We’ve been here before! When Jerome McHale first made Day 2 at Shonen Jump St. Louis, he defeated Dale Bellido on the bubble, claiming victory with Counter Fairies against Lightsworn. Now he was paired up against the undefeated Bellido brother yet again — a re-match from their last confrontation.
McHale won the roll and opened with Sangan, setting a spell or trap. “Is that Crush?” asked Dale.
“You have to Reinforcement first,” replied McHale. Dale discarded Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude for Destiny Draw, drawing two.
“Do that. I can watch that all day,” commented McHale. Dale set a card to each zone and ended. Jerome summoned Lonefire Blossom, tributed it, then chained Torrential Tribute! His Sangan was destroyed, Dale’s face down was also Sangan, and McHale special summoned another Lonefire. That one got him Tytannial, Princess of Camellias! His Sangan got him his third Lonefire. Tytannial swung for 2800 damage through Bellido’s face-down spell or trap, and McHale moved to main phase 2.
He searched out Black Garden with Terraforming, activated it, and ended. Dale activated Allure of Darkness, removed Dark Grepher for Allure’s effect, then took Tytannial to read her for a moment. Dale summoned Krebons, Jerome got a Rose Token, and Dale set another spell or trap to end.
Jerome attacked with the Token next turn, but ran into Mirror Force! He set another Black Garden, summoned Lonefire, and tributed it for another Tytannial! He flipped Black Garden over, set a spell or trap, and ended his turn holding Mark of the Rose and Miracle Fertilizer. In the end phase Dale discarded Malicious, targeting McHale’s set spell or trap card with Wind Blast; McHale let it go after thinking about Tytannial’s effect a bit.
Next turn Dale removed one Malicious to summon another, giving McHale a Rose Token. He contemplated playing Enemy Controller, and then stopped himself before he did — however, he revealed the Enemy Controller as he nearly played it to the field. He eventually opted to do it, turning Tytannial to defense mode — McHale again let it go. Her 2600 DEF is quite large.
But Dale Synchro summoned Red Dragon Archfiend! It had only half its normal ATK, but its effect let it attack into Tytannial to destroy her. Dale ended, and McHale drew before activating Miracle Fertilizer. He attempted to bring back Tytannial, but Dale chained D.D. Crow to remove her. That left McHale with Miracle Fertilizer, two Rose Tokens, and Black Garden on the field, along with two cards in hand. Dale had one card set, Red Dragon Archfiend on the field, and one card in hand. “I’m willing to bet that’s Dark Armed Dragon,” remarked McHale, looking at the five Darks in Dale’s graveyard. He activated Mark of the Rose, removing one Lonefire Blossom, and attacked with Red Dragon Archfiend and two Rose Tokens. Dale had just 1000 life points remaining, and McHale finished out his turn by setting one spell or trap card. If Dale couldn’t get rid of Mark of the Rose or his own Red Dragon Archfiend, it would hit him for game next turn. McHale still had 8000 life points left.
Dale drew to two cards and spread out his graveyard, not looking too happy with the situation. He special summoned another Malicious, searched for Elemental Hero Stratos with Reinforcement of the Army, then summoned Elemental Hero Stratos to destroy McHale’s face-down Solemn Judgment; McHale got two more Tokens, four Rose Tokens total. Dale asked a few questions about McHale’s cards, and was eventually prompted by the table judge to make a play.
He activated Emergency Teleport, special summoning Krebons from his deck and locking up McHale with a fifth Rose Token. He Synchro summoned Colossal Fighter, but forgot about the effect of his Red Dragon Archfiend! “He dies,” noted Jerome, tapping one monster, “and he dies,” tapping another. “Everything but the Archfiend.” Dale scooped, shaking his head at his own mistake.
Dale Bellido runs into a lot of confusion playing against McHale’s beguiling Plants, leaving McHale to take Game 1 off a huge misplay! Both duelists sided and shuffled relatively quickly. Dale would play first in Game 2.
He opened with Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude, activating him and losing Crush Card Virus to the bottom of his deck! He set one spell or trap and ended. McHale had Botanical Lion, two Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, Black Garden, Lightning Vortex, and Lonefire Blossom. He summoned Botanical Lion, attacked, and ran into Mirror Force; he set Phoenix Wing Wind Blast to finish out his turn.
Diamond Dude whiffed again, hitting Teleport next turn, and Dale set two cards after attacking for 1400 damage. McHale summoned Lonefire Blossom, tributed one for another, then tributed the second for Tytannial — Dale flipped Torrential Tribute, clearing the field! McHale activated Black Garden and ended.
