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Amateur Wins in Kyoto!

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日本語の取材へ

In the first round of quick questions this weekend, Japanese Legend Kenji Tsumura boldly stated that the relatively unknown amateur Yuuya Watanabe would win this Grand Prix… and wouldn't you know it? He was right. With a huge Demonfire off the top, Watanabe snatched the last game of the match away from Yuusuke Iwasaki to become the Grand Prix Kyoto Champion. Watanabe was last seen heading due east carried high on the shoulders of his many friends and supporters.




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Naoki Shimizu   Yuuya Watanabe, 2-0        
8 Yuuya Watanabe   Yuuya Watanabe, 2-0
       
4 Motokiyo Azuma   Motokiyo Azuma, 2-0   Yuuya Watanabe, 2-1
5 Atsushi Wada    
       
2 Yuusuke Iwasaki   Yuusuke Iwasaki, 2-1
7 Katsuhiro Ide   Yuusuke Iwasaki, 2-1
       
3 Ren Ishikawa   Tsubasa Tomii, 2-0
6 Tsubasa Tomii    


EVENT COVERAGE FINAL TOP 8 STANDINGS

  • Blog - 9:38 p.m.: The Finals
    by blisterguy
  • Blog - 7:49 p.m.: Another Morphling?
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Blog - 7:44 p.m.: The Top 8 Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Blog - 7:18 p.m.: Semifinals Recap
    by blisterguy
  • Blog - 6:51 p.m.: Quarterfinals Recap
    by blisterguy
  • Blog - 6:33 p.m.: The Top 8 Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Day 2 Blog Archive: Day 1 Undefeated Decklists, Quick Questions, Top Pro Play, and much more!
    by blisterguy
  • Feature: Day 2 Metagame Breakdown
    by Yukio Kozakai, translated by Ron Foster
  • Info: Day 2 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Day 1 Blog Archive: LCQ Decklists, A History of Magic in Kyoto, Metagame Breakdown, Top Pro Play, and much more!
    by blisterguy
  • Info: Day 1 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff
 1.  Yuuya Watanabe * $4,500
 2.  Yuusuke Iwasaki $2,000
 3.  Motokiyo Azuma $1,400
 4.  Tsubasa Tomii * $2,300
 5.  Naoki Shimizu $900
 6.  Ren Ishikawa $900
 7.  Atsushi Wada * $1,650
 8.  Katsuhiro Ide * $1,300

* = includes amateur award

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BLOG

 
  • Sunday, Mar 18: 6:33 p.m. - The Top 8 Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff







  • Motokiyo Azuma
    GP Kyoto 2007 - Top 8



    Yuuya Watanabe
    GP Kyoto 2007 - Top 8




     
  • Sunday, Mar 18: 6:51 p.m. - Quarterfinals Recap
    by blisterguy


  • Motokiyo Azuma

    The first match finished was between Ren Ishikawa and Tsubasa Tomii. In both games, Tomii was able to swing until lethal with a Phyrexian Totem, Ishikawa unable to locate enough instant speed removal to neutralize the threats. The final straw fell with a Remand delayed Detritivore just long enough for the Totem to run past for the kill.

    Tsubasa Tomii defeats Ren Ishikawa 2-0

    Motokiyo Azuma managed to get the Pickles lock in place to take Game 1 from Atsushi Wada with little meaningful resistance. In Game 2, Wada tried to set up a Detritivore for two, but managed to get the worst of it when Azuma redirected each one of it's triggers with his Shapeshifter and Willbender duo. Wada tried to recover from this disaster with a Wrath of God, only to have that also taken from him by a Draining Whelk.

    Motokiyo Azuma defeats Atsushi Wada 2-0


    Yuusuke Iwasaki

    In the match of the Urzatrons, Yuuya Watanabe got off to an early start with a Sulfur Elemental getting feisty. Anything Naoki Shimizu threw down to stop it was either Remanded or Repealed, but that can only delay the defense for so long. However, the damage had been done and a Demonfire finished him off. Both players succeeded in getting their 'Trons assembled in Game 2, but Watanabe robbed Shimizu of his with a timely Annex. Shimizu started grinding away at Watanabe's hand with a Muse Vessel, but could only shake his head at the steady stream of Compulsive Researches and Tidings Watanabe seemed to be drawing. Eventually, Watanabe dropped a Bogardan Hellkite and when Shimizu tapped out to Chord of Calling up an answer, Watanabe took the spell and the match with a Commandeer.

