19 year-old Kevin hails from Mobile, Alabama. While he’s attended three or four Shonen Jumps, this is his highest finish. Tristian is 14 years old and traveled here from Houston. He’s played in three Shonen Jump events, and this is also his highest ever finish.
As they waited for the quarters to begin, both players chatted casually about mutual acquaintances, extending the conversation to include the players sitting next to them. Both seemed a bit tired — “I haven’t been up this early since school,” Kevin remarked, as Tristian plopped his head down onto his arms folded on the table. Once the judges brought the decks back though, they were ready to begin, after shuffling carefully.
They rolled for first, and both got a five. Rolling again, Kevin’s six trumped Tristian’s two, and Kevin opted to go first. Counting out five cards from the top of his deck, he began.
Kevin drew, looked through his hand, and thought for a moment before setting a single spell or trap and ending his turn. Tristian drew, set one spell or trap and a monster, and ended. Kevin drew, and repeated his previous turn by setting a spell or trap and ending.
Tristian drew, and then summoned Sangan. Tristian responded with Torrential Tribute, taking out Sangan and Tristian’s set Apprentice Magician. Tristian searched out Spirit Reaper and ended his turn.
Kevin drew, activated Nightmare’s Steelcage, set a monster and ended his turn. Turns weren’t taking very long in this match. Tristian set a monster, one spell or trap, and ended. Kevin drew, and passed. Tristian set yet another monster and ended.
Nightmare’s Steelcage was over, so Kevin discarded it, then flip summoned Magician of Faith to bring Steelcage back to his hand. He checked his set spell or trap, and decided to activate it — he flipped it up to reveal Ceasefire. Tristian turned his set monsters face up, showing Magician of Faith and Skelengel. Alas, he could not claim their effects, and he took 1500 damage in the bargain. Kevin activated Nightmare’s Steelcage again, and ended his turn.
Tristian drew, and flipped up his set Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Steelcage. He summoned Spirit Reaper, attacked Kevin’s Magician of Faith with Skelengel, and then attacked directly with Magician of Faith and Spirit Reaper, relieving Kevin of a card and bringing the life point totals to Tristian — 6500 and Kevin — 6800.
Kevin continued to play defensively, activating Swords of Revealing Light, setting a monster, and ending his turn. Tristian drew, and activated Creature Swap, giving Kevin his Magician of Faith and taking the set monster — a Nimble Momonga — in return. He immediately tributed it for Thestalos, plucking Megamorph from Kevin’s hand, and then ended his turn.
Kevin set another spell or trap, and ended his turn. Tristian set a monster, turned Skelengel to defense, and ended his turn, waiting out Swords. Kevin set another monster, and ended. Tristian drew, turned Reaper to defense, and flip summoned Night Assailant, to destroy Kevin’s set Spirit Reaper.
Kevin drew, and discarded Swords. He looked through his hand and considered his options, then set one spell or trap. He followed it up with a set monster, and ended his turn.
Tristian drew, looked through his grave, and set a spell or trap. He turned Skelengel and Reaper to attack and Night Assailant to defense, then attacked, destroying Kevin’s set Cyber-Stein and tying the life point totals at 6500 apiece. Kevin set one spell or trap card and ended his turn.
Tristian drew, and shuffled through his hand as he surveyed the field. He looked thoughtfully at Kevin’s spell or trap zone, turned Thestalos to defense and flip summoned Dekoichi. After drawing his card, he attacked — Kevin responded with Mirror Force. “I called it,” Tristian declared, tapping his Thestalos. Reaper, Skelengel, and Dekoichi were sent packing, but Night Assailant and Thestalos were spared. He ended his turn.
Kevin drew, and thought about his options. Tristian had an advantage in field presence, with 2 defense position monsters and three set spell or traps. Kevin was falling behind, with 2 set spell or traps. He set a third, and ended his turn.
Tristian tributed Night Assailant for Cyber Dragon, and turned Thestalos back to attack, activated Last Will, and then turned on the aggro. Thestalos attacked directly, then Cyber Dragon, and then he brought out D. D. Warrior Lady with Last Will to attack directly. “That’s game,” Kevin admitted, and held out his hand.
Kevin made some notes as Tristian shuffled. Both players pulled out their side decks and concentrated on the changes they needed to make to help their chances of taking the second duel. Tristian lingered a bit longer on his final decisions, but they were soon ready to go.
Kevin again decided to go first, drawing his opening hand and glancing through it before taking his card for the turn. He quickly set a spell or trap, then followed it with a monster and ended his turn. Tristian drew and Kevin interrupted. “I’ll activate this in your draw phase”, he said, flipping up Ojama Trio. Tristian summoned Exiled Force and tributed it, to destroy Kevin’s set Des Koala, then activated Wave-Motion Cannon and ended his turn.
Kevin set a monster and ended. Tristian summoned Breaker the Magical Warrior, and attacked the set card — Nimble Momonga! Kevin didn’t bring out another, and Tristian put a counter on Wave-Motion.
Kevin continued to play defensively, setting a spell or trap and a monster and ending his turn. Tristian summoned Spirit Reaper, and attacked Kevin’s set Stealth Bird with Breaker. He attacked directly with Reaper, stripping Kevin’s hand of a card. Kevin set a spell or trap, a monster, then another spell or trap and ended.
Tristian finally used Breaker’s effect, destroying Kevin’s set Ojama Trio, then tributed Reaper for Zaborg, destroying Kevin’s set monster. Kevin looked at Tristian’s field — Breaker, Zaborg, and a loaded Wave-Motion Cannon — and conceded. “You’ve got it,” he said, holding out his hand once again. Tristian took the quarterfinals 2-0, and was headed for the semis!