2009 Grand Prix Singapore: Day 2 Blog Archive

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EVENT COVERAGE

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Feature Match: Round 14
    Yuuta Takahashi vs Bao Feng

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 2:50p.m.
    Day Two Deck Archetypes by Player

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 2:25p.m.
    Photos Files Under “Other” (Don’t Judge Me!)

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 1:45p.m.
    Round 13: Quick Questions

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Feature Match: Round 12
    Zac Hill vs Wind Pang

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Feature Match: Round 11
    Shuuhei Nakamura vs Yuuta Takahashi

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 10:46a.m.
    Round 10: Quick Questions

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 10:13a.m.
    Day Two Metagame Breakdown.

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Feature Match: Round 9
    Masaya Kitayama vs Sam Black

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Saturday, 9:02a.m.
    Day One Undefeated Decks.

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

 

  • Sunday, March 22: 9:02a.m. – Day One Undefeated Decks.
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Masaya Kitayama
    Grand Prix: Singapore Day One 8-0

    Wind Pang
    Grand Prix: Singapore Day One 8-0

    Tomoharu Saitou
    Grand Prix: Singapore Day One 7-0-1

     

  • Sunday, March 22: 9:48a.m. – Round 9: Masaya Kitayama vs Sam Black
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Sam Black and Masaya Kitayama finished day one undefeated with their Blue control variants. Black with Faeries, and Kitayama with Next Level Blue.

    Black crushed the die roll, 11 to 5 and suspended a turn one Ancestral Visions, living up to his claim that he always borrows dice from his opponents. Kitayama had the Spell Snare when Black tried to sneak out a Spellstutter Sprite at end of turn, filtering out his mana with both Polluted Delta and Flooded Strand while Black’s Visions counted down. The Visions resolved uncontested, and Black simply suspended another one and passed the turn back to Kitayama, who went in with a Vendilion Clique, forcing it past Black’s Mana Leak with a Spell Snare. The Clique sent a Spell Snare packing, before suiting up with a Jitte and swinging across to drop Black to 17. With Kitayama tapped out, Black capped the opposing Clique with one of his own, shipping a Mana Leak over a pair of Tarmogoyfs, and Venser, Shaper Savant. Black rounded out his turn with an Engineered Explosives for two. Neutralizing not only the Jitte in play, but the Tarmogoyfs in Kitayama’s hand as well. Kitayama, unfazed, played a freshly ripped Vedalken Shackles instead.

    Black was the next to make a move, filling up his hand with Thirst for Knowledge, and then resolving his second Ancestral Visions. His hand now dwarfed that of Kitayama. Black then played a Jitte of his own, killing off Kitayama’s, and then rounded out his turn with a second Jitte. Kitayama dropped the Venser on a Hallowed Fountain at the end of Black’s turn, and the American was forced to discard down to seven after his copious card drawing escapades. With Black now the player in possession of a Jitte, along with his Engineered Explosives for two, Kitayama played out his Tarmogoyfs. The first fell to a Spell Snare, the second making it into play next to Venser. Despite being way ahead on cards, Black was behind on the board, and pursed his lips while pondering his play. Kitayama animated his Mutavault and sent it in alongside the Goyf and Venser. Black tried to animate a ‘Vault of his own, that that was stolen by the Shackles and Black dropped to six. On his turn, he played a Sower of Temptation, taking the now tapped Tarmogoyf. Kitayama untapped his Shackles, returning Black his Mutavault and passed the turn back, at least able to neutralize the Jitte if Black attacked back.

    Black equipped the Jitte to his stolen Tarmogoyf, and when he announced his attackers, the Shackles took control of the Sower, something Black didn’t exactly want to attack in to. After combat, Black played a second Sower, this time taking Kitayama’s Venser. Struggling to find a way to land the last six points of damage, Kitayama could only pass the turn back to Black. The game appeared to have stalled out, but Black had five cards in hand to Kitayama’s two, and had a pair of Riptide Laboratories in play as well. Black played a Vendilion Clique, but Kitayama countered it with a Cryptic Command. A second Clique from Black revealed the last two cards in Kitayama’s hand were a Mutavault and a Riptide Laboratory.

