Round 7 Feature Match: Makihito Mihara vs. Shintaro Ishimura

Posted in GRAND PRIX BEIJING 2016 on April 16, 2016

By Ben Swartz

Coming into Grand Prix Beijing 2016, there were only a handful of players who were also qualified for Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad next weekend. Among them were Makihito Mihara and Shintaro Ishimura. Coming into the 7th round, both players were undefeated.

Makihito Mihara is one of the greats of the Japanese Magic community. After winning the World Championships in 2006, he went on to Top 8 a total of 5 Pro Tours before being inducted to the Hall of Fame. Mihara crafted a Black Green Vampire deck. Along with heavy hitters such as Markov Dreadknight, Mihara also had a sleeper combo of Call the Bloodline and Sanitarium Skeleton.

His opponent, Shintaro Ishimura, is no slouch to competitive Magic. Better known by his online persona, rizer, Ishimura has three Grand Prix Top 8s to his name and was a quarterfinalist at Pro Tour Paris in 2011. Ishimura constructed a White-Blue-Green Humans deck out of his sealed pool. Filled to the brim with Equipment and synergistic human cards, he looked to end his opponents quickly.

The Games

Ishimura's Humans deck came out of the gates quickly with a Thraben Inspector and True-Faith Censer. On the other side of the table, Mihara's start was slow, with just a Hinterland Logger.

The Inspector pushed through some damage and when Mihara attacked with his werewolf on the next turn Ishimura used Strength of Arms to remove the newly transformed 4/2.

Shintaro Ishimura

The players traded damage back and forth, eventually, Mihara assembled Call the Bloodline and Sanitarium Skeleton to power out an army of vampires. He topped it off with Markov Dreadknight.

Ishimura had a quick answer for the vampire in the form of Avacynian Missionaries, which he immediately transformed. When Ishimura went for a lethal attack on his following turn, Mihara used Murderous Compulsion to take out Lunarch Inquisitors, bringing back his Markov Dreadknight and giving him lethal damage on his following turn.

Mihara 1-0 Ishimura

Ishimura started the second game with Thalia's Lieutenant. The two players traded removal spells: Ishimura's Rabid Bite to remove Mihara's nealy minted Deathcap Cultivator, and Mihara's Dead Weight to remove the Human Soldier.

Intrepid Provisioner and Solitary Hunter were the next plays from Ishimura. Mihara countered with a Pack Guardian, allowing him to drop Ishimura to 14.

When Ishimura traded his creatures for the Pack Guardian, Mihara used Macabre Waltz to bring the 4/3 back to his hand.

From there Ishimura was unable to deal with Mihara's onslaught of creatures and fell a few turns later.

Makihito Mihara

Makihito Mihara defeats Shintaro Ishimura 2-0 to advance to 7-0.