Final Feature Match: Michel Grüner vs. Eden Zamir

[b]It all came down to this![/b] After 11 rounds of Swiss and 4 more rounds in the knock out portion of the tournament, only 2 players were left who had a shot at writing history as the first winner of a Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series held in Europe. The two most successful players of this weekend were Michel Grüner, a former German National Champion, playing X-Sabers and the home advantage on his side. Eden Zamir on the other hand had to fly over all the way from Israel, a 4 hour flight, and he’s playing his very own “Bash Plant” deck. We’ll soon find out what he meant by that.

 

Michel Grüner was sitting in his favorite spot!
Michel Grüner was sitting in his favorite spot!

 

“You won 2 – 0 against the other X-Saber player?”, Grüner asked – “Of course!”, Zamir replied with a lot of confidence, not giving his opponent an easy read. Zamir rolled a 5 and Grüner’s 1 didn’t quite match it. “That’s the last win for you today!”, Grüner joked while both players were shuffling the decks.

It was decided that the match could not be decided by time and Grüner wasn’t happy with that. He went to time a couple of times this weekend and told us that he had strong opening hands every single time.

 

Zamir's opening hand in the most important match of the day!
Zamir's opening hand in the most important match of the day!

 

Above you can see Zamir’s opening hand. He activated [foolish] which sent [dandylion] to his Graveyard. [dck] came out next to the 2 fluff tokens, Zamir Set a Spell or Trap Card and it was Grüner’s turn.

He considered his first move very carefully, then Set 2 Spell or Trap Cards and passed, however, Zamir flipped [decree] in his opponent’s Main Phase! A cheer from the crowd!

Zamir wanted to enter his Main Phase and Grüner discarded [effect veiler], destroying [dck]. [debris] came out next and it returned [dandylion] to Zamir’s side of the field. It seemed like he had everything!

 

Zamir had all he needed!
Zamir had all he needed!

 

“Now I have to think”, Grüner announced. He flipped [bom], asked about the number of cards in Zamir’s hand (3) , found out that [dck] in Zamir’s Graveyard was German, smiled, and eventually opted to flip [dandy] face-down. Zamir ended.

Grüner was on and he checked the 2 cards in his Graveyard first. He’s a player that tends to check Graveyards quite often to make sure he doesn’t forget about an effect. He eventually passed after a second.

Zamir Flip Summoned [dandy]. He tuned his monsters to [scrap dragon], destroyed 1 token with its effect to destroy [trap stun], he Summoned [dck] and proceded with his Battle Phase. Both the attacks of [dck] and [scrap dragon] succeeded and Grüner was on again.

 

Michel Grüner held a number of good cards
Michel Grüner held a number of good cards

 

He held 5 cards in his hand (see above) and was left with 3300 Life Points. “Pretty… un-cool”, Grüner remarked. “We’ll see”, he said next and Zamir complained about him taking so much time to talk while he only did so little to advance the game. Grüner eventually Set a spell or trap and passed.

Zamir declared an attack with [dck] and Grüner was quick to stop him dead in his tracks again. He indicated that he might want to respond to the end of the Main Phase. He then used [bom] on [dck] so [scrap dragon] went through directly. Grüner Special Summoned [gorz]! He Special Summoned a token as well, but this turn wasn’t over! Zamir entered Main Phase 2, he used the effect of [scrap dragon] to get rid of the token before Tribute Summoning [caius]. He targeted [gorz] and the crowd went wild! Thanks to the effect of the Monarch, Zamir could deal 1000 points of damage to Grüner’s Life Points which won him the Duel!

 

Eden Zamir wins the first Duel!

 

“One more turn”, Grüner said. He seemed to be sure that he would have won come the next turn, but Zamir didn’t give him that much time.

 

Eden Zamir's debut on an international stage was a full success!
Eden Zamir's debut on an international stage was a full success!

 

Grüner took a little longer to proceed side decking. Zamir hushed him and he eventually decided on the 15 cards that would stay in his Side Deck. Grüner asked Zamir to change 3 of his sleeves as they showed markings on one of their corners.

This time it was Grüner who was allowed to go first. He Set a card to each zone and passed.

Zamir simply Set a monster and play was back to Grüner.

He Flip Summoned [emmersblade] and attacked in [dandy]. Zamir Special Summoned 2 token to the field and Grüner passed without any other actions.

 

Emmersblade standing strong against a wall of Defense Position monsters!
Emmersblade standing strong against a wall of Defense Position monsters!

 

Zamir Set a card to each zone and passed.

[emmersblade] was sent into the newly Set face-down monster, which was revealed to be [snowman eater]! The crowd let out another burst! “Sorry about that!”, Zamir said, apologizing for his fans. Grüner Set a second Spell or Trap Card and passed. [decree] was flipped in Grüner’s End Phase and the crowd went wild once more!!!

