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Day 1 Coverage of Grand Prix Bangkok

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  • Saturday, 9.00 a.m. - Dragon's Maze's Impact on Return to Ravnica Limited

    by Chapman Sim

  • Both Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash have been very enjoyable to draft thus far and there are a plethora of strategies across multiple colors that have been proven to work. Such an interesting block is not without conundrums, especially with the introduction of Dragon's Maze.

    Previously, players were nudged in the direction of drafting two color decks during the times of triple Return to Ravnica as well as triple Gatecrash. Speed, tempo, focus and synergy were not to be neglected, and players who stumbled early often found the game ending faster than they could shout "Ouch!".

    Draft decks were much more focused, and the format seemed much faster. Smaller creatures were prized highly and there was often a need for speed, since missing your two or three drop potentially spelt doom.


    The Cult of Rakdos steamrolled past their opponents by unleashing oversized threats with no intent to block, coupled with an assortment of efficient removal spells to clear the path. The Golgari Swarm didn't try to compete with speed, but instead tried to stay alive long enough to win the attrition war by generating value out of their slow but powerful scavenge creatures.


    The Azorius Senate and Izzet League would not allow that to happen. They took to the air while detaining and removing troublesome blockers like Trestle Trolls and Towering Indriks. The Selesnya Conclave had a different idea on how to amass an army, and aimed to overwhelm by populating additional threats by and backing them up with powerful tricks like Rootborn Defenses.


    Fast forward three months into Gatecrash, players were trying to survive the incredible onslaught mounted by the Boros Legion as well as the Simic Combine. For the Boros player, curving out with efficient beaters like Boros Elite, Daring Skyjek and Wojek Halberdiers often pressured opponents to suffocation. The perfect draw of quality creatures which grew progressively (Cloudfin Raptor, Experiment One, Shambleshark, Crocanura) often caused opponents to fall behind, especially when supported by cheap pumps and support spells like Spell Rupture.


    The Gruul Clans made blocking decisions extremely difficult without Smite, courtesy of fatties who double up as bloodrushing pump spells. Despite being capable of being aggressive, the Orzhov Syndicate and House Dimir could also switch modes and play the defensive game, sometimes using Extort in conjuction with evasive creatures like Basilica Screecher and Deathcult Rogue as a primary route to victory.


    With the introduction of Dragon's Maze, chaos seems to have been unleashed upon the entire drafting table. Players were greeted with a ton of options, and gold cards occupied higher percentage of the boosters. Juicy cards like Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Advent of the Wurm, Gruul's War Chant, Beetleform Mage, Putrefy and Warleader's Helix quickly forced players to jump into two colours.


    The temptation to play both sides of split cards like Far & Away, Turn & Burn or Ready & Willing prompts greedy players to dip into their third or fourth (or even fifth) color, in order to transform their decks from decent into gamebreaking.


    Even the mono-colored cards encouraged players to play with more colors! The cycle of Maze elementals encouraged you to play with more multicolored creatures. The Gatekeepers forced you to grab Guildgates earlier than before, eventually tempting you to give in to your desires to optimize your picks by picking up cards of other colors. Removal spells like Fatal Fumes and Punish the Enemy were costed with only a single colored mana, possibly to encourage additional splashes.


    Aside from the ubiquitous Guildgate (or the occasional Shockland) in every pack, there is also an average of 1.66 Cluestones in each booster. It would seem that drafting a multi-colored deck with a bigger and more impactful cards was the direction that we're meant to be headed.

    Several Pros have suggested to forgo synergy for "generally better" cards. The argument was that the "generally better" cards are "generally better" throughout the entire game, whereas small one drops and two drops quickly get outclassed. With the introduction of Gatekeepers, offensive creatures were invalidated more quickly than before and it was harder to get a deck full of the same keyword (for example drafting a deck with 10 Extort creatures or 10 Evolve creatures).

    Today, players are greeted with an additional 156 cards to the mix and it marks the beginning of a new era. How will players adapt to a whole new world?




