Day 2 Coverage of Grand Prix–Bangkok

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Day two is under way here at Grand Prix Bangkok, with the 413 players from day one now cut down to 99 as we move forward into the draft portion of the event. It seems that players have traveled from far and wide to compete this weekend, including several somewhat forgotten players from Magic’s past, along with the usual assortment of Pros and Locals. Who will take out the title though? Stay tuned here at Magicthegathering.com while we find out!





EVENT COVERAGE

 

  • Sunday, August 23: 9:04 a.m. – Day One Undefeated Decklists
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
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  • Sunday, August 23: 9:36a.m. – Drafting with Matteo Orsini Jones and Rudy Edwards
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Both Matteo Orsini Jones (UK) and Rudy Edwards (USA) ended day one on 7-1, and are drafting at the top table this morning. Orsini Jones has been putting up some pretty consistent results of late, but it’s been many years since the Magic world has heard from Rudy Edwards, one of the early legends from back before we had such new fangled things as formats and booster drafts.

    Orsini Jones told me earlier that he’d love to open a Borderland Ranger, but his first pack was found wanting of Green cards. In the end he picked a lack-luster Royal Assassin over a Sign in Blood and an Ignite Disorder. The pack had practically no depth at all. Upstream, Edwards had a plan, and that plan was take advantage of just how good Centaur Courser is in draft, taking one over a Doom Blade. So far so good, with a second pick Doom Blade, Orsini Jones would be in Black, but in his second pack, Edwards opted to take a Doom Blade of his own, and ship a Borderland Ranger downstream, which Orsini Jones took as a clear signal to Get His Green On. Sure enough, by the end of pack one, both players were solidly in Green. Not only that, but Edwards had picked up a couple of Black cards of his own, forcing Orsini Jones to pick up some Red stragglers instead, like a Pyroclasm and the wheeled Ignite Disorder. Meanwhile, downstream of Orsini Jones, Shingou Kurihara was happily drafting Blue White.

    Edwards passing to Orsini Jones passing to Kurihara.

    Things were looking up in pack two, as Orsini Jones cracked open an Overrun, while Edwards had to settle for a Rampant Growth. From there, Orsini Jones was left picking up some unspectacular cards, while Edwards snapped up a pair of Giant Growths, clearly pushing the aggressive envelope of his pool. By the end of pack two, Orsini Jones looked downcast in Green Black splashing Red, while Edwards had moved over to Green Blue, after getting a Levitation to send his Beasts to the air.

    In Pack three, Orsini Jones settled on an Awakening Druid, passing a Djinn of Wishes to Kurihara, while Edwards again picked up a Courser. Pick two, Orsini Jones had to take a Warpath Ghoul, while Edwards took a Llanowar Elves (for turn two Centaur Courser!), passing Orsini Jones a third pick Borderland Ranger. Edwards third picked a Snapping Drake (it’s like a Centaur Courser with flying!) before receiving a fourth pick gift Overrun, followed by another Courser, and a sixth pick Cudgel Troll.

    After the draft, Orsini Jones admitted his deck was not the best, which was fair, because in two out of three packs, Edwards had scooped up the best and shipped the rest. After starting Black, he had to move away from it as the Black picks dried up somewhat (again, thanks to Edwards) but received a couple of late Gravediggers anyway, further confusing the matter. He ended up with a serviceable Green Black deck, splashing for Pyroclasm, with a plan to switch out the Red for a Safe Passage if he happens to come up against anyone with Overrun or Fireball. He figured the deck was probably good enough for a 2-1 record.

    Edwards was a little happier with his deck. Despite packs one and two not being great, pack three more than made up for it with the fourth pick Overrun and sixth pick Cudgel Troll. He admitted that passing the Doom Blade in Pick one Pack one and then taking one second pick was probably a mistake, as it sent mixed signals. For a while there in pack two, there were a couple of Lava Axes Edwards thought he probably should have taken too, to give his deck some reach, but it didn’t matter in the end after he found the Overrun. As to how he was going to go, Edwards replied with a laugh, “I could 3-0 as easily as I could 0-3 with this.”

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 10:01a.m. – Round 9: Mini Photo Feature
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Rudy Edwards thought his draft deck could just as easily 0-3 as it could 3-0, and after losing two straight to Japan’s Shingou Kurihara in round 9, had probably better not hope for the hat trick.

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 10:38a.m. – Round 9: Quick Questions
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • What was the best card in your sealed deck yesterday?

    Kazuya Mitamura Martin Juza Matteo Orsini Jones


    “Gorgon Flail.”


    “Nightmare, or Tendrils of Corruption.”


    “Borderland Ranger.”

