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Leon’s South Wall Corner Club
Team Battle Series:
Team Junky Spot vs. Team Gamer’s Keepe

January 23, 2006

For quite a while now a bunch of locals and I have been discussing a Team Battle Series. Essentially this would feature head-to-head endurance battles among the top teams in our area for exhibition and fun. We all liked the idea and had a good amount set up towards doing these battles. Extenuating circumstances have made it more difficult, but I want to report these as they happen anyway - giving you another perspective as to how the best in our area play this fun little game.

First we have team Junky Spot. These guys are very well known and very well established in Northern California (and reaching). Apart from being the dominant forces felt at almost every Regional event, and from landing two members of the team in the top eight of SJCSF, they are basically nice guys to meet. They like to joke around and don’t mind making friends or going for some friendly competition. There skills in VS system also work to set them apart from the rest.

Then we have Team Gamer’s Keepe. Our guys are the textbook definition of “up and coming”. This is a team a couple of friends and I started up around a year ago. Back then we were a bunch of locals just looking to help each other out and try to get better. As we’ve interacted with other people in the area our presence became better known, but this did not happen from nothing. We constantly brainstormed together and worked on how to improve in all aspects of the game. All of my guys have come a long way from where they started and I could not be any prouder of their progress.

While the remainder of the battle is still to be determined we were able to catch the first round last Saturday in Oakland.

Round 1: Vishaal Desai (GK) vs. Raymond Ye (JS)

Both players looked a little nervous starting this out. I quietly told Vishaal to relax and take it like any other practice. He wins the die roll and opts to go first.

He opens with a classic “T” set (two face downs - one monster and one S/T). Raymond opened by setting three: a monster and two S/Ts. This was most likely a move done in fear of Dust Tornado. You have to be careful when doing that against Vishaal, as he is known to set Heavy Storm just for this.

But Raymond called it right as Vishaal had to take a guess for the Dust at the end phase. Vishaal entered his turn by setting only a second monster and no backfield.

Raymond took the first offense, by flipping D.D. Warrior Lady and attacking one of the face downs. It connected with…another Warrior Lady. I couldn’t remember who but one of them opted to remove so they both left the field.

Vishaal took his next turn with only one facedown set. But it was his turn to get Dusted at the End Phase. Raymond couldn’t capitalize from this (showing the weakness, sometimes, of pure control builds) and opted a “T” set of his own.

Vishaal flips his face down, Dekoichi, the Battlechanted Locomotive, draws and attacks for his first offense. It hits a Spirit Reaper. Raymond seems to find his opening here. Turning his reaper to attack he summons a second, plays Smashing Ground on the Dekoichi, and goes for it. Scapegoat saves Vishaal’s hand (quite a worse thing to lose then life points in this game).

Sitting on one token left Vishaal “T” sets and ends the turn. Raymond is determined to take it here and plays Nobleman of Crossout on the face down Magician of Faith, then proceeds to attack the last Scapegoat with a summoned Dekoichi. Vishaal flips Widespread Ruin to stop the attack. Only one Reaper could hit directly since the other one had to kill the last sheep token.

Vishaal still suffered a disadvantage at this point. He played Smashing Ground on one Reaper and double set to avoid discarding from the second. It’s definitely risky, but he had no other choice. A Heavy Storm would end it for him then and there. But Raymond didn’t have it and attacked with the Reaper once more.

Vishaal drew and set. Raymond knew Reaper would be useless at this point so he sacrificed it for Cyber Dragon – who attacked into Sakuretsu Armor. But Raymond chained Book of Moon, continuing his advantage.

Vishaal could do nothing so passed the turn. Raymond hit with Cyber Dragon. Next turn Vishaal played a facedown Smashing Ground and set his draw. Raymond played Reinforcement of the Army for D.D. Assailant and attacked into Sakuretsu.

At this point they both only had three S/Ts set, but Raymond still had a few in hand while Vishaal was top decking. They both played it cool with monster sets each turn. Mirror matches are fun, eh? Vishaal got to flip his Dekoichi up and attack into…Raymond’s Dekoichi. Raymond followed up with a Smash on Dekoichi and a pass for the turn.

