It was not an easy path for Ben Ge but he should be rejoicing in the knowledge that he was now qualified for the next Pro Tour in Portland. After dispatching fellow countryman Zhong Jian in the Boros Burn mirror, he hoped that his winning streak would continue
However, a Japanese Juggernaut was in his way. Playing in his TWENTIETH Grand Prix Top 8, Watanabe would most certainly like to win this one, because a victory here would put him at 7 Grand Prix victories, tying him with German Juggernaut Kai Budde.
Ge answered Lifebane Zombie with Searing Blood, but didn't have Chained to the Rocks for Desecration Demon. He was forced to ram Chandra's Phoenix into it, before finishing of the 6/6 flyer with Warleader's Helix.
Watanabe was down to one life in the blink of an eye and Chandra's Phoenix threatened to end things there and then. Watanabe prayed for the best as he tried to win with Pack Rat, killing Chandra's Phoenix with Hero's Downfall.
A brief glimpse of hope shimmered in the distance for Watanabe, when he buffed his life total with Gray Merchant of Asphodel, putting him a comfortable 6 life.
Ben Ge 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 0
Already estimating Boros Burn to be popular this weekend, Watanabe was fully prepared for his matchup and swiftly brought in the full set of Staff of the Death Magus.
The Chinese audience gasped when it made an appearance on Turn 3, because it was obvious that the artifact would spell eventual doom for Ge.
Underworld Connections resolved, gaining Watanabe one life. Swamp entered play, gaining Watanabe one life. Duress stripped away Assemble the Legion, gaining Watanabe one life. Bile Blight killed an opposing Ash Zealot, gaining Watanabe one life.
Well, you get the idea. Essentially, every card, other than his non-basics, would trigger the Staff.
Gray Merchant of Asphodel was next, restoring Watanabe to a healthy 20. A second Gray Merchant of Asphodel later and the audience were getting bored. When Watanabe cast a second Staff of the Death Magus and then a third one, I could have sworn some of them even fell asleep.
With every black spell and Swamp now upgraded to a Healing Salve, there was no way that Ge would be winning this one. If Watanabe doesn't clinch this game, I promise to gobble up my Mac Book Air, seasoned with any condiment of Riccardo's (Head Judge of Grand Prix Beijing) choice.
Ben Ge 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 1
Game three was almost as brutal as the last, except that it was much quicker. Watanabe proceeded to cast THREE Staff of the Death Magus on turns three through five.
A pair of Duresses put him at a positive life total, while removing Assemble the Legion, Lightning Strike and any of Ge's winning chances. A trio of Pack Rats completed the match, sending Watanabe to the finals.
Ben Ge 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 2
Triple Staff of the Death Magus sends Yuuya Watanabe to the finals of Grand Prix Beijing!