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Make it Three!

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It’s only halfway through his Asian swing, and Brian Kibler already has a Grand Prix title under his belt! After besting close to 900 other players and defying the odds, Kibler has managed to become only the second non-Japanese player in fourteen years to win a Japanese Grand Prix. With a stunning performance by his Next Level Bant deck (which also scored Yuuya Watanabe a Top 8 berth), he managed to avoid getting more than a single loss all weekend. Next up for him is Grand Prix-Manila, though his bags are going to be a little heavier leaving Japan. Exactly one Grand Prix champion cup heavier!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Brian Kibler   Brian Kibler, 2-1        
8 Ryou Tasaki   Brian Kibler, 2-0
       
4 Shouta Yasooka   Shouta Yasooka, 2-0   Brian Kibler, 2-1
5 Hiroyuki Shimoya    
       
2 Takeshi Ozawa   Makihito Mihara, 2-0
7 Makihito Mihara   Makihito Mihara, 2-1
       
3 Yuuya Watanabe   Motoaki Itou, 2-0
6 Motoaki Itou    

Finals: Brian Kibler vs. Makihito Mihara


EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER
  • by Nate Price
    Finals:
    Finals - Brian Kibler (Next Level Bant) vs. Makihito Mihara (Planeswalker Control)

  • by Nate Price
    Semifinals:
    Makihito Mihara (Planeswalker Control) vs. Motoaki Itou (Mythic Conscription)

  • by Ben Swartz
    Semifinals:
    Brian Kibler (Next Level Mythic) vs. Shouta Yasooka (Jund)

  • by Ben Swartz
    Quarterfinals:
    Brian Kibler (Next Level Bant) vs Ryou Tasaki (UW Control)

  • by Nate Price
    Quarterfinals:
    Motoaki Itou (Mythic Conscription) vs. Yuuya Watanabe (Next Level Bant)

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8:
    Deck Lists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Top 8:
    Player Profiles


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2:
    Coverage of GP-Sendai Day 2


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1:
    Coverage of GP-Sendai Day 1


  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
 1.   Brian Kibler $3,500
 2.   Makihito Mihara $2,300
 3.   Shouta Yasooka $1,500
 4.   Motoaki Itou $1,500
 5.   Takeshi Ozawa $1,000
 6.   Yuuya Watanabe $1,000
 7.   Hiroyuki Shimoya $1,000
 8.   Ryou Tasaki $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
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  • Quarterfinals - Motoaki Itou (Mythic Conscription) vs. Yuuya Watanabe (Next Level Bant)
    by Nate Price
  • Itou thought for a while about a hand containing a Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Birds of Paradise, and five lands before keeping it. Both players led with one-drop mana producers, but Watanabe's Noble Hierarch gave him the advantage because it let him begin attacking on the second turn. Itou used his fast mana well, recruiting a freshly drawn Elspeth, Knight-Errant on the third turn. Elspeth immediately went to work building an army. Watanabe made sure to keep it curtailed, forcing Itou to block a Vengevine with a Soldier before it could get to Elspeth. When Jace, the Mind Sculptor joined forces with the Elspeth on the board already, the advantage firmly swung in Itou's favor. The Jace put the hasty Elemental back into Watanabe's hand, while Itou and Elspeth combined efforts to make a Soldier and a Birds of Paradise.

    Watanabe began his fourth turn with three lands and a Noble Hierarch in play. He began rapidly shuffling his hand around as he thought about what to do. With a resigned look on his face, he replayed his Vengevine and sent it into Jace. Elspeth had her fellow planeswalker's back, tossing a Soldier in the way. After combat, Watanabe played a Stirring Wildwood and passed the turn.

    This time around, Itou chose to use his Jace to Brainstorm rather than returning a creature to Watanabe's hand. A Noble Hierarch allowed his Birds of Paradise to attack for one, and he finished with another Soldier token and a Dauntless Escort to protect his team.

