Round 3: Michael Ciplak (Austria) vs. Stephan Sluis (Netherlands)

We invited 2 of Europe’s most accomplished players to our Feature Match table for our round 3 match. On the one side, we got the Netherlands’ Stephan Sluis who now has to go up against Austria’s Michael Ciplak. This is going to be interesting!

“You got a good pool?”, Ciplak immediately inquired after sitting down on the Feature Match table. “You’ll find out!”, Sluis replied.
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Stephan Sluis wants to add a third YCS title to his resume!
Stephan Sluis wants to add a third YCS title to his resume!

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Sluis [ns]ed [mosquito] and he added a back row card. More out of habit than anything else, he asked for a response, but Ciplak of course had none.

The Austrian found [evo ch], but its attack was suddenly put to a halt courtesy of [windstorm]. Ciplak added a back row card and ended.

Sluis [ns]ed [md] and he attacked successfully over [evo ch] before leaving Ciplak on 6400 Life Points. Another back row card.
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Sluis' Des Mosquito wouldn't leave the field!
Sluis' Des Mosquito wouldn't leave the field!

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Ciplak fought back with [slate], which meant both players only controlled 1 monster each.

Sluis changed that momentarily, inviting [shockto] to his party. He sent it into [slate] and Ciplak let the attack conclude, with [shockto] turning into an equipment, weakening [slate]. [mosquito] then made short use of [slate], in the process losing 500 ATK.

[ddwl] came down and Ciplak attacked over [mosquito], which now only sported 1 counter. Sluis then found [bazoo] and he sent it into [ddwl], with both monsters getting banished for good. [mosquito] dealt 500 and Ciplak was left with only 3700 Life Points.
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Even Goblin Elite Attack Force couldn't remove Des Mosquito from the field!
Even Goblin Elite Attack Force couldn't remove Des Mosquito from the field!

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[geaf] ran over [mosquito] which still wouldn’t leave the field. Sluis then [ns]ed [barbaros], destroying [geaf]. Ciplak still didn’t use [lance], saving it for the best moment.

On his following turn, he found [trooper], sending it into Sluis’ [barbaros] with both monsters biting the dust and Ciplak drawing into yet another card.

Then, for the first time in what seemed like ages, Sluis had to step on the break. He only added a back row card and suddenly there was an opportunity for Ciplak to claim the driver’s seat!

He had [mataza], attacking over [mosquito] and dealing 1300 damage to Sluis, which left the Dutch Duelist on 3900. This Duel was extremely close! [fighting spirit] got activated in [mp] 2 and that concluded the turn.
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Ciplak upped the ante with Mataza the Zapper!
Ciplak upped the ante with Mataza the Zapper!

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Apparently Ciplak wasn’t kidding when he told Sluis that his Deck is extremely strong. Sluis on the other hand didn’t disappoint either, finding [cd] to fight back and activating [ffs].
He followed it up with [aau] to [ss] [evo ch], he summoned it for a second time and used its effect to destroy [mataza] (and itself since [aau] got destroyed). A direct attack followed with [cd].

Ciplak only set a monster.

It was revealed to be [treeborn] the following turn and Sluis added a face-down monster.

[treeborn] came back, Ciplak added [valley] and play was back to Sluis.

He attacked into [valley] and [ns]ed [pbw].

Ciplak returned [evo ch] with [prebu] and he also equipped it with [axe fools]. He wanted to summon it for a second time, but the judge roled that [axe fools] prevents him from doing so. Ciplak then activated [b winds] and he attacked into [pbw], but Sluis had [half c] to make sure he would stay in this game. Sluis then wanted to activate a Quick-Play Spell, but Ciplak explained to him that this was no longer possible since [half c] triggers in damage calculation and by indicating that he wanted to use this effect, he basically agreed to proceeding to damage calculation. The judge upheld this very logical sounding conclusion, which meant Sluis lost his monster.
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Sluis had yet another strong comeback courtesy of Splendid Venus!
Sluis had yet another strong comeback courtesy of Splendid Venus!

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The following turn, Sluis Tributed his 2 remaining monsters for [svenus] and he attacked over his opponent’s face-up [treeborn]. He had 2 back row cards when he passed.

Ciplak took the bait and sent [evo ch] into [svenus]. “I have no response” – “Damage Step… you can activate it,” Ciplak tried to bait his opponent – “I won’t do it!”, Sluis claimed. He then added: “Every non-Fairy loses 500 ATK.” Ciplak shook his head. “I didn’t know that…”
He lost his monster and a smiling Sluis then figured “If I’d have used it, I would have won.”

It didn’t make much of a difference, with [pog] providing Sluis with another monster and after summoning it, Ciplak shuffled up.

[h2]Stephan Sluis claims the lead![/h2]

“That was good!”, Sluis commented. Ciplak was slightly less excited, immediately claiming that he’d keep his hand. Sluis took advantage of the Re-Draw Rule and then Ciplak set a Monster and 2 Spell or Trap Cards.
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Michael Ciplak now had to win 2 Duels in a row!
Michael Ciplak now had to win 2 Duels in a row!

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Sluis kicked things off with [ape], attacking into what was revealed to be [blion]. The Dutch Duelist added a back row card.

Ciplak switched [blion] to [atk] and he also found [mataza] together with [nuzzler]. [moaa] banished [mataza], with Sluis happily taking 2300 damage. Ciplak used [chalice] to make sure his [blion] could at least take down [ape].

[cd] and [pbw] put up a strong offensive for Sluis, destroying Ciplak’s monster and leaving him on 6200 Life Points.
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There was no beating Sluis in that game!
There was no beating Sluis in that game!

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The Austrian tried to come back with [truck] and he declared an attack into [cd]. In the damage step, [ris ene] made sure that the little Machine could take down the big Dragon, which would now mean that [truck] sported a healthy 3100 ATK.

Sluis got [mataza], he activated [riryoku] and [ns]ed [cyber jar] after doing some quick calculations (well, Ciplak did them for him), which meant that he could wrap things up before the Austrian would get to draw another card.

[h2]Stephan Sluis defeats Michael Ciplak![/h2]

“That didn’t seem too grindy”, I commented on the match. “A lot of other players have worse decks than Michael.” (Sluis answered a Quick Question about how happy he was with his pool with the words that it’s good, but he has to grind a lot to win games.)
“True”, Sluis agreed, “but then again, some players have totally broken pools with [gc], [reborn] and [dmoc].”
“Well, yes, but your Deck still doesn’t seem too bad. You’re playing way more forbidden cards than me!”, Ciplak complained.
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