Quarterfinals Roundup

Posted in GRAND PRIX KOBE 2015 on November 22, 2015

By Ben Swartz

Eight players entered the feature match area to kick off the Top 8 of Grand Prix Kobe, but only 4 would remain after the Quarterfinals. Here is a roundup from the quarterfinals.

Shunsuke Takahira (Abzan) vs. Joe Soh (Mardu)

The first game was a battle of armies. Takahira created a fierce one with 2 copies of Warden of the First Tree, while Soh had Bloodsoaked Champion, Chief of the Edge, and Blood-Chin Rager. Takahira quickly fell to 7 life and, when, Soh used a pair of removal spells he was able to take the first game.

Shunsuke Takahira (left) and Joe Soh (right)

The second game featured a fourth turn Gideon, Ally of Zendikar from Joe Soh. The two traded creatures back in forth, but Takahira was unable to deal with the planeswalker and Soh advanced to the semifinals a few turns later.

Akio Chiba (Esper Dragons) vs. Akihiro Okawa (W/B Tokens)

The only early threat that Okawa was able to get down in game 1 was Knight of the White Orchid. Chiba was able to play a Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and transform it quickly, neutralizing the Knight. With a grip full of countermagic, he was patient to resolve his Dragonlord Ojutai. Once he did, he took the first game.

Akihiro Okawa (left) and Akio Chiba (right)

The second game started similarly to the first: Chiba got out an early Jace and began to control the game with countermagic. Many turns later, he cast Dragonlord Ojutai and Silumgar, the Drifting Death and from there took the match and started preparing for the semifinals.

Takuma Morofuji (Atarka Red) vs. Shuhei Nakamura (Esper Dragons)

Morofuji came out of the gates very quickly game 1 with Lightning Berserker, Dragon Fodder, and Violent Outburst. Both players began to stall out on lands, but this favored the red player. Without answers to Morofuji's creatures, Nakamura succumbed a few turns later.

Shuhei Nakamura (left) and Takuma Morofuji (right)

Shuhei's sideboard netted him Arashin Clerics for the second game, which he used in game 2 to stem the early bleeding from Morofuji. Despite this, Shuhei quickly fell to 4 life before finding a Crux of Fate to clear Morofuji's Board. A couple turns later, Morofuji was able to find the final points of burn to take out the Pro Tour Hall of Famer and head to the semifinals.

Pavel Matousek (Eldrazi Ramp) vs. Shota Takao (Esper Tokens)

In the first game Matousek had access to 8 mana on the fourth turn, while Takao cast a Gideon on his 4th turn, Matousek cast Ugin and wiped Takao's board. Ugin died to Ruinous Path on the following turn, but Matousek had two copies of Part the Waterveil to take the first game.

Shota Takao (left) and Pavel Matousek (right)

Game 2 began with Takao generating a fierce army very quickly. Matousek wasn't able to ramp particularly quickly and was forced to use a Part the Waterveil offensively. When his extra turn netted him nothing, Takao sent the match to a third game.

In game 3, Matousek's early ramp in the form of creatures was met with removal spells. Stuck on three mana sources and a hand full of expensive spells, Takao was able to get out and protect an Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Without any land, Matousek fell to the Gideon and Shota Takao advanced to the Semifinals.