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"Choosing Sides", known as AI's Longing" in the original version is the sixty-seventh episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It aired in Japan on September 5, 2018. It will air on Teletoon on January 26, 2020.

The Earth Ignis learned about the situation regarding the Cyberse World from the Water Ignis. In order to test humanity, the Earth Ignis challenges Playmaker to a match. Due to the "G-Golem" monster's attack, Playmaker is caught in a pinch. However, despite all the odds, Playmaker refuses to give in, betting it all on one move!

Summary

Earth remembers the last time he met Aqua. He met her at her domain, and listened as Aqua wanted to tell Earth something. Earth initially panicked at what Aqua what trying to say. But instead of what Earth expected, Aqua said that the Cyberse was going to split. Aqua said there were those who believed the Ignis could coexist with humans, and there were those who believed otherwise. Aqua believed time was running out for her and Earth to choose a side. When Earth claimed he would join whichever side Aqua joined, Aqua refused to tell Earth, saying that it's a decision he had to make by himself. Nevertheless, Aqua offered something to Earth, in order to help him decide. It was a crystal heart. Aqua wanted Earth to go and see what the humans were like, before making his decision, because it is a decision that would affect the future of all the Ignis. Aqua also admitted that she would miss Earth.

Meanwhile, the duel between Playmaker and Earth continues. On Playmaker's next turn, he Fusion Summons "Cyberse Clock Dragon", to Earth's surprise. Playmaker makes a move that he believes will end the duel, however, Earth reveals that "G Golem Invalid Dolmen" can redirect attacks to itself, thus keeping Earth in the duel. Playmaker notes that Earth seems to be dedicating his whole deck to protecting "G Golem Crystal Heart". When Ai wonders why, he suddenly remembers something from his past. Ai was riding the data stream on Linkuriboh, learning how to "fish". He saw a whale inside the actual stream and had Linkuriboh dive towards it, only to be told by Aqua that there were no fish. Ai was then swept towards the edge of a waterfall without knowing, causing Aqua to panic. Ai screamed as he fell, but hung on to a sideways branch along with Linkuriboh. Aqua took them back up and scolded them for making her worried. Earth had been snooping in the conversation from behind a tree. Afterwards, Ai walked with his hands holding the back of his head, only for Earth to jump out in front of him, commanding him not to break Aqua's heart, twice.

Playmaker is therefore proven right, Earth would do everything it takes to prevent "Crystal Heart" from being destroyed. Earth's turn progresses with Playmaker down to 100 Life Points and warning Playmaker that his luck will run out. Earth also sees Ai argue with Playmaker and makes the same observation that Specter did. He decides to put Playmaker and Ai's bond to the test, by using "Crystal Heart's" effect to allow "Invalid Dolmen" to attack again. When Playmaker survives by activating "Spool Code", Earth claims to be impressed, but is also puzzled that Playmaker is dueling all by himself while Ai "is just being Ai". Playmaker asks if it's worth Ai being proud about what Earth says he is, then tells Earth directly that he teams up with Ai because Ai is helpful for gathering information, Ai shares a mutual enemy with Jin and himself, and most importantly, Ai chose to be with him, and he will not abandon those who do not abandon him. Ai claims to be proud of what Playmaker said, only for Playmaker to ignore Ai, and begin his turn.

Earth wonders why his opponent is still confident. When Playmaker attempts to bounce "Invalid Dolmen" with the effect of "Security Dragon", said effect bounces off "Invalid Dolmen's" arm-shields, allowing Earth to claim that the duel is as good as over. However, Earth gets worried upon seeing Playmaker re-summon "Cyberse Clock Dragon" with "Clock Lizard's" effect. Earth then plays an effect which leaves "Crystal Heart" wide open to an attack, and Playmaker exploits this. Earth was prepared for this, however, forcing a replay by activating a trap that revives "Invalid Dolmen" for a third time. He points at Playmaker and warns that Earth will not stand for the breaking of "Crystal Heart".

