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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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.