Posted in NEWS on March 30, 2014

By Chapman Sim

As mentioned earlier, a victory for Yuuya Watanabe here will cement him as the greatest Grand Prix master to have ever existed in the game's history. A win here will mark Watanabe's 7th victory, tying him with the legendary Kai Budde.

Sherwin Pu was not about to go down without a fight and seems to be in a favorable position. After all, his Boros Burn deck has been wrecking havoc in Beijing all weekend and Mono Black Devotion should have been within his metagame projection.

Game One

Pu was ready with Magma Jet to deal with Watanabe's Pack Rat before we could see it multiply. Searing Blood seemed like the perfect answer to Lifebane Zombie.

Desecration Demon would prove to be problematic since it was difficult to remove without Chained to the Rocks. Pu took one hit, going to 14, but an end of turn Warleader's Helix restored his life to 18.

Watanabe presented Duress, causing Pu to exclaim with mid amusement, "wow, maindeck!" It removed Skullcrack, paving the way for any future Gray Merchants of Asphodel.

Watanabe had no intent of winning that way though, as he activated both his Mutavault and charged into the red zone along with the demon, reducing Pu from 18 to 8 in one fell swoop. When Pu tried to tap down Desecration Demon by sacrificing Mutavault, Watanabe put an end to that plan using Hero's Downfall.

Since Watanabe was at 9 life himself, he declined to attack with Mutavault, because his opponent's Searing Blood would potentially put him in danger zone. Playing it safe, he decided to spend two turns attacking with Desecration Demon instead.

Yuuya Watanabe does the math and plays it safe to win Game One.


Sherwin Pu 0 – Yuuya Watanabe 1


Game Two

Pu opened with Firedrinker Satyr and delivered a single punch before Doom Blade sent it to the gallows. Chandra's Phoenix seemed like a good replacement and Watanabe's life was dripping away, two by two.

Watanabe wasted no time using double Duress to relieve him of Boros Charm and Chained to the Rocks, paving the way for Watanabe's Desecration Demon. However, Pu savagely ripped a replacement off the top, locking away the 6/6 flyer.

Watanabe cushioned his life total with a pair of Gray Merchant of Asphodel, but without other permanents in play, that only gained him a measly 6 life. Twelve life was not a lot when the duo of Chandra's Phoenix was dealing four a turn. The final kick was delivered by Boros Charm.


Sherwin Pu rises from the ashes and wins Game Two, with the help of a pair of Chandra's Phoenixes.


Sherwin Pu 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 1

Game Three

With the tournament in its final throes, both players looked considerably tense. A Grand Prix title was at stake and every decision was crucial now. But sometimes, you don't get to to make many decisions.

Watanabe opened with Swamp, Mutavault and Pack Rat.

Not having drawn any creature removal, Pu could only activate his own Mutavault, dealing two damage.

Pu watched in horror as Watanabe made a second copy, followed by the third. Toil // Trouble and Boros Charm were not exactly useful in this situation.

A second Mutavault joined the horde and Watanabe could taste victory.

"Gee, I came all the way here to lose to Pack Rats." With that, Sherwin Pu extended his hand. Throwing his fists in the air, Watanabe cheered with joy. He had just won his seventh Grand Prix.

Sherwin Pu 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 2


Yuuya Watanabe defeats Sherwin Pu 2-1 and wins Grand Prix Beijing! Seventh time's the charm!