China National Championship Day 2 Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage on July 2, 2011


  • by Chapman Sim
    Sunday, 3:40 p.m.: Quick Questions
    What will be good in M12 Standard?
  • by Chapman Sim
    Day 2 Undefeated Drafters
  • by Chapman Sim
    Round 12: Feature Match
    Feature Match – Xu Bin (Blue White Control) vs. Jia Bin (Splinter Twin) )
  • by Chapman Sim
    Round 11: Feature Match
    Zhang Zhiyang (Blue Black Tezzeret) vs. Zhao Haotian (Valakut)
  • by Chapman Sim
    Sunday, 12:30 p.m.: Quick Questions
    Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
  • by Chapman Sim
    Round 10: Feature Match
    Gao Tan (Chancellor Valakut) vs. Wu Yue (Blue Black Control)
  • by Chapman Sim
    Sunday, 12:00 a.m.:
    War Report
  • by Chapman Sim
    Saturday, 11:30 a.m.:
    What's Cooking?
  • by Chapman Sim
    Round 9: Feature Match
    Xu Liang (Blue-White) vs. Xu Bin (Black-White)
  • by Chapman Sim
    Round 8: Feature Match
    Wu Yue (Black-Green) vs. Wei Ligong (White-Green)
  • by Chapman Sim
    Sunday, 9:00 a.m.:
    Drafting With Liu Yuchen
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1: Complete Coverage
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Player List
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – Drafting With Liu Yuchen

by Chapman Sim

Liu Yuchen may not have trotted the globe for Pro Tours and Grand Prixes but he is not without achievements in the local arena. A widely-respected player among his fellow comrades, he has proven to be of superior caliber as he sits in Pod One of the second draft. Initially at a comfortable 5-1 record, he jokingly admitted to me that he was now having the jitters since the whole world would be watching his draft. I am sure he would not disappoint.

Booster One (New Phyrexia)

Chancellor of the Dross

Liu was quick to decide upon Shrine of Loyal Legions over Volt Charge and was gifted with a second pick Chancellor of the Dross. He then opted for Gremlin Mine over Slash Panther and could not resist slapping Spire Monitor into his pile for pick four. He managed to pick up a couple of removal spells in the form of Parasitic Implant and an 11th pick Mortis Dogs which could go well in his Blue Black beatdown deck.

1st Shrine of Loyal Legions
2nd Chancellor of the Dross
3rd Gremlin Mine
4th Spire Monitor
5th Parasitic Implant
6th Gitaxian Probe
7th Maul Splicer
8th Geth's Verdict
9th Triumph of the Hordes
10th Loxodon Convert
11th Mortis Dogs
12th Ogre Menial
13th Ichor Explosion
14th Darksteel Relic

Booster Two (Mirrodin Besieged)

Having solidified in both his colors, he sought to strengthen his deck with additional fliers. Skinwing made a perfect pick and he managed to secure Spread the Sickness as his second pick, even if he had to pass Victory's Herald for it. He said it was not worth it to switch gears for a card that that is never splashable. His forth pick was not easy either, as he was greeted with a truckload of candy. Between Peace Strider, Morbid Plunder, Serum Raker and Strandwalker, he eventually decided on the Living Weapon. Two Steel Sabotages and a Quicksilver Geyser rounded up his picks for the second booster.

1st Skinwing
2nd Spread the Sickness
3rd Steel Sabotage
4th Strandwalker
5th Gust-Skimmer
6th Quicksilver Geyser
7th Virulent Wound
8th Viridian Emissary
9th Pistus Strike
10th Steel Sabotage
11th Flensermite
12th Spire Serpent
13th Turn the Tide
14th Horrifying Revelation

A Solid Game Plan?

