Evil_Bakura (Blackwing) vs Xae (scrap)
Good day to you all! Today we will be taking a look at the Finals match-up between Evil_Bakura and Xae that determined the winner of Yugioh Championship Series - Duel Academy and led to the crowning of a new Duel Academy Champion! Evil_Bakura was generous enough to make a video of this match, so thank you Evil_Bakura! I'll be occassionally interjecting my own comments into this match-up in an attempt to give all you aspiring duelists out there a chance to take a look into what the thought processes are for a duelist during a high-level tournament match setting.
Evil_Bakura is running a Blackwing deck in today's match-up. By now I think most people are familiar with this deck, but the basic principle of it is to special summon a bunch of monsters while searching out more monsters via Black Whirlwind. The deck is also typically able to summon a synchro monster on nearly every turn, and can use Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem to get around pesky cards like Skill Drain or Royal Oppression, and even make them usable in the deck to annoy opponents. Xae is running a Scrap deck, the purpose of which is basically to keep on summoning Scrap Chimera to bring out Scrap Dragon over and over again, and to win via Scrap Dragon's powerful effects and good stats. The deck has a lot of synergy between its cards which allows Xae to basically use the same strategies every duel he plays. So, now that you understand the decks, let's get this match-up underway!
Evil_Bakura lost the opening rock/paper/scissors and Xae chose to go 1st. Xae started out his 1st turn by activating Scrapyard to search out Scrap Beast and add it to his hand. He summoned Scrap Beast and then placed 2 cards face-down and ended his turn.
*If 1 of Xae's face-down cards in Scrapstorm, then he will able to chain it to anything that might harm Scrap Beast, toss Chimera into his grave, then draw a card and destroy Scrap Beast, gaining his effect to move Chimera from his grave to his hand. Then, on his next turn he can summon Chimera and bring back Beast to synchro summon for Scrap Dragon, the main card of the deck. This type of opening play is what Evil_Bakura needs to be the most wary of at this point. He probably shouldn't try to destroy Beast with an effect, since the effect has a good chance of becoming a wasted card. Best is just to attempt to attack over Beast with a bigger monster.*
Evil_Bakura opened up with a hand of 2x Solemn Warning, Black Whirlwind, Blackwing - Sirocco the Dawn, Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow, and Blackwing - Blizzard the Far North. This is a pretty decent hand for a Blackwing duelist with a 1st turn Whirlwind and some good monsters with a Kalut to back them up if necessary. Evil_Bakura activated Black Whirlwind then summoned Sirocco, but Xae chained Bottomless Trap Hole, removing Sirocco and since Black Whirlwind requires the monster to be on the field when it resolves (because it checks the monster's ATK stat), Evil_Bakura was unable to use the effect of Black Whirlwind. He instead set his 2 copies of Solemn Warning before ending his turn.
*Setting both copies of Solemn Warning is acceptable if you think your opponent could potentially make a huge move next turn that could lose you the duel, although in this situation I think leaving 1 copy in his hand might have been better, unless he was just hoping to protect his Black Whirlwind from harm by making his opponent choose which cards to worry about.*
Xae drew for his turn and then attacked with Beast for 1600 damage. In Main Phase 2 he set a monster and 2 face-down in his back row before ending his turn.
*It is typically "safe" to match your opponent's level of commitment to the field. Evil_Bakura had 3 back row cards, so it is safe for Xae to have 3 as well. This is true in many, but not all, scenarios.*
Evil_Bakura drew Torrential Tribute for his turn. He summoned Kalut and Xae turned it face-down with Book of Moon to prevent Whirlwind from activating. Evil_Bakura set Torrential Tribute and ended his turn.
*I'm thinking it may have been better to simply set Torrential without summoning Kalut at that time, but then there's no guarantee Xae wouldn't just continue poking with Scrap Beast.*
Xae drew to 2 cards in-hand for his next turn and attacked Kalut with Scrap Beast before ending his turn.
*A wonderful play by Xae. He realizes that he doesn't need to commit any more cards to the field because it won't win for him immediately and if he just keeps poking away and destroying monsters he will end up with both the card advantage and the LP advantage. This is a good, clean example of a conservative play-style. Why take a chance of making a big push and winning now when you can win almost for certain a few turns later?*
Evil_Bakura drew into Vayu on his next turn - no help at all for his current situation. He set Vayu and ended.
Xae drew and attacked the face-down Vayu with Scrap Beast, destroying it and gaining another card advantage. He set another monster before ending his turn.