Playmaker uses a different approach: "Clock Lizard's" effect to reduce "Invalid Dolmen's" ATK to 0. As a result, he wins the duel without attacking Earth's precious treasure. Earth is knocked off his tree, and the surroundings revert to their wasteland setting. Playmaker walks up to Earth, ignoring another comment from Ai, and demands for what he knows about Bohman. Earth says he knows nothing about Bohman because he has never heard of Bohman before. Ai yells at Earth, accusing him of wasting their time. Earth's excuse? He's socially awkward. Earth bids farewell to Playmaker and Ai, placing them back in the area of LINK VRAINS where they met. While Ai continues to rant, Playmaker thinks to himself about what Earth said, and wonders why he's worried. Earth, meanwhile, admits to Aqua that humans are interesting, but he's still indecisive.

Featured Duel: Playmaker vs. Earth

Duel continues from the previous episode.

Turn 4: Earth
Earth activates the effect of "G Golem Crystal Heart", Special Summoning an EARTH Link Monster from his GY to his field so it is co-linked to "Crystal Heart", then placing a G Golem Counter on "Crystal Heart". He Special Summons "G Golem Invalid Dolmen" to the zone the bottom-center Link Arrow of "Crystal Heart" points to ("Crystal Heart": 0 → 1 G Golem Counter). The effect of "Crystal Heart" increases the ATK of all EARTH monsters it points to by 600 for each G Golem Counter on it ("Invalid Dolmen": 2800 → 3400 ATK). "Invalid Dolmen" attacks and destroys "Zombie Prosaber" (Playmaker: 3400 → 1600 LP).

Turn 5: Playmaker
Playmaker Normal Summons "Clock Wyvern" (1800/1000). As "Clock Wyvern" was Normal or Special Summoned, Playmaker activates its effect, halving its ATK and Special Summoning a "Clock Token" (0/0). Playmaker uses the "Clock Token" to Link Summon "Linkuriboh" (300/↓) to the Extra Monster Zone. Playmaker activates the Spell Card "Link Back", moving a Link Monster in the Extra Monster Zone to a Main Monster Zone it points to, then sending a card from the top of his Deck to the GY equal to the Link Rating of that monster. He moves the LINK-1 "Linkuriboh" to the zone its bottom-center Link Arrow pointed to, then sends the top card of his Deck ("Flick Clown") to the GY. Playmaker activates the Spell Card "Cynet Fusion", Fusion Summoning a Cyberse Fusion monster from his Extra Deck, using monsters from his hand or field as Fusion Material. As Playmaker controls no monsters in the Extra Monster Zone, he can banish a Cyberse Link Monster from his GY as Fusion Material. He fuses "Clock Wyvern" and "Linkuriboh" from his field and banishes "Zombie Prosaber" from his GY to Fusion Summon "Cyberse Clock Dragon" (2500/2000) to the Extra Monster Zone.

As "Cyberse Clock Dragon" was Fusion Summoned, Playmaker activates its effect, sending cards from the top of his Deck to the GY equal to the combined Link Ratings of the materials used for its Fusion Summon, and until the end of the next turn, it gains 1000 ATK for each card sent to the GY by this effect but Playmaker's other monsters cannot attack. The combined Link Ratings of the LINK-1 "Linkuriboh" and LINK-1 "Zombie Prosaber" are two, so Playmaker sends the top two cards of his Deck ("Cyberse Wizard" and "Linkslayer") to the GY ("Cyberse Clock Dragon": 2500 → 4500 ATK).

"Cyberse Clock Dragon" attacks "Crystal Heart". The effect of "Invalid Dolmen" forces monsters Playmaker controls to attack it, if able, so "Cyberse Clock Dragon" attacks and destroys "Invalid Dolmen" (Earth: 4000 → 2900 LP). As "Invalid Dolmen" was destroyed, Earth activates its effect, negating the effects of all face-up cards Playmaker controls. The effects of "Cyberse Clock Dragon" are negated ("Cyberse Clock Dragon": 4500 → 2500 ATK).

Turn 6: Earth
Earth activates the effect of "Crystal Heart", Special Summoning "Invalid Dolmen" from his GY to the zone its bottom-center Link Arrow points to, then placing a G Golem Counter on "Crystal Heart" ("Crystal Heart": 1 → 2 G Golem Counters) ("Invalid Dolmen": 2800 → 4000 ATK). "Invalid Dolmen" attacks and destroys "Cyberse Clock Dragon" (Playmaker: 1600 → 100 LP). As "Crystal Heart" has two or more G Golem Counters, its effect allows monsters co-linked to it to attack twice during each Battle Phase this turn. "Invalid Dolmen" attacks Playmaker directly. As Earth's monster attacked directly while Playmaker has three or more Cyberse monsters in his GY, he activates his face-down Quick-Play Spell Card "Spool Code", negating the attack and Special Summoning up to three "Spool Tokens" (0/0) in Defense Position, but they cannot be Tributed for a Tribute Summon. Earth Sets two cards.