    Black untapped, and moved his Jitte to the Clique. The Clique swung in alongside Black’s Sower, and was blocked by Kitayama’s Sower. Before damage was assigned, Black bounced his Clique with one of his Riptide Labs, and replayed it, and filtered away his own Mana Leak. He rounded out the turn by suspending yet another Ancestral Visions. Kitayama could only play a Laboratory of his own and end. Black repeated his previous turn, attacking in with the Jitte’d Clique and the Sower, and again bouncing his Clique to prevent anything from dying and giving Kitayama back the use of his Shackles. Black again improved his hand quality by replaying the Clique on himself.

    Kitayama finally suspended a Visions of his own, but time was running out. Not only in the game but that match as well. Black kept reliving his Groundhog Day of a turn, the net result being Kitayama’s life total slowly dropping and Black’s hand improving. Kitayama tried for something different, moving to block the Sower instead. Before damage, Black returned his Sower to his hand, which gave Kitayama back his Venser. Also before damage, Kitayama returned his Venser to hand with his own Lab, and replayed it to bounce Black’s Clique. Finally, after combat, Black replayed his Sower, taking back the Venser. I’m pretty sure the net result that turn was that nothing happened, but at least this time Kitayama didn’t lose any life. Black again replayed his Clique, sending a Chrome Mox to the bottom of his deck before choosing to equip the Jitte to the Tarmogoyf.

    Black bounced his Clique at the end of turn and replayed it on Kitayama, letting him keep a Tarmogoyf and Spell Snare, ensuring the air was clear for his Ancestral Visions to resolve during his upkeep. At this point, there were 10 minutes left in the round, and neither player seemed especially close to winning Game 1. Finally, Black made a move that mattered. Main Phasing a Venser of his own, killing of Kitayama’s and bouncing the Vedalken Shackles. Black wad finally free to attack, dropping Kitayama to 10. Black then bounced his Clique, and then sent the Shackles to the bottom of Kitayama’s deck with it. Kitayama top decked and played an Engineered Explosives for two, which resolved and promptly blew up the Jitte and the Tarmogoyf, letting Black go back to 10 life as well.

    Black animated two Mutavaults, and sent them in alongside his two Sowers and the Clique. Kitayama blocked one of the ‘Vaults with his own, saving it with his Riptide Laboratory but dropping to 1 life. Kitayama looked at his cards, but couldn’t find a way out of this situation, and finally picked up his cards.

    Black 1 – Kitayama 0

    While sideboarding, Kitayama asked the judge how much time was left in the round, and looked aghast when he was informed there were only four minutes left. “Four??” he confirmed, holding up four fingers. “Four,” the judge deadpanned. “I think I’ve locked up at least one match point in this match so far,” Black joked, well aware that anything short of a miracle for Kitayama would end this match as a win for Black.

    Sure enough both players kept their hands, Kitayama suspended an Ancestral Visions, but nothing much else was achieved. Lands arriving on both sides of the table but not much else. On turn four, Kitayama resolved a Tarmogoyf, but missed his fourth land drop. Black sniffed out Kitayama’s hand with a Clique when the buzzer sounded, and Kitayama could only laugh as he packed up his cards.

    Sam Black defeats Masaya Kitayama 1 – 0

     

  • Sunday, March 22: 10:13a.m. – Day Two Metagame Breakdown.
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Naya Burn 11
    Faeries 11
    TEPS 9
    Elves 9
    Next Level Blue 5
    Domain Zoo 5
    Astral Slide 3
    Aggro Loam 3
    Bant Aggro 3
    Tezzerator 3
    Death Cloud Rock 3
    Affinity 2
    Mono Red Burn 2
    Doran 2
    All-in Red 1
    Esperlark 1
    Dark Bant 1
    Mono White Control  


    Now that we’re down to the top 75, we can dispense with that pesky “other” subcategory and get on with telling you all just what everyone is playing in day two. The above information can be condensed somewhat as well. For instance, while Faeries, Next Level Blue and to some extent, Tezzerator are clearly different archetypes, they still do share some similar card choices that could allow them to be lumped together, such as Vedalken Shackles, Cryptic Command and Vendilion Clique. The same goes for Domain Zoo and Naya Burn, and in some ways, even Aggro Loam and Death Cloud Rock, which are both basically descendants of Sol Malka’s Rock Archetype played way back in the seventies, or something like that. Although I think I draw the line at assuming that TEPS and All-in Red are similar because they play the same base accelerants. Mind you, if we’re lumping stuff together, I might need to reprise the “other” category. Don’t judge me!



