"Playing Defense", known as "Be Revived! Yuma vs. Shark, A Healing Duel" in the Japanese version, is the eighty-fourth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL anime. It first aired in Japan on December 23, 2012 and in the United States on October 26, 2013.
After his Duel with Mizar, Yuma is injured in both body and spirit. Therefore, in order get through to him, Shark challenges him to a Duel.
After the Duel with Mizar, Astral recovers in the Emperor's Key, while Yuma recovers on a bed in the hospital. Yuma doubts himself as he has failed to protect Astral and even himself. Shark, next to Yuma, becomes concerned. Later in the morning, Kari enters her brother's room, with his friends already inside, and complains that he is irresponsible and that he needs to be more serious. Rio tells her to quiet down as Shark is resting. Kari apologizes, tells Yuma that he is lucky that his injuries aren't serious, and leaves. Bronk comments that Kari and Yuma are very different from each other. Everyone laughs but Rio quickly tells everyone to calm down, which everyone does. Bronk covers his mouth and apologizes if he woke up Shark, but Rio tells everyone that he is already awake, confusing everybody. Rio clarifies that Shark was resting, not sleeping, and that she did it so that Kari would calm down, which she did. Shark tells Rio to close the curtain because it helps him forget that he is sharing a room with a "wimp". Meanwhile, Kite views the footage from Mizar's Duel, when Hart tells Kite to visit Yuma. Kite responds that he doesn't want to. Hart then leaves to visit him, but Kite asks where he is going. Hart responds that he is doing the right thing by visiting Yuma. Orbital 7 tells "Master Kite" about the visiting hours at the hospital, which makes Hart happy, knowing that Kite will visit him. Later during the day, as Yuma is at a checkup, Shark wonders what's wrong with him. He spots Yuma's Golden Key and decides to take it. After Yuma's checkup, he reads a not he found on his bed, saying that Shark has the Golden Key and if he wanted it back, he would have to Duel him for it. The letter also says the meet Skark on the roof, and Yuma runs up there after reading the note. Shark congratulates Yuma for showing up. Yuma asks why he has taken his key. Shark responds that it doesn't matter and that if he wants it back, he has to Duel him for it and also that he won't hold back tis time. The two begin to utilize their Duel Disks and gazers and begin to Duel. In the Golden Key, Astral mutters Yuma's name.
Yuma begins first as he sets "Gogogo Golem" and ends his turn. Shark asks him if that's all he got, and Yuma responds that there is nothing wrong with playing safe. Shark calls Yuma "pathetic" and throws the key to Yuma, and adds that he is no threat without Astral. Shark starts his turn by drawing a card, then acitivates the Spell Card "Fish Spawn", summoning two "Fish Spawn Tokens" by paying 1000 life points. Sharks's Life Points fall to 3000. He Tributes them to Tribute Summon "Big Whale" in attack position. He activates it's effect, which flips all face-down monsters face-up, which reveals Gogogo Golem in Defense Position. He and lets him summon a level 4 or lower WATER Attribute monster from his hand, Special Summoning "Drill Barnacle". Shark then activates the Spell "Tri-Slice" from his hand, which allows him to summon 3 monsters as long as their levels are one-third of "Big Whale's". Shark Special Summons 3 copies of "Starfish",which all of them are level 3, by tributing "Big Whale", which is level 9. Shark overlays his two "Starfish" copies to build the Overlay Network then Xyz Summons "Submersible Carrier Aero Shark" in Attack Position, then overlays his last copy