Top 8 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on March 19, 2017

By Frank Karsten

After 15 rounds of Standard, only eight players remained in the running for the trophy. Learn more about Grand Prix Shizuoka's Top 8 competitors—including who they are, why they chose their Standard deck, and more—by taking a look through the Top 8 profiles! The players are ordered according to their final standing.


Ryohei Kirino

Age: 27

Hometown: Okayama prefecture

Occupation: Employee

Previous Magic accomplishments: None

Store or community where you usually play Magic: Okayama community, OkayaMagic

Swiss score: 13-2

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Mardu Ballista. The deck has strong power and moves. (Editor's note: Kirino said afterwards that he decided on the deck when he saw a tweet from Shuhei Nakamura in which Nakamura shared Owen Turtenwald's Grand Prix New Jersey list.)

What's the best card in your main deck? Toolcraft Exemplar.

What's your favorite card in Modern Masters 2017? Serum Visions. I like the new art.


Wentao Qi

Age: 29

Hometown: Beijing

Occupation: Card game player

Previous Magic accomplishments: 8th at Grand Prix Beijing 2015 (Team Limited).

Store or community where you usually play Magic: Super pro card store in Beijing and Magic Online

Swiss score: 13-1-1

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Mardu Vehicles. I like vehicles and I love driving!

What's the best card in your main deck? Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.

What's your favorite card in Modern Masters 2017? Liliana of the Veil. She is powerful!


Masayasu Tanahashi

Age: 33

Hometown: Niigata prefecture

Occupation: Employee

Previous Magic accomplishments: Top 8 at Pro Tour Kyoto 2009, Grand Prix Kobe 2008, and Grand Prix Sydney 2010.

Store or community where you usually play Magic: Card of Paradise Sakuragi, Ukatsu-no-Mori, Omochano Hara.

Swiss score: 13-1-1

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Temur Dynavolt Tower. I prepared to beat Mardu Vehicles.

What's the best card in your main deck? Glimmer of Genius. In the sideboard, Shielded Aether Thief is the best.

What's your favorite card in Modern Masters 2017? Sphinx's Revelation. I could win a lot thanks to the card when it was Standard legal.


Yusuke Sasabe

Age: 27

Hometown: Tokyo

Previous Magic accomplishments: Last Sun 2014 Top 8

Store or community where you usually play Magic: Hareruya, PWC, Dorakichi

Swiss score: 13-2 with one bye

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Mardu Ballista.

What's the best card in your main deck? Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. In the sideboard, Archangel Avacyn is the best.

What's your favorite card in Modern Masters 2017? Snapcaster Mage. I often used it in control decks.


Sungeun Je

Age: 30

Hometown: Incheon, South Korea

Previous Magic accomplishments: None

Store or community where you usually play Magic: Tycoon, Incheon city

Swiss score: 13-1-1 with one bye

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Mardu Ballista. It has a strong 1-2-3 combo. And 4 turn Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is really powerful and leads to easy wins.

What's the best card in your main deck? Archangel Avacyn. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is also a good card in my deck, but Archangel Avacyn is often the winning card.

What is the best card in your sideboard? Combustible Gearhulk. When this creature come into play via Nahiri, the Harbinger's ultimate ability, it is really powerful and leaves the opponent with a painful choice.

What's your favorite card in Modern Masters 2017? Advent of the Wurm. When I started playing Magic, the card was really useful card in my Green-White tokens deck, and I made the Top 8 of my first competitive event with this card.


Takanori Watanabe

Age: 27

Hometown: Iwate prefecture since this spring

Occupation: Construction industry employee

Previous Magic accomplishments: None

Store or community where you usually play Magic: Amenity Dream Sendai, Singlestar

Swiss score: 13-1-1 with no byes

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Mardu Ballista. I call it Kihara Works because I practiced with Kihara from the Hareruya Hopes group. We tried to make a Mardu Vehicles deck that is strong in the mirror match.

What's the best card in your main deck? Archangel Avacyn.

What's the best card in your sideboard? Sorin, Grim Nemesis. He always made a dramatic reversal!

What's your favorite card in Modern Masters 2017? Linvala, Keeper of Silence. Strong and beautiful!


Akihiro Miyamoto

Age: 28

Hometown: Saitama prefecture

Occupation: Hareruya staff

Previous Magic accomplishments: Top 8 at the Osaka WMCQ in 2015. I also won many PPTQs.

Store or community where you usually play Magic: Yakara-Bakufu, Hareruya

Swiss score: 13-2

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Mardu Ballista. I have used this deck since Kaladesh was released, and I love it.

What's the best card in your main deck? Shock. In the sideboard, Gonti, Lord of Luxury is the best.

What's your favorite card in Modern Masters 2017? Blood Moon. It's great!


Motoaki Itou

Age: 31

Hometown: Kanagawa prefecture

Previous Magic accomplishments: Grand Prix Sendai 2010 Top 8

Store or community where you usually play Magic: Kawasaki Hobby Station, PWC

Swiss score: 13-2 with two byes

What Standard deck did you play this weekend, and why did you choose it? Jund Smasher. I wanted to use Reality Smasher.

What's the best card in your main deck? Reality Smasher! In the sideboard, Transgress the Mind is the best.

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