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Yukuhiro Smashes Singapore!

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Ken Yukuhiro is your Grand Prix: Singapore champion! Starting down a game in the finals against Chapman Sim, Yukuhiro defeated the infamously deadly Pack Rats in games 2 and 3 with his aggressive Rakdos deck to clinch victory.

Yukuhiro's deck blended focus and ferocity, featuring many of Return to Ravnica's aggressive powerhouses. Trios of Pursuit of Flight, Traitorous Instinct and Spawn of Rix Maadi, supported by a stellar selection of removal and aggressive creatures, proved too much for Yukuhiro's opponents. Rounding out the Top 8 Andrew Cantillana, Jun'ya Nakamura, Toshiya Kanegawa, Zhen Xing Gao, Hao-Shan Huang and Ruizi Lin.




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Lin Rui Zi   Lin Rui Zi, 2-0        
8 Gao Zhen Xing   Chapman Sim, 2-0
       
4 Huang Hao-Shan   Chapman Sim, 2-1   Ken Yukuhiro, 2-1
5 Chapman Sim    
       
2 Ken Yukuhiro   Ken Yukuhiro, 2-1
7 Toshiya Kanegawa   Ken Yukuhiro, 2-1
       
3 Jun'ya Nakamura   Andrew Cantillana, 2-0
6 Andrew Cantillana    







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EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

INFORMATION
 1.  Ken Yukuhiro $3,500
 2.  Chapman Sim $2,300
 3.  Andrew Cantillana $1,500
 4.  Lin Rui Zi $1,500
 5.  Jun'ya Nakamura $1,000
 6.  Toshiya Kanegawa $1,000
 7.  Gao Zhen Xing $1,000
 8.  Huang Hao-Shan $1,000
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  • Top 8 Player Profiles

    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Gao Zhen Xing

    Age: 29
    Hometown: Beijing
    Occupation: Game Designer


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    2004 GP Kuala Lumpur Top 42012 GP Shanghai 35th

    What was your record in Sealed / Draft this weekend?
    7-0-2 Sealed / 5-1-0 Draft

    What decks did you draft today?
    Selesnya and Rakdos

    Favorite Return to Ravnica uncommon?
    Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage

    Which guild would you be the head of, and why?

    Selesnya; because it represents the power of life and of nature harmonious. Trostani is a very apt representative of the guild - balance is the key to achieve success. Selesnya is also my wife's favorite guild.




    Lin Rui Zi

    Age: 22
    Hometown: Singapore
    Occupation: University Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    2 GPT Top 16Nationals Top 8Can do card tricks

    What was your record in Sealed / Draft this weekend?
    7-2 Sealed / 5-0-1 Draft

    What decks did you draft today?
    Izzet with 2 Batterhorn, and Selesnya splashing blue

    Favorite Return to Ravnica uncommon?
    Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage

    Which guild would you be the head of, and why?

    Azorius because I'm reading Law and bureaucracy is awesome




    Andrew Cantillana

    Age: 29
    Hometown: Philippines
    Occupation: Field Engineer


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Top 8 in World Magic Cup 2012Member of Team Philippines

    What was your record in Sealed / Draft this weekend?
    9-0 Sealed / 4-1-1 Draft

    What decks did you draft today?
    Selesnya and Golgari

    Favorite Return to Ravnica uncommon?
    Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage and Korozda Guildmage

    Which guild would you be the head of, and why?

    Selesnya or Golgari. Green cards are good.




    Toshiya Kanegawa

    Age: 32
    Hometown: Yamanashi
    Occupation: Card Shop HAMAYA Owner


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    GP Shanghai Top 8

    What was your record in Sealed / Draft this weekend?
    8-1 Sealed / 4-0-2 Draft

    What decks did you draft today?
    Golgari and Rakdos

    Favorite Return to Ravnica uncommon?
    Every Guildmage

    Which guild would you be the head of, and why?

