Round 11: Reuben Baron (UK) vs Francesco Santacroce (ITA)

I’m not going to go as far as to say I have been waiting for an opportunity to write a feature match that involves an Italian and an Englishman but it’s certainly been on my radar. After our (England’s) shocking World Cup exit we return to Yu-Gi-Oh! in an attempt to find a tournament that can actually be won. Since both teams went out of the World Cup these Duelists – Reuben Baron and Francesco Santacroce, would be hoping for a different result where at least one would progress in the tournament. Baron is playing an innovative Watt Deck while Santacroce is using Geargia.

Santacroce won the die roll with a convincing 2 beating Baron’s 1. He decided to start things off and Summoned [g arsenal], using the effect to Set a [armor] from the Deck. He set the rest of his hand to his backrow and passed.

“Well that’s optimal” said an exasperated Baron. He Summoned [myrmeleo] and the Effect was halted by a [fiendish]. Baron set two.
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Baron came here with Watts this weekend
Baron came here with Watts this weekend

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Santacroce flipped his [armor] and searched a [g auto]. It was [ss]ed and used to [xyz] [ggx]. Baron wanted to use [sw] to negate it but paid his LP only to have the Trap go back in to the Deck courtesy of [wiretap]. Santacroce searched and Summoned another [g arsenal]. It attacked over [myrmeleo] and [ggx] poked directly. In the [mp2] Santacroce set a fourth backrow and used his [g arsenal] to set a [armor] from the Deck before passing.
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Mahunder was soon to be joined by Wattgiraffe
Mahunder was soon to be joined by Wattgiraffe

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Baron Summoned [pahunder] and [giraffe]. In the Battle Phase [giraffe] attacked directly and ran in to a [prison]. Baron had a [wiretap] of his own to deal with that and since Santacroce could no longer use any effects Baron [xyz]ed [eek]! The effect stripped Santacroce of everything he had and Baron passed.

Santacroce drew his only card and set it – a Monster.

Baron discarded [tsh] for two more and Normal Summoned [cobra]. It attacked directly and searched another [giraffe] to Baron’s hand before he passed.
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This Exciton Knight just totalled the field
This Exciton Knight just totalled the field

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Santacroce drew and checked his Graveyard before setting a [st]. It seemed as if he was checking for [geargiagear] targets to see if he could still use one.

That proved to be the completely wrong call as when [cobra] went to attack directly it was met by [prison]. In [mp2] [tsh] was discarded to searched two copies of [mahunder] and Baron set a card to each zone, leaving four in his hand. A huge advantage swing.

Santacroce drew and flipped [geargiano] using the effect to retrieve a [g auto]. His topdeck – another [g auto] – was [ss]ed and Santacroce [xyz]ed his own [eek]. The effect wiped Baron’s field and play was back to the Englishman.

He had plenty of options and chose to Summon [mahunder] and [tsh]. They combined to [xyz] [101] and pinch [eek] from the Italian before attacking directly and setting another backrow.

Santacroce’s draw couldn’t help him and he picked up all of his cards for game two!

[h2]Reuben Baron’s Watts help him overcome Geargia with a huge Exciton Knight play![/h2]

The Italian seemed a bit bummed about his luck in the last game so shuffled up and decided to start the second still without playing conservatively. He set four backrow and passed.
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The Italian was still confident going in to the second game
The Italian was still confident going in to the second game

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Baron didn’t think setting backrow was a bad idea so decided to set three of his own. Two of them – [horn] and [fiendish] got blasted by [mst]s.

Santacroce went back to four backrow on the next turn by setting two more.

Baron simply passed.

Santacroce set a Monster and Baron stared gleefully at the [noc] in his hand.

He drew for his turn and thought carefully about his options – not wanting to use the Nobleman early and then commit to the field in to a [tt] or similar. Deciding the best option was to Summon first, [mahunder] hit the field. Instead of playing the Nobleman Baron decided to take the [armor] with [mind control] and flip it up, scanning his Extra Deck for options.
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I told you Baron was scanning his Extra Deck...
I told you Baron was checking his Extra Deck...

