hole to Peddle’s set Mystical Space Typhoon.
Monster Reborn let Peddle take control of Dark Magician of Chaos! That got him back his Mystical Space Typhoon, and he played it immediately — Bui chained Scapegoat! He normal summoned D.D. Crow, attacked Card Trooper with Dark Magician of Chaos to remove it, then attacked a Sheep with D.D. Crow. “Well, you’ve got Crush Card,” remarked Bui. Peddle set two cards and ended.
Bui summoned Exiled Force, attacked into D.D. Crow and Peddle flipped Crush Card Virus — Bui had Exiled Force and D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation, and lost nothing to Crush. He tributed Exiled in main phase 2 to destroy the Magician. Moments later Peddle had lost out again, trying to attack with Laquari into Mirror Force.
Bui discarded his freshly-drawn Crush Card Virus for D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation, bringing back Dark Magician of Chaos. He took back Scapegoat. He attacked with the Magician, Peddle flipped Enemy Controller, and chastised himself for doing so. Peddle summoned Darius next turn, attacked into a Sheep Token, destroyed it, then tagged out to Bestiari to destroy D.D.R. and remove Dark Magician of Chaos again. “I’m so stupid. I can’t believe I wasted that Enemy Controller.” He set a spell or trap, ended, and Bui revealed his last draw under Crush Card: Premature Burial. He summoned Exiled Force, blew away Bestiari, and ended.
Peddle fired back, summoning Laquari, ramming a Sheep, tagging out to Darius, and bringing up Bestiari. He tagged out to Gyzarus to destroy another Sheep, and then activated D.D. Crow to get rid of Exiled Force. Bui drew.
“Can I see it?” asked Peddle. Both players knew that Crush Card Virus was no longer in effect.
“No,” replied Bui flatly.
“Just asking,” grinned Peddle. Nice try, Matt. Nice try.
Bui set Scapegoat, and flipped it next turn when Gyzarus attacked. Gyzarus hit a Sheep Token, tagged out to Laquari and Darius, and Peddle used the latter to special summon another Darius. He opted not to contact Fuse for Heraklinos, not wanting to consolidate his cards into one vulnerable monster. Bui passed his next turn.
Peddle knocked away all three Sheep with attacks and ended. Bui drew Destiny Draw, discarded Disk Commander to draw two, then set a card to each zone. He was stuck with one more Destiny Draw. “Go.”
Another Laquari came down for Peddle, and when he tried to move to his battle phase Bui activated Threatening Roar. Peddle chained Solemn Judgment! But he attacked Bui’s face-down monster with the wrong Darius, the one he’d used to special summon his second copy, and when it hit Legendary Jujitsu Master it bounced back to his deck. That forced the other copy back to his deck too, ouch. Laquari attacked with 2100 ATK over Jujitsu Master, and the other Laquari hit for 1800 damage. Peddle had two cards in his hand.
“I gotta slow down,” sighed Peddle. “I’ll play better next year. I’d be so set if I hadn’t wasted that E-Con.” Bui drew, set two cards to his back row and ended. The duel stood at 3000 life points for Bui to 3050 for Peddle.
Laquari attacked, then tagged out to Bestiari — Bui lost his set Brain Control. Peddle set a monster, then contact Fused for Gyzarus! Gyzarus came out, destroyed Bui’s set Destiny Draw and ended. “Your move.”
Bui topped Monster Reborn! He activated it to try and get Disk Commander, but Peddle denied the move with D.D. Crow! Out of cards and out of options, Bui scooped.
“I still can’t believe I attacked with the wrong Darius,” moaned Peddle. Play proceeded to game 3.
Bui opened with a set card to each zone, a play Peddle mirrored. Bui summoned Exiled Force, tributed it to destroy Peddle’s set Morphing Jar, and then flip summoned Sangan to poke for 1000 damage. He set a second spell or trap card, ended, and play was back to Peddle.
He set a monster and another card to his back row. “You’re up.” Bui blasted him with another Exiled Force next turn, this time hitting Spirit Reaper! Sangan did another 1000 damage.
Peddle’s lips were pursed in focus — he didn’t seem pleased with the situation. He eyed his hand, screwed up his mouth to one side of his face, and checked his face-down cards again. He summoned Gladiator Beast Laquari, lost it to Bottomless Trap Hole, and ended. “Go ahead.” Sangan hit him for another 1000 damage. “Go ahead.”
Gladiator Proving Ground let Peddle search his deck, getting him Gladiator Beast Darius. He summoned it, attacked, and Bui flipped Threatening Roar. It might’ve been a bit too early. Peddle ended, and Bui played Monster Reborn next turn. He targeted Exiled Force, and Peddle removed it with D.D. Crow. Bui set Scapegoat, but lost it in his end phase after turning Sangan to defense mode.
Peddle summoned Gladiator Beast Secutor, special summoned Test Tiger, and then cycled Secutor back in and out to the field. Darius attacked Sangan, Bui searched his deck with its effect to fetch Card Trooper, and Secutor attacked directly. “Okay. Let’s make things happen.”
Peddle tagged out Darius for a boosted Laquari, then brought out Darius and Hoplomus with Secutor, in attack and defense position respectively. Everything but Hoplomus then went back to Peddle’s deck, as he contact Fused for Gladiator Beast Heraklinos!
Bui activated Allure of Darkness, and Peddle let it go — Bui removed Dark Armed Dragon to pay for it. He summoned Cyber Valley, set a card to his back row, and ended. “Go ahead.” He was holding Stratos, Card Trooper, and Dark Armed Dragon.
Peddle activated Brain Control! He took the Cyber Valley, removed his Hoplomus and the Valley for two cards and normal summoned Laquari. Laquari and Heraklinos each attacked, dropping Bui to 2800 life points. Peddle still had 4200 remaining, and he tagged out Laquari for Bestiari, destroying Bui’s back row Allure of Darkness.
Bui drew. He only had one Dark in his graveyard for that Dark Armed Dragon, and he needed a miracle. He got it! He summoned Card Trooper, sent two Darks and a spell to his grave, and then special summoned Dark Armed Dragon!
But Peddle had Solemn Judgment! Dark Armed Dragon was negated and destroyed, and next turn Peddle swung for game with Heraklinos and Darius.
Matt Peddle makes a stunning comeback from a game 1 loss, making the Top 8 of the National Championships for a record-shattering fourth time!