    Rakdos because it can win very quickly




    Ken Yukuhiro

    Age: 23
    Hometown: Wakayuma
    Occupation: Card Shop (Mana Source)


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    PT Top 8 and GP Top 8

    What was your record in Sealed / Draft this weekend?
    9-0 Sealed / 3-2-1 Draft

    What decks did you draft today?
    Azorius enchantment and Selesnya tokens

    Favorite Return to Ravnica uncommon?
    Call of the Conclave

    Which guild would you be the head of, and why?

    Selesnya!!




    Huang Hao-Shan

    Age: 30
    Hometown: Taiwan
    Occupation: Student / Pro Player


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    2 GP Top 8sLegacy Champion at 2011 Worlds (SFO)

    What was your record in Sealed / Draft this weekend?
    6-2-1 Sealed / 6-0 Draft

    What decks did you draft today?
    Selesnya and Selesnya splash blue

    Favorite Return to Ravnica uncommon?
    Bloodfray Giant

    Which guild would you be the head of, and why?
    Selesnya because I managed to go 6-0 with it in draft.
    I wish though there is a guild named Bonfire.




    Jun'ya Nakamura

    Age: 24
    Hometown: Nagoya
    Occupation: Student


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    None

    What was your record in Sealed / Draft this weekend?
    8-1 Sealed / 4-0-2 Draft

    What decks did you draft today?
    Izzet and Selesnya

    Favorite Return to Ravnica uncommon?
    Bloodfray Giant

    Which guild would you be the head of, and why?

    Rakdos because it wins very quickly.




    Chapman Sim

    Age: 27
    Hometown: Singapore
    Occupation: Owner of Singapore's first and only MTG Café, Sun Island Café!


    Previous Magic accomplishments:
    Magic World Cup Team 20122 Nationals Top 4s

    What was your record in Sealed / Draft this weekend?
    8-1 Sealed (without any byes!) / 4-1-1 Draft

    What decks did you draft today?
    Selesnya hate draft suggested by Lee Shi Tian and Izzet

    Favorite Return to Ravnica uncommon?
    Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage

    Which guild would you be the head of, and why?

    Azorius. I'm a fan of righteousness!




     

  • Top 8 Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff










  •  

  • Quarterfinals Feature Match – Ruizi Lin vs. Zhen Xing Gao

    by Pip Foweraker

  • Gao led out the early game with a Dryad Militant, while Lin assembled a Frostburn Weird, a Goblin Electromancer, and a Vassal Soul. Gao's Common Bond and Knightly Valor kept the lone Militant alive, while Lin looked for answers.

    Lin cooly considers his options.

    Eventually an Annihilating Flame and a comprehensive block balanced the game out. Lin started plugging away with his Vassal Soul, while Gao found some more pressure with a Korozda Monitor. Lin summoned a Tower Drake to mount more flying pressure, and, after racing for a few turns, used an Explosive Impact to finish his opponent off.

    Ruizi Lin 1 – Zhen Xing Gao 0

    Game 2

    Gao led off the action with Golgari Decoy. Lin had an Izzet Staticaster, who could be predictably relied upon to not be around for blocking.

    Gao followed up with an Axebane Guardian. Lin had an Izzet Charm to kill the Decoy, but Gao summoned a Towering Indrik to keep the pressure on. Lin dug deep with a Thoughtflare and cycled an Inaction Injunction to stave off some of the damage. Gao scavenged his Decoy onto his Indrik to bolster its offense, and sent it crashing in.

    Gao asks that fundamental question, "Well, what are you going to do about it?"

    Lin was having none of that, and sent the Indrik back home with a Voidwielder. Then, grip comfortably full, Lin unloaded a Skyline Predator and an Isperia's Skywatch to take control of the skies. Gao had an Arrest for the Predators, re-summoned his Indrik, and hauled in a Centaur Healer to shore up his life total.

