gpsin13

Coverage of Grand Prix Singapore Day 1

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  • Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – Winning Trial Decklists

    by Pip Foweraker and Noel Neo

  • Standard Decks

    Edgar De Pedro - RDW
    GPT Singapore 2013 - Standard




    Sealed Decks


    Kuu Yung Chih - Last Chance Qualifier #2 Winner
    GPT Singapore 2013 - Sealed

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Plains
    Swamp

    17 lands

    Centaur Healer
    Dead Reveler
    Deathrite Shaman
    Drudge Beetle
    Gatecreeper Vine
    Golgari Decoy
    Keening Apparition
    Korozda Monitor
    Sluiceway Scorpion
    Slum Reaper
    Stonefare Crocodile
    Towering Indrik
    Zanikev Locust

    14 creatures

    Arrest
    Collective Blessing
    Coursers' Accord
    Giant Growth
    Slime Molding
    Stab Wound
    Treasured Find
    Trostani's Judgment

    8 other spells

    Vraska the Unseen

    1 planeswalker

    Sideboard
    Auger Spree
    Axebane Stag
    Azorius Guildgate
    Blustersquall
    Cancel
    Centaur's Herald
    Chemister's Trick
    Chronic Flooding
    Codex Shredder
    Cremate
    Dark Revenant
    Destroy the Evidence
    Deviant Glee
    Downsize
    Drainpipe Vermin
    Dreadbore
    Druid's Deliverance
    Electrickery
    Essence Backlash
    Ethereal Armor
    Eyes in the Skies
    Gore-House Chainwalker
    Grisly Salvage
    Guttersnipe
    Hover Barrier
    Hypersonic Dragon
    Inaction Injunction
    Izzet Guildgate
    Judge's Familiar
    Perilous Shadow
    Pursuit of Flight
    Rakdos Guildgate
    Rakdos Ragemutt
    Rakdos Shred-Freak
    Rest in Peace
    Risen Sanctuary
    Selesnya Sentry
    Shrieking Affliction
    Skymark Roc
    Soulsworn Spirit
    Spawn of Rix Maadi
    Splatter Thug
    Sundering Growth
    Survey the Wreckage
    Swift Justice
    Thoughtflare
    Tower Drake
    Trained Caracal
    Traitorous Instinct
    Viashino Racketeer
    Voidwielder
    Wild Beastmaster

    61 sideboard cards




    Paul Lazaro - Last Chance Qualifier #5 Winner
    GPT Singapore 2013 - Sealed



    Tan Kiat Cheong - Last Chance Qualifier #8 Winner
    GPT Singapore 2013 - Sealed


    Kelvin Soh - Last Chance Qualifier #9 Winner
    GPT Singapore 2013 - Sealed

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Azorius Guildgate
    Forest
    Island
    Plains
    Selesnya Guildgate
    Temple Garden
    Transguild Promenade

    17 lands

    Armada Wurm
    Armory Guard
    Axebane Guardian
    Centaur's Herald
    Concordia Pegasus
    Deathrite Shaman
    Doorkeeper
    Drudge Beetle
    Dryad Militant
    Golgari Longlegs
    Hussar Patrol
    New Prahv Guildmage
    Stonefare Crocodile
    Vassal Soul

    16 creatures

    Azorius Charm
    Common Bond
    Inspiration
    Martial Law
    Paralyzing Grasp
    Swift Justice
    Trostani's Judgment

    7 other spells

    Sideboard
    Annihilating Fire
    Bellows Lizard
    Cancel
    Cremate
    Dead Reveler
    Destroy the Evidence
    Deviant Glee
    Downsize
    Drainpipe Vermin
    Dramatic Rescue
    Druid's Deliverance
    Dynacharge
    Electrickery
    Ethereal Armor
    Faerie Impostor
    Firemind's Foresight
    Gobbling Ooze
    Golgari Guildgate
    Gore-House Chainwalker
    Horncaller's Chant
    Inaction Injunction
    Izzet Staticaster
    Korozda Guildmage
    Lobber Crew
    Mind Rot
    Perilous Shadow
    Psychic Spiral
    Pursuit of Flight
    Rakdos Guildgate
    Rakdos Keyrune
    Rakdos Ragemutt
    Rakdos Shred-Freak
    Rix Maadi Guildmage
    Runewing
    Search Warrant
    Sewer Shambler
    Shrieking Affliction
    Skull Rend
    Skyline Predator
    Slaughter Games
    Sluiceway Scorpion
    Slum Reaper
    Sphere of Safety
    Stealer of Secrets
    Tavern Swindler
    Tenement Crasher
    Terrus Wurm
    Thoughtflare
    Ultimate Price
    Urban Burgeoning

    55 sideboard cards



    Ilim Redmond - Last Chance Qualifier #10 Winner
    GPT Singapore 2013 - Sealed

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Forest
    Grove of the Guardian
    Plains
    Transguild Promenade

    18 lands

    Armada Wurm
    Azorius Justiciar
    Azor's Elocutors
    Centaur Healer
    Centaur's Herald
    Concordia Pegasus
    Drudge Beetle
    Golgari Decoy
    Keening Apparition
    Korozda Monitor
    Loxodon Smiter
    Rubbleback Rhino
    Towering Indrik

