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Grand Prix Shanghai
Day 2 Coverage

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Day 1 Undefeated Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff


Wu Nan (9-0)
Grand Prix Shanghai 2012 - Day 1 Undefeated




 

Sunday, 11:31 a.m. Quick Questions: M13 card has the greatest impact in Standard?

by Chapman Sim and Pip Foweraker


Shuhei Nakamura: "Cathedral of War"
Shouta Yasooka: "Rancor"



Everone else (Kuo Tzu Ching, Ken Yukuhiro, Tiago Chan, Yuuya Watanabe, Huang Hao-shan, Lv Jiachong, Zhang Mengqiu): "Thragtusk!"



 

Sunday, 11:55 a.m. - Grand Prix Shanghai Draft 1: Huang Hao-Shan

by Chapman Sim


Two-time Grand Prix Top 8 competitor Huang Hao-shan has been a fixture on the circuit for a couple of years now and his accomplishments are enviable. Currently at Gold Level, he hopes that he would be able to renew (or upgrade) his membership for the coming year.

Huang Hao-Shan shows off his wares

Despite taking a loss in the Featured Match to his fellow countryman (Kuo Tzu Ching) Huang Hao-shan has managed to enter day two in 15th seed, with a comfortable 8-1 record thus far. He would need to rattle off four wins to secure a berth in the Top 8. The M13 draft format is still in its infancy (by the way, M13 events have started on Magic Online), and I thought it would be a great time to learn from one of the top players in the region.

Booster One

Huang started decently well, but good things never seem to last. He had the choice of Silklash Spider, Rancor and Cower in Fear from a relatively weak pack and his next pack presented him with Mwonvuli Beast Tracker, perfect for tutoring up the bomb he had just picked. However, green started to dry up and there was no clear secondary color to dip into. At this juncture, Huang's draft seemed like a fiasco, and he was eager to rip open his next booster to try and pick up the pieces.

The two best cards from a pitiable first booster.

  Huang's pick Other possible picks
1 Silklash Spider Rancor, Cower in Fear
2 Mwonvuli Beast Tracker Stormtide Leviathan, Primal Huntbeast
3 Spiked Baloth Bladetusk Boar
4 Ravenous Rats Evolving Wilds, Sign in Blood
5 Faerie Invaders Guardians of Akrasa, War Priest of Thune
6 Primal Clay Vedalken Entrancer, Battleflight Eagle
7 Naturalize Vastwood Gorger, Chandra's Fury
8 Plummet Fungal Sprouting
9 Ranger's Path Tormented Soul
10 Bloodthrone Vampire Fire Elemental, Safe Passage
11 Goblin Battle Jester  
12 Pillarfield Ox Smelt
13 Serpent's Gift  
14 Angel's Mercy  

Booster Two

Currently solidified in green but having no secondary color, Huang had to be content with a couple of powerful cards, but he was still lacking in the creature department. Presumptively, he was looking out for cards like Centaur Courser, Canyon Minotaur or Sentinel Spider, but they were nowhere to be seen. He had to be happy with Arms Dealer, Primordial Hydra and then Akroma's Memorial. Despite picking up some good cards really late, it looked as if Huang's deck was awkward at best, an indication that he had some sort of red green control deck, capable of splashing a third color.

Late game bombs could prove crucial in Huang's deck.

  Huang's pick Other possible picks
1 Arms Dealer Chandra's Fury, Crippling Blight
2 Primordial Hydra Deadly Recluse
3 Akroma's Memorial Arbor Elf, Kitesail, Divination
4 Farseek Arbor Elf, Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
5 Goblin Arsonist  
6 Mark of Mutiny Kindled Fury, Smelt
7 Flinthoof Boar  
8 Jace's Phantasm Scroll Thief, Safe Passage
9 Gilded Lotus Tricks of the Trade
10 Safe Passage Rewind, Smelt
11 Evolving Wilds Revive
12 Wild Guess Vastwood Gorger
13 Harbor Serpent  
14 Bountiful Harvest  

Booster Three

The final booster was not entirely action-packed, but Huang managed to fill in the missing nooks of his deck, including double Elvish Visionary (which would serve to smooth out his draws) and his second Farseek and Evolving Wilds to improve his already excellent manabase. Huang eventually decided to get a little greedy and splash Faerie Invaders.