of "Starfish" and his "Drill Barnacle" to Xyz Summon "Black Ray Lancer", also in Attack Position. Yuma is surprised to face 2 Xyz Monsters at once. Shark says he isn't done yet as the area around them begins to rain. He activates "Areo Shark's" effect, dealing Yuma 400 damage for the number of cards in Shark's hand by detaching an Xyz Material. Shark declares "Torpedo Take Down", dealing 800 damage to Yuma as he has 2 cards in his hand. Yuma prepares to take cover as "Aero Shark's" missiles hit him, causing his life points to fall to 3200. Shark activates "Black Ray Lancer's" effect, negating the effects of "Gogogo Golem". He orders "Areo Shark" to attack "Gogogo Golem" and destroys him. He then orders "Black Ray Lancer" to attack Yuma directly with "Shimmering Spear Slash", causing Yuma's life points to fall to 1100. Shark end his turn, thinking he has tortured Yuma enough. Meanwhile in the Golden Key, Astral attempts to tell Yuma that if he wants to win, he cannot depend on the Defensive Strategy, while Yuma begins to doubt himself even more. Yuma realized that he has to find a way to fight two Xyz Monsters. Yuma draws and summons "Gogogo Giant" in Attack Position. Yuma knows with 2000 ATK Points, "Gogogo Giant" can destroy "Areo Shark" but not "Black Ray Lancer", as they have 1900 ATK Points and 2100 ATK Points, respectively. Yuma decides to activate the effect of "Gogogo Giant", which Special Summons "Gogogo Golem" from the graveyard in Defense Position, switching "Gogogo Giant's" position to Defense Position. Yuma activates the Continuous Spell Card "Gogogo Talisman", which prevent "Gogogo" monsters from being destroyed once per turn as long as he controls "Gogogo" monsters. Also, any effect damage inflicted to him becomes 0. Yuma ends his turn. Shark tells Yuma that he is too cautious and that he will never win a Duel, which makes Yuma lose his confidence.
Shark draws and tells Yuma that the Duel will be "Shark Infested". He Normal Summons "Panther Shark" in Attack Position, which can summoned without tributing if his opponent, Yuma, has 2 or more monsters on his side of the field, which he does. He then summons "Eagle Shark" via its effect when he controls "Panther Shark". He overlays "Panther Shark" and "Eagle Shark" to Xyz Summon "Shark Fortress", which Shark calls, "The trump card of the seas." Shark equips "Black Ray Lancer" with "Sharkify", making "Black Ray Lancer" a "Shark" monster and increasing it's attack by 300 (however, Shark says it's ATK is increased by 400 instead). "Black Ray Lancer" changes to "Black Shark Lancer". He then uses "Black Shark Lancer's" effect, negating the effects of "Gogogo Golem" again. He orders "Aero Shark" to attack "Gogogo Giant", but the effect of "Gogogo Talisman" prevents it's destruction in battle. Shark tries again. This time, "Black Shark Lancer" attacks and destroys "Gogogo Giant". He commands "Shark Fortress" to attack "Gogogo Golem", but the effect "Gogogo Talisman" activates again, preventing it's destruction in battle. Yuma is glad that he survived the attack of all 3 monsters, but Shark says he's not done yet. He activates the effect of "Shark Fortress", detaching an Xyz Material and targets "Aero Shark". As "Aero Shark" is arming itself with a missile, Shark explains that "Shark Fortress" can use Xyz Materials to target "Shark" monsters to make a second attack. "Aero Shark" attacks "Gogogo Golem" again and destroys it. Shark uses another Xyz Material from "Shark Fortress" to target "Black Shark Lancer". Skark calls Yuma a "coward" and tells him that he deserves everything that's coming to him. "Black Shark Lancer", armed with a missile, prepares to attack Yuma directly, awaiting Shark's command to launch the missile.
