Round 12 Featured Match: Tzu Ching Kuo (Blue Black) vs. Yuuya Watanabe (White Blue)

Posted in GRAND PRIX HONG KONG 2015 on August 9, 2015

By Chapman Sim

It might be hard to believe that (4) Yuuya Watanabe has a nemesis. As it turns out, Tzu Ching Kuo has a great record against him.

Kuo has once denied Watanabe of yet another Top 8 at Grand Prix Kitakyushu, beating him in the win-and-in match. Not that he needs anymore, but one can never have enough Grand Prix Top 8s. At Grand Prix Kobe 2014, Kuo also defeated Watanabe in Round 4.

"I can't believe I am saying this, but I actually like to play against Yuuya Watanabe," Kuo smiled.

Kuo's deck looked pretty insane, featuring triple Reave Soul and a pair of Possessed Skaab to recur Cruel Revival and Fleshbag Marauder.

A battle between the Gold uncommons of Magic Origins.

Watanabe's White Blue deck was laden with fliers, including Stalwart Aven, Thunderclap Wyvern and triple Patron of the Valiant. Oh yea, Watanabe also had Sentinel of the Eternal Watch, one of the best uncommons in Magic Origins!

Today, will Watanabe exact revenge or will Kuo go 3-0 against Watanabe in three consecutive seasons?

Game 1

Kuo was the aggressor, leading with Screeching Skaab and Deadbridge Shaman. Watanabe put up Stalwart Aven and Thunderclap Wyvern to defend but a pair of Reave Souls put them to rest.

Watanabe rebuilt with a pair of Patron of the Valiant, keeping all of Kuo's creatures at bay. Fleshbag Marauder got rid of one of them, but Kuo couldn't find the 5th land to cast Cruel Revival. When he did, it was countered by Clash of Wills.

That paved the way for Possessed Skaab to resolve, and Kuo was able to pick up Cruel Revival to in turn recur Fleshbag Marauder. With that immense advantage, Kuo was up one game.

Tzu Ching Kuo locks up the first game with a chain of unfair recursions.

Tzu Ching Kuo 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 0

Game 2

Kuo opened with Thornbow Archer and Bonded Construct, but that blistering start was stopped by a pair of Cleric of the Forward Order.

The life cushion bought Watanabe enough time to summon double Patron of the Valiant and Sentinel of the Eternal Watch.

Yuuya Watanabe faces his nemesis and looks visibly worried.

Cruel Revival took care of the 4/6 but Kuo had no elegant solution to the pair of 4/4 Angels. Priest of the Blood Rite's 5/5 Peanut token kept them at bay, and Kuo used the momentary breathing room to regrow Cruel Revival with Possessed Skaab.

Yuuya Watanabe offers his "Peanut" token for Tzu Ching Kuo to use as a 5/5 Demon.

Ampryn Tactician boosted the pair of Angels into 5/5s, allowing Watanabe to go on the offensive. With both players at 10 life, Kuo was forced to take the trade, taking 7 damage from the other Angel and a 2/4 Stalwart Aven.

Cruel Revival took care of the second Angel and a second Possessed Skaab allowed Kuo to resurrect Priest of the Blood Rite.

Nantuko Husk started to peck away at Watanabe's life total, to a point where he was forced to begin blocking. A third copy of Patron of the Valiant was shoved in the way of a lethal demon token as sacrificial fodder.

It is never a good sign when you're chump-blocking with 4/4 fliers and the final outcome was clear as day. Watanabe had fallen to Kuo once again.

Tzu Ching Kuo 2 – Yuuya Watanabe 0

Tzu Ching Kuo defeats Yuuya Watanabe and eliminates him from Top 8 contention. Kuo is 9-2-1 and needs to win out!