Here we were in the Top 8 and, with the pressure on, everybody had one thing on their minds: shout outs! Twenty year-old Julian Wong hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, and wanted to shout out Dale Bellido, James Neumann, and “everyone in B.C. at The Connection Games cheering me on!” He lost Round 1 yesterday and has just kept winning since.
Gianluca “Luca” Bommino lives in SoCal — the 17 year-old Lightsworn duelist traveled here from his home in Vista, California, with his teammate and fellow Day 2 Competitor Martin Arriaga. Luca was piloting the last non-TeleDAD deck left in the tournament.
Wong opened with Elemental Hero Stratos, searching his deck for Destiny Hero – Plasma. He set one card and ended. Luca had Charge of the Light Brigade, two Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner, Jain, Lightsworn Paladin, Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, and Plaguespreader Zombie. He activated Charge sending Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior, Beckoning Light, and Threatening Roar to the graveyard, but Wong chained Solemn Judgment to stop Luca from searching his deck. That left him to summon one of his copies of Lumina, discard Plaguespreader Zombie, and bring back Garoth. Garoth swung over Stratos, Lumina made a direct attack, and Lumina sent Honest, Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, and Solar Recharge to the graveyard. Garoth then sent Mystical Space Typhoon and another Wulf to the graveyard! Luca summoned both copies of Wulf, drew a card for Garoth, and ended, having drawn Foolish Burial.
“Well, this’ll be an interesting game,” remarked Wong, clearly not liking the fact that his opponent netted three free cards on turn 1 while he himself lost 4000 life points. The pressure was on — Wong activated Reinforcement of the Army, grabbed Dark Grepher from his deck, and discarded Destiny Hero – Malicious to special summon Grepher. He summoned Malicious from his deck, normal summoned Krebons, and then Synchro summoned Colossal Fighter.
Grepher attacked Lumina, Fighter attacked Garoth, and Luca was down to 6150 life points. Wong brought out another Malicious in defense position, discarded Snipe Hunter for Grepher’s effect, and sent Necro Gardna to his graveyard. He was desperate to keep himself on the table. He tributed everything for Destiny Hero – Plasma, absorbed Wulf, and ended.
Luca had one more Wulf on the field and nothing else. He was holding Foolish Burial, Ehren, Lightsworn Monk, Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner, and Jain, Lightsworn Paladin with Plaguespreader Zombie in the graveyard. Plasma had 2950 ATK — Luca could run it over with Red Dragon Archfiend or Colossal Fighter, but was stymied trying to figure out a way to get the right number of level stars on the field. He summoned Ehren and ended.
Plasma ran over Wulf, and Wong ended by setting a card to his back row. He had one card remaining in hand. Luca topdecked Card of Safe Return, activated Foolish Burial, and sent Necro Gardna to his graveyard — he was, after all, out of Wulfs. He summoned Jain, Lightsworn Paladin and ended. “I don’t understand why you summon them in attack mode,” remarked Wong, who was clearly not buying that Luca was holding the Honest he appeared to be bluffing.
Wong summoned Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude, activated his effect, and sent Solemn Judgment to the bottom of his deck — a whiff. Plasma attacked Jain, Luca removed Necro Gardna to negate the attack, and Wong ended. Luca drew Beckoning Light!
He sent Jain over Diamond Dude for 400 damage, and set Beckoning. Wong sent Plasma to attack Jain again, and, when Luca tried to respond with Beckoning Light, Wong shut him down with Solemn Judgment! Wong set another spell or trap card and Luca drew; he had Lumina, Wulf, and Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress in hand. He set Lyla and ended.
Wong summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, destroyed Card of Safe Return with his effect, and cleared Luca’s field! Luca drew and set Necro Gardna next turn, Wong attacked it with Breaker, and Wong was disappointed. “AWW! Necro Gardna? God dangit.” Plasma attacked and Luca dropped to 1200 life points.
He topdecked Judgment Dragon! Luca summoned it, attacked Plasma, and Wong removed his own Necro Gardna to keep Plasma on the field. Next turn Wong activated Heavy Storm! Plasma inhaled Judgment Dragon, and then swung for game!
Julian Wong pulls out of a huge early game deficit to steal the first duel! Luca immediately beat himself up a bit over the Foolish Burial play — he had indeed believed that his third Wulf was in his deck, and had foregone a potentially strong Plaguespreader Zombie play by mistake. Julian Wong was now just one game away from the Top 4 and a 75% shot at a Doomcaliber Knight. Gianluca Bommino on the other hand, was one game from an afternoon at the Huntik and Dinoking demo tables.
“Good luck,” offered Luca. “I’ll go first.” He had Honest, Mystical Space Typhoon, Foolish Burial, Royal Oppression, Jain, Lightsworn Paladin, and Celestia, Lightsworn Angel. He activated Foolish Burial, summoned Wulf, Lightsworn Beast with it, normal summoned Jain, Lightsworn Paladin, set a spell or trap, and ended to send two Solar Recharge from his deck to his graveyard. Ouch.
Wong discarded Destiny Hero – Malicious with Destiny Draw, drew two, and activated Heavy Storm to destroy Luca’s face-down Oppression! He removed Malicious to summon another, normal summoned Plaguespreader Zombie to Synchro summon Colossal Fighter, then sent a card back to the top of his deck to special summon Plaguespreader again. He removed his second Malicious to summon a third, then Synchro summoned another Colossal.
“How many Honests do you have in hand?”
“Three,” replied Gianluca. Wong sent Colossal Fighter into Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, and got nailed by Honest. He summoned it back. Luca needed to keep one Lightsworn on the field to play that Celestia next turn and battle back. Wong sent the other Colossal over Jain, Lightsworn Paladin, destroyed her, and ended by setting two cards to his back row.
Luca never got the chance to bring down that Celestia — Wong cut him off at the pass with Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, spinning away the Wulf and cutting short any hopes Luca had of making the Top 4. He scooped up immediately.
Julian Wong overcomes a massive opening from Gianluca Bommino, and takes two consecutive wins to move on to the top 4!