     

  • Saturday, 09:15 a.m. - GPT Winning Decklists

    by Chapman Sim & Pip Foweraker

















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  • Saturday, 10.30 a.m. - Through the Ages: Bangkok Edition

    by Chapman Sin


  • Tsuyoshi Fujita

    Precisely ten years ago, trailblazer of the Japanese Pro Tour lifestyle, Tsuyoshi Fujita came and conquered the first ever Grand Prix to be held in Thailand. Piloting the resilient "Goblin Bidding" deck he had personally designed, he defeated (fondly remembered) Itaru Ishida in the finals to bring home the champion trophy. This event was especially significant for Fujita since it marked his TENTH Grand Prix Top 8, coupled with his first repeat Grand Prix victory.


    Despite Japanese dominance at this 257-man tournament, the Thais managed to place two players in the Top 8, demonstrating that they were not pushovers and capable of putting up resistance!

    Grand Prix Bangkok 2003 Top 8
    1) Tsuyoshi Fujita
    2) Itaru Ishida
    3) Vincent Gan
    4) Osamu Fujita
    5) Masahiko Morita
    6) Tsutomu Yamada
    7) Peerapat Ekpoothorn
    8) Noppadol Srirattana


    Masahiko Morita

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Grand Prix Bangkok 2007 also marked the first and only time where the entire Top 8 consisted of solely Japanese and Singaporean players.

    It also seemed that if you had lost in the Top 8 of a previous Grand Prix Bangkok, you have a decent chance of winning the next one. After failing to advance to the semifinals back in 2003, Masahiko Morita managed to win the whole thing this time. To this day, Morita holds the somewhat-bittersweet record for being both the player with the most number of Grand Prix Top 8s (sweet sixteen) and the most number of lifetime Pro Points without a Pro Tour Top 8.

    Grand Prix Bangkok 2007
    1) Masahiko Morita
    2) Shingou Kurihara
    3) Choo Yong Han
    4) Ong Kok Seng
    5) Junya Iyanaga
    6) Otsuka Kotaro
    7) Steven Tan
    8) Takuya Osawa

    Interestingly, Pro Tour Prague Champion, Takuya Osawa and Shingou Kurihara had earlier made Top 8 at Pro Tour Geneva together and the Osawa would also later go on to capture the next Grand Prix Bangkok trophy, which brings us to year 2009.


    Shingou Kurihara

    Grand Prix Bangkok 2009
    1) Shingou Kurihara
    2) Martin Juza
    3) Koutarou Ootsuka
    4) Matteo Orsini Jones
    5) Ruud Warmenhoven
    6) Yuuya Watanabe
    7) Ryan Luo
    8) Zhang Zhiyang

    To be crowned the champ, Kurihara had to defeat "very bad" player and full-time tourist Martin Juza, whom (at the time) had just lost in yet another finals against Oliver Ruel at Grand Prix Brighton a fortnight ago. This victory would be his first and only win among the five times he had made the final tables.

    Judging from history alone, Grand Prix Bangkok has always been captured by the Japanese and other than the first one, it's victor was always someone who made the Top 8 previously. Going by this trend, our money is on reigning Player of the Year (and Platinum Pro Yuuya) Watanabe to win Grand Prix Bangkok this time! But honestly, it could be anyone's day and only time will tell!


    Yuuya Watanabe




     

  • Saturday, 12.15p.m. - Mystery Pro Toils in Trouble!

    by Chapman Sim

  • Someone has crossed the oceans and had misfortune of receiving the pool below. At first glance, there are an obvious lack of bombs and removal. Upon further inspection, it looks like it isn't easy to build either a beatdown or control deck. With scattered cards over multiple colors and way too many Cluestones, it looks like someone is in peril!


    Some cards you'd love to see in a Sealed pool.

    How would you build this deck and do you think its any good? Maybe its not as bad as we think but it certainly isn't what we'd like to see at a Grand Prix! We'll reveal the identity of this Mystery Pro's and his final configuration at the end of the day, so stay tuned!


    Some cards you'd rather not have!

