Round 1: Stefan Faust (Mermail) vs. Kim van Campenhoudt (Mermail)

[p]So far, we’ve enrolled 1448 players for the 2013 edition of YCS Bochum and there’s still more Duelists standing in line – that means we beat the attendance of YCS Bochum 2010 by more than 160 players! It’s the first great success of the day and we look forward to many more to come.
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Speaking of first successes, this is also what’s on the mind of the 2 players that will be facing off in our round 1 feature match. We invited one of the semi finalists of the YCS Bochum 2010 to our table, Stefan Faust, who will now have to go up against Kim van Campenhout, the reigning Belgian National Champion!
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Kim van Campenhoudt is your reigning Belgian National Champion!
Kim van Campenhoudt is your reigning Belgian National Champion!

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Nicolas Petz told me that Faust was playing Mermails today and he added that Faust is not that familiar with the Deck just yet. In fact, he had to suffer a beating at the hands of Petz just minutes prior to the start of this round.
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His opponent, van Campenhout, is also playing Mermails and he told me that he’s feeling confident with his choice. Seems like the first advantage for the National Champion, so let’s see how this will turn out.
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The Head Judges made a couple of announcements and after a short break to catch our breaths, round 1 was underway! Faust won the die roll and opted to go first!
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He set 2 cards to his back row and passed.
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Kim van Campenhoudt's opening 6
Kim van Campenhoudt's opening 6

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Van Campenhoudt drew for his turn, he followed it up with [undine], giving away what he was playing. He sent [adrag] to his Graveyard to add [controller] and [megalo] to his hand. [megalo] followed, ditching [adrag] and [linde]. That allowed the National Champion to search his Deck for [asphere].[br]
He Tributed [undine] for the effect of [megalo] and declared the first of a possible 2 attacks. Faust checked his face-down cards and he responded with [asphere]. Van Campenhoudt chained [maxx]. While Faust got [linde], van Campenhoudt drew a card. Faust [ss]ed [leed] and van Campenhoudt opted to not attack into it. He set 2 back row cards and ended.
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Another [linde] came down for van Campenhoudt. He attacked with [leed], destroying [megalo]. The attack of [linde] was supposed to be stopped by [asphere], but Faust found a [mst]. Van Campenhoudt was nonplussed as he simply activated a second copy of the trap![br]
This got him [linde] which brought things to a halt.
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A second Abyss-Sphere succeeded in special summoning Mermail Abysslinde!
A second Abyss-Sphere succeeded in special summoning Mermail Abysslinde!

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In [mp] 2, Faust used [reborn] to bring back his opponent’s [megalo]. He considered his follow-up play for a second and then decided to use both of his higher level monsters to [ss] [11]. This helped him to claim control over [linde], he then used it together with his own copy to [ss] [zenmaines] and that concluded the turn!
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Faust went BIG with this Number Monster!
Faust went BIG with this Number Monster!

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So far, Faust proved to be extremely controlling and the whole way in which he performed his play left little doubt that he knew what his deck was capable of. He stared van Campenhoudt in the eye, trying to read what he was up to. [ahi] was [ns]ed, followed by [diva], which got the Belgian Champion [amark] from his deck. He used all 3 of his monsters to [synch] [gungnir], [salvage] followed and that got him back [diva] and [amark].[br]
He discarded a card to get rid of [11] and [squall] and ended his turn.
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[zenmaines] attacked into [gungnir], which meant the Synchro Monster wouldn’t see the light of day after that turn’s End Phase.
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Van Campenhoudt [ns]ed [diva], which resulted in [catastor] just shortly after. It attacked into [zenmaines], leaving Faust with no field.
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Van Campenhoudt wouldn't run out of tricks anytime soon!
Van Campenhoudt wouldn't run out of tricks anytime soon!

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Faust didn’t perform any actions on his following turn despite him holding on to 4 cards. Van Campenhoudt checked his opponent’s Graveyard before [ns]ing [controller]. He attacked with it, thought long about whether to attack with [catastor], but he eventually went for it. No response from Faust and that already concluded the turn.
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Finally Faust found a play – he revealed [megalo], discarding [gunde] together with another Water monster to search his Deck for [asphere]. Van Campenhoudt responded with [maxx]. Faust [ss]ed [leed] from his Deck. He commented “Way too many!” when he learned about the number of cards in van Campenhoudt’s hand, but [poa] helped him to catch up.
[br]”I fear a [hole]…”, Faust announced. He then [ss]ed [gaios], which allowed him to get rid of [catastor]; he set 2 Spell or Trap Cards and passed his turn.
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Now we went for Rank 7 Xyz Monsters!
Now we went for Rank 7 Xyz Monsters!

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Only 19 minutes remaining in the round and we were still in the first game. A lot had happened already and no Duelist committed to a risky play. Van Campenhoudt then tried to up the ante once again, [ns]ing [undine] without using its effect. He then used both of his monsters to [xyz] [zenmaines], he set 2 spells or traps and ended. Faust checked his face-down cards and activated 2 [asphere] before the end of van Campenhoudt’s Main Phase 1. This got him [linde], he [ss]ed [pike] when it was destroyed, discarding [gunde], which then allowed him to add [amark] to his hand. He also [ss]ed another [leed].
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An impressive field by Stefan Faust!
An impressive field by Stefan Faust!

