There’s no real beating around the bush — almost everybody here at the Metro Toronto Convention Center is rooting for Lazaro Bellido. After finally winning a Shonen Jump Championship at the massive 50th Jump in Costa Mesa earlier this year, he’s now made it to the finals of the National Championships.
But his opponent is Omar Beldon, a dark horse pick who’s certainly no laughing matter. Coming off a 2-0 victory over Matt Peddle in the Top 4, Beldon is playing Dark Armed Dragon against Lazaro’s Gladiator Beast build. Experience was certainly in Lazaro’s favor, but an upset here would mean a huge boost to Beldon’s reputation.
Everything was on the line — huge prizes, a trip to Worlds, and the title of Canadian National Champion. Beldon won the roll and started the match.
He discarded Destiny Hero – Disk Commander with Destiny Draw, drew two, and set a monster. “Pass.” Lazaro had Heavy Storm, Gladiator Beast Darius, Mind Crush, Book of Moon, Waboku, and Solemn Judgment. He set Waboku, set Darius, set Solemn Judgment, and ended. “Go ahead.”
Beldon set two cards to his back row. Lazaro flip summoned Darius, ran over Beldon’s Sangan, and Beldon fetched D.D. Crow. Darius tagged out and Lazaro special summoned Gladiator Beast Secutor, relying on that Waboku and the Solemn Judgment he could protect it with. He set Mind Crush but lost it to Mystical Space Typhoon in the end phase. “Aww. I was gonna flip it and call Crow with nothing in my graveyard . . .” Lazaro grinned.
Beldon activated D.D. Crow next turn, removing Lazaro’s one card in the graveyard — Mind Crush. He special summoned Dark Armed Dragon and Lazaro flipped Solemn Judgment, but Beldon had one of his own! He removed a Dark to destroy Secutor, removed another to target Lazaro’s Waboku, and Lazaro chained it. Beldon ended.
Lazaro activated Monster Reborn to take Beldon’s Disk Commander. He drew two, set a card to each zone, and ended. Beldon summoned Snipe Hunter next turn, discarded Armageddon Knight for its effect with priority, targeting Disk Commander, but lost out to Torrential Tribute! He had to end his turn with nothing on the field, and three cards in hand. Next turn Lazaro hit him with Spirit Reaper, robbing him of Phantom of Chaos!
“I messed up,” admitted Beldon. Lazaro set a spell or trap, Beldon summoned Mystic Tomato, and he attacked Spirit Reaper for a quick 1100 damage. Lazaro summoned Elemental Hero Prisma, sent Bestiari to the graveyard with its effect, and then started running number. He was holding Brain Control and Beldon only had 3700 life points.
Test Tiger came to the field to tag out Prisma for Laquari, and it hit the field with 2100 ATK. “Brain Control for game?” asked Lazaro. He placed it on the table, took Mystic Tomato, and had 3800 damage on the field. It was game by 100 life points.
Lazaro Bellido is just one game away from becoming the Canadian National Champion! Both duelists started riffling through their side decks, and after taking the maximum amount of time allowed, they began game 2.
Beldon started stuff off with Elemental Hero Stratos, grabbing Disk Commander from his deck and setting two cards to his back row. He flipped Trap Dustshoot next turn, and Lazaro showed him his hand: Gladiator Beast Laquari, Gladiator Beast Darius, Dust Tornado, Dimensional Prison, and two Solemn Judgment. He shuffled Laquari back into Lazaro’s deck, and Lazaro set everything he had left. When Stratos attacked next turn Dimensional Prison swallowed it up. Beldon set a monster.
Lazaro summoned Gladiator Beast Darius, but lost his monster to Beldon’s Bottomless Trap Hole. He ended, and Beldon activated Prohibition — Lazaro negated it with Solemn Judgment and ended with his set monster.
Ehren, Lightsworn Monk hit Lazaro’s field! He attacked with her, kicking Disk Commander back to Beldon’s deck before sending Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, Bestiari, and Torrential Tribute off the top of his deck to his graveyard. Beldon activated Brain Control next turn and Lazaro played Solemn. Beldon activated Reinforcement of the Army, and Lazaro dropped to 2000 life points to Solemn that too! Next turn Ehren kicked Beldon to drop him to 5600. Lazaro ended and dumped three more cards from his deck, and Beldon set a spell or trap card.