    Mystery Pro Toils in Trouble
    Grand Prix Bangkok 2013

    Main Deck

    86 cards

    Boros Guildgate
    Gruul Guildgate
    Selesnya Guildgate

    3 lands

    Archon of the Triumvirate
    Armory Guard
    Balustrade Spy
    Bane Alley Blackguard
    Beetleform Mage
    Bellows Lizard
    Blistercoil Weird
    Centaur's Herald
    Cloudfin Raptor
    Daring Skyjek
    Deputy of Acquittals
    Ember Beast
    Fencing Ace
    Feral Animist
    Fluxcharger
    Greenside Watcher
    Grim Roustabout
    Knight of Obligation
    Maze Sentinel
    Murmuring Phantasm
    New Prahv Guildmage
    Perilous Shadow
    Rakdos Drake
    Savageborn Hydra
    Scorchwalker
    Skarrg Goliath
    Slate Street Ruffian
    Sluiceway Scorpion
    Smelt-Ward Gatekeepers
    Spawn of Rix Maadi
    Splatter Thug
    Steeple Roc
    Sunspire Gatekeepers
    Sunspire Griffin
    Tenement Crasher
    Tithe Drinker
    Tower Drake
    Wind Drake
    Zameck Guildmage

    39 creatures

    Aerial Predation
    Azorius Keyrune
    Boros Cluestone
    Cancel
    Chemister's Trick
    Contaminated Ground
    Coursers' Accord
    Death's Approach
    Destroy the Evidence
    Devour Flesh
    Dimir Charm
    Down // Dirty
    Dynacharge
    Far // Away
    Furious Resistance
    Gleam of Battle
    Golgari Cluestone
    Gridlock
    Gruul Cluestone
    Gruul War Chant
    Guildscorn Ward
    Homing Lightning
    Immortal Servitude
    Miming Slime
    Mindstatic
    Mizzium Skin
    Mugging
    Mutant's Prey
    Orzhov Cluestone
    Paranoid Delusions
    Pilfered Plans
    Primal Visitation
    Psychic Strike
    Pyroconvergence
    Render Silent
    Riot Control
    Rootborn Defenses
    Search the City
    Simic Cluestone
    Soul Tithe
    Spell Rupture
    Tin Street Market
    Urban Burgeoning
    Wildwood Rebirth

    44 other spells






     

  • Saturday, 1.30p.m. - Country Breakdown

    by Chapman Sim

  • Country Breakdown
    Thailand 470
    Singapore 128
    Malaysia 71
    Japan 43
    China 34
    Philippines 32
    South Korea 15
    Taiwan 14
    Hong Kong 13
    Australia 13
    United States 10
    Russian Federation 6
    Germany 4
    Brunei Darussalam 4
    Indonesia 1
    Belgium 1
    Switzerland 1
    Sweden 1
    Portugal 1
    New Zealand 1
    India 1
    France 1
    England 1
    Denmark 1
    Total 867



     

  • Round 3 Feature Match: Jake Hart vs. Weng Heng Soh

    by Pip Foweraker

  • "There just aren't many better 2-drops than this little dude", said Jake Hart of his favourite insect, Woodlot Crawler. Unfortunately for Hart, Weng Heng Soh was able to deal with the pesky forestwalker over the course of 3 games, taking the match 2-1.

    That a diminutive 2/1 could be a focal card of a match featuring hordes of 6 and 7-drops indicates the power of protection, with Soh forced to find ways around and over the troublesome grub to win his games.

    Soh began Game 1 with an Axebane Guardian. Hart dropped a medley of Guildgates and a Rakdos Signet, using a single black mana to efficiently Killing Glare the Guardian. Soh followed up with a Deadbridge Goliath, while Hart summoned a Golgari Longlegs to keep pace.


    Jake Hart

    Hart played out more mana rocks and summoned a Woodlot Crawler, which impiously stared down its much larger cousin across the battlefield. Soh summoned an Armored Wolf-Rider, while Hart had a Tower Drake. An Angelic Edict took care of that.

    Hart had a Melek, Izzet Paragon, which revealed a One Thousnd Lashes coming up for Soh's creatures. Hart went to trade his Longlegs for the Deadbridge Goliath, but Soh saved it with a Chorus of Might. An Electrickery took out Hart's Rakdos Signet. Hart summoned a Voidwielder, Gruul Charm took out the Tower Drake, and then Soh summoned an Assault Griffin.