Vishaal had nothing. Raymond opened up on Vishaal’s three sets with a Breaker the Magical Warrior. Because of Breaker’s two step effect Vishaal responded with a Book of Moon before it could destroy something else.

Vishaal drew and set the face down S/T. Raymond got a direct hit with Breaker but Vishaal revealed Call of the Haunted at the end phase for his Dekoichi.

Tsukuyomi came out for a quick flip flop on the Dekoichi then Vishaal continued with a Creature Swap on Raymond’s Breaker, giving him his Tsukuyomi. This shows some of the untapped synergy in FFC and was something we practiced for a while. Basically since Tsukuyomi returns to the owner’s hand, not the controllers, you only use one resource to take control of an openings monster permanently. In exchange you give up the battle phase. Well, you wouldn’t really attack it, would you?

It just wasn’t enough. Raymond got what he needed. Heavy Storm. Cyber Dragon. Snatch Steal. Game one to Raymond Ye.

Game two opened up with Vishaal once again. “T” set and end. Raymond responds with Cyber Dragon, who attacks Dekoichi. He then “T” sets and ends. But his end phase single set is Dusted.

It became Vishaal’s turn to open up here. Raymond only had three in hand. He activated Snatch Steal on the Cyber Dragon, summoned Spirit Reaper, and played Nobleman of Crossout on his facedown. Raymond was now down on life and only had two in hand. He drew, set a monster, and passed.

Vishaal took further advantage of the lack of backfield. The fact that Raymond was staring down a Spirit Reaper but didn’t set anything (even bluffs) shows that those last two in hand were most likely also monsters. He summoned Asura Priest and attacked the facedown. D.D. Assailant removed the Priest, but Cyber and Reaper got through once again: Leaving Raymond with only one in hand. Raymond drew and brought out Chaos Sorcerer who used priority to remove the Spirit Reaper. Then set a face down monster.

Vishaal attacked the facedown with Cyber. It was Dekoichi. He set and ended. Raymond removed Cyber Dragon with Sorcerer this time. Then set an S/T which got tagged by Mystical Space Typhoon at the end phase.

Vishaal couldn’t get over the Sorcerer. He special summoned his own Cyber Dragon and passed. Raymond removed again. That’s a 3 for 0 thus far that Raymond got off, coming back from that huge early disadvantage.

Vishaal set an S/T and ended. Raymond chanced an attack with the Sorcerer and hit Sakuretsu Armor.

Vishaal played it cooler here with a “T” set. Raymond set and passed.

Vishaal flipped Dekoichi, drew, and hit a direct attack. Set another and ended. Raymond attempted Premature Burial on Chaos Sorcerer, but it was Dusted. Then he activated Call of the Haunted on it where it hit Bottomless Trap Hole.

Vishaal brought out Cyber Dragon, which hit a BTH also. A couple of turns hit with sets, so each person sat at two backfield sets apiece.

Vishaal set a monster and Raymond chanced an attack with Mystic Swordsman LV2. It went through and the Tomato hit the grave with no effect. Raymond stayed on the offensive with MSLV2 for a turn or two. He ended up flipping his facedown Magical Merchant, which drew into a Heavy Storm. Raymond played it, but Vishaal chained his Waboku.

The side ins really do see some good play: MSLV2, Waboku, BTH…

Vishaal opted a “T” set and ended. Raymond attacked the facedown, which was Mystic Tomato and Vishaal selected Sangan for its effect. This was something we always agreed on as a team. In almost any phase of game play you should consider Sangan first as a Tomato target.

Vishaal fought back in by sacrificing the Sangan for a Mobius the Frost Monarch (searched D.D. Warrior Lady). Then activated Premature Burial on Mystic Tomato and took out Raymond’s entire field. Raymond still had what nobody in Vishaal’s position really wants to see: Dark Hole. Then he followed up with a Spirit Reaper. Vishaal lost the Jinzo from his hand.

Vishaal summoned the Lady, attacked and removed Reaper, then ended. Raymond had nothing after that last action. He set and ended. Two more turns of simple sets occurred.

Vishaal got to flip his Dekoichi first and attacked into Reaper. Raymond chanced Reinforcement of the Army to D.D. Assailant but Vishaal chained Book of Moon on the Dekoichi to get the second draw.

