Posted in NEWS on March 29, 2014

By Chapman Sim

Both players have unblemished records thus far and intend to keep it that way. Nam Sung-Wook has had the honor of being the first South Korean player to win a Grand Prix, achieving this feat at Melbourne less than a month ago. Running the very same deck that propelled him to victory, Nam is back with Mono Black Devotion, but has tuned his deck to run Duress in the maindeck in view of the shifting metagame.

His opponent, Sun Bo, is no slouch himself. Known as duotianshi203 on Magic Online, he was the powerhouse that almost nearly became the MTGO Player of the Year, narrowly losing to eventual winner Shouta Yasooka by a two mere Qualifying Points.

Sun laments that it was a heartbreaking defeat, considering he had been leading the entire season for the first ten months before being overtaken. Regardless, he remains one of the most well-known players in Mainland China and will try to disrupt Nam's attempt at perfection.

Game One

After a trip to Paris, Nam opened with Duress, nabbing Syncopate from Sun's hand. This left Sun with with just a fistful of lands and a lone Supreme Verdict. Thankfully, he had a pair of Scrylands at the ready, which enabled him to smooth out his future draws.

Not having a third untapped land, Nam activated Mutavault, and swung for 4 damage, before laying Temple of Deceit. This prompted Sun to cast Jace, Architect of Thought to slow down the bleeding by shrinking the opposing army.

Sun decided it was time to draw some cards and flipped over Elspeth, Sun's Champion, Sphinx's Revelation and Azorius Charm. Nam was clearly very experienced in this matchup, and wasted no time in isolating Elspeth. Sun took the larger pile, with Sphinx's Revelation and Azorius Charm.

Regardless, double Pack Rats and double Mutavault crashed into the red zone. Nam activated a third Mutavault, turning all the Pack Rats into temporary 5/5s, but only for a short moment. Sun blocked the first Mutavault with his own, and sent the other onto the top of the library.

Supreme Verdict cleared the board and it looked like Sun was in firm control having protected his Jace for upwards of five turns. Sun fired off the first Sphinx's Revelation, and then another. Soon Ætherling reared it's ugly head and even Underworld Connections from Nam could not bother Sun as he proceeded to close the game in three attack steps.

Sun Bo adeptly survives Nam's Duress and Pack Rats.

Sun Bo 1 – Nam Sung-Wook 0

Game Two

Sun's strategy seemed to be keeping land-heavy hands and hoping for good cards on top with the help of the dozen Scrylands in his deck.

Nam used Thoughtseize to remove Blood Baron of Vizkopa, leaving Sun with nothing but land. But being the talented player that he is, he topdecked Syncopate to stop Nam's Nightveil Specter. Nam was unbothered, and resolved Underworld Connections. Without Detention Sphere, Sun would eventually become buried with the extra card granted per turn.

The extra cards drawn were pretty useful. Duress forced Sun to lose Elspeth, Sun's Champion, paving the way for a very scary Erebos, God of the Dead. When Blood Baron of Vizkopa hit play, Nam was ready with Devour Flesh.

Despite drawing the Detention Sphere he required (exiling Underworld Connections), Nam proceeded to draw not one, not two, but three cards from Erebos on the next turn, clearly unbothered about his life total in this matchup.

Eventually, using Duress to clear the way, he resolved Desecration Demon and finished Sun off in two quick punches, plus a lethal Gray Merchant of Asphodel.

Erebos, God of the Dead ensured that Nam would win the second game.

Sun Bo 1 – Nam Sung-Wook 1

Game Three

After both players took a mulligan, Nam's double Duress and Lifebane Zombie forced Sun to discard Sphinx's Revelation, Detention Sphere and Blood Baron of Vizkopa.

This reduced Sun to just three lands in play and two more in his grip. Scrying into Jace, Architect of Thought, it was taken down by Hero's Downfall. When Sun used Dark Betrayal to kill Lifebane Zombie, Nam replaced it with Notion Thief, maintaining the pressurizing clock while switching off Sphinx's Revelation temporarily.

Nam continued to draw more cards with Underworld Connections and Read the Bones, burying Sun with card advantage. When Nam presented Nightveil Specter, Sun decided to throw in the towel and extend the hand.

Drawing a million cards while preventing your opponent from doing so, is a great strategy to secure victory, as demonstrated by Nam.

Sun Bo 1 – Nam Sung-Wook 2

Nam Sung-Wook defeats Sun Bo and moves to 6-0.