"Black Shark Lancer" fires the missile, while Yuma falls on his knees, realizing that he was so scared of losing that he forgot how to win. Yuma decides that Shark is right and that he needs to "Feel the Flow" again. The key begins to react and Astral appears. He says to Yuma, "I have been waiting for you to say that." Yuma regains his confidence and continues the Duel. Yuma Special Summons "Gagaga Gardna" in Attack Position and discards one card preventing its destruction in battle. Yuma's Life Points fall to 100. Shark ends his turn. Yuma starts by drawing "Magnum Shield". Astral says that they have everything they need to win the Duel. Yuma Normal Summons "Ganbara Knight" in Attack Position, then overlays level 4 "Gagaga Gardna" with level 4 "Ganbara Knight" to Xyz Summon "Heroic Champion - Excalibur" in Attack Position. Shark is impressed that Yuma has regained his confidence. Yuma equips "Excalibur" with "Magnum Shield", increasing it's ATK Points with the amount of DEF Points, summing up it's ATK Points to 4000. Sharks says that's still not enough to win the Duel. However, Yuma activates the effect of "Excalibur", detaching all of it's Xyz Materials to double the ATK Points to 8000. "Excalibur" attacks "Shark Fortress" with "Shock Sword Slash", with "Shark Fortress" cracking with small explosions at first, but eventually completely destroys it with a huge explosion. Shark falls back thinking he has accomplished his mission as his Life Points fall to 0. The rain stops and emits a rainbow. Yuma takes off his Duel Gazer and asks Shark if he is alright. Astral thanks Shark for helping Yuma regain his confidence. Shark responds that he only did it because he wanted Yuma to stop being a "wimp". Yuma argues that his act was selfless while Astral makes his 22nd observation: "People express their freindship in many ways." While making his observation, he spots Kite and Hart on the roof of another building. The episode ends when Yuma mentions something about "polyester".
Featured Duel: Yuma Tsukumo vs. Reginald "Shark" Kastle
Turn 4: Shark
As Yuma controls two monsters, Shark Normal Summons the Level 5 "Panther Shark" (1100/2000) without Tribute via its effect. As he controls a face-up "Panther Shark", he Special Summons "Eagle Shark" (1000/1800) from his hand via its own effect. He then overlays his two Level 5 monsters to Xyz Summon "Shark Fortress" (2400/1800) in Attack Position, using one less Overlay Unit than required as he controls an Xyz Monster. Shark equips "Black Ray Lancer" with "Sharkify", letting him treat it as a "Shark" monster and increase its ATK by 400 (2100 → 2500/600)[Notes 1]. He then detaches an Overlay Unit to activate the effect of "Black Ray Lancer", negating the effects of "Gogogo Golem" until the End Phase. "Aero Shark" attacks "Gogogo Giant", with the effect of "Gogogo Talisman" preventing its destruction by battle. "Black Ray Lancer" attacks and destroys "Gogogo Giant". Shark attacks "Gogogo Golem" with "Shark Fortress", with the effect of "Gogogo Talisman" prevents its destruction by battle. Shark activates the effect of "Shark Fortress", by detaching an Overlay Unit he can target 1 "Shark" monster he controls that has attacked this turn, that monster can attack once again. Shark first targets "Aero Shark". "Aero Shark" attacks and destroys "Gogogo Golem". Since Yuma controls no "Gogogo" monsters, "Gogogo Talisman" is destroyed via its own effect. Shark activates the effect of "Shark Fortress" again, detaching an Overlay Unit to allow "Black Ray Lancer" equipped with "Sharkify" to attack again. "Black Ray Lancer" attacks directly, but Yuma activates the effect of the "Gagaga Gardna" (1500/2000) in his hand, Special Summoning it in Attack Position as he is about to be attacked directly. Yuma uses the other effect of "Gagaga Gardna", discarding a card to prevent its destruction by battle (Yuma 1100 → 100).
Turn 5: Yuma
Yuma draws "Magnum Shield" and Normal Summons "Ganbara Knight" (0/1800). Yuma overlays his two Level 4 Warrior-Type monsters to Xyz Summon "Heroic Champion - Excalibur" (2000/2000) in Attack Position. He then equips it with "Magnum Shield" which allows it to gain ATK equal to its DEF since its in Attack Position (2000 → 4000). Yuma activates the effect of "Excalibur", detaching all of its Overlay Units to double its ATK (4000 → 8000) until the End Phase[Notes 2]. "Excalibur" attacks and destroys "Shark Fortress" (Shark 3000 → 0).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.