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[pike] was Tributed for the effect of [leed]. It didn’t cost van Campenhoudt too much as he only had to discard [controller], though. Faust let out a sigh, he then announced that he’d run into [mf] in just a second, he [ss]ed [teus] to which van Campenhoudt responded with [tt]. [linde] was summoned and attacked directly, leaving van Campenhoudt on 5600 Life Points. Faust set a back row card, but [mst] dealt with [tt].
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This seemed like a huge opening for van Campenhoudt. He was up on 3 cards in his hand and all that was standing in his way was Faust’s [linde]. Surprisingly, he passed without performing any actions.
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[linde] attacked directly and play was right back to van Campenhoudt.
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He [ns]ed [pike], discarded [adrag], which allowed him to add both [megalo] as well as [undine] to his hand. [megalo] was [ns]ed next with van Campenhoudt discarding [ahi]. He got rid of [linde] and since there were no more targets in his Deck for [megalo]’s effect, only Faust searched for a card and he [ss]ed it: [teus].
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Van Campenhoudt felt like it was time to strike back!
Van Campenhoudt felt like it was time to strike back!

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No attacks followed, Faust then only set a back row card and van Campenhoudt simply mirrored the play. Nothing happened on Faust’s following turn, but then, finally, van Campenhoudt upped the ante again: [poa]! He shuffled [amark], [ahi], [undine], [controller] and [catastor] back to his respective Decks and drew 2.[br]
We were down to a meager 6,5 minutes when van Campenhoudt [ns]ed [diva]. This got him [ahi] and he Tributed it to fuel the effect of [megalo]. He attacked with it into [ced], so [diva] and [pike] were allowed to take a direct shot at Faust’s heart. Van Campenhoudt set a spell or trap and ended.
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[hole] wiped the field and Faust had to pass.
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[amark] was [ns]ed, but even before van Campenhoudt was able to declare an attack, Faust went for his Side Deck.
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Kim van Campenhoudt takes the lead!

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Stefan Faust was running out of time!
Stefan Faust was running out of time!

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It would be Faust who would go first again. The round started with less than a minute on the clock, so this match would definitely go to time. Faust set a back row card and ended. Van Campenhoudt started the first of what would be 5 extra turns.
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He had [pike], discarding [adrag], which got him [megalo] and another card. When he went on and attempted to [ss] [megalo], Faust responded with [mind crush]! A strong answer, but van Campenhoudt wasn’t done; [reborn] brought back [amark], but Faust now had [maxx]! He drew a card off it, [amark] attacked directly, this got van Campenhoudt [adrag] and Faust drew yet another card. [pike] and [adrag] dealt 3400 damage, leaving Faust on 3200 Life Points.
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Would that be enough for van Campenhoudt to claim victory?!
Would that be enough for van Campenhoudt to claim victory?!

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In [mp] 2, van Campenhoudt used [adrag] and [pike] to [xyz] [dweller]. He set a spell or trap and ended the turn.
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Faust had all the options. He kicked things off with [ahi], followed it up with [diva], [ss]ing [amark] from his Deck. [reborn] got him his opponent’s [megalo], he activated the effect of [megalo], ditching [pike], but just as expected, van Campenhoudt responded with the effect of [dweller]. He detached [adrag] and added [diva] to his hand.[br]
[ahi] and [diva] were Tuned to [arm]. It equipped [megalo] and attacked [dweller]. [mst] destroyed the equipment, which meant van Campenhoudt would take 200. He also lost [amark], Faust set a Spell or Trap and he ended.
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The few remaining cards in van Campenhoudt's hand!
The few remaining cards in van Campenhoudt's hand!

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[poa] refueled van Campenhoudt’s hand. He went on and played [diva], to which Faust had no response. This got van Campenhoudt [ahi], he then used both of his monsters to [xyz] [ggg] in [def] and that concluded the turn.
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[pike] was [ns]ed and Faust discarded [adrag]. This allowed him to add [megalo] and [hilde] to his hand. [megalo] followed and van Campenhoudt discarded [maxx]. Faust discarded 2 copies of “adrag]. He added yet another [megalo] to his hand as well as [asphere] and [gunde]. [gaios] followed and then Faust went for the third [megalo], discarding [gunde] and [ahi]. This meant [ggg] would finally leave the field. Faust opted to [ss] another [gaios], providing van Campenhoudt with yet another card courtesy of [maxx]. [pike] attacked for 1600 points of damage, followed by both copies of [gaios], which meant the game would end in a Draw!
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The game ends in a Draw!

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Quite the thriller if you ask me. Faust was asking several times for a response, but despite the fact that van Campenhoudt was up on what felt like a million cards in his hand, he couldn’t stop his opponent from claiming the win in the second and final Duel. In a way, that was a reward for both of the players that fought very hard in this very close match!
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