    Yuuya Watanabe defeats Naoki Shimizu 2-0

    A triple mulligan won Game 1 for Iwasaki, Ide being completely unable to mount an offensive that meant anything in the face of Loxodon Hierarch and friends. Another slow start from Ide made things look bleak until he topdecked a Mountain for a third turn Blood Moon, locking Iwasaki out of the second game. Ide's offence in Game 3 was shut down by an Orzhov Pontiff, giving Iwasaki all the time he needed to get him larger army online and marching all over Ide's for the win.

    Yuusuke Iwasaki defeats Katsuhiro Ide 2-1



     
  • Sunday, Mar 18: 7:18 p.m. - Semifinals Recap
    by blisterguy


  • Yuuya Watanabe

    Against Motokiyo Azuma Yuuya, Yuuya Watanabe continued his trend of getting in early with Sulfur Elementals, attacking with a pair of them and again replying to the potential solutions with more Remands and Repeals. Azuma's morphs just couldn't stay in play long enough to actually engage the Elementals in combat, and they took Game 1 handedly. Game 2 wasn't nearly as vicious, with only a single Elemental attacking Azuma. Watanabe still succeeded in clearing a path for it though, including killing a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir with one of his own. Eventually, Azuma neutralized the threat and started retaliating with a Phyrexian Ironfoot, only to have Watanabe complete his Urzatron set and Demonfire Azuma out of the tournament.

    Yuuya Watanabe defeats Motokiyo Azuma 2-0


    Yuusuke Iwasaki

    Over on the other table, Yuusuke Iwasaki was trying get a party started in the red zone with his men, while Tsubasa Tomii was digging through his deck with a Court Hussar. Tomii eventually managed to stabilize and reapply the damage and more with an Angel of Despair and a Body Double masquerading as another one. Iwasaki rallied back in games two and three by out lasting Tomii's Wrath of Gods and then deploying his secret weapon via Chord of Calling, the monstrous Mystic Enforcer.

    Yuusuke Iwasaki defeats Tsubasa Tomii 2-1



     
  • Sunday, Mar 18: 7:44 p.m. - The Top 8 Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff


  • Naoki Shimizu

    Naoki Shimizu

    Please tell us about yourself.
    I'm a 20-year-old student from Kanagawa.

    What have been your major Magic achievements so far?
    I made Top 8 at the 2006 Japan National Championship.

    Tell us your record at this Grand Prix.
    Day 1
    9-0 (3 byes)
    Day 2
    3-1-2

    Tell us what deck you used, and who designed it.
    I'm using a "Cell" (blue-green Urzatron) deck, which I made myself.

    What makes your deck special? What are the key cards?
    Wall of Roots is the greatest!

    How did you prepare for this event?
    I practiced at the Yokohama Planeswalker Cup, at card shops in Shibuya, Ikebukuro, and on Magic Online.

    Any special memories from this tournament?
    I was happy every time I completed the Urza trifecta.


    Katsuhiro Ide

    Katsuhiro Ide

    Please tell us about yourself.
    I live in Karatsu city, in Saga prefecture.

    What have been your major Magic achievements so far?
    Nothing in particular.

    Tell us your record at this Grand Prix.
    Day 1
    8-1 (0 byes)
    Day 2
    4-1-1

    Tell us what deck you used, and who designed it.
    I used a Gruul beatdown deck I designed.

    What makes your deck special? What are the key cards?
    My most important card? Seal of Fire.

    How did you prepare for this event?
    I playtested with Kazuhiko Motoyama.

    Any special memories from this tournament?
    The mono-black hand destruction deck I ran into in the second round of Day 1 was really harsh. My friend Motoyama played against the same deck in round 5 of Day 2 and lost. We were hoping to get to the elimination round together. I'll always remember my friends calling out my name when we found out I was in the Top 8.


    Jun Wada

    Jun Wada

    Please tell us about yourself.
    I'm a 22-year-old student from Hyogo.

    What have been your major Magic achievements so far?

    I played in the 2005 Japan National Championship.