Grüner was dead quiet suddenly. Zamir Tributed one of the tokens for [caius] and its effect removed [warning]. [caius] attacked directly, but Grüner had [bom] to spare his Life Points the damage. It was still Zamir’s turn and he considered his next move very carefully. He was holding [reborn], [foolish], [trooper] and [dck].

He used [foolish] to send [spore] to his Graveyard. He used the effect of the Tuner to bring it back to the field, he then Tuned it with [snowman eater] and a token to [stardust] ([spore] was a level 3 monster)! Play was back to Grüner.

Grüner activated [reborn] for [emmersblade]. He sent it into [stardust] and used the effect of [emmersblade] to bring out [fulhelm]. He attacked the face-down [caius], which allowed him to Special Summon [emmersblade] back to the field, which resulted in an applause from the crowd, but Grüner wasn’t done yet! He sent [emmersblade] into [stardust] again and Special Summoned [darksoul] to the field. In Main Phase 2, he Tuned both of his monsters to [brionac]! You couldn’t hear the players over the crowd! [warning] was discarded to return [stardust] to Zamir’s Extra Deck.

“Cards in your hand?”, Grüner asked and Zamir replied: “Tri”. “You have a tree in your hand?”, Grüner asked and Zamir confirmed this. “You are very funny!”, Grüner remarked and then he eventually Set a spell or trap. He searched his deck for [fulhelm] (effect of [darksoul]) and passed.

 

Lonefire Blossom would hit the field any moment!
Lonefire Blossom would hit the field any moment!

 

[lonefire] came out for Zamir. He used its effect to Special Summon another copy, Tributed it as well and ended up with [tytannial] on his side of the field. He activated [reborn] next, targeting [lonefire]. Grüner Chained [bom] and flipped [tytannial] face-down. [b]Applause![/b] Without any other options, Zamir passed.

Grüner drew for his turn. He had 5 cards in his hand (Zamir was left with 2) and seemed to be in a good position to win this Duel. He breathed out heavily, asked Zamir a second time for the number cards in his hand and then Summoned [fulhelm]. He used the effect of [brionac] to return [tytannial] to Zamir’s hand. [fulhelm] attacked over [lonefire] and [brionac] hit Zamir directly, leaving him with 4900 Life Points.

“You now have 3 cards in your hand. [tytannial] and 2 cards I don’t know.”, Grüner remarked and Zamir nodded. Grüner passed.

[dck] came out. Zamir entered his Battle Phase and he sent his monster into [fulhelm]. Grüner activated the effect and both monsters were destroyed. Zamir had no further actions.

Grüner’s [brionac] attacked directly. 2600 Life Points for Zamir. Grüner passed.

 

This field was rather... empty
This field was rather... empty

 

Zamir Summoned [trooper]. He used the effect to send the top 3 cards from his deck to his Graveyard. He attacked [brionac] with [trooper] and activated [enemy] to turn it into face-up Defense Position. He passed.

Grüner passed without any actions.

Play was back to Zamir and he Normal Summoned [reaper]. He attacked directly with [reaper] and Grüner Special Summoned [gorz]. He lost [faultroll] to [reaper]’s effect. Zamir Set a Spell or Trap Card and passed.

Grüner was left with 4700 Life Points and 4 cards in his hand. He only controlled a face-up Defense Position [gorz] and didn’t seem too pleased with what he saw. “[tytannial] in your hand?”, Grüner asked. “Maybe”, Zamir joked. “I hope so!”, Grüner replied.

The German then switched [gorz] to face-up Defense Position. Zamir used the time his opponent gave him to play a little with the camera. He let out a sigh which resulted in an appropriate reaction from the crowd. Grüner entered the Battle Phase and sent [gorz] into [reaper]. Zamir flipped [bom], flipping [gorz] face-down. Grüner activated [mind] in Main Phase 2 to get rid of [reaper]. He Set a spell or trap and passed.

 

Eden Zamir still held an ace up his sleeve!
Eden Zamir still held an ace up his sleeve!

 

[trooper] sent 3 more cards from Zamir’s deck to his Graveyard. He switched it to Defense Position and earned an applause – no one sitting at the table understood…

Grüner was on again. He flipped [gorz] face-up once more. Grüner Summoned [effect veiler], he Tuned it with [gorz] to [scrap dragon] and Zamir shuffled up! THE CROWD WENT WILD!!!

 

Michel Grüner equals the score!

 

On the one hand, I feel like I need to work on my vocabulary… there need to be a number of phrases to express what was going on with the guys watching the game on the big screen. Then again, how often do you find yourself in this situation? Two extremely entertaining Duelists playing completely different decks in the final of one huge tournament?! And what an epic battle this has been so far!