    Shingou Kurihara Kurt Stockbrugger Sam Black


    “Capricious Efreet.”


    “Baneslayer Angel.”


    “Not Earthquake, it was really bad. I’d say Mind Control.”

    Gaudenis Vidugiris Ruud Warmenhoven Yuuya Watanabe


    “It might have been the best card, but it won me the most games. Armored Ascension. I’d be like, do they have anything? They have nothing, I win!”


    “Mind Shatter, exclamation mark!”


    “Fireball.”
     

  • Sunday, August 23: 11:05a.m. – Round 10: Shingou Kurihara vs Matteo Orsini Jones
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Last Round, Japan’s Shingou Kurihara defeated Old School Magic Veteran Rudy Edwards from USA, and now faces our remaining draft coverage participant, Matteo Orsini Jones from the UK.

    Kurihara won the roll, and chose to play first, landing a turn two Storm Front Pegasus. However, after missing a third land drop, opted to trade it for Orsini Jones’ Borderland Ranger. Orsini Jones replaced it with a Warpath Ghoul, and Kurihara found his third land to summon a Phantom Warrior, that he also chose to trade for the Ghoul. A Rampant Growth from Orsini Jones, and he now had seven lands to Kurihara’s three. Trying to figure out what to do next, Kurihara lapsed into thought, eventually deciding on a Griffin Sentinel. Orsini Jones had an eighth land on his turn, but no spells, while Kurihara had to discard a Rhox Pikemaster on his turn. When Kurihara finally found enough land to play his Air Elemental, he instead passed the turn back without play, prompting Orsini Jones to fall for it and finally take down the Sentinel with a Doom Blade. Sure enough, the Elemental came down on the following turn, and was joined by a Djinn of Wishes.

    Kurihara holds back his Air Elemental to lure out Orsini Jones’ Doom Blade
    Orsini Jones sent in his team, and a Weakness helped finish off the Djinn, while an Assassinate dealt with the Air Elemental. Kurihara’s comeback was a Palace Guard, obviously not as good as the two fliers that had preceded it. However, Orsini Jones was still drawing land, or spells that found him land, and now had 14 of them in play. Kurihara played a Blinding Mage, and Orsini Jones then went to make a Royal Assassin, accidentally revealing a Consume Spirit instead. Both players laughed as Kurihara leaned over to count Orsini Jones’ Black Mana. A Sphinx Ambassador was summoned by Kurihara, who then defended it from the Consume Spirit with a Harm’s Way, taking down a Borderland Ranger, but a Pyroclasm finished it off anyway. An Oakenform beefed up an Elvish Visionary, but Kurihara had the Divine Verdict to stop that. Between Elvish Visionaries and a Gravedigger, Orsini Jones still had plenty of attackers. When Kurihara summoned a Serra Angel, Orsini Jones sent one of his Forests in to battle with his Awakening Druid. Kurihara now on 6 life, was forced to make some blocks. He moved the Angel and the Palace Guard in front of the Forest, leaving a Vampire Aristocrat unblocked. Orsini Jones smelled a trick, and declined to go all in on the Vampire. When the Palace Guard blocked all of the incoming creatures on the following turn, and was empowered by a Righteousness, Orsini Jones had to take the bait, and sure enough, Kurihara had a second Devine Verdict for the Aristocrat, after it had eaten it’s comrades.

    Things were getting slim, library wise. After Kurihara drew two with a Divination, he counted four left in his, and three left for the Englishman. A Wall of Frost tapped down a Craw Wurm, the Palace Guard fogged the rest of the attackers, and a Safe Passage did the same on the following turn. When his next draw step yielded nothing, Kurihara scooped up his cards, each player with a single card left in their library.

    Orsini Jones 1 – Kurihara 0

    Kurihara again played first, summoning a turn two Blinding mage, but once again missed his third land drop for a turn. He got there on turn four, and attacked with his Mage before digging deeper with a Divination. Orsini Jones took the opportunity to take out the Mage with an Assassinate, before summoning an Awakening Druid and a Craw Wurm. Kurihara replied with not one, but two Serra Angels. Thankfully, the Craw Wurm allowed Orsini Jones to keep up with the fliers, also using a Weakness to deflate one of them slightly. When Orsini Jones next attacked, he was blown out by a Safe Passage. Kurihara added insult to injury with a Djinn of Wishes, and they were off to Game 3.

