Day 2 Blog Archive

Posted in Event Coverage on October 28, 2007

By Wizards of the Coast

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Saturday, October 27: 10:25 a.m. – Draft 1: Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa

by André Coimbra

Nowadays, Magic is pretty much an international sport and the first draft table of GP Bangkok is just a perfect example of that, featuring players from 7 different countries and 3 different continents. The most popular player at the table is probably Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, level 6 mage from Brazil – and no doubt, we'll be able to learn a thing or two from his draft here.

He found in his first pack a Merrow Reejerey and he tried to follow that up with some blue Merfolk cards. However, not only was the quality of those cards getting worse in the following picks, but black also seemed really underdrafted. After the draft PV commented that he was quite happy to get Ghostly Changeling late because he really likes the card. The second color chosen was green, as PV was able to notice earlier that it was also underdrafted, with a 5th pick Wren's Run Vanquisher in the first booster. This paid off on the third booster when he saw a 6th pick Masked Admirers going directly into his deck.

Overall, PV chose to get as many playable cards for his deck as possible, in order to keep his options open during deckbuilding, passing some chances of counterdrafting bombs, like Purity or Sower of Temptation. He ended getting a Black/Green deck, focusing on the tribal themes of Goblins, Elves and Treefolk, with help from some changelings for tribal fixing. PV also went with a small Red splash for Tarfire, supported by some mana fixing provided by Vivid Grove, Vivid Marsh and Fertile Ground.

Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa

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Saturday, October 27: 11:17 a.m. – Round 9: Keeping the Reporter Alive

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

As a Grand Prix reporter, your time can be precious, almost every minute counts and before you know it, you haven’t even had a chance to devour your lunch, inhale a beverage or even contemplate any of that breathing stuff. Thankfully, the tournament staff are here to look after you (and by “you” I mean me.) One of the biggest dangers here in Bangkok is the heat and humidity, so keeping my liquid intake up is very important. I drink a lot of water at the best of times – this supply lasted through day one, and I’ve just had another lot brought up on stage for me. Faaaaantastic!

Outside of that, I’m probably supposed to eat at some point as well. I dunno where they expect me to fit that in my busy schedule. I mean, I know that the food fits in my mouth and some amount of chewing and possibly even swallowing should follow, but I mean time wise, how is a guy meant to survive? On the best food ever invented of course, chocolate, and lots of it. Here is an array of chocolates I have consumed so far. Okay, okay, I’ll be honest, I still have one block of that lot left, but it will be gone by the time lunch rolls around today. If only I could find the time to have some of that, but no doubt I’ll be left with more chocolate later in the afternoon, but you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

(Disclaimer: don’t eat like this at home folks, that blisterguy, he’s not right in the head)

Saturday, October 27: 12:12 p.m. – Round 10: Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa vs Tiago Chan

by André Coimbra

After getting a perfect score on day one, the two level 6 mages, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa from Brazil and Tiago Chan from Portugal, finally meet each other at the feature match area. Both of them are used to playing at high level events, where not only money and trophies are on the line, but also precious Pro Tour Points that can make the difference on the next season's level.

If you have been following the coverage, you'll already know what PV is playing, otherwise, you should definitely check it out. Tiago on the other hand is playing a very aggressive blue/white deck, featuring two bombs: Cryptic Command and Mirror Entity, as well as a bunch of efficient creatures.

Tiago won the die roll and chose to play first and while the Invitational Winner liked his 7 cards, PV went to Paris, trying 6 different cards. After PV kept his hand, the game started and Tiago got a "blistering" start with lots of 2/2 and 2/1 creatures that put lots of pressure on PV's side of the table. However, the Brazilian level 6 didn't give up and slowly built up a table position. He played Dreamspoiler Witches and Thorntooth Witch, which enabled him to get full advantage of other cards like Boggart Harbinger, which fetched Nameless Inversion and later a Footbottom Feast, getting back the Harbinger, which fetched a Ghostly Changeling. At this point, PV was down to 5 life, but Tiago's offensive no longer existed, as the card advantage from PV's utility creatures was too powerful. Instead of playing on, Tiago just conceded.

