Grand Prix Shanghai 2011 - Day 1 Blog

Posted in Event Coverage on August 20, 2011

By Wizards of the Coast

  • Saturday, 7:17 p.m.:
    Quick Questions
    Extended vs. Modern
    by Chapman Sim and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Round 8: Feature Match
    Shuhei Nakamura vs. Naoki Nakada
    by Chapman Sim
  • Saturday, 3:58 p.m.:
    Quick Questions
    Extended vs. Modern
    by Chapman Sim and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Round 6: Feature Match
    Chikara Nakajima vs. Yuuya Watanabe
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Saturday, 3:58 p.m.:
    Quick Questions
    Most Underrated M12 Common
    by Chapman Sim and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Round 5: Feature Match
    Yoshihiko Ikawa vs. Shi Tian Lee
    by Chapman Sim
  • Round 4: Feature Match
    Zhiyang Zhang vs. Hao-Shan Huang
    by Chapman Sim
  • Saturday, 12.55 p.m.: The Impact of a Grand Prix in China
    by Chapman Sim
  • Saturday, 1:26 p.m.:
    Quick Questions
    Magic 2012 sealed colors
    by Chapman Sim and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Saturday, 11:21 a.m.: Deck Tech
    Building the (Most Insane) Sealed Deck with Martin Juza
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Saturday, 10:30 a.m.:
    Deckbuilding with Shuhei Nakamura
    by Chapman Sim
  • Saturday, 10:00 a.m.: GPT Winning Decklists
    by Chapman Sim
  • Saturday, 9:00 a.m.: Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - Country Breakdown

by Country Breakdown
Country breakdown round 3  
China 428
Japan 53
Hong Kong 33
United States 19
Taiwan 15
Singapore 11
Thailand 7
Malaysia 7
France 5
Australia 5
Korea (South) 4
England 3
Czech Republic 3
Spain 2
Philippines 2
Germany 2
Canada 2
Ukraine 1
Northern Ireland 1
Indonesia 1
Denmark 1
Argentina 1
Total players 606

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - GPT Winning Decklists

by Chapman Sim

Eleven Grand Prix Trials (affectionately christened Grinders) were held yesterday, rewarding each winner with three round byes for today's tournament. Red was clearly the most popular color since seven of the eleven winning decks contained fiery goodies like Chandra's Phoenix, Inferno Titan and easily splashable burn spells like Incinerate and Fireball. White, blue and black were pretty much represented in equal proportions, leaving green as the most under-appreciated of the day. Here are the sealed deck decklists for your viewing pleasure!

Gao Shan

Download Arena Decklist

Owen Fletcher

Download Arena Decklist

Jake Hart

Download Arena Decklist

Eric Meng

Download Arena Decklist

Sun Bo

Download Arena Decklist

Qiao Cheng

Download Arena Decklist

Sun Jiafeng

Download Arena Decklist

Ng Chi Fai

Download Arena Decklist

Takuma Morofuji

Download Arena Decklist

Billy Gragasin

Download Arena Decklist

Victor Mayor Redondo

Download Arena Decklist

Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - Deckbuilding with Shuhei Nakamura

by Chapman Sim

The ballots have been tallied and the news is official. A Hall of Famer inductee is in the house today and he is none other than the legendary Shuhei Nakamura. With five Pro Tour Sunday appearances and a staggering seventeen Grand Prix Top 8s in his portfolio, it comes as no surprise that he received unparalleled unanimity during the Hall of Fame ballot.

I could go on about his achievements all day, but I shall give that a miss for now for three good reasons. Firstly, it would take more than one article to account his triumphs and secondly, you should already have heard plenty about his impressive resumé. Lastly, we're here to take a glimpse into his labyrinthian mind and discover how he tackles the brand-new Magic 2012 Sealed Deck format.

Shuhei fanned through his card pool, smiling humbly and commenting it was not as good as he wanted it to be. "The colors are too separated. There is a lot of power but it's all over the place."

