Final Feature Match: Michel Grüner vs. Eden Zamir
26.09.2010 | 19:31
It all came down to this! 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.
“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.
Above you can see Zamir’s opening hand. He activated Foolish Burial which sent Dandylion to his Graveyard. Doomcaliber Knight 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 Royal 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 Doomcaliber Knight. Debris Dragon came out next and it returned Dandylion to Zamir’s side of the field. It seemed like he had everything!
“Now I have to think”, Grüner announced. He flipped Book of Moon, asked about the number of cards in Zamir’s hand (3) , found out that Doomcaliber Knight in Zamir’s Graveyard was German, smiled, and eventually opted to flip Dandylion 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 Dandylion. He tuned his monsters to Scrap Dragon, destroyed 1 Token with its effect to destroy Trap Stun, he Summoned Doomcaliber Knight and proceded with his Battle Phase. Both the attacks of Doomcaliber Knight and Scrap Dragon succeeded and Grüner was on again.
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 Card and passed.
Zamir declared an attack with Doomcaliber Knight 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 Book of Moon on Doomcaliber Knight so Scrap Dragon went through directly. Grüner Special Summoned Gorz the Emissary of Darkness! 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 the Shadow Monarch. He targeted Gorz the Emissary of Darkness 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.
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.
Zamir Set a card to each zone and passed.
XX-Saber 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. Royal 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 the Shadow Monarch and its effect removed Solemn Warning. Caius the Shadow Monarch attacked directly, but Grüner had Book of Moon to spare his Life Points the damage. It was still Zamir’s turn and he considered his next move very carefully. He was holding Monster Reborn, Foolish Burial, Card Trooper and Doomcaliber Knight.
He used Foolish Burial 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 Dragon (Spore was a Level 3 monster)! Play was back to Grüner.
Grüner activated Monster Reborn for XX-Saber Emmersblade. He sent it into Stardust Dragon and used the effect of XX-Saber Emmersblade to bring out XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. He attacked the face-down Caius the Shadow Monarch, which allowed him to Special Summon XX-Saber Emmersblade back to the field, which resulted in an applause from the crowd, but Grüner wasn’t done yet! He sent XX-Saber Emmersblade into Stardust Dragon again and Special Summoned XX-Saber Darksoul to the field. In Main Phase 2, he Tuned both of his monsters to Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier! You couldn’t hear the players over the crowd! Solemn Warning was discarded to return Stardust Dragon 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 Card. He searched his Deck for XX-Saber Fulhelmknight (effect of XX-Saber Darksoul) and passed.
Lonefire Blossom came out for Zamir. He used its effect to Special Summon another copy, Tributed it as well and ended up with Tytannial, Princess of Camellias on his side of the field. He activated Monster Reborn next, targeting Lonefire Blossom. Grüner Chained Book of Moon and flipped Tytannial, Princess of Camellias face-down. Applause! 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 XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. He used the effect of Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier to return Tytannial, Princess of Camellias to Zamir’s hand. XX-Saber Fulhelmknight attacked over Lonefire Blossom and Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier hit Zamir directly, leaving him with 4900 Life Points.
“You now have 3 cards in your hand. Tytannial, Princess of Camellias and 2 cards I don’t know.”, Grüner remarked and Zamir nodded. Grüner passed.
Doomcaliber Knight came out. Zamir entered his Battle Phase and he sent his monster into XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. Grüner activated the effect and both monsters were destroyed. Zamir had no further actions.
Grüner’s Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier attacked directly. 2600 Life Points for Zamir. Grüner passed.
Zamir Summoned Card Trooper. He used the effect to send the top 3 cards from his Deck to his Graveyard. He attacked Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier with Card Trooper and activated Enemy Controller to turn it into face-up Defense Position. He passed.
Grüner passed without any actions.
Play was back to Zamir and he Normal Summoned Spirit Reaper. He attacked directly with Spirit Reaper and Grüner Special Summoned Gorz the Emissary of Darkness. He lost XX-Saber Faultroll to Spirit 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 the Emissary of Darkness and didn’t seem too pleased with what he saw. “Tytannial, Princess of Camellias in your hand?”, Grüner asked. “Maybe”, Zamir joked. “I hope so!”, Grüner replied.