    Orsini Jones is holding removal

    Orsini Jones 1 – Kurihara 1

    Once again, Kurihara skipped land drop number three, before catching up on the following turn. Orsini Jones was content to get the party started with a Bog Wraith, but lost that to a Devine Verdict. A Pyroclasm cleared out a Phantom Warrior, and a Doom Blade took down a Sphinx Ambassador (Kurihara making the rest of his land drops happily) while a Warpath Ghoul got Kurihara down to 14, and a Craw Wurm got him down to 8. Kurihara defended well however, with a Palace Guard and a Wall of Frost, only to lose them both to a post combat Ignite Disorder, Kurihara replaced them with a Wall of Faith and a Serra Angel, again having the Safe Passage to kill the Craw Wurm in combat, but was going to be hard pressed to take down the Enormous Baloth Orsini Jones had just summoned. Kurihara made a Blinding Mage, but Orsini Jones had the Royal Assassin to trump it. The Wall of Faith was working overtime to contain the Baloth, as the Ghoul dropped Kurihara to 5 life. Finally, Orsini Jones finished the match with a Consume Spirit to the head.

    “He’s got four Air Elementals in his deck, and two of them have vigilance!” Orsini Jones complained jokingly, and a Sphinx Ambassador, that’s five Dragons!”

    Matteo Orsini Jones defeats Shingou Kurihara 2 – 1

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 12:15p.m. – Round 11: Quick Questions
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Play or Draw in M10 Draft?

    Gaudenis Vidugiris Makihito Mihara Shuu Komuro


    “I dunno, play, I think.”


    “Play.”


    “Play.”

    Martin Juza Shuuhei Nakamura Sam Black


    “Not sure, it depends on the deck. I’m scared of mulligans.”


    “Play.”


    “It totally depends on the deck.”

    Tomoharu Saito Yuuta Takahashi Ruud Warmenhoven


    “Play!”


    “Play.”


    “No Clue.”
     

  • Sunday, August 23: 12:21p.m. – Round 11: Photo feature
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Sadly for USA’s Sam Black, a double mulligan in each game and he was soon down 0-2 to Japan’s Shuu Komuro.

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 12:48p.m. – Round 11: Still Undefeated… Ruud Warmenhoven
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • It seems that Ruud Warmenhoven cannot lose.
    After cleaning up yesterday, Ruud Warmenhoven is the last remaining undefeated player. Here is the deck he went 3-0 with in the first draft. Believe it or not, he still claims to know nothing about this format, or what cards are in the set!


    Ruud Warmenhoven
    3-0 Draft One – GP Bangkok

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 1:29p.m. – Drafting with Shuuhei Nakamura and Martin Juza
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Going into the second draft, both Martin Juza and Shuuhei Nakamura are sitting at 9-2. They’re both also sitting next to each other, but I promise you, I had nothing to do with that. The first pack gave Juza the following choices; Lightning Bolt, Borderland Ranger, Divine Verdict and Diabolic Tutor. Juza took the Bolt, and was passed another Ranger, a Stormfront Pegasus and a Might of Oaks from a pack that Nakamura has taken an Essence Scatter from. Taking the Ranger, Juza was then passed another Lightning Bolt, while Nakamura had taken a Magebane Armor and a Merfolk Looter upstream of him. However, things dried up very quickly for Juza, taking a Siege Mastodon fifth, and then rare drafting a Glacial Fortress sixth. Meanwhile, Nakamura had branched into White slightly for a Griffin Sentinel and a Silvercoat Lion, but certainly wasn’t tied to it, also picking up a second Essence Scatter. By the end of the pack, Nakamura was heavily, and I can only assume happily, Blue, while Juza was unfortunately all over the place. He had some good Red cards, a new reasonable White cards and a Borderland Ranger. Oh, and a Glacial Fortress, of course!

    Nakamura and Juza are ready for draft number two.

    Pack two, Juza was torn between a Pyroclasm and a Mind Spring. Not that he was anywhere near Blue, but it was not like he had a plan outside of two Lightning Bolts yet anyway. At the last second, he went with the Pyroclasm, shipping the Mind Spring to Nakamura, who gladly scooped it up, after first picking a Harm’s Way. Juza then drafted a Berserkers of Blood Ridge before taking a third pick Grave Digger, his body language clearly displaying his displeasure at how this draft was going. He took fourth and fifth pick Looming Shades to move into Black, while Nakamura received a third Essence Scatter and a Siege Mastodon. With Juza now in Black Red, the pair were now at least drafting co-operatively, but it was clear that Juza’s deck was lacking in substance.