    "C'mon buddy, give me some good stuff on there", Hart begged the top of his library, which had so far spectacularly failed to do anything but let Soh know in advance what he was coming up against. Hart dropped the One Thousand Lashes onto the Goliath, sending Soh's life total ticking down slowly.

    Soh attacked and bloodrushed a Ghor-Clan Rampager to trample over Hart's blockers to beat the clock.

    Weng Heng Soh 1 – Jake Hart 0

    GAME 2

    Hart summoned his Woodlot Crawler, which looked less useful against Soh's collection of guildgates. Hart cautiously sent in his abominable Insect and was relieved to have it connect. Soh dropped a Forest – prompting a brief cheer from Hart - before summoning his Deadbridge Goliath.

    "C'mon, little buddy! Don't die!"

    Both players dropped mana rocks while the Goliath and Crawler stared each other down across the battlefield. Hart summoned a Dead Revelers and an Opal Lake Gatekeepers. A Warleader's Helix took out the Revelers, while Hart had an Arrest for Soh's Deadbridge Goliath.

    A Korozda Monitor from Soh was met with a Maze Abomination from Hart. Soh maxed out his curve with a Spectral Primordial, grabbing the Dead Reveler from Hart's graveyard. Hart promptly smote the Primordial with a Killing Glare. Hart attacked, and Soh dual-blocked and killed the Maze Abomination with his stolen Dead Reveler and the Korozda Monitor. Soh tried to stem the bleeding with a Ruination Wurm, but Hart had a Mugging for it, allowing his creatures to punch through for lethal damage.

    Jake Hart 1 - Weng Heng Soh 1


    Weng Heng Soh

    GAME 3

    After an early Mugging to take out a Greenside Watcher, Hart hiccupped on land. Soh applied pressure with a Ghor-Clan Rampager and a Ruination Wurm, while Hart cycled through detain effects with an Inaction Injunction and a Soulsworn Spirit. A Voidwielder kept the Ruination Wurm off the battlefield briefly, Soh carefully laying a spare Mountain before re-summoning the Wurm.

    "You're going to blow me out with that Electrickery", Hart opined as he summoned his favorite Woodlot Crawler.

    Soh summoned his Deadbridge Goliath, while Hart summoned a Golgari Longlegs and surveyed Soh's impressive board. Punish the Enemy took care of the Crawler, and the Golgari Longlegs traded with Soh's Rampager. Hart was unable to answer the Wurm, though, and despite some last-ditch defense, fell a few attacks later.




     

  • Round 4 Feature Match – Chanpleng Sethsilp vs. Huang Hao-Shan

    by Chapman Sim

  • Affectionately known as "Vee" to his family and friends, Sethsilp Chanpleng is possibly this year's most "winningest" Thai player. After coming in 12th at Grand Prix Singapore, he followed up that performance with a Top 50 result at Pro Tour's Dragon Maze, good enough to edge out Nonthakorn Kositaporn to clinch the captaincy spot for the upcoming World Magic Cup.

    Huang Hao-Shan on the other hand has had a mediocre season, seeing that he was unable to renew his Gold membership and would need to work doubly hard to stay on the train. However, Huang does have three Grand Prix Top 8s under his belt, proving that he was no fluke. At the very least, due to the improved Pro Player Club, being at Silver Level ensured that he would still be able to attend Pro Tour Theros in Dublin.


    Chanpleng Sethsilp

    Both players exchanged their experiences at Pro Tour's Dragon's Maze and tried to determine who had the edge in this match.

    "I went 8-1-1 at Block Constructed. Is that a good result?", Vee said cheekily.

    "That's great, but this is a limited event. I went 6-0 in Booster Draft," was the quick retort, evoking laughter from all three of us before eventually settling on a unanimous agreement that it could be anyone's game.

