Semi-Final Feature Match: Michel Gruner (Dragon Ruler) vs Rozza Valerio (Dragon Ruler)

With the top eight matches now out of the way, the atmosphere was far more relaxed going in to the semi-finals. While there are still prizes, pride and glory on the line, both Duelists are heading to Las Vegas and so were prepared to just have a good, fun match. Michel Gruner is a previous European Champion and wants to make history by adding a second title. Rozza Valerio was featured earlier and is back looking a little less tense!

Gruner won the roll and used [reactan] to which [maxx] was chained. [redox] hit the field and [7ss] banished [tidal] to draw, searching out a [stream]. He passed, unwilling to [ss] any more this turn.

Valerio used [sarco] to banish [tdrag], replacing it with a Tempest. He used Reactan to [ss] Redox in defence position. He activated [rejuv] and drew two in the [ep].

[lightning] was used to Summon Tempest in attack and a second [maxx] from Valerio really halted his plans. Gruner studied his hand and graveyard and pitched two for [burner], Summoning Blaster. [sack] was the next invite to the party, and it spawned tokens before tributing itself to destroy the Italian’s Redox. Confirming which Dragon Ruler effects he hadn’t yet used, he banished Tempest and Reactan from the grave to summon Tidal, using Tempest’s effect to search [corseca]. It was Summoned and along with the tokens [synch]ed [00].
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Gruner yells 'YOLO' as he plays through a [maxx] to take the first game!
Gruner yells 'YOLO' as he plays through a Maxx "C" to take the first game!

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There was enough damage on the field to take the game, and prompted by Gruner’s Battle Phase, he conceeded!

[h2]Michel Gruner was one step closer to the final![/h2]

Gruner asked if he could go first, and the Italian denied with a grin on his face.

Valerio drew his opening hand – he had drawn two copies of [obelisk]! Not a great start, as he passed with the remainder of his hand being [maxx], [bts], [blaster] and [tdrag].

Gruner discarded two Tidals to send a Blaster to the graveyard and removed it with a Tidal for Redox, searching a replacement. He used [rejuv] to draw two cards and ended.

Valerio used Burner to bring out Blaster by discarding Tempest. He used his in-hand Blaster by banishing the two he’d discarded to [ss] it, searching another Tempest. Both Blaster’s became a [sack] and Gruner considered his options before deciding to let it though. The effect to spawn tokens was met with [veiler] and Valerio could only set hit Breakthrough Skill before passing back.
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Opening with two Obelisk wasn't a great start for Valerio!
Opening with two Obelisk wasn't a great start for Valerio!

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Burner was met with a [maxx] – which Gruner had called before even reaching for his Deck. Redox was revived by banishing Burner and Tidal, which sought out a Stream. Gruner thought about [xyz]ing a Dracossack but elected instead for [11] in defence. It’s effect was negated by [bts]. Once again confirmed which Dragon Rulers had and hadn’t been used, Gruner stared thoughtfully at his five card hand. [hole] was the next play and a set backrow concluded the turn.

Maxx “C” had improved the Italian’s hand and he dicsarded Tempest to use Reactan’s effect – but Gruner had [vane]! It completely stopped Valerio in his tracks and he passed with no further plays.

Gruner passed back, confident that Emptiness could see him through another turn. Valario went the somewhat aggressive route, Summoning a Stream and attacking for a whopping 1600 damage.

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Valerio's Stream was pushing through the big damage!
Valerio's Stream was pushing through the big damage!

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Gruner activated [rejuv] which sent Emptiness to the graveyard. He tried to use Stream’s effect but realise he had no Tidal or Stream left in Deck! “Sad, sad, sad times” he said. He took his procedural warning on the chin and returned the two Dragons to his hand. Tidal was [ss]ed from the hand by removing Redox and Blaster. He used Redox to search a Reactan but didn’t use Blaster – he had plans to use it’s effect later in the turn! Reactan bought out a Redox in defence position and with two cards left in his hand, attacked over Stream with Tidal. Both Monsters turned into a defence position Dracossack which spawned two tokens. He was Rejuvinated in the [ep] for two cards.
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Gruner had taken advantage of our token maker this weekend!
Gruner had taken advantage of our token maker this weekend!