Despite preferring to not play with forests, he had a solidly deep green base and quickly decided it would be his core color. The two Overruns in his pool would become the cornerstone of his strategy today, and are always good with an assortment of green dudes.

Before he could even decide a second color, it seems to me that he had already determined that he was able (and needed) to play a third color, because of Birds of Paradise and Rampant Growth. He also mentioned to me he would be going down to just sixteen lands today, thanks to these two mana fixers.

There were only nine black cards in his pool of eighty four, but he did not dismiss the possibility of playing with swamps. He had access to top-notch commons like Doom Blade and Gravedigger, which are conveniently splashable options. He had set aside Pacifism and Oblivion Ring as well, and I jokingly asked if he would ever play four colors in this format. He gently smiled, shook his head and joined me in a bout of hearty laughter.

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee Shuhei Nakamura ponders his color choices

Before deciding which cards to splash, the problem was deciding the second color. Between blue and red, he eventually decided on running with Islands. That gave him access to some fliers, Merfolk Looter and the very versatile Phantasmal Image.

"Flameblast Dragon and Chandra's Outrage is really good, but those are the only truly superior red cards I have." I can only agree. Stormblood Berserker and Blood Ogre are not exactly reasons to play red, and you hardly want to be playing with Goblin Chieftain and Fiery Hellhound in a three color deck.

Flameblast Dragon
Chandra's Outrage

To Nakamura, there are only a few compelling red draft picks in Magic 2012.

"I have two Overruns, and I always want to have lots of creatures on the table." Gravedigger would really help with that, plus Doom Blade is unanimously agreed to be the best common in the set. With that, his splash was decided.

He shuffled up his deck and goldfished a few games before deciding that he had the optimum build. This sixteen-land, three-color concoction may not be the best deck amongst the other 630, but it should be good enough to do its job. Good luck Shuhei!

Saturday, 11:21 a.m. – Building the (Most Insane) Sealed Deck with Martin Juza

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

"The only thing this pool is missing is a Grave Titan, and an Elixir of Immortality," Juza boasted as he sat down beside me. "Unless... no," he sighed, checking his artifacts again.

And he was not wrong – he had doubles of many desirable cards like Merfolk Looter, Incinerate, Divination, Shock, and Doom Blade. Scratch that, he had three Doom Blades.

"I got a sick sealed deck in Grand Prix Denver at the start of the year. It was basically the same deck I played at Pro Tour Paris, and Paris was constructed. This deck is better. I feel like I'm in a candy store," he laughed.

Under the watchful eyes of Head Judge Riccardo Tessitori, Martin Juza agonizes over the Sickest Sealed Pool Ever.

Spreading out his cards, Juza was able to set aside many cards that people would be happy to include in their 40. But it became quickly apparent that he might be low on win conditions. "I'm going to run out of cards every game," he frowned. "Between the Divinations and Looters finding me Jace, Memory Adept, Druidic Satchel, and Sphinx of Ethuun." Apparently he was not joking about wanting the Elixir.

Juza then fanned out his White cards. "Is this real?! There are too many good cards! I've never had a problem like this before. If I don't go 9-0 with this..." he shook his head. "This is the sickest ever. This is unreal. The only way I can lose if they play Sacred Wolf and Trollhide it."

I didn't have the heart to tell him that common cards can be quite, well, common.

"Actually, I might have mana trouble with this. If I play White, I need double White for these," gesturing to a Serra Angel and an Archon of Justice, "even the tapper (Gideon Jura's Lawkeeper) is effectively double." He continued to weigh up his options, laying out Blue/Black, Blue/Black with a Red Splash, and Blue/White with either a Black or Red splash."At least I can sideboard into something that works. If they have big creatures, I have Doom Blades. If they have small creatures, I have burn. If they have Planeswalkers and Minds Controls, I have counters."

He continued to move cards around until deck building was over. "I have no idea which build is correct, they all seem so good. Okay, worst case scenario is 8-1. No, don't put that in!" he protested with a nervous laugh. Poor Martin Juza. Of course I was going to put that in.

