These were the cards that shaped the tournament, that sparked discussions and were the most debated, the cards that won games and turned Grand Prix Beijing into an event to remember.
#5: Brood Butcher
When it comes to breaking stalemates and providing a steady flow of reusable removal, nothing does it better than Brood Butcher. A perfect addition to any Black-Green Eldrazi deck, it combos elegantly with token producers such as Blisterpod, Carrier Thrall and Eyeless Watcher, while messing up with combat math and putting excess Eldrazi Scions and obselete Grizzly Bears to good use.
Most notably, Xu Su used it to great effect during Round 9 against Craig Wescoe, winning the match for the team and stopping the North American team from going 9-0. Funnily, Wescoe lost yet another game to Brood Butcher in the semifinals against Shintaro Ishimura, but thankfully his teammates Richard Hoaen and Mike Hron won their respective matches!
#4: Ruin Processor
Ruin Processor is one of the worthwhile "payoff" cards that rewards playing with Ingest creatures and other spells that exile cards such as Touch of the Void, Complete Disregard and Spell Shrivel. Most Blue and Black players players will be happy to include at least a copy of this staple Common to top off their curves.
Not only is it a ridiculously sized beatstick, the five life provided often turns races around while doubling up as a reliable win condition. It is also somewhat immune to burn spells, shrugs off combat tricks and mocks bounce spells such as Clutch of Currents and Roil Spout.
Coincidentally also a colorless card, it can fit into any deck that can reliably exile cards, which makes it a valuable asset in Team Limited where you sometimes need to shuffle cards around to compensate for or supplement another deck's weaknesses.
#3: Vile Aggregate
Taking about "payoff cards", none of them reward the Devoid player quite as much as Vile Aggregate. Cited as one of the most ridiculous Uncommons in the world of Battle for Zendikar, it pairs well with Nettle Drone, Dominator Drone and even Eldrazi Skyspawner and Eyeless Watcher.
A versatile card that attacks as well as it blocks, Vile Aggregate even has Trample and Ingest. That's too many keywords and abilities for the low, low price of three mana!
#2: Shadow Glider
Despite it's seeming innocuity, Shadow Glider is one of the most important cards in the format. The White-Blue Fliers deck wouldn't mind a few copies to go along with their Eldrazi Skyspawners. The White-Red decks could do with a light touch of evasion. The White-Black decks are also very aggressive in general, even though they have Drana's Emissary as the "superior Wind Drake".
The point is, Shadow Glider might not be the most powerful common, but it is certainly the bread and butter of any White deck. As a matter of fact, it is almost an auto-inclusion in, I daresay, almost all the White Team Sealed decks built this weekend.
#1: FOIL Drowner of Hope
In the nail-biting finals, Yuuya Watanabe was the first to secure a win, defeating Craig Wescoe in two quick games. Mike Hron equaled the score, taking down Yuuki Ichikawa. At this point, Rich Hoaen was down a game against Makihito Mihara. The North American team practically had their back against the wall.
What helped Hoaen turn it all around?
In the second game, Drowner of Hope helped prevent death and in conjunction with Coralhelm Guide and Lithomancer's Focus delivered the lethal blow. In the decider, Mihara was very much ahead with Fathom Feeder and Skyrider Elf. Once again, Drowner of Hope saved the day, paralyzing Mihara's air force before using the final Eldrazi Scion and Clutch of Currents to clear the path.
The cruel irony was, Yuuya Watanabe had first picked Undergrowth Champion in his second booster, shipping the foil Drowner of Hope to Rich Hoaen. This decision had come back to haunt him, denying him his 8th Grand Prix title he so desired!
Quite literally, Craig Wescoe, Rich Hoaen and Hron had drowned all hopes here in Beijing, with the latter two players repeating the feat from their victory in Kyoto two years back, further cementing them as masters of Team Limited.