“If I bomb terribly I want the whole world to see,” grinned Marchand. At 15 years of age, Marchand now lives in Niagara Falls, Ontario, just a few hours south of here. Marchand successfully qualified for the National Championships through a Last Chance Regional last year, and now he’s back, trying to duplicate his feat with Twilight.
His opponent, Noel Aaron, is a local from right here in Toronto. At 19 years of age he’s packing a deck that’s very similar to Adam Corn’s from US Nationals last week: a Monarch build.
The match got off to a rough start as Marchand hunted for his Fusion deck. “Wait, am I an idiot? Did I just shuffle my Fusion deck into my main deck?” He checked: yes he had. A quick correction and some shuffles later, and Noel Aaron was ready to begin the match.
Aaron opened up the day with a set card to each zone. Marchand fired back with Allure of Darkness, removed Destiny Hero – Plasma for its effect, and then removed Destiny Hero – Dogma for another. He then discarded Wulf, Lightsworn Beast for Solar Recharge, drew two, and pitched Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter and Card of Safe Return.
He summoned Ehren, Lightsworn Monk, and Aaron responded with Solemn Judgment! “Activate Premature on Ehren,” announced Marchand — he placed Premature Burial on the table but was denied by D.D. Crow. “Go.”
Play was back to Aaron, who set a monster, flip summoned Sangan, and attacked for 1000 damage. He set one spell or trap, ended, and Marchand set a card to each zone. Aaron attacked with Sangan again, hitting into Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, and Marchand briefly debated what he’d destroy with Ryko’s effect. He opted to target Aaron’s other monster, Gravekeeper’s Spy, and destroyed her! He sent Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner and two spells to his graveyard. “Go.”
Marchand was back up, and he pitched Darklord Zerato for Trade-In. He summoned Phantom of Chaos and removed Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner from his graveyard to mimic her effect. He then discarded Dark Armed Dragon to special summon Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, attacked with it to destroy Sangan, and Aaron searched his deck for Mask of Darkness with its effect. He dropped to 2900 life points and Marchand ended.
But next turn Aaron special summoned Dark Armed Dragon! He removed Sangan to destroy Marchand’s face-down Trade-In, blew away Wulf with Gravekeeper’s Spy, then swung right over Phantom of Chaos. A set monster finished his turn.
But destroying the Phantom let Marchand summon a Dark Armed Dragon of his own! It tore through Aaron’s set Soul Exchange, his Dark Armed Dragon, then his set Mask of Darkness, and Marchand followed up by summoning another copy of Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner! Another discard brought back Wulf, Lightsworn Beast and Aaron was finished.
Jon Marchand’s deck takes a bit of time to go off, but manages the win with an explosive team-up of Lightsworn and Dark Armed Dragon! Both players took out their side decks, but as Marchand moved to shuffle his side into his main he suddenly had a change of heart and set it aside. “I don’t think I’ll side.” What confidence. Aaron smoke-screened without hesitation.
“Two hours of sleep is never good,” moaned Marchand, still a bit embarrassed over his Fusion deck mishap. “I’ll go first,” announced Aaron, eager to get to game 2.
Hestarted the duel with Cyber Valley in attack mode, then set three cards to his spell and trap zone. Trap Dustshoot revealed his opponent’s hand next turn: Phantom of Chaos, Plasma, Wulf, Destiny Draw, and two Foolish Burial. Phantom of Chaos was sent back to the deck, and Aaron flipped Royal Oppression! That left Marchand to just set three cards to his back row. Next turn, Aaron set a monster and ended. Neither player had any way to actually hurt his opponent yet.
Marchand flipped both copies of Foolish Burial, sending Dark Magician of Chaos to his graveyard and then Darklord Zerato. Marchand set a spell or trap, ended, and Aaron flip summoned Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive. He tributed Dekoichi for Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch, forced Marchand to discard Dark Armed Dragon, and attacked for 2400 damage. Aaron ended, Marchand discarded Destiny Hero – Plasma for Destiny Draw and summoned Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner. She sent three cards to the graveyard at the end of the turn. “I’m pretty well boned,” noted Marchand. Things got worse, as next turn Aaron drew for his draw phase, and then flipped two copies of Reckless Greed!
Thestalos swung over Lumina and Aaron set another monster. Marchand summoned Ehren, Lightsworn Monk, and attacked Aaron’s face-down Mask of Darkness. That got him Reckless Greed. Again. “I don’t know why I’m playing this,” remarked Marchand. “I’m dead.” Ehren sent three more cards to his graveyard in the end phase.
Aaron tributed Cyber Valley for Raiza the Storm Monarch, spun away Ehren, and attacked for game! Both duelists did some more side decking before game 3 began.
Marchand opened with Solar Recharge, discarding Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, then sending Phantom of Chaos and Heavy Storm to the graveyard. He then activated Card of Safe Return, played Foolish Burial to send another Wulf to the graveyard, and drew. He set Trade-In, set Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, and ended his turn with Trade-In, Destiny Draw, and Dark Armed Dragon in hand. Play was to Aaron.
He set three cards to his back row, and then set a monster. This time there was no Dustshoot or Oppression. Ryko was flip summoned, and Marchand targeted Torrential Tribute with its effect. Aaron chained it, then chained Crush Card Virus tributing his Sangan, wiping the field and getting D.D. Crow from his deck in the process! Marchand lost Plasma and Dark Armed Dragon from his hand and promptly ended his turn. Aaron set a monster and passed back.
Marchand passed, and Aaron flipped Reckless Greed on the turn that followed. He flip summoned Mask of Darkness to take back his Reckless, then tributed for Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch — Marchand had to discard Trade-In. Aaron set two cards to his back row and ended. Next turn, Marchand lost Ehren, Lightsworn Monk to Crush Card Virus, set another spell or trap, passed, and Aaron activated his Reckless Greed again.
“Monster Reborn Wulf,” announced Aaron. He special summoned it, Marchand drew for Card of Safe Return, and Aaron summoned Legendary Jujitsu Master in attack mode. All three monsters swung for game!
But, in true, “anything can happen at a Last Chance Regional” fashion, Aaron had actually received a game loss at the beginning of game 2. Turns out he hadn’t written the number of each trap he ran on his decklist, and received a game loss for it. Ouch. There’s a mistake he won’t be making again.
Jon Marchand moves on, one step closer to qualifying for tomorrow!