Finals: Joe Soh vs. Takuma Morofuji

Posted in GRAND PRIX KOBE 2015 on November 22, 2015

By Ben Swartz

Without much delay the finals had been set. On one side sat Malaysian player Joe Soh. Joe originally fell into his brother, Terry Soh's, shadow, but recently has been having success of his own: he got Top 8 at Grand Prix Taipei in 2014. This weekend he decided to play White Black Warriors—a deck he is playing because the thinks that it's "most fun." His pet card throughout the weekend has been Gideon, Ally of Zendikar; Gideon has powered him through many a sticky situation thus far.

His opponent, Takuma Morofuji, is 2005 Japanese National Champion and 2005 Team Worlds Champion. Since 2006 he hasn't played on the Pro Tour and this is his first Grand Prix Top 8. Morofuji's deck of choice this weekend is Atarka Red. Playing a fairly standard list, Morofuji's armies of Goblins and Monastery Swiftspears have vaulted him past Shuhei Nakamura and Shota Takao thus far in the GP Kobe Top 8.

Joe Soh (left) and Takuma Morofuji (right)

The Games

Morofuji started the finals off with a Monastery Swiftspear, a Lightning Berserker and a Zurgo Bellstriker. Soh was able to stop the early aggression with Mardu Woe-Reaper and Kytheon, Hero of Akros.

Joe Soh

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar came down on Soh's fourth turn and immediately created a 2/2. Knowing that the Planeswalker would take over the game if left alive, Morofuji spent his next attack step destroying Gideon.

Takuma Morofuji

This strategy ended up working out. Soh had no follow-up to the Planeswalker and Morofuji was able to drop Soh down to 10 on the following attack.

The following turn, Morofuji used Atarka's Command along with a pair of Monastery Swiftspears to drop Soh to 4; when Morofuji was able to remove Soh's only blocker on the following turn Morofuji took the first game of the finals.

Morofuji 1—0 Soh

Monastery Swiftspear started the game off for Morofuji. The 1/2 was able to get in 2 damage before Soh used Stasis Snare to neutralize the monk.

This game Soh did not have a fourth turn Gideon, but cast Mardu Strike Leader with Dash instead.

Wasteland Strangler came down and cleared the board. This gave Soh the opening to cast Gideon, Ally of Zendikar into an empty board. This forced Morofuji to use a pair of Atarka's Commands to remove it.

With both players drawing off the top of their decks they went back and forth for a couple of turns. Eventually, Morofuji was able to find a Outpost Siege, choosing Khans.

The card advantage the enchantment provided vaulted Morofuji ahead, but a couple of turns later Soh cast Secure the Wastes for 8 and followed it up with a Chief of the Edge. The warriors evened the game up at 3 life a piece and put Morofuji dead to Soh's next attack. Morofuji untapped and revealed Atarka's Command to Outpost Siege and used it to become GP Kobe 2015 Champion!

Takuma Morofuji defeats Joe Soh 2-0 and becomes your GP Kobe 2015 Champion!