SEMIFINALS: (11) YUUYA WATANABE VS. ALEXANDER JOHN

Posted in NEWS on June 30, 2014

By Corbin Hosler

Thanks to Yuuya Watanabe's draft being streamed, both players were allowed to look at each other's decklists before the match, something that many players can consider an advantage.

Alexander John had other plans.

"How about we make this more interesting and not look?" He asked the Japanese pro, who amiably nodded in agreement.

The Games

The first few turns moved quickly for the pair, as Watanabe began to whittle John's life total with a pair of Nyxborn Eidolons while John didn't cast a creature until a Turn 4 Karametra's Acolye, which he followed up with a Nessian Asp.

The pair of creatures presented quite the wall for Watanabe, but he simply played a Cast into Darkness and Weight of the Underworld to neuter the two, and he finished off the Nessian Asp when John tried a Fate Foretold. That put Watanabe ahead on board, but John slowly but surely began to pull ahead on cards thanks to a Riptide Chimera and Fate Foretold.

Unfortunately for John, all those cards were land, and when Watanabe found a second Nimbus Naiad to bestow the game ended with John unable to cast a spell.

Watanabe 1, John 0

No. 11 Ranked Player Yuuya Watanabe

"I think you played all commons that game," John quipped as they shuffled up for the second game. "They were pretty good ones, though."

John had pretty good cards himself, as he demonstrated with a Polukranos, World Eater. It was held at bay by a Baleful Eidolon on Watanabe's side, but the threat of taking it Monstrous put Watanabe on a clock to find an answer, which he did in Feast of Dreams after John bestowed a Leafcrown Dryad onto the Hydra.

That gave Watanabe the window he needed to get back into the game, and the Riptide Chimera that had been such an asset in Game 1 soon became a liability, forcing John to bounce his blockers turn after turn. While he struggled to get back into the game Watanabe played a seventh land and slammed an Eater of Hope, which elicited first a laugh and then a concession from John that send Watanabe into the finals.

Watanabe 2, John 0