Finals: Long Dao vs. Paolo Pacchiana

I know you’ve all been waiting for this: [b]IT ALL CAME DOWN TO THIS![/b]

828 players showed up to become the new YCS Winner and after 10 rounds of Swiss and 4 more rounds in the knock out portion of the tournament, only 2 have remained: Austria’s very own Long Dao and Italy’s Paolo Pacchiana!

Both are playing the most dominant this weekend; the only real difference is their Deck size. When I asked Pacchiana about his Deck size and he replied “40”, Dao simply commented: “Too mainstream!” He’s running a whopping 53 (!) cards. Let’s see if the Austrian can set a new trend here, shall we?

Long Dao made it to the finals with a 53 card Deck!
Long Dao made it to the finals with a 53 card Deck!

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Pacchiana won the die roll and just as expected, he opted to go first. He Set a card to each zone and ended.

[undine] got [ns]ed. Dao searched his Deck, sending [adrag] to his Graveyard to add [megalo] and [controller] to his hand. He also Set a spell or trap, it got destroyed by [mst] (it was [bts]) and that concluded the turn.

Pacchiana [fs]ed [linde], he attacked over [undine], added a back row card and ended.
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Mind Control was the first bigger play of the finals!

Mind Control was the first bigger play of the finals!

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Dao [ns]ed [controller] and he followed it up with [mind control] on [linde]. He used both monsters to [xyz] [zenmaines], he attacked with it and ended. The score was now 7200 (Dao) to 6500 (Pacchiana).

Play was back to Pacchiana, but he didn’t perform any actions.

Dao wanted to push his advantage. He went for [megalo], to which Pacchiana responded with [asphere]. This got Pacchiana [linde], while Dao (who had discarded [amark] and [ahi]) added [asphere] to his hand. He switched [zenmaines] to [def] and ended. Pacchiana’s [linde] got destroyed during the End Phase, which meant he would get to add [pike] to his side of the field. He discarded [ahi], destroying [megalo], but the effect of [pike] didn’t resolve since Dao used [bts] on it.
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Fishy twins, fighting for Pacchiana!

Fishy twins, fighting for Pacchiana!

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Another [pike] on his following turn with a discarded [gunde] now allowed Pacchiana to [ss] [linde]. He checked his Extra Deck, [xyz] [bahamut], detached 1 Xyz Material and that got him [atrite]. He Set a spell or trap and play was back to Dao.

He used [mst] on the face-down spell or trap.
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Dao unleashed an Elemental Lord to take control of the game!

Dao unleashed an Elemental Lord to take control of the game!

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[moulin] made an appearance and it cost Pacchiana [amark] and [econ]. [salvage] was next in line, Dao then followed it up with [asphere], [ss]ing [linde] from his Deck, he [ns]ed [controller] and Tuned both of his monsters to [dewloren]. [zenmaines] was shifted to [atk], it attacked into [bahamut] with Dao detaching one material, [moulin] then made short use of the Xyz Monster and [dewloren] attacked over [linde].
Pacchiana [ss]ed [megalo] and Dao used the effect of [zenmaines] to destroy it during the End Phase.
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Pot of Avarice helped Pacchiana get back into the game!

Pot of Avarice helped Pacchiana get back into the game!

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Pacchiana used [poa] to refill his Deck and empty his Graveyard. He now had 3 cards in his hand, matching the count of Dao, but his opponent was clearly ahead with cards on the field.
Pacchiana had [diva], [megalo] and [asphere]. He [ns]ed [diva], went searching and found [amark]. Once again, Pacchiana checked his Extra Deck. He [ss]ed [catastor], shifted [atrite], he wanted to enter his Battle Phase, but Dao used [asphere] to add [pike]. He discarded [ahi] to destroy [catastor], [atrite] attacked [dewloren] and that meant Pacchiana would get to [ss] [linde]. He sent it right after [atrite] into [dewloren], this time [ss]ing [leed]. The third time’s the charm must have been what Pacchiana was thinking as this monster was finally strong enough to take down the Synchro Monster!
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"Wait a minute!" - we still got some action going down during the End Phase!

Wait a minute! – we still got some action going down during the End Phase!

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During the End Phase, Dao lost [asphere]. He then had [amark], he attacked with [moulin] over [atrite], an attack with [amark] followed, to which Pacchiana responded with [asphere]. This got him [linde], Dao attacked over it with [amark] and Pacchiana [ss]ed [megalo] in [def]. Dao wasted no time, shifting [zenmaines] to [def].

Play was back to the Italian Duelist who briefly checked his Graveyard before shifting [megalo] to [atk]. He attacked over [amark] and ended.

[diva] was a strong topdeck for Dao! It got him [amark], he shifted [zenmaines] to [atk], [moulin] attacked over [megalo] and [amark] followed suit. This got Dao [adrag], he attacked with it, [zenmaines] followed, [diva] was last and after both players confirmed with a judge the Life Totals again, Pacchiana agreed that he was in fact defeated.
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That marked the end of game 1!
That marked the end of game 1!

