To the best of my knowledge there has never been a two-time National Champion, for any country, in the history of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game. Now, Dexter Dalit has a chance to become the first ever two-time National title holder, and take a second shot at becoming World Champion.
Play began swiftly. Piper set a card to each zone, and Dalit summoned Yellow Gadget to search his deck for Green. Nobleman of Crossout removed Piper’s set Treeborn Frog from the game, and Yellow attacked directly!
“Nice job with the NoC there . . .” Dalit set a spell or trap and passed.
Piper took control of Yellow with Brain Control, then tributed it for Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch. Dalit was forced to discard Smashing Ground and Thestalos attacked directly. “Sure,” replied Dalit, dropping to 5600 life points. “Your turn,” noted Piper.
“How many cards in hand?” asked Dalit.
“I have three.” Each duelist had a back row card, and Dalit had four in hand. He summoned Green Gadget, searched his deck for Red, and attacked with Green into Sakuretsu Armor. “Go ahead.”
Heavy Storm was played by Piper, and Dalit flipped Shrink to target Thestalos. Piper summoned Card Trooper, pumped it up to 1900 at the cost of Cyber Dragon, Card Trooper, and Zaborg the Thunder Monarch, and then attacked directly with both Card Trooper and his miniaturized Thestalos. He set one back row card to end his turn.
Dalit was in a bind. He summoned Snipe Hunter and used its effect with priority, targeting Thestalos by discarding Drillroid: he missed. With three cards left he contemplated taking more shots, and discarded Red Gadget to take Thestalos out. Snipe Hunter attacked but fell to Sakuretsu Armor, and Dalit set a spell or trap. Card Trooper was pumped again and Dalit took 1900, dropping to 600 life points. It was all but over for the previous Canadian Champion.
Dalit took a moment to observe the field, feeling a bit of the pressure but still looking relatively calm. He summoned Banisher of the Radiance, attacked over Card Trooper and ended. Piper dropped to 4800 life points and Dalit passed play to him.
Brain Control let him take Banisher of the Radiance, and he tributed it for Raiza the Storm Monarch! Raiza bounced Dalit’s last card, Royal Decree back onto his deck, and the duel was over: Raiza hit directly through an open field for game.
Both duelists began quietly side decking, smoke-screening to conceal their actions.
“I’ll choose to go first,” stated Dalit. He summoned Yellow Gadget, plucked Green Gadget from his deck, and set a spell or trap, the traditional Gadget Ambiguity™ opener. Doesn’t get any more classic than that!
Piper summoned Card Trooper and burned Pulling the Rug, Snatch Steal, and Raiza the Storm Monarch to boost it to 1900 attack. Dalit took the attack, losing his Yellow Gadget and taking 700 damage. Piper set two cards to his back row and ended.
Banisher of the Radiance came down for Dalit, wiping Card Trooper off the field with an attack! Piper’s bluffs hadn’t fooled the veteran Champion, and he set a second back row card to match his opponent. Still, Piper brought out another Trooper, thinking he could use its effect while Banisher was on the table! He quickly did, sending Gravekeeper’s Spy, Pot of Avarice, and Sakuretsu Armor to his graveyard. This was done too quickly for the table judges to intervene, but they disallowed the play after Piper had revealed the three cards from the top of his deck. The deck was reset with all three cards going back on top, as per the proper procedure. Piper’s mistake would cost him dearly.
Dalit attacked the second Trooper with his Banisher, dropping his opponent to 5600 life points. Dalit ended, Piper set a monster and shook his head. Nobleman of Crossout removed Piper’s set monster, Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive from the field! Piper stripped one more from his deck, and Dalit attacked again with the Banisher, taking Piper down to 4000 life points. Piper set a card to each zone and passed play back to Dalit.
The former Champion inspected Piper’s graveyard for a moment before deciding to summon Snipe Hunter. He discarded Green Gadget with priority to target and destroy Piper’s set monster, Gravekeeper’s Spy, then attacked with Snipe Hunter directly.
“Does Banisher attack too?” asked Piper, clearly itching for Dalit to do so.
“Sure,” replied Dalit. Banisher attacked next and Piper flipped Sakuretsu Armor, a telegraphed play. But Dalit had a plan! He activated Future Fusion and sent three Cyber Dragon to his graveyard, declaring that he intended to bring out Cyber End Dragon!
“I can do this,” said Piper to himself. “I’m not afraid of some three-headed Dragon.” Dalit passed.
Piper set another card to each zone and Dalit was up. It was 2500 to 7300 in favor of Dalit: two more attacks and he’d press the match to a third duel. He used Snipe Hunter’s effect to discard Fissure and destroyed his opponent’s set Treeborn Frog, attacking with Snipe Hunter to draw out Mirror Force; Snipe Hunter was destroyed. Dalit ended, Piper set a monster, and Dalit special summoned Cyber End Dragon!
Dalit inspected Piper’s graveyard, seeing Mirror Force and one Sakuretsu Armor already there. Attacking with the Cyber End Dragon outright might be risky, given that Piper had two set spell or trap cards, but he hadn’t used either card to defend his life points before. Dalit went for it.
He summoned Drillroid and sent Cyber Dragon to attack Piper’s set monster! He activated Limiter Removal in the damage step, wholly unnecessarily, and tore through Spirit Reaper for 7800 damage!
Dexter Dalit presses the match to a third duel!
Piper opened with a set Dekoichi and Sakuretsu Armor. “Go.” Dalit activated Heavy Storm, summoned Red Gadget and searched his deck for Yellow. Red Gadget attacked Piper’s set Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive and Piper drew a card. Dalit set a card to his back row to conclude his turn.
Another set monster hit Piper’s side of the field accompanied by two spell or trap cards. Dalit flipped his set Royal Decree and summoned Yellow Gadget to fetch Green! Nobleman of Crossout removed Piper’s set Mask of Darkness from the field and both players shuffled their decks. Red and Yellow swung directly for a total of 2500 damage, and Piper dropped to 5500 life points. Dalit set another face down in his back row to end.
Piper couldn’t do anything but set a monster. Dalit summoned Green Gadget, took Red Gadget from his deck, and the momentum just continued to build.
“Is that a Spy?” It was, and she flipped to special summon another from Piper’s deck. He was back in the game . . . for about six seconds. Fissure and Smashing Ground destroyed both Spies! Dalit turned Red and Yellow to defense and ended, still keeping Piper totally off the field!
Piper had Heavy Storm in hand and used it, losing his own Mirror Force and Pulling the Rug while Dalit lost his Decree and Enemy Controller. It was a painful play but one he had to make, ending with a set monster and nothing else on the field. He had two cards in hand to Dalit’s two, but Dalit was about to draw, and controlled three Gadgets.
He summoned Red Gadget, searched for Yellow, and turned all his Gadgets to attack and set one spell or trap. He moved into his battle phase, attacked with Green, and hit Sangan! Piper went to search his deck, but Dalit revealed Limiter Removal, snapping it down from his hand to reveal that he had game.
Dexter Dalit moves on to the finals, one match away from becoming the two-time Canadian Champion!