by Pip FowerakerSunday, 2:45 p.m.Round 14 Feature Match - Freddy Wong vs. Yuuya Watanabe
by Pip FowerakerSunday, 2:36 p.m.Round 12 Feature Match - Chao Lu vs. Gerald Camangon
by Event Coverage StaffSunday, 2:01 p.m.Quick Questions: What is the toughest Planeswalker in Standard?
by Event Coverage StaffSunday, 2:01 p.m.Quick Questions: What is the best card in your sideboard?
by Chapman SimSunday, 1:49 p.m.Deck Feature: Green with Beatdown with Huang Hao-Shan and Choo Yong Han
by Chapman SimSunday, 1:36 p.m.Round 13 Feature Match - Chan Ho Shuen vs. Lee Sutti
by Chapman SimSunday, 10:47 a.m.Round 11 Feature Match - Da Feng vs. Choo Yong Han
by Event Coverage StaffSunday, 10:40 a.m.Quick Questions - What is the best deck in the format?
by Event Coverage StaffSunday, 10:40 a.m.Quick Questions - What is your plan to beat Wolf Run Ramp?
by Chapman SimSunday, 9:58 a.m.Day 2 Metagame Breakdown
by Pip FowerakerSunday, 9:57 a.m.Round 10 Feature Match - Richard Badlon vs. Sukhum Kiwanont
by Event Coverage StaffDay 1 Coverage
by Event Coverage StaffInfo: Fact Sheet
Sunday, 9:57 a.m. – Round 10 Feature Match - Richard Badlon vs Sukhum Kiwanont
Richard Badlon came into GP: Kuala Lumpur fresh off a 6th place finish at Philippine National Championships in 2011. Sukhum Kiwanont has had a couple of mid-range finishes in some GP's, and a 20th at Pro Tour: Berlin. Both are leading the pack of players one victory off a flawless record, and are aiming for the coveted Top 8 slots at the end of the Swiss rounds.
Badlon and Kiwanont sculpted their hands in the first few turns of the game, trading Ponders and a Think Twice to keep their hands topped up and juice. Kiwanont made the first aggressive move, a Geist of Saint Traft, which resolved. Badlon laid a fourth land and passed.
In Kiwanont's upkeep, he cast a Thought Scour before attacking with the Geist. Badlon took the damage and cast a Forbidden Alchemy, before summoning a Liliana of the Veil and dropping a Sun Titan and a Think Twice into his graveyard. He used Liliana's ability to try and make Kiwanont sacrifice his Saint, but Kiwanont had a Vapor Snag to save it, and a Gut Shot to destroy the Liliana.
Badlon calmly cast an Unburial Rites on his Sun Titan, returning the Liliana and getting rid of the troublesome Saint. Kiwanont summoned a Dungeon Geist to keep the Sun Titan under control, but Badlon countered with an Oblivion Ring.
Kiwanont had a Runechanter's Pike, but little other action as the Sun Titan provided Badlon with an overwhelming card advantage. He tried a Saint for some defence, but Badlon had the Mana Leak to clinch the first game.
Richard Badlon 1 – Sukhum Kiwanont 0
Kiwanont started the game with a Delver of Secrets and a Runechanter's Pike, while Badlon had a Ratchet Bomb to threaten the Delver if it flipped. Kiwanont attacked with the unflipped Delver and summoned a Geist of Saint Traft.
Badlon cranked his Ratchet and blew it, killing the Delver before a freshly summoned Liliana of the Veil took care of the Geist, leaving Kiwanont under pressure in the early turns of the game. A follow-up Ratchet Bomb from Badlon increased the pressure.
Kiwanont had an end of turn Snapcaster Mage to try and kill Badlon's Liliana, but Badlon had a Mage of his own, who flashed in to block. A Revoke Existence from Kiwanont got rid of the Ratchet Bomb, but Badlon had more gas coming his way thanks to a Forbidden Alchemy.
Badlon tried a Sun Titan to seal the deal, but Kiwanont held on grimly, flashing his lone card – a Mana Leak. Kiwanont found a Moorland Haunt to start clawing his way back into the game, equipping his Spirit token with the Runechanter's Pike and killing Liliana. Now Badlon was on the back foot, with no cards in hand and a 5/1 flier on the opposing side of the board.