    13 creatures

    Avenging Arrow
    Common Bond
    Coursers' Accord
    Eyes in the Skies
    Savage Surge
    Selesnya Charm
    Selesnya Keyrune
    Trostani's Judgment

    9 other spells

    Sideboard
    Aerial Predation
    Annihilating Fire
    Aquus Steed
    Armory Guard
    Assassin's Strike
    Auger Spree
    Bloodfray Giant
    Blustersquall
    Chorus of Might
    Cobblebrute
    Corpsejack Menace
    Crosstown Courier
    Dark Revenant
    Dead Reveler
    Destroy the Evidence
    Deviant Glee
    Doorkeeper
    Dreg Mangler
    Dynacharge
    Essence Backlash
    Ethereal Armor
    Frostburn Weird
    Goblin Electromancer
    Golgari Guildgate
    Grim Roustabout
    Guild Feud
    Hussar Patrol
    Inaction Injunction
    Isperia's Skywatch
    Izzet Guildgate
    Judge's Familiar
    Korozda Guildmage
    Lobber Crew
    Lyev Skyknight
    Mizzium Skin
    Ogre Jailbreaker
    Paralyzing Grasp
    Perilous Shadow
    Phantom General
    Rakdos Cackler
    Runewing
    Search Warrant
    Sewer Shambler
    Skull Rend
    Skyline Predator
    Slitherhead
    Stonefare Crocodile
    Sunspire Griffin
    Syncopate
    Tenement Crasher
    Terrus Wurm
    Traitorous Instinct
    Viashino Racketeer

    60 sideboard cards






     

  • Saturday, 12:30 p.m. – Sealed Deck Building Exercise #1: The Pool

    by Noel Neo

  • Below is one of the Sealed pools that an unnamed pro received today. What do you think the pro went with?

    Would it be the Azorius deck backed by Sphinx of the Chimes, New Prahv Guildmage, and a trio of detainers, or would he lean to red for Chaos Imps and Utvara Hellkite? Then there's the suite of removal available with black, including Assassin's Strike, Ultimate Price, and twin Auger Spree.

    Let us know what you think is the best option with this pool on the forums, and check back later today to find out what our pro went with!





     

  • Saturday, 1:15 p.m. – State Of The Format, with Nicholas Wong

    by Pip Foweraker

  • I caught up with old-school observer Nicholas Wong for a quick chat about how the Return to Ravnica format has played out over time. With Gatecrash just around the corner and previews popping up all over the Internet, now is a good time to look at where we've been.

    Return to Ravnica is one of the most popular sets in Magic's history. Thousands upon thousands of drafts have shaped the format from its early inception. Wong, a keen drafter, has observed a maturation of the format over time. "Players are starting to realise that there are decent enchantments out there, whereas in the early format, you hardly saw any," Wong says. "Enchantment removal is starting to see play, and Keening Apparition is slowly gaining value."


    As for the Sealed format, Wong points out that it's fairly easy to make a 'decent' deck: the number of playables in the format means you'll always make your 23 – so the skill becomes finding the best possible deck, with each card decision weighing heavily. Sealed decks are less focused than draft, and balancing out power and consistency is a key challenge for deckbuilders.

    Turning our attention to draft, the high number of playable cards in the format means, again, you're likely to not be scraping the barrel for your final picks. This forgiving draft format means that to rise against the competition, you will need to rely on skill rather than raw card power to get you there.

    Wong's preference for arcane trickery has paid off in many Return to Ravnica drafts.

    As far as archetypes go, Wong's favourite is a well-drafted Izzet deck, which he says is increasingly hard to come by in draft, often reverting to his second preference of Golgari. Izzet's tactical flexibility and efficiency is what puts it over the top for Wong, Teleportal being a flagship card that is widely respected amongst drafters for its ability to end games out of nowhere.

    What have we got to look forward to? Although the archetypes have remained fairly constant throughout the Return to Ravnica season, Wong anticipates significant changes coming with Gatecrash's release. Allied and enemy colour pairs have all been played before in draft, but perhaps not as streamlined as what we might expect nowadays. How will Simic and Orzhov combine with Golgari and Azorius?

    Gatecrash promos are everywhere, and the introduction of the remaining 5 guilds will open up the format significantly. How will drafting strategies adapt? What cards from Return to Ravnica will gain or lose value in the new format? What new cards will emerge to influence the format? Keep tuned in to magicthegathering.com for daily previews, and don't forget to find a prerelease near you!




     

  • Saturday, 1:25 p.m. – Country Breakdown

    by Pip Foweraker

  • Singapore 490
    Malaysia 115
    Philippines 90
    Indonesia 51
    Taiwan 28
    Thailand 27
    Japan 25
    China 16
    Australia 14
    Hong Kong 10
    Korea (South) 8
    United States 5
    Canada 3
    Brunei Darussalam 3
    Czech Republic 2
    Sweden 1
    Spain 1
    New Zealand 1
    Netherlands 1
    Ireland 1
    Hungary 1
    Denmark 1
    Total players 894



     

  • Round 3 Feature Match – Choo Yong Han vs. Ng Soon Lye

    by Noel Neo

  • Yong Han is one of Singapore's finest, having made the Top 8 of Pro Tour Hollywood in 2008, and with multiple Grand Prix Top 8s and a National Championship title under his belt. He is facing off with Soon Lye, a fixture on the competitive scene locally and all round nice guy.

