Top 64: Sebastien Ma (FRA – HAT) vs. Mirko Dolce (ITA – Dragons)

We have done quite a bit of thinning over the course of the last 30 hours. We are now left with just 64 Duelists – the most successful out of the 1057 that showed up yesterday morning to compete for the title of European Champion 2014.

Among them are France’s Sebastien Ma and Mirko Dolce from Italy. Ma is a strong believer in the HAT archetype while Dolce puts his trust in the Dragons this weekend.

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Mirko Dolce's Dragons had carried him all the way to the Top 64!
Mirko Dolce's Dragons had carried him all the way to the Top 64!

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Dolce won the die roll with a 2, barely beating Ma’s 1 and he went first. I was expecting a Madolche deck, but he disappointed in that particular regard, kicking things off with [upstart] and drawing into [trooper]. He played it, 2 copies of [consonance] and [foolish] hit the Graveyard, he added a back row card and ended.

Ma found [i hand] and it attacked over [trooper]. In [mp] 2, 4 face-down [sts] came down.

[trade in] allowed Dolce to draw 2 cards, [consonance] did the same (with [white stone] hitting the Graveyard), [bewd] got added to Dolce’s hand thanks to the effect of the discarded Dragon Tuner and Dolce then [ns]ed [debris]. [bts] foiled that plan, but Dolce wasn’t out of options just yet with 6 more cards in hand.
[soul charge] brought back [bewd] and [trooper].
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Soul Charge brought back some Dragons from the Graveyard!
Soul Charge brought back some Dragons from the Graveyard!

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Ma responded with [2 cyc] and Dolce chained [bom] to flip [i hand] face-down. [a mora] triggered, it got [ss]ed, it destroyed [trooper], Dolce drew a card and he then activated [wingbeat], which cost Ma [call] in his back row with [bewd] returning to his hand.
Dolce eventually blew up the field with [brd] and he then ended.

Ma found [pod], he picked a Trap, set it and he passed. He only had 2 cards on the field and none in hand.

[tempestd] returned to the field on Dolce’s turn. He then had to check both his Graveyard and his Extra Deck to make sure that he would get it right; he first attacked into [prison], he then brought back [redox], [white stone] joined it on the field and before you knew it, a very shiny [sdd] entered the field. Dolce set a back row and he ended.
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This Stardust Dragon was dominating the board for a brief time!
This Stardust Dragon was dominating the board for a brief time!

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The French Duelist once again simply set a back row card.

Dolce pulled ahead and fast! He activated [burial] to return [mtd], [tempestd] and [brd] to his Graveyard. [tempestd] then [ss]ed itself back to the field, [redox] followed suit, Dolce added [kuribandit] and everything attacked, leaving Ma on just 2500 LP.
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Quite the field that Dolce sported!
Quite the field that Dolce sported!

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In [mp] 2, [draco] hit play and it immediately detached, but [bts] made sure its effect wouldn’t work. [kuribandit] then left play in the End Phase after Dolce had set a back row card and he added [pwwb] to his hand.

[mind] helped Ma to claim control over [draco]. He then used its first effect so he would get to add 2 tokens, he then Tributed one to destroy [sdd], but in response, [sdd] left the field for its own effect. Ma couldn’t really do anything else after that and he shuffled up.

[h2]Mirko Dolce pulls ahead and wins the first game![/h2]

Sebastien Ma had to hope that his opponent would forget about the effect of his Synchro Monster so he would still have a chance to win this particular game. That wasn’t meant to be and that’s why he would now have to win 2 Duels in a row to advance to the Top 32!
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Sebastien Ma is a very accomplished French Duelist, but he now had to win 2 Duels in a row!
Sebastien Ma is a very accomplished French Duelist, but he now had to win 2 Duels in a row!

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[myrmeleo] kicked things off for Ma in the second Duel. He added [bth] to his hand and he then activated [pod], finding [a sanc], [ced] and [prison]. He added [a sanc] to his hand, he then set 3 back row cards and that concluded his opening turn.

