Final Feature Match: Michel Grüner (Dragon Rulers) vs. Chris Bountaloudis (Spellbooks)
30.06.2013 | 22:03
1142 Players heeded the call and showed up to turn this weekend’s tournament into the largest European Championship of all time!
We’ve seen Greek Duelists put up a strong showing before on an international stage and therefore, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that Chris Bountaloudis advanced with his very own take on the Spellbook Deck to the Finals. All that’s been past him will dwindle in comparison to what’s ahead of him: Europe’s most successful Duelist of all time, Michel Grüner!
A former National Champion, the first European YCS Winner, a Nintendo DS World Champion and the list goes on… he took a break from Dueling, but it certainly seems like he returned on the top of his game. He’s running the other Deck that made huge waves this weekend: The Dragon Rulers. They have already taken the Japanese World Championship Qualifier a few hours earlier, could they do the same in Europe?
In just a few minutes we’ll know; ladies and gentlemen, it’s TIME TO DUEL!
Bountaloudis won the die roll and Grüner immediately asked for Spellbook of Judgment. Bountaloudis didn’t disappoint; he followed it up with Upstart Goblin, Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, he Set a Spell or Trap, activated Spellbook of Fate to return the Set card to his hand, Spellbook of Eternity was next and he then Set 2 back row cards again. He searched for Spellbook of Secrets, Spellbook of Fate and The Grand Spellbook Tower and added Jowgen the Spiritualist before ending his turn.
Grüner drew and Bountaloudis immediately activated another Spellbook of Judgment. Gold Sarcophagus allowed the German to banish Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders and he added another copy to his hand. He considered his follow-up play for a brief moment and decided on Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms, discarding it with a second copy. This allowed him to add Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Pebbles to his hand, which he Normal Summoned, he entered the Battle Phase and attacked Jowgen the Spiritualist successfully, taking the Spellcaster down.
Bountaloudis searched his Deck for Spellbook of Power and he added Effect Veiler to his side of the field. A third Spellbook of Judgment marked the start of his second turn. Bountaloudis asked “hand?” and Grüner replied “I got 2″, but the Greek Duelist wanted to know the number of cards. That was 3. Spellbook Magician of Prophecy came down, but Effect Veiler made sure Bountaloudis wouldn’t get to search. He had to try a little harder, but since he had Spellbook of Secrets, it didn’t make too much of a difference. Spellbook Star Hall, Spellbook of the Master, copying Spellbook of Secrets; the Spellbook Deck was starting to run wild.
Bountaloudis added a second copy of Spellbook Star Hall to his hand, he activated it, Spellbook of Power followed, targeting Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer and Bountaloudis also activated The Grand Spellbook Tower. All of this was fine with Grüner.
Grüner dropped to 7400 Life Points when his Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Pebbles got destroyed in Battle. 6300 after the attack of Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. Bountaloudis advanced to the End Phase after Setting 2, searching his Deck for a brand new hand! He also added a second Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer for good measure.
So far, the Spellbook Deck seemed far, far ahead in this match. Grüner discarded Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos and another Dragon to destroy the Normal Summoned Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer. Monster Reborn followed, trying to return Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer to Grüner’s side of the field. This was fine with the Greek finalist. An attack on Spellbook Magician of Prophecy followed, destroying it in Battle and banishing Jowgen the Spiritualist from Bountaloudis’ Graveyard.
Grüner then considered his follow-up, but he just announced: “Nah, it’s OK” and he went for his Side Deck.
Chris Bountaloudis is only 1 win away from becoming your European Champion!
Things went pretty much just as you usually expect in game 1; the Spellbooks had a great start and never lost control of the game. Even though Michel Grüner knows about most of the tricks of the Deck, he couldn’t find a way to stop Chris Bountaloudis Spellcasters from applying enough pressure to win the game in just a few turns.
Now it was time for some great tech from the player’s Side Decks to find its way into their Main Decks. We will expect to see an Eradicator Epidemic Virus from Grüner while Bountaloudis will also have a few interesting tricks up his sleeve.
“Game 1 is always like this…”, Grüner admitted while shuffling his opponent’s Deck. “I know. Game 2 tends to be a lot harder for me”, Bountaloudis replied. It almost didn’t seem like he was overly confident that he could wrap things up in this game already.
Grüner kicked things off this time, using Lightning, Dragon Ruler of Drafts, discarding Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls to Special Summon Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms. Gold Sarcophagus followed, banishing Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos to find Burner, Dragon Ruler of Sparks. Burner, Dragon Ruler of Sparks was then used to Special Summon Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos to Grüner’s side of the field. Just as expected, he used both his Dragon Rulers to Xyz Summon Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack to the field. He detached 1 material to add 2 Tokens before using the effects of Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms and Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls to Special Summon the latter and add Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms to his hand. The Tokens left and Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms hit the field.