Booster Three (Scars of Mirrodin)

Liu opened a weak booster containing only Asceticism and Slice in Twain as relevant picks and he had to settle for a lowly Iron Myr. This was only the beginning of his misfortune as he was forced to ship another two copies of Slice in Twain along with Ezuri's Brigade and picking up more critters along the way. With three Myrs now in his pile, he needed some win conditions to accelerate into and at the end of the Scars of Mirrodin booster, he was able to pick up three copies of Scrapdiver Serpent. When questioned, he mentioned that the Slice in Twains weren't particularly good against him and it was the least of his worries.

1st Iron Myr
2nd Neurok Invisimancer
3rd Leaden Myr
4th Silver Myr
5th Necrogen Scudder
6th Moriok Reaver
7th Scrapdiver Serpent
8th Clone Shell
9th Scrapdiver Serpent
10th Blackcleave Cliffs
11th Scrapdiver Serpent
12th Shape Anew
13th Liquimetal Coating
14th Whitesun's Passage

I asked him if he felt optimistic about his chances to win out with this deck and he VERY promptly replied that it was virtually impossible. "Its a 1-2 deck. 2-1 at best. I would be extremely happy if I achieved that." Somewhat embarrassed to be playing with two Scrapdiver Serpents with the possibility to sideboard in a third copy, he naturally tried to shy away from the camera, to the amusement of the crowd. We wish Liu the best of luck as he enters round eight.

Smile! You're on candid camera!

Round 8: Feature Match - Wu Yue (Black-Green) vs. Wei Ligong (White-Green)

by Chapman Sim

Game 1

Wu Yue didn't start off too well and had to mulligan, while his opponent built up his mana with Horizon Spellbomb, Leaden Myr, Pristine Talisman and Viridian Emissary on his first four turns. Wu was only able to muster Blind Zealot and Blightwidow, applying somewhat half-hearted pressure. Wei used the breathing space to crack Horizon Spellbomb for a Plains and then summoned Tangle Mantis and Viridian Claw, threatening to attack past Blightwidow next turn.

Wei Ligong

Wu wasn't about to let that happen and promptly made to decision to trade his Blind Zealot for the Tangle Mantis but Wei replaced it with a bigger and better Alpha Tyrannax (equipping Viridian Claw). One hit brought Wu down to 13, another swing reduced him to just 6.

Attaching Piston Sledge to Blightwidow, Wu tried to race his opponent but that plan was short-lived as the equipment's Existence was Revoked the next turn. Clearly out of options, he was forced to drop Phyrexian Juggernaut and run blindly into his opponent's first striking dinosaur.

Things were about to change though. When Wei's team attacked, it forced Wu to chump block the Alpha Tyrannax and push Blightwidow in the way of the Strandcrawler Germ. Spread the Sickness (on Alpha Tyrannax) and Grim Affliction (on Leaden Myr), swept Wei's board clear in one fell swoop and he did seem visibly shocked to lose his board in a single turn. But no matter! Freshly drawn trampling beasts (Molder Beast and Thundering Tanadon) swiftly overran Wu.

Wei Ligong wins Game One.

We Lingong 1 - Wu Yue 0

Game 2

Wei opened with Sphere of the Suns and Thundering Tanadon but Wu dealt with the monster with Geth's Verdict and recruited his own Ichorclaw Myr. Wei was quick to summon Pith Driller to get rid of it.

Wu Yue

Casting his second Thundering Tanadon next turn, he attacked with Pith Driller and Wu chose to block with Tangle Angler but it fell to Mirran Mettle (Metalcraft mode). A combination of Fume Spitter, Grim Affliction and Virulent Wound wiped out almost Wu's entire board, leaving a 4/3 Thundering Tanadon and a virtually dead 0/2 Pith Driller. Blightwidow connected twice more, putting Wu at 8 poison counters and he had to finally leave Thundering Tanadon back to block, but Spread the Sickness ensured that the scenario would not happen.

Wu Yue wins Game Two.

We Lingong 1 - Wu Yue 1

Game 3

With only ten minutes on the clock, Wei asked the table judge if they were allowed to discuss the outcome of the match should the time go to round. The judge only gently smiled and advised them against it.