Saturday, 1:26 p.m. - Quick Questions

by Chapman Sim and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

Which color combination do you prefer to play in Magic 2012 sealed deck?

Yuuya Watanabe: "Blue/Red." Shouta Yasooka: "Black/X."
Martin Juza: "The color with the most rares." Chen Zhuang: "White/Red."
Kazuya Mitamura: "I don’t know! I’ve only drafted at Japanese Nationals, I haven’t played sealed yet." Shuhei Nakamura: "Blue/X."

Saturday, 12.55 p.m. - The Impact of a Grand Prix in China

by Chapman Sim

"Since its introduction in 1993, Magic: the Gathering now has more than 12 million players in over 70 countries, printed in 11 different languages. I can fully understand why people call it "hobby of the world". Magic has had 74 sets and expansions, more than 11000 different and unique cards, which offer countless exciting possibilities and personalized customization."

Opening Ceremony, left to right: Michael Cheng, General Manager Shanghai Ruika Trading Company; Elaine Wu, Business Development Manager Hasbro Trading China; Laura Ho, HAPM Wizards of the Coast Business Manager; Mr Xing Xiao Quan, China Sports Administration Casual Sports Center Director; Janet Chen, Hasbro Trading China Marketing Manager; Kelvin Liu, CFO Hasbro China; and HAPM Harland Chun, Vice President and General Manager.

However, the main driving force behind the success and survival of this game aren't these staggering numbers alone. "What makes Magic such a strong game franchise game year after year is a highly developed and highly valued Organized Play system." commented Mr. Xing Xiao Quan, the Director of the China Sports Administration Casual Sports Center. The player community can play at Friday Night Magic and Prereleases if they desire a casual setting, and for those who desire more intense competition at a higher level, we have the Grand Prix Circuit, which is one of the primary ways to qualify for the Pro Tour.

At Grand Prix Beijing 2005, the world witnessed hometown hero Dong Zhong take home the Trophy, defeating a star-studded Top 8 which included Oliver Ruel, Kenji Tsumura, Tomoharu Saito, Masashi Oiso and Katsuhiro Mori. Just three years later at Pro Tour Kuala Lumpur 2008, Xu Ming made history by becoming the first Chinese player to make Top 8 of a Pro Tour, igniting hope in aspiring Chinese players and trailblazing their path to success. A testament to China's mastery is their triumph in 2009, where Zhang Zhiyang, Li Bo and Wu Tong took home the Worlds Team Champion in Rome.

2009 Worlds Team Champions

Grand Prix Shanghai 2011 marks the second appearance of a Grand Prix in China, with many more to come in the future. Six years after Grand Prix Beijing 2005, the attendance has swelled fourfold, making today's event the largest Magic tournament in the history of China, with 631 attendees.

The Grand Prix occupies a different position in each player's hearts. For many, it is a means to getting qualified on the Pro Tour aside from the Pro Tour Qualifiers. For others, it is simply a place to make some prize money to fuel their favorite hobby or collect some Pro Points. For me, I think it's an excellent premise to meet friends, old and new. What's yours?

Round 4: Feature Match - Zhiyang Zhang vs. Hao-Shan Huang

by Chapman Sim

Zhiyang Zhang is possibly China's most celebrated superstar. After taking home the champion trophy during Worlds 2009's team portion, he has become a hero of the people. He returned to the National Team last year once again, coming in second at China Nationals 2010. Hao-Shan Huang from Taiwan was no slouch either, and placed Top 8 at the recently concluded Grand Prix Singapore 2011 with his trademark Darkblade deck. Both players exchanged pleasantries as they shuffled up and discussed the possibility of making Top 8 with three losses.

Huang won the die roll and elected to draw, prompting Zhang to reconfirm. "You said you were drawing, right?" Huang nodded fervently. Being the fastest Core set ever made, it was common consensus to play first, but Huang's decision was not without reason. His deck contained multiple defensive cards (like Gideon's Avenger, Roc Egg and Timely Reinforcements) and would operate better on the draw.

