Top 8 Player Profiles

Posted in GRAND PRIX KOBE 2015 on November 22, 2015

By Ben Swartz

After many rounds of Swiss and some great games of Magic, the Top 8 for Kobe is set! Learn more about this event’s Top 8 competitors, their history at the top tables, and more by taking a look through the Top 8 profiles.


Shunsuke Takahira

Hometown: Aichi
Age: 25
Occupation: Engineer
Previous Magic Accomplishments: Nothing

Where do you normally play Magic?
Big Magic

What deck are you playing?
Abzan Aggro

Why are you playing your deck?
Even if I mulligan I can still win!

What was your record this weekend?
Byes: 0
Day 1: 9-0
Day 2: 5-0-1

What's your favorite card in Standard?
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

What is the best card in your sideboard? What card would have been good to have in your sideboard?
Nothing in particular

What is your favorite card in Battle for Zendikar and why?
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar because it's powerful.


Pavel Matousek

Hometown: Czech Republic
Age: 37
Occupation: Hospital Manager
Previous Magic Accomplishments: 4 GP Top 16

Where do you normally play Magic?
TEMNY' STRELEC in Prague

What deck are you playing?
U/G Ramp

Why are you playing your deck?
I didn't test a lot so I chose an easy deck to play.

What was your record this weekend?
Byes: 2
Day 1: 8-1
Day 2: 6-0

What's your favorite card in Standard?
Chandra's Ignition

What is the best card in your sideboard? What card would have been good to have in your sideboard?
Dispel. Nothing.

What is your favorite card in Battle for Zendikar and why?
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. It was awesome today.


Takuma Morofuji

Hometown: Fukuoka
Age: 34
Occupation: Company Employee
Previous Magic Accomplishments: 2005 Japanese National Champion, 2005 World Team Champion

Where do you normally play Magic?
Yellow Submarine Fukuoka

What deck are you playing?
Atarka Red

Why are you playing your deck?
I thought it was really strong after playtesting.

What was your record this weekend?
Byes: 2
Day 1: 8-1
Day 2: 5-0-1

What's your favorite card in Standard?
Dig Through Time. I use it in my control decks in Fukuoka.

What is the best card in your sideboard? What card would have been good to have in your sideboard?
Roast. Outpost Siege.

What is your favorite card in Battle for Zendikar and why?
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar; it's obviously really strong


Akio Chiba

Hometown: Hokkaido
Age: 28
Occupation: Office Worker
Previous Magic Accomplishments: 30th Place at Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, 29th place at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica

Where do you normally play Magic?
Amenity Dream in Sapporo

What deck are you playing?
Esper Dragon

Why are you playing your deck?
It's strong.

What was your record this weekend?
Byes: 2
Day 1: 9-0
Day 2: 4-2

What's your favorite card in Standard?
Dragonlord Ojutai. If you have a chance to pause the game it's amazing.

What is the best card in your sideboard? What card would have been good to have in your sideboard?
Silkwrap. Painful Truths.

What is your favorite card in Battle for Zendikar and why?
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger It's super strong.


Akihiro Okawa

Hometown: Hyogo
Age: 25
Occupation: Shop employee
Previous Magic Accomplishments: I played in the 2010 Japanese National Championships.

Where do you normally play Magic?
Yellow Submarine Himeji

What deck are you playing?
B/W Tokens splash Blue

Why are you playing your deck?
It seemed to have a good matchup against Abzan.

What was your record this weekend?
Byes: 2
Day 1: 8-1
Day 2: 5-1

What's your favorite card in Standard?
Dragonlord Silumgar

What is the best card in your sideboard? What card would have been good to have in your sideboard?
Disdainful Stroke. Nothing.

What is your favorite card in Battle for Zendikar and why?
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar; it creates token and becomes an anthem.


Shuhei Nakamura

Hometown: 34
Age: Undecided
Occupation: Unknown
Previous Magic Accomplishments: I've been to a bunch of Grand Prix.

Where do you normally play Magic?
Nowhere in particular.

What deck are you playing?
Esper Dragon

Why are you playing your deck?
It fell in my lap.

What was your record this weekend?
Byes: 3
Day 1: 6-0
Day 2: 4-2

What's your favorite card in Standard?
Dragonlord Ojutai

What is the best card in your sideboard? What card would have been good to have in your sideboard?
Three copies of Monastery Mentor. More Arashin Clerics.

Who is your favorite planeswalker and why?
Jace?


Shota Takao

Hometown: Tokyo
Age: 26
Occupation: Company employee
Previous Magic Accomplishments: Grand Prix Shizuoka 2014 Finalist, 2011 Japanese Nationals Top 8

Where do you normally play Magic?
Magic Online

What deck are you playing?
Esper Mentor

Why are you playing your deck?
It has a good matchup versus Abzan Aggro.

What was your record this weekend?
Byes: 2
Day 1