    Watanabe was in dire straits for this first game of the quarters. His opponent had set up an iron lock defense at this point, and it looked like victory was out of his reach. The first step of his plan was to drop a Gideon Jura and force all of Itou's creatures to attack it. Before complying, Itou used Jace to return the Vengevine to Watanabe's hand. Inside combat, he turned on a Celestial Colonnade with his mana-producing creatures and sent his team at Gideon. After combat, he used Elspeth to add yet another Soldier to his army.

    Motoaki Itou hangs out with planeswalkers. Lucky!

    With the skies free, all Watanabe could do was use all of his mana to turn on a Celestial Colonnade and attack Jace to death. For his part, Itou started swinging for the fences. Dauntless Defender and a couple of Soldiers started banging in to hit Watanabe. When he revealed a second copy of Jace to replace the one that had just died, Watanabe just picked up his cards.

    Motoaki Itou 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 0

    Both players threw their starting seven back for the second game. Watanabe's six gave him a Forest and a Noble Hierarch for the first turn, which is always a decent starting point. Itou also had the potential for a first-turn mana critter, but he chose to open with a Stirring Wildwood and wait until the second turn to play his Birds of Paradise.

    Now at four mana, Watanabe grabbed himself a couple of one drops with his Ranger of Eos. After drawing a Lotus Cobra, Itou had to think for a minute about his play. He also held a Knight of the Reliquary, and he ended up dropping it into play via the extra mana from the Cobra. Watanabe started his turn with the Noble Hierarch he had searched up, allowing his Ranger to attack in as a 5/4. Itou just took it, dropping to fourteen. After combat, the other Ranger recruit, a Scute Mob, made its way to the table, just one land from starting to grow.

    Yuuya Watanabe didn't get to be Player of the Year through play skill alone; he also has super speed.

    With his remaining three mana, Watanabe chose to simply put the Knight of the Reliquary on a Journey to Nowhere. He agonized for a minute about whether to hit the Knight or the Cobra, ultimately deciding to hit the Knight. After dropping a Linvala, Keeper of Silence and taking another hit from the Ranger, Itou finally got to put the color-fixing powers of his Cobra to use. Lacking a second blue source, Itou dropped a land, making that blue, and dropping the ever-important Jace, the Mind Sculptor into play. Rather than return a creature, he chose to Brainstorm and passed the turn to Watanabe.

    During his upkeep, Watanabe's Scute Mob picked up some counters for the first time, turning it into a 5/5. The Mob crashed into Itou's Lotus Cobra, preventing him from dropping past nine. After combat, Watanabe fetched up a Birds and a Hierarch with a second Ranger of Eos. The Birds hit play, and he passed the turn.

    Itou revealed one of the main reasons Jace is so good when he played and cracked a Misty Rainforest to get himself a fresh Brainstorm. In the cards he drew, he found himself another knight of the Reliquary, though he was low enough that he wasn't able to play it without having it immediately forced to chump block. Instead, he decided to play defensive for a turn, just playing a Noble Hierarch and passing with a Bant Charm in hand.

    Watanabe thought for a minute before activating his Stirring Wildwood and attacking with it, the Mob, and two Rangers. The Wildwood was Charmed away, while the Birds and Linvala blocked. Without trample, all the Scute Mob could do was make sure the Birds really died, while Linvala ate one of the Rangers. The second hit home, dropping Itou to five.

    Once again, Itou used Jace to Brainstorm. This time around, he managed to find a Lotus Cobra that allowed him to play his entire hand, dropping the Cobra and Knight, as well as Charming the giant Scute Mob away. Watanabe was down to just a Ranger of Eos, a Birds, and a trio of Hierarchs. With a shake of his head, he sent the Ranger into Jace, and it promptly ate a Lotus Cobra.

    With Watanabe's forces mostly neutralized, Itou was finally able to play the Sovereigns of Lost Alara that he had been shuffling to the top of his deck with Jace. He played it and attacked with his Knights of the Reliquary. The inevitable Eldrazi Conscription came down, turning the Knight into a true beast. After much deliberation, Watanabe dropped to five. His last action for the turn was to use Jace to return Ranger of Eos to Watanabe's hand, leaving him with an army of one-toughness creatures. Knowing he was beat, Watanabe conceded.