Dolce started fast and furious with [trade in] and [consonance]. He discarded [white stone] which got him [bewd], he set 2 back row cards and he passed play.

Ma drew into [ccd], he summoned it and activated its effect. This was good news since he would dodge the [malevolent] for the time being that was waiting in Dolce’s back row.

Dolce simply passed again. [a sanc] in the End Phase [ss]ed [a beag], it destroyed [a mora], which then also got [ss]ed.

The following turn, both monsters were used to [ss] [w maioh]. It took out Dolce’s back row! Possibly a great read from Ma. He then set 3 more Spell or Trap Cards, which meant he now controlled 4 and that concluded his turn.
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A card we haven't seen in a while: Wind-Up Zenmaioh!
A card we haven't seen in a while: Wind-Up Zenmaioh!

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Ma had applied lots of pressure in this game so far and Dolce now had to come up with something. He tried to fight back with [sarco], banishing [tempestd], which in turn allowed him to add [debris] to his hand. He [ss]ed [redox] and Ma found [bth] in his back row.
Dolce then shifted gears; he added a card to each zone before ending. [a igni] took out [malevolent] in the End Phase and [a mora] got added to Ma’s back row.

The following turn, Ma [xyz]ed [dweller]; he activated the effect of [w maioh] to take out Dolce’s remaining monster and the Italian immediately saw the writing on the wall, accessing his Side Deck.

[h2]Sebastian Ma ties the score![/h2]

Both players shook hands once again before the final Duel would start.
Dolce then started with [consonance], sending [white stone] to his Graveyard, he added [bewd] to his hand and he immediately followed it up with [trade in]. Another 2 cards from his Deck and a Graveyard slightly fuller than before – exactly what the Dragon Duelist wanted. Or maybe not, since [soul charge] emptied his Graveyard, returning [bewd] and [white stone] to the field.
Both were then used to [synch] [aesd], he [ns]ed [kuribandit], he added a back row card and during the End phase, [trade in] got added to his hand while [tidal], [mtd], [tempestd] and [consonance] got added to his Graveyard.
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Ma did not feel like shifting strategies; Myrmeleo is always a great opening!
Ma did not feel like shifting strategies; Myrmeleo is always a great opening!

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[myrmeleo] allowed Ma to add [bth] to his hand. He then activated [necrovalley] (!), he set 4 back row cards and he ended.

[a sanc] in Dolce’s Draw Phase got Ma [a mora]. He used it to destroy [aesd] and it left play. Dolce then advanced to his Main Phase, where [trade in] (with [bewd]) allowed him to draw 2 cards. [shrine] was next, sending [f guard] and [redox] to his Graveyard. He went up to 2 back row cards and he passed.

Ma now Tribute Summoned [a bea]. Both monsters were used to [xyz] [w maioh]. This cost Dolce [malevolent] and [shrine]. An attack followed and Dolce was left with only 3400 Life Points.
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Necrovalley locked down the Graveyards, punishing the Dragon Duelist for relying on it so heavily!
Necrovalley locked down the Graveyards, punishing the Dragon Duelist for relying on it so heavily!

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Even outside of the Gravekeeper Deck, [necrovalley] seemed to be an excellent card. At least as long as you were up against Dragons that made heavy use of it. Dolce activated [sarco] and he went looking for [mst], but did he really have 2 more turns?! He set a monster.

Ma used [w maioh], destroying one of his own Spell or Trap cards and the set monster. He added [i hand] and attacks were supposed to follow, but [scarecrow] bought the Italian another turn.

Dolce drew and he revealed his hand – all monsters, none of which could protect him from the next set of attacks and with his Graveyard getting shut down by [necrovalley], there was nothing he could do to turn this game around.

[h2]Sebastien Ma advances to the Top 32![/h2]

An excellent Side Decking Strategy as well as his flawless play allowed Sebastien Ma to turn this match around and end up winning 2 – 1. We will see him again in the Top 32 while Mirko Dolce’s dream of becoming the European Champion had just been shattered.
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