    Opening the final pack, Juza was quick to pick a Royal Assassin over a Stone Giant, while Nakamura caught a Captain of the Watch. Juza’s deck finally found some legs in an Inferno Elemental, and some wings in a Dragon Whelp. His fourth pick was a difficult one, Gravedigger or Whispersilk Cloak. After the draft, Juza told me how he believes most people really undervalue the Cloak, and while a second Gravedigger would be excellent, the Cloak could make some unwinnable games quite the opposite. Naturally, he drafted the Artifact. Things were looking even better for Nakamura, who took a Divine Verdict over the Cloak, and then received a Pacifism fifth pick, and a Merfolk Looter eighth! Nakamura thought his deck had turned out okay in the end, probably good enough or two wins, but was worried that he didn’t get any bombs of his own. Things like those late pick gifts in the last pack (Looter and Pacifism, usually first picks) indicate that the Blue and White drafters ahead of Nakamura probably took some of the very bombs he was missing. Juza thought his deck turned out fine as well, but bemoaned having taken so long to settle on his colors. At the rate he was going, I was surprised he ended up with enough playables. When I got to the table, Juza was toying with his 23rd card, would it be Kindled Fury or Panic Attack? Both work well with his pair of Berserkers of Blood Ridge, and both serve as removal for Ice Cage and Illusionary Servants, but neither are particularly exciting in the maindeck. Juza eventually decided on the Fury, and we’ll see just how far it gets him.

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 1:54p.m. – Round 12: Photo Feature
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Meanwhile, in the feature match area, Shingou Kurihara defeated Masaya Kitayama 2-0.

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 2:47p.m. – Round 13: Shuuhei Nakamura vs Martin Juza
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Nakamura staring down an Unblockable Looming Shade.

    I love it when a good plan comes together. Err, I mean a good random pairing comes together. I covered the draft where Shuuhei Nakamura was passing to Martin Juza, spent a round typing it up and just like that, they were paired the very next round! Better lucky than good, my ol’ uncle Cade used to say.

    Both players mulliganed to six, with Juza’s turn three Looming Shade countered by an Essence Scatter. On his fourth turn, he Diabolic Tutored, and then got back his Shade with a Gravedigger. Meanwhile, Nakamura summoned a sizeable Siege Mastodon and an imposing Wall of Frost. Juza simply slipped by the defenses with his Whispersilk Cloak‘d Looming Shade. A Dragon Whelp suffered a Divine Verdict, but the Shade was still getting in, while Nakamura attacked back with his Mastodon, ensuring the life totals dropped equally. When Juza’s Shade finally dropped Nakamura to 3, he went for a Lightning Bolt to the face. Nakamura tried to take himself out of Harm’s Way with well, a Harm’s Way, but Juza had the second bolt and a sly yet apologetic smile to take the first game.

    Juza 1 – Nakamura 0

    Juza. Has the Bolt.

    Juza summoned a Drudge Skeletons and a three Swamp Looming Shade to get Game 2 started, but Nakamura had the Wall of Frost again. Knowing he had an answer to that, Juza spent his fourth turn playing Diabolic Tutor while Nakamura got his attack on with a Snapping Drake, and threatening Juza’s small men with a Rod of Ruin. Juza showed me the Royal Assassin he had Tutor’d for with an “aww,” before untapping and landing the Whispersilk Cloak anyway. Juza sent the Shade in, throwing all six of his Swamps into it, trying to catch up with the Drake rather than committing anything else to the board. Sensing a race, Nakamura pointed his Rod at Juza, and tried to dig up an answer to the Shade with a Mind Spring for 3, but came up short, the Drake only getting Juza down to 7 before the Shade finished him off.

    “I really feel justified in my pick of the Cloak over the Gravedigger now,” Juza said after the match, relieved. “I don’t think I could have won that match without it.”

    Martin Juza defeats Shuuhei Nakamura 2 – 0

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 3:59p.m. – Round 14: The Photo Montage
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • As with any and all Grand Prix events, what we show you is merely a fraction of what goes on here. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day (because there’s already more than enough blisterguys, thankyouverymuch) for us to cover them all fully. Here are some pictures I haven’t found a use for yet.

    Way down the back of the hall, the dealers are all a dealin’

    Magic artist Izzy Medrano signs cards are does sketches for his fans. “Make it a Pig, an angry, warrior pig, with wings!”

    International M10 shortage? What international M10 shortage?

    My lunch yesterday, was some kind of soup. In a bag. I finished it and there was no goldfish in it, I don’t think. At least I never saw one, anyway.

