Matt Stille had shocked onlookers here yesterday, qualifying for Day 2 with a deck based around Gearfried the Iron Knight. An ex-member of Team Betrayal, the twenty-three year old duelist hails from the St. Louis area. He’s already made a big impact here this weekend, and a win in this quarterfinal would make his amazing accomplishment even more incredible.
Mike Gonzales is seventeen years old, and is a native of Austin. A member of Team Snap, he went 8-0 yesterday before losing out to Ryan Spicer, the tournament’s only undefeated player on Saturday. He’s running a typical aggro beatdown, packed with three Cyber Dragons, three Hydrogeddon, and a pair of Zaborg the Thunder Monarch.
This match would pit the ultimate in mainstream decks against an absolute rogue strategy. Could Stille pull out another victory? We’ll find out in a matter of minutes.
“I’ve had no sleep in 27 hours,” announced Gonzales. “I celebrated . . . after the Top 8 was announced . . . so I’m running on no sleep right now.” Clearly, both of these duelists have their work cut out for them.
Stille won the roll and opened with a set card to each zone. Gonzales special summoned Cyber Dragon, attacked into Treeborn Frog, and set a card to each zone. He set another spell or trap and passed: “Go ahead.”
His opponent set a second monster and passed right back. Cyber Dragon attacked, hit Night Assailant, and Stille used its effect to destroy Gonzales’ set Gravekeeper’s Spy. Gonzales ended, Mystical Space Typhoon destroyed his set Enemy Controller, and Exiled Force destroyed the Dragon. Stille passed, Gonzales set a spell or trap, and play was back to Stille.
He summoned D. D. Warrior Lady and attacked directly, but was stopped by Sakuretsu Armor. Gonzales set a second spell or trap yet again, and Stille swung with Gearfried. Again, Sakuretsu Armor shut him down. Gonzales set a second spell or trap yet again!
Reinforcement of the Army fetched Gearfried for Stille, who summoned it and attacked, finally scoring a hit! Gonzales took 1800 damage, dropped to 6200 life points, and Stille announced that he was finished with his turn. Gonzales set a third spell or trap card and ended. Stille activated Heavy Storm from his hand, destroying his own card and costing Gonzales Torrential Tribute, Heavy Storm, and Pot of Avarice. He summoned Injection Fairy Lily, and attacked with both monsters! It was 6000 to 1000, and Stille set one back row card.
“I scoop,” announced Gonzales. “I drew three monsters out of all those cards.” He revealed them: the Cyber Dragon, the Spy, and a dead Hydrogeddon that couldn’t attack over Gearfried.
Both duelists did some quick side decking and Gonzales began the second duel.
He set a monster, looked at his hand, and passed. Stille activated Graceful Charity, discarded Smoke Grenade of the Thief and then pitched a second. He special summoned Cyber Dragon, normal summoned Exiled Force, and tributed it to destroy Treeborn Frog! It got him 2100 damage, but it might hurt in the long run. Stille set a spell or trap and ended.
Gonzales brought back his Frog and tributed it for Mobius the Frost Monarch, but Stille chained Ring of Destruction! Gonzales seemed to consider chaining an effect, but eventually let the Ring go off. It was 5600 to 3500, and Gonzales finished his turn by setting one spell or trap. Dragon attacked, but was stopped by Enemy Controller, and Stille set a second monster.
Cyber Dragon came down for Gonzales and he summoned Hydrogeddon. His Dragon took down Stille’s, and his Hydrogeddon destroyed Stille’s set Magician of Faith. Magician retrieved Stille’s Graceful Charity, and the second Hydro hit directly.
Stille activated the Graceful Charity, discarding Mirror Force and Pot of Avarice. He special summoned Cyber Dragon and activated Premature Burial. It was 3200 to 3500. He summoned D. D. Warrior Lady, activated Enemy Controller to tribute his Cyber Dragon for his opponent’s, and both Dragons destroyed the Hydrogeddons. D. D. Warrior Lady hit directly, Stille set a spell or trap, and play was to Gonzales.
Gonzales took back his Frog, tributed it for Zaborg the Thunder Monarch, and destroyed D. D. Warrior Lady. Zaborg attacked Stille’s Cyber Dragon, and Gonzales’ other Dragon hit directly. He set one spell or trap and ended.
Stille brought back Exiled Force with Call of the Haunted, and tributed it to destroy Zaborg. He set his last in hand card to his back row and passed.
“Attack for game?” asked Gonzales, poking his Cyber Dragon towards his opponent.
“Yup,” said Stille, scooping. Tossing the Mirror Force had definitely been a mistake.
Both duelists did some side decking before the third duel began. Stille seemed slightly demoralized by his loss, while Gonzales was visibly gaining momentum. “Maybe this time I can get Graceful,” mentioned Gonzales.
“Yeah, I got it twice but I probably discarded the wrong thing there,” noted Stille.
He opened the third game with Graceful Charity, getting a second chance to correct his mistake from last game! There was no fast decision this time, and after nearly a minute’s consideration Stille discarded Mobius the Frost Monarch and Torrential Tribute. He activated Reinforcement of the Army, searched his deck for Gearfried the Iron Knight, and summoned it to the field. He set one spell or trap and ended.
Gonzales drew for his turn. He set a card to each zone, and lost his set Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive to Blast with Chain in the end phase. Oof.
Stille activated Smoke Grenade of the Thief! It blew off of Gearfried, and revealed Gonzales’ hand: Enemy Controller, Brain Control, and Heavy Storm. Stille opted to discard Brain Control, but made the decision very quickly instead of taking his time to soak in the knowledge of his opponent’s hand. Heavy Storm hit next, destroying Gonzales’ Bottomless Trap Hole, and Stille attacked with Gearfried and Injection Fairy Lily! It was 6000 to 2800, and Stille set one spell or trap card.
Gonzales activated Heavy Storm, but Stille chained Ring of Destruction! He destroyed his own Gearfried to maximize the damage. Gonzales brought out Cyber Dragon, summoned Hydrogeddon, and turned Lily to defense with Enemy Controller! The first Hydrogeddon rolled over her, a second was summoned, and both the second Hydro and Cyber Dragon hit directly. In the blink of an eye the match was reduced to 1000 life points for Gonzales and 500 for Stille. Suddenly, the aggressor of the match was on the defensive.
Stille set two cards to his back row and ended. Gonzales turned Cyber Dragon to defense, attacked with both Hydrogeddons and lost them to Mirror Force. Gonzales set a monster to conclude his turn.
Stille used Reinforcement of the Army to search his deck for D. D. Assailant, and attacked Cyber Dragon to destroy it. He had one back row card set when he ended his turn. Gonzales topped into Mobius the Frost Monarch, tributed his set monster to summon it, and that was the match! Stille’s set Premature Burial, a dead draw, was blown away and Mobius stomped on D. D. Assailant to finish the final duel!
Mike Gonzales of Team Snap moves on to the semi-finals!