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Valerio banished Blaster to [ss] Tempest, searching out a Burner. Gruner responded in kind with [maxx]. Burner bought out Blaster, discarding Redox in the process. Redox revived itself and the three Dragon Rulers sat ominously on the field in attack position. Valerio banished [bts] from the graveyard to negate Dracossack and ran over it and a token before summoning the mighty [obelisk] in [mp2]! [rejuv] gave him some cards and he passed back. The crowd were crazy for the Egyptian God Card of myth and legend!
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ALL BOW IN THE PRESENCE OF THE GREAT OBELISK THE TORMENTOR!!!!!!
ALL BOW IN THE PRESENCE OF THE GREAT OBELISK THE TORMENTOR!!!!!!

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Gruner revived Tidal by removing Redox and Reactan, using Redox to add another Reactan to his hand. it was discarded with Stream to [ss] Redox in defence, which combined with Tidal to [xyz] Dracossack. It spawned tokens and he Summoned [corseca]! Valerio wanted a minute to think things over before letting it through. He [synch]ed [black rose] and used it’s effect. Valerio’s [veiler] was no use! [bom] turned the Dragon face-down and made sure it’s effect continued. Dracossack was the only card on the field to survive. Blaster was [ss]ed and when attacks were declared [scarecrow] protected the Italian’s LP. [7ss] banished Blaster in [mp2] and drew Gruner two cards before he passed.

LP 6400-7000

Valerio drew and took a moment to consider plays, checking Gruner’s hand size and graveyard as well as his own before settling on [hole] to clear Dracossack. Time was called as valerio was banishing two Dragons for Blaster – met by Gruner’s [maxx]. Redox also came back into play, and Tempest followed shortly after – one of the banished cards was Tidal which replaced itself in the Italian’s hand. Gruner was up to seven in hand while Valerio’s Monsters were flooding the field. Did the German have a Scarecrow of his own?

…he didn’t! There was enough damage on the field to end the game and Gruner shuffled up – this would go to a sudden death third game!
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We had to remind Gruner that no matter how hard he looked at his hand, a Swift Scarecrow wouldn't magically appear!
We had to remind Gruner that no matter how hard he looked at his hand, a Swift Scarecrow wouldn't magically appear!

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New policy states that in sudden death players must again roll to see who begins, and the outcome was that Gruner would begin. Each Duelist would have two turns before LP would be calculated, it’s simple: whoever had more LP would be the winner!

Gruner [ss]ed Redox from the hand in defence by banishing [maxx] and Tidal, searching a Stream with Tidal’s effect. A set [st] joined it as Valerio began his first of the two turns. He would have an extra turn to attack than Gruner so this was really his chance to put in the groundwork to win the match.

Valerio used Blaster to destroy Gruner’s set [bom], which he chained to set Redox. Reactan was next and Summoned a Redox in defence. Redox in the grave returned to the field and Valerio had a few options. He could [xyz] or [ns] the [veiler] in his hand to [synch]! He decided the Veiler would be more use in his hand so went for [11], using it’s effect to target Redox. Gruner had a Veiler though and Valerio passed with no further play!
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Tense scenes in sudden death as Effect Veiler ruin's Valerio's day!
Tense scenes in sudden death as Effect Veiler ruin's Valerio's day!

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Gruner used Stream, discarding Lightning to [ss] Tidal from the Deck. Redox was Flip Summoned and Gruner looked at his last card in hand before deciding to [xyz] Dracossack. It detached Tidal for the effect but Veiler put an end to that plan. Tidal revived itself and Gruner’s last card was [reborn]! It bought back Effect Veiler, [synch]ing [crimson blader]. Seeing that the Blader would run over Big Eye and make it’s effect live the Italian sighed and offered the handshake!
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Crimson Blader scythed it's way through Big Eye and took Gruner to the finals!
Crimson Blader scythed it's way through Big Eye and took Gruner to the finals!

[h2]Michel Gruner is only one match away from claiming an unheard-of second European Championship title![/h2]

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