We were getting ready for the last Duel of the day. Both players shuffled the decks for a long time and it was again Zamir who was allowed to go first.

 

The last picture of a player's hand! I promise!
The last picture of a player's hand! I promise!

 

Zamir simply Set a monster and passed. “That’s all?”, Grüner asked, but you couldn’t make out a lot of excitement in his face.

He drew into his sixth card, thought about his options for a bit and looked Zamir in the eyes. He made a gesture that could best be described with “Be my guest and please make a move.” Zamir matched Grüner’s move and Set a monster.

[dck] was Summoned and attacked into [darksoul]. Zamir Set a spell or trap and lost his monster in the End Phase (the effect of [darksoul] triggered, which in turn triggered the effect of [dck]).

Grüner Set a card to each zone.

Zamir flipped [ryko]. He destroyed [mf] and [ryko]’s effect sent [dandy] to his Graveyard! He Tributed [ryko] for [caius] and we could again feel the excitement running through the followers of the live stream.

Zamir Set another spell or trap.

Grüner had [bogknight] and used its effect to Special Summon [fulhelm]. Zamir used [bom] to turn [fulhelm] face-down. [bogknight] attacked and destroyed a token, Grüner Set a Spell or Trap Card and passed.

“No Decree?”, Grüner asked. “No, not yet!”, Zamir replied. He entered his Battle Phase and attacked the Set [fulhelm] with [caius].

 

Suddenly a Monarch appeared on the field!
Suddenly a Monarch appeared on the field!

 

Grüner flipped [bom] which turned [caius] face-down. In Main Phase 2, Zamir offered both of his monsters as a Tribute for [tytannial] and that concluded his turn.

Play was back to Grüner and he Flip Summoned [fulhelm]. He read the effect of [tytannial] again and Special Summoned [faultroll]. He used its effect to bring back [darksoul]. “You got it!”, Zamir said, but he wasn’t referring to the Duel (just this particular move). Grüner Tuned [fulhelm] and [darksoul] to [hyunlei]. Zamir used the effect of [tytannial] and both his monster and [hyunlei] left the field. Grüner Set a Spell or Trap Card and proceeded with his End Phase, searching his deck thanks to the effect for [darksoul]. This got him [pashuul]. Was his read correct and did Zamir’s face-down spell or trap prove a threat to his monsters?

Zamir checked his Graveyard after drawing for his turn. He activated [foolish] and sent [spore] to his Graveyard. He used the effect of the Tuner to return it to the field, removing [dandy]. He Summoned [sangan]. Grüner had [bom] and before he selected his target, he earned a huge applause! [spore] was flipped face-down and play was back to Grüner.

Grüner drew into his 3rd card. He Summoned [pashuul], Tuned it with [bogknight] to [hyunlei] and the face-down card Grüner feared in his last turn was revealed to be [mf]. A correct AND great read from Grüner! “YES!”, he yelled! He used the effect of [faultroll] to bring back [fulhelm]. If Grüner would win this Duel right now, he would have proven to the world that he knows how to read his opponents!

He proceeded with his Battle Phase and [fulhelm] attacked over [spore]. This brought [darksoul] back to the field (effect of [fulhelm]). [faultroll] attacked over [sangan]. [darksoul] attacked directly, [hyunlei] followed and Zamir was down on 4200 Life Points. Grüner Tuned [fulhelm] and [hyunlei] to [gottoms]. He Tributed [darksoul] for the effect of the big Synchro Monster, which resulted in [debris] being sent to Zamir’s Graveyard from his hand. [faultroll] was sacked as well and [ryko] followed suit! Grüner ended.

Zamir simply Set a card to each zone. It didn’t seem like he believed to turn this one around…

This might as well be the last turn in this Duel! Grüner attacked with [fulhelm], revealing the Set monster to be [dandy]. Zamir got 2 tokens and Grüner Special Summoned another [fulhelm] to his side of the field. The newly Summoned [fulhelm] attacked over the second token and [darksoul] came back from the Graveyard. [darksoul] took care of the last token and [gottoms] attacked directly. In Main Phase 2, Grüner Tuned [fulhelm] and [darksoul] to [brionac]. He discarded one of his last 2 cards in his hand to return Zamir’s Set [decree] to his hand. Zamir knew that it was over and extended his hand!

 

Michel Grüner is the winner of the YCS Bochum!

 

Nothing could keep Michel Grüner in his seat. He got up, screamed from the top of his lungs and went over to see some of his friends who celebrated his victory together with him!

What a match! Michel Grüner could stop some of Zamir’s strongest combos thanks to [bom], flipping Zamir’s Tuners face-down when he needed to. Combined with his correct read of a face-down [mf], he did not commit to a single mistake and took the win!

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