What were the biggest cards of the weekend? Then read on to learn more about Grand Prix Kobe's Top 5 Cards!
Although Blue Green Ramp decks only made up a small portion of day 2 here in Kobe, Czech player Pavel Matousek used the deck to make it into the top 8. Throughout the day he could be seen casting Ugin early and often, clearing the board and presenting a must deal with threat for his opponents. In the first game of the quarterfinals, Matousek was able to get an Ugin out on his 4th turn and lock up the game shortly after that.
4. Siege Rhino
When the last chance Grand Prix Trial decklists were posted at the beginning of the weekend, players around the world noticed a trend was forming here in Kobe. Indeed, Abzan Aggro decks made up over 35% of the format on day 2. The card that makes those decks so oppressive: Siege Rhino. Only one Abzan player, Shunsuke Takahira, was able to make top 8 with the Rhino. Unfortunately for him, the Rhino never showed his face in the quarterfinals, and Takahira made a quick exit from the top 8.
Last weekend in Brussels, Lucas Blohon crushed the tournament with his Esper Dragons deck featuring Dragonlord Ojutai. This weekend, Blohon's teammate, Martin Jůza decided to make the trip to Kobe and convinced his long time friend and Pro Tour Hall of Famer, Shuhei Nakamura, to enter the event. The two played with their favorite White Blue Elder Dragon and Shuhei brought himself to his 27th career Grand Prix top 8.
When asked what their favorite cards in Standard and Battle for Zendikar were, over half the top 8 responded with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Half of the top 8 played White based strategies around the 4 mana planeswalker. For finalist Joe Soh, nearly every time in top 8 that the Malaysian landed Gideon on his fourth turn he won. Being able to power out an instant army of 2/2s and being able to have a difficult-to-deal-with threat made this planeswalker a powerhouse all weekend long.
The final play of the finals in Kobe was Atarka's Command. The namesake of the Atarka Red decks that have been a mainstay in Standard, this two mana instant has provided a surprising amount of utility. In the semifinals, Morofuji used it's "your opponents can't gain life this turn" mode to make sure that his opponent, Shota Takao, could not gain life off of his Seeker of the Way. In the finals, after he used two copies to remove Joe Soh's Gideon early in the game, Morofuji peeled a copy of the instant on the last possible turn to deal 3 damage and be crowned Grand Prix Kobe 2015 Champion.