Huang opened with Armored Warhorse and Griffin Sentinel and Zhang had a copy of the 1/3 flier as well. Huang tapped out on turn four to cast Crown of Empires and Griffin Rider, but thankfully, Zhang had Pacifism to deal with the 4/4 flying monstrosity. The game slumped into a temporary stagnant state of standstill but Arbalest Elite from Huang allowed him to attack profitably.

Zhang added Assault Griffin to the board but it had to stay home. When Huang added a second Griffin Sentinel to the board, one of them was quickly smited by a Stingerfling Spider. Zhang was able to sneak Assault Griffin in for chunks of damage on successive turns, taking advantage of the windows which Huang was unable to activate the Arbalest Elite. When Huang was finally able to leave mana open, Zhang toasted it with a splashed Fireball.

Hao-Shan Huang find a way to break the stall.

When Assault Griffin tried to attack again, Huang activated Crown of Empires for the first time this game. A post-combat Aegis Angel by the Chinese superstar made his 3/2 flyer indestructible. Huang drew an Assault Griffin of his own and dropped it onto the table, leaving a lone Plains untapped. When Aegis Angel attacked next turn, Huang cast Stave Off on his Griffin Rider, giving it protection from white and causing Pacifism to fall off while granting it immunity from Aegis Angel. A double block from the 4/4 Griffin Rider and 1/3 Griffin Sentinel sent Aegis Angel to its grave.

Huang turned the tides and summoned an Aegis Angel of his own, prompting raised eyebrows from members of the audience. Double activations of the Crown (both end of Zhang's turn and his main turn) and Chandra's Outrage removed all of Zhang's fliers to finally end the grueling game.

Huang 1 – Zhang 0

Zhang opened the game with a turn one Gideon's Lawkeeper and then a pair of Sacred Wolves. Huang replied with Goblin Fireslinger, Benalish Veteran and a bloodthirsted Gorehorn Minotaurs.

When Huang added Griffin Sentinel to the board and tried to rule the skies, Zhang had its wings snared with Plummet, but Huang was ready with a second copy. Huang cast Roc Egg to keep Zhang's Greater Basilisk at bay temporarily. Crown of Empires soon appeared to tap it down, allowing Gorehorn Minotaurs to successfully hit for the first time, reducing Zhang's life by a quarter.

Zhang attacked with Sacred Wolf, and Huang was happy to block with Roc Egg. Stingerfling Spider got rid of the Bird token, but that was a good sign for Huang. Now that the spider was lured out from its nest, Huang wasted no time plopping Aegis Angel onto the table. The formidable Gorehorn Minotaurs forced Zhang to chump with the Spider, while he tried to generate some chump blockers and recoup some precious life with Timely Reinforcements.

Zhiyang Zhang just can't keep the skies clear.

When Huang tried to enter combat, he was surprised when Zhang didn't want to tap down his Aegis Angel with Gideon's Lawkeeper (despite having two mana open). He frowned for a second but sent in his entire team anyway, expecting Mighty Leap. Zhang proved him wrong as he shoved Greater Basilisk in front of Gorehorn Minotaur and tried to PlummetAegis Angel as a last ditch effort. When Huang revealed Stave Off from his hand, Zhang could only pack up his cards after looking at his next card.

Hao-Shan Huang defeats Zhiyang Zhang 2 – 0 and advances to 4-0.

Round 5: Feature Match - Yoshihiko Ikawa vs. Shi Tian Lee

by Chapman Sim

Yoshihiko Ikawa's gentle demeanor may have you fooled into thinking that he is an easy opponent. He is in fact a respectable level five mage with a Pro Tour Top 8 to his name, having made the Sunday Stage at Pro Tour San Diego 2010 last season. Lee Shi Tian who hails from Hong Kong has made the two-hour trip to Shanghai in search for an additional champion trophy to place beside the one he received at Grand Prix Birmingham 2008. A two-time Grand Prix Top 8 competitor, Lee is no stranger to competitive play as well.