    Game One

    Despite being able to mount an extremely solid defense in the form of Jelenn Sphinx and a Nimbus Swimmer (of Serra Angel proportions), Huang eventually succumbed to Vee's team of Lotleth Troll, Thrill-Kill Assassin and Carnage Gladiator. Huang's white blue green deck which splashed red for Blast of Genius and Punish the Enemy had only one solution to the annoying Carnage Gladiator, which was the Angelic Edict he failed to draw.

    Sethsilp's first decision of the game was whether to use Devour Flesh on Huang's Centaur's Herald. He contemplated whether he should allow Huang to waste his turn three creating a token, before pointing the "Diabolic Edict" at it. He eventually decided against that since he wanted to cast Thrill-Kill Assassin and Ogre Jailbreaker on his succeeding turns and maximize his mana utilization..

    Huang had Crowned Ceratok to force the trade and reinforced with Jelenn Sphinx and a 4/4 Nimbus Swimmer, but that did not stop Sethsilp's Carnage Gladiator and the unleashed Thrill-Kill from entering the red zone. Vee had Trestle Troll to hold back Nimbus Swimmer and all he had to do was attack every turn with his duo of regenerators, ensuring that Huang would lose two life even if both creatures were successfully blocked.

    "Cards in hand?", asked Huang.

    "One.", was the blank response.

    Some people say the last card is always the best and it turned out that Vee's final trick up his sleeve was Soul's Ransom, splashed off Izzet Guildgate. Nimbus Swimmer switched sides, but not for long since Huang decided that he wanted his flyer back. The ransom was Gruul Keystone and Breeding Pool but this decision would later come back to haunt him for multiple reasons.

    Firstly, there was Blast of Genius in Huang's hand he could no longer cast, now that he had discarded his only red mana source. Furthermore, it was revealed after the match that Huang actually had 12 other cards in his deck which cost 4 or more, which enabled him to use Blast of Genius to destroy Nimbus Swimmer while drawing himself two cards rather than giving his opponent two.

    "I think I made a poor decision. I couldn't even attack with it. I could have waited until at least my draw step to see what I had drawn or activated the ability during his combat."

    Vee 1 – Huang 0


    Huang Hao-Shan

    Game Two

    Despite having a deck loaded with powerful bombs and solid removal, Huang found himself on the receiving end of infamous mana screw. Despite playing a four color deck with multiple Guildgates, Huang had only two of his colors.

    Having started out decently well with Centaur's Herald and a 2/2 Nimbus Swimmer, Huang found himself stuck on 5 lands of the wrong colors (four Forests and a lone Island). Holding Angelic Edict, Punish the Enemy and Blast of Genius, he was visibly annoyed when his next draw phase served him a Maze Glider he still couldn't cast.

    This gave Sethsilp enough time to power out Haunter of Nightveil and Maze Abomination using turn three Gruul Keyrune. Carnage Gladiator once again reared his literally very ugly head and Huang had to peel something quickly. A Mountain or Plains would suffice but Huang had drawn a Rakdos Guildgate, preventing him from advancing his board.

    Sethsilp activated Gruul Keyrune and attacked with everything, representing at lethal damage. Both Huang and I knew he was dead since Gruul Keyrune was a multi-colored creature, which means it had both deathtouch and trample. All Vee had to do was assign one damage to Huang's blocker and the remaining two directly to him. Vee didn't see that play but it was inconsequential since Huang was already too far behind and even Supreme Verdict wouldn't save him.

    Vee 2 – Huang 0




     

  • Saturday, 6:40 p.m. – GP Bangkok Judging Staff

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Behold! Our fantastic and incredibly good-looking judging staff for Grand Prix Bangkok 2013!


    Incredibly Good-looking Judges




     

  • Round 5 Feature Match – Li Bo vs. Kuo

    by Chapman Sim

  • Both Team champions could not avoid the fate of being summoned to the Featured Match area before they could take their seats. In the end, it was Kuo Tzu Ching who defeated Li Bo in two games, largely with the assistance of Maze Rusher.


    Game One


    Kuo Tzu Ching

    Despite being ground down to just five cards in his library and a lowly three life, Kuo stole Game One on the brink of death, using the combination of Maze Rusher and Morgue Burst to finish off an unsuspecting Li.