    The creatures kept coming on his opponent's side, however, with Lin adding a Goblin Electromancer to his growing army. Lin attacked his Skywatch into the Indrik and attempted to finish it off with an Annihilating Fire, but Gao had a Rootborn Defences and a Common Bond to finish off the Skywatch. A Syncopate from Lin was paid for with Gao's Axebane Guardian, leaving Lin frustrated at the loss of his flier.

    Gao attacked with his Indrik, and Lin declined to block.Lin re-mounted an offense with a second Annihilating Fire aimed at Gao's Centaur Healer. The ground open, he sent his team cracking in at Gao.... Who had a Savage Surge to take out Lin's Frostburn Weird. Post-combat, Lin followed up with a Runewing and passed.

    Gao spent a turn casting a Knightly Valor on his now-massive Indrik and a Security Blockade on one of his lands, then followed up the next turn with an Azorius Arrester. His Indrik was eating creatures at the rate of one a turn. Lin mounted a defense with a Cobblebrute and a second Skyline Predator, giving Gao momentary pause.

    The next turn was even worse for Gao – Lin finally found his Teleportal, and was able to attack for lethal.

    Ruizi Lin 2 – Zhen Xing Gao 0




     

  • Quarterfinals Feature Match – Ken Yukuhiro vs. Toshiya Kanegawa

    by Pip Foweraker

  • Game 1

    Yukuhiro powered out of the gates with a Frostburn Weird. Kanegawa had a Thrill-Kill Assassin, which Yukuhiro matched with a Gore-house Chainwalker. After several turns of back-and-forth, Yukuhiro summoned a Spawn of Rix Maadi, which Kanegawa promptly Stab Wounded. Unfazed, Yukuhiro summoned a Carnival Hellsteed and sent them both swinging at Kanegawa.

    Kanegawa's Party sends all the Steeds to the 'yard.

    Unfortunately, a Launch Party cut the incoming stampede short. Kanegawa attacked back with a vengeance, and that was all he wrote.

    Toshiya Kanegawa 1 – Ken Yukuhiro 0

    Game 2

    Yukuhiro led the action with a Frostburn Weird, while Kanegawa summoned a Sewer Shambler and a Drudge Beetle. Yukuhiro summoned a pair of Lobber Crews to keep pace with the swampwalker. Kanegawa summoned a Slum Reaper to keep things under control, but Yukuhiro was able to gain more value out of it with a Traitorous Instincts. A gold removal spell or two later, and the dual Lobber Crews had done their work.

    Ken Yukuhiro 1 – Toshiya Kanegawa 1

    Game 3

    Kanegawa led the action with a Grim Roustabout, while Yukuhiro had no plays until a Bloodfray Giant. Kanegawa took perfect opportunity to summon a Slum Reaper, which cleared out the Giant with ease. Yukuhiro's follow-up Volatile Rig was the perfect blocker a turn later.

    The maestro at work.

    Yukuhiro started rebuilding from his empty board first, with a Spawn of Rix Maadi. Once again, Kanegawa had a Stab Wounds for it, but the 4/2 cracked on in regardless. Yukuhiro followed up with a Daggerdrome Imp and a Frostburn Weird, and Kanegawa had only a Zanikev Locust on defense. Even the Locust didn't hang around for long, with Yukuhiro taking advantage of its Traitorous Instincts to knock Kanegawa to a precarious 2 life.

    A second Traitorous Instincts sealed the deal.

    Ken Yukuhiro 2 – Toshiya Kanegawa 1




     

  • Quarterfinals Feature Match – Andrew Cantillana vs. Jun’ya Nakamura

    by Noel Neo

  • Top in Swiss Andrew drafted a very aggressive Rakdos deck to fully utilize his prerogative to play. His opponent has an aggro Azorius deck. Would Jun'ya be able to out tempo Andrew?

