Semifinals - Naoki Nakada vs Yuuya Watanabe

Posted in Event Coverage on July 14, 2010

By QJ Wong

Watanabe won the dice roll and after some consideration, chose to keep his opening 7, while Nakada took a mulligan to a hand of 6. Watanabe summoned a Noble Hierarch on his second turn off his first turn Seaside Citadel as Nakada summoned a mana accelerator of his own in the form of Lotus Cobra. An Elspeth, Knight-Errant gave Watanabe a Soldier token while Nakada summoned a Knight of the Reliquary.

Another Noble Hierarch helped Watanabe's Soldier token attack for 6 with the help of Elspeth's +3/+3 and flying ability. Watanabe then cast an Oblivion Ring to exile Nakada's Cobra. An Elspeth of Nakada's own sent both Planewalkers into the graveyard but Watanabe had another Elspeth on his following turn to help take another 6 off Nakada as Watanabe emptied his hand as he summoned a Birds of Paradise.

Nakada made his knight of Reliquary grow bigger as he searched up lands but the Knight could do little as Watanabe animated his Celestial Colonnade, pumped his soldier token with his Elspeth, and then attacked with his team. All Nakada could do was to animate his own Celestial Colonnade to trade Watanabe's, but he had to take another 4 from the Soldier token in the process. Nakada drew no answer as all he could do was watch as Watanabe animated his second Colonnade and pumped his Soldier token again to attack for the win.

Watanabe takes game one.

Nakada 0 – Watanabe 1

Nakada promptly chose to keep his opening 7 while Watanabe chose to send his back after he mulled over it for a while. Watanabe then agonized over his 6-card hand before he chose to take another mulligan to begrudgingly settle on a 5-card hand.

A first turn Birds of Paradise led to a 2nd turn Knight of Reliquary from Nakada but Watanabe exiled it with a Path to Exile. Nakada then summoned a second Birds of Paradise which Watanabe attempted to Oust but Nakada had a Negate to counter that spell. A Baneslayer Angel from Nakada presented a threat to Watanabe but a Journey to Nowhere dealt with it before Nakada exiled the enchantment with an Oblivion Ring to get his Baneslayer back into the battlefield along with a newly summoned Lotus Cobra.

Nakada's team of Baneslayer Angel and Lotus Cobra hit Watanabe for 7 but an Elspeth, Knight-Errant from Nakada met Watanabe's Negate. Watanabe tried to stay alive with an Oblivion Ring to exile Nakada's Baneslayer, but with the help of Lotus Cobra, Nakada cast an Eldrazi Conscription on his Lotus Cobra to attack for the win.

Nakada stares down his adversary.

Nakada 1 – Watanabe 1

Watanabe chose to send his opening hand back twice and ended up with a 5-card hand to start his game again as Nakada chose to kept his opening 7. Nakada's first turn Hierarch led him to a second turn Knight of Reliquary while Watanabe played his own Noble Hierarch after Nakada's.

A late Master of the Wild Hunt was summoned to Watanabe's side of the battlefield but Nakada was ready for the threat, as he calmly put it away with an Oblivion Ring. Watanabe attempted to get his Master of the Wild Hunt back with an Oblivion Ring of his own, but Nakada's Negate made sure that it didn't. Nakada then summoned a Baneslayer Angel and along with his 8/8 Knight of Reliquary, the game seemed to be quickly slipping away from Watanabe's grip.

Watanabe chose to cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor, using the second ability to return the Knight back into Nakada's hand to stay alive but as Nakada's Baneslayer Angel killed Jace handily, and Nakada followed it up with double Knight of Reliquary which was enough to make Watanabe extend his hand to Nakada.

Nakada 2 – Watanabe 1

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