    Both players had very controllish decks and nearly no damage was dealt during the few turns of the game. Both players had a suite of removal spells to answer whatever his opponent would present.

    Kuo used Ubul Sar Gatekeepers to crush Fathom Mage, giving Li a great target for Stab Wound. Kuo reset the board with Merciless Eviction to avoid bleeding to his death. Kuo sent Li's Skarrg Goliath on a Path to Exile with Angelic Edict. The flurry of exchanges occurred to the point where both were simply waiting for creatures, waiting to be sent to the gallows.

    "We're like two idiots doing nothing," Li literally laughed out loud.

    Anyone watching the match could only nod and agree since neither could keep a creature on the board for more than a turn.

    Li who seemed like he had the edge when he finally started to attack Kuo with Crosstown Courier, a card Kuo had deemed so unworthy that he had refused to kill. Despite being overloaded with great cards, he pretended like he was land-flooded, constantly commenting that he was about to die, continuing to take small hits from Crosstown Courier. I knew it was but a ruse since he was holding a fistful of removal, including double Explosive Impact, Angelic Edict, Fatal Fumes and Smite.

    While feigning weakness, Kuo was hatching a devious plan to finish of Li in one fell swoop.

    When the time was ripe, he dropped Maze Rusher and slashed Li's life total by a third. When Li killed it with Launch Party, Kuo resurrected it with Morgue Burst to deal 6 damage to him and then attacking with the 6/3 once again, killing Li from out of nowhere! Li muttered some words under his breath, words we can't publish but everyone found supremely hilarious! Clearly, he did not expect to lose this way!

    Li 0 – Kuo 1

    Game Two

    Game two saw Li stumbling on mana and losing very quickly to a fused Toil & Trouble for eleven "damage", coupled with a few attacks from Thrill-Kill Assassin and one painful slash from Maze Rusher.

    Kuo led the game with Keening Apparition and Li replied with Crosstown Courier. Kuo voiced out his concern that his superior Keening Apparition was going to have to trade with "bad card" Crosstown Courier.

    "If I attack, Li is probably going to block. And if I don't attack, Li will counterattack and I will be forced to block. Somehow the milling ability scares me even though its usually irrelevant."


    Li Bo

    True to his prediction, both creatures traded in combat. This could only mean that Li had drawn his Stab Wound. Now that Keening Apparition was gone, Kuo was left susceptible to it but it's not like he could play around it by not casting creatures, so he unleashed Thrill-Kill Assassin anyway.

    Usually, Li should be really happy since he had just found a perfect target for Stab Wound but he didn't have a black source yet. He passed his next two turns in succession before being hit by Maze Rusher once again. Using Detention Sphere, he tried to relief himself the pain but Toil & Trouble (for maximum DPS output) ensured Li would feel no more pain this match.


    Li 0 – Kuo 2




     

  • Round 6 Feature Match - Matt Marr vs. Yuuya Watanabe

    by Pip Foweraker

  • "Masterful" was Matt Marr's gracious description of Yuuya Watanabe's utterly annihilating play that took out their first game. Watanabe had come back from a precarious position to smash Marr for 18 points of unstoppable damage out of seemingly nowhere, and then went on to win the match 2-0.

    Marr had sped out of the gates with a Skyknight Legionnaire, followed by a Splatter Thug and a Boros Elite. Watanabe made a Grisly Spectacle of the Thug, but Marr kept up pressure over the next several turns. Watanabe summoned a Maw of the Obzedat and a Disciple of the Old Ways, but was unable to either attack effectively or stop Marr's Legionnaire.


    Matt Marr

    Watanabe, heavy on lands but short on answers, could only pass and watch as Marr streaked further ahead. Sitting on a precarious 3 life and with only 1 card in hand, Watanabe would need to do something spectacular to get through Marr's army and barely-touched life total.

    Then again, this is Watanabe. He drew his final card and paused for the briefest of moments before sacrificing his Dreg Mangler to the Maw of Obzedat. With the Mangler in the graveyard, Watanabe could scavenge it to further pump his Maw. With his remaining mana, he fuzed an Armed and Dangerous, forcing Marr's impressive army to dedicate itself to blocking his Disciple. Once the Maw had sailed through unhindered, the Disciple got gobbled up by the Maw, which had grown large enough to finish Marr off with one ominous gulping sound.