Filling out the curve, smoothing the mana and fine-tuning the final product!

  Huang's pick Other possible picks
1 Centaur Courser Bladetusk Boar, Yeva's Forcemage
2 Elvish Visionary  
3 Flames of the Firebrand Fire Elemental, Faerie Invaders, Farseek
4 Torch Fiend Essence Scatter, Switcheroo, Plummet
5 Elvish Visionary Evolving Wilds
6 Fire Elemental Naturalize, Krenko's Command
7 Cleaver Riot Krenko's Command
8 Evolving Wilds  
9 Vampire Nocturnus Reckless Brute, Trumpet Blast
10 Volcanic Strength  
11 Farseek Fire Elemental
12 Reverberate  
13 Smelt  
14 Zombie Goliath  

His deck has the potential for the aggressive draw, but if that doesn't work out, he can play defensively and win with his Akroma's Memorial or Primordial Hydra. All in all, he is pretty happy with his deck although he laments that an additional quality creature and probably one Searing Spear would make him really happy. He expects to go at least 2-1 at this table, and feels that 3-0 is a little out of reach. We wish him the best of luck in his endeavors today, and thereafter!

Huang Hao-shan




 

Round 10 Feature Match - Hu Nan vs. Han Bing

by Chapman Sim


Both players had impressive sealed decks yesterday and have played marvellously attain the pristine 9-0 record. Hu Nan has travelled to Shanghai from Beijing, while Han Bing's hometown was He Bei. Both players chatted amiably about the state of the draft, while wondering what colors each other were in in this brief cat-and-mouse game. (On the topic of animals, if Hu had been playing with Warclamp Mastiff, I would not hestitate to unleash upon you a "Hu let the dogs out" joke.)

They seemed to be relatively pleased with their respective arsenals, and proceeded with die-rolling and well-wishing.

Game One

Han may have lost the die roll but he was the aggressor, leading with Jace's Phantasm and Void Stalker. Wu did nothing until turn four and summoned Primal Clay with flying, stopping both his opponent's creatures temporarily.

Han was happy to play the waiting game, and simply resolved Sands of Delirium, opting to bide his time until Jace's Phantasm could swell to dragon-like proportions. Using Talrand's Invocation, Clone and Faerie Invaders, he was able to defend against his opponent's Shimian Specter and Liliana's Shade, until Sands of Delirium eventually milled Hu's library into oblivion.

Han Bing wins Game One.

Han Bing

Game Two

Hu began the game with Ravenous Rats, Servant of Nefarox and Liliana's Specter. Ravenous Rats snuck in for two damage, then Servant of Nefarox charged in for four, followed by an additional four from Lilliana's Specter. This series of attacks reduced Han to just ten life in a matter of three combat steps.

Unfortunately, his creatures were severely outclassed, could only supply "inferior" counterparts in the form of Wind Drake and Scroll Thief, incapable of putting up any form of defense other than being sacrificial speedbumps. Eventually, an unblocked Liliana's Shade grew to 10/10 (thanks to five Swamp activations and Titanic Growth), spelling Han's demise.

Hu Nan wins Game Two, evening out the score.

Hu Nan

Game Three

Hu's offense within the first five turns comprised of only Tormented Soul but it was enhanced by Mark of the Vampire, turning it into a racing machine.

Han took the time to assemble a synergistic army, including Knight of Infamy, Harbour Serpent and most importantly, Court Provocateur. Using this wizard, he was able to force any of Hu's creatures to block the potentially 4/4 Harbor Serpent, including a freshly summoned Liliana's Shade.

Despite having a strong board presence, he still couldn't outrace the 3/3 unblockable lifelinking creature and was reduced to a mere 7 life. Hu was merely feigning weakness though, as he proceeded to gain sixteen life on the next turn, upsetting all the combat math which Han had meticulously been calculating.