Lee started with two boring swamps, but Ikawa's start was more interesting. He laid Plains, Rootbound Crag and Island, to cast Manalith. "Four colors?" Lee mused, as he recruited Arbalest Elite.

Ikawa summoned a pair of fliers on successive turns (Aven Fleetwing and Djinn of Wishes) but Lee quickly removed the wish-granting Air Elemental with Oblivion Ring. Lee decided to turn up the heat by casting Dark Favor on his Arbalest. Ikawa took one punch from the "demonic" Human Archer, then neutralized it with Pacifism, even though its ability could still be activated.

Shi Tian Lee goes all in on his Arbalest.

When Lee summoned Serra Angel, Ikawa gunned it down with Stingerfling Spider. Deathmark removed the arachnid, allowing a 4/2 Bloodrage Vampire to attack unopposed. When Ikawa plopped Pentavus onto the table next turn, it was removed by Lee's second Oblivion Ring.

The Bloodrage Vampire attacked once more, reducing Ikawa down to 5 life. Unbothered, Ikawa dropped Alabaster Mage and launched a counterattack, gaining back some precious life points. Sorin's Thirst killed the lifelink-granting wizard but Lee winced uncontrollably when his 4/2 Vampire switched sides. Ikawa's Mind Control proved too much to handle and they quickly moved on to the next game.

Ikawa 1 – Lee 0

Lee decided to let Ikawa play first (seeing that he was running a greedy four-color concoction). That gambit paid off, as Ikawa was forced to mulligan to six. Lee dealt first blood with Reassembling Skeleton but Ikawa responded with a backbreaking Timely Reinforcements (activating both halves of the spell). Lee tried to cultivate an army of his own, adding Throne of Empires to his arsenal.

Ikawa attacked with his tokens and added Jace's Archivist to his army. On his upkeep, he activated the Windfall-machine, causing both players to discard and then draw back three cards. Lee exiled Jace's Archivist with Oblivion Ring, preventing future shenanigans. Unconcerned, Ikawa added Aegis Angel to the board but Lee attacked with his Devouring Swarm anyway (one huge wasp when Reassembling Skeleton and eight lands are in play). Crown of Empires kept the Angel tapped down, but Ikawa continued to drop rares onto the table, this time a "disassembling" Pentavus. A second Oblivion Ring tried to eat up the Construct but Ikawa's last card in hand happened to be a Stave Off.

Yoshihiko Ikawa staves off the removal.

Pentavus was wrecking havoc on the board, as it was able to generate blockers and attackers at will. To make matters worse, Ikawa drew into Djinn of Wishes and added insult to injury when his wished Stingerfling Spider squashed Lee's Devouring Swarm. Ikawa's second wish gifted him a Demystify, which destroyed Oblivion Ring, releasing Jace's Archivist from its shackles. His third wish granted Ikawa Gideon's Lawkeeper and that was the final straw. Consume Spirit was a good solution to Pentavus but it was a little too late as Lee eventually lost to a bunch of flying lifelink Pentavites.

Yoshi Ikawa defeats Lee Shi Tian, 2-0.

Saturday, 3:58 p.m. – Quick Questions

by Chapman Sim and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

What is the most underrated common in Magic 2012 Sealed?

Hao-Shan Huang: 'Goblin War Paint.'
Goblin War Paint
Kuo Tzu Ching: 'Amphin Cutthroat.'
Amphin Cutthroat
Makihito Mihara: 'Zombie Goliath.'
Zombie Goliath
Zhiyang Zhang: 'Manic Vandal.'
Manic Vandal
Chen Zhuang: 'Stave Off.'
Stave Off

Round 6: Feature Match - Chikara Nakajima vs. Yuuya Watanabe

by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

When it comes to Grand Prix events held in the Asia Pacific region, these Japanese players have solid track record. Chikara Nakajima has often been seen in the top 8 of Grand Prix's, coming second in Singapore just a few months ago, while Yuuya Watanabe has been in more Grand Prix top 8's than I can count. At least not without maybe taking off my shoes.

