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Kurihara Crushes Bangkok

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As he sat down to face the Czech Republic’s Martin Juza in the finals, Japan’s Shingou Kurihara was all but convinced his Blue-white deck was about to get crushed by Juza’s powerful Red-black deck, just as Juza had lost to Olivier Ruel’s Red-black deck two weeks ago in the finals of Grand Prix–Brighton. And while Juza’s deck delivered as promised in Game 1, Kurihara whipped out his trusty Magebane Armor and took back games two and three decisively to become the Grand Prix–Bangkok champion in a Top 8 that was packed with talent. Kurihara bested the Netherlands' Ruud Warmenhoven (now living in Shanghai) and Koutarou Ootsuka, also from Japan, to reach the finals, and Juza got to the finals by beating Japan national champion runner-up Yuuya Watanabe and England’s Matteo Orsini Jones. Rounding out the Top 8 were Singaporean Ryan Luo and Zhiyang Zhang from China. The Magic 2010 action continues next weekend in Niigata, Japan. Will Martin Juza make it three Top 8’s in a row? Tune in to Magicthegathing.com to find out!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Shingou Kurihara   Shingou Kurihara, 2-0        
8 Ruud Warmenhoven   Shingou Kurihara, 2-0
       
4 Koutarou Ootsuka   Koutarou Ootsuka, 2-0   Shingou Kurihara, 2-1
5 Ryan Luo    
       
2 Martin Juza   Martin Juza, 2-1
7 Yuuya Watanabe   Martin Juza, 2-1
       
3 Matteo Orsini Jones   Matteo Orsini Jones, 2-0
6 Zhiyang Zhang    

EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 8:17 p.m.
    Finals: Martin Juza vs Shingou Kurihara

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 7:53 p.m.
    Semifinals: Matteo Orsini Jones vs Martin Juza

  • by Florian Koch
    Sunday, 7:52 p.m.
    Semifinals: Shingou Kurihara vs Koutarou Ootsuka

  • by Florian Koch
    Sunday, 6:56 p.m.
    Quarterfinals: Martin Juza vs Yuuya Watanabe

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Sunday, 6:50 p.m.
    Quarterfinals: Ruud Warmenhoven vs Shingou Kurihara

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8
    Decklists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8
    Player Profiles

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2 Coverage

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Coverage

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Country Breakdown

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
 1.  Shingou Kurihara $3,500
 2.  Martin Juza $2,300
 3.  Koutarou Ootsuka $1,500
 4.  Matteo Orsini Jones $1,500
 5.  Ruud Warmenhoven $1,000
 6.  Yuuya Watanabe $1,000
 7.  Ryan Luo $1,000
 8.  Zhiyang Zhang $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
Final

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  • Top 8: Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Name: Koutarou Ootsuka
    Hometown: Kobuchi
    Age: 26
    Occupation: Hanabist
    Day One Record: 7-1
    Draft One Record: 3-0
    Draft Two Record: 1-0-2
    How many GP/PT top 8’s have you had? 7 GP, 1 PT
    Will you be holidaying in Thailand while you are here? No
    What card would you most like to open in this top 8 draft? Mind Control
    What was the first Magic deck you ever built? BW Beatdown
    What kind of music do you like? Japanese Anime songs




    Name: Shingou Kurihara
    Hometown: Kame-House
    Age: 26
    Occupation: Apprentice of Turtle Master
    Day One Record: 7-1
    Draft One Record: 2-1
    Draft Two Record: 3-0
    How many GP/PT top 8’s have you had? 4 GP, 1 PT
    Will you be holidaying in Thailand while you are here? Hotel and Magic
    What card would you most like to open in this top 8 draft? Nightmare
    What was the first Magic deck you ever built? Turbo Scaled Wurm (I hated Wall of Stone)
    What kind of music do you like? Japanese Pop (Bump of Chicken)