    Marr gracefully congratulated Watanabe before heading to his sideboard, shaking his head at the unexpected blowout.

    Yuuya Watanabe 1 – Matt Marr 0


    Yuuya Watanabe

    Watanabe played a careful defensive game in the second, able to stop Marr from applying any real pressure, despite a Gruul War Chant threatening shenanigans. A Soul Ransom from Watanabe left Marr in an unenviable position, and his timely interception of a Hero's Mantle with a Grisly Spectacle sealed the deal.

    Yuuya Watanabe 2 – Matt Marr 0




     

  • Round 7 Featured Match - Sui Xin vs. Desmond Lau

    by Chapman Sim

  • Sui Xin from China is no stranger to the Featured Match area. A well-respected cardslinger from Mainland China, he has been paired against relative unknown Desmond Lau from Singapore. Both players seemed to have the same level of understanding regarding the format though, since they had concocted up five-color control decks, laden with bombs, splashing for removal and card drawing spells.

    Sui emerged victorious largely with the help of Aurelia's Fury and Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts, surviving Lau's borderline-insane deck consisting of Hull of Vorel Clade, Rubblehulk, Soul Random, Trostani's Summoner, Alive & Well and double Urban Evolution.

    Game One

    Lau had assembled a 16/16 Ghor-Clan Rampager using Vorel of the Hull Clade and Zameck Guildmage. However, Sui gummed up the board with Crocanura and waited until the very last opportune to tap down all of Lau's seven untapped creatures to swing for lethal.

    Lau's draw was excellent and he managed to curve out perfectly, trailblazing with Greenside Watcher, Tower Drake, a Centaur token (Alive & Well) as well as Sapphire Drake.

    However, Sui pacified the entire army by evolving Crocanura until it was capable of surviving even an assault against Sapphire Drake. Stab Wound was slowly sucking the life out of Sui but he was hatching another plan. All Sui wanted to do was put creatures on the board and lay in wait.


    Lau refilled with double Urban Evolution, eventually assembling a 16/16 trampler with flying. Sui pushed the 5/7 Crocanura to cushion the incoming blow, going down to three life and then during his upkeep, reduced to one precarious life due to Stab Wound. It was then he decided to go for the kill, tapping down Lau's entire team for more than lethal.

    "Well-played. Really," murmured Lau, seemingly convinced that he got severely outplayed by his opponent.

    Sui 1 – Lau 0


    Sui Xin

    Game Two

    Lau opted to let his opponent play first and Sui punished that decision with Stonefare Crocodile, Thrashing Mossdog and Alive & Well. Vorel of the Hull Clade met with Executioner's Swing and Lau tried to race with Rubblehulk and Ghor-Clan Rampager.

    Sui once again unleashed Aurelia's Fury, killing the Rampager and reduced Lau down to exactly six life. If Lau chose to counterattack, the opposing Centaur token and Thrashing Mossdog could be lethal if Sui had a trick.


    Sui then dropped Teysa and wondered if Lau could deal with it this time. Lau topdecked Soul Ransom while Sui had only a single Putrefy in his hand, which he used on Rubblehulk. He waited for a couple of turns before deciding to finally take back his Teysa.

    When questioned why he didn't immediately take back the Teysa to try and win with the two-turn clock, Sui expertly explained that he had tried to delay Lau from drawing the two cards as much as possible.

    "Sooner or later, I would need to give my opponents two cards. Why don't I give him those cards later? I was at 20 life and he was at 5. One false move and he could be dead."

    Lau sought to seal the game with Trostani's Summoner but it arrived perhaps a couple of turns too late. Despite having Turn & Burn to eradicate Teysa, time was called and Lau was unable to break past the defenses and extended the hand graciously.