On his turn, Evil_Bakura drew Dark Armed Dragon with 2 Dark monsters in his graveyard and Blizzard the Far North in his hand. He summoned Blizzard and used its effect to summon Kalut from his graveyard. He used both monsters to synchro summon Magical Android in attack position (while placing a 3rd Dark monster into his grave). Magical Android attacked Scrap Beast, and Xae responded with Scrapstorm, targeting his Scrap Beast to send Chimera to the grave, draw a card, and then to destroy his Scrap Beast, allowing him to bring Chimera to his hand. In the attack replay, Evil_Bakura chose to attack 1 of Xae's face-down monsters, which turned out to be Scrap Goblin, who can't be destroyed by battle. Evil_Bakura ended his turn on that note, gaining 600 LP from the effect of Magical Android.
*Note that Evil_Bakura didn't summon Dark Armed Dragon in his Main Phase 2 to attempt to wipe the field. That would've been a mistake. He already has a beatstick on the field, whom Xae will have to get around, so why should he take a chance of wasting his DAD in the meantime? Magical Android isn't a Dark monster so even if it gets destroyed he'll still be able to summon DAD on his next turn.*
Xae drew to 5 cards in-hand and then immediately played Giant Trunade to clear the back rows (in preparation for a big push). He summoned Scrap Chimera and used its effect to bring back Scrap Beast. He then flip summoned his face-down Gravekeeper's Spy to bring out a 2nd Spy in defense position. Chimera and Beast were used to synchro summon Scrap Dragon. He used Scrap Dragon's effect to destroy his own Scrap Goblin and Evil_Bakura's Magical Android. That also activated Scrap Goblin's effect, allowing Xae to bring Chimera back to his hand from his graveyard. With a clear field, Scrap Dragon and the attack position Spy attacked for a total 4000 damage. Xae set 2 cards and ended his turn with a +3 card advantage and an 8000 to 3000 LP advantage.
Evil_Bakura drew Delta Crow - Anti-Reverse on his turn. He summoned Dark Armed Dragon and used his effect with priority to remove Blizzard from his graveyard and target Scrap Dragon. Xae chained Book of Moon to the effect ot stop Evil_Bakura from using DAD's effect more than just once. When Scrap Dragon was destroyed his effect activated, allowing Xae to summon Scrap Goblin from his graveyard in defense position. Evil_Bakura set all his traps and ended his turn.
*It should probably have been obvious to Xae at this point that Evil_Bakura was in desperation mode. If more than 1 of those traps truly could've helped him, he probably wouldn't have played them all down at once.*
Xae drew for his turn. He set a back row card, then used Goblin and a Spy to synchro summon Black Rose Dragon, whose summon was negated by Evil_Bakura's Solemn Warning, although it left Evil_Bakura with only 1000 LP remaining. Xae summoned Scrap Chimera and used its effect to special summon Beast. When Beast was summoned Evil_Bakura responded with Torrential Tribute and Xae ended his turn.
*Since both players knew the cards in the opponent's deck. It should be obvious to Evil_Bakura that the face-down card Xae played before summoning Black Rose Dragon is Dark Coffin.*
On his turn, Evil_Bakura drew Book of Moon, set it, and ended.
Xae drew, then summoned another copy of Scrap Chimera and used it to special summon Beast again. He synchro summoned Scrap Dragon, and used priority to target his own Dark Coffin and Evil_Bakura's face-down Delta Crow. Dark Coffin forced Evil_Bakura to discard his Black Whirlwind from his hand. When the Dragon attempted to attack, Evil_Bakura flipped it down with Book of Moon and Xae ended.
*Evil_Bakura only had 1000 LP left. Xae shouldn't have summoned Scrap Dragon and instead should've simply attacked with both Chimera and Beast. He was already in a dominating situation, but he would've won immediately had he done that and there wasn't any particular reason not to do so.*
Evil_Bakura drew Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame on his next turn, but with Scrap Dragon having 2000 DEF, that just wasn't enough and Evil_Bakura was forced to concede the 1st duel. Xae managed to take a small advantage and, through strong conservative play, turned it into a game-winning situation.
Evil_Bakura chose to go 1st in duel #2 and started off with a hand of Bottomless Trap Hole, Royal Oppression, Solemn Judgment, Mind Crush, Dark Hole, and Blackwing - Bora the Spear. Despite being a bit light on monsters, it looks like a pretty decent defensive hand . . . as long as he can draw more monsters later on to use with it. He summoned Bora, then set everything except Dark Hole before ending his turn.