    Name: Yuuya Watanabe
    Hometown: PWC
    Age: 20
    Occupation: Mr PWC
    Day One Record: 7-1
    Draft One Record: 3-0
    Draft Two Record: 2-0-1
    How many GP/PT top 8’s have you had? 2 GP
    Will you be holidaying in Thailand while you are here? No
    What card would you most like to open in this top 8 draft? Mind Control
    What was the first Magic deck you ever built? White Beatdown with Angel’s Blessing as the finisher
    What kind of music do you like? All Japanese Anime Songs




    Name: Ryan Luo
    Hometown: Singapore
    Age: 25
    Occupation: Student
    Day One Record: 8-0
    Draft One Record: 2-1
    Draft Two Record: 1-1-1
    How many GP/PT top 8’s have you had? My first! Lucky Boxers :)
    Will you be holidaying in Thailand while you are here? We got here on Thursday and walked around a bit. This is my third time in Bangkok, first for Magic.
    What card would you most like to open in this top 8 draft? Gorgon Flail + Pingers are FTW!
    What was the first Magic deck you ever built? It was Red and Green. Scaled Wurm = Best Creature EVER.
    What kind of music do you like? Mostly Mainstream Rock Alternative. My fave band is Jimmy Eat World.




    Name: Zhiyang Zhang
    Hometown: Beijing, China
    Age: 20
    Occupation: Student
    Day One Record: 7-1
    Draft One Record: 3-0
    Draft Two Record: 1-1-1
    How many GP/PT top 8’s have you had? First one.
    Will you be holidaying in Thailand while you are here? Yes.
    What card would you most like to open in this top 8 draft? Great Sable Stag.
    What was the first Magic deck you ever built? Good.
    What kind of music do you like? Jazz.




    Name: Matteo Orsini Jones
    Hometown: Coventry/Bristol, England
    Age: 19
    Occupation: Student
    Day One Record: 7-1
    Draft One Record: 2-1
    Draft Two Record: 2-1
    How many GP/PT top 8’s have you had? 1 GP (this one), 1 PT
    Will you be holidaying in Thailand while you are here? Not much, going to Tokyo then Niigata.
    What card would you most like to open in this top 8 draft? Fireball/Wall of Faith (private joke.)
    What was the first Magic deck you ever built? Big Green Men (Avatar of Might FTW)
    What kind of music do you like? Dizzee Rascal Obv.




    Name: Martin Juza
    Hometown: Plzen, Czech Republic.
    Age: 22
    Occupation: No, thanks.
    Day One Record: 6-2
    Draft One Record: 3-0
    Draft Two Record: 3-0
    How many GP/PT top 8’s have you had? 2 GP, 1 PT
    Will you be holidaying in Thailand while you are here? Straight to Japan!
    What card would you most like to open in this top 8 draft? Mind Control or Fireball will do.
    What was the first Magic deck you ever built? I grew up in the world of Google.
    What kind of music do you like? All kinds, I usually find a song I like and listen to it over and over.




    Name: Ruud Warmenhoven
    Hometown: Shanghai
    Age: 27
    Occupation: Poker Player
    Day One Record: 8-0
    Draft One Record: 3-0
    Draft Two Record: 1-0 then conceded a match, then ID’d.
    How many GP/PT top 8’s have you had? 1 GP, 1 PT
    Will you be holidaying in Thailand while you are here? How is that even a question?
    What card would you most like to open in this top 8 draft? Baneslayer Angel, apparently (Tomoharu) Saito pays good money for them.
    What was the first Magic deck you ever built? I’d rather not talk about this...
    What kind of music do you like? Really depends on my mood.