In game two, Tiago chose to start and it was time for Tiago to mulligan to 6. Tiago missed the third land drop and on the fourth turn he only played a Ponder. That helped him find the third land, but it was already too late. This time I needed to ask myself: "Who is the beatdown?", because PV had started playing creatures with 2 power on the second turn and never looked back, always playing creatures, until he played Boggart Harbinger to fetch Warren Pilferers and again Tiago conceded.

Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa defeats Tiago Chan 2-0

Saturday, October 27: 12:59 p.m. – Round 10: Quick Questions

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Olivier Ruel:

Which card would you most like to open in Lorwyn Draft? Profane Command

Which common would you most like to open? Dreamspoiler Witches

Which Tribe do you prefer to draft? Faeries or Goblins

Tomoharu Saitou:

Which card would you most like to open in Lorwyn Draft? Mirror Entity

Which common would you most like to open? Oblivion Ring

Which Tribe do you prefer to draft? Merfolk if nobody else is drafting them, otherwise I like them all.

Tiago Chan:

Which card would you most like to open in Lorwyn Draft? Mulldrifter, I don’t really know many of the rares.

Which common would you most like to … oh wait, I guess we’ve covered that one…

Which Tribe do you prefer to draft? Either Faeries or Kithkin

Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa:

Which card would you most like to open in Lorwyn Draft? Profane Command

Which common would you most like to open? Nameless Inversion

Which Tribe do you prefer to draft? Faeries mostly, but also Merfolk and Goblins

Saturday, October 27: 1:41 p.m. – Draft 2: Tiago Chan

by André Coimbra

At this point of the tournament there are still many players in contention for top 8 – while most of the time, 5 players from the first pod make it, in the following pods it's much harder to make the cut. In the second pod, there is usually a draw between the players with two wins, so that they can both make top 8 and there is one slot left sometimes for a x-3 player with good tie breakers, which might go down to table 3 or 4. When it comes to tie breakers, byes can make miracles.

For this draft, my choice was Tiago Chan, as he needs a perfect score at this draft in order to get his first Grand Prix top 8 – it might be a long shot, but if anyone can do it, it's the invitational winner. Before the draft, Tiago told me that he wanted to try to draft a red/green deck, featuring some Giants, changeling creatures and Elvish Handservant, as his countryman Sérgio Preto suggested this archtype as being the top one.

To start out he tried to get some red/green goodies, in order to stick to his original plan. Black seemed wide open and green cards weren't showing up, so he started taking some cards from the Goblin and Giant tribes, with all the synergies they have between them. Tiago took spot removal quite high and counterdrafted more than PV did, being aware of some possible threats that could be in his way to win the draft. However, I think Tiago doesn't rate the Tribal Lords highly enough, passing both Mad Auntie and Sunrise Sovereign. But he might be right about the first one at least, because somehow, it was shipped back to him, passing around the other 7 players!

Overall, Tiago ended up with a pretty good Black/Red deck, but he didn't seem very pleased with his it, saying that "top 8 is a mirage." His deck has some bombs again, so even if he doesn't like his odds, maybe his Thundercloud Shaman and his Mad Auntie have something else to say about it.

Saturday, October 27: 4:07 p.m. – Round 13: Tiago Chan vs Itaru Ishida

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Tiago was looking to better his result of 0-3 from the first draft, but things soon looked grim when Itaru dropped his Faerie deck all over the latest Magic Invitational winner's board position. It started with the sudden appearance of a Spellstutter Sprite and a Peppersmoke with Tiago's Marsh Flitter come into play ability still on the stack, and finished when Itaru's Dreamspoiler Witches were joined by none other than Wydwen, the Biting Gale.

Game 2 looked much better for Tiago, as despite winning the clash on a Whirlpool Whelm, Itaru could only evoke a Mournwhelk on turn four and pay full price for a Silvergill Adept on turn five. Tiago swung in with his team, trying to get Itaru into a difficult position before he could draw out of his sluggish start, only to see Itaru dump an Æthersnipe into play, thwarting any further attack plans from Tiago. Two turns later, Itaru was searching his library with a Faerie Harbinger for Wydwen again, and Tiago just plain packed it in, his draws just not able to stop the Faerie beats.