    Blue Control 19
    Zoo 16
    TEPS 9
    Elves 9
    The Rock 6
    Bant/Doran Aggro 5
    Astral Slide 3
    Affinity 2
    Doran 2
    Mono Red Burn 2
    Other  


    So Blue Control and Zoo variants are by far the most popular decks on day two, with the formats two premier combo decks following up not far behind, and the remaining possible archetype still not without representation. We’ll see how the rest of the day plays out and what kind of balance we’re left with come the top 8, but a quick look at the decks left unscathed after day one shows plenty of variety at the top.



    Next Level Blue 1
    Mono Red Burn 1
    Faeries 1
    Naya Burn 1
    Bant Aggro  
     

  • Sunday, March 21: 10:46a.m. – Round 10: Quick Questions
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • What was your best top deck on day one?

    Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
    “Nothing exciting, probably the Chrome Mox in the feature match to be able to play Vendilion Clique on turn two instead of turn three.”
    Yuuta Takahashi
    “I played Dredge, I had no top decks.” (I asked why he wasn’t playing Faeries after winning GP’s Kobe and Shizuoka with the deck in 2008.) “My deck is the Faerie Slayer!”
    Zac Hill
    “Vedalken Shackles the turn after my opponent played one.”
    Shuuhei Nakamura
    “A Sulfuric Vortex with my opponent on two life, but he was going to kill me with his next attack.”
    Yuuya Watanabe
    “Minds Desire off of Manamorphose.”
    Sam Black
    “We were playing off the top, he was at 5 and I was at 3. He was playing Zoo so the situation clearly favored him. He topdecked Tarmogoyf, then I topdecked Sower of Temptation.”
     

  • Sunday, March 21: 11:21a.m. – Round 11: Shuuhei Nakamura vs Yuuta Takahashi
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Yuuta Takahashi won two Grand Prix last year in Japan, both times playing Faeries. Standard in Shizuoka and Block in Kobe. Given the opportunity to play it again this weekend, he told me that he instead chose to play a deck that beats Faeries. Shuuhei Nakamura was Player of the Year last year, so we can agree that he too, is pretty good at this game.

    Nakamura could only play a couple of Wooded Foothills and a Windswept Heath after his mulligan, while Takahashi had Life from the Loam to get his ball rolling. Not the kind of start Nakamura’s Naya Burn deck was looking for. Takahashi hit a Raven’s Crime on his first dredge, and without any kind of clock from Nakamura, was happy to get stuck into his hand, the Life from the Loam feeding his Retrace addiction. Nakamura’s first play was an end of turn Lightning Helix, and then a Seal of Fire. Still barely threatening Takahashi in any way. Takahashi finally played out a Garruk Wildspeaker, and used it to untap some land and keep his Loam engine running. Nakamura used Incinerate and a Mogg Fanatic to kill the Planeswalker, but was still doing little of consequence. Takahashi’s dredging dug up a Worm Harvest, and the first retrace gave him six Worms, the second gave him seven. Nakamura found a Wild Nacatl to block one of them, but quickly scooped up his cards with a chuckle.

    Takahashi 1 – Nakamura 0

    Nakamura got off to a much better start in Game 2, leading with a turn one Stomping Grounds and Kird Ape, and following it up with a Tarmogoyf, a lover of fine dredging. Takahashi made a ‘Goyf of his own, but Nakamura had a Lightning Helix to dispatch that before it was out of range. Takahashi was down to 5 life before he managed to clear the board with a Damnation, which meant he wasn’t out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination. Nakamura simply untapped and dropped a monstrous Wooly Thoctar. Takahashi played a Ravenous Baloth that looked strong, but he had to sacrifice that when Nakamura pointed a Path to Exile at it, knocking Takahashi back down to the very 4 life the Baloth had given him when the Thoctar attacked. Takahashi’s next draw didn’t bring him anything to deal with the Thoctar, so they were on to the decider.