     

  • Top 8: Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Ruud Warmenhoven
    Top 8 – GP Bangkok

    Yuuya Watanabe
    Top 8 – GP Bangkok

    Koutarou Ootsuka
    Top 8 – GP Bangkok

    Matteo Orsini Jones
    Top 8 – GP Bangkok

    Zhiyang Zhang
    Top 8 – GP Bangkok

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 6:50 p.m. – Quarterfinals: Ruud Warmenhoven vs Shingou Kurihara
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Ruud Warmenhoven had the run of this tournament, not dropping a round until he was already a lock for the top 8. Shingou Kurihara was one of several players left playing for the top 8 in the last round, but win he did. Apparently Warmenhoven’s Green Black deck suffered a little from being downstream of Martin Juza’s Red Black monstrosity, while Kurihara picked up a strong White Blue deck as Yuuya Watanabe drafted Green Black ahead of him. Interestingly enough, Watanabe first picked a Mind Control

    Kurihara won the die roll, and elected to play before mulliganing to five. He made the first play, a Stormfront Pegasus, to which Warmenhoven replied with a Borderland Ranger. Kurihara followed up with a Blinding Mage, and a Razorfoot Griffin, making this a pretty strong mulligan to five, all things considered, while Warmenhoven summoned a Bog Wraith. Warmenhoven drew more cards with a Sign in Blood, before taking out the Pegasus with an Assassinate. Kurihara destroyed the Bog Wraith with a Divine Verdict, then summoned a Griffin Sentinel and made an Honor of the Pure. No, that’s a great mulligan to five. Warmenhoven had nothing of note on his following turn, so Kurihara Excommunicated one blocker, Pacified another, and sent in his team to take Game 1.

    Okay, so perhaps the best mulligan to five, ever.

    Warmenhoven facing down Kurihara’s army.

    Kurihara 1 – Warmenhoven 0

    Meanwhile behind me, Matteo Orsini Jones is up a game over Zhiyang Zhang, and Koutarou Ootsuka is up a game over Ryan Luo.

    Kurihara found his Blue mana in Game 2, catching a Bog Wraith with an Essence Scatter, while getting in some early damage with an Elite Vanguard. A Griffin Sentinel took it to the air while Warmenhoven gummed up the ground with a pair of Borderland Rangers. One of the Rangers traded with the Vanguard, while an Assassinate took care of a Veteran Armorsmith. When Kurihara played a Black Knight, Warmenhoven was left without an answer, as it and the Sentinel dropped him to 9. Warmenhoven sent his remaining Ranger over to tousle with the Sentinel, but a Divine Verdict stopped a Giant Growth from winning the fight. A Pacifism came down on a brand new Giant Spider, and Warmenhoven was forced to Doom Blade the Sentinel. Kurihara summoned a Siege Mastodon and a Veteran Armorsmith, and while Warmenhoven had an Assassinate for one, his freshly summoned Cudgel Troll was Excommunicated, giving Kurihara the match.

    Shingou Kurihara defeats Ruud Warmenhoven 2 – 0

    While behind me, Matteo Orsini Jones defeated Zhiyang Zhang 2 – 0, and Koutarou Ootsuka defeated Ryan Luo 2 – 0 as well!

    Orsini Jones and Zhang in the foreground, Ootsuka and Luo in the back.

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 6:56 p.m. – Quarterfinals: Martin Juza vs Yuuya Watanabe
    by Florian Koch
  • This Quarter-final featured Yuuya Watanabe from Japan against Martin Juza from the Czech Republic. Juza and Watanabe greeted each other with high-fives, apparently in high spirits. While Juza humbly expressed to be fine with the deck he had formerly described as awesome Watanabe did not seem too happy. Watanabe won the die roll and opened with double Llanowar Elves which Juza countered with Pyroclasm. While the Czech put some creatures on his side of the table his opponent struggled to find his third land, but eventually managed thanks to an Elvish Visionary. A Bog Wraith of his was supposed to stop Juza’s Stone Giant and Dread Warlock, but was quickly disposed of. A turn later Watanabe already scooped up his cards.