So far, so good. “What can I do now?”, Grüner asked out loud. Bountaloudis ushered him to make a decision, waiting for another Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack. Grüner followed suit; adding a second copy of the powerful Rank 7 Xyz Monster and he also added 2 fresh Tokens to his side of the field. That finally concluded the turn.
Bountaloudis had Upstart Goblin, but his facial expression gave away that he didn’t draw into what he needed. Grüner, a veteran of the game who knows how to watch for these signals, certainly took notice. “You are leading 1 – 0, so you can relax…”, Grüner told his opponent, trying to put him in a very dangerous “comfort zone”. When Bountaloudis thought for a longer time what to do, Grüner asked whether he wanted to advance to game 3.
Jowgen the Spiritualist hit the field. Bountaloudis Set 3 and he activated the effect of Jowgen the Spiritualist!
Grüner lost his field and suddenly, the momentum shifted dramatically. Jowgen the Spiritualist attacked directly and Bountaloudis passed play.
Grüner activated Heavy Storm and Bountaloudis lost his entire back row! Tsukuyomi got Normal Summoned and Bountaloudis shuffled up. Wow!
Michel Grüner ties the score!
The crowd went wild when Grüner activated Heavy Storm and they didn’t even realize Bountaloudis was perfectly ready to shuffle up when Tsukuyomi hit the field. Once they did, they went into a wild rage, happy to see another game between these elite Duelists!
Bountaloudis Normal Summoned Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer and he Set 4. Mind Drain got activated in Grüner’s Draw Phase. “Storm, Storm, Storm!”, the German members among the bystanders were shouting. Grüner had to disappoint them or he played a very interesting mind game, not performing an action for a minute and considering his options.
He Normal Summoned Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Pebbles and declared an attack. Mirror Force destroyed it.
Bountaloudis found Upstart Goblin, but still no Spellbook. He attacked with Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, banishing Reactan, Dragon Ruler of Pebbles and he then found Spellbook of Judgment. He followed it up with The Grand Spellbook Tower, he added Spellbook of Secrets during the End Phase and that was it already.
“Storm, Storm, Storm!”, the crowd was cheering for the second time. “Where is my Heavy Storm?”, Grüner asked out loud. He passed without performing any actions.
Bountaloudis used The Grand Spellbook Tower and he had another Spellbook of Judgment. He then activated Spellbook of Secrets, finding Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, he followed with Spellbook of the Master, flashing Spellbook of Power and he searched for yet another Spellbook. Attacks followed, leaving Grüner with 3900 Life Points. Bountaloudis added 2 more back row cards and he added Spellbook of Secrets, Spellbook of Power, Spellbook of Eternity and Jowgen the Spiritualist.
Suddenly, things looked a lot more grim für Grüner. Dark Hole wiped the field, giving him some more hope. “Storm, Storm, Storm!” could be heard again. Gründer Normal Summoned Burner, Dragon Ruler of Sparks and he attacked with it. He Set a Spell or Trap and passed play and a somewhat shaky Bountaloudis used Phoenix Wing Wind Blast to return the face-down Spell or Trap to Grüner’s Deck.
The Greek Duelist then drew, he used The Grand Spellbook Tower, Spellbook of Secrets was next and this got him Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. He Normal Summoned it, added Spellbook of Power to his hand and he then activated Spellbook of the Master to also add Spellbook of Judgment.
Spellbook of Judgment got activated, Spellbook of Power followed, the Spellbook Magician of Prophecy then took down Grüner’s lonely monster and this allowed Bountaloudis to search his Deck for Spellbook Star Hall. He activated it, Spellbook of Fate followed suit, banishing Spellbook of Judgment and Spellbook of Secrets and a Chained Book of Moon on Spellbook Magician of Prophecy flip-flopped the Spellcaster. Bountaloudis added 2 back row cards and he went on and searched 4 Spell Cards, Special Summoning Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer.
In his following turn, he used The Grand Spellbook Tower, he then returned Spellbook of Judgment to his hand with Spellbook of Eternity and when he started to activate his Spell Cards, Grüner simply asked: “Do you have game?”
Bountaloudis Normal Summoned Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer to answer the question.
Chris Bountaloudis is your European Champion 2013!
Mind Drain proved to be a game-deciding card in the last match of the day. Michel Grüner had no out to fight back when Bountaloudis flipped the Trap and he checked quickly when he would have drawn into one of his 2 Mystical Space Typhoons, Heavy Storm or Card Destruction. They were in the other half of his Deck, but that didn’t bring him down. He was happy he made it this far again.
But let’s not forget our new champion. Congratulations to Chris Bountaloudis, the winner of the largest European Championship of all time!
Join us again for the award ceremony that will be underway shortly and be sure to take a look at our Coverage Overview to make sure you didn’t miss one of the many articles we published over the course of this marathon-like weekend!