Round 4 Featured Match: Yuuta Takahashi (Blue Black splash White) vs. Makihito Mihara (White Green)

Posted in GRAND PRIX HONG KONG 2015 on August 8, 2015

By Chapman Sim

Both players are among the most accomplished in the room and I'm pretty sure both friends were not quite pleased to find out they were matched against each other.

Makihito Mihara is one of the two, or three, Hall of Famers in the room, if you count Kenji Tsumura and the newly-elected, but not-yet-inducted Shota Yasooka.

Armed with a White-Green deck laden with fatties but little removal, Mihara would need to find a way to race against Yuuta Takahashi's Blue-Black deck with a white Splash, incidentally stocked with a myriad of evasion.

Game 1

Mihara opened with Throwing Knife and Orchard Spirit, then used his fourth turn to equip it before summoning Leaf Gilder.

Takahashi was not to be outdone and replied with a trio of fliers, namely Scrapskin Drake, Whirler Rogue and Ringwarden Owl.

The pair of Thopter tokens jumped in the way of Orchard Spirit and Mihara bolstered his army with a very formidable Rhox Maulers.

Takahashi had a bunch of fliers to race, but that plan was thrown out of the window when Mihara used Wild Instincts to shoot Ringwarden Owl from the skies.

With that attack, Rhox Maulers grew into an 8/6 trampler and Takahashi tried to find a solution with the help of Tower Geist.

Mihara went step further to secure his win, dropping Sentinel of the Eternal Watch. Takahashi decided he's seen enough, and scooped up his cards.

Makihito Mihara quickly locks up Game 1 with the help of a bunch of fatties.

Yuuta Takahashi 0 – Makihito Mihara 1

Game 2

Takahashi opened with Bonded Construct, Screeching Skaab and Scrapskin Drake, while Mihara could only lay four Plains and see his life plummet before his very eyes, defenseless.

A timely Meteorite landed on Screeching Skaab, providing Mihara with the six mana source to recruit a foil Sentinel of the Eternal Watch, meaning that Mihara had two copies of the insanely powerful uncommon in his deck.

Tapping down Scrapskin Drake, Mihara crawled back into the game and took no chances, electing to kill Bonded Construct with Wild Instincts. Takahashi tried to find gas with Read the Bones but all that did was to bring him one step closer to death.

Mihara found his seventh mana source to summon Gaea's Revenge, putting Takahashi on a quick clock. Alhammarret, High Arbiter made a timely appearance to deter Gaea's Revenge.

Yuuta Takahashi turns the table with a Sentinel of the Eternal Watch of his own.

When it looked like all was lost, Takahashi trumped with his own copy of Sentinel of the Eternal Watch. With Mihara down to just 4 life, Takahashi as able to even up the score with two attacks from Scrapskin Drake, coupled with some appropriate chump-blocking.

Yuuta Takahashi 1 – Makihito Mihara 1

Game 3

Mihara went around Takahashi's Maritime Guard with Stalwart Aven, but Takahashi provided Scrapskin Drake as a timely blocker to prevent the Renown trigger.

Both players added fliers for 4 mana, Takahashi's Tower Geist against Mihara's Charging Griffin. However, the stalemate was short-lived. Whirler Rogue threatened to infiltrate past Mihara's defenses.

Eyeblight Assassin finished off Stalwart Aven after Mihara blocked Tower Geist with it and Takahashi continued to aggressively activate Whirler Rogue's ability to make itself unblockable. With no way to counter attack effectively or remove the Whirler Rogue, Mihara succumbed to the overwhelming evasive forces.

Yuuta Takahashi 2 – Makihito Mihara 1

Yuuta Takahashi defeats Makihito Mihara and advances to 4-0.