    Long time friends, Yong Han and Soon Lye made some friendly banter about how bad their decks were as they shuffled up. Soon Lye also pulled out his special cap for hiding his golden mane during feature matches. The atmosphere got more serious as Yong Han won the die roll and opted to play.

    Game 1

    Vassal Soul was the MVP for Yong Han as Centaur Healer locked up the ground and Soon Lye had neither a means of putting away the flyer nor of breaking through on the ground. Soon Lye's crew of two power or less creatures could only look on helplessly as Vassal Soul cruised over again and again.

    Soon Lye considering his sideboard.

    Game 2

    Soon Lye's turn to win the battle for the skies as he quickly took the game with Daggerdrome Imp and Zanikev Locust.

    Yong Han might have stood a better chance had he not made the tempo play of blocking an unleashed Grim Roustabout with Seller of Songbirds and its token. This play was made on turn four, after Daggerdrome Imp had hit play, but before Zanikev Locust.

    Soon Lye also had an out for Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage in Auger Spree; and by the time Yong Han cracked Grove of the Guardian, Explosive Impact was sufficient to bring him into lethal range the next combat step.

    Yong Han - A cool customer.

    Game 3

    The final game was a more interesting interplay of threats and responses, starting with Yong Han's turn two Drudge Beetle getting overmatched by an unleashed Dead Reveler from Soon Lye. Soon Lye built on his advantage with Viashino Racketeer (discarding Terrus Wurm), but was soon facing the prospect of a monstrous 8/8 as Yong Han laid Grove of the Guardian and played Seller of Songbirds.

    Not that the game came down to Grove of the Guardian, however, as Soon Lye's Rakdos, Lord of Riots fed Trostani's Judgment (getting Yong Han a Bird token) and Collective Blessing sealed the game.

    Final score: Yong Han 2 – Soon Lye 1




     

  • Quick Questions – Most Overrated Card in Return to Ravnica Sealed?

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Ang Jun Yang: Pack Rats
    Suripat Maikhu: Mercurial Chemister
    Steven Tan: Mizzium Mortars



     

  • Saturday, 3:05 p.m. – Sealed Deck Building Exercise #1: The Deck

    by Noel Neo

  • Earlier today, we showed you a sealed pool that one of our unnamed pros had to work with. Featuring a choice between strong Azorius cards like Sphinx of the Chimes, New Prahv Guildmage, and a trio of detainers; red for Chaos Imps and Utvara Hellkite; and Assassin's Strike, Ultimate Price, and twin Auger Spree with black; the pro could do well with a variety of strategies.

    Our pro decided to go with removal heavy Rakdos. Have a look at his configuration and see if you agree!

    Sealed Deck Building Exercise 1 - The Deck
    Grand Prix Singapore

    Main Deck

    40 cards

    Mountain
    Rakdos Guildgate
    Swamp

    17 lands

    Batterhorn
    Bloodfray Giant
    Chaos Imps
    Dead Reveler
    Frostburn Weird
    Golgari Longlegs
    Gore-House Chainwalker
    Grim Roustabout
    Sewer Shambler
    Spawn of Rix Maadi
    Splatter Thug
    Tenement Crasher
    Viashino Racketeer

    14 creatures

    Assassin's Strike
    Auger Spree
    Civic Saber
    Cremate
    Explosive Impact
    Skull Rend
    Traitorous Instinct
    Ultimate Price

    9 other spells

    Sideboard
    Aerial Predation
    Axebane Guardian
    Azorius Arrester
    Azorius Guildgate
    Azorius Justiciar
    Bazaar Krovod
    Call of the Conclave
    Cancel
    Catacomb Slug
    Chronic Flooding
    Dramatic Rescue
    Drudge Beetle
    Druid's Deliverance
    Essence Backlash
    Fall of the Gavel
    Gatecreeper Vine
    Giant Growth
    Golgari Guildgate
    Golgari Keyrune
    Grisly Salvage
    Grove of the Guardian
    Heroes' Reunion
    Horncaller's Chant
    Hover Barrier
    Isperia's Skywatch
    Izzet Staticaster
    Jarad's Orders
    Keening Apparition
    Knightly Valor
    Mizzium Skin
    New Prahv Guildmage
    Rubbleback Rhino
    Runewing
    Savage Surge
    Selesnya Sentry
    Seller of Songbirds
    Sluiceway Scorpion
    Soulsworn Spirit
    Sphinx of the Chimes
    Stealer of Secrets
    Street Sweeper
    Sundering Growth
    Survey the Wreckage
    Swift Justice
    Tablet of the Guilds
    Trained Caracal
    Transguild Promenade
    Treasured Find
    Trestle Troll
    Utvara Hellkite
    Voidwielder
    Wild Beastmaster

    60 sideboard cards



    Would this deck be enough to get the pro though Day 1 of Grand Prix Singapore? Check back at the end of the day as we reveal this unnamed player's identity, and how this person did!