Itaru Ishida defeats Tiago Chan 2-0

Saturday, October 27: 4:15 p.m. – Round 13: Any Excuse for Eye Candy

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

There are three young women outside the event hall dressed in well, I guess the only description is "Cosplay outfits". Wikipedia tells me Cosplay is a Japanese hobby, in which people dress up as their favorite fantasy characters, or something, I dunno. It's kinda hard to concentrate on the task at hand with them about, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I was trying to figure out just how I was going to get them into the coverage. It wouldn't be fair to leave them out when they had gone through so much trouble to get dressed up for all of the gamers here to see and err, admire (cough). Anyway, finally I managed to catch them standing about in front of some big cardboard cutouts of some of the Planeswalker we have just outside the venue, and it struck me! Well, actually it struck André, but I'm certainly not above stealing his ideas.

Anyway, it's Planeswalker week, right? Right! So, in honor of Planeswalker week, here are some pictures of Planeswalkers. Pay no attention to the scantily clad women standing in front of them. I know I'm not. (cough)

Saturday, October 27: 4:58 p.m. – Round 13: Itaru Ishida vs Tomoharu Saito

by André Coimbra

If Magic was shown on TV, this would probably be a Pay Per View. Tomoharu Saito is the leader of the Player of the Year Race, being on the top of his Magic game, while Itaru Ishida is a living legend back in their treasured homeland Japan.

Saito was quite happy with his fast white/green deck, while Ishida said his blue/black Faerie deck was just ok. Saito won the die roll and mulliganed. Just having access to 8 cards on turn 3, he missed his third land drop, but he found the third land on the top of his library on the next turn. Saitou played a bunch of 2 power creatures and used two Triclopean Sights in order to get an advantage on the board. However, his countryman was destroying each of Saito's creatures one at a time and stalling the game with some creatures with high toughness. Eventually Ishida used his Shelldock Isle to play a Benthicore by just tapping two lands, putting Saito behind in terms of table position. The two counterspells Ishida had been keeping in his hand since the beginning of the game locked the game in his favor. Ultimately, it was Saito's missed early land drop that gave Ishida-san enough time to get set up his own game.

Saito asked for some lands from a Judge and this time got a really fast start, playing creatures from turn one to turn four and while Ishida countered the last two, Saito got Ishida really low on life and Epic Proportions sealed the deal.

In the match game, I saw for the first time someone playing Hoarder's Greed at the feature match table. This might look odd to our western readers, but the Japanese are more open minded when it comes to card evaluation. Once again, Ishida could stage his Faerie circus perfectly, thanks to Faerie Harbinger. Saito's Purity was bounced and countered, letting Ishida's weenies take chunks out of Saito's life total to seal the match. As a fan of the game, it was great to watch this clash of the titans, as they both played as close to perfect as can be, and it is so rare to see people play this good nowadays.

Itaru Ishida defeats Tomoharu Saito 2-1

Saturday, October 27: 5:10 p.m. – Round 14: Takuya Osawa vs Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Ahh, the infamous last round before the playoffs, the final straw holding the sanity of any reporter in place. How are you meant to get the match covered and written up in time for the top 8 to start? Very quickly, that's how.

Game 1 was over very quickly, with PV failing to find his second color in the face of a Shriekmaw-backed army of Elves. Sound fair? Probably not, but that's why we play best of three in this game.

PV showed his true colors in game 2, or at least his second color, by adding an Island to the Plains he had in play to summon a Turtleshell Changeling, holding off Takuya's Scarred Vinebreeder. Takuya added an Elvish Branchbender and an Imperious Perfect to his side of the table, and proceeded to pummel PV into the ground with them. It looked like everything was all but wrapped up, PV racing back as best he could but looking like he would be unable to stop the massive Elvish alpha strike Takuya presented him with.

That is, until a huge Neck Snap broke the attack in half, literally halving the army's power and leaving PV on 1 life and able to attack back for the win. Now that's dramatic, but it took us to a third game and left me very short on time.

blisterguy cannot breath, oh no!

(blisterguy cannot die, only the actors who portray him)

It looked like a dramatic turn around for PV, who lead the rubber game with a turn one Goldmeadow Stalwart, turns two and three Kithkin Greathearts and a turn four Turtleshell Changeling, beefing up the 2/1s substantially. Takuya calmly replied with a Woodland Changeling, the Imperious Perfect and an Elvish Harbinger fetching a Lys Alana Scarblade. The Scarblade proceeded to tear apart PV's men, while the Perfect produced an army all by itself. There was nothing PV could do stop Takuya from making yet another top 8.

Takuya Osawa defeats Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa 2-1

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