Dexter Dalit was on his way to becoming North America’s fist-ever two-time National Champion. In his way stood Vinh Lam, relative unknown but Top 20 finisher at last year’s National Championships. At 22 years of age, the call-center contract worker was hungry for the win, and he made it this far without ever using a side deck. Quite the peculiar and amazing achievement.
One duelist will emerge victorious, and claim the title of National Champion. This is it.
Dalit won the roll and began the match with Yellow Gadget, searching for Green Gadget and setting one card to his back row. “Draw,” announced Lam, activating Destiny Draw and discarding Destiny Hero — Dasher. He drew two, special summoned Cyber Dragon, and attacked Yellow Gadget: Dalit took the attack, losing 900 life points and Yellow Gadget. Lam set a monster, set a spell or trap, and thought a moment: “End my turn.”
Dalit summoned Green Gadget, searched his deck for Red, and activated Smashing Ground to destroy Cyber Dragon. Green Gadget then attacked Lam’s set Treeborn Frog, and Dalit set a second card to his spell and trap zone to end his turn.
Premature Burial brought back Lam’s Cyber Dragon, dropping him to 7200 life points. He attacked Green Gadget and after much thought Dalit let the attack through. Lam set another monster and ended.
Red Gadget was summoned by Dalit, who searched his deck for Yellow Gadget. Snatch Steal took Cyber Dragon, and Dalit attacked with Red Gadget to destroy Lam’s set Destiny Hero — Fear Monger. Cyber Dragon then attacked directly for 2100 damage, and Dalit ended to let his opponent gain 1000 life points: Lam had 6100 left.
He brought up Destiny Hero — Dasher in his standby phase, thanks to the effect of Fearmonger. He activated Snatch Steal next, targeting the stolen Cyber Dragon, but Dalit chained Enemy Controller to tribute the Dragon and take Dasher! “I’ll end my turn,” announced Lam, who took his Dasher back.
Snipe Hunter came down for Dalit, who discarded Yellow Gadget to destroy Dasher, and Red Gadget attacked. Lam tried to block it with Call of the Haunted but was stopped by Royal Decree! Red Gadget and Snipe Hunter both attacked directly, reducing Lam to 3300 life points. Dalit still had 6400.
Lam activated Destiny Draw, discarding Destiny Hero — Malicious but drawing another, alongside Mystical Space Typhoon. His only other in-hand card was Raiza the Storm Monarch. He activated Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Dalit’s set Shrink, then removed his Malicious from his graveyard to special summon his last copy from his deck. He then tributed Malicious for Raiza, bouncing Red Gadget back to Dalit’s deck and running over Snipe Hunter. Lam was in good shape if Dalit didn’t have any more monster destruction.
Dalit drew his Red Gadget again and shuffled his hand. He summoned Yellow Gadget, searched his deck for Green and set a spell or trap. No dice.
Lam topped another Destiny Draw, trading his dead Malicious for Card Trooper and Metamorphosis! He summoned Trooper, used its effect and sent Disk Commander to the graveyard in doing so. Card Trooper attacked over Yellow Gadget, Raiza attacked directly, and Dalit was down to 2400 life points!
“End my turn.”
Dalit drew and summoned Green Gadget, searching his deck for another Gadget as always. Green Gadget destroyed the Trooper in battle and Dalit ended, still thoroughly trumped by Raiza. “Go ahead.”
Raiza attacked over Green Gadget and Dalit dropped to 1400 life points. Raiza was then tributed for Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch and Dalit was forced to discard Red Gadget. Lam set another card to his back row and Dalit activated Premature Burial, taking Snipe Hunter from his graveyard! He tossed an extra Royal Decree to try and destroy Thestalos, but missed! Another shot with a discarded Red Gadget hit, and Snipe Hunter attacked directly for 1500. The duel stood on a razor’s edge: Lam had 800 life points left, while Dalit only had 200.
Lam had Metamorphosis and Brain Control in hand, and he tried to play Brain Control, obviously forgetting he couldn’t pay for it. “This game’s yours,” he admitted: his remaining set card was Mirror Force, and it was useless in the face of Decree. Next turn Snipe Hunter would attack, and Lam could do nothing to stop it.
A back and forth game comes down to a matter of dead cards, and Dexter Dalit pulls out of one bad situation after the next to steal the win!
Lam opted to begin the second duel, and did so with Destiny Draw, discarding Malicious. He drew another and looked at his hand: Treeborn Frog, Thestalos, Destiny Hero — Malicious, Trap Dustshoot, Disk Commander, and Fear Monger. He brought out Malicious from his deck by removing one from his graveyard, tributed him for Thestalos, and made Dalit discard his Fissure. He set Dustshoot, and next turn used it to send Dalit’s only monster, Cyber Dragon, back to his deck. Still, Dalit used Snatch Steal to take control of Thestalos and smacked Lam with him for 2400 damage. He set one back row card and ended.
Brain Control came off the top of Lam’s deck, but he opted just to set one monster — a patient and calculated move. Dalit summoned Green Gadget, searched his deck for Red, and attacked with Green Gadget, destroying Disk Commander. Thestalos then attacked directly, lowering Lam to 4200. “Go ahead.”
Lam jumped to 5200, and he set another monster before passing — the Fear Monger. He ended his turn and Dalit started running numbers . . .
“Game?” asked Lam.
“I’m calculating,” replied Dalit. He settled on a plan of action quickly.
He summoned Drillroid, and attacked with Thestalos to destroy the Fear Monger. Lam looked happy for a moment, but then it all came crashing down. When Green Gadget and Drillroid attacked, Dalit dropped Limiter Removal, dishing out a grand total of 6000 damage! Lam barely had time to realize what had happened.
The match was won. Almost unbelievably, Dexter Dalit is your two-time Canadian National Champion!