Finals: Hironobu Sugaya vs Xu Su

Posted in Event Coverage on April 17, 2016

By Ben Swartz

At the end of each Grand Prix, two players sit down at one table to decide their fates. At Grand Prix Beijing, both players have been in this position before.

For Hironobu Sugaya, it was at GP Manila in 2008 where he overcame Shota Yasooka in the finals. Hungry for blood this time, Sugaya drafted a very aggressive Black-Red deck filled with Vampires. He included two copies of Stensia Masquerade to enhance his Vampires during combat

His opponent, Xu Su, came back to the GP Finals table after a visit at GP Shanghai in 2014. Unfortunately for Xu, he was bested by Yu Yin in the finals and was looking to have better luck this weekend. Xu's draft deck was White-Black and featured Always Watching and Kindly Stranger.

The Games

As is expected with a Black-Red deck, Sugaya came out of the gates quickly with an Ember-Eye Wolf, Voldaren Duelist, and Stensia Masquerade.

Xu began to amass an army of his own with Kindly Stranger and Ghoulcaller's Accomplice. On his fourth turn he dropped his bomb: Always Watching. This allowed Xu to take Sugaya down to 12.

Thanks to Sugaya's enchantment, neither player wanted to trade away their creatures. When Sugaya attacked on the following turn, Xu didn't block. Sugaya pumped his Ember-Eye Wolf and dropped Xu to 6.

Xu matched Sugaya's attack with his own and evened the life totals at 6 a piece. He then cast Heir of Falkenrath and a second Ghoulcaller's Accomplice.

Sugaya continued his aggression, swinging in with his creatures on the following turn. Not wanting to lose a creature, Xu opted not to block Sugaya's Ember-Eye Wolf which gave Sugaya the opportunity to cast Rush of Adrenaline dealing lethal and taking the first game.

Sugaya 1 – 0 Xu

Sugaya had another quick start for the second game: Sanguinary Mage into a Pair of Vampire Nobles. Xu attempted to stabilize against Sugaya's early aggression with a Farbog Revenant and Stallion of Ashmouth.

With two copies in his deck, Sugaya was bound to draw a Stensia Masquerade. Sugaya played it on his next turn and followed it up with a Voldaren Duelist. The vampire took a bite out of Xu's life total and dropped him to 9, but Xu looked to stabilize with a Murderous Compulsion.

This gave Xu the opportunity to be on the aggressive; Xu attacked with all of his creatures and dropped Sugaya down to 6.

When Sugaya looked for a lethal attack on his turn, Xu cast Tenacity. In response Sugaya cast Murderous Compulsion. When Xu blocked, Sugaya cast Uncaged Fury, removing the rest of Xu's creatures and leaving him at 8 life.

On the following turn, all Xu could muster up was Accursed Witch. With no opposition to his Vampires, Sugaya took the trophy!

Hironobu Sugaya defeats Xu Su 2-0 to become the Champion of Grand Prix Beijing 2016

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