Finals: Kelvin Chew vs. Keita Kawasaki

Posted in Event Coverage on May 7, 2017

By Chapman Sim

Both players were the last men standing at Grand Prix Beijing. After navigating through the treacherous Swiss rounds as well as the quarterfinals and semifinals, Keita Kawasaki and Kelvin Chew found themselves one match away from taking home the silverware.


Kelvin Chew vs. Keita Kawasaki

Coincidentally, Kawasaki and Chew were both playing in their third Grand Prix Top 8, but neither had earned a title for themselves yet. This was the prime opportunity to realize their dreams of becoming a Grand Prix Champion for the very first time and the prize check of $10,000 couldn't hurt either.

Owing to higher standings, Kawasaki chose to be on the play, which was extremely important in Amonkhet Limited in general. Just to give you an idea of what this epic battle would look like, here are both finalists decklists from the Top 8 Booster Draft!

Kelvin Chew's White-Red

Keita Kawasaki's Black-Green-Blue

Game 1

Chew mulliganed to six and opened with a cuddly Sacred Cat. Kawasaki passed his first two turns with no play, so Chew progressed with Nef-Crop Entangler. Kawasaki put up Cursed Minotaur to block, but Chew replied with a second copy of Sacred Cat and enhanced it with Cartouche of Zeal. Preventing any blocks, his entire team charged in for a huge chunk of Kawasaki's damage.

Kawasaki turned the tables with Cartouche of Ambition, killing Nef-Crop Entangler while making his Minotaur a 4/3 monstrosity with menace and lifelink! Thankfully, Chew had Compulsory Rest to force it to take a break but the damage was done. The life cushion undid Chew's first few turns. Unfazed, he summoned Nimble-Blade Khenra, still stuck on two lands while his opponent had already reached six.

Kawasaki rebuilt with Wasteland Scorpion, Hooded Brawler and turned up the heat with Scaled Behemoth! However, Kelvin dropped Cartouche of Solidarity on Sacred Cat to create a Soldier, and then stuck another copy of Cartouche of Zeal on the newly created token! That enabled Chew to push a lot of damage, further reducing Kawasaki down to eight life, while bringing himself up to 29!

  • Sacred Cat
  • Cartouche of Zeal
  • Cartouche of Solidarity

 

Those Sacred Cats were certainly doing a lot of work, together with a whole bunch of cheap and efficient Cartouches. Chew finally managed to draw his third land and that allowed him to cast a very devastating Trial of Solidarity.

The all-out attack knocked Kawasaki down to four life and it seemed like he was at the end of his line. Summoning Nissa, Steward of Elements to hopefully find a solution, Kawasaki flipped over a useless Forest. Chew revealed Mighty Leap from his hand, which enabled him to seal the game, all while having only three lands in play!


Kelvin Chew took down Game 1 despite an unfortunate mulligan and mana problems.

Game 2

After some sideboarding to lower his curve slightly, Kawasaki managed Doomed Dissenter as a minor road block. However, Chew's hyper-aggressive deck was ready to pressure since it was built to do so. Flameblade Adept and Bloodlust Inciter, combined with Cartouche of Zeal zoomed past it, but it wasn't nearly enough damage.

Kawasaki took a hit, shrugged it off, and summoned Gravedigger (just to block) and then Decimator Beetle. This proved to be a thorn in Chew's neck, since his deck had so many low-toughness creatures. The beetle picked off Bloodlust Inciter while Final Reward cleared out Chew's board. Kawasaki's pair of 2/2s, along with the Decimator Beetle quickly made short work of Chew, forcing the third game.


Keita Kawasaki equalized the score by “locking down” his opponent with Decimator Beetle!

Game 3

In the final game of the entire tournament, Chew recruited Nef-Crop Entangler, before summoning Bloodrage Brawler and embalming the Sacred Cat which was discarded. That was quite an impressive start, considering that's a total of 7 power by turn three, and that's not even counting exert. However, Festering Mummy was quite a nuisance, forcing Chew to attack only with his 4/3 Minotaur and exerting the Nef-Crop Entangler. Determining that there were no good blocks, Kawasaki took the punch, going down to nine life in the blink of an eye.

Cartouche of Ambition on Festering Mummy took out the Nef-Crop Entangler, but he was still very behind on board position. At that juncture, Chew controlled an embalmed Sacred Cat, Bloodrage Brawler, Battlefield Scavenger and Vizier of Remedies!

Severely outnumbered by the overwhelming forces, Kawasaki mulled over his options for a little bit, before extending his hand to congratulate his opponent.

When the news broke out, Chew's teammates and friends rushed towards him to offer him their heartfelt congratulations. Now sitting at 44 Pro Points and guaranteed 6 more from the next two Pro Tours, Chew is just two short of achieving the coveted Platinum status!

Despite the arduous trials, Chew had proven that he was deemed worthy! Congratulations to Kelvin Chew once more! You've earned a place alongside the God-Pharaoh, if you're willing to accept the “high honor”!


Congratulations to Kelvin Chew for winning Grand Prix Beijing 2017!

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