     

  • Round 4 Feature Match – Tomoharu Saito vs. Hiroki Takeda

    by Pip Foweraker

  • Both players sat down and started chatting about their day in Japanese. With my ability to converse in their language strictly limited to ordering beers and asking directions, you'll have to miss out on any back-and-forth banter the two may enjoy.

    With a chorus of 'keepu', Takeda led the game with a Daggerdrome Imp, while Saito had a Gatecreeper Vine to smooth out his draws. Takeda summoned a Corpsejack Menace. Saito had a Stab Wounds for the Imp, and a Street Spasm for the Menace. Takeda had a Towering Indrik and a Golgari Longlegs to keep up the pressure.

    TSaito smashes Takeda's creatures.

    Saito was unfazed, casting his third straight piece of removal: an Assassin's Strike took out the Longlegs. Saito found a Dark Revenant, but Takeda had an Ultimate Price to pop it back onto Saito's library. Saito pulled a face – the other cards in his deck were much better than the waiting Revenant. Takeda didn't give him a chance to find them, though: a Rites of Reaping left the board lopsided enough that Saito went to his sideboard.

    Hiroki Takeda 1 – Tomoharu Saito 0

    Takeda led the action with an unleashed Grim Roustabout. Saito summoned a Vassal Soul and passed, Takeda casting a Golgari Keyrune. Saito's Vassal Soul sailed in, and he summoned a Seller of Songbirds to bolster his army. Takeda's Roustabout crashed in regardless and Saito declined to block. A Towering Indrik looked to slow Saito down, but an Arrest took care of that.

    A Perilous Shadow for Takeda threatened to get 'all up' in Saito's 'grill' (I assume this is what was said), but Saito seemed unfazed. After a minute's thought, he cast an Ethereal Armor on his Bird token and attacked with his fliers. Takeda animated his Keyrune and attacked. Saito had an Azorius Charm to fend off the Keyrune for a turn, but Takeda took his opportunity to summon a Corpsejack Menace. Saito had a Street Spasm to take out the Menace, and once Takeda had done the math, the pair moved on to a decider.

    Tomoharu Saito 1 - Hiroki Takeda 1

    A pair of mulligans for both players was followed by another for Takeda, both players starting the game down on resources. Takeda led off once again with his Roustabout. Saito kept pace with a Keening Apparition and a Vassal Soul. Takeda summoned a Perilous Shadow, while Saito had an Azorius Arrester to keep the pressure on.

    Takeda's all about the Roustabout.

    Takeda summoned an Axebane Guardian to shore up his defence. The early game's aggression stalled, Saito sat back and considered his options. Saito Arrested the Shadow and Takeda's Guardian blocked the Arrester, the Vassal Soul swinging in unhindered.

    Takeda attacked with his Roustabout but otherwise had no action, letting Saito attack in the same formation as before. A Launch Party from Takeda took out the Vassal Soul. Post-combat, Saito summoned a Seller of Songbirds, while Takeda had a Rix Maadi Guildmage to keep pace.

    Saito attacked with his team once more, keen to finish off Takeda before his mage came online. Takeda traded his Guildmage for the Keening Apparition, falling to perilously low life. A Sluiceway Scorpion was met with a Trostani's Judgment, the two Bird tokens flying in before an Explosive Impact sealed the deal.

    Tomoharu Saito 2 – Hiroki Takeda 1




     

  • Round 5 Feature Match – Calvin Ong vs. Ding Leong

    by Pip Foweraker

  • Ong rapidly took control of Game 1 with a Rix Maadi Guildmage and a Mercurial Chemister. Leong's Korozda Guildmage got Struck by an Assassin, but he quickly rebuilt with a Golgari Longlegs and a Towering Indrik. A Voidwielder from Ong slowed him down but briefly.

    Ong took advantage of his Chemister and a Thoughtflare to fill his hand with goodies. An Ogre Jailbreaker and a Daggerdrome Imp hit the board, leaving Leong to catch up with a Rix Maadi Guildmage, a Sluiceway Scorpion, and a Dryad Militant. With 7 creatures on the board, his array of men looked impressive, but Ong was outdrawing him fiercely.

    With a full grip, Ong cast a Pursuit of Knowledge on his Daggerdrome Imp and attacked. Post-combat, he summoned a Splatter Thug and passed. On Leong's attack, Ong used his Chemister to take out the Rix Maadi Guildmage. Leong swung with his Longlegs, Militant, Scorpion, Crocodile, and Indrik. After blockers had been declared and the dust settled, Ong was left firmly ahead, with his Chemister, Splatter Thug, Voidwielder and Imp all unscathed. Leong summoned a Centaur's Herald and passed, his army severely reduced.

    Whenever Leong looks at something that hard, it is most sure to die.

    Ong regained what life he had lost off an attack with his Imp. Leong tried a Rakdos's Return to reclaim card parity, but Ong simply cast an overloaded Street Spasm and swing for the win next turn.