Dale was up. He drew to four cards, and discarded Krebons for Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, spinning away Black Garden. He then played Monster Reborn to take Tytannial! He swung for 2800 damage, set one spell or trap, and ended with one card in hand.
McHale drew. He summoned Sangan, activated Lightning Vortex, and discarded Phoenix Wing Wind Blast to destroy Tytannial. He attacked for 1000 with Sangan, activated Black Garden, and ended. He had Sangan, Garden, and one set spell or trap.
Dale drew: he had two cards in hand and one set. He summoned Krebons, gave McHale a Rose Token, and ended. McHale attacked Krebons with the Rose Token, Dale paid 800 life points, and he paid 800 more when Sangan attacked. McHale set another card to his back row. Dale just passed.
McHale attacked with the Rose Token, Dale paid 800 life points, and McHale chained Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror! Krebons went down, and Sangan made a direct attack. McHale set Torrential Tribute and ended. Dale flipped Dust Tornado, summoned Elemental Hero Stratos, and searched for Destiny Hero – Malicious — Stratos ran over Sangan, and McHale’s own Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror stopped its effect. McHale topped Lightning Vortex and passed after shifting his Token to defense mode, with Torrential Tribute and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast set. Stratos attacked the Token, Dale set a card to each zone, and McHale drew Mark of the Rose. The duel stood at 3000 life points to 3400, with Dale keeping his narrow lead.
McHale tried to activate Mark, but lost out to Solemn Judgment. Dale flip summoned Krebons, McHale flipped Torrential Tribute, and Dale shut it down with Solemn Judgment. Dale attacked with Krebons, attacked with Stratos, and McHale flipped Wind Blast, discarding Vortex to get rid of Stratos! “Let’s do this” — he drew for his turn with just 1800 life points remaining, and set his topdeck to his back row. Dale was at 850 life points. Dale summoned Stratos on the following turn and McHale could do nothing but scoop.
Dale Bellido swipes Tytannial, Princess of Camellias and dominates the duel from there, pressing this match to one more game! Both competitors sided very carefully. McHale needed to win this one, and he’d have the advantage of going first.
He opened with two Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, Mark of the Rose, Miracle Fertilizer, Cyber Valley, and Miracle Fertilizer — not a Plant in sight. He set one Prison, summoned Valley, and ended. “Go.” Dale summoned Spirit Reaper, activated Brain Control, and attacked with Reaper: McHale flipped Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror to stop Reaper’s effect, but Dale got two draws with the Valley! He set two cards to end his turn. McHale just passed, having drawn Gorz.
Dale activated Allure of Darkness, trading his Plaguespreader for two more draws. “Go ahead.” McHale drew Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, set it, and Dale discarded Destiny Hero – Malicious for Destiny Draw. Mystical Space Typhoon and Dust Tornado destroyed McHale’s Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, and Dale had five cards in hand to McHale’s four.
He removed Malicious to special summon another, then normal summoned Dark Grepher. He set a spell or trap card, activated Emergency Teleport, and searched his deck to summon Krebons. One Synchro summon later he controlled Stardust and Dark Grepher. Dale announced that he would attack pressing both his monsters forward, and McHale asked himwhich monster attacked first. Dale announced Grepher would attack first, Stardust hit next, and Gorz hit the table! Next turn McHale attacked Stardust with Gorz, lost Gorz to Dimensional Prison, and attacked over Grepher with the 2500 ATK Gorz Token. He set a monster, set a spell or trap, and then activated Black Garden. Play was to Dale.
He removed to summon Malicious, McHale got a Rose Token, and Dale searched his deck for Destiny Hero - Doom Lord with Reinforcement of the Army. The duel stood at 6400 to 3500 in Dale’s favor. Time was called and Dale discarded Doom Lord for Destiny Draw. He summoned Dark Armed Dragon! He removed Dark Grepher to try and destroy the Gorz Token, but McHale chained Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror! Stardust and Dark Armed Dragon each hit a Rose Token and McHale dropped to 1200 life points.
McHale drew Card Trooper; his other in-hand card was Mark of the Rose. He activated Trooper’s effect, sending Botanical Lion, Torrential Tribute, and Gigantic Cephalotus to the graveyard. He flip summoned Nettles, giving Dale a second Rose Token. He activated Mark of the Rose, removing Cephalotus to try and take control of Stardust Dragon; Dale chained Crush Card Virus, tributing Malicious to destroy Card Trooper. Its effect got McHale Mirror Force.
He attacked with Nettles into the Rose Token, Dale flipped Mirror Force, and it was over! McHale was scooping moments later, unable to win in time despite his lucky draw, and was left clinging to life in this tournament. Dale Bellido, meanwhile, is a shoe-in for Day 2!