    Game 1

    Andrew dealt first blood with Rakdos Shred-Freak, but Jun'ya had the perfect answer with Concordia Pegasus. Kill-Thrill Assassin (unleashed) joined Andrew's team, while Jun'ya summoned Lyev Skyknight and push the Pegasus into the red zone.

    Electrickery cleared the way for Andrew's team, to which he added Sewer Shambler. Jun'ya rebuilt with Vassal Soul and Lyev Skyknight, while Andrew added Perilous Shadow and Lobber Crew.

    Jun'ya stoically faces the onslaught.

    At five mana, Jun'ya felt confident enough to send the Skyknight and Soul into the red zone and even life totals at 12 apiece. He then summoned Seller of Songbirds and New Prahv Guildmage.

    Andrew, in retaliation, sent his entire team in. Seller of Songbirds blocked Perilous Shadow, Concordia Pegasus took down Rakdos Shred-Freak, Jun'ya traded his bird token for Sewer Shambler, and the Assassin got in for 2. Rather than pumping the Shadow, Andrew played his last card – Rakdos Ringleader.

    On the return swing with the entire air-force, Andrew went down to 6 and was left with a turn to find an out. Perilous Shadow was detained by the Guildmage before Andrew's combat step and Jun'ya remaining creatures chump blocked. Andrew did draw the out, however, as he revealed Augur Spree. Coupled with the gradual attrition of Jun'ya's life total (now at 7) with Lobber Crew, Andrew's top deck won him the race!

    Game 2

    Despite drawing off a mulligan, Andrew had a very aggressive start with Daggerdrome Imp on two, Sewer Shambler on three, Desecration Demon on four, and Perilous Shadow on five. Jun'ya meanwhile had been stuck on three plains and had only summoned twin Sunspire Griffins.

    Andrew calculating the damage he can push.

    Jun'ya was down to just 4 life by the time he found an Island, and he cast Lyev Skyknight to detain the Demon. Both Griffins blocked and Electrickery from Andrew sealed the game.

    Final score: Andrew Cantillana 2 – Jun'ya Nakamura 0




     

  • Quarterfinals Feature Match – Chapman Sim vs. Huang Hao-Shan

    by Noel Neo

  • The two teammates had been fairly cooperative during the draft and both had fairly powerful green based decks. Chapman's deck is more Golgari, whilst Hao-Shan's is pure Selesnya. These games thus came down to who could better grind out games.

    Hao-Shan was higher in Swiss and opted to play.

    Game 1

    Hao-Shan took the early lead with Centaur Healer and Call of the Conclave, but attacks were soon stymied by Loxodon Smiter. Hao-Shan then took to the air with Sunspire Griffin though Chapman again found an answer in Trestle Troll.

    Hao Shan trying to determine his best course of action.

    Chapman also added twin Axebane Guardian, Sewer Shambler, and Stonefare Crocodile to his board, while Hao-Shan had Courser's Accord.

    Collective Blessing eventually found its way onto Chapman's board, and Hao-Shan was forced to remove Loxodon Smiter with Selesnya Charm and gang block the other attackers. Chapman was left with a bunch of very large defenders, but with Collective Blessing making every creature a monster, he eventually won the game off Daggerdrome Imp with Sewer Shambler scavenged onto it.

    Game 2

    This game was won by bird tokens, as Hao-Shan's early Eyes in the Skies back by twin Trostani's Judgment went the distance. Chapman dropped quite the pair of bombs in Pack Rats and Collective Blessing, but these came too late in the game to make a difference.

    Round 3

    Hao-Shan took an early lead as Call of the Conclave trumped Bushstrider and enabled Rootborn Defense(on three open mana) to take out Centaur Healer. Hao-Shan continued to one-up Chapman with Martial Law to Sluiceway Scorpion and Knightly Valor to Korozda Monitor.

