Top 8: Yuuya Watanabe vs Jacky Zhang

Posted in Event Coverage on October 10, 2010

By Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

Both Yuuya Watanabe and Jacky Zhang made the top at last year's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Of course, as well as knocking Zhang out in the quarterfinals and taking the title at that event, Watanabe has had plenty of other results of note as well.

Watanabe got started slowly with a mulligan and a Ratchet Bomb. Zhang was happy to summon a turn two Blight Mamba. When Watanabe had no spell to play on his third turn, he quickly found himself earning a poison counter from the Mamba, which was then joined by a Cystbearer. The Bomb ticked up to two counters, and Watanabe used an Instill Infection to take out the Mamba. Zhang simply returned it with a Corpse Cur. Watanabe summoned a Molder Beast, which blocked the Cur, its owner going up to 5 poison counters. Bladed Pinions made the Beast a little more resilient, so Zhang made a Mimic Vat, picking up a recently summoned and killed Ichor Rats. Watanabe tapped out to cast and equip a heavy Arbalest. Zhang made a token at the end of turn, and then another one. He attacked in with his team and used a Withstand Death to protect the creature Watanabe tried to shoot down.

Jacky Zhang and Yuuya Watanabe relive their top 8 match from GP Melbourne last year.

Zhang 1 – Watanabe 0

Game one didn't take particularly long, but even faster was Isaac Egan's match against Masayasu Tanahashi. Egan had taken game one with a pair of Carapace Forgers and an Ezuri's Brigade, and wasted no time in punishing Tanahashi's slow draw in game two.

Isaac Egan takes a nap while he waits for the rest of the top 8 to catch up.

"I'll play," Watanabe announced, before pondering and eventually keeping his opening hand. Once again he had the turn two Ratchet Bomb, while Zhang had a Blight Mamba and an Infiltration Lens. Watanabe had no turn three play, but cast a Trigon of Corruption on turn four, while Zhang again cast his Mimic Vat. An Untamed Might protected the Mamba from an Instill Infection and took Watanabe up to 6 poison, but between the Trigon, the Bomb taking out the Vat and a reappearance of his Heavy Arbalest, Zhang's board was nearly clear. However, Watanabe was missing a second Swamp, stranding a Skinrender and a Grasp of Darkness in his hand. Zhang's deck was much kinder to him however, serving up a Corpse Cur. When Watanabe failed to draw an answer on his turn, he offered the handshake of defeat.

Jacky Zhang defeats Yuuya Watanabe 2 – 0

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