    Martin Juza 1 - Yuuya Watanabe 0

    Watanabe opened the second game with Duress finding Tendrils of Corruption, Whispersilk Cloak, Dragon Whelp, Dread Warlock, and lands choosing to take away the removal. The opening of the Japanese this time proved to be more impressive. Elvish Visionary led into Centaur Courser and Deadly Recluse although again he struggled to find more lands. Meanwhile Juza could offer resistance only in a Dread Warlock, his Whispersilk Cloak not being much help on defense. Watanabe had a Cloak of his own, but instead of using it opted for brute force, putting Juza on two with the help of an Overrun. Unable to avoid death in the next turn by means of Watanabe’s Whispersilk Cloak this time Juza was the one to scoop up his cards.

    Juza vs Watanabe.

    Martin Juza 1 - Yuuya Watanabe 1

    Watanabe opened the third game with a mulligan and then opted to keep a hand shy on creatures. On his side of the table a Wall of Bone materialized while Juza put a Prodigal Pyromancer and two Dragon Whelps into play. Duress by Watanabe revealed a hand chock-full of removal. Diligently he noted down the cards, but seemed willing to extend his hand already. When the Czech offered to help him choose with a die Watanabe finally decided to remove a Doom Blade. His Deadly Recluse died to Tendrils of Corruption the next turn and the Dragon Whelps put him to 11. A Whispering Shade offered not much help in fending off the Whelps and a turn later Watanabe conceded.

    Martin Juza defeats Yuuya Watanabe 2 – 1

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 7:52 p.m. – Semifinals: Shingou Kurihara vs Koutarou Ootsuka
    by Florian Koch
  • In this all-Japanese semi-final Shingou Kurihara faced Koutarou Ootsuka. After his initial seven had not proven good enough Kurihara opened with Blinding Mage and Griffin Sentinel. The Sentinel met an Essence Shatter, giving Ootsuka room to play a Divination. Kurihara quickly made a Serra Angel, but again Ootsuka had an answer in Pacifism. Meanwhile on Ootsuka’s side a Horned Turtle, a Siege Mastodon and a Wall of Frost had entered play. His opponent added a Stormfront Pegasus with both players playing at lightning speed all the time.

    After some beatings had put Ootsuka to 12 he conjured a Merfolk Looter to find answers to Kurihara’s well-developed board, but struggled. When Kurihara had his opponent down to 8 he build a Magebane Armor, tapped his opponents last creature with power greater than one and attacked with all his men, forcing Ootsuka’s concession.

    Shingou Kurihara 1 - Koutarou Ootsuka 0

    The second game developed a little slower. Kurihara opened with Alluring Siren and Wind Drake while Ootsuka played Merfolk Looter and pacified the Drake. When Kurihara added a Stormfront Pegasus and Blinding Mage on his fourth turn it looked as if Ootsuka might receive another beating, struggling despite the Merfolk Looter. Kurihara then opted to tap Wall of Frost and attack with the Siren and the Pegasus, putting his opponent to 12.

    Ootsuka vs Kurihara.

    Ootsuka finally managed to find a good card of his own and played Mind Control targeting the Blinding Mage. A turn later he added a Snapping Drake and now it looked as if Kurihara might be the one in for a thrashing, but he had a Pacifism for the Wall and send all his creatures including the Siren in. When the Snapping Drake decided to take care of the Siren, care was taken of him by Divine Verdict. Ootsuka went to 5 forcing him to be careful about his defense for the rest of the game.

    It looked as if the game finally had come down to a standstill, but Kurihara’s deck delivered Excommunicate from the top, getting rid of the Mind Controlled Blinding Mage and providing himself with another topdeck. Essence Scatter made sure that the Mage never made it into play again. The same fate came upon the next creature, but Kurihara fired off spell after spell, adding Snapping Drake and Razorfoot Griffin. Meanwhile Ootsuka had added a Razorfoot Griffin and an Illusionary Servant to his troops, but with incessant lootering had reduced his deck to four cards in the process. Forced to try to decided the game he sent his Illusionary Servant in, but yet again Kurihara’s deck delivered from the top: Serra Angel. With the Angel in play Kurihara extended his hand, but Ootsuka declined smiling. He played Polymorph on the Angel in the next turn, but knew as well as his opponent that he would not win this game. When Ootsuka had drawn his last card a few turns later he extended his hand to congratulate Kurhara for making it to the finals of 2009 Grand Prix Bangkok.