    A trade between Bushstrider and a centaur token in the interval, as Hao-Shan proceeded to detain Sluiceway Scorpion and have his Knightly centaur token hack away at Chapman. Chapman added Bazaar Krovod and Stonefare Crocodile to his board, even as he was attacked down to 10 life. Eventually, he gang blocked the centaur token, and in one fell swoop turned the tables with Abrupt Decay taking out the token that had just received a Giant Growth.

    Chapman with quite the board.

    Chapman added Loxodon Smiter and Daggerdrome Imp and managed get some attacks in to bring Hao-Shan down to 9 life, before Centaur Herald and Courser's Accord gummed up the board again.

    What it eventually game down to was Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage and Rogue's Passage coming online for Chapman as Hao-Shan was simply unable to find an out for either the recurring token machine or unblockable creatures.

    Final score: Chapman Sim 2 – Huang Hao-Shan 1




     

  • Semifinals Feature Match – Andrew Cantillana vs. Ken Yukuhiro

    by Noel Neo

  • Game 1

    Cantillana opened the game with a Rakdos Shred-Freak, then followed it with a Daggerdrome Imp. Yukuhiro had a Lobber Crew to keep things civil on the ground. Cantillana dropped a Lobber Crew of his own.

    Yukuhiro turned up the heat with an unleashed Hellhole Flailer, which Cantillana killed with his Shred-Freak and an Electrickery. Yukuhiro rebuilt with a Frostburn Weird and a Rakdos Keyrune. An Auger Spree took care of Cantillana's Lobber Crew, leaving him with the lonely Imp, still pluckily sailing through the skies for 1 damage a turn.

    Andrew Cantillana

    Cantillana's hand was filling up, but a 4th land had not yet arrived for him. Unimpeded, the Weird was taking chunks out of his life total... And a Carnival Hellsteed from Yukuhiro made things even worse. Too worse, in fact.

    Ken Yukuhiro 1 – Andrew Cantillana 0

    Game 2

    Cantillana started aggressively, with a Rakdos Shred-Freak and an unleashed Thrill-Kill Assassin. Yukuhiro's start was slightly slower, with a Civic Saber and an Auger Spree on the Assassin. Cantillana had more creatures though, summoning a Perilous Shade against his opponent's still-empty board. Yukuhiro spent a turn casting a Rakdos Keyrune, then summoned a Spawn of Rix Maadi.

    Cantillana sent in his team and once again combined an Electrickery with his Shred-Freak, clearing out the Spawn. Yukuhiro summoned a Lobber Crew and dropped a Pursuit of Flight on it, giving himself a powerful blocker. Cantillana swung with his Imp and summoned another one, while Yukuhiro had a second Spawn of Rix Maadi, this one unleashed.

    It turns out the Rakdos is larger than a Spawn. By enough. Cantillana summoned the powerful Demon and, once Yukuhiro had blanched and peeked at the top of his library, we moved on to the decider.

    Game 3

    Yukuhiro had the first action of the decider, with a Gore-House Chainwalker, a Rakdos Keyrune and a Civic Saber. A double-Electrickery took care of the Chainwalker, and Cantillana summoned and attacked with a Rakdos Shred-Freak.

    Yukuhiro animated his Keyrune, equipped it with the Saber and attacked. Cantillana summoned a Viashino Racketeer and left his crew home to block, while Yukuhiro summoned an unleashed Spawn of Rix Maadi. With the Civic Saber, it had an impressive 8 power.

    Ken Yukuhiro

    Cantillana attacked with his Shred-Freak and summoned Rakdos, Lord of the Riots. Yukuhiro attacked with his Spawn, and Cantillana threw his Viashino in its way. At a perilous 4 life, Cantillana considered long and hard before attacking with Rakdos. Post-combat, he summoned a Thrill-Kill Assassin and passed with a shrug.

    Rakdos' Traitorous Instincts got the better of him. Ken Yukuhiro advances to the finals of Grand Prix: Singapore!

