SEMIFINALS: KEN SAWADA VS. SHERWIN PU

Posted in NEWS on March 30, 2014

By Pip Foweraker

Pu and Sawada faced off in the first round of Day 2, where, according to Sawada, Pu crushed him 'Most rapidly'. Sawada headed into the semifinals hoping to avoid the same fate, but acknowledged the matchup was an uphill one.

Game 1

Sawada led things off with a Soldier of the Pantheon, which Pu Magma Jetted. Sawada followed up with a Brimaz, while Pu had a Trouble for 6. Pu tried to mount some pressure with a Chandra's Phoenix, but Sawada had a Detention Sphere for it. A Magma Jet and Searing Blood took care of the Brimaz, but Sawada had a second to mount more pressure on Pu.

Sawada contemplates a fiery end for his creatures

He followed up with a Keening Apparition and a Precinct Captain. Su raised an eyebrow and emptied his hand of Skullcrack and Lightning Surge at Sawada's dome, dropping him to 3, then flipped the top card of his deck over. A Searing Blood did quite nicely, netting Pu the first game.

Sherwin Pu 1 - Ken Sawada 0

Sawada started the second game with a pair of Soldier of the Pantheons. One of them was promptly Shocked, but Sawada had a Lyev Skyknight to keep things ticking along. Pu summoned a Satyr Firedancer, which was a too-juicy target for Sawada's Detention Sphere to resist. Pu had a Magma Jet for the Skyknight.

Sawada attacked with his Soldier, drawing a Lightning Surge from Pu. Sawada followed up with a Imposing Sovereign, who got Chained to the Rocks. Sawada played a tapped Watery Grave and passed, Doom Blading Pu's Mutavault when it attacked. A Whip of Erebos from Sawada was met with a Boros Charm, knocking Sawada to 12 but putting Pu on a clock against the pending lifegain.

Sawada tried an attack with his Mutavault, which was burned before it could connect. He summoned a Precinct Captain, which Pu Chained to the Rocks. Sawada, indefatigable, used his Whip or Erebos to return a Soldier, which Pu shot before passing on his turn. Sawada tried th esame thing again the following turn, and Pu had another Magma Jet to again keep Sawada's life total from rising.

Sawada finally connected with his Skyknight, going to 15. Sawada destroyed the Chained to the Rocks holding his Precinct Captain captive, and when Pu went to burn it, he flashed a Negate to keep the token generator alive. Pu's back was to the wall with the active Whip on the board, but he tried again with a Lightning Surge and took out the Captain. Sawada simply used his Whip to reanimate it, Pu using a Skullcrack to stop the lifegain trigger.

Pu, fighting a losing battle, visibly slumped when Sawada summoned a Blood Baron of Vizkopa. He drew a Blind Obedience what was likely a turn too late. A Warleader's Helix wasn't enough to deal with the Baron, and although Pu played a tight defensive game for several turns, it wasn't enough to deal with Sawada's relentless life advantage.

Ken Sawada 1 - Sherwin Pu 1

Pu led with a Mutavault, cracking in at Sawada on his second turn. Sawada had only lands, taking 4 points of damage before dropping an untapped watery grave to summon a Sin Collector. Pu spread a hand of Magma Jet, Shock, Boros Charm, Blind Obedience and Warleader's Helix, Sawada picking the Magma Jet.

Pu's only problem is figuring out which burn spell to cast first.

Pu shocked the Sin Collector before heading in with his Mutavault. Sawada summoned a Brimaz, but was on a lowly 12 life. Pu elected to ignore the powerful legend and try to race him with burn. The equation changed a little when Sawada summoned a Ghost Council of Orzhova, but Pu was committed. He threw his Helix, a Lightning Surge and a Boros Charm at Sawada to knock him to 1, rising to 3 when the Ghost Council came back in. Sawada attacked for 10, but had nothing relevant post-combat to keep him out of Boros Charm range.

Sherwin Pu 2 - Ken Sawada 1