QUARTERFINAL ROUNDUP

Posted in GRAND PRIX KOBE 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on August 24, 2014

By Josh Bennett

Here's a bite-sized look at how the remaining three Quarterfinal matches went.

Yuuki Akaboshi (Green-Red Tron) vs. Ken Sawada (Scapeshift)

As expected, the first game went to Sawada. When Akaboshi failed to assemble an early Tron, he couldn't bring enough pressure to bear to stop Sawada building to a lethal Scapeshift.

Sawada 1 - Akaboshi 0


Things went the other way in game two, with a fast Tron powering outWurmcoil Engine. Sawada took one hit and then spent Cryptic Command to tap it down before Akaboshi's lifetotal could get too high. Unfortunately for Sawada, that gave Akaboshi the freedom to play a backbreaking Sundering Titan.

Sawada 1 - Akaboshi 1

In the third game Sawada struggled with a rampless draw while Akaboshi put together the pieces of Urzatron, and then an Eye of Ugin. This gave him the opportunity to summon Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre in the face of Sawada's open mana, destroying one of Sawada's lands. Sawada had the counterspell for the threat, but it was a crucial setback.

The next turn put Sawada to a decision. He had six mana available, but would need eight land for a lethal Scapeshift. He could hold up Snapcaster Mage for the Cryptic Command in his graveyard, or he could Kodama's Reach, setting up for a kill on the following turn. He gambled on the latter option, leaving conspicuous blue mana open as a bluff. Akaboshi called, playing Sundering Titan. Three of Sawada's lands hit the bin. From there it was only two turns before Akaboshi tutored up Emrakul for the win.

Yuuki Akaboshi defeats Ken Sawada 2-1

Takuya Yamada vs. Shohei Mita

The first game was something of a grind, as Yamada struggled to develop with a reactive hand that was tight on mana. He took some early damage and then dealt with Mita's next few threats. Unfortunately for him, Mita then managed to resolve Elspeth, Knight-Errant. Yamada fought on, setting Mita back to just Mutavault and Elspeth. He was down to just eight life. Mita untapped, animated his Mutavault, gave it +3/+3 with Elspeth, then played a second Elspeth with a smile. Yamada scooped.

Mita 1 - Yamada 0

Yamada got his revenge early in the second game by resolving a fast Blood Moon that completely locked Mita out of blue mana. His draw didn't have immediate pressure, but with Mita hamstrung he had ample time to draw a couple of Tarmogoyfs and send them on a rampage.

Mita 1 - Yamada 1

In the deciding game it was Mita's turn to be short on land. He had to spend most of the game fighting with just four mana. Yamada again had a pair of Tarmogoyfs and they started work on Mita's life total. Mita bought a little time with Elspeth, Knight-Errant, but soon found himself at six. He won a crucial counter battle over Threads of Disloyalty, stealing one of the Tarmogoyfs, and that was the turning point.

From there he was able to stabilize, and with his hand full of action he was able to stop Yamada from pushing through the final points of damage. Soon he was sailing overhead with Elspeth tokens, and the match was his.

Shohei Mita defeats Takuya Yamada 2-1

Bo Sun vs. Teruya Kakumae

The burn mirror. Kakumae had the advantage by going first overall in the match, and his draw in Game 1 was perfect. Turn one Goblin Guide got in for damage before Sun was even on the board, and from there the burn spells started to pile up. Bo tried to make a game of it by playing Eidolon of the Great Revel and sandbagging his own spells, but Kakumae was far enough ahead that he could comfortably soak eight damage and stay out of burn range.

Kakumae 1 - Bo 0

From the first turn it looked like Bo had this game sewed up, as he turned over the mighty Leyline of Sanctity. However, Kakumae's draw was long on creatures, and Bo had a few too many lands, as well as an extra Leyline. Kakumae managed to get him down around six before running out of steam.

Meanwhile, Bo was drawing action and aiming it directly at Kakumae's dome. Kakumae fell to five, and then finally found a Leyline of his own. Bo had three in play by this point, more than the number of sideboarded Wear & Tear in Kakumae's deck. They both began accumulating hands of instants. Deck counts revealed that Bo would be the first to run out of cards. He fought hard, trying to deplete Kakumae's hand of instants with sequences like: Summon Goblin Guide, Searing Blood it, Boros Charm to save it, Searing Blood again, Lightning Helix his own Goblin Guide, gaining three. Unfortunately his draw steps refused to cooperate, and he didn't find another threat before Kakumae could refuel. The last turns went very quickly, soon Bo was extending the hand in defeat.

Teruya Kakumae defeats Bo Sun 2-0

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