Round 9: Michael Ciplak (Constellar) vs. Marc Oswald (Spellbooks)

Welcome back to day 2 of the largest European Championship of all time! Once again, we invited a “bubble match” over to our Feature Match table and this time it’s a follow-up to some past coverage articles.

Sitting on the left is Marc Oswald, who qualified for this very event back at YCS Lille. He went on and advanced to the knock out portion of the German National Championship, so maybe he’s also on a roll today?!

He now has to face Michael Ciplak, a very consistent Austrian Duelist who you might remember because of his past accomplishment of topping the first 3 European YCS. Lately, he “only” came close, missing the top cut by just 2 spots in Leipzig. He also lost the last round in Barcelona and if he would have won, we would have seen him in the knock out portion again. Let’s see if he can go all the way again today!
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Michael Ciplak is trying his luck with Constellars this weekend!
Michael Ciplak is trying his luck with Constellars this weekend!

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Oswald won the die roll and he revealed what he was playing early on; he [ns]ed [sb mag] to add [sb sec] to his hand, he then had [sb jud] and [sb secrets], causing Ciplak to show a slightly less happy facial expression. This got him [sb master] with Oswald revealing [sb power] and Ciplak commented: “He’s got them all… already…”[br]
Now Ciplak had to shuffle Oswald’s Deck since the latter activated [upstart] and Ciplak added: “I should probably start to think about what to Side Deck already…”[br]
[tgst] came down, Oswald added 2 face-down back row cards and he searched [sb fate], [ssh], [sb master] and [sb secrets]. He also [ss]ed [jowgen].
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A perfect opening for Michael Oswald!
A perfect opening for Michael Oswald!

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The Austrian Set 3 face-down back row cards before passing play right back.

[tgst] allowed Oswald to recycle a Spellbook; he activated [ssh], [sb secrets] followed, with Oswald searching [sb wisdom] this time, he [ns]ed [kycoo] and declared an attack with [sb mag]. It dealt 600 points of damage and [kycoo] followed for 1900. Ciplak dropped to 6500 Life Points (don’t forget [upstart]). Oswald added another back row card and passed.
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Ciplak tried to master a comeback with Pollux!
Ciplak tried to master a comeback with Pollux!

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Ciplak [ns]ed [con pol] and he added [con som]. He attacked with [con pol] over [sb mag] and [con som] was supposed to take care of [jowgen]. [sb fate] foiled this plan, however, flipping the attacker face-down.

Play was back to Oswald who used [tgst] before advancing to his [mp]. He activated a second copy of [ssh] and he followed it up with [sb eternity], returning [sb secrets] to his hand. He then activated it to find [sb mag] and he [ns]ed it, this time adding [sb wisdom] to his hand. He would continue searching, courtesy of [sb master], finding [sb power]. “At least 2 [sb wisdom]…”, Ciplak thought out loud. “At least!”, Oswald replied.[br]
[sb power] was used on [sb mag], [jowgen] got switched to [atk] and [sb mag] attacked over [con pol].
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VINTAGE CIPLAK!!! An Honest turns things around!!!
VINTAGE CIPLAK!!! An Honest turns things around!!!

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Ciplak dropped [honest]! Oswald didn’t see that one coming, but he recovered quickly, sending [kycoo] into the face-down [con som]. That worked; he added a back row card and passed.

11 counters spread over 2 copies of Oswald’s [ssh][s]. Ciplak went over his options and he opted to [ns] [con kaus]. [sb fate] got activated when it declared an attack, flipping the monster face-down. [con pol] attacked [jowgen] and Oswald activated [sb wisdom], declaring Trap Cards. Ciplak chained [ced] to return it to Oswald’s hand. That triggered a replay, but it didn’t seem to matter too much with Ciplak ending.

Once again, Oswald started his turn with [tgst], providing him with his seventh card in hand. He activated [sb jud], [sb life] then returned [sb mag] to the field and he was now up on 19 counters. If he would continue at this rate, even a Spellcaster with a printed ATK of 0 could be deadly!
Play proceeded with the Battle Phase after Oswald [ns]ed [jowgen] again and it took care of [con kaus]. [sb mag] was then sent into [con pol] and [kycoo] attacked directly, leaving Ciplak on a meager 2100 Life Points. The Austrian also lost [con kaus] and [con som] from his Graveyard. Oswald Set a Spell or Trap before searching his Deck for [sb secrets].
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Oswald sported an impressive field!
Oswald sported an impressive field!

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Ciplak went through his options briefly before picking up his cards.
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Marc Oswald takes the first Duel!

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“Why did you check my Graveyard?”, Ciplak asked. “Most of these Decks tend to run [iiw] and I wanted to see what you were running instead”, Oswald replied. In fact, Ciplak had an [iiw] in his opening 5, but he never activated it. I’d have to ask him why after the match concluded.
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A strong game 1 from Oswald, now all he had to do was keeping it up!
A strong game 1 from Oswald, now all he had to do was keeping it up!

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This time it would be Ciplak going first. He did so with [tenki], adding [con kaus] to his hand. He was also holding on to [ced], [reborn], [veiler] and [pwwb]. He [ns]ed [con kaus], added 2 back row cards and passed.