    Ken Yukuhiro 2 – Andrew Cantillana 1




     

  • Semifinals Feature Match – Chapman Sim vs. Ruizi Lin

    by Noel Neo

  • Game 1

    Sim led the action with a Daggerdrome Imp. Lin unleashed a Gore-House Chainwalker, while Sim kept pace with a Trestle Troll. Lin summoned a Goblin Electromancer and a Runewing

    Sim summoned a Golgari Longlegs and then attacked with it. Lin elected to dual-block, then fired off a cheap Thoughtflare before his Goblin Electromancer and Runewing bit the dust. Post-combat, Sim summoned a Pack Rat with 3 mana open: not a good sign from anyone's perspective. When Sim went to make a second Pack Rat, Lin unloaded an Izzet charm and an Annihilating Fire on them both. Overkill? Hardly.

    A Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage from Sim wandered into the red zone, only to be met mid-combat by a Skilyine Predators. "Oh, that's really quite bad" said Sim, forced to use his Rogue's Passage to keep the Guildmage alive. Mollified, the Predators ate Sim's Imp instead.

    Lin had an Isperia's Skyknight, but Sim had mana, and that means Centaur tokens. Centaurs' don't fly, though – a conundrum for Sim indeed. His resolution was to ignore the inconvenient fact and rely on his Centaurs to get the job done.

    A Collective Blessing looked to make the job a little easier, but he still had an army of fliers to contend with. A Centaur Healer gave him the life he needed to pull it off.

    Chapman Sim 1 – Ruizi Lin 0

    Game 2

    "What happens if we swap decks and play with those?", asked Sim. A friendly judge confirmed they would both be given game losses for illegal main decks, thus ending the semis immediately and letting said weary judge put their feet up. After a moment's deliberations, the two decided to play it out.

    Lin mulliganed to 6, and then they were off – Sim starting with a Brushstrider , which Lin cast an Inaction injunction on. The Brushstrider was joined by a Centaur Healer, with Lin having no creatures in play. An unblocked attack was followed by another, this time Lin shooting the Brushstrider with an Izzet Charm. Sim had a Chorus of Might, but Lin also had a Syncopate, killing off the Brushstrider but still taking damage from the Healer.

    Sim summoned a Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage and cast a Mind Rot, knocking a land and a Pithing Needle out of Lin's hand. Lin used an Explosive Impact to kill off the Guildmage, but Rogue's Passage started making the Healer unblockable. Lin assembled what defences he could, but unblockable is... Well, unblockable.

    Chapman Sim 2 - Ruizi Lin 0




     

  • Finals Feature Match – Chapman Sim vs. Ken Yukuhiro

    by Noel Neo

  • In the end, it comes down to this. A local champion against a member of the Japanese Juggernaut.

    Ken was higher in Swiss and opted to play.

    Game 1

    Whilst it was Ken with the first permanent of the game – Civic Saber, it was Chapman who dealt the first damage with Bushstrider through an unleashed Hellhole Flailer. Loxodon Smiter came down next for Chapman, and Ken equipped his Flailer with the Saber and Pursuit of Flight to force the trade.

    Chapman rebuilt with Gatecreeper Vine and Daggerdrome Imp, while Ken played another Hellhole Flailer equipped with Saber. Imp swung the life totals in Chapman's Favor and he added Sluiceway Scorpion.

    Ken Yukuhiro

    Ken deployed Rakdos Keyrune, and cleared the Scorpion with Augur Spree. Chapman had his defender chump and widened his lead on life by scavenging on the Imp and summoning Centaur Healer. Life totals were now 23 – 13.

    Ken was not out of the game yet, however, with Carnival Hellsteed speeding in unleashed. The Centaur traded for the Flailer, though Chapman still able to keep ahead on life. Pack Rats from Chapman drew a breath from the crowd.

    The race continued as Ken equipped Rakdos Keyrune with Saber and swung in. Post-combat, Core-House Chainwalker came down and equipped, while Chapman created a rat. Chapman swung in with his team (to bring life totals to 16 – 5), allowed the trade for a rat and summoned a Gatecreeper Vine to chump.