Nakajima got started with a Coral Merfolk, beefing it up with an Adaptive Automaton, prompting Watanabe to block the Merfolk with his Alabaster Mage. Watanabe took a few hits while he summoned a Rusted Sentinel, and fetched back his Mage with a Gravedigger. Nakajima took the battle to the sky with an Archon of Justice, but Watanabe locked it down with a Pacifism. The Chasm Drake that followed didn't look nearly as fearsome.

Chikara Nakajima's creatures are on lock-down.

Watanabe was now in the driver's seat, attacking with his Sentinel and giving it lifelink with the Mage. Nakajima Unsummoned and resummoned his Archon of Justice, but Watanabe used a Diabolic Tutor to find an Oblivion Ring for it. Meanwhile, the relentless attacking Rusted Sentinel, just big enough to attack past anything else Nakajima could play, brought game one to a close.

Watanabe 1 – Nakajima 0

This time it was Watanabe's turn to have a second turn 2/1, a Child of Night, followed by an Adaptive Automaton. With a pained look, Nakajima passed back his third turn without a non-land play. Not falling for it, Watanabe attacked Nakajima's hand with a Distress, revealing the Archon of Justice, a sandbagged Griffin Sentinel, and surprise, surprise, a Day of Judgment.

His trap foiled, Nakajima finally began playing out his fliers. Without removal this time, Watanabe was beginning to take a pounding. A Mana Leak caught his Gravedigger one mana short, and was followed up by a Sphinx of Uthuun. Watanabe could only make pained, keening noises as Nakajima revealed the top five cards of his library. Watanabe pushed four irrelevant cards to one side, and a Pentavus to the other. Nakajima happily sent the pile of four to his graveyard.

Yuuya Watanabe is just bluffing. He totally has the Day of Judgment.

Things looked dire for Watanabe, until he cast a Day of Judgment of his own. It was now Nakajima's turn to make pained, keening noises, as he counted what was left of his library. An Oblivion Ring took care of the Pentavus. Well, most of it, and a Peregrine Griffin started swinging the game back in Watanabe's favor. Watanabe eventually played a Mountain and finished Nakajima with a splashed Fireball to the face.

Watanabe 2 – Nakajima 0

Yuuya Watanabe defeats Chikara Nakajima 2 – 0

Saturday, 5:37 p.m. – Quick Questions

by: Chapman Sim and Ray 'blisterguy' Walkinshaw

What do you think of the change of format for Pro Tour Philadelphia from Extended to Modern?

Shouta Yasooka: "It's okay." Kuo Tzu Ching: "I think it’s good! It’s a challenge to the Pro’s, and everyone else. Otherwise everyone would just netdeck."
Jia Bin: "I like it, yes. Banning certain cards can diversify the format, and it’s really nostalgic." Martin Juza: "I like it a lot. It rewards people who prepare for it."
Hao-Shan Huang: "It’s very good. It’s healthier than Extended." Lee Shi Tian: "It’s more interesting, and encourages innovation."

Round 8: Feature Match - Shuhei Nakamura vs. Naoki Nakada

by Chapman Sim

Shuhei Nakamura is a giant, at least in the world of Magic. It has been seven rounds and has only picked up only one loss so far with his three color concoction, previously featured in a deckbuilding report. Naoki Nakada may be a relatively less familiar name, but he is in fact the respectable Grand Prix Manila 2010 Champion and Top 4 Competitor of Pro Tour Paris earlier this year. Just like Yoshihiko Ikawa had demonstrated earlier, it IS possible to be greedy in this format by splashing more than one color. Nakada is armed with a four color monstrosity, loaded with goodies like Primeval Titan, Sphinx of Uthuun, Mind Control, double Pacifism and Timely Reinforcements, while still splashing for Fireball, Incinerate and Shock.