    Shingou Kurihara 2 - Koutarou Ootsuka 0

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 7:53 p.m. – Semifinals: Matteo Orsini Jones vs Martin Juza
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Matteo Orsini Jones got the game started with an Island and a Plains, while Martin Juza replied with a Swamp, a Mountain and a Goblin Piker, making this a classic Magic Flavor Grudge Match. After a Divination, Orsini Jones stumbled without a fourth land drop, but had a Celestial Purge for Juza’s Looming Shade, while returning fire with an Elite Vanguard. Orsini Jones found his fourth land and summoned a Razorfoot Griffin, and while Juza didn’t have any removal at the ready, he did have a Goblin Artillery that threatened to make a mess of Orsini Jones’ board. The White team attacked in, before Orsini Jones trapped the Artillery in an Ice Cage. Juza summoned a Berserkers of Blood Ridge, while Orsini Jones replied with a Phantom Warrior. The scores now Orsini Jones 14, Juza 12. The Berserkers dropped Orsini Jones to 10, and were joined by a Stone Giant. Orsini Jones attacked back, knocking Juza down to 8, and cloned the Berserkers. Juza attacked again, Orsini Jones now on 6, Juza Diabolic Tutored for a Pyroclasm, and cleared out some of Orsini Jones’ board, but the plucky Brit had an Armored Ascension to send his Clone in for the win.

    Orsini Jones 1 – Juza 0

    “How did I lose that game,” Juza sighed as they shuffled. “I did 20 damage to you,” Orsini Jones joked.

    Getting off to a fast start, Orsini Jones attacked his Elite Vanguard and Silvercoat Lion into Juza’s turn three Goblin Artillery. Juza called the bluff and blocked the Vanguard, finishing off the rest of Orsini Jones’ team on his turn with the Artillery. A Pacifism stopped a Dread Warlock, but it seemed that Orsini Jones had nothing left in his hand that would survive the Artillery. Juza got to work with a Looming Shade and summoned a Prodigal Pyromancer. Orsini Jones Cloned the Artillery, but Juza’s shooters just double teamed it as the Shade dropped Orsini Jones to 12. Juza of course, was on even less (10), thanks to his Artillery. Orsini Jones offered a sacrificial Silvercoat Lion that served to drop Juza to 7 at least. He then cast Sleep, tapping down Juza’s team, and summoned an Illusionary Servant, which was enough to get Juza to 4 life, but he couldn’t find anything else for the rest.

    Orsini Jones 1 – Juza 1

    Juza leaves Orsini Jones with nothing but lands in play.

    “I definitely should have won Game 1,” Juza reiterated. “You definitely could have,” agreed Orsini Jones. “If you had attacked with everything the turn you cast Pyroclasm, I would have had to block and you would wiped my board.”

    Orsini Jones began the decider with a Zephyr Spirit. “MVP first round,” he declared with a smile, following it up with a turn three Illusionary Servant. “Lol lol lol,” Juza deadpanned, stuck on two land as he smacked the Servant with a Doom Blade. He then found two more land, summoning a Goblin Piker and a Dragon Whelp, while Orsini Jones had a Silvercoat Lion an a Razorfoot Griffin. As he flicked the cards in his hand, Orsini Jones accidentally dropped a Sleep on to the table. “Yay,” Juza laughed. “I accidentally showed my opponent a Consume Spirit earlier too,” Orsini Jones laughed. Juza created a Rod of Ruin, but had his Pyroclasm ruined by a Safe Passage. However, between the Rod and a Lightning Bolt, Juza cleared out the rest of Orsini Jones’ team, and even had the Seismic Strike for the Cloned Dragon Whelp. With no way to get in the way of the Whelp, Orsini Jones was soon offering his hand to Juza.

