Quarterfinals Roundup

Posted in GRAND PRIX CHIBA 2015 on May 31, 2015

By Chapman Sim

Quarterfinals 1: Yuki Matsumoto (White Blue Aggro) vs. Ryouta Shimizu (5-Color Green)

Ryouta Shimizu had a few keywords on his mind, mainly Domain and Sunburst. His 5-color Green deck with double Matca Rioters and quadruple Skyreach Manta looks to be very powerful in the late game. He does have a fair number of mana fixers, including Wayfarer's Bauble, Sylvan Bounty, Rampant Growth, and Sphere of the Suns.

Game One

Yuki Matsumoto did not want to give him time to summon his dangerous creatures though. He quickly deployed Gust-Skimmer and a very dangerous Mirran Crusader. A timely Vapor Snag bought him enough time before Shimizu's Etched Oracle and Skyreach Manta could stabilize the board for him.

Yuki Matsumoto

Game Two

In the second game, Ryouta Shimizu fought back with a fourth-turn Creakwood Liege. Yuki Matusmoto's White Blue deck had no elegant solution to that, so they quickly moved on to the third game.

Ryouta Shimizu

Game Three

Yuki Matsumoto curved out perfectly in the rubber game, leading with Gust-Skimmer, Sunspear Shikari and Blinding Souleater. Ryouta Shimizu was able to kill Glassdust Hulk and Qumulox with Tribal Flames, and Plummet.

Thereafter, he was able deploy a pair of Skyreach Manta but his life total was too low. A few Blinding Souleater activations later and Yuki Matsumoto was off to the semi finals.

Yuki Matsumoto 2 - Ryouta Shimizu 1

Quarterfinals 2: Katsuhiro Mori (White Green) vs. Ichiro Matsubara (White Green)

Both decks were white and green but had vastly different approaches.

World Champion Katsuhiro Mori has put together a "funny deck" as he claims. Mox Opal and a pair of Rusted Relics give his deck a light touch of metalcraft. He intends to support his artifact strategy with a pair of Sunlance and Scatter the Seeds, in the hopes of overrunning his opponent quickly.

Katsuhiro Mori

On the other hand, Ichiro Matsubara's deck had a Convoke theme. Raise the Alarm and Kozilek's Predator are the cornerstones of his strategy, as they allowed Kavu Primarch, Root-Kin Ally, and Conclave Phalanx to hit the board prematurely.

Game One

Ichiro Matsubara opened with Noble Hierarch and quickly added Elite Skirmisher and Hikari, Twilight Guardian to the board. Katsuhiro Mori stuck Blinding Souleater to the board and tried to get to the finish line by racing with a 9/2 Glint Hawk. But an opposing Pelakka Wurm and Conclave Phalanx threw all the combat math out of the window. Katsuhiro Mori was down one game.

Ichiro Matsubara

Game Two

Katsuhiro Mori powered out Rusted Relic with Sphere of the Suns, before switching on Metalcraft with Runed Servitor. He stuck Kitesail on it and raced through the skies once more. Despite putting up a formidable ground force, Ichiro Matsubara eventually ran out of counters on his Aquastrand Spider and folded to the 6/5 flyer.

Game Three

Katsuhiro Mori demonstrated just how powerful Metalcraft can be. With the aid of Everflowing Chalice and Mox Opal, he was able to summon Rusted Relic, Blinding Souleater, Glint Hawk Idol, and Alloy Myr all by his fifth turn. Ichiro Matsubara did not have as unfair a start and could only manage "fair" creatures such as Elite Skirmisher and Gnarlid Pack and quickly folded to the blistering start.

Katsuhiro Mori - Ichiro Matsubara

Quarterfinals 3: Kim Minsu (Artifacts) vs. Shougo Sunada (Black Green splash Blue)

Kim Minsu's artifact based deck featured powerful cards such as Cranial Plating and Rusted Relic but needed a little time to attain critical mass.

Kim Minsu

Shougo Sunada's deck was much faster though. Curving out perfectly with efficient creatures such as Vampire Lacerator, Duskhunter Bat, and Ghostly Changeling, he was quickly able to reduce his opponent to just five life. By the time Kim managed to get his Rusted Relic online, a timely Mutagenic Growth ended the game there and there.

Shougo Sunada

Shougo Sunada 2 - Kim Minsu 0

Quarterfinals 4: Albert Budisanjaya (Mono Red) vs. Junya Iyanaga (Black Green)

World Champion Junya Iyanaga's Black Green deck has a very focused theme. His Nest Invaders and Tukatongue Thallids will go very well with his Scion of the Wilds and triple Plagued Rusalka.

Junya Iyanaga

Albert Budisanjaya has a different approach though and has assembled a Mono-Red deck with aggressive creatures and cheap removal spells. In case that doesn't work out, he has Nobilis of War and Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre in case he ever plays the long game.

Albert Budisanjaya

Regardless, Junya Iyanaga was able to keep the red men at bay using the combination of Plagued Rusalka, Bloodthrone Vampire, and Nest Invader in both games. Now that Junya Iyanaga had gummed up the board, he took over the game with Kavu Primarch and Vampire Outcasts in those respective games.

Albert Budisanjaya 0 - Junya Iyanaga 2