With that, Wei started off with non-creatures for his first few turns (Viridian Claw and Pristine Talisman) before casting Molder Beast on turn four. Stuck on four Swamps, Wu could only sit behind his Leaden Myr, Fume Spitter and Cathedral Membrane. He equipped the Lifestaff to the 0/ 3 Wall and pushed it in front of the 6 / 3 first striking Molder Beast, regaining some life lost to trampling damage.

Wei replaced it with a duo of Thundering Tanadons on consecutive turns and seemed like he was in firm control of the board. Wu was not without a plan though. He fanned through his hand of Grim Affliction, Instill Infection and Spread the Sickness and used the latter to deal with one of the Dinosaurs, then a combination of the first two along with Fume Spitter to deal with the other.

All this time, Dross Ripper was chipping away at Wei's life total and the audience gasped in awe as Wu revealed Phyrexian Obliterator from his hand. Time was called but Wu was able to win by his next turn.

Wu Yue wins Game Three to take the match, going 6-2!

We Lingong 1 - Wu Yue 2

Round 9: Feature Match - Xu Liang (Blue-White) vs. Xu Bin (Black-White)

by Chapman Sim

An epic battle among the Xu family, both players with identical surnames (and incidentally good friends) have sat down at the Featured Match area. Both players are at a 6-2 record and another win here would give the victor ample breathing space for the Constructed portion.

Xu Liang made the Top 8 of China Nationals last year and was looking to repeat the feat again. Xu Bin was no slouch either, being an ex-Nationals Top 8 player himself. In addition, he is currently the second highest rated player in China (at a whooping 2029 total rating) and it was common consensus that Xu Bin could possibly be the most adept and proficient CawBlade player in China, already a little achievement on its own. A huge crowd gathered to watch this match between two Titans of the Chinese Magic community.

Game 1

Xu Liang busted out of the gates with Origin Spellbomb, Leonin Skyhunter, Wall of Tanglecord and Ghalma's Warden while Xu Bin could only manage Blinding Souleater and pass with five lands in play.

Xu Liang added Lumengrid Gargoyle and attacked with his team and Xu Bin got the annoying Myr off his back with Instill Infection and then used Divine Offering to gun down the 4/4 flier.

Xu Liang simply replaced it with Wing Splicer but his opponent was quick to kill the Splicer with Virulent Wound and blink the token into oblivion with Glimmerpoint Stag. After which, he stuck Lashwrithe onto his Vault Skirge, creating a 5/5 lifelinking monstrosity which took the game within the next few turns.

Xu Liang

Xu Bin wins Game One.

Xu Bin 1 - Xu Liang 0

Game 2

In view of the terrifying Lashwrithe, Xu Liang added a red splash to his deck to support Shatter and Victorious Destruction and elected to play first. First cycling Origin Spellbomb then adding Wall of Tanglecord, Xu Liang could only watch as his opponent build a board of Shrine of Limitless Power, Skinwing and Lashwrithe.

Xu Bin wasted no time in paying four life to turn the Germ token into a 5/5 flier (and growing) and on his next turn wiped Xu Liang's hand of four cards away. Now playing from only the top of his deck, Xu Liang struggled to find a solution to Lashwrithe. However, it was not to be and the eventual 9/9 Skinwing ended the game faster than the speed of light.

Xu Bin

Xu Bin wins Game Two and takes the match!

Xu Bin 2 - Xu Liang 0

Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - What's Cooking?

by Chapman Sim

Most of the players are off for a quick lunch and Beijing is certainly not lacking in local delicacies. Here are some of the good eats I have had to experience during the course of this weekend.

Perhaps the most famous dish of Beijing is the ubiquitous Peking Duck. Prepared since the Imperial Era for the rich and famous, it is now considered to be one of China's national food. Roasted to crispy perfection, it is a treat not to be missed while in China.