    Tell us your record at this Grand Prix.
    Day 1
    7-2 (3 byes)
    ?2??
    5-01-

    Tell us what deck you used, and who designed it.
    I'm using a tri-color control (blue-white-red) deck of my own.

    What makes your deck special? What are the key cards?
    I have Boom/Bust in the main deck.

    How did you prepare for this event?
    I tested with my friends.

    Any special memories from this tournament?
    My opponents seemed to mulligan a lot. I also forgot to write Urza's Factory on my decklist.


    Yuuya Watanabe

    Yuuya Watanabe

    Please tell us about yourself.
    I live in Kanagawa.

    What have been your major Magic achievements so far?
    I lost to Katsuhiro Mori in the Top 8 of The Finals 2006. I've also been one of the only people to win all of my local tournament series (GPT, Akuma-hai, and PWC).

    Tell us your record at this Grand Prix.
    Day 1
    8-1 (3 byes)
    ?2??
    4-2

    Tell us what deck you used, and who designed it.
    I'm playing a blue-red Urzatron deck that I made with the help of my friend AKKA (Keiji Aizawa).

    What makes your deck special? What are the key cards?
    We have Sulfur Elemental in the main deck.

    How did you prepare for this event?
    I played at Ikebukuro Ogre and at local tournaments.

    Any special memories from this tournament?
    Shuuhei Nakamura finishing in 129th place.


    Motokiyo Azuma

    Motokiyo Azuma

    Please tell us about yourself.
    I'm a 24-year-old college student living in Hyogo.

    What have been your major Magic achievements so far?
    I won Grand Prix Hiroshima.

    Tell us your record at this Grand Prix.
    Day 1
    8-1 (1 bye)
    Day 2
    4-1-1

    Tell us what deck you used, and who designed it.
    I'm playing a mono-blue deck made by my friend Yamanishi.

    What makes your deck special? What are the key cards?
    Island.

    How did you prepare for this event?
    Playing at Pal Mikuni-ga-oku, my local store.

    Any special memories from this tournament?
    Getting a game loss when I'd been selected for a feature match.


    Tsubasa Tomii

    Tsubasa Tomii

    Please tell us about yourself.

    I'm a 20-year-old student in Tokyo.

    What have been your major Magic achievements so far?

    I made Top 32 at Japan Nationals.

    Tell us your record at this Grand Prix.
    Day 1
    6-2-1
    Day 2
    6-0

    Tell us what deck you used, and who designed it.
    I'm using a Solar Flare deck I modified myself.

    What makes your deck special? What are the key cards?
    I have Tidings and Body Double.

    How did you prepare for this event?
    I practiced with Kazuhiko Moriya at Yumeya, our local store.

    Any special memories from this tournament?
    I was in a game I thought I was going to lose, with no cards in hand, when I topdecked Wrath of God. My next draw was a Tidings, which turned the tide for me.


    Yuusuke Iwasaki

    Yuusuke Iwasaki

    Please tell us about yourself.
    I'm 22 years old, and I live in Osaka, when I go to school.

    What have been your major Magic achievements so far?
    I was 24th at Pro Tour Charleston.

    Tell us your record at this Grand Prix.
    Day 1
    9-0 (1 bye)
    Day 2
    3-1-2

    Tell us what deck you used, and who designed it.
    My deck name is "Project X", which I designed myself.

    What makes your deck special? What are the key cards?
    I can generate infinite life or infinite tokens.

    How did you prepare for this event?
    Playing with Hitomix and Yakki.

    Any special memories from this tournament?
    Getting utterly crushed by a Dragonstorm deck that Remanded my Loxodon Hierarch on turn 3, then went off.


    Ren 'IR' Ishikawa

    Ren "IR" Ishikawa"

    Please tell us about yourself.
    I'm a 21-year-old university student from Kanagawa.

    What have been your major Magic achievements so far?
    I was in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Yokohama, and I've come in second at the Lord of Magic, one of my big local tournaments.

    Tell us your record at this Grand Prix.
    Day 1
    7-2 (2 byes)
    Day 2
    5-0-1

    Tell us what deck you used, and who designed it.
    I'm playing tricolor control (blue-red-white), the most beautiful deck in the world, in a modified version that I worked on with my friend Tomisawa.

    What makes your deck special? What are the key cards?
    I have four different 1-ofs.

    How did you prepare for this event?
    Playtesting with my friends Aridome, Itou, and Tomisawa.