Turn 7: Playmaker
Playmaker uses two "Spool Tokens" to Link Summon "Clock Lizard" (1200/LINK-2/↙↓). Playmaker uses a "Spool Token" to Link Summon "Link Devotee" (500/LINK-1/↑) to the zone the bottom-center Link Arrow of "Clock Lizard" points to. As "Link Devotee" was Special Summoned, its effect activates, preventing Playmaker from Link Summoning LINK-3 or higher Link Monsters. Playmaker activates the Continuous Spell Card "Link Drive", and activates its effect, Tributing a Link Monster he controls, then inflicting damage to Earth equal to that monster's Link Rating times 500. He Tributes the LINK-1 "Link Devotee" (Earth: 2900 → 2400 LP). As the co-linked "Link Devotee" was Tributed, Playmaker activates its effect, Special Summoning two "Link Tokens" (0/0). Playmaker uses two "Link Tokens" to Link Summon "Security Dragon" (1100/LINK-2/↑↓) to the zone the bottom-center Link Arrow of "Clock Lizard" points to. As "Security Dragon" is co-linked, Playmaker activates its effect, returning a monster Earth controls to the hand. Playmaker targets "Invalid Dolmen", however the effect of "Invalid Dolmen" makes co-linked monsters Earth control become unaffected by the effects of monsters Playmaker controls.

Playmaker activates the effect of "Clock Lizard", Tributing it to return a Fusion Monster from his GY to his Extra Deck, then Fusion Summoning that monster by banishing monsters from his GY as Fusion Materials. He returns "Cyberse Clock Dragon" to his Extra Deck, then banishes "Clock Wyvern", "Clock Lizard", "Linkuriboh", and "Link Devotee" to Fusion Summon "Cyberse Clock Dragon" (2500/2000) to the Extra Monster Zone. As "Cyberse Clock Dragon" was Fusion Summoned, Playmaker activates its effect, sending cards from the top of his Deck to the GY equal to the combined Link Ratings of the materials used for its Fusion Summon, and until the end of the next turn, it gains 1000 ATK for each card sent to the GY by this effect but Playmaker's other monsters cannot attack. The combined Link Ratings of the LINK-2 "Clock Lizard", LINK-1 "Linkuriboh" and LINK-1 "Link Devotee" are four, so Playmaker sends the top four cards of his Deck ("RAM Clouder", "Launcher Commander", "Digitron", and "Backup Secretary") to the GY ("Cyberse Clock Dragon": 2500 → 6500 ATK).

Earth activates his face-down Trap Card "Gravity Fluctuation", destroying an EARTH monster he controls, then Playmaker destroys a monster he controls with ATK less than or equal to Earth's destroyed monster's ATK. Earth destroys "Invalid Dolmen" and Playmaker destroys "Security Dragon". As "Invalid Dolmen" was destroyed, Earth activates its effect, negating the effects of all face-up cards Playmaker controls. The effects of "Cyberse Clock Dragon" are negated ("Cyberse Clock Dragon": 6500 → 2500 ATK).

"Cyberse Clock Dragon" attacks "Crystal Heart". Earth activates his face-down Trap Card "Love Gravity", Special Summoning an EARTH Link Monster from his GY to his zone a Link Monster points to. He Special Summons "Invalid Dolmen" to the zone the bottom-center Link Arrow of "Crystal Heart" points to ("Invalid Dolmen": 2800 → 4000 ATK). As "Clock Lizard" was banished this turn, its effect reduces the ATK of all monsters Special Summoned to Earth's field by 400 for each Cyberse monster in Playmaker's GY until the end of this turn. There are ten monsters in the GY, so "Invalid Dolmen" loses 4000 ATK ("Invalid Dolmen": 4000 → 0 ATK).

"Cyberse Clock Dragon" attacks and destroys "Invalid Dolmen" (Earth: 2400 → 0 LP).

Featured cards

The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.

Playmaker (Yusaku Fujiki)
Earth
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