We’ve already taken a look at Lance Leonhardt’s deck on paper, so I figured it’s worth trying to see it in action before making any final judgments. Remember, the key to this matchup for Lance will be finding the live cards in his deck, and that’s what his build is set up to do. Despite the fact that this is a truly international tournament with players flying in from all over the world, Lance and Alex have managed to find themselves in an all-California match in round 1. Lance is here from the San Fernando Valley in southern California representing Team Enigma, while his opponent is from close-by San Diego. Alex is playing Six Samurai, but he has no idea what he’s up against yet, so it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts and adapts to Lance’s strategy. Great Shogun Shien will very likely be a deciding card in this matchup, and Lance is going to have to make the most of every turn he gets without the restrictive Warrior in play. After what seemed like forever, head judge Dan Scheidegger finally started the round with a resounding “Get your game on!”
Alex won the opening roll and set two spell or traps and a monster. Lance started with Reasoning, prompting Alex to call one. He was clearly expecting a Cyber Valley based combo deck, but unbeknownst to him, Lance wasn’t playing any level one monsters. Sangan flopped off the deck with no further thinning, the worst possible result considering that he was looking to fill his graveyard. Lance put it in defense position and passed over to Alex who threw down a Reinforcement of the Army allowing him to search his deck for The Six Samurai – Zanji. He flipped up a face-down Irou and then summoned Zanji. Great Shogun Shien here would be devastating to Lance, but Alex didn’t have him. Irou took down Sangan and Zanji attacked directly. Lance had nothing to search for though, and play passed back to him with nothing on the field. He started his next turn with a Destiny Draw pitching Destiny Hero – Dogma, and then significantly slowed down the pace as he stopped to ponder his hand. It wasn’t looking very good. Lance’s hand was clogged with 3 monsters he couldn’t play, but he also had Phantom of Chaos, Monster Gate, and Recurring Nightmare. A good pull off of Monster Gate could put him back into the game, but he still had to worry about Alex’s two set spell or traps, either of which could be a game-ending Solemn Judgment.
Lance went for it and tributed Phantom of Chaos to Monster Gate! It did not go through though, as Alex cut his life points in half to play Solemn Judgment! This allowed Van’Dalgyon the Dark Dragon Lord to hit the field for Alex, burning Lance for 1500 damage and causing him to scoop up his cards for game 2.
It was a terrible start for Lance Leonhardt, but at least he didn’t reveal any major points of his strategy to Alex. Both players dove into the side deck, but Alex ended up deciding not to side anything in. Lance decided to start the second game, and he opened with a hand full of nothing. He played his one viable move, summoning Phantom of Chaos and tributing it for Monster Gate. Monster Gate dumped Destiny Hero – Plasma, Rainbow Dark Dragon, Grinder Golem, and two Destiny Draw into his graveyard before special summoning Jinzo to the field. Not ideal, but certainly a lot better than what he got out of his Reasoning in game 1. He passed with no backfield, and Alex activated Reasoning. Lance called four, but Grandmaster of the Six Samurai came off the top of the deck! Reinforcement of the Army fetched Zanji, and Zanji rammed into Jinzo destroying them both. Grandmaster swung directly, and Alex set a spell or trap before passing. Lance looked at his draw for the turn before passing with nothing, and Yaichi came down next turn for Alex. Both attacked and Lance had one last turn to make something of the game. He looked at his hand, saw nothing but level 8 monsters he couldn’t play, and scooped up his cards.
Alex Saavedra claims his first win of the day with The Six Samurai leaving Lance Leonhardt in need of a huge rebound after his deck fails to show up for the game!