Nakamura opened with Merfolk Looter and Druidic Satchel, ensuring that he would not be out of gas any time soon. Nakada could only watch Nakamura add three Saprolings and Sacred Wolf to his army, while all he had was a lowly Griffin Sentinel with no other creatures on his side. Five turns later, Nakada dropped his second Island onto the battlefield and resolved Sphinx of Uthuun, receiving Timely Reinforcements and Pacifism, eschewing Primeval Titan and Stingerfling Spider.

Naoki Nakada seems to be in control of the game.

When Nakamura attached Trollhide to his Sacred Wolf, Nakada neutralized the usually terrifying threat by affixing Spirit Mantle on Griffin Sentinel. Mind Control convinced Nakamura's Skywinder Drake to switch sides and Pacifism dealt with a freshly summoned Rusted Sentinel. Nakada seemed to have all the answers.

While Shuhei was in no immediate danger, he was sure to lose if he drew nothing relevant for the next three turns. His deck served up Stingerfling Spider to deal with the 5/6 Sphinx, but that was Cancelled without delay. That served as excellent bait, since Nakamura was able to successfully resolve Overrun the next turn, taking Nadaka from sixteen to three in one fell swoop, before dealing the final points of damage with his army of Saprolings.

Nakamura 1 – Nakada 0

Game 2

Nakamura had no play until turn three, but at least it was a powerful one. Druidic Satchel made its appearance and promised to generate enormous advantage once again.

Nakada seemed to be rather action light and only managed to summon Griffin Sentinel and Aven Fleetwing within his first six turns, applying relatively mild pressure. When Nakada tried to resolve his own Druidic Satchel, Nakamura denied it with Cancel, before adding a pair of islandwalkers (Lurking Crocodile and Harbor Serpent) to his board.

Nakada Pacified the gigantic snake and then tried to defend with Primeval Titan. When Nakamura attacked with Stampeding Rhino, Nakada blocked with the 6/6 trampler and Aven Fleetwing (possibly fearing Titanic Growth), but that was a plan gone awry. Nakamura destroyed the titan with Doom Blade, killing the Aven Fleeting and causing two trample damage in the process.

Shuhei Nakamura – the Japanese Juggernaut.

Nakada's Mind Control took over Stampeding Rhino, but Nakada still had no solution to the Lurking Crocodile or Greater Basilisk. The one damage a turn from his Griffin Sentinel wasn't dealing damage quite as fast a Druidic Satchel was gaining life for Nakamura. To make matters worse, Nakamura had just drawn Naturalize to destroy Mind Control. Sphinx of Uthuun netted Nakada Crown of Empires and Shock, but that was hardly enough to handle the incoming pressure.

Shuhei Nakamura defeats Nakada Naoki, and is now at 7-1.

Saturday, 7:17 p.m. – Quick Questions

by: Chapman Sim and Ray 'blisterguy' Walkinshaw

What is the best deck in Modern?

Jia Bin: "Zoo." Chikara Nakajima: "Twelvepost. Either Blue or Green."
Shuhei Nakamura: "I don't know!" Kazuya Mitamura: "Grapeshot Storm."
Lee Shi Tian: "Twelvepost with Tooth and Nail." Makihito Mihara: "Combo."

Latest Event Coverage Articles

December 4, 2021

Innistrad Championship Top 8 Decklists by, Adam Styborski

The Innistrad Championship has its Top 8 players! Congratulations to Christian Hauck, Toru Saito, Yuuki Ichikawa, Zachary Kiihne, Simon Görtzen, Yuta Takahashi, Riku Kumagai, and Yo Akaik...

Learn More

November 29, 2021

Historic at the Innistrad Championship by, Mani Davoudi

Throughout the last competitive season, we watched as Standard and Historic took the spotlight, being featured throughout the League Weekends and Championships. The formats evolved with e...

Learn More



Event Coverage Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All