Semifinals: John Brugman vs. Teruya Kakumae

Posted in GRAND PRIX AUCKLAND 2015 on March 15, 2015

By Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

After beating Jacques van Eeden’s Abzan deck 2-1 in the quarterfinals, Teruya Kakumae advanced to face John Brugman’s Temur deck, after Brugman had bested Dylan Goldsmith 2-0 in the Temur mirror.

Both players traded creatures and developed their boards, but neither made much headway in their efforts to win the game, until Brugman refilled his hand with a Shamanic Revelation for four.

Brugman found and employed a Savage Knuckleblade, but Kakumae’s Mardu horde supplied a seemingly endless supply of sacrificial 1/1 creature tokens to get in its way. Meanwhile, Kakumae had found a Noxious Dragon and a Leaping Master, and retaliated in the air.

A Sandsteppe Mastodon traded with the Dragon, but understandably failed to take out the Knuckleblade. In the end, the Leaping Master was unable to keep up with “Big Knucks”.

Brugman 1 – Kakumae 0

Both players traded creatures again in the early game, but Kakumae quickly found the midgame trump in a dashing Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury, that Brugman was unable to answer.

Brugman 1 – Kakumae 1

Brugman’s early Highland Game ran afoul a Mardu Charm, which enabled an all up-side Bellowing Saddlebrute. Brugman was missing a fourth land, and could only play another Highland Game and a Morph.

Burn Away roasted the Morph – a Rattleclaw Mystic – and Kakumae kept attacking with the Saddlebrute. Brugman fell to 8 before the Saddlebrute was joined by a Noxious Dragon. Brugman drew a fourth land, but it wasn’t enough.

“I’ve had a good run!” Brugman announced with a smile, offering Kakumae the handshake.

John Brugman’s thrilled he at least qualified for the Pro Tour.

Teruya Kakumae defeats a John Brugman 2-1