    Calvin Ong 1 – Ding Leong 0

    Leong started the second game with a Korozda Guildmage, while Ong had a Frostburn Weird. Leong followed with a Daggerdrome Imp, Ong keeping pace with an unleashed Dead Reveler. On Leong's attack, Ong sighed and blocked the Guildmage, only to have the telegraphed Giant Growth take out his 1/4. A follow-up Sewer Shambler kept the pressure on.

    Ong had an Annihilating Fire for the Sewer Shambler, but was otherwise forced to take the damage from Leong's team as it marched in. Leong summoned an Axebane Guardian and passed, while Ong summoned a Rix Maadi Guildmage and killed Leong's Guardian with an Ultimate Price.

    Ong has almost too many ways to win this game.

    Leong attacked unblocked once more, knocking Ong to 13. Post-combat, he unleashed a Dead Reveler. Ong untapped and cast a Pursuit of Flight on his Guildmage, swinging for 7. Tapped out and defenceless, Ong was helpless while Leong Arrested his Guildmage and attacked. The massive backswing in tempo was too much, and Ong succumbed a turn or two later.

    Ding Leong 1 – Calvin Ong 1

    Ong mulliganed to 5, Leong to 6, with Ong leading the action by unleashing a Gore-House Chainwalker. Leong summoned a Gatecreeper Vine and then found a Dead Reveler, while Ong unleashed a Splatter Thug. The Gatecreeper Vine blocked the Thug and then got all Grow-ey and Giant. Ong looked particularly unhappy about this, but had a Stab Wound after combat to soothe the pain of losing his Thug.

    Leong summoned a Sluiceway Scorpion, while Ong cast a Deathrite Shaman. Leong attacked with his wounded Reveler, but Ong declined to block for some reason. With the Deathrite Shaman and the Stab Wound an effective clock on their own, all Ong had to do was sit back and wait for the win to arrive.

    It wasn't long in coming.

    Calvin Ong 2 – Ding Leong 1




     

  • Quick Questions – What is your deck's answer to Pack Rats?

    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Hao-Shan Huang: Street Spasm and Ultimate Price
    Ang Jun Yang: Stab Wound
    Ryan Luo: Dramatic Rescue then Stab Wounds
    Kelvin Chew: Auger Spree



     

  • Round 5 Feature Match – Shuhei Nakamura vs. Martin Jůza

    by Noel Neo

  • This pairing was so clearly a feature match that Nakamura came up to our table before the feature match was even announced. Veteran pros and ChannelFireball teammates – Shuhei and Martin had prepared together during their byes and so were familiar with each others' decks. Despite the money on the line, the atmosphere was very casual; albeit the players' fame attracted quite the crowd of spectators.

    Shuhei won the die roll and opted to play.

    Game 1

    Shuhei's early start of Deviant Glee on Gore-House Chainwalker (unleashed) and Daggerdrome Imp would taper off with Shuhei laying land after land...

    On Martin's side of the table, Drudge Beetle and Keening Apparition worked to stem the bleeding, ganging up on the Gleeful Chainwalker, but not before he had dealt 6 points to the dome. Selesnya Keyrune and Dryad Militant would join Martin's team, with Towering Indrik to fend off Daggerdrome Imp.

    Shuhei in control of the board.

    Tenement Crasher kept Shuhei in the game, with Martin summoning Centaur Healer and Centaur's Herald in response. Shuhei pushed his both his guys into the red zone and lost the Imp to Towering Indrik while his Crasher ate Martin's Centaur Healer. Spawn of Rix Maadi replaced the Imp and Martin kept mana open for Centaur's Herald.

    On Shuhei's next attack, Towering Indrik and Dryad Militant ganged on the Crasher, which was great for Shuhei as Annihilating Fire took out the Dryad. Meanwhile, the Spawn's attack bounced off the Herald's ability.

    On the other hand, Martin looked to be able to stabilize at 8 life, with Voidwielder gaining a one turn tempo advantage and Eyes in the Skies for a bird and a centaur. However, the respite was only momentary as Mizzium Mortars from Shuhei sealed the game.

    Game 2

    A quick one with Martin demonstrating he too could lay the beatdown. New Prahv Guildmage trumped Rakdos Shred-Freak as it gained a Common Bond. Meanwhile Daggerdrome Imp for Shuhei faced off against Towering Indrik.

    Shuhei sought to race with Pursuit of Flight on the Shred-Freak, but Knightly Valor on the Indrik brought Shuhei down to just 4 life. With Martin's creatures able to take flight with the Guildmage's ability, the game was quickly over.

    Martin and a gathering crowd.

    Game 3

    Shuhei laid nothing but lands for the first 3 turns after his mulligan and the first creature to hit the board was Martin's Centaur Healer, which immediately gained a Stab Wound. Martin would build his team with Skymark Roc, which made Shuhei's Grim Roustabout woefully ineffective.

    A Selesnya Keyrune and Collective Blessing later and it was all over.

    Final score: Martin Jůza 2 – Shuhei Nakamura 1




     

  • Round 6 Feature Match – Sung-Wook Nam vs. Jun-Wei Hew

    by Pip Foweraker

  • Hew and Nam both led off their plays with a Call of the Conclave. Nam's follow-up was slightly more impressive: Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage when your opponent is also Selesnya, and thus predictably light on removal, makes for an attractive game indeed. Nonplussed, Hew summoned a Keening Apparition.