Using Titanic Growth on Tormented Soul, he reduced Han to three life (while gaining seven life), and then used Prey Upon after combat (gaining another seven) and finally dropping Bloodhunter Bat to reduce Han to just one life. Unable to deal with both evasive creatures, Han extended the hand graciously.

Hu Nan wins Game Three, causing an upset and goes 10-0!




 

Sunday, 12:23 p.m. - Grand Prix Shanghai Draft 1: Shouta Yasooka

by Pip Foweraker


The familiar silhouette of Vampire Nighthawk greeted long-time pro Shouta Yasooka as he scanned through his first pack of M13 for the draft. With nothing else leaping out, his first pick was an easy one. A Crimson Muckwader pushed Yasooka down a synergistic path, but his next few picks were all solid Blue cards – a Welkin Tern, Faerie Invaders, and a pair of Scroll Thieves followed in rapid order. Mid-pack, Yasooka hoovered up a Cower in Fear, a Disentomb, and some random filler, with nothing coming to push him out of a slow progression down a U/B Skies path.

Shouta Yasooka

Pack 2 was a little disappointing in terms of opening power, with Yasooka eventually settling on a Giant Scorpion. A second Archaeomancer and a Bloodhunter Bat filled out Yasooka's curve, but he still lacked any good instants or sorceries to take advantage of the powerful Wizard. Pack 2 continued to serve up solid mid-range creatures, with another Welkin Turn, a Wind Drake, and another Scroll Thief. Removal was light on the ground, with an Encrust being the only option Yasooka was given.

The final booster yielded another Bloodhunter Bat and, finally, an Essence Drain. Yasooka switched gears and started to work on upgrading his creatures, picking a Dark Favor over other worthwhile cards. A late Essence Scatter helped round out the deck, and a Kraken Hatchling would help Yasooka clog up the ground while his fliers went to town.

During construction, Yasooka was stoic, but not confident of victory. His deck was solid but lacked removal or any game-swinging bombs, and he had passed enough gas in other colours to know that were would be some quality opposition arrayed against him. He decided to not run the second Archaeomancer, instead opting for a Disentomb to lower his curve.




 

Round 11 Feature Match - Shouta Yasooka vs. Yen-Chon Chen

by Pip Foweraker


Game 1

Chen led play with an Ajani's Sunstriker, which Yasooka Essence Scattered. A Welkin Tern from Yasooka was met by an Elvish Visionary from Chen. Yasooka began his aerial assault, but didn't have a third land to follow up with. Chen summoned a Primal Huntbeast. Yasooka had a Kraken Hatchling to block, so Chen's attack with his team was a mere nibble for 1.

Unfortunately for Yasooka, Chen's post-combat Serra Angel disdained the Kraken entirely. Yasooka found his third land and summoned a Servant of Nefarox. Chen had a Divine Favor for his Primal Huntbeast and attacked, following up with a Sentinel Spider. Yasooka's Welkin Tern looked a little forlorn as the army rumbled in, the Kraken waving its terrified tentacles before Yasooka scooped up his cards.

Yen-Chon Chen 1 – Shouta Yasooka 0

If you were a Kraken Hatchling, this guy's army would be beating you up, right now.

Game 2

Yasooka began game 2 with a Welkin Tern, while Chen had his Ajani's Sunstriker once more. Yasooka cleared out Chen's hand with a Mind Rot. Chen summoned a Chronomaton and attacked. A Duskmantle Stalker stared down a Primal Huntbeast as both players developed their boards.

Chen attacked, and Yasooka had a Cower in Fear letting him kill the Sunstriker. Chen tried for a Griffin Protector, but Yasooka Essence Scattered it. Post-combat, Yasooka summoned a Scroll Thief, and Chen had a Captain's Call to net himself some Soldier tokens.

Yasooka continued his relentless assault with his Welkin Tern, then used an Essence Drain to speed up the race against his opponent's ground creatures. Chen found some removal for the troublesome Tern, but Yasooka had been sandbagging a Disentomb and was able to reanimate it, survive an alpha strike, and swing with the plucky bird for victory.

Shouta Yasooka 1 – Yen-Chon Chen 1

Yasooka's fortunes take a Tern for the better.

Game 3

The final game of the match was surprisingly one-sided. Yasooka powered ahead by Essence Scattering Chen's threats, then gaining relentless card advantage off a pair of Archaeomancers and a Scroll Thief, meaning Yasooka was able to recur his creatures with a Disentomb and pre-emptively prevent Chen from laying any solid threats. Chen tried his best to mount an assault, but Yasooka's ability to apply pressure at precise points proved too much.

Shouta Yasooka 2 – Yen-Chon Chen 1




 

Round 12 Feature Match - Li Bo vs. Makihito Mihara

by Chapman Sim


It's not every day we get a match between two World Champions, so I have learnt that we should cherish such occasions. When the pairings went up, it seemed only natural that Li Bo and Makihito Mihara would have to converge in the Featured Match area.

Li Bo was part of the three-person team which won the team portion of the World Championships in 2009. Amiable and chatty, he is also an important figurehead within the Chinese gaming community. His opponent, Makihito Mihara, will never be forgotten as the 2006 World Champion, where he rode Dragonstorm to victory. He has also four Grand Prix Top 8s to his name, and was aiming to increase that particular statistic to five.

Both players had won their first two matches of the day, which meant that the victor here would be undefeated for their first pod, and remain in contention for the Top 8.

Game One

This three-minute match made me feel like we were back to the Coldsnap days, where some strategies involved picking duplicates of cards voraciously. Cards like Krovikan Mist and Surging Flame become exponentially stronger as the number of copies in your deck increased.

Mihara was able to put up a defense with Fog Bank and Wall of Fire, but that was no match for Li's QUADRUPLE Timberpack Wolf by turn five.

Li had Plummet to press the advantage and Mihara soon succumbed to an army of monstrous howl-packs. Mihara was visibly affected, but still managed to let out a chuckle of mixed emotion, possibly consisting of bewilderment and slight amusement.

Li Bo wins Game One, brutally.

Makihito Mihara wonders what he can do to a bunch of 5/5s which cost 1G!

Game Two

Mihara's "Grixis" control deck seemed be working for him relatively smoothly this time round. He used Searing Spear to kill an opposing Centaur Courser, which allowed Scroll Thief to nab him a card.

Furnace Dragon and Wind Drake prompted Li to mutter "so many fliers" under his breath, but at least he had Liliana's Shade and Prey Upon rid himself of the firebreathing dragon, while still holding Plummet.

Encrust ensured that the shade would not be a problem in future, and Mihara tried to race with Mark of the Vampire on Scroll Thief. Li Bo was unfazed, and used Acidic Slime to rid the opposing enchantment, but Mihara was ready with another copy. Despite the extra cards and life, he was unable to keep up with a couple of Timberpack Wolves ripping his limbs apart.

Bloodhunter Bat put Mihara down to just two life, and Li wasted no time slapping Rancor on it. Li was ready with Public Execution to ensure that he was ready for whichever defender Mihara could possibly muster.

Li Bo and his pack of wolves propel him to victory!

Li Bo defeats Makihito Mihara and is now 10-2!




 

Sunday, 1:33 p.m. - Presenting Team China!

by Chapman Sim


China is gradually becoming a significant Magic nation, and we are starting to feel her increased presence especially on the Asian Grand Prix circuit. Ever since their win at the World Championships 2009 in the Team portion (comprising Zhang Zhiyang, Wu Tong and Li Bo), it is irrefutable that they are an emerging powerhouse in terms of battling with Magic cards. Just so you know, Li Bo currently sits at 10-2 and is in great position for a Top 8 appearance.

2009 Chinese Team

Sui Xin captains the team this year on the back of his string of great finishes in the previous season. Aside from a finals appearance at Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2012 (where he fell to the mighty Yuuya Watanabe), he also recently came in at 13th place at the recently-concluded Grand Prix Yokohama, just one win short of making the Top 8.

His team of comprises of Ji XinRuo, Ding Yi and Yang Zhankun. Ji managed to take down the first WMCQ in Shanghai, with the much-maligned Blue Green Infect archetype, bolstered by Wild Defiance and a myriad of creature enhancement spells. Using Artful Dodge to clinch his winning seat, he certainly is pleased to be part of the team. Thereafter, Ding (ex-National Champion and seasoned veteran) won the second WMCQ held in Beijing with Naya Pod, while Yang took home the third and final WMCQ in Guangzhou with Red Green Aggro.

When asked if the team had started to prepare for the event, Sui explains that it is a little tough to meet up owing to each player's geographical disparity. In their defense, China is a great metropolis of nearly ten million square kilometers, but they do have individual playtesting groups in their respective cities.

Sui is currently set on playing Delver, and would put his weapon of choice up against the field at the StarCityGames.com Open at Washington a week prior to the Magic World Cup, before heading to Philadelphia for a short vacation.

While the members of the Chinese team have all fallen at Grand Prix Shanghai, they remain optimistic about their chances at the World Cup. Sui states that their wish is to secure invites to the next Pro Tour, and would require a Top 4 appearance at the World Magic Cup out of nearly 70 competing nations. May the odds ever be in their favor!

2012 Chinese Team




 

Sunday, 2:53 p.m. - Quick Questions: Which M13 card is the most overrated in Standard?

by Chapman Sim


Shouta Yasooka: "Ajani, Caller of the Pride"
Ken Yukuhiro: Rancor.
Kuo Tzu Ching: "Thundermaw HellKite"


Yuuya Watanabe: Rancor.
Tiago Chan: "Thundermaw HellKite"


Zhang Mengqiu: "Ajani, Caller of the Pride"
Huang Hao-shan: "Thragtusk."
Shuhei Nakamura: "Thragtusk"



 

Sunday, 3:44 p.m. - Metagame Breakdown – Day Two

by Chapman Sim


Two pods of booster drafts have been completed and you must be wondering what the popular draft archetypes are! Looking across the board, it seems like White Black and Red Green continue to be popular in the world of M13!

Mono-colored decks are minimal, and the number of three-colored decks are much lesser than in the Sealed Deck environment. Clearly, both formats are vastly different, awaiting players to explore. Special thanks to Level Two Judge, Glicerio Garcia for helping to gather and organise the data! Props!

*Others refer to players who did not show up, or have dropped from the tournament.

Color Combination Pod One Pod Two Overall
       
White Blue 13 5 18
Blue Black 8 16 24
Black Red 12 8 20
Red Green 11 17 28
Green White 11 11 22
       
White Black 13 15 28
Blue Red 7 6 13
Black Green 6 4 10
Red White 15 4 19
Green Blue 5 9 14
       
Mono Colored Decks 4 6 10
Three Colored Decks 9 10 19
Others 14 17 31
       
Total 128 128 256



 

Round 13 Feature Match - Nicholas Wong vs. Jiachong Lv

by Pip Foweraker


Wong is from the old school, wistfully remarking that he hasn't had a feature match in 10 years. Lv is coming from the opposite end of the spectrum, having sat under the spotlights for the first time only yesterday.

Game 1

Lv started the game with a Duty-Bound Dead and a Ravenous Rats, forcing Wong to discard an Island. Wong had no plays on his first two turns, while Lv summoned a Giant Scorpion to add to his army. Wong's third turn saw him skip a land drop. Lv developed with a Torch Field and a Crimson Muckwader.

Wong found his third land and moved to push back into the game, casting an Oblivion Ring on the Muckwader. Lv attacked to drop Wong to 11, and passed with five mana open. Wong cast an Encrust on the Torch Fiend, and took more damage in return before passing once more with his mana open. He had a Faerie Invaders, but elected not to block Lv's Giant Scorpion with them. With a creature finally on the board, Wong was able to start laying out some of the cards he had accumulated in hand. He started with a Silvercoat Lion and a Divination, while Lv kept plugging away with his Scorpion and laying lands.

Wong summoned a Scroll Thief. When Lv attacked with the Scorpion, Wong Unsummoned it, and on his turn, summoned a Battleflight Eagle to send his Scroll Thief crashing across safely. It then bravely teamed up with the Lion to take down Lv's Giant Scorpion when it scuttled across. Wong summoned an Ajani's Sunstriker and a second Scroll Thief, but Lv had an Essence Drain for the Sunstriker.

Wong proves there's no such thing as quitting Magic – a decade's hiatus barely slows him...

With the ground relatively stable, Wong summoned a Wind Drake and then enchanted a Scroll Thief with a Tricks of the Trade, letting him push through for the final points of damage to seal the first game.

Nicholas Wong 1 – Jiachong Lv 0

Game 2

Lv powered out of the gates early with an enhanced Crimson Muckwader, while Wong had an Aven Squire. A Ravenous Rats from Lv made him discard a land, but this time Wong made his third land drop, summoning a Scroll Thief.

Wong attacked with his Scroll Thief and, in response to the Exalted trigger, Lv tried a Searing Spear. Wong had a Negate, so Lv's Ravenous Rats bravely sprang forth and did some burly protecting. Lv held back with his Muckwader, and tried a Giant Scorpion. Wong had an Essence Scatter to keep him firmly in control of where the game was heading, playing an Oblivion Ring to clear out Lv's lone blocker before attacking with the Scroll Thief.

Augur of Bolas from Wong whiffed, but his position seemed superior regardless. Lv summoned a Torch Fiend and a Mogg Flunkies. A Battleflight Eagle made the Scroll Thief a crashingly unsubtle fellow indeed, and it lumbered in to whack Lv upside the head for 4 points of damage and a card to boot.

Lv languishes, lacking lustre, lands, life.

A second Oblivion Ring from Wong let him snuff out the Torch Fiend, leaving the Flunkie standing by helplessly as Wong's entire army sailed in. Another attack, and Lv was down to 1 life. Lv finally drew his 5th land. "Do you have any outs?", asked Wong. "Maybe", replied Lv, summoning a Mindclaw Shaman. In response to the trigger, Wong Unsummoned the Shaman, revealing a hand full of land. Lv smiled and scooped up his cards.

Nicholas Wong 2 – Jiachong Lv 0




 

Sunday, 4:45 p.m. - Grand Prix Shanghai Draft 2: Lv Jiachong

by Chapman Sim


Known amongst his friends as the "eternal alternate", Lv Jiachong has had the fortune and talent to have broken into the Top 8 of China Nationals in 2010 and 2011. Despite his ability to win his quarterfinals every time, he has failed to win his semifinals or the 3rd playoffs, causing his achievement draw towards him well-natured ridicule. Still, he has represented China twice for the World Championships and is now gunning for his first Grand Prix Top 8. Two wins would enable him to ID into the Top 8.

Lv Jiachong

Booster One

Lv was about as happy as any drafter could be, and fought hard to hide his joy. His first pick was the very "bombtastic" Thundermaw Hellkite, and decided to signal red by second-picking Mindclaw Shaman out of a booster without other red cards. A third pick Searing Spear could be considered a gift from the heavens, as were 5th pick Crimson Muckwader, 9th pick Giant Scorpion, 11th Canyon Minotaur.

The biggest baddie in the skies!

  Lv's pick Other possible picks
1 Thundermaw Dragon Murder, Public Execution
2 Mindclaw Shaman  
3 Searing Spear  
4 Primal Huntbeast Evolving Wilds, Krenko's Command
5 Crimson Muckwader Kitesail, Canyon Minotaur
6 Mogg Flunkies Mogg Flunkies, Mark of the Vampire
7 Duty-bound Dead  
8 Ravenous Rats Chandra's Fury, Kindled Fury
9 Giant Scorpion Giant Scorpion, Canyon Minotaur
10 Zombie Goliath Zombie Goliath, Wall of Fire
11 Canyon Minotaur Phyrexian Hulk
12 Bloodthrone Vampire  
13 Zombie Goliath  
14 Rain of Arrows  


Booster Two

Now that Lv had confirmed both his colors, he continued to assemble his killing machine, picking up Mutilate and a couple of Essence Drains, before filling out his curve with Torch Fiend. Now that he had some powerful cards of his own, he sought to deny his opponents of theirs, picking Mind Rot and Duress in succession to go along with his Mindclaw Shaman. 12th pick Crippling Blight should have made Lv's day, but when I probed, that was not the case. He was actually quite worried to see it. "Everyone's decks must be really powerful if you see such a quality common so late. To make things worse, it came with Krenko's Command." One can see his point.