*Now, I know there's no fear of Heavy Storm nowadays, but you are still giving your opponent unnecessary information about how many monsters you have when you do something like that. It probably would've been more than enough to just set Bottomless and Mind Crush, with maybe Solemn Judgment too. He maybe even could've held off on summoning Bora, who is his only monster that he doesn't want to get destroyed.*
Xae drew for his turn and summoned Thunder King Rai-Oh, who was immediately removed by Evil_Bakura's Bottomless Trap Hole. Xae set 2 back row cards and ended.
Evil_Bakura drew Mystical Space Typhoon on his turn and attacked with Bora for 1700 damage before setting Mystical Space Typhoon in his 2nd Main Phase and ending.
*A quick note about this - when you're in control in the duel, work on simplifying things so the opponent doesn't have as many cards to string together combos for a comeback. It would've probably been perfectly acceptable to use that MST before attacking to try to take out 1 of Xae's face-downs. What Evil_Bakura did wasn't wrong persay, but it was maybe a bit too cautious for my taste.*
Xae drew for his turn before summoning Scrap Chimera, which Evil_Bakura allowed through. Chimera attacked Bora wiping out both monsters from the field. He set a 3rd card to his back row in his Main Phase 2 and ended.
Evil_Bakura drew into Shura on his next turn and summoned him. The summon went through, as did a direct attack for 1800 damage, and Evil_Bakura ended his turn leading by 8000 to 4500 in LP.
Xae drew, set another back row card, and ended his turn. Apparently, neither player had much in terms of monsters.
Evil_Bakura drew Allure of Darkness and attacked with Shura for another 1800 damage before ending his turn.
Xae drew and then summoned Scrap Beast. He set a 5th card to his back row before ending his turn.
*Kids, be careful when you set that 5th card in your back row because it means if you want to play something later you may have to waste something else. It also gives your opponent more information about how many monsters you have and also decreases your hand size, leaving you with less options for later so be sure you know what you're doing when you play a 5th card to your back row. In this case, I would guess that Xae just set Scrapstorm now that he has a Scrap monster on the field, and he intends to use it up right away during Evil_Bakura's turn so it should be fine.*
Evil_Bakura drew Cyber Dragon on his next turn. He went to attack Scrap Beast with Shura and got denied by Enemy Controller, which turned Shura to defense position. Evil_Bakura ended his turn.
Xae drew for his turn and then activated Giant Trunade. Evil_Bakura had to deny it with Solemn Judgment or else face a Scrap Dragon coming out against a practically empty field. Xae played Mystical Space Typhoon next and lucked out by hitting Evil_Bakura's Royal Oppression! Next, Xae activated Royal Decree and Evil_Bakura chained his Mind Crush (Decree doesn't work until it resolves at the end of the chain) and called out Scrap Golem . . . and was correct about Xae's last remaining in-hand card! In the Battle Phase, Scrap Beast ran over the defense position Shura. While still in the Battle Phase, Xae activated Scrapstorm (boo yeah I called that 1 right!). He targeted Beast, sent Chimera to the grave, drew a card, destroyed Beast, then used Beast's effect to bring Chimera back to his hand. In Main Phase 2, he summoned Chimera, brought back Beast, synchro summoned Scrap Dragon, and then ended his turn.
On his turn, Evil_Bakura drew Cards for Black Feathers (totally worthless). He activated his face-down Mystical Space Typhoon and hit Xae's face-down Dark Coffin, which forced him to discard Cyber Dragon from his hand (remember that Royal Decree's effect says "Negate the effects of all other Trap Cards on the field." so it doesn't stop Dark Coffin, which activates in the grave). With very few choices left to him, Evil_Bakura set his Cards for Black Feathers and Dark Hole before activating Allure of Darkness. That got him Dark Armed Dragon and Kalut. He only had 2 Dark monsters in his graveyard, so he chose to remove DAD from play to pay for Allure's effect. He then removed Kalut from play to pay for Cards for Black Feathers and drew into Blizzard the Far North and 7 Tools of the Bandit. Unfortunate draws considering he couldn't special summon this turn thanks to the effect of Cards for Black Feathers. He activated his Dark Hole to destroy Scrap Dragon, and Xae used its effect to summon Scrap Golem in its place. With a 2300 ATK Golem that could summon another Scrap monster staring him in the face, and with only a Blizzard that couldn't use its effect and a 7 Tools of the Bandit that was canceled by Royal Decree stuck in his hand, Evil_Bakura had no choice but to offer up the handshake.
Xae takes a 2-0 win against Evil_Bakura to become the winner of YCS Duel Academy and the new Duel Academy Champion!!
video link in case you want to follow along visually: