Finals: Peter Groß (Mermail) vs. Aoued Benabdallah (Evilswarm)
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS! For the fourth time in his life, Peter Groß is playing in the finals of a Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series. He relies on one of the most popular Decks of this weekend’s competition: Mermails! “If you can’t join them, beat them!” is what he explained in his Top 8 profile.
On the other side of the table, we got the hometown hero Aoued Benabdallah who relies on a Deck that no one was expecting to see in the finals: Evilswarm. After this event, there’s a good chance that he’ll be known as the “legend killer”, having already kicked out his fellow countryman Vincent Ralambomiadana in the quarter finals.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s TIME TO DUEL!
Groß was shaking after he checked his opening 6. All monsters!
He kicked things off with [a drag] getting sent to the Graveyard and [a teus] getting [ss]ed to the field in face-up [def]. [veiler] negated the effect of [a teus], but [a drag] allowed Groß to search his Deck for [ahi].
He then [ns]ed [a ocea] and he targeted [a teus] for its effect, searching his Deck for [hilde] and [a linde]. “I already made my first mistake”, he admitted to me at that point. Still, he continued, now checking his Extra Deck and using all of his monsters to [xyz] [tel]. “Maybe this time it will serve me better”, Groß said.
Benabdallah only set a Spell or Trap and play was right back to Groß.
[undine] got [ns]ed and Groß went searching for [tidal], sending it to his Graveyard and adding [genex controller] to his hand. He attacked with [undine] and [tel] followed suit, leaving Benabdallah with 5000 Life Points. The effect of [tel] got used, negating [undine]. [a hilde] was sent to the Graveyard and [a hilde] came down. It also attacked, so Benabdallah was now left with only 3500 Life Points.
In [mp] 2, Groß went for [gt alucard] and he tried to destroy [i infect], but not after it got chained, with Benabdallah shuffling back an Evilswarm Monster and adding [ev castor] to his hand.
[moulin] followed! Groß had it all! Benabdallah lost [ev castor] and [ev helio].
So far, Groß didn’t miss a Spell or Trap Card; his hand provided him with all the tools he needed. Benabdallah now summoned [ev kery], a card that had already put in some serious work against Vincent Ralambomiadana in the quarter finals. [ev helio] got banished as part of the cost and Groß went through his options. He didn’t chain, so Benabdallah returned [ev castor] to his hand.
He checked his Extra Deck, planning his next move. [ev castor] hit the field and together, his monsters overlaid to [xyz] [ev baha]. It activated its effect and targeted [tel].”Is there any reason not to negate this?”, Groß asked out loud. “Probably not” so that’s what he did and [a linde] was sent to his Graveyard.
[ev baha] attacked into [gt alucard], Groß asked “are you sure about that?”, with Benabdallah replying “yes” and he gave away why in [mp] 2 with [dad] hitting play!
Groß just lost his board.
The home crowd just lost “it”. We were all very deaf.
The Austrian was shell shocked, but he recovered. [tidal] returned to the field on his following turn, he followed it up with [genex controller], that meant [leo] and he passed play after setting a Spell or Trap Card.
Benabdallah activated the effect of [i infect] and Groß chained [mst]. The perfect answer! The game was now extremely simplified; only 2 monsters on the board. Benabdallah added [ev thun] and he passed play.
Once again, Groß had an [undine]. It sent [a leed] to his Graveyard and [ev thun] got banished. [tidal] made another surprise appearance, [leo] attacked over [dad], [undine] and [tidal] followed and that was enough to finish the first game.
[h2]Peter Groß recovers and gains the lead![/h2]
Wow, what a thriller. Thanks to some interruptions with both players checking effects with the judges (nervousness got the better of them), we had already spent almost 30 minutes. That meant around 30 minutes would remain in the game as well as a lot of extra time.
This time it was Benabdallah who would be allowed to go first. He did so with [df] and [rabbit] and once again, apart from the finals of the YCS, we were also watching a screaming competition between the members of the crows.
2 copies of [ev helio] hit play, [ophion] was next, this got Benabdallah [i pand], he set 3 back rows and that concluded his first turn.
Groß once again took a moment to go over his options; he wanted to know whether he could activate the effect of [a pike] or not. He just a Spell or Trap card and ended.
Benabdallah had [ev mand] and [ev castor], which got him [ddw]. He Tributed it to destroy [dust], but it got chained to destroy [df]. An attack with [ophion] followed and Benabdallah passed.
[a pike] got [ns]ed and Groß discarded [megalo]. [fiendish] got chained. Groß banished [megalo] to [ss] [a spirit]. Benabdallah considered activating [tt] and he eventually did so, chaining [i pand]. Groß lost his field, Benabdallah kept [ophion]. Groß set a Spell or Trap Card and he ended.
[ophion] made it 2900 Life Points remaining for Groß. Benabdallah added 2 fresh back row cards.
Groß drew into [hole]. A second [i pand] from below saved [ophion] once again. Groß then set a monster and passed play.
Groß lost [a gunde] in battle.
He passed play without performing any moves on his following turn.
Unopposed, [ophion] made it 350 Life Points remaining for Groß. Benabdallah passed without performing any other options.
“You won”, Groß said after he drew for his turn.
[h2]Aoued Benabdallah ties the score![/h2]
Turns out we needed a third Duel as a decider on who would become the winner of YCS Paris. Both players took their time going through their Side Decks even though – at least Benabdallah – they must have been well familiar with the match-up.
Groß was then ready to make some big plays. He shook hands, wishing his opponent “good luck” for the final Duel of the day and he then drew into 2 [mst], [tt], [dust], [a hilde] and [a leed]. He set [a hilde] together with all of his Spell and Trap Cards and he passed. This made him look like an Infernity player.
[ev helio] got summoned, Benabdallah added 3 back row cards and he passed play. Groß then used a [dust] to destroy [i pand]. A good hit it appeared.
He drew for his turn, added a fourth back row again and ended. These were not the cards he was looking for.
Benabdallah seemed to be a little handicapped himself and he just added a fresh card as well. The freshly set [dust] took out Benabdallah’s new Trap Card.
Groß then once again just set a Spell or Trap Card. Benabdallah added a new one and a [mst] destroyed it: [warning].
So far, this was a war of attrition and it wasn’t easy to make out who was winning it. Groß passed without performing any actions.
Benabdallah checked his face-down cards, he went over the contents of Groß’ Graveyard again and he then also ended.
Finally, something happened; Groß summoned [a pike]. He discarded [a leed] when it hit the field, [undine] got added to Groß’ hand and he passed.
Slowly but steadily, we were getting closer to the time out. Less than 15 minutes remained in the finals. Benabdallah attacked over [a pike], dealing first blood, leaving Groß on 7650 Life Points. He then [ns]ed [ev castor] and he used both monsters to [xyz] [dweller]. Or rather he wanted to, since [horn] foiled that plan. Benabdallah added a third back row card and he was done for the turn.
This was a big opportunity for Groß and he knew it. He summoned [undine], sending [a drag] to his Graveyard, which in turn then allowed him to search his Deck for [a mark]. He flicked over the contents of his Extra Deck quickly before he [fs]ed [a hilde]. Groß added yet another back row card and he then tried to [ss] [a teus], discarding [a mark] in face-up [def]. The effects of [a mark] and [a teus] triggered and Groß targeted [fiendish], which got chained to negate [a teus]. Attacks with [undine] and [a hilde] followed. In [mp] 2, [gt alucard] hit play. It destroyed a [dust] that got chained, costing Groß [amc].
Benabdallah summoned [ev kery], the monster that might as well earn an all start title this weekend. Groß had no response for the time being and the French Duelist banished [ev castor] while returning [ev helio] to his hand. He summoned [ev helio] and he wanted to proceed with the Battle Phase, but that was a little premature as Groß still had a [tt]. Benabdallah added a second back row card.
Groß drew and a cheer went through the German part of the crowd behind him, telegraphing a good card. [mst] then destroyed Benabdallah’s copy, Groß went through the contents of his Graveyard and he then banished [a drag] and [a mark] to [ss] [tidal].
[genex controller] got [ns]ed next. Groß had now emptied his hand. He declared attacks and Benabdallah flipped [bom], turning [tidal] face-down. This left him with 4100 Life Points.
Benabdallah drew into his second card in hand. He summoned [ev helio] and it attacked over [genex controller]. He set his other card.
Groß drew, he [fs]ed [tidal]. He attacked over Benabdallah’s monster, which now left the French Duelist with 3450 Life Points. That concluded the turn, but not before time was called.
Benabdallah added a second face-down Spell or Trap Card and passed right back.
[tidal] made it 850 Life Points for Benabdallah. Groß set a monster before ending.
Benabdallah drew and extended the hand. He had drawn into [rabbit], but with no targets remaining in his Deck, it might have scored him the Oscar for the worst timing, but definitely not the title of YCS winner.
[h2]Peter Groß is your YCS Paris Winner![/h2]
Peter Groß has now become a three time YCS Winner, making him the first European Duelist to ever accomplish this very special feat. He admitted that he didn’t feel like he deserved it, relying on the established archetype of the Mermails rather than choosing something that no one had on the radar, but at the end of the day, he was still happy to walk away victorious for yet another time.
Congratulations as well to Aoued Benabdallah for putting up an impressive showing this weekend with the Evilswarm Deck. He has made quite a name for himself this weekend and we’ll definitely look out for him in the events to come, especially at the European Championship.