    Our friendly and experienced Judge Staff. Level 4 David Vogin (Head Judge). Level 3’s Wearn Chong, Christian Gawrilowicz and Yoshiya Shindo. Level 2’s Glicerio Garcia, Clifford Yap, Eum Sung Dae, Krisda Tritangkur, Monsuporn Lauhaphand, Simon Lee, Lim Jin Yi, Stanley Hooi, Shing Nien Fong and Puripat Chumtham. Level 1’s Supachai Yentanakorn, Woosuk Lee, Liao Yi Nan, Ruttawut Rochsuen, Torphan Kaewwichean, Rajesh Ganesan, Krissapas Kuptimitr, Sikarin Korchareon, Victoriano Lim, Sashi Kumar Balakrishnan and Loh Wei Wen. And last, but certainly not least, Level 0 Leong Kin Seng.

    Head Judge, David Vogin from France briefs the Judges before their hard day’s work.

    You’ve heard the expression “Play the Game, See the World?” When you’re a judge, it’s “Judge the Game, Sort the Land.” And you should be thankful they do!

    Lastly, if you offer asiacardsshop.com’s Kenny NG Song Khim $1100 (Singapore dollars, around $760US) to turn up to the Grand Prix in women’s clothing, you had better be ready to pay the man his money!

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 3:45p.m. – Round 14: Quick Questions
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • What card do you most hope to open in M10 Draft?

    Shuuhei Nakamura Gaudenis Vidugiris Matteo Orsini Jones


    “Serra Angel.”


    “Maybe just Serra Angel, it’s not the best card, but I like where it puts me (White).”


    “Mind Control.”

    Yuuta Takahashi Kazuya Mitamura Kurt Stockbrugger


    “Cancel!”


    “Fireball, or Overrun, or Mind Control. Any bomb, I don’t mind.”


    “Sleep.”

    Shuu Komuro Shingou Kurihara Tomoharu Saito


    “Serra Angel.”


    “Tendrils of Corruption. No, Looking Shade!”


    “Mind Control, it’s the best, I think.”
     

  • Sunday, August 23: 4:01p.m. – Round 14: They’re Brawlin’
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Coming into the final round before the top 8, and suddenly a bunch of people who probably assumed they were going to be able to draw in found themselves rolling to see who starts and taking their mulligans. Sitting on top of the standings are Ruud Warmenhoven and Yuuya Watanabe on 36 points. They’re in. Following them on 34 points is Koutarou Ootsuka, who’s most likely in, as he has some of the best tiebreakers in the tournament. After that, it’s 33 points from fourth place all the way through to 9th, so if they all start taking intentional draws now, one of them is going to end up outside the top 8. Not only that, but Ryan Luo in 10th place is on 31 points, so with a win, he can reach 34 points as well. It comes down to the pairings.

    Warmenhoven is paired with Zhiyang Zhang on 33 points. A draw is probably golden for Zhang, as his tiebreakers are as solid as Ootsuka’s. Not surprisingly, when I arrived at their table, they were already gone and their result slip handed in. Watanabe is paired with Ootsuka, so a draw is perfect for them too, giving Ootsuka the 35 points he needs to lock in a top 8 berth. Next up on 33 points each, Seangcha Sattabanasuk and Shingou Kurihara elected to play it out, and Kurihara took the match quickly to reserve his spot on 36 points. Martin Juza and Kok Seng Ong, both on 33, are battling out as we speak.

    Juza vs Ong

    Terry Soh, the last person on 33 points with the lowest tiebreakers, has been paired down to Chikara Nakajima on 30 points, so naturally they’re playing it out too.

    Nakajima vs Soh

    And finally, Ryan Luo and his 31 points have been paired down with Kurt Stockbrugger, way down on 27 points. A win for Luo could definitely put him in contention, but then again, a win for Stockbrugger might put him in the top 32, so it’s game on for these two as well.

    Luo vs Stockbrugger

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 4:29p.m. – Round 14: They Brawled
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • And the results are in. Juza beat Ong 2-1, so he is in. Soh beat Nakajima 2-1 so he’s in, and Luo beat Stockbrugger 2-0, so it looks like our top 8 is follows: Warmenhoven, Watanabe, Kurihara, Juza, Soh, Ootsuka, Zhang and Luo.

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 4:51p.m. – Round 14: Shocking last minute change of results!
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Terry Soh has been given a Match Loss for outside assistance, eliminating him from the top 8, and letting Matteo Orsini Jones sneak in on 33 points!

    According to Head Judge David Vogin, Soh’s opponent, Chikara Nakajima, while out of contention for the top 8, was apparently playing to help his friend’s tiebreakers (unsure which, possibly Kurihara). At one point, Nakajima got up to use the bathroom, and while he was away, his friend came by. Soh asked if he had won, and the friend answered yes. When Nakajima returned for the bathroom, Soh gave him the good news, and Nakajima conceded the match. But apparently folks, that’s outside assistance, thus Terry Soh receiving a Match Loss. A hard lesson to be learned, and no doubt about it.

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