Vishaal played Swords, set a monster, and passed. Raymond played Exiled on Vishaal’s face down Swarm of Scarabs and passed.

Vishaal hit it this time: Dark Hole. He then followed up with Call of the Haunted on Jinzo for the win. Game two goes to Vishaal Desai.

Just the tension I was hoping for. Both players took less time with the side deck and more time with deep breaths. Raymond opened game three with a “T” set and pass. Vishaal had that great “going second” hand I guess. Well, the great card at least. He played Nobleman of Crossout on the facedown Sangan. Then took the more risky approach of one monster set and two S/Ts. This doesn’t look the greatest to me. He only leaves himself with two cards in hand and practically asks to lose early advantage.

But Raymond cannot deal with it either way and simply sends a D.D. Assailant to its predictable death ala Sakuretsu Armor. Vishaal is free to flip his Merchant and attack for the whopping 200 he knows Raymond won’t stop. Then sets one and passes.

Raymond brings Cyber dragon out this time. It hits a second Sakuretsu. But Call on the same monster scores a hit over the Merchant. Vishaal Smashes it and sets for the turn.

Raymond passes the next turn. Vishaal gets the Dekoichi flip to a direct attack.
Raymond then activates Premature Burial on D.D. Assailant, but Waboku comes out to save the Dekoichi.

Then Vishaal pulls the classic 2 for 1 with Snatch Steal. For those who don’t know how it works: Snatch the beater and force their backfield removal by simply attacking. He did just that costing Raymond his Assailant, Premature Burial, and Sakuretsu Armor. He even scored another direct hit with the Dekoichi.

Raymond plays Smashing Ground on the Dekoichi and ends. Vishaal plays it cool again with a single set monster. Then Raymond does the same. Vishaal gets the first flip, though, and what a flip it is: Swarm of Scarabs.

With no offensive way to deal with it Raymond only sets a single S/T for the next turn. Then Vishaal chances an attack with Scarab’s 500 attack which actually got tagged with Sakuretsu.

Raymond then feels safe with setting a monster facedown. But pwnage tech gets it. Call of the Haunted gets thrown up at the end phase for the Swarm of Scarabs again. Swarm kills the facedown and Vishaal passes the turn.

Here’s an interjection. When someone is in control you will often see them passing the turn without any real action, such as them simply attacking with their current field presence and not summoning anything additional. This is due to the fact that periods where you have control should be devoted to recovering resources while depleting your opponents further. Simple attacks over monsters get 1 for 0s. We can’t forget that.

Raymond is far from out. He summons Spirit Reaper and Smashes the Scarab, but can only hit of Vishaal’s four newly summoned sheep tokens. More synergy shows itself. Vishaal summons Mystic Tomato, throws a token in attack, and Creature Swaps it in exchange for the Spirit Reaper: costing Raymond life, field presence, and another card in hand.

Raymond chances a Smashing Ground on the Tomato but Vishaal chains Book of Moon. Upon flip summoning the Tomato Raymond responds with Torrential Tribute. But Premature Burial puts the Tomato back in his face and attacking direct.

Raymond rips Chaos Sorcerer and removes. Vishaal Smashes it and ends. Get this…Raymond rips another Chaos Sorcerer and attacks. Sakuretsu puts it down.

After that a few turns passed with simple sets. Raymond hits Nobleman of Crossout on Vishaal’s facedown, but no capitalizing. Vishaal plays Swords of Revealing Light.

Raymond summons Breaker the Magical Warrior, destroying Swords, and scoring 1600 direct. Vishaal hits that late game wild card: Pot of Avarice. With it he draws into a Heavy Storm on Raymond’s three set S/Ts. Cyber Dragon takes out the Breaker.

Raymond rips Hole and sets. No capitalizing. They each set the next turns. Vishaal rips his own Hole and searches with his facedown Sangan’s effect for Mystic Tomato. He summons and scores a direct hit for the match. Game three and the match go to Vishaal Desai.

All and all it was a tremendous first effort for both sides. As I eluded to earlier we could not continue with this any further due to circumstances from the other team. But we all eagerly wait picking this up at the SOI Sneak Preview or another event. And of course I’ll be here delivering the action.

Until next time.



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