    Motoaki Itou 2 – Yuuya Watanabe 0


     

  • Quarterfinals - Brian Kibler (Next Level Bant) vs Ryou Tasaki (UW Control)
    by Ben Swartz
  • The players began the match by looking at each others' decklist, but, due to the language barrier, it was easier for the players to look at the physical copies instead. Brian Kibler was instantly shocked by the Eldrazi Conscription package in Ryou Tasaki's UW Control deck. Tasaki, on the other hand, was happy to see that Kibler was running zero counterspells in his main deck.

    After winning the roll Kibler, decided to play first and mulliganed down to six. Tasaki got things started with a Spreading Seas on Kibler's Celestial Colonnade and a Knight of the White Orchid. Kibler's first play of the game was a turn four Elspeth, Knight-Errant, which promptly got countered by Tasaki's Negate. Tasaki had an Elspeth of his own, creating a Soldier token while attacking with his Knight of the White Orchid.

    Kibler cast a Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Brainstormed, and passed the turn back with no defense for his planeswalker. Another Knight of the White Orchid for Tasaki netted him another land. Two Spreading Seas took away Kibler's green sources, while Tasaki used his creatures to destroy the Mind Sculptor.

    A Sea Gate Oracle was the only defense Kibler could muster. When Tasaki tried to attack with his team, Kibler cast Path to Exile on an animated Celestial Colonnade and dropped to eleven. Looking for an answer to Tasaki's Elspeth, Kibler cast a Wall of Omens, getting him a less than stellar Vengevine. After an attack, Tasaki's Knight-Errant was still alive and well, allowing Tasaki, on the next turn, to attack with a 4/4 flying soldier token.

    Eldrazi what?! I thought you were UW!

    Kibler then played two Noble Hierarchs, allowing his Celestial Colonnade to deal six damage to Elspeth, leaving it with one counter, but an Eldrazi Conscription hard cast from Tasaki was enough to seal game one.

    Brian Kibler 0 – Ryou Tasaki 1

    Kibler started game two with a Noble Hierarch, while Tasaki was able to accelerate with a Knight of the White Orchid. Kibler's Bant Charm destroyed Tasaki's Fieldmist Borderpost, evening the land count at three for both players. Tasaki attacked in with his Knight before casting Oblivion Ring on Kibler's Noble Hierarch.

    Kibler made what he called "a bizarre play," casting Jace, the Mind Sculptor and bouncing Tasaki's Knight of the White Orchid, effectively giving Tasaki a free land when he recast the Knight the following turn. Kibler used Jace's middle ability to find an Elspeth, Knight-Errant, creating a blocker for Tasaki's Knight of the White Orchid.

    Tasaki got his hands on a planeswalker of his own, this time Gideon Jura, upping its loyalty to eight before passing the turn back. Kibler found a sixth untapped land which allowed him to cast a Mold Shambler with kicker, destroying Tasaki's Gideon. The only thing Tasaki could muster on his next turn was a Sea Gate Oracle. This gave Kibler the opportunity to bounce his own Mold Shambler with Jace and recast it, destroying Tasaki's Celestial Colonnade.

    Tasaki drew a Jace of his own, destroying Kibler's Jace. With nothing else from Tasaki, Kibler was able to attack with a 4/4 flying Soldier token. Another pass from Tasaki gave Kibler the chance to cast a Sphinx of Lost Truths with kicker before using Elspeth's ultimate. A now-indestructible Mold Shambler kept his beats rolling. Tasaki cast an Oblivion Ring to get rid of Kibler's Sphinx and managed to Negate both an Elspeth and Oblivion Ring from Kibler. Finally, a third Oblivion Ring from Kibler resolved, allowing him to get back his Sphinx and cycle three cards.

    Looking for an answer Tasaki cast an Elspeth, creating a token. However, it was not enough, as Kibler's Ranger of Eos, getting back a Vengevine, sent the match to game three.

    Brian Kibler 1 – 1 Ryou Tasaki

    For the final game, Kibler got things started with a turn one Noble Hierarch. After no turn two play from Tasaki, Kibler was able to cast a Scute Mob while attacking in for one with his Hierarch. Again Tasaki simply played a land and passed while Kibler continued to bring the beats. Tasaki's first play of the game was a fourth turn Elspeth, Knight-Errant, prompting Kibler to Oblivion Ring it.