Ehren kicked past it next turn for another 1600 damage, and Lazaro set two cards to his back row before sending Darius, Smashing Ground, and Bottomless Trap Hole to his graveyard. Next turn Beldon set Crush Card Virus and D.D. Crow, and he flipped it as soon as he could — Lazaro lost Prisma and Ehren. Two turns later Beldon was tributing for Prime Material Dragon and Lazaro instantly scooped!
Omar Beldon presses this match to a third and final duel!
Lazaro opened with Sangan, Bestiari, two Dust Tornado, Dimensional Prison, and Solemn Judgment. Beldon discarded Disk Commander for Destiny Draw set a monster, then set three cards to his back row. He lost one of them, Mystical Space Typhoon, to Dust Tornado in the end phase. Lazaro used it to set his other Dust Tornado, and drew into Monster Reborn.
He set Solemn Judgment and Prison; lay was back to Beldon. He set a third spell or trap card again, and Lazaro drew Prisma. He activated its effect with priority, sending Laquari to the graveyard, but lost Prisma to Bottomless Trap Hole. “Go ahead.”
Reinforcement of the Army got Beldon Elemental Hero Stratos, and he summoned him get Destiny Hero – Malicious from his deck. “Pass.” Lazaro flipped Dust Tornado in the end phase, destroying Beldon’s Solemn Judgment.
He drew Book of Moon, and summoned Bestiari. He played Monster Reborn next, targeting Laquari, but Beldon chained D.D. Crow to remove Laquari before it could be special summoned. He activated Book of Moon, targeting Stratos, but Beldon chained Solemn Judgment. Lazaro flip summoned Sangan, slammed it into Stratos to fetch Murmillo, and then ended his turn. It was a peculiar move.
Beldon flip summoned Mystic Tomato, attacked with Stratos, and lost his attacker to Dimensional Prison. Mystic Tomato attacked Bestiari, Beldon special summoned Sangan with it, then tributed Sangan for Raiza the Storm Monarch in main phase 2! But Lazaro chained Solemn Judgment! He dropped to 3600 life points, while Beldon had 3900, and Beldon searched his deck for D.D. Crow. He passed with an open field.
Lazaro summoned Spirit Reaper, attacked with Reaper to force the discard of D.D. Crow, and then attacked with Bestiari. Bestiari tagged out for Laquari and Beldon had just 2100 life points left.
He activated Destiny Draw, discarded Malicious, and drew two. He started running numbers. He activated Soul Exchange, tributed Laquari, and summoned Destiny Hero – Dasher. Beldon ended. Lazaro set a spell or trap and turned Reaper to defense mode. Beldon set a monster. Lazaro drew Test Tiger and was still holding that Murmillo. The only Gladiator Beast he had in his graveyard was Laquari — no Bestiari to make the game-winning contact Fusion. “Go ahead.”
“Go ahead.” Beldon passed, Lazaro set a card to his back row, and Beldon activated Heavy Storm! Lazaro chained Crush Card Virus, tributing Reaper, and lost his Mystical Space Typhoon. Beldon lost everything but his on-field Fear Monger, along with his in-hand Mystic Tomato and Armageddon Knight.
He removed Malicious from his graveyard to summon another in defense mode, and then summoned Mystic Tomato. He turned Fear Monger to attack mode, then struck for 2400 damage. Lazaro topped another Test Tiger.
“This is ridiculous,” he groaned. He had only 1200 life points remaining, and needed to make his move this turn. He had Murmillo and two Test Tigers to his opponent’s attack position Tomato and Fear Monger, as well as the defense mode Malicious. He summoned Murmillo.
He special summoned Test Tiger, tributed it, and tagged out Murmillo. He brought it back in to destroy Mystic Tomato, then used the second Tiger to special summon Secutor! Secutor attacked Malicious, brought out Darius and Murmillo, special summoned Laquari with Darius, and blew away Fear Monger with Murmillo. He then contact Fused for Heraklinos, leaving Darius on the field!
Beldon drew to two in hand. He set a monster and ended, unable to take a definitive win. Heraklinos attacked the set monster next turn, Armageddon Knight, and Darius attacked Malicious, tagging out to Laquari! Beldon needed to draw an answer.
His next draw was nothing but Solemn Judgment — no help! He immediately offered the handshake and the assembled crowd erupted in cheers. Lazaro Bellido is your new Canadian National Champion!