Another popular dish among the locals and foreigners alike, the Gung Bao Chicken is a dish prepared by wok-frying diced chicken with an assortment of cashew nuts and greens and topped off with sweet and spicy gravy. Absolutely divine!

You cannot miss the steamboat restaurants when you traverse the streets of China. It is almost customary that reunions and gatherings should be enjoyed over a steaming pot of soup and assorted sliced meats, accompanied with unique in-house peanut sauces and garnish. Being somewhat silly, I actually ordered enough to feed a small family and all for less than US$15.

Sunday, 12:00 a.m. - War Report

by Chapman Sim
War Report

Midday is here and its time for the War Report! Nine rounds of intense play has elapsed and only three more rounds are left to go.

At the top of the standings and practically locked in the Top 8 are Yu Chao (24 points) and hot favorite, Jia Bin (24 points), both at 8-1 records, with Jin Yikai (22 points) close behind.

A handful of familiar names are still in contention and I see Xu Bin, Gao Tan and Zhao Haotian lurking amongst several others with 7-2 records. Lu Jia Chong, also at 21 points, happens to be the Nationals Team Alternate last year and is looking break into the Top 8 as well.

In just a couple of hours time, the Top 8 will be set. All right, back to the battlefield!

Round 10: Feature Match – Gao Tan (Chancellor Valakut) vs. Wu Yue (Blue Black Control)

by Chapman Sim

Game 1

Gao had to throw back his initial seven and agonized over his next six cards. He eventually decided to go down to five and keep whatever cards he had left. He started the game by revealing Chancellor of the Tangle to his opponent but Wu wanted more information.

Wu opened with Darkslick Shores and Duress to see Joraga Treespeaker, the mentioned Chancellor and three lands. When Gao tried to level up the Elf, Wu dispatched it with Go for the Throat.

Wu Yue

Explore netted Gao a Lotus Cobra and when he tried to resolve Chancellor of the Tangle, it was on the receiving end of Mana Leak. Both players seemed to have no action whatsoever but the Lotus Cobra was busy taking cheap shots at its master's enemy. Still refusing to crack his Ratchet Bomb (with two charge counters), Wu went down to 14 and tapped out for Grave Titan.

Using this opportunity, Gao resolved Avenger of Zendikar but had no land to go with his 7 Plant tokens. Grave Titan sneaked in for six damage, upping the Zombie count to four. Failing to draw a land, he resolved Chancellor of the Tangle this time but it was sent to the grave with Wu's second copy of Go for the Throat.

A topdeck from the Valakut player promised to change the game. Green Sun's Zenith allowed Primeval Titan to enter the battlefield, growing all his plant tokens into 2/3s, good enough to stave off six opposing 2/2 Zombies. While Wu might not lose in the red zone, it was inevitable that he would die to multiple Valakuts on the next turn.

Gao Tan fights back from five cards to take Game One.

Gao Tan 1 - Wu Yue 0

Game 2

Gao started by revealing Chancellor of the Tangle to enable turn one Explore and when he tried to resolve Oracle of Mul Daya, Wu was ready with Mana Leak. Jace Beleren reloaded his hand and dug deeper into his deck with Preordain and Spreading Seas.

Gao Tan

Playing around additional Mana Leaks, Gao resolved Green Sun's Zenith to grab himself a deceivingly important Lotus Cobra but it once again fell to Go for the Throat.

Jace Beleren allowed both players to draw a card simultaneously but Wu had to be sure he didn't give any important spells to Gao. A Duress revealed THREE Chancellor of the Tangles, Avenger of Zendikar and Artisan of Kozilek, prompting Wu to gasp. Wu had Mana Leak for the plant generating monstrosity but could not stop Primeval Titan from searching up double Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. A pair of Tectonic Edges took them out, but Gao wasn't worried at all.

He untapped and summoned Artisan of Kozilek to resurrect Avenger of Zendikar, then attacked with Primeval Titan tutoring up two more Valakuts. The rest is pretty much self-explanatory.