    Time stands still for Ryou Tasaki as he tries to stop Kibler.

    A Day of Judgment from Tasaki cleared the board, but Kibler was prepared for it with an Elspeth of his own, creating a soldier. An Oblivion Ring from Tasaki got Kibler's Oblivion Ring, destroying both Elspeths, but a Ranger of Eos from Kibler allowed him to refill his hand with Noble Hierarchs.

    The only thing Tasaki could muster was a Knight of the White Orchid, getting him his eighth land, but after Kibler used Deprive to counter Tasaki's Eldrazi Conscription, Tasaki extended the hand.

    Brian Kibler 2 – Ryou Tasaki 1


     

  • Semifinals - Brian Kibler (Next Level Mythic) vs. Shouta Yasooka (Jund)
    by Ben Swartz
  • The semifinals of Grand Prix Sendai brought two Pro Tour champions to the table. Brian Kibler, winner of Pro Tour-Austin, sporting his Next Level Bant deck was forced to battle one-third of Pro Tour-Charleston Champion, former Player of the Year, and reigning Magic Online Player of the Year, Shota Yasooka sporting a Jund deck.

    Both players decided to keep their opening hands, with the first play of the game being a Borderland Ranger for Kibler. Yasooka countered with a Sprouting Thrinax. Kibler was able to land an Elspeth, Knight-Errant the following turn, creating a chump blocker for Yasooka's Thrinax. Yasooka, without a fourth land, was only able to play a Putrid Leech.

    Kibler played Noble Hierarch and Wall of Omens, creating another token, but an end-of-turn Lightning Bolt and follow-up Blightning from Yasooka took care of the Knight-Errant. Undeterred, Kibler was able to cast another Elspeth the following turn. Yasooka cast Blightning, dropping Elspeth to two loyalty while allowing Kibler to discard a Vengevine. The following turn, a Ranger of Eos from Kibler allowed him to return Vengevine from his graveyard, and, after giving it flying with Elspeth, Yasooka dropped to eleven life.

    A Lightning Bolt from Yasooka was able to take care of Kibler's second Elspeth. Kibler attacked with his Vengevine allowing Yasooka to turn his Thrinax into three Saprolings, while Kibler played a post-combat Gideon Jura, forcing all of Yasooka's creatures to attack it the following turn. After a forced suicide attack from Yasooka, a Seige-Gang Commander was put onto the battlefield by the former Player of the Year.

    A Path to Exile from Kibler took care of Yasooka's Siege-Gang Commander, allowing Kibler to turn Gideon into a 6/6 and attack with his team. Yasooka blocked with his Goblins, dropping to two life. A Sarkhan the Mad off the top for Yasooka turned his remaining Saproling token into a 5/5 Dragon, but the Dragonmaster himself was able to simply attack in with his team and take game one.

    Brian Kibler 1 – Shouta Yasooka 0

    Game two got started with a turn one Birds of Paradise for Kibler and a turn two Putrid Leech for Yasooka. A Celestial Purge from Kibler took care of Yasooka's Leech. In return, his post combat Noble Hierarch was dealt with by a Doom Blade from Yasooka.

    Kibler's acceleration allowed him to play a turn three Vengevine, dropping Yasooka to fifteen. Yasooka's only response was a Garruk Wildspeaker, creating a 3/3 Beast token, but an Oblivion Ring from Kibler on the token and attack from Vengevine dealt with Wildspeaker. With no play from Yasooka, he fired up his Raging Ravine dropping Kibler to fifteen.

    Another Vengevine from Kibler allowed him continue the beats, while Yasooka did nothing. Another attack from Kibler elicited a Bituminous Blast, cascading into a Garruk Wildspeaker. After combat, Kibler cast a Sphinx of Lost Truths and a Noble Hiearch, allowing Kibler to bring back the recently blasted Vengevine.