    Martin Juza defeats Matteo Orsini Jones 2 – 1

     

  • Sunday, August 23: 8:17 p.m. – Finals: Martin Juza vs Shingou Kurihara
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • As Kurihara sat down at the table, he pointed to Juza’s chair and claimed “He’s the champion. He has Pyroclasm, which is Wrath of God against me. Prodigal Pyromancer will destroy me,” he continued, laughing. “You’re the only Red deck in the draft?” Kurihara asked as Juza sat down. “Uhh, I think so,” he replied. “You like your deck?” Juza asked. “Yes, but I like your deck better,” Kurihara laughed. “No trade,” Juza joked, waving his hands over the table.

    “I’ll Keep!” Kurihara exclaimed at his opening hand. “That was quick!” answered Juza, as Kurihara opened formalities with a turn two Alluring Siren. Juza took it out with a Lightning Bolt, before summoning a Goblin Artillery, causing Kurihara to snort. Kurihara threw his men out into the battlefield, a Veteran Armorsmith, an Elite Vanguard and a White Knight, while Juza had a Dragon Whelp, his Artillery picking off White creatures left and right. Juza then played his Prodigal Pyromancer, the shelf life of Kurihara’s team getting shorter and shorter. Juza attacked Kurihara down to 6, while he himself was on 2, thanks to his Artillery. Kurihara drew his card for the turn and surveyed the table. “Hrmm, activate?” he asked, pointing at the Artillery with laugh, before scooping up his cards.

    Juza 1 – Kurihara 0

    Kurihara buries his men, all of them, one at a time.
    Kurihara had the dream start Game 2, Elite Vanguard into Alluring Siren into Doom Blade on the Siren (get it? Because of all the things a Doom Blade could kill... never mind). Kurihara made a Griffin Sentinel and a Snapping Drake while Juza summoned the Dread Warlock, Prodigal Pyromancer and Goblin Artillery team. Kurihara sighed, exasperated, and made a Magebane Armor. Juza summoned a Stone Giant, and Kurihara snuck a Blinding Mage under the Armor while the Artillery were spent on the Snapping Drake. Juza was stuck on four lands, and had to pass the turn back to Kurihara without a play. When Kurihara attacked again, Juza again dropped to just 2 life to clear the Sentinel out of the air. Kurihara then summoned a Horned Turtle, and made ready for his Blinding Mage to clear the way. Juza again was forced to end without play, and the Mage tapped down the Stone Giant, and then attacked. Juza threw a Tendrils of Corruption at the Mage, but had misunderstood the Armor’s ability. “I’m not winning this game,” Juza sighed. “That card destroys me.”

    Juza 1 – Kurihara 1

    Juza cannot find an answer to Magebane Armor.
    Elite Vanguard again appeared turn one for Kurihara, and was joined by a turn two Blinding Mage, which earned a Doom Blade. Kurihara practically slammed down the turn three Magebane Armor, forcing Juza to Pyroclasm away the lonesome Vanguard. Kurihara replaced it with a Snapping Drake and passed it back, Juza summoning a Dragon Whelp that traded with the Drake when it attacked unsuited. The reason for that was clear when Kurihara then summoned a huge a Serra Angel. Juza could only summon a Goblin Piker and a Rod of Ruin and watch as the Angel donned the Armor, attacking him for 6. A turn later, the Piker chumped the Angel, and it was joined by a Siege Mastodon. Juza thought for a moment, and then offered his hand to Kurihara. “I cannot beat that card, not in a million years.”

    Shingou Kurihara defeated Martin Juza 2 – 1 to become the Grand Prix Bangkok Champion!

    Not again!

    The finals appearance for Juza was bittersweet, who lost in the finals of Grand Prix Brighton to Olivier Ruel a fortnight ago. “I’m such a bad player,” Juza moaned. Yeah, I wish I was a bad as him.

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