    Takahashi 1 – Nakamura 1

    Takahashi lead with a Polluted Delta, while Nakamura promptly dropped to 17 to fetch out a Stomping Grounds, allowing him to play a turn one Wild Nacatl. Takahashi cracked his Delta and cycled a Barren More, but dropped deep into thought about his second turn play. Eventually, he hit Nakamura with a Raven’s Crime, nabbing a Thrill of the Hunt, then played a Tranquil Thicket. Nakamura dropped to 14 to find himself a Sacred Foundry with a Wooded Foothills. He crashed in with the now 3/3 Nacatl and buddied it up with a Kird Ape. Takahashi played a Kitchen Finks on his turn, but they were removed from the game by a Path to Exile from Nakamura, his animals taking large chunks out of Takahashi’s life total.

    Garruk Wildspeaker came down for Takahashi, and made a Beast before dying to a Seal of Fire. The Thrill of the Hunt in Nakamura’s graveyard allowed him to push through the Beast with no loss of life on his side of the table. Takahashi played a Mutavault, now facing the Nacatl and two Kird Apes. He cycled a Tranquil Thicket before clearing Nakamura’s table with the punishing half of Crime/Punishment. Nakamura untapped and played a Sulfurous Vortex, with Takahashi at 8 life to his 12. Takahashi considered dredging back a Life from the Loam, and instead drew his card for the turn. He then Raven’s Crime’d a Wooly Thoctar and a Tarmogoyf out of Nakamura’s hand before playing another Garruk and again getting a Beast. Nakamura passed without play, while Takahashi ran the math on how to finish off his opponent before the Vortex took him out. The Beast and the Mutavault crashed in to drop Nakamura to 7, before another Beast joined the gang. Nakamura made a Wild Nacatl, but it wasn’t enough to stop Takahashi from stealing the match out from under the Sulfurous Vortex.

    Yuuta Takahashi defeats Shuuhei Nakamura 2 – 1

     

  • Sunday, March 21: 12:36p.m. – Round 12: Zac Hill vs Wind Pang
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • After finishing day one undefeated, Wind Pang has picked up a couple of losses to be sitting a 9-2. Opposite him is American Zac Hill, who now lives in Kuala Lumpur and is well know for his weekly column on StarCityGames.com.

    Hill won the roll, and started off with a Polluted Delta, while Pang played a Mogg Fanatic. The Fanatic crashed in on turn two together with a Spark Elemental, while Hill continued developing a Blue mana base before playing an end of turn Thirst for Knowledge. Pang chose not to get any burn in while Hill’s shields were down, and instead tried for a Flames of the Blood Hand at the end of Hill’s turn. Venser, Shaper Savant returned that from whence it came, allowing Pang to land a Sulfurous Vortex during his turn, once the Fanatic had traded with Venser. Needing to race the Vortex, Hill ran out a naked Sower of Temptation, taking a Rift Bolt to the face during Pang’s next upkeep. A Lava Spike dropped Hill to 6, and then the Flames of the Blood Hand that had made a brief appearance earlier, came back to drop Hill to 2. With no way to get the Vortex off the table before his upkeep, Hill picked up his Islands and reached for his sideboard.

    Pang 1 – Hill 0

    Turn one Spark Elemental got in the from Pang, with Hill joking “you’re going to attack with it as well??” Missing a second land, Pang suspended a Rift Bolt, that took Hill down to 14, but failed to land a Lava Spike that was countered by a Spellstutter Sprite. Meanwhile, Hill had a suspend card of his own, Ancestral Visions was winding down on the side. Hill poked around in Pang’s hand with a Vendilion Clique, but decided against sending anything away, for fear or giving Pang the land he needed. Pang dropped a Mogg Fanatic that blocked a Mutavault before shooting the Clique during Hill’s attack phase. Pang finally found a second land, while Hill continued to get in there with his Mutavault and Spellstutter Sprite. With Hill’s Visions almost ready to resolve, he suspended another, earning a “hoho!” from Pang, who Incinerated his opponent, before lapsing into thought during his turn, finally deciding on a Keldon Marauder that was snagged by a Mana Leak. Hill again attacked, dropping Pang to 12.