A Surgical Extraction from Kiwanont robbed Badlon of his Forbidden Alchemies. Badlon peeled a Ghost Quarter to take out the Haunt and a Grave Titan to shore up the ground, but Kiwanont still had those fliers, and a Thought Scour milled precisely the right number of instants and sorceries to allow Kiwanont to even the game scores.
Sukhum Kiwanont 1 – Richard Badlon 1
Badlon started the final game inauspiciously, with a mulligan to 5. Kiwanont powered out a Geist of Saint Traft swinging in unopposed for two turns. Badlon cast a Forbidden Alchemy to try and find an answer, but looked glum at what he saw. A few unanswered attacks later, and it was all over.
Sukhum Kiwanont 2 – Richard Badlon 1
Sunday, 9:58 a.m. – Day 2 Metagame Breakdown
612 has been reduced to just 80. And here's what they're playing.
|Archetype||# of Decks|
|Red Green Ramp||12|
|Green White Ramp||4|
|Blue Black Control||3|
|Black Green Ramp||2|
The dominance of Wolf Run Ramp variants is not to be underestimated. Twelve players are running the traditional Red Green version but six others are running modified versions featuring Grave Titans or Elesh Norns. Blue White Delver continues to be a force to be reckoned with, as is Esper Control and Blue White Humans. Rounding off the rest are a myriad of interesting rogue decks including Mono Black Poison, Naya Zenith Control and even a Heartless Summoning combo deck!
Sunday, 10:40 a.m. – Quick Questions: What is your plan to beat Wolf Run Ramp?
Sunday, 10:40 a.m. – Quick Questions: What is the best deck in the format?
Sunday, 10:47 a.m. – Round 11 Feature Match - Choo Yong Han (Green White Beatdown) vs. Da Feng (Black White Tokens)
Da Feng has been having a great weekend and currently lurks atop the standings with a 9-1 record. His black white creation seemed really well positioned against the field. Between eight "Glorious Anthem' effects, annoying token generators and four Vault of the Archangel, the deck has been proven to be very resilient and overpowering.
His opponent, Choo Yong Han, has also been having a similarly great run so far. Choo is one of Singapore's finest, having made the Top 8 of Pro Tour Hollywood in 2008, with multiple Grand Prix Top 8s and a National Championships title under his belt.
With a friendly banter, they rolled the dice and wished each other good luck.
Choo won the die roll and was happy with his initial seven but Feng had to toss in his hand for a new six. After resolving the mulligan, Choo leads with a first turn Avacyn's Pilgrim, smoothly accelerating into Mirran Crusader and Garruk Relentless. When he followed that up with Sword of War and Peace on turn four, Feng seemed visibly shaken. A great draw by any standard, considering that his opponent is playing a deck with mostly black creatures.
Midnight Haunting did not create any suitable blockers for Feng and they were off to Game Two. A speedy game where the shuffling time had taken longer than the game itself!
Choo Yong Han 1 – Da Feng 0
Feng chooses to keep a hand with no action while Choo uses a turn one "elf" to power out Feng's most feared Sword of War and Peace. Lingering Souls made its first appearance but that didn't stop Avacyn's Pilgrim from coming in for seven damage.
Feng was not without a plan, as he used Revoke Existence to rid himself of the Sword, then flashing back Midnight Haunting to bring his spirit total up to four. When Choo summoned Hero of Bladehold, Feng kept back two spirits to block.
However, he visibly slumped in his seat when Choo stuck another Sword of War and Peace onto the Hero of Bladehold. Vault of the Archangel gained Feng some life as he tried to stabilize by recruiting his own Hero of Bladehold for the final thread of defense. When Choo revealed Dismember from his hand, Feng knew the game was over and could only extend his hand.
Choo Yong Han 2 – Da Feng 0
Choo is now 10-1 and needs only two more wins to break into the Top 8!