[sb mag] came down, but [veiler] made sure Oswald wouldn’t get to search his Deck. He added a face-down Spell or Trap.

Back to Ciplak, who found [rai oh] during his Draw Phase. It got [ns]ed, attacked over [sb mag] and [con kaus] followed.
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Ciplak was pressing the advantage!
Ciplak was pressing the advantage!

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Oswald seemed to be standing with his back against the wall even though it was still early in the Duel. He only Set a monster and ended.

Ciplak attacked into it with [con kaus], revealing it to be [apprentice]. This got Oswald [ovm]. A [pwwb] returned it to Oswald’s Deck with Ciplak discarding [rota]. [rai oh] then attacked directly.

Oswald try to put his poker face on, trying not to give away what he drew into. That didn’t work; Ciplak had [ced] to return the [ovm] once again. Attacks followed, but a [ced] from Oswald returned [rai oh] to Ciplak’s hand.[br]
The Austrian made good use of the invitation, activating another [tenki] to add [ff bear] to his hand. He [ns]ed [rai oh] once again and passed.
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Ciplak seemed to have this game in the bag!
Ciplak seemed to have this game in the bag!

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Even though he had 6 cards in hand, there was next to nothing Oswald could do, so he shuffled up.
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Michael Ciplak ties the score!

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Quite an interesting set of affairs when the Constellar player is having the upper hand from early on. While the first game took almost 20 minutes, we only needed 7 for the second one.

This time, Oswald would be going first again. [sb mag] got him [sb secrets] and when Ciplak simply waved his hand, indicating that he had no responses, Oswald knew that he could go big. [sb jud], [sb secrets], [sb master], [sb wisdom]… you know the drill by now. 2 face-down back row cards and Oswald added [jowgen] and [sb secrets], [sb master] and [tgst].
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Another strong opening for Marc Oswald put him on the right track!
Another strong opening for Marc Oswald put him on the right track!

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[storm] tried to clear Oswald’s back row, but for what its worth, he chained [sb wisdom] to flip [sb mag] face-down. [tenki] got Ciplak [ff bear], he [ns]ed it, attacked over [jowgen], used its effect in [mp] 2 to get rid of [sb mag] and he added 2 back row cards. This seemed like a good comeback for Ciplak!

Oswald was far from being out of options, though. He used [sb eternity] to return [sb jud], activating it. [sb secrets] followed, finding [sb mag]. It got [ns]ed, with Oswald adding [sb fate] to his hand. [sb master] then copied [sb secrets], finding [ssh]. Oswald activated it, [tgst] was next in line and two Set cards concluded the [mp]. Oswald added [sb life], [ssh], [sb power] and [sb wisdom] to his hand and [kycoo] to his field.
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A Mexican stand-off between Spellcasters and the Brotherhood of the Firefist!
A Mexican stand-off between Spellcasters and the Brotherhood of the Firefist!

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How could Ciplak turn things around when Oswald’s machine was running this wild? Judging from his facial expression, he didn’t have a lot of options; with [ced] and [pwwb] face-down, he opted to activate the latter, returning one of Oswald’s Set cards to his Deck. [con alg] and [con kaus] hit the field and play proceeded with the Battle Phase. [ff bear] was sent into [sb mag] and Oswald had to watch his monster bite the dust, taking 1000 points of damage. This triggered [ff bear]'[s] effect, allowing Ciplak to add [tenki] to his field. He advanced to his [mp] 2, activating the Continuous Spell Card, finding [con kaus]. The other effect of [ff bear] destroyed [kycoo] in [mp] 2, but not before Oswald chained [sb fate] to flip [con kaus] face-down.

Oswald was allowed to recycle a Spellbook thanks to [tgst]. He activated a second [ssh], followed it up with [sb life] to return [kycoo] to the field, [sb secrets] followed and this got Oswald [sb fate]. He activated it next, banishing 3 Spellbooks and Ciplak used [ced] on [kycoo]. [sb wisdom] made sure the Trap Card wouldn’t resolve and [kycoo] would stay where it was. The face-down Monster left the field. [apprentice] got [ns]ed and Oswald had a [sb power] for it.
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Oswald had amassed a number of counters again and they proved crucial!
Oswald had amassed a number of counters again and they proved crucial!

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The pumped [apprentice] attacked over [ff bear] and [kycoo] destroyed [con alg]. Oswald Set a Spell or Trap and passed play.

Ciplak only had 2 cards; he Set a monster and ended.

Oswald used [tgst] to further improve his odds. He [ns]ed [kycoo] and Ciplak asked: “Are you at least ashamed?” – “I don’t have any more Spellbooks in my Deck”, Oswald defended himself. That explained why he didn’t search for [sb power] the turn before. Attacks followed with [apprentice] clearing the path for 2 [kycoo][s] and that meant game for Oswald!
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Marc Oswald overcomes Michael Ciplak!

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“What else did you Set when I used [pwwb] on one of your back row cards?“ – “[sb secrets]” – “Argh… If I had targeted it, I would have won the game.”

Sometimes, a coin flip decision can be all it takes when it comes to deciding on a winner in a tough match like this one.
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