    “This is bad, very, very bad,” Pang said, not finding a third land on top of his library, Hill filtered his own hand with a Vendilion Clique before untapping and playing an Umezawa’s Jitte. “Oh-ho, it finally shows up!” Pang laughed before scooping up his cards.

    Pang 1 – Hill 1

    While shuffling up for Game 3, Hill pointed out his Malaysian buddies in the crowd. “Make sure you get our fedoras in the coverage!” The boys are class, all class, I cannot lie.

    Turn one Lava Spike from Pang dropped Hill to 17 while Hill played an Island and a Chrome Mox, imprinting Venser. Pang had a turn two Blinkmoth Nexus, while Hill a Mutavault. When Hill went for a Thirst for Knowledge, he was surprised when Pang didn’t reward him with fire. Pang found another Blinkmoth, and as he played his fifth land, he laughed “this is Draw-Go, the Red version.” When he went to attack with one of the Blinkmoths, Venser returned it to his hand, Pang thought about his turn a bit longer before passing it back. Venser attacked for 2, and when the other Nexus tried to come over on the following turn, Hill dropped a Vendilion Clique in front of it. “Targeting?” Pang asked “You,” Hill replied, prompting Pang to finally make a play, wiping the table, including his Nexus, with a Volcanic Fallout.

    Pang untapped and went for a Sulfurous Vortex. Hill allowed it to resolve, instead bouncing it at the end of turn with Venser. Mutavault and Venser attacked back at Pang, who could only try for his Vortex again, now potentially a liability if not for the fact that it still helps neutralize any Jitte’s Hill might find. To be safer than sorry, Hill Mana Leaked it anyway, and Pang chose not to pay, despite having the mana to do so, instead using his mana to activate Blinkmoth Nexus to trade it with Mutavault. The Venser still knocking Pang down to 6, and then 4. Pang tried for an end of turn Shrapnel Blast, but that met a Flashfreeze. Pang untapped and Lava Spike’d Hill down to 9. Hill then attacked Pang down to 2, not wanting to risk his Mutavault to a Volcanic Fallout. Pang’s next draw step didn’t give him a Demonfire, and Venser finally finished it.

    Zac Hill defeats Wind Pang 2 – 1

     

  • Sunday, March 22: 1:45p.m. – Round 13: Quick Questions
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • If you could make any changes to your deck this weekend, what would it be?

    Manuel Bucher
    “Cutting some of the Jitte’s. I don’t like the card, even though it’s good.”
    Tomoharu Saito
    “I would add Jitte to the sideboard, I kept playing against Burn.”
    Shuuhei Nakamura
    “I’d play Loam or Desire (laughs).”
    Yuuya Watanabe
    “The Pact of Negations in the sideboards haven’t been working as well as I would have liked, they probably should be Teferi.”
    Wind Pang
    “I don’t think so, it’s served me well so far.”
    Martin Juza
    “Nothing, seriously. I’ve changed one card since Hanover last weekend, and I’m positive it’s correct now.”
     

  • Sunday, March 22: 2:25p.m. – Photos Files Under “Other” (Don’t Judge Me!)
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Our dedicated team of Judges this weekend, resplendent in their Black and Whites, even if not for much longer. Responsible for making this weekend run as smoothly as possible.

    But running the main event isn’t the only thing they do, there are plenty of Public Events available too. Something for everybody, you could say.

    Like the Legacy Tournament, or the PTQ for Honolulu, and countless drafts throughout the weekend.

    Magic Artist, Warren Mahey from New Zealand is here, signing his life away, including countless Raven’s Crime’s, a card seen at the Feature Match tables this weekend,

    This is not my balloon, regardless of what anyone tells you.