    Yasooka's draw allowed him to cast a Siege-Gang Commander and a Pithing Needle, while keeping two lands up thanks to Garruk. Despite this, with Yasooka at only three life, Kibler's Sphinx was enough to take the match.

    Brian Kibler 2 – Shouta Yasooka 0


     

  • Semifinals - Makihito Mihara (Planeswalker Control) vs. Motoaki Itou (Mythic Conscription)
    by Nate Price
  • Itou started out with an inauspicious mulligan. He seemed less than pleased to keep the six that followed, but he deemed them good enough to go. Mihara's early Wall of Omens didn't get to see a lot of action until Itou was able to stick a turn three Dauntless Escort. Mihara had tried to cut of Itou's green with a Spreading Seas, but a second Forest gave him access to the Bant domain.

    Unfortunately for Itou, his third land was all he had, and he didn't have a creature to join the Escort. Add to that a second Wall from Mihara, and Itou wasn't getting in anytime soon. During his next draw, he was able to finally snag himself a Misty Rainforest, allowing him a Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Jace is incredibly powerful in the slower control matchups, and he got right to work sculpting his hand.

    Mihara had a planeswalker of his own, and his Gideon Jura made sure that he not only got that Dauntless Defender to attack into a Wall, but he would have a creature to attack Itou's Jace. Not wanting that to happen, Itou played a Gideon of his own to kill both before Mihara could activate his and attack. This time, he started building his Jace for the kill, but, just as had happened on the previous turn, a second copy destroyed both before things could get rowdy.

    With the board now clear, Itou added a Lotus Cobra and an Elspeth, Knight-Errant to fill the void. His Elspeth lifted the Escort over the Walls to finally get at Mihara's life total. After being knocked to fourteen, Mihara dropped a second copy of Jace, the Mind Sculptor. After sculpting his hand, Mihara tapped the remainder of his mana to cast Oblivion Ring on Elspeth, keeping Itou's creatures on the ground. Itou did have an answer to Jace, though, and his Celestial Colonnade took it out, leaving him in a pretty dominating position. After combat, he added a Knight of the Reliquary to his team and passed the turn.

    Now it was Mihara's turn to think. He first played a second Celestial Colonnade, and, after several halfhearted reaches towards the middle of the table, signaled for Itou to go. Itou lifted up his Colonnade and sent it in. Mihara lifted his own up, and the two manlands traded. With the two Walls in play and the threat of the defending 4/4, Itou had to leave the rest of his troops home. After the attack, Itou dropped a Noble Hierarch into play. With the sky now belonging to him, Mihara activated his remaining Colonnade and attacked Itou down to fifteen. At the end of Mihara's turn, Itou used his Knight of the Reliquary to search up a Terramorphic Expanse, which he promptly sacrificed to make his Knight even bigger.

    Now, Itou had enough large creatures to start battling through Mihara's Walls. He began by sending just his Escort in. Thanks to the exalted trigger, it ate the first of Mihara's two Walls. After combat, Itou added a second Knight and Escort to his team. I sense a beating in the near future…

    After a simple draw and pass from Mihara, Itou once again began Knight tricks, this time going for a Verdant Catacombs and sacrificing it. An Elspeth joined his team as well, and he lifted a Knight into the air into the air. He sent the Escort and two 8/8 Knights into attack. Mihara activated a Colonnade and blocked the two largest creatures, but he was unable to find a miracle card to make all of the creatures disappear and conceded.

    Makahito Mihara 0 – Motoaki Itou 1

    For the second game, Mihara once again came out and set up a Wall of Omens to protect Jace, this time a Jace Beleren. Itou used a Lotus Cobra to throw down an Elspeth, Knight-Errant, allowing him top fly over the Wall and take Jace out after only one activation. A Jace, the Mind Sculptor replaced the cheaper version and sent Lotus Cobra back to Itou's grip, slowing him down immensely.

    Itou filled his board with an Elspeth token, Lotus Cobra, and Noble Hierarch on the following turn before passing to Mihara. Mihara used his Jace to sculpt his hand before using a Scalding Tarn to wash away the chaff. He recruited a Gideon Jura to run interference for the Jace and then passed to let Itou's turn unfold.