Gao Tan defeats Wu Yue to take the match.

Gao Tan 2 - Wu Yue 0

Sunday, 12:30 p.m.: Quick Questions – Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

by Chapman Sim
Xu Bin (Nationals Top 8)
Who's going to win China Nationals 2011?
Who do you think will win the Player of the Year Race?
Song Huachao (2009 Worlds Team Alternate)
Who's going to win China Nationals 2011?
"Yu Chao."
Who do you think will win the Player of the Year Race?
"Luis Scott-Vargas"
Wei Ligong (Veteran)
Who's going to win China Nationals 2011?
"Master Jia Bin"
Who do you think will win the Player of the Year Race?
"David Sharfman"
Tu Nan (Ex-Nationals Finalist)
Who's going to win China Nationals 2011?
"Jia Bin"
Who do you think will win the Player of the Year Race?

Round 11: Feature Match – Zhang Zhiyang (Blue Black Tezzeret) vs. Zhao Haotian (Valakut)

by Chapman Sim

Zhang Zhiyang is possibly China's biggest superstar. This World Team Champion 2009 has also two Grand Prix Top 8s under his belt, a rather intimidating resume to hear about. Coming back from a mediocre record yesterday, Zhang Zhiyang has managed to win his first three matches of the day to go 7-3 and is still in contention for the Top 8. At a similar score is his opponent Zhao Haotian, who has brought Valakut to the table, a deck that has served many players well all weekend.

Zhang Zhiyang searches for Blightsteel Colossus

Game 1

Zhang won the die roll and opened with Everflowing Chalice and Torpor Orb, a card maindecked to beat just one card in question. Zhao happens to be playing with that card, Primeval Titan, but it seemed unlikely that he has any maindeck artifact removal.

Inquisition of Kozilek prompted Zhao to use his Lightning Bolt in response, before showing a grip full of land. Zhao had Overgrown Battlement and Khlani Heart Expedition on the board, but he had no solution to Kuldotha Forgemaster that appeared next turn. When Zhao resolved Oracle of Mul Daya and plopped a couple of lands into play, Blightsteel Colossus entered play on the next turn and Primeval Titan was forced to chump block just to keep its master alive. That attack put Zhao at four poison (including a couple of hits with Inkmoth Nexus) and he had to summon a second Primeval Titan that would face the same fate as the previous copy.

Zhang Zhiyang 1 - Zhao Haotian 0

Game 2

Despite drawing two Primeval Titans, Zhao seemed crestfallen to have been wrecked by Torpor Orb and decided to adopt a more aggressive strategy in Game Two.

Zhang's Sphere of the Suns was promptly destroyed with Nature's Claim and Zhao tried to apply pressure with double Goblin Ruinblaster (destroying Inkmoth Nexus with one of them). The mana-denial strategy didn't seem to work, as Zhang still managed to resolve Spellskite and Kuldotha Forgemaster with the help of a second Sphere of the Suns and Everflowing Chalice.

Green Sun's Zenith was Zhao's response, tutoring out Primeval Titan, bringing himself up to three Valakuts and four Mountains, threatening at least 18 damage if the Titan was allowed to enter the red zone. It was not going to happen any time soon though, as Zhang put down Tumble Magnet onto the table. Having no more cards in his hand, Zhao could play the Mountain he just drew and pass the turn. Zhang took this opportunity to Tinker once again, sacrificing Sphere of the Suns, Spellskite and Tumble Magnet for Mindslaver. He took control of Zhao's turn, attacked with Primeval Titan then redirected all Valakut activations to its owner to clinch the win.

Zhao Haotian watches grimly as he faces impending elimination.

Zhang Zhiyang wins the match and goes 8-3, needing to win the next game to make Top 8.