Sunday, 1:36 p.m. – Round 13 Feature Match - Chan Ho Shuen (Blue White Humans) vs. Lee Sutti (Blue White Delver)
Both players entered the Featured Match area with a record of 11-1, good enough to be right at the top of the field. Both are running Seachrome Coasts and Glacial Fortress but their decks have a distinctly different approach. It's interesting to see how this match will unfold.
Lee had the fortune to play first and opened with Delver of Secrets. Faith's Shield off the top transformed it into an Insectile Abberation, creating a pressurizing clock. Chan recruited Grand Abolisher, only to be sent back to his hand on the next turn via Vapor Snag. The 3/2 flier continued to take moderate chunks off his Chan's total, much to his dismay. When Chan tried to incarcerate it with Oblivion Ring, that plan was deftly thwarted with (the previously-revealed) Faith's Shield.
Lee's Dungeon Geists appeared to lock down Grand Abolisher and it seemed like Chan was at the end of his line. At just 10 life, he was facing seven incoming damage from fliers which we was unable to block. He tried to put up an offense with twin Doom Travelers and Honor of the Pure but succumbed to both fliers eventually.
Chan Ho Shuen 0 – Sutti Lee 1
Chan started relatively well with Champion of the Parish on his first turn and Honor of the Pure on the next. Lee retaliated with a pair of Delvers on successive turns, following that up with a Ponder to manipulate the top of his deck, a seemingly monster draw of sorts.
Timely Reinforcements ensured that Chan was temporarily ahead of the race, despite gaining no life from the sorcery. Mutagenic Growth revealed from Lee's deck transformed both Delvers and he decided to race, turning both Insects sideways.
When Chan counterattacked, Vapor Snag removed one of the Soldier tokens, putting Lee at 10 life. A post-combat Sword of War and Peace resolved without issue. Lee simply swung back again, bringing Chan down to just 6 life, ready to be finished off next turn.
When Chan equipped the Sword to a token, Lee flashed in Snapcaster Mage to flashback Vapor Snag. The audience thought the game was over, until Chan revealed Ratchet Bomb to deal with the pair off fliers (killing all Soldier tokens in the process). Lee was undeterred, simply attacking with Mr. Snapcaster, then using Dungeon Geists to tap down the lone Champion of the Parish. Mutagenic Growth would ensure victory on the next turn and Chan scooped up his cards in defeat.
Chan Ho Shuen 0 – Sutti Lee 2
Sunday, 1:49 p.m. – Deck Feature: Green White Beatdown with Huang Hao-Shan and Choo Yang Han
Huang Hao-Shan is no stranger at the Asia Pacific Grand Prix circuit. After two Top 8 performances at GP Singapore 2011 and GP Sydney 2011, the Level 6 Pro is now in great position to represent Taiwan for the World Magic Cup.
While he does not claim to be a true-blue deckbuilder, he does have a knack to fine-tune and optimize existing products. Relentless playtesting on MTGO has allowed him to determine that the Green White Beatdown deck (which Martin Juza had used to take home GP Hiroshima 2011) was the best choice for the metagame this weekend.
Roping Choo Yong Han (PT Hollywood 2008 Top 8er and ex-Singapore National Champ) on board, both players found themselves playing almost identical 75 cards today and both are enjoying success with this lightly-modified (and forgotten) brew. Choo is currently at 10-1, while Huang is only one match behind.
It is said that the deck has the best turn two and turn three plays in the format. The deck essentially wants a "mana dude" to power out (preferably) Mirran Crusader, Blade Splicer or Sword of War and Peace. Then on turn three, Hero of Bladehold and Garruk Relentless would show up to wreak some havoc.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a card that was excellent for them all weekend. Against the control decks who enjoy casting Lingering Souls, Forbidden Alchemy or Day of Judgment, Thalia promises to impede their advancement, while getting ahead on the board yourself.
The deck also has a great matchup against Wolf Run Ramp and both players seemed ready to handle the most popular deck this weekend. On the play, Thalia stops their turn two Rampant Growth and Green Sun's Zenith. Hero of Bladehold is a monster too tough to handle. Angelic Destiny is a nightmare, which Choo comments that he regrets not running an additional copy.