[h2]Long Dao takes the lead![/h2]

It’s fascinating watching Long Dao using all the tools that the Mermails as well as the Atlantean monsters are providing him with. One should think that it’s not the smartest idea to stay that far ahead of the minimum Deck count, but this weekend, he’s proving us all wrong. All he now needed was one more win.
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Pacchiana now had to win 2 Duels in a row!
Pacchiana now had to win 2 Duels in a row!

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Pacchiana went first once again; he Set [asphere] and ended.

Dao [ns]ed [adrag] and he attacked directly with it. That worked. [instant fusion] followed, but Pacchiana dropped [maxx]. Dao went for [dweller], Pacchiana drew another card, Dao Set 2 spells or traps and he ended.

[storm] and a chained [asphere] from Pacchiana caused Dao to detach one of [dweller]'[s] Materials.
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A devastating Heavy Storm wiping both back rows!

A devastating Heavy Storm wiping both back rows!

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Dao added [diva] to his hand while Pacchiana sent [megalo] straight to his Graveyard. He [ns]ed [adrag], he acttacked [dweller] and that meant Dao was left with 6900 Life Points while Pacchiana still had 6200 Life Points. Pacchiana Set a spell or trap and ended.

Dao [ss]ed [teus], discarding [amark]. Pacchiana chained [asphere], to which Dao chained [maxx]. He drew a card and then searched his Deck for [linde], courtesy of [teus]. Pacchiana had added [linde] to his side of the field.
[leed] was next, it attacked over [adrag], [teus] opted not to attack and Dao instead went for a [xyz] during his [mp] 2, adding [gaios] to his side of the field.
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Pacchiana still had an ace up his sleeve!

Pacchiana still had an ace up his sleeve!

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Pacchiana thought for a while what he should be [ss]ing. He decided on [pike], discarding [adrag], with Dao chaining the effect of [gaios]. That meant the effect of [pike] wouldn’t kick in, but Pacchiana was still allowed to add [megalo] to his hand.

On his following turn, he drew into [linde]. He added [pike] to his side of the field, with [megalo] and [linde] ending up in the Graveyard. A second [megalo] was now entering the field and Pacchiana added [asphere] to his hand. Pacchiana also found [leed] among the cards in his hand.
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Huge Xyz-Monsters everywhere!
Huge Xyz-Monsters everywhere!

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He [xyz]ed [gaios] and [dweller], Set 1 spell or trap and ended.

Dao [ns]ed [diva] and Pacchiana had no immediate response. Dao went searching and found [amark]. [instant fusion] followed, providing him with a Level 3 Fusion Monster. Together with [diva], it allowed him to [synch] [catastor], he attacked with his [gaios] over [dweller] and Pacchiana detached a Material before it bit the dust.
Dao was now on 5600 Life Points while Pacchiana fell to 3400. Dao passed play.

Pacchiana drew into his second card: [mst]. He confirmed the Life Points with a judge, giving away that he possibly had a chance to end the game right then and there.
He checked the contents of both Graveyards, he then went over his Extra Deck and Dao seemed like he had trouble staying awake or at least focused. Finally, Pacchiana detached a material of his [gaios], he checked his Graveyard for a second time and finally, he activated [reborn] to bring back [leed].
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Mermail Abyssleed came back from the dead!

Mermail Abyssleed came back from the dead!

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He then had the [gaios] trade, [leed] attacked over [catastor] and after he Set a spell or trap, he ended.

Dao had [pike], he discarded [gunde], targeting [linde] and all that was fine with Pacchiana. [undine] got added to Dao’s hand, [linde] was raised from the dead drowned, together with [amark] it was used to [xyz] [zenmaines] and Dao sent it into [leed], detaching 1 material and falling down to 3400 Life Points. During the End Phase, Pacchiana lost his only monster.

The Italian Duelist drew for his turn, he checked his Extra Deck like he did the turn before, he checked his face-down cards and then Set a monster.

Dao [ns]ed [controller]. He used it and [pike] for [brd], wiping the field with only [zenmaines] remaining. This got Pacchiana [teus] since his Set monster was revealed to be [linde]. Dao passed and [teus] got destroyed during the End Phase.
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Long Dao found Deep Sea Diva!

Long Dao found Deep Sea Diva!

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Dao found [undine].

He flashed [reborn].

Pacchiana extended the hand and Dao let out a victory cry!

[h2]Long Dao is the Winner of YCS Lille![/h2]

This seemed to be a pretty straightforward affair; Long Dao had been in total control for the most part of the match and he gave Pacchiana very few outs to ever gain the upper hand.
In the end, his perseverance – also regarding the fact that he constantly defended the decision to run more than 50 cards – proved to be the secret ingredient he needed to become a YCS Winner!

[b]Congratulations again to Long Dao, a great Champion and one of Austria’s finest![/b]
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