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[101] was the [xyz] of choice – a beatstick that can protect itself without use of what some would call the primary effect. The Summon was negated by [horn] and Baron added a second [st] before passing.

Santacroce didn’t want to upset the rhythm so went back to four.

Baron Summoned [cobra] and ran into a [prison] while on the next turn Santacroce was determined to keep four [st]s set so added another.

Baron added a third to his side and in the End Phase [geargiagear] was flipped to [ss] [g mk2] and [geargiano].

Santacroce overlaid them to [xyz] [ggx] and the effect was used to fish a [g arsenal] from the Deck. It was Summoned and used to attack for 1500 while [ggx] hit home too. Santacroce almost forgot to use the effect in [mp2] but remembered right at the eleventh hour to set a [armor].
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A really strong field from the Italian
A really strong field from the Italian

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Baron Summoned [calibrator] but it was met with a [bth]. [ath] was used to target [armor] but [ced] from Santacroce saved it. Baron discarded [tsh] to search two more and passed.

Santacroce detached and took back [g mk2]. [ggx] attacked and Santacroce settled on setting a Monster.

Baron drew and flipped [coth] to [ss] [mahunder] from the Graveyard. The effect was met by [tthn]. Baron sighed and reluctantly used his [noc] to take out [armor]. before setting a [st] and a Monster.

That Monster was taken by [mind control] – revealed to be [tsh] – and while [ggx] met a [prison] [g auto] joined the Sea Horse in [mp2] to [xyz] [101].

Baron discarded [tsh] for two copies of [cobra] and Summoned one of them. [sw] from Santacroce negated the Summon and Baron checked his two face-down [st]s before passing. They were for nought as when [101] attacked on the next turn Baron nodded and gathered his cards for the deciding game!

[h2]Gears fight back with a huge number of Trap cards to equalise the score![/h2]

Baron would go first in the final game as expected and after both players thoroughly shuffled up and shook hands he drew his six.

They included [myrmeleo] which was the first play of the game, searching out [bth]. baron shuffled three of the cards in his hands and spread them across his backrow before passing.
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Myrmeleo stared down a daunting field.
Myrmeleo stared down a daunting field.

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Santacroce settled on a far more old-school approach of setting a not-so-mystery Monster and two mystery cards in the back.

The “mystery” Monster was revealed as [armor] (shock! awe!) when [mind control] took it and the two monsters were used to [xyz] [calk]. It attacked successfully. In the End Phase [geargiagear] searched two [g mk2].

In Santacroce’s turn they were used to [xyz] [eek]. The Italian had six cards in total to Baron’s seven and so with no way to negate the Summon Baron activated [bth]. It proved an incredibly successful ploy as [wiretap] stopped it and when Santacroce went to use the effect of [eek] Baron had a [fiendish]. He had perfectly baited out the Italian’s plan. Still in his Main Phase, Santacroce Summoned [g mk2] and [geargiano] and used them to [xyz] [zenmaines] in [def]. He set one backrow.
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Exciton Knight had been blocked by Fiendish Chain
Exciton Knight had been blocked by Fiendish Chain

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It was revealed as another [geargiagear] by [mst] and Baron Summoned [calibrator]. It was on 3600 and was used to attack over [eek]. Baron set a second backrow and passed.

Santacroce drew and Summoned [g arsenal]. His last card in hand was [mind control] – used to take [calibrator] although his [g arsenal] was set when he did so thanks to [bom]. Zenmaines went to attack and rammed in to [calk]. In the End Phase it was used to attempt to destroy [calibrator] but [calk] stopped that and changed the target to the set [g arsenal].

Baron had more than enough damage on the next turn to see the game off and the Englishman was victorious! It was quite the World Cup turnaround and Baron would be progressing in the tournament!

[h2]Reuben Baron makes the top 64 with Watts![/h2]

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