Components of a mono black control deck find their way into Lv's deck.

  Lv's pick Other possible picks
1 Mutilate Knight of Infamy, Crippling Blight, Chandra's Fury
2 Essence Drain Duress, Volcanic Strength
3 Bladetusk Boar Servant of Nefarox, Goblin Arsonist
4 Essence Drain Krenko's Command
5 Torch Fiend Sign in Blood, Reckless Brute
6 Torch Fiend Chandra's Fury, Redirect
7 Mind Rot Chandra's Fury, Mindclaw Shaman
8 Duress Goblin Battle Jester, Elixir of Immortality
9 Mark of the Vampire  
10 Harbor Serpent  
11 Duskdale Wurm Trumpet Blast, Fog
12 Crippling Blight Krenko's Command
13 Vastwood Gorger  
14 Serpent's Gift  

Booster Three

Lv's deck was almost complete, and started to prioritize smoothing out his deck. This was apparent when he decided to first pick Sign in Blood, and picking up some cheaper drops. The 5th pick Murder was a sweet deal, as was 10th pick Dragonskull Summit.

First pick quality if your deck is already done!

  Lv's pick Other possible picks
1 Sign in Blood Sign in Blood, Servant of Nefarox, Crippling Blight
2 Ravenous Rats Dragonskull Summit, Servant of Nefarox
3 Torch Fiend Canyon Minotaur, Wild Guess
4 Mark of Mutiny Primal Clay, Fire Elemental, Mark of Mutiny
5 Murder Giant Scorpion
6 Volcanic Strength Duskmantle Prowler, Sign in Blood
7 Healer of the Pride Mark of the Vampire, Fire Elemental
8 Silvercoat Lion  
9 Vile Rebirth Phyrexian Hulk, Vile Rebirth
10 Dragonskull Summit Smelt, Volcanic Strength
11 Wild Guess Vile Rebirth
12 Kraken Hatchling  
13 Ring of Thune Serra Avatar
14 Bountiful Harvest  

Lv states he likes his deck very much, and deck certainly is capable of securing the two wins he needed. He humbly professes to be a little worried though, because the overall power of the card pool at the draft table seemed to be very high. Only time will tell if his black red deck is the real deal!




 

Sunday, 4:49 p.m. - Grand Prix Shanghai Draft 2: Yuuya Watanabe

by Pip Foweraker


Watanabe opened a pack spectacularly devoid of content, with Pacifism being close to the only playable in it, and certainly the only one that warranted more than a few moment's attention. From there, he picked up a Faerie Invaders, a Switcheroo, and a pair of Guardians of Akrasa from some otherwise lacklustre packs. A mid-pack Fog Bank and an Encrust pushed Watanabe firmly towards U/W, with the tail end of pack 1 leaving him low on aggressors but sitting nicely on a pile of defensive cards.

Unfortunately, it all started to unravel from there. Pack 2 started off with a Vampire Nighthawk, a Vampire Nocturnus, and an Essence Scatter, Watanabe taking the powerful 2/3. A Chronomaton and a Krenko, Mob Boss joined Watanabe's picks when nothing was forthcoming in either Blue or White. Pack 2 was all about the red cards, with Watanabe picking up a Krenko's Command and some Rummaging Goblins. Watanabe was forced to shake his head and keep moving deeper into a third colour as the pack progressed, with a late flood of black cards taunting him.

or once, Watanabe's stoic face truly indicates how badly things are going.

Pack 3 was even worse. A second Vampire Nighthawk appeared as if to taunt him, but he was unable to take it and had to console himself with an Essence Leak. Unfortunately, the Magic gods were not smiling on Watanabe, as the Essence Leak proved to be pretty much the best card he would get from the pack, rounding out his mana base a little with a Glacial Fortress and some high-end U/W fliers.