When asked what their MVP of the day was, both players agreed upon Sword of War and Peace, which had won them so many games both days. The damage output from the sword seems unreal, especially when used in conjunction with Mirran Crusader. Of course, Protection from White is an extremely useful ability, considering the popularity of Lingering Souls based decks and blue white Humans. Just an hour ago, Choo smashed up his opponent with the powerful opening of Elf, Crusader, Sword. Only white green is capable of such unfair plays.
The deck is not without weaknesses though as both players commented that they were weak against Gut Shots. "It feels like a Time Walk when opponent goes turn one Delver and Gut Shot." Then you have no powerful play on two and lose tremendous tempo." Another card they dislike was Vapor Snag, since it practically undoes all the tempo that they deck was designed to gain, especially when used on an equipped Mirran Crusader or Hero of Bladehold.
We wish both players good luck in their remaining two rounds as they head off to check out the pairings for Round Thirteen!
Sunday, 2:01 p.m. – Quick Questions: What is the best card in your sideboard?
Sunday, 2:01 p.m. – Quick Questions: What is the toughest Planeswalker in Standard?
Sunday, 2:36 p.m. – Round 12 Feature Match
Chao Lu hails from Nanjing, China, and was their National Champion in 2010. Today he's piloting a U/B Zombies deck, one of the breakouts in Standard from GP: Lille.
Camangon is best known internationally for his innovative U/G Faeries deck he piloted to a 20th place finish at Pro Tour: Philadelphia in 2011. Today he's running a U/W/B Control deck that has been putting up great results across the field.
Neither player had any early plays, with Camangon leading the action with a Think Twice. Lu summoned a Geralf's Messenger, and Camangon dug with a Forbidden Alchemy to find some answers to the troublesome 3/2. Camangon's fourth turn was an interesting one; two Phantasmal Images copying the Messenger!
Lu fought back with a Phyrexian Obliterator, and then attacked with both of his men. Camangon blocked a Messenger with one of his own, the Phantasmal Image upgrading itself to a 4/4 Obliterator after bouncing back from the graveyard.
Lu tried for another Messenger, but this time Camangon had a Mana Leak to slow the aggression down. Both players hung back trying to figure out their next moves. Lu cautiously tried a Liliana of the Veil. It resolved, and Camangon sacrificed one of his Images. Camangon fought back with an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. Lu grew his team with a Diregraf Captain and then attacked, exploiting the sacrifice triggers from Camangon's blocking Obliterator to deal the final points of damage.
Chao Lu 1 – Gerald Camangon 0
Lu opened up early with a Fume Spitter. Camangon summoned a Liliana of the Veil, and started going to town on both player's hands. Lu had a Geralf's Messenger, which Camangon countered with an Oblivion Ring, leaving Liliana and the Spitter to face off, Liliana destroying hands, and the Spitter keeping her in check. Both players skipped several land drops, recycling their draws into graveyards.
Lu summoned a Diregraf Captain to bolster his team, forcing Camangon to come up with some answers. A Tragic Slip took and Lliana combined to take care of the Spitter and Captain, leaving both players low on resources and with few cards in hand. Lu found a Mortarpod to ping Liliana for her final loyalty counter.
The game slowed to a crawl, both Camangon representing counterspells with 4 untapped mana, and Lu waiting to build up a diversity of threats. He tested the waters with a Geralf's Messenger, which was promptly Mana Leaked.
Lu followed up with Diregraf Ghoul and a Gravecrawler, equipping the Gravecrawler with his Mortarpod, a threatening combination in what looked to be a long game. Camangon sought some breathing room with a pair of Timely Reinforcements, while Lu summoned a Liliana of the Veil
Lu attacked with his Gravecrawler, then started looping it with Mortarpod. He followed up the increased pressure with his own Liliana of the Veil, while Camangon had a second Timely Reinforcements to prevent things from getting out of hand.
A Phyrexian Obliterator from Lu made things look a little less appealing. Camangon glanced at the Grave Titan an earlier Alchemy had dumped. He smiled and tapped his lands, his Unburial Rites bringing all the Zombies from the 'yard.