    Any special memories from this tournament?
    I played against red control decks where the first one who suspended a Detritivore would win. I had just added it the day before, so I was happy I did.



     
  • Sunday, Mar 18: 7:49 p.m. - Another Morphling?
    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Mark Poole: 'We're the best-looking bunch in the building!'

     
  • Sunday, Mar 18: 9:38 p.m. - The Finals
    by Event Coverage Staff


  • And now finally, I get to sit down and catch my breath. Trying to cover all of the Quarterfinals and Semifinals at once is no easy task, and wouldn't have been possible with the help of local Westerner and good man about town, Eli Kaplan.

    As an amateur in the finals, Yuuya Watanabe is already going to make out big here this evening, but after the amateur win in Amsterdam last weekend, he's got to have his eyes on the prize as well. Curiously enough, Watanabe was also singled out earlier this weekend by Kenji Tsumura as the person who would win this tournament. Yuusuke Iwasaki is no amateur, but is no doubt eyeing up the trophy just as much as Watanabe is.

    Iwasaki got the start he would want, with a Dark Confidant and a Saffi Eriksdotter dealing damage while Watanabe was still developing his mana. A Castigate denied Watanabe a Repeal, leaving him chain casting Compulsive Researches in search of an answer. With Watanabe's mana tapped down, Iwasaki also pushed a Loxodon Hierarch into play to wind it up a notch, and then harried Watanabe further with another Castigate. Counting seven mana in play and another land in hand, Iwasaki wasted no time in removing a Bogardan Hellkite from the game. Yet another Compulsive research and an Electrolyze later, Watanabe still hadn't found an answer to Iwasaki's beaters and was forced to shuffle up for Game 2.


    Yuusuke Iwasaki

    Watanabe started this one with an Urza's Tower, and an Island. Iwasaki on the other hand, practically dumped his hand on the table within the first two turns, playing out an Elves of Deep Shadow, a Wall of Roots and good ol' Saffi Eriksdotter. Not content just attacking on the ground, Iwasaki also went for the hand with a Castigate, taking a Remand to allow Teysa, Orzhov Scion to make it into play as well.

    Things were looking grim for Watanabe. He was down a game and facing an offensive force of females that threatened to finish the tournament some time in the very near future. Iwasaki played out the last two cards in his hand, an Essence Warden and the Crypt Champion that would combine with Saffi to give Iwasaki as much life as he could ever want. From what seemed to be out of nowhere, Watanabe had a Mana Leak for the Champion. On Iwasaki's next attack step, a Sulfur Elemental sprang forth, killing a Teysa token and crushing the Essence Warden. Another Elemental later and the board was suddenly clear. Iwasaki's draw steps yielded land, while Watanabe promptly played an end of turn Hellkite, untapped and attacked with it an finished the surprised Iwasaki off with a Demonfire.


    Yuuya Watanabe

    So the scores were now even. Iwasaki again came out with an early Saffi, and a duo of Castigates snatching a matching pair of Serated Arrows. Two Birds of Paradise were making Iwasaki's attack force look much less formidable, so when he played his last move, a Persecute, right into a Mana Leak, he was once again playing off the top. Watanabe then killed the two Birds with one Electrolyze, drawing into his Urzatron set and ending the turn with naught but a Demonfire in hand. Mind you, that's a pretty good spell to have when you have a great deal of mana at your disposal, you have to admit.

    In a crushing blow, Iwasaki ripped a third Castigate off the top to knock the Demonfire out of the Watanabe's hand, leaving him visibly frustrated. A couple of turns later, Iwasaki had drawn a Ghost Council of Orzhova that would leave Watanabe very low on life, and placed it on the stack. Suddenly, a Bogardan Hellkite appeared on the stack over it, attempting to clear the board of any potential victims of the Ghost Council. Saffi bravely saved the Elves of Deep Shadow from a fiery death, meaning Watanabe was still not out of the woods yet. He untapped, drew his card and began to count his mana. The Hellkite flew over for a bite, and a huge Demonfire off the top finished Yuusuke Iwasaki off, giving Yuuya Watanabe the win, the second Grand Prix won by an amateur in a row.

    Yuuya Watanabe defeats Yuusuke Iwasaki 2-1 to become the Grand Prix Kyoto 2007 champion.


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