Round 3: Feature Match – Toshiyuki Kadooka vs. Yuuki Hirose

Posted in Event Coverage on July 16, 2011

By Rich Hagon

Rich Hagon combines a deep knowledge of the players of the Pro Tour with a passionate love of the game. He's a regular commentator for Pro Tour and Grand Prix live video coverage, and is the official Pro Tour Statistician. He has been covering Magic events since 2006.

At 2-0, Yuuki Hirose found himself at the feature match table facing the man last seen on the Sunday stage at Pro Tour Nagoya last month, Toshiyuki Kadooka. On that occasion the Japanese man couldn't quite bring off the home victory against the American David Sharfman, but he has started here with a handy couple of wins, and both players know that a win here will guarantee at least a positive record heading into the Limited rounds.

Pro Tour Nagoya Finalist Toshiyuki Kadooka

Game 1

Hirose opened with a Mountain, with Explore on turn two netting him a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Rampant Growth from Kadooka also accelerated him, suggesting a Valakut mirror might be on the way. Turn three saw Solemn Simulacrum for Hirose, finding a Forest. Kadooka had Everflowing Chalice for two, which he used to cast a second Everflowing Chalice for one. Maybe this wasn't a mirror match after all...

Hirose cast Explore, putting a Mountain into play before attacking with Solemn Simulacrum. Rampant Growth found him yet another land, leaving him two cards in hand. Back to Kadooka, who had eight mana to play with. Terramorphic Expanse dealt with Valakut, leaving Kadooka enough mana to cast Summoning Trap. He revealed Terastodon, targeting two of Hirose's Forests, and his own 'minor' Everflowing Chalice.

Hirose had yet another Rampant Growth, but even the combined might of his two 'gifted' 3/3s and his own Solemn Simulacrum wouldn't be enough to block and trade for the Terastodon. Evolving Wilds was all he had.

Kadooka cast Everflowing Chalice for three, and then the new M12 artifact rare Quicksilver Amulet. When Hirose was unable to kill the Amulet, Kadooka was able to use it to put Emrakul, the Aeons Torn onto the battlefield. That's Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, the largest creature in the history of Magic. Quicksilver Amulet, we like you!

Hirose continued to try to struggle his way out of a dreadful situation, but another Summoning Trap from Kadooka was always going to make things even more ghastly. Wurmcoil Engine duly arrived, but at least Hirose was putting up some kind of fight, casting Avenger of Zendikar for eight 0/1 plants. Emrakul attacked, with plantlife disappearing almost as quickly as it had arrived. Hirose added Solemn Simulacrum to the battlefield, with Landfall triggering to make his remaining plants just that little bit bigger.

Quicksilver Amulet and Emrakul. Mmmmm.

Kadooka sent both Emrakul and Wurmcoil Engine into the fray, causing Hirose to once more work through his diminishing options. Shortly after 'diminishing' came 'none', and we were heading for game two.

Kadooka 1 - 0 Hirose

Game 2

Valakut opened the second game for Hirose, with no turn two acceleration. Kadooka did have a turn two play, with Rampant Growth fetching his third Forest. Rampant Growth from Hirose came a turn late, leaving Kadooka to accelerate further with Everflowing Chalice for two, and Everflowing Chalice for one, just as he had in his successful game one.

Nature's Claim destroyed the bigger Chalice, and Kadooka's Summoning Trap netted him a disappointing Overgrown Battlement. Oracle of Mul Daya from Hirose revealed Primeval Titan on top of his library. Hirose completed the turn with Tumble Magnet. What would a second Summoning Trap find? Terastodon, causing Hirose to slump in his chair. Kadooka leaned across the table, choosing his targets carefully. Tumble Magnet and two Forests magically became nine power of beaters for Hirose, meaning Hirose would have no Green mana. That didn't matter though, as Valakut ensured he could get across the line, and force a deciding game.

Kadooka 1 - 1 Hirose

Yuuki Hirose

Game 3

Kadooka began the decider with turn two Rampant Growth in his mono-green confection, while Hirose cracked Evolving Wilds for a Forest, setting up a turn two Explore that landed a second Forest.

Kadooka cast Spellskite and Everflowing Chalice. The Spellskite quickly showed its value, dying to the Nature's Claim Hirose aimed at the Chalice. Hirose was not to be denied, however, a second Nature's Claim taking down the Chalice. Kadooka cast Explore, dropping Khalni Garden into play as his bonus land, with Hirose also accelerating with Harrow.

Now the battlelines were drawn. Kadooka had Eldrazi Temple, Hirose had Valakut. Kadooka went for Summoning Trap, and found Emrakul, the Aeons Torn waiting for him in his top seven. With only six land in play, Hirose faced utter destruction, averted at least temporarily with Avenger of Zendikar. Emrakul attacked, and six of the seven 0/1s bit the dust. The next turn, it was Hirose who bit the dust.

Toshiyuki Kadooka 2 - 1 Yuuki Hirose

Quicksilver Amulet

Note: You're probably quite excited by the whole 'Quicksilver Amulet into Emrakul' thing, but you'll have to contain yourselves a little bit longer. In the interests of fairness, we won't be publishing Standard decklists until tomorrow, but rest assured that a Kadooka deck tech is on the way!

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