     

  • Sunday, March 22: 2:50p.m. – Day Two Deck Archetypes by Player
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Arita, Ryuuichi [JPN] Elves
    Aw Yeong, Weng Kwon [MYS] Dark Bant
    Bautista, Giovanni[PHL] Naya Burn
    Black, Samuel H [USA] Faeries
    Boonsiri, Toon [THA] Domain Zoo
    Brusi, Jeffrey Esai [SWE] Next Level Blue
    Bucher, Manuel [CHE] Faeries
    Chai, Ming Huang Ro [SGP] Astral Slide
    Chan, Kai Harry [SGP] Mono White Control
    Chen, Liang [TWN] Tezzerator
    Cheng, Gabriel [SGP] TEPS
    Chia, Edmund [SGP] Naya Burn
    Chick, Hoi K [HKG] Astral Slide
    Choo, Yong Han [SGP] TEPS
    Chua, James [SGP] Next Level Blue
    da Rosa, Paulo Vito [BRA] Faeries
    Feng, Bao [CHN] Naya Burn
    Feng, Hao [CHN] Next Level Blue
    Francisco, John Pau [PHL] Elves
    Guo, Wei [CHN] Naya Burn
    Heng, Chye Hwee [SGP] Faeries
    Hill, Zac D [USA] Faeries
    How, Wilfred [SGP] Aggro Loam
    Ikeda, Tsuyoshi [JPN] Naya Burn
    Indrakesuma, Taufik [IDN] Naya Burn
    Iyanaga, Jun'ya [JPN] Elves
    Juza, Martin [CZE] Faeries
    Khoo, Aik Seng [SGP] Domain Zoo
    Kitayama, Masaya [JPN] Next Level Blue
    Kuo, Tzu Ching C [TWN] Tezzerator
    Kwan, David Wei Pha [SGP] Naya Burn
    Lapnimitchai, Chako [THA] Domain Zoo
    Lau, Zhao Zhi [SGP] Affinity
    Law, Albertus [MYS] Astral Slide
    Law, Charles [SGP] Elves
    Lee, Shi Tian [HKG] TEPS
    Lee, Wen Yi Julian [SGP] Doran
    Leong, Ding Y [SGP] Mono Red Burn
    Li, Cheuk Yin [HKG] Tezzerator
    Li, Fabien [SGP] Elves
    Lim, Fang Zhen, Jos [SGP] TEPS
    Lin, Ruizi [SGP] Faeries
    Loh, Mun Kit [SGP] Death Cloud Rock
    Mohd Nasir, Mohd Ik [MYS] Doran
    Mokhtaruddin, Mohd[MYS] Naya Burn
    Nagashima, Makoto [JPN] TEPS
    Nakamura, Shuuhei [JPN] Naya Burn
    Natasubrata, Kresna [SGP] All-in Red
    Nazim, Mohamad [MYS] Affinity
    Ng, Kar Wye [MYS] Bant Aggro
    Ng, Wei San [MYS] Naya Burn
    Ong, Desmond Wei Li [SGP] Death Cloud Rock
    Ong, Weiwah [SGP] Death Cloud Rock
    Ootsuka, Koutarou [JPN] Elves
    Pang, Wind [SGP] Mono Red Burn
    Rosmarudin, Faizal [SGP] Esperlark
    Saitou, Tomoharu [JPN] Naya Burn
    Shi, Xiang [SGP] Faeries
    Sim, Stanley [SGP] Faeries
    Soh, Weng Heng [SGP] TEPS
    Sugaya, Hironobu [JPN] TEPS
    Supapipat, Nuttawin [THA] Domain Zoo
    Takahashi, Yuuta [JPN] Aggro Loam
    Tan Kok Han, Kerry [SGP] TEPS
    Tan, Chin Heng [SGP] Next Level Blue
    Tan, Richmond H [PHL] Domain Zoo
    Tiong, Chris [SGP] Elves
    Tsang, Derek [HKG] Aggro Loam
    Uzair, Faruqi [MYS] Faeries
    Wai Hoong, Kan [SGP] Bant Aggro
    Watanabe, Yuuya [JPN] TEPS
    Wong, Chi Keung [HKG] Bant Aggro
    Xu, Su [CHN] Faeries
    Yaocheng, Mark T [SGP] Elves
    Zee, Way Leong [SGP] Elves
     
     

  • Sunday, March 22: 2:53p.m. – Round 14: Yuuta Takahashi vs Bao Feng
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Yuuta Takahashi has been in the Headlines of Asian Grand Prix’s for over a year now, with two wins last year in Japan alone. This round he would have been able to draw into the top 8, if he hadn’t been paired down with his opponent, Bao Feng, who was in this Grand Prix’s Coverage yesterday after he’d won three byes on Friday night.