    Now bound by Gideon, Itou thought for a moment about how to proceed. After much deliberation, he chose to use his Hierarch and a Cobra mana to turn on his Colonnade. He then lifted his Cobra into the sky with Elspeth and sent into Gideon for nine, affectively getting Time Walked. Using his borrowed time, Mihara sculpted his hand some more with Jace before once again washing cards away with a Scalding Tarn. After freshening up the top of his deck, he took care of the opposing Elspeth with one of his own.

    By this point, Mihara seemed in control. A Tectonic Edge had eaten one of his Colonnades, leaving him a mana short of activating the other and thus no way to get to Jace. Fortunately, he was able to find another Elspeth to lift his Soldier token over the Wall and into Jace. A baby Jace filled the Mind Sculptor's big shoes and went to work drawing cards for Mihara. Once again needing to deal with Elspeth to protect his Jace, he dropped an Oblivion Ring onto the opposing planeswalker. Proving that Elspeth isn't his deck's only path to planeswalkers, Itou dropped a Sejiri Steppe into play and attacked with his exalted Soldier.

    At this point, roles kind of reversed. Itou dropped a Jace, the Mind Sculptor and started drawing cards while Mihara used Elspeth to make tokens. When Itou attempted to attack Mihara's Elspeth with an exalted Colonnade, Mihara got all tricksy. He had left one Island untapped last turn after playing a Celestial Prism. He tapped it and filtered it through the Prism to make the mana to Path to Exile the flying land before it could take Elspeth out. With Itou now tapped out, Mihara was free to lift his Soldier and take Jace out. After combat, with Itou on the roped, Mihara pressed with a Baneslayer Angel.

    Itou drew his card with a sigh. He knew he was getting close to out of options, despite having a full hand of cards. All he could do was play a pair of Knights of the Reliquary and pass the turn. Baneslayer got all fat and sassy and virtually exchanged life totals. After combat, Mihara played Day of Judgment to clear the board, killed one of Itou's manlands, and made a new token with Elspeth. A Jace, the Mind Sculptor came down and bounced the token, leaving just planeswalkers on the table. Mihara just untapped and added another token and Baneslayer to his team. With a Gideon Jura joining them soon after, Itou picked it up for game three.

    Makihito Mihara 1 – Motoaki Itou 1

    It took Itou until turn three to get a creature on the board, but the Knight of the Reliquary he found was more than up to the task of taking out Mihara's Wall of Omens. Before it would get the chance, it was hit with a Path to Exile, helping ramp Itou up closer to the Sovereigns of Lost Alara in his hand. The extra land also gave him the mana required for a fourth-turn Gideon Jura, but Mihara was ready with the Negate.

    Now at four mana, Mihara made a white planeswalker of his own, an Elspeth, Knight-Errant. For his turn, Itou got silly with a Lotus Cobra and an Arid Mesa to allow him to get a Sovereigns into play alongside the 2/1. First and foremost, Mihara locked the Sovereigns inside an Oblivion Ring. Secondly, he made another Soldier token to wall off his Elspeth. Once the defense was all set up, he managed to get in for a point of damage with his other Soldier.

    On his turn, Itou made another Sovereigns, turning his attacking Lotus Cobra into a surprise 12/11. Luckily, Mihara had another Path to Exile to exile the newest Eldrazi conscript. On his turn, dropping to a single card, Mihara sent a 4/4 flying Soldier into Itou, dropping him to thirteen. In the ensuing calm, he added a Baneslayer to his team and passed the turn with a Glacial Fortress up.

    Itou was done with the kid gloves. Tapping all of his lands, he hard cast an Eldrazi Conscription (the only other one in his deck) on his Sovereigns and attacked.

    At this point, a bit of conversation ensued. It was explained to me that Mihara said that he had been playing specifically expecting one of the Conscriptions to be sided out since he has so many good answers to the aura. When Itou played the second, it caught him completely by surprise.

    Annihilator ate two lands, and the new conscript ate a Wall of Omens and a huge chunk of life. Mihara was able to keep in things by enhancing his Baneslayer with Elspeth and swinging with his team. Itou went to four and he raised up to sixteen.