    Nam attacked with a pair of Centaur tokens. Hew had an Eyes in the Skies to net himself a Bird and another Centaur token. Post-combat, Nam summoned a Golgari Longlegs.

    The Longlegs attacked unblocked, and Hew had another Eyes in the Skies to keep his army a-growin', but declined to block. A Deadbridge Goliath gave Nam pause, and a follow-up Collective Blessing from Hew put Nam in an unpleasant spot indeed.

    Hew attacked with a Centaur, his Goliath, and a Centaur. Before blockers, Nam had an Eyes in the Skies of his own, allowing him to block the Centaur, not block the Goliath, fall to 2, and see if his deck was going to give him any outs.

    For a man taking approximately one bajillionty damage, Nam looks unfazed.

    Waiting on top of Nam's library was a land – the 8th is not commonly important in Limited, but when you have a Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage on the board, it becomes very relevant indeed. Hew attacked with all the creatures that could. When the dust settled, Nam was left with a token and a Guildmage, and Hew had his Goliath and... an Archon of the Triumvirate. The Archon was detained by Nam's Azorius Arrester, and the Goliath rumbled in to tangle with the Arrester. Post-combat, Hew cast an Azorius Keyrune, leaving him with 2 fliers – enough to secure victory on the next turn.

    Jun-Wei Hew 1 – Sung-Wook Nam 0

    Neither player had anything for the first few turns of the game. A cautious Centaur's Herald from Hew was rapidly outclassed by a Hussar Patrol, which suited up with a Knightly Valor and started bashing.

    Hew cast a Call of the Conclave and an Azorius Arrester to get some early points of damage in. A Dramatic Rescue on Nam's Hussar Patrol was countered with a Dispel. When Nam attacked, Hew had an Eyes in the Skies and dramatically pushed a trio of Centaur tokens in front of the oncoming Hussar. An Azorius Charm took care of one, but the Hussar bit the dust regardless.

    Hew's plays are as dramatic as this photo's lighting.

    The return swing from Hew was impressive, Nam left with a lonely 2/2 Knight on defense, who watched as the attackers sallied past. Nam summoned a Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage. At the end of his turn, Hew had a Druid's Deliverance to net himself another Centaur token, while Nam had an Aerial Predation to knock off the Bird.

    Another attack from Hew saw no blocks from Nam, who cast a Coursers' Accord to shore up his defenses. When Hew attacked again, 4 Centaurs stared each other down in the red zone. Unfortunately for Nam, Hew's shared a Common Bond, and his Arrester felt some Swift Justice and took down Nam's Knight.

    Nam summoned an Isperia's Skywatch, which detained a Centaur. Nam let the other Centaur crash in unheeded, needing something better to balance out the game. Collective Blessing was not the card he was hoping to see on his opponent's side of the board...

    Or was it? On Hew's attack, Nam pulled out a Sundering Growth, brushing off the troublesome enchantment and netting himself a Centaur to block the incoming army with. On a perilously low life total, Nam was forced to block with all his creatures, losing his Guildmage but stabilising with 2 blockers against a lone 4/4 Centaur.

    Hew summoned a Towering Indrik, while Nam had a Call of the Conclave. An Eyes in the Skies for Hew netted him a pair of Birds – enough to clinch the win past Nam's lonesome Skywatch.

    Jun-Wei Hew 2 – Sung-Wook Nam 0



     

  • Round 7 Feature Match – Kelvin Chew vs. Hiew Chee Choong

    by Noel Neo

  • Kelvin is an emerging local pro who most recently made the top 8 at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica and led the Singapore contingent at Worlds 2012. He had earlier predicted that his deck would go x-2 and given his one loss with three rounds to go, it seems he might be right on target. Would this be the round where he picks up his second loss?

    Chee Choong won the die roll and opted to play.

    Game 1

    Despite a mulligan on the play, Chee Choong managed to represent the stompy in this first game. A relatively mild Security Blockade met an unleashed Dead Reveler from Kelvin, and Grove of the Guardian on turn four would portend how this game would play out.

    Kelvin Chew, thinking hard>.

    Kelvin tried to ratchet up the pressure with Viashino Racketeer (discarding Sewer Shambler) and Chee Choong had end-of-turn Eyes in the Skies for a bird and knight. A Knight token traded with the Viashino and Chee Choong built his mana base with Axebane Guardian. The reason for the accelerator would be revealed the next turn as Chee Choong deployed Risen Sanctuary, far outstripping Kelvin's Batterhorn.

    Kelvin mounted a valiant effort to take down the 8/8 vigilant elemental with a combination of Batterhorn and Auger Spree. Whilst he represented some threat yet by scavenging Sewer Shambler on Dead Reveler and adding Bloodfray Giant, the game was all but over when Chee Choong cracked Grove of the Guardian and played Trostani's Judgment removing the Giant and populating his token.