    Takahashi won the roll and prodded Feng with a Raven’s Crime, hitting a Tarfire. Feng’s response was to fetch out a Stomping Grounds to fuel up a Wild Nacatl. Takahashi stuck to his guns, retracing the Crime on turn two and hitting Bloodstained Mire, before properly playing a second copy, this one hitting a Wooly Thoctar. Feng played a Sacred Foundry and a Tarmogoyf, sending his Nacatl in for 3 damage on his second turn. Sure enough, Takahashi followed this up with a Life from the Loam on turn three, Retracing the Crime one more time, taking Feng’s second to last card, a Lightning Helix. Feng swung in again, but had no further play for the turn. Takahashi killed the Tarmogoyf with a Crime/Punishment for two, and had to correct Feng who thought it took out his Nacatl as well. Despite having his hand savaged by the Raven’s Crime’s, Feng had managed to get Takahashi down to 4 life. Feng played a Jitte, but Takahashi removed it with one of his own, and the Nacatl attacked him down to 1 life. Takahashi drew his card for the turn instead of dredging, but found nothing to stop the cat’s scratches.

    Feng 1 – Takahashi 0

    Starting out the same way he had in Game 1, Takahashi played a turn one Raven’s Crime, this time hitting a Mountain. Feng replied with another Mountain and a Kird Ape. A Forest came down the following turn, but the Kird Ape was unable to get in there, as Takahashi had solidified his defense early with a Tarmogoyf. Feng merely played an Umezawa’s Jitte and passed it back. Takahashi gave his play some thought, before offing the Ape with a Crime/Punishment, allowing the Tarmogoyf to go on the offensive, taking Feng down to 17. Feng then dropped to 14, sacrificing a Bloodstained Mire to get a Sacred Foundry into play untapped, and used it to play a Wooly Thoctar. Takahashi played a Ravenous Baloth, that could not only trade with the Thoctar, but prevent Jitte from collecting any counters during the encounter. Feng suited up the Thoctar anyway, and sent it in. Takahashi pushed his Baloth in front of the Thoctar, and made the trade.

    It looked like Takahashi was taking control of the game after Feng passed the turn back without further play. Raven’s Crime knocked Incinerate, then Sulfurous Vortex out of Feng’s hand, and the Tarmogoyf resumed its assault, dropping Feng to 7. The life cost of those Sac-lands and Dual-lands was adding up. Feng removed the Tarmogoyf with an Oblivion Ring, but Crime/Punishment just brought it back. When Takahashi attacked in with the ‘Goyf and a Mutavault, Feng staved off death with a Lightning Helix, but it only bought him a turn before the ‘Goyf took the match to the third game,

    Feng 1 – Takahashi 1

    Feng mulliganed down to four in the decider, while Takahashi only mulliganed to six. Feng still managed a turn one Wild Nacatl off of a Stomping Grounds though, and then added a Kird Ape on his second turn. He may have lacked a second land, but it was certainly a respectable four card hand, never the less. Over the table from Feng, Takahashi cycled a Barren Moor after fetching out an Overgrown Tomb with a Wooded Foothills, and returned the expended lands with a turn two Life from the Loam. Takahashi was dropping perilously low on life, thanks to the repeated use of his own Sac-lands and Dual-lands, but stabilized perfectly with a Kitchen Finks. Without a third land for Feng, his team could only sit back and watch now, as Takahashi found a Raven’s Crime, and then a pair of Tarmogoyfs. Further dredging took the ‘Goyfs up to 4/5, so Takahashi sent his team in. The Finks ate the Kird Ape and rallying Takahashi’s life total slightly. Still stuck on a single land, Feng could only pack ‘em up and sign the slip.

    Yuuta Takahashi defeats Bao Feng 2 – 1

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