Semifinals: FireBeat vs.

Posted in Feature

By Alex Shvartsman

Game 1, Nobushita vs. Williams

Nobushita won the die roll and chose to play first, but cast nothing on the first two turns. He made up for it on turn three though, summoning Noble Panther. Williams got a Cavern Harpy into play, but chose not to block Noble Panther as he needed his mana to develop.

Williams used Mourning to slow down a Kavu Recluse, but Nobushita cast Strength of Unity on it with three land types in play, choosing to race. Having taken some damage from it, Williams returned Mourning to his hand and cast Repulse. Cavern Harpy was able to stay on the offensive as Williams summoned a Metathran Zombie to block the Panther with. His Sky Weaver traded with Kavu Recluse, allowing the American to stabilize.

By the time Nobushita got a Kavu Climber into play, Williams already had Duskwalker, Shoreline Raider and Faerie Squadron ready to fight. Flying creatures won the game, as their ground comrades held off Nobushita's superior forces.

Game 1, Tsukamoto vs. Fuller

Tsukamoto did not draw any white mana for a long time, but he was able to control the game nevertheless. Ravenous Rats, Exclude and Probe generated plenty of card economy, sending Fuller's hand into the graveyard.

Playing off the top of his library, Fuller got some creatures into play, eventually losing an Ancient Spider to Do or Die. Fuller drew very well, summoning creature after creature - but Tsukamoto was able to use the cards he still had in hand to negate Fuller's threats. Tsukamoto sealed the game by having summoned Ertai, the Corrupted. Soon after finally drawing his Plains, Tsukamoto had a load of creatures in play and was able to attack, hold off Fuller's remaining two creatures and have Ertai's ability at the ready.

Game 2, Nobushita vs. Williams

Nobushita drew no Forests for many turns. He was able to hold off Williams for a short while with his red creatures, but without a Forest most of the cards in his hand could not be cast. Williams summoned his impressive air force once again, and won the game before his opponent ever had a chance to find his green mana.

Game 2, Tsukamoto vs. Fuller

Fuller opened very strong, with Thornscape Apprentice, Nomadic Elf, and Benalish Trapper. He drew no Plains,. But could channel white mana through the Elf. Tsukamoto's draw was fast as well. He played a turn 2 Stormscape Familiar followed by a turn 3 kicked Prison Barricade. Tsukamoto summoned a Silver Drake, but soon lost it to Gerrard's Command. At this point however, Fuller was pretty much out of gas, while Tsukamoto continued to play creatures with high toughness. Next up was Benalish Heralds, also made cheaper by the blue Familiar.

If Tsukamoto had a few more life points, he would have been sure to stabilize the game. However, the combination of early damage and two active tappers was too much for Tsukamoto to handle, and Fuller was able to take the second game.

Game 3, Tsukamoto vs. Fuller

Tsukamoto drew no creatures to be cast early in game three. He used a Recoil to send Thornscape Familiar back to Fuller's hand, but it got re-summoned and soon joined by several other small creatures, while the only creature in Tsukamoto's hand was Cavern Harpy. Finally Tsukamoto drew a Stormscape Apprentice. He had enough mana to get both into play that turn, but he was down to only nine life after the next attack. Tsukamoto cast Do or Die - a very strong card here, as the piles he made were Nomadic Elf and Benalish Lancer, or Quirion Elves, Samite Pilgrim, and Thornscape Familiar.

Fuller kept the three-creature pile, with plenty more monsters in his hand - as soon as he could draw more land anyway. Fuller cast Kavu Chameleon. He was tapped out and unable to change its color, so Tsukamoto used Death Bomb to take it out. It was not enough, as Fuller summoned more creatures. He attacked with all his creatures each turn, backing them up with Gerrard's Command and was able to reduce Tsukumoto's life total to zero in short order.

Benafel won his match 2-1, ABU sweeping the match to advance to the final match, facing Poor Shark and, in Fuller's case, a chance to play for the second Grand Prix win in a row.

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