    When Ken didn't draw an out the following turn, it was over.

    Game 2

    Ken came out the gates with Gore-House Chainwalker on turn two, only to face the dreaded Pack Rats. Frostburn Weird joined Ken's team, as he looked to race past the Rats.

    Ken continued to push damage and played Hellhole Flailer unleashed; Chapman created a Rat. Augur Spree on a defensive Dreg Mangler forced a Rat to trade with the Chainwalker, and brought Chapman down to just 5 life.

    Stonefare Crocodile made Ken hold the Flailer back, whilst the Weird traded. Lobber Crew drew a groan from Chapman, and when Ken revealed Traitorous Instinct for Centaur Healer, it was game!

    Game 3

    Chapman pondered long and hard before keeping, and the reason was soon clear as he played Pack Rats on two and missed his third land drop! He did have Daggerdrome Imp, but this faced Gore-House Chainwalker and Hellhole Flailer, both unleashed.

    The handshake.

    Chapman did find a land on four, but it was Selesnya Guildgate! Unable to profitably block, he sent his team in, only to be hit by the sledgehammer that is Pursuit of Flight on each of Ken's creatures. Down to just 7 life, even his last vestige of hope in Sluiceway Scorpion was stolen with Traitorous Instinct.

    Ken Yukuhiro wins 2-1 and is the Grand Prix Singapore Champion!




     

  • Top 5 Cards of Grand Prix Singapore

    by Noel Neo



  • 5. Collective Blessing

    Many players mentioned a preference for green based decks and there is good reason for this with Selesnya being dominant throughout day 1. With the plentiful creatures in GW, Collective Blessing often wins games as soon as it hits play. Even when you don't immediately have the bodies to exploit the card, it gives nets you sufficient advantage over time such that winning becomes inevitable. Case in point – Chapman grinding out the win against Hao-Shan with the combination of Collective Blessing and Daggerdrome Imp.







    4. Knightly Valor

    In a format where slight differences in body size can enable or stymie attacks, creature enhancers are king. Knightly Valor is one of the best, enabling you to push damage whilst skill holding the beefed up guy back on defense. Did I mention it also creates a creature token that enables populate? The 5-mana enchantment was seen in numerous feature matches over the course of the two days, most notably when Martin Jůza suited up Tower Indrik to stonewall Rakdos Shred-Freak with Pursuit of Flight.







    3. Traitorous Instinct

    Red in Return from Ravnica does an excellent job at dishing out damage in the early game, but can falter once the green fatties come out to play. Traitorous Instinct helps you get those final points of damage through, doubling up by both removing a blocker and stealing the power of your opponent's largest creature for a turn. It helped Imai steal Hypersonic Dragon against Nakamura and as a three of in Ken Yukuhiro's winning deck, helped him steal wins throughout the top 8.








    2. Centaur Healer

    Centaur Healer was one of the most commonly seen cards as a staple in Selesnya and a card that Golgari was more than happy to splash for. A decent sized body for its cost and with life gain to boot, it stonewalls many of the lower cost creatures, sets Rakdos back by a turn or so, and is clearly part of the reason Selesnya won most of its games against Rakdos on day 1. Against other decks, a 3/3 is nothing to scoff at either and often helps the green player push through early damage.







    1. Pursuit of Flight

    If we include Knightly Valor in the top 5, we definitely need to include Pursuit of Flight. The Japanese are enamored with the card – Makihito Mihara cites the card as a key combo with Stealer of Secrets for Izzet, and it helped Ken Yukuhiro push past a turn two Pack Rats twice in the finals. Not just a +2/+2 enhancement helps Rakdos grant their usually grounded dude flight with just a minor splash of blue. I don't know about you, but the highlight for me was certainly when Ken dropped double Pursuit of Flight on turn four of the last game of the tournament to win it all!






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