Zhang Zhiyang 2 - Zhao Haotian 0

Round 12: Feature Match – Xu Bin (Blue White Control) vs. Jia Bin (Splinter Twin)

by Chapman Sim

Both players have previously graced the Featured Match area before and it was unfortunate that both of them had to encounter each other in this elimination round. Both players are at eight wins and three losses and the intentional draw was not going to happen. The winner will make Top 8 and the loser will have to be content to try again next year. Xu Bin is one of the few players who prefers to play with white cards along with his Jaces, while Jia Bin opted to play with red cards instead.

Game 1

Jia mulliganed to six and kept his opening hand, looking to dig for his combo with Preordain. While Jia was stumbling on mana, Xu wasted no time in slamming down Jace Beleren on the table. When Jia tried to resolve his copy, it met Mana Leak by Xu. Jia tried to Dispel it but Mental Misstep was the last word.

Into the Roil returned the Planeswalker to its owners hand, only to resolve again next turn. A couple of 0/4s entered play unopposed, with Jia being the owner of Spellskite and Xu, a long forgotten Wall of Omens. Leyline of Sanctity resolved but its application seemed hardly relevant.

After a few turns of "draw-go", Xu was the one to break the ice and summon Sun Titan, bringing back Jace Beleren. Possibly fearing Mental Misstep, Jia decided to use Gitaxian Probe on himself and Xu had no qualms about that. An attack with Sun Titan ensured that Xu would always be ahead on Jaces and Jia was struggling for he had yet to find any Deceiver Exarchs. He contemplated for a moment before deciding to scoop up his cards, facing lethal damage from the Titan.

Xu Bin

Xu Bin 1 - Jia Bin 0

Game 2

Once again, Jia had to mulligan and keep a two-lander. Attempting to draw more lands with See Beyond (but failing), he was holding a grip of double Mana Leak, Deceiver Exarch, Jace Beleren and Sea-Gate Oracle. Fortunately for him, he was able to draw his third Island next turn but elected to pass the turn.

When Xu placed a Glacial Fortress onto the battlefield tapped, Jia wasted no time in flashing out Deceiver Exarch, tapping down Celestial Colonnade and resolving a Jace of his own. Jia drew into his Splinter Twin eventually. He needed to dig for a second red source with Preordain, but that was foiled once again with Mental Misstep.

Jia Bin

Now at five lands, Xu tried to resolve Torpor Orb to shut down the entire combo and Jia contemplated whether to use both his Mana Leaks. If he did that and topdecked a red source, he would end the game there and then. He eventually decided only to cast one Mana Leak just to tap out his opponent, for the fear of failing to draw a red source and losing to Sun Titan. The decision was heartwrenching, since his next draw happened to be the coveted Mountain.

Surgical Extraction removed all copies of Mana Leak from his hand and Consecrated Sphinx made its appearance. Jia tried to race the Sphinx with his two one-powered critters but Elspeth Tirel made sure that plan was impossible. A second Torpor Orb ensured Xu's safety as Jia eventually succumbed to the overwhelming card advantage generated by the Consecrated Sphinx.

Xu Bin wins Game Two, takes the match and makes Top 8!

Xu Bin 2 - Jia Bin 0

Decklists – Day 2 Undefeated Drafters

by Chapman Sim

Two players managed to draft their way to the perfect six wins, namely Du Yixiao and Xu Bin. While it may not be highly relevant, I thought it was nice to share these decklists with you. Apparently, the combination of White and Black is the way to go!

Du Yi Xiao

Du Yi Xiao Draft 1: Blue-Green Infect

Download Arena Decklist

Du Yi Xiao Draft 2: White-Black

Download Arena Decklist

Xu Bin

Xu Bin Draft 1: White-Black

Download Arena Decklist

Xu Bin Draft 2: White-Black

Download Arena Decklist

Sunday, 3:40 p.m. - Quick Questions: Based on the M12 cards you've seen so far, what do you think will be good in M12 Standard?

by Chapman Sim
Liu Yuchen
"Mono Red!"
Xu Su
"Mono Red!"
Xu Bin
"Blue Black Control"
Ding Yi
"Mono Red or Valakut"

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