Go for the Throat took out Camangon's Grave Titan, and the Obliterator and suited-up Gravecrawler rumbled into the red zone. A few turns of back-and-forth took place, with Lu cautiously attacking with the Obliterator, and Camangon trying to get Lu to overextend.
Eventually, Camangon was able to clear the board of both the Liliana and Lu's growing army. Lu rebuilt with another Diregraf Ghoul and his Gravecrawler, whereas Camangon re-reanimated a Grave Titan and then copied it with a Phantasmal Image, growing an impressive army out of seemingly nowhere in the space of a single turn.
Lu countered with a Phantasmal Image of his own. Camangon summoned a Consecrated Sphinx, raising the stakes of the end-game dramatically. Lu, forced to race Camangon for his final few life points, resorted to looping his Gravecrawler through the Mortarpod. Camangon went on the offensive to try and race, crashing in with his team and knocking Lu to 10. On Lu's next turn, he summoned a Geralf's Messenger, knocking Camangon to 3 life, and then glanced significantly at his Mortarpod.
Chao Lu 2 – Gerald Camangon 0
Sunday, 2:45 p.m. – Round 14 Feature Match - Freddy Wong vs. Yuuya Watanabe
Wong led off the action with a Sphere of the Suns, while Watanabe kept pace with a Ponder. Wong powered out a second Sphere, which was Mana Leaked in an effort to keep the Chinese player under control. Watanabe summoned a Geist of Saint Traft, which was promptly killed by a Day of Judgment from Wong.
Watanabe fired off a Thought Scour, milling some lands into his graveyard before passing without laying a fourth land. Wong cast his third Sphere of the Suns, which Watanabe again Leaked. Wong followed up with a Lingering Souls to get some men onto the board. Watanabe, stuck on land for another turn, passed without any action.
Wong summoned a Primeval Titan, which Watanabe was forced to let resolve. He was able to bounce it temporarily by using a Vapor Snag and a Snapcaster Mage, but Wong followed up with a Curse of Death's Hold and the Titan just wouldn't go away. When Wong powered up his team with a Vault of the Archangel and a Gavony Township, the end seemed in sight.
Freddy Wong 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 0
Watanabe came out of the gates blazing, with a Delver of Secrets and an Invisible Stalker. A second Delver followed for Watanabe, but his upkeeps trickled by and they didn't flip. Wong quickly assembled his defence, with a Rampant Growth into Lingering Souls.
Watanabe found a Runechanter's Pike and hit a sorcery on his upkeep at last, powering up his team in one fell swoop. He equipped the Pike to one of his Insectile Aberrations and attacked, Wong blocking the unequipped Insect with two of his tokens. An Oblivion Ring cleared out the troublesome Pike, relieving Wong of some pressure. He tried for a second Lingering Souls, which resolved.
Invisible Stalker cracked in alone, nibbling away at Wong's life total. Wong tried a Curse of Death's Hold, but Watanabe Disappa(ra)ted it, Gryffindor style. Wong summoned a Primeval Titan, but Watanabe showed him a pair of long-hoarded Mana Leaks. He untapped, flashed Revoke Existence, re-equipped his Pike, and attacked for exactly lethal, breathing out a sigh of relief as he did so.
Yuuya Watanabe 1 – Freddy Wong 1
The already impressive crowd here at Grand Prix: Kuala Lumpur swelled for the final game of the match, word spreading rapidly of Watanabe's narrow escape in the last game.
Watanabe led out even more impressively this game, with a Delver of Secrets into a Ponder into a second Delver into, on his upkeep, you guessed it – a Ponder on top of his library. This dream run was interrupted only by an Oblivion Ring from Wong, who then summoned a Thrun, the Last Troll, the Las Troll to gunk up the ground. Watanabe didn't seem to care, sending his Insecttile Aberration in through the skies to nibble away at Wong. He followed up with an Invisible Stalker.
Wong tried a Day of Judgment, which was Negated. A Go for the Throat killed an Insectile Aberration , but Watanabe triumphantly slammed a Runechanter's Pike onto the table and on top of his Stalker, and Wong leaned forward to shake his hand.
Yuuya Watanabe 2 – Freddy Wong 1.