    With no cards in hand, Itou began his turn. After drawing, he immediately moved to attack Elspeth. Annihilator ate two lands, leaving Mihara with four lands, two Soldiers, and a Baneslayer Angel. After combat, he made a lonely Birds of Paradise which would enable him to hold off the Baneslayer for an important turn. Mihara began doing some math and then attacked. Before blockers, Itou turned on one of his Colonnades. Mihara declined to Tectonic Edge it, and the Colonnade blocked a Soldier while the Birds blocked the Baneslayer.

    On his turn, Itou once again attacked. Annihilator ate a land (leaving him with four) and his Oblivion Ring, returning a Sovereigns to Itou's side. Mihara dropped to five. On Mihara's turn, he attacked with his Baneslayer. Itou fired up a Celestial Colonnade and stuck it in the way. After combat, the death knell was sounded as a Jace, the Mind Sculptor forced the Sovereigns back to Itou's hand. With the last Conscription taken care of, the Baneslayer was able to finish Itou off and send Mihara to the finals.


     

  • Finals - Brian Kibler (Next Level Bant) vs. Makihito Mihara (Planeswalker Control)
    by Nate Price
  • The finals of Grand Prix Sendai began with silence in between these two Pro Tour Champions. Makihito Mihara was 2006 World champion, and Brian Kibler was Pro Tour-Austin champion. Brian Kibler decided to play Next Level Bant for this tournament, whereas Makihito Mihara decided on Planeswalker Control.

    Mihara won the roll and decided to play the first game of the finals. Kibler mulliganed down to a six-card hand. The first play of the game was a turn one Birds of Paradise from Kibler, which Mihara followed with a Wall of Omens. Kibler mirrored Mihara's play with a Wall of Omens himself. Kibler cast a Ranger of Eos, putting two Noble Hierarchs in his hand. After a pass from Mihara, Kibler attacked in with his Ranger of Eos. This prompted Mihara to cast a Mind Spring for three drawing up to a full grip.

    With Mihara tapped out, Kibler played an Elspeth, Knight-Errant, giving his Ranger of Eos flying and putting Mihara down to seven. Kibler's lethal Ranger of Eos was dealt with by a timely Path to Exile from Mihara. After combat, Kibler played a Sphinx of Lost Truths unkicked, allowing him to cycle three cards, including a Vengevine.

    Again, Brian went for the kill giving his Sphinx +3/+3, forcing Mihara to chump block with an activated Celestial Colonnade. Post combat, Kibler played a Sphinx of Lost Truth, this time with kicker, drawing him three cards. An Ajani Vengeant on Mihara's turn Lightning Helixed Kiblers lone Noble Hierarch

    With two creatures, Kibler was able to bring back a Vengevine from the graveyard. Kibler then gave the Vengevine flying, activated his Celestial Colonnade, and attacked with the team, taking down game one.

    Brian Kibler 1 – Makihito Mihara 0

    Again Kibler started the game off with a turn-one mana accelerant, and Mihara matched it with a turn-two Wall of Omens. After no third land from Mihara, Kibler cast a turn-three Vengevine, which got blocked by the Wall and allowed Mihara to use Path to Exile to find the third land. In attempt to find yet another land, Mihara played a Jace Beleren and drew a card. Unsuccessful in his efforts, he passed the turn back to Kibler, who again attacked Mihara with his Vengevine.

    A Deprive from Kibler countered an Oblivion Ring by Mihara and allowed Kibler to continue the beats. An attack dropped Mihara to eleven life, destroyed his Jace, clearing the way for Kibler to cast a Jace of his own, this time of the Mind Sculpting variety. A Jace from Mihara took care of Kibler's Jace, and, with no defense from Mihara, Kibler was allowed to attack him down to two.

    In an attempt pull back into the game, Mihara cast a Day of Judgment , but when Kibler flashed him two creatures to put the Vengevine back into play, Mihara conceded.

    Brian Kibler is your 2010 Grand Prix-Sendai champion!

    Brian Kibler 2 – Makihito Mihara 0

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