    Game 2

    Kelvin Chew managed to get in some early beats with an unleashed Grim Roustabout, while Chee Choong had an eye to the longer game with Gatecreeper Vine. Both side then upgraded with Armory Guard for Chee Choong and Golgari Longlegs for Kelvin.

    Chee Choong with Risen Sanctuary and Grove of the Guardian.

    Kelvin's lead would, however, be very brief as he had nary a response to Chee Choong's Wayfaring Temple and Coursers' Accord. Compounding his problems – Kelvin had been trying to push damage and when Chee Choong pushed his guys into the red zone, Kelvin could only Ultimate Price the Guard, allowing Wayfaring Temple to get through and populate.

    Sewer Shambler came down next for Kelvin, as Chee Choong presented his Vine for a chump block. Whilst Kelvin would subsequently be able to take down a Palisade Giant and Assassin's Strike Chee Choong's Wayfaring Temple, Trostani's Judgment targeting Golgari Longlegs and populating a centaur would present too much board and card disadvantage for him to claw his way back from.

    Final score: Chee Choong 2 – Kelvin Chew 0

    In the aftermath of the brutally one-side match, Kelvin could only wonder at how good Chee Choong's deck was. Chee Choong explained that he had come into the event without any byes and had thus picked up his one and only loss partially because of the three additional matches he had to play.




     

  • Saturday, 7:25 p.m. – Sealed Deck Building Exercise #1: The Player

    by Noel Neo

  • Earlier today, we showed you a Sealed pool and asked how you would build that deck. Our unnamed pro went with Rakdos for its suite of removal spells. Who is that player?

    Kelvin Chew

    Kelvin Chew is one of Singapore's most dedicated professional players. When he's not helping out and honing his skills at games store – Games Haven, he spends hours working out the best strategies and decks to play on MTGO. His dedication has certainly paid off in spades, as evidenced by his making the top 8 at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica 2012 and leading the Singapore contingent at Worlds 2012.

    "I chose to go with Rakdos for the suite of removal as well as the bomb in Chaos Imps" Kelvin said. "Azorius has strong creatures, but I generally rate removal over creatures."

    When pressed on why he is playing a sub-par card like Cremate main, Kelvin explained that his card pool was not so deep that he could play pure Rakdos without fillers. "I considered splashing green for cards such as Gatecreeper Vine and Savage Surge, but the marginal improvement in card quality is not worth sacrificing consistency for," Kelvin declared.

    But how did things pan out for Kelvin? Well, that's a slightly different story. After eight rounds, Kelvin sat at a 5-3 record, needing a win in the final round and enough fortune with tie-breakers to make it into Day 2.

    The losses he racked up were against perennially bad matchup – Selesnya, with its mix of life gain and fatter and more populous than Rakdos creatures, as well as a four color deck that played Centaur Healer and Sphinx's Revelation.

    When asked if he would do anything differently if given a second shot, Kevin said he would board into a different deck against Selesnya – either Golgari splashing for removal or Azorius.




     

  • Round 8 Feature Match – Tzu-Ching Kuo vs. Jason Yeo

    by Noel Neo

  • Kuo and Yeo both mulliganed, Yeo falling to 5, Kuo happy with his 6. Yeo had a Seller of Songbirds to start play, while Kuo's first creature was a Cobblebrute. Kuo summoned a Lobber Crew, and Yeo had a Knightly Valor for his Bird token, which swung over to nibble away at Kuo's life total.

    Kuo built his army with an Isperia's Skywatch. Yeo attacked with his Bird token, and Kuo blocked with his Skywatch. Yeo had a Collective Blessing to bring his flier up to a 5/5, and had a Stab Wound for Kuo's Lobber Crew to add insult to injury. Kuo summoned a Sphinx of the Chimes, the 5/6 flier a perfect answer to Yeo's Bird.

    Briefly stymied, Yeo summoned a Korozda Guildmage and a Concordia Pegasus before passing. Kuo had a second Lobber Crew, but his life was getting a little low. Yeo used his Guildmage to safely pump his Bird, before laying a second Stab Wound on the Lobber Crew. With Kuo taking 4 damage in his upkeep, it was time for sideboards.

    Yeo gets his Stab on.

    Jason Yeo 1 – Tzu-Ching Kuo 0

    Yeo had the first action of the second game, summoning a Concordia Pegasus. Kuo kept pace with a Lobber Crew and a Cobblebrute. A Stab Wound from Yeo got rid of the Cobblebrute, and Kuo passed with 5 mana open. Yeo attacked with his Pegasus and also passed. At the end of his turn, Kuo fired off a Thoughtflare, getting an extra ping out of his Lobber and setting up his next turns.

    Kuo cast a Rakdos Keyrune and passed with a full grip.. Yeo tried a Deviant Glee on his Pegasus, which made the flying attacker far more impressive.

    A Voidwielder from Kuo dealt with both the Pegasus (for a turn) and the Deviant Glee (more permanently). Kuo watched as Yeo summoned his Pegasus and followed it up with a Korozda Guildmage. Kuo killed the Guildmage with an Izzet Charm, then summoned a Goblin Electromancer. Yeo, stymied, summoned an Angel of Serenity, but Kuo had a Syncopate for it. Sensing a window of opportunity, Kuo summoned a Sphinx of the Chimes and began ring out some beats.