"I cannot win with this deck", Watanabe said as he sat down to start construction. Sadly, I was forced to agree that this would be a challenge even for a player of Watanabe's calibre. The cards he had resembled more a freshly opened Sealed pool than a finely tuned draft deck, and it took the experienced player many minutes of grimacing and shaking his head before he was able to concoct something he could shuffle up.




 

Round 14 Feature Match - Ken Yukuhiro vs. Gu Fengwen

by Chapman Sim


Both players had fought hard to come where they were today, but none could afford to lose anymore. Gu Fengwen from Beijing would have to beat Platinum Level Pro Ken Yukuhiro (Pro Tour Avacyn Restored Top 8 Competitor) if he wanted to draw into the Top 8 the next round.

Game One

Yukuhiro had a blazing start, recruiting War Falcon, Welkin Tern and Crusader of Odric, but that was stymied by Gu's Deadly Recluse. When Crusader of Odric crashed into the red zone the next turn, Gu ambushed it with Yeva, Nature's Herald, which promised to further complicate matters for Yukuhiro.

The powerful green legendary creature commanded Timberpack Wolf and Flinthoof Boar into the war zone, knocking Yukuhiro down to 3 precarious life by the end of the next two combat steps. Gu unloaded Arbor Elf and Goblin Arsonist to maximize his power. Prey Upon met with Rewind, but that was inconsequential. All Gu had to do was turn his five creatures sideways to prompt a concession.

Gu Fengwen wins Game One.

Ken Yukuhiro

Game Two

Yukuhiro had built up seeming impregnable fort consisting of War Falcon and double Fog Bank, fiercely guarded by three tokens generated by Captain's Call. Nonetheless, he seemed to be having problems against Gu's Flinthoof Boar, which had grown to a 7/7 monstrosity. Conveniently, the Ring of Kalonia granted trample, allowing Hu to go around Fog Bank. Despite adding Divine Favor to one of them, Yukuhiro still had to lose some life each turn.

Wind Drake and Welkin Tern was no match against Hu's next play, the constructed powerhouse Thragtusk. Yukuhiro tried to stabilize, as he bolstered his defenses with Captain of the Watch, bringing up the number of Soldier tokens on the board to six, not that he could attack with any of them.

Flinthoof Boar continued to grow, to the point that Yukuhiro had to use Pacifism to neutralize it. Gu bestowed Ring of Kalonia upon Deadly Recluse, then used Mwonvuli Beast Tracker to tutor up Duskdale Wurm.

Hu decided it was time, so he turned three of his biggest creatures sideways. When Yukuhiro shoved a bunch of soldiers in their way, Incinerate sent Captain of the Watch to its gallows, but thankfully Yukuhiro had Divine Verdict to keep his soldiers alive.

Hu's creatures were growing every turn, and Yukuhiro's life was slowly trickling away. Knowing that his fatties could never be blocked profitably, Gu attacked with his biggest creatures each turn. This put Yukuhiro in an uncomfortable position. He could either block with Fog Banks (and take some damage each turn), or gang block with a handful of his creatures (and risk losing them to a timely trick).

The game spiraled out of control when Gu drew not one, but two copies of Prey Upon. This allowed Hu to remove Fog Bank and Kraken Hatchling, and Yukuhiro was forced to cast Sleep and Unsummon to delay the inevitable. A trampling Thragtusk eventually finished off Yukuhiro and dashed his chances of making the Top 8 today.

Gu Fengwen wins his match and would need just a draw for a Top 8 berth!

Gu Fengwen



 

Sunday, 6:27 p.m. - Undefeated Drafters

by Chapman Sim


Here are the players who have managed to win all their Draft rounds today, an incredible accomplishment considering the tough competition. Congratulations Wang Yang and Lee Joon Soo for going undefeated today!

Wang Yang
Grand Prix Shanghai 2012 - (Pod Draft 1)

Lee Joon Soo
Grand Prix Shanghai 2012 - (Pod Draft 1)

Lee Joon Soo
Grand Prix Shanghai 2012 - (Pod Draft 2)




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