The German then switched Gorz the Emissary of Darkness 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 the Emissary of Darkness into Spirit Reaper. Zamir flipped Book of Moon, flipping Gorz the Emissary of Darkness face-down. Grüner activated Mind Control in Main Phase 2 to get rid of Spirit Reaper. He Set a Spell or Trap Card and passed.
Card 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 the Emissary of Darkness face-up once more. Grüner Summoned Effect Veiler, he Tuned it with Gorz the Emissary of Darkness 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.
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.
Doomcaliber Knight was Summoned and attacked into XX-Saber Darksoul. Zamir Set a Spell or Trap Card and lost his monster in the End Phase (the effect of XX-Saber Darksoul triggered, which in turn triggered the effect of Doomcaliber Knight).
Grüner Set a card to each zone.
Zamir flipped Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter. He destroyed Mirror Force and Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter’s effect sent Dandylion to his Graveyard! He Tributed Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter for Caius the Shadow Monarch and we could again feel the excitement running through the followers of the live stream.
Zamir Set another Spell or Trap Card.
Grüner had XX-Saber Boggart Knight and used its effect to Special Summon XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. Zamir used Book of Moon to turn XX-Saber Fulhelmknight face-down. XX-Saber Boggart Knight attacked and destroyed a Token, Grüner Set a Spell or Trap Card and passed.
Grüner flipped Book of Moon which turned Caius the Shadow Monarch face-down. In Main Phase 2, Zamir offered both of his monsters as a Tribute for Tytannial, Princess of Camellias and that concluded his turn.
Play was back to Grüner and he Flip Summoned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. He read the effect of Tytannial, Princess of Camellias again and Special Summoned XX-Saber Faultroll. He used its effect to bring back XX-Saber Darksoul. “You got it!”, Zamir said, but he wasn’t referring to the Duel (just this particular move). Grüner Tuned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight and XX-Saber Darksoul to XX-Saber Hyunlei. Zamir used the effect of Tytannial, Princess of Camellias and both his monster and XX-Saber 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 XX-Saber Darksoul. This got him X-Saber Pashuul. Was his read correct and did Zamir’s face-down Spell or Trap Card prove a threat to his monsters?
Zamir checked his Graveyard after drawing for his turn. He activated Foolish Burial and sent Spore to his Graveyard. He used the effect of the Tuner to return it to the field, removing Dandylion. He Summoned Sangan. Grüner had Book of Moon 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 X-Saber Pashuul, Tuned it with XX-Saber Boggart Knight to XX-Saber Hyunlei and the face-down card Grüner feared in his last turn was revealed to be Mirror Force. A correct AND great read from Grüner! “YES!”, he yelled! He used the effect of XX-Saber Faultroll to bring back XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. 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 XX-Saber Fulhelmknight attacked over Spore. This brought XX-Saber Darksoul back to the field (effect of XX-Saber Fulhelmknight). XX-Saber Faultroll attacked over Sangan. XX-Saber Darksoul attacked directly, XX-Saber Hyunlei followed and Zamir was down on 4200 Life Points. Grüner Tuned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight and XX-Saber Hyunlei to XX-Saber Gottoms. He Tributed XX-Saber Darksoul for the effect of the big Synchro Monster, which resulted in Debris Dragon being sent to Zamir’s Graveyard from his hand. XX-Saber Faultroll was sacked as well and Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter 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 XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, revealing the Set monster to be Dandylion. Zamir got 2 Tokens and Grüner Special Summoned another XX-Saber Fulhelmknight to his side of the field. The newly Summoned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight attacked over the second Token and XX-Saber Darksoul came back from the Graveyard. XX-Saber Darksoul took care of the last Token and XX-Saber Gottoms attacked directly. In Main Phase 2, Grüner Tuned XX-Saber Fulhelmknight and XX-Saber Darksoul to Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. He discarded one of his last 2 cards in his hand to return Zamir’s Set Royal 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 Book of Moon, flipping Zamir’s Tuners face-down when he needed to. Combined with his correct read of a face-down Mirror Force, he did not commit to a single mistake and took the win!