Posted in NEWS on April 13, 2014

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

Takashi Boku (Black/Green) vs. Chapman Sim (Blue/Red/Green)

The first game of this match did not take long at all, unfortunately for Sim. Boku was on the play and made a Fleshmad Steed and enchanted it with Ordeal of Erebos on the immediate next turn. Sim had a Lightning Strike in his hand to deal with the Steed before it became too big to matter, but he didn't have a Mountain to cast it. In fact, he didn't have any other lands in his hand, and he had to pass the turn back with a shake of his head. It wasn't long before Sim, still on two lands, just conceded a very quick Game 1.

The second game was startlingly like the first, initially. Boku once again had a Fleshmad Steed with an Ordeal of Erebos, and Sim, once again, didn't have a way to deal with it immediately. He took one hit from the enchanted Horse before opting to tap it down in Boku's attack step with a Sudden Storm. This bought him a little bit of time to cast an Ill-Tempered Cyclops, but Boku just upped the ante once again. Rather than stay on the ground, he used a Herald of Torment to send a Felhide Minotaur to the sky, creating a 5/6 flying attacker.

Sim was in dire straits, but the time he bought with the Sudden Storm allowed him to make his Cyclops a Monster, taking down the Steed. He then added a Stratus Walk to make it able to block the Minotaur. Unfortunately for him, his ability to stabilize would end there. Baleful Eidolon was just enough to make the Minotaur able to successfully attack into the Cyclops. Sim didn't have anything, and the Minotaur, combined with a Blood-Toll Harpy, finished him off.

Takashi Boku 2 – Chapman Sim 0

Hiroshi Date (Red/White) vs. Takatoshi Satou (Green/White)

This match was far more interesting than I would ever have given it credit for being. Date began with an exposition on just how big a Wingsteed Rider can get. The Rider hit play, picked up an Everflame Eidolon, and then dropped a Fall of the Hammer on a Snake of the Golden Grove. For those keeping track at home, that's bigger than a 4/4 big. The finishing touch on this build-your-own-Baneslayer was the Hopeful Eidolon, creating a 7/7 flying, Firebreathing, lifelinking monstrosity that you can bet finished the game right off.

The second game was just as one-sided, but in the other direction, as Satou took a Swordwise Centaur, gave it a Feral Invocation on the third turn, and just demolished Date. Anticlimactially, Date mulliganned to five cards in the final game and failed to draw more than one land for a few turns. He tried to make a game of it with a Wingsteed Rider and Gift of Immortality once he drew lands, but the damage had more than been done, Date dropping to Satou's army despite his best efforts.

Takatoshi Satou 2 – Hiroshi Date 1

Ryousuke Kasuga (Black/Red) vs. Yuuya Sugiyama (White/Red)

This final match was an exercise in running roughshod over an opponent. Sugiyama was on the back foot from the start. Kasuga's deck gave him a steady stream of difficult to block creatures, including Mogis's Marauder, Purphoros's Emissary, and Flame-Wreathed Phoenix. All Sugiyama could muster for defense was a Griffin Dreamfinder bestowed with an Observant Alseid. Regardless of how observant the Griffin may have become, it couldn't see the Bile Blight that Kasuga used to finish it off during combat, clearing away his only blocker for Kasuga's Phoenix. Without a flying defender for the Phoenix or a second creature for the Emissary, Sugiyama quickly fell.

It's not often that a game is decided on the second turn, but the next game of this match certainly was. On the play, Sugiyama opened with an aggressive Nyxborn Rollicker into Ordeal of Heliod, looking to run away with the game. Before that could get out of control, however, Kasuga blew Sugiyama out with a Pharika's Cure. This not only got Kasuga card advantage, it also gave him the initiative. Now able to be the aggressor instead of the one reacting, Kasuga played a creature every turn, even dropping a three drop on turn five to go alongside his Bile Blight for Sugiyama's creature. Now in complete control, Kasuga attacked and never looked back, taking the match in a quick two games.

Ryousuke Kasuga 2 - Yuuya Sugiyama 0