SEMIFINALS: TERUYA KAKUMAE VS. SHOHEI MITA

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

By Josh Bennett

Two relative unknowns enjoying their first taste of the limelight. By making the Top 8 they secured airfare and invitation to Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir in Honolulu. That may have taken some of the pressure off, but having escaped the quarterfinals it's hard not to dream of hoisting the trophy. Teruya Kakumae is playing Burn. Shohei Mita is playing Blue-White-Red, which was surprisingly popular this weekend.

The Games

Mita's finish in the Swiss earned him the right to play first, and a good thing too, as Kakumae led out with Goblin Guide into Eidolon of the Great Revel. Mita responded with Path to Exile on the Guide. He played his third land and waited to act. The Eidolon charged in. Mita went for an ambush with Vendillion Clique. With the trigger on the stack, Kakumae played Searing Blood. That put Mita down to 13 already. He saw a hand of two Lavamancers, Lightning Bolt and Skullcrack. He stripped the Bolt and took two more from the incoming Eidolon. Kakumae dropped both Lavamancers.

Shohei Mita

Mita was stuck on three land. He considered playing Blade Splicer, but couldn't pull the trigger. Kakumae swung in with the team. Path to Exile took care of the Eidolon at the cost of two life, and Mita took another two from the incoming Lavamancers. He Remanded the Eidolon, but Kakumae had enough mana to cast it a second time. With Skullcrack waiting in the wings, it was more than enough to take the first game.

Kakumae 1 - Mita 0

Mita had the right tools for the job early in game two. Lightning Bolt took care of the first-turn Goblin Guide. Kakumae tried Vexing Devil, but Mita was content to let it hit play as a creature. Kakumae went for Lava Spike, but Mita had the Negate.

Kakuma, meanwhile, was stuck on just two mana. He swung in with the Devil on his next turn, and Mita flashed in Snapcaster Mage to go for a second Lightning Bolt. Kakuma tapped out for Boros Charm and the save. Mita took four. He untapped, played a tapped shockland, and tapped out for Sword of War and Peace. From Kakuma's seat it looked like a foolish risk. He had Searing Blood for the Snapcaster and another hit from the Devil left Mita at just seven.

Mita had it all scripted. He untapped and cast Timely Reinforcements without fear of Skullcrack. He fetched up a fifth land and handed one of his soldiers the Sword. Kakumae fought on. Lava Spike put Mita to nine, and Lavamancer promised more damage to come. But Mita wasn't out of answers yet. A Sworded hit put the life totals at twelve to nine in his favor. He moved his Sword to an untapped soldier and dispatched the Lavamancer with Lightning Bolt.

Kakumae drew and passed, still on just two land. Mita hit again, but Skullcrack stopped his gaining life. It was nine to three in his favor. Kakumae had given himself a chance. He untapped, drew, and then packed up his cards.

Kakumae 1 - Mita 1

Mita had to send back his opening hand for the deciding game, but was greeted by an acceptable six. Kakumae's draw was a little sluggish, with only Grim Lavamancer on the first turn, followed by a suspended Rift Bolt. Still, Mita was fighting uphill, having to be careful with his lands to avoid piling up damage. He played a Mutavault on his second turn and Negated the Rift Bolt.

Teruya Kakumae

Kakumae had the punish ready: Molten Rain on Hallowed Fountain. Mita played a replacement tapped on his next turn. Kakumae untapped, played a fourth land and took Mita to 11 with Boros Charm. Mita agonized over his next move. Arid Mesa got him a mountain, and Electrolyze rid him of the troublesome Lavamancer.

Still, he was down to just eight. When Kakumae played a fifth land, it started to look like luck might be on Mita's side. He decided to throw caution to the wind, tapping down to just a single blue mana to get Sword of War and Peace into play. Kakumae Skullcracked him twice at end of turn, then untapped and summoned Goblin Guide. Mita had the Lightning Bolt, but Kakumae's last card was yet another Skullcrack.

Teruya Kakumae defeats Shohei Mita 2-1

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