    Desmond Lau

    Sui 2 – Lau 0




     

  • Round 8 Feature Match: Kan Poonsattha vs. Liang Chen

    by Pip Foweraker

  • Both games were how the Gruul-wielding Poonsattha wanted them: fast, bloody and brutal. Chen, hitherto undefeated, stumbled on defense against relentless pressure, and fell down in 2 games in very short order.

    Game 1

    Poonsattha led play with a Zhur-Taa Druid and followed up with a Boros Reckoner, which Chen detained for a turn with Azorius Arrester. The Reckoner waited a turn, then crashed into Chen unopposed. Poonsattha followed up with a Cinder Elemental, while Chen had no further plays until his sixth turn, when he summoned Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker.


    Kan Poonsattha

    Poonsattha had a Traitorous Instinct for the dangerous flier, and Chen decided to head for his sideboard rather than give up too much information in a game he wasn't looking like winning any time soon.

    Kan Poonsattha 1 – Liang Chen 0

    Game 2


    Liang Chen

    Poonsattha blazed out of the gates with a Gore-House Chainwalker and a Miming Slime, while Chen summoned a Simic Manipulator. Poonsattha piled on the pressure with a Bloodfury Giant and a Pit Fight to take out the Manipulator, leaving Chen unable to recover, and the players shook hands and headed off for a break before the next round, the games having taken barely over 15 minutes.

    Kan Poonsattha 2 – Liam Chen 0




     

  • Saturday, 6.15p.m. - Quick Questions #1:
    Since the release of Dragon's Maze, which card have you realied that you had previously undervalued?

    by Chapman Sim & Pip Foweraker

  • Makihito Mihara: Maw of the Obzedat.
    Huang Hao-Shan: Runner's Bane.
    Li Bo: Phytoburst.
    Shouta Yasooka: Clues Uncovered.
    Kuo Tzu Ching: Phytoburst.
    Yuuya Watanabe: Debt to the Debtless.
    Lee Shi Tian: Splash Color Cluestones.



     

  • Saturday, 9.30p.m. - Building a Sealed Deck with Mystery Pro (Lee Shi Tian)

    by Chapman Sim

  • We showed you this card pool earlier and it was owned by Lee Shi Tian, our Asia Pacific representative of the prestigious player Championships. As the Pro Point leader of the region, we thought it would be nice to take a look at his decision-making process.

    He managed to make Day Two with the required magical seven wins, demonstrating that you don't need a ridiculously overpowered pool to advance as long as you build a deck with a focused concept.



    Despite allegations from himself that the deck is below average, he has managed to make Day Two with the following maindeck. His formula is not difficult to comprehend. A bunch of flyers like Wind Drake, tower Drake and Sunspire Griffin race through the skies while annoying blockers like Murmuring Phantasm and Knight of Obligation gum up the ground.


    Lee Shi Tian

    When the game spirals out of control, Lee will need Gridlock or Archon of the Triumvirate to break the stalemate. A red splash allows him access to some light removal, as well as some combat tricks like Scorchwalker and Dynacharge to occasionally steal games with his air force.

    On hindsight, he could have chosen to splash black instead of red. "Playing black allows me to fuse Far & Away, one of the best cards in the set. Along with Devour Flesh, that is two additional "edicts". It also gives me two more fliers, Rakdos Drake and Balustrade Spy, which is very important for my deck's concept." My opinion was that the black splash would actually be lighter on the mana requirement, seeing how you needed two red mana to cast Homing Lighting as well as activate Scorchwalker's bloodrush.


    Decent options if Lee chose to eschew red.

    Regardless, he can now set aside his Sealed Pool as he advances to the draft tables tomorrow. Good luck Lee!




     

  • Day 1 Undefeated Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff








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  • Saturday, 9.00p.m. - Quick Questions #2: Which is the best guild in Sealed Deck?

    by Chapman Sim & Pip Foweraker

  • Shouta Yasooka: Izzet is the best!
    Huang Hao-Shan: Golgari.
    Li Bo: Orzhov definitely.
    Yuuya Watanabe: It's easiest to make a solid deck with Orzhov, but I don't know which is the best.
    Kuo Tzu Ching: Golgari.
    Lee Shi Tian: Simic is best but that type of card pool is hard to open!



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