"Lightning Storm", known as "The AI that Crossed the Line" in the Japanese version, is the ninety-eighth episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It aired in Japan on April 17, 2019. It aired in English on Teletoon on December 20, 2020.
Lightning uses Jin as a hostage to rattle Varis. However, Bohman, who is very disappointed in Lightning's actions, decides to step in. Now that his hostage-taking tactic has failed, Lightning reveals a shocking truth about Dr. Kogami to Varis, who is already heavily wounded. And then, their fierce Duel finally reaches its conclusion...!!
As Varis hesitates to attack, Ai angrily calls out to Lightning's dirty tactics. Lightning instead tells Ai that he is educating the latter on how to make use of hostages, saying that his decision to keep Jin around was worth it in addition to reminding Varis that Specter's data is also linked to himself, so if he goes through with the attack, he'll essentially be killing both. Lightning then boasts to Varis, saying that this is the appropriate way to make use of weaklings, even mocking Varis, stating that he was perfectly fine with having many innocent victims back when he created the Tower of Hanoi.
Varis then steels himself, almost declaring his attack before Playmaker tells him to stop. Playmaker reasoned that if Varis goes through, he would regress back. Varis then said that he is prepared to make the sacrifices just as Cal Kolter did as Playmaker said that Jin was traumatised before and this may result in another Lost Incident. Lightning then laughs at the situation, saying that Playmaker, his enemy is now trying to save him while Playmaker denies it, saying that he was saving Jin. Lightning agrees to it, saying that Jin's loss will be extremely tragic.
Lightning then confessed that back during the Hanoi Project, he would torture Jin by constantly giving him a false hope that help has come to him before subverting it, and even prided himself that he completely broke Jin as a result of it. Disgusted, Varis said that Lightning is an evil program that needs to be purged from this world. Lightning then said that if he wants to, he can do so now, quoting Varis that despite claiming him spineless, he can't stop him if lives are at stake. Varis then ends his turn by setting a card.
Lightning then laughs at Varis' hesitation as the 3 lieutenants of the Knights of Hanoi also lamented that the old Varis would not have hesitated as well, regretting how they have created a monster in Lightning. Bohman, unable to tolerate Lightning's dirty tactics and is disappointed in the Ignis, lamenting how Lightning caused Flame's death through Windy's curse and partially ruined his duel with Soulburner. Bohman forces Lightning to win the duel on fair terms, absorbing Jin and Specter's data into him. Although Lightning wanted to reject the action, Bohman said that he has evolved to a point where Lightning can no longer stop him. Angered, Lightning said that he will just have to destroy Varis by dueling.
As Lightning once again managed to summon his ace monster, "Armatos Legio Magnus Dux", he decides to tell Varis what really happened to Kiyoshi Kogami before destroying Varis. It turns out that Lightning found out that Dr. Kogami was doing research on the simulations between humans and Ignis and in order to hide his malice, Lightning created a virus that placed Dr. Kogami into a coma, making the latter believe that it was SOL Technologies who did it, shocking and angering Varis while the Lieutenants lament that they should have been targeting Lightning from the start. Lightning then said that thanks to this, he had plenty of time to perfect and fine tune Bohman.
However, Varis managed to evade from being defeated and managed to set up a counter attack, replaying his Borreload Dragons. Lightning, adamant on his refusal to lose, begins a combo that would inflict 3000 damage to both players.
Varis's LP is reduced to zero. As Varis slowly gets converted into data, he reminiscences on his childhood, and entrusts the future to Playmaker and Ai. However, Lightning was revealed to have barely survived, with 1 LP remaining, but is greatly weakened. Bohman realized that Lightning converted a part of Jin's data into extra LP. Lightning replies that he will do anything to win and that it's his mission to do so. He says he'll give Bohman everything and begs for mercy, while Bohman says that, despite the chaos he caused with his wicked ideas, Lightning's determination to live on is proof of his human nature and accepts Lightning.
As Bohman completes his absorption of Lightning, thereby having total control of the 5 different attributes, he tells Playmaker that he has finally finished his training and challenges him to a duel.
Featured Duel: Varis vs. Lightning
Turn 5: Lightning
Lightning Normal Summons "Armatos Legio Sica" (0/400). Lightning uses "Sica" to Link Summon "Armatos Legio Decurion". Lightning then activates "Armatos Fulgur", letting him tribute 1 "Armatos Legio" Link Monster to Special Summon another Link Monster with equal Link Rating from his Extra Deck with a different name, but while that monster is face-up Lightning cannot Link Summon. Lightning tributes "Decurion" and Special Summons "Armatos Legio Eques Flamma" (800/LINK-1/←). Lightning then activates the effect of "Armatos Legio Plumbum Trident" as it is in the Spell/Trap Zone, letting him return 1 Link Monster from his GY to his Extra Deck and then Special Summon 1 "Armatos Legio" Link Monster from the GY to a zone "Plumbum Trident" points to. Lightning returns "Decurion" to his Extra Deck and Special Summons "Armatos Legio Magnus Dux" to the Top-Right Zone that "Plumbum Trident" points to.
"Magnus Dux" then attacks "Borreload eXcharge Dragon", but Varis activates the effect of "Borreload Dragon", targeting "Magnus Dux" and reducing its ATK/DEF by 500 with Lightning being unable to activate card effects in response ("Magnus Dux": 3000 → 2500 ATK). Varis also activates his set "Borrel Ring", tributing a "Borrel" Link Monster and placing counters on the card equal to the tributed monster's Link Rating. Varis Tributes "Borreload Dragon" and places 4 counters on "Borrel Ring". As his monster was attacked, Varis then activates the effect of "Borrel Ring" by removing 1 counter from it, preventing that monster from being destroyed by battle and reducing the ATK of the attacking monster by 100 for each counter on "Borrel Ring" until the End Phase ("Magnus Dux": 2500 → 2200 ATK). Lightning activates the effect of "Judgment Arrows", doubling the current ATK of "Magnus Dux" during damage calculation only ("Magnus Dux": 2200 → 4400 ATK). The attack continues, but "eXcharge Dragon" is not destroyed due to the effect of "Borrel Ring" (Varis: 2000 → 600 LP).
Turn 6: Varis
Varis activates the effect of "Borreload eXcharge Dragon", detaching 1 Xyz Material to target "Magnus Dux", reduce its ATK/DEF by 600 ("Magnus Dux": 2500 → 1900 ATK) and Special Summon "Borreload Dragon" from his GY to his field, but for the rest of the turn Varis cannot Special Summon or attack directly. Varis activates the effect of "Borreload Dragon", targeting "Magnus Dux" and reducing its ATK/DEF by 500 with Lightning being unable to activate card effects in response ("Magnus Dux": 1900 → 1400 ATK).
"Borreload eXcharge Dragon" attacks "Magnus Dux", but Lightning activates the effect of "Magnus Dux", targeting cards on the field or GY up to the number of monsters co-linked to it and returning them to the hand. "Magnus Dux" is co-linked to "Eques Flamma", so he targets "Armatos Gloria" and returns it to his hand. Because "Armatos Gloria" was targeted by a card or effect, its effect destroys all monsters Lightning controls. Lightning then activates the effect of "Eques Flamma" as it was destroyed by a card effect while it was co-linked, letting him target the monster it was co-linked to and have both players take damage equal to its original ATK. Lightning targets "Magnus Dux", which would deal 3000 damage to both players.
At this point, Lightning converts the last of Jin's consciousness data into LP before he takes the damage (Varis: 600 → 0 LP; Lightning: 1500 → 1 LP).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.