    Kuo refuses to Chime in with any puns about hand-wringing, dead ringers, or 'for whom the bell tolls' – despite them being so ap-pealing. Some people.

    Yeo laid out a valiant defense, making the best of his pair of Pegasi and his Trestle Troll, but failed to find anything relevant before dying a few turns later.

    Tzu-Ching Kuo 1 – Jason Yeo 1

    Kuo's deck betrayed him in the early turns of the final game. Kuo was forced to have crucial 3rd and 4th land drops come into play tapped and off-colour, stranding utility spells and creatures in hand while Yeo laid out threat after threat.

    Kuo played a tight defensive game, maximising utility from a Lobber Crew and some detain effects, but to no avail. Yeo simply kept pushing through, and by the time Kuo started to stabilise, it was too late.

    Jason Yeo – 2 Tzu-Ching Kuo 1




     

  • Quick Questions – Your Favourite Gatecrash Preview Card?

    by Pip Foweraker

  • Hao-Shan Huang: Obzedat, Ghost Council
    Suripat Maikhu: Prime Speaker Zegana
    Steven Tan: Frontline Medic
    Kelvin Chew: Lazav, Dimir Mastermind



     

  • Round 9 Feature Match – Stanislav Cifka vs. Choo Yong Han

    by Noel Neo

  • Fresh off his win last October at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica, Stanislav is looking to extend his streak here in Singapore. Standing in his way is Yong Han, a local pro with a Pro Tour top 8 and multiple Grand Prix top 8s. Both players are at 6 wins and need a win here to guarantee a spot in day 2.

    Stanislav won the die roll and opted to play.

    Game 1

    Very quick game with Stanislav playing Gatecreeper Vine into Dreg Mangler, into Centaur Healer, into Bushstrider and Sewer Shambler.

    Stanislav, happy with his hand.

    In contrast, Yong Han mulliganed into quartet of plains and could only mount a Selesnya Sentry to trade with Dreg Mangler and a Seller of Songbirds to trade with Sewer Shambler (Stanislav had scavenged Dreg Mangler on Brushstrider and Yong Han's Bird token could only chump block). He was soon overwhelmed by Stanislav's swarm.

    Game 2

    A very interesting game with unexpected twists and turns.

    On the draw, Stanislav got the first play in with Selesnya Guildmage. Axebane Guardian did not block the following turn, perhaps playing around a possible Common Bond; and Stanislav added to his board with Seller of Songbirds.

    Yong Han summoned Golgari Decoy, which promptly got Ultimate Price'd, and Stanislav continued his beats. Rogue's Passage and Golgari Longlegs for Yong Han managed to stem the bleeding as Stanislav could only add Korozda Monitor and swing with his Bird token.

    The standoff continued for a couple more turns, with Yong Han adding Collective Blessing and Dryad Militant to his board. Things got interesting when Stanislav populated his Bird token, attacked Yong Han down to 12 life, and played Stab Wound on Golgari Longlegs.

    In a bad shape, Yong Han had an excellent response in an overloaded Cyclonic Rift and swing to bring Stanislav down to 7 life. This, however, opened an opportunity for Stanislav to rush in with Dreg Mangler + Giant Growth + Swift Justice to bring the life totals to Stanislav 14 – Yong Han 3. A valiant effort, but ultimately insufficient as Yong Han simply scavenged Golgari Decoy for the win.

    Game 3

    Stanislav mulliganed on the play and started on the back foot as a lone Gatecreeper Vine faced Centaur's Herald, Drudge Beetle, and the centaur token off the Herald. Yong Han also had a Grove of the Guardian, which put some pressure on Stanislav to end the game quickly.

    Stanislav got back into the game with Selesnya Guildmage and Ultimate Price targeting the Centaur token, followed by Centaur Healer to bring himself back to 19 life. A clone of the Healer hit play on the opposite side, and Yong Han gang blocked the Guildmage on Stanislav's attack, Swift Justice and Giant Growth put Stanislav firmly in the driver'seat.

    Another Centaur Healer for Yong Han met a second Giant Growth on the Guildmage, and Stanislav pushed further ahead with Keening Apparition. Yong Han summoned Seller of Songbirds, and when Stanislav created a Centaur token via Selesnya Guildmage, Trostani's Judgment took out the Guildmage and created a Bird token for Yong Han.

    Yong Han mulling his blocks.

    The following turn saw Seller of Songbirds and token gang block the Apparition (Stanislav chose to take out the token), and Stanislav added Centaur's Herald, which he promptly cracked. Yong Han had Dryad Militant, which made for an excellent defense step when he played Rootborn Defenses (populating a bird) to stonewall Stanislav's attack and kill his Centaur Healer (leaving Stanislav with two 3/3 centaur tokens). Yong Han then attacked with both Bird tokens and stabilized the board with Centaur Healer to bring himself back up to 12 life.

    With the ground now gummed up, Yong Han continued to chip away with his birds and added Trostani, Selesnya's Voice to take the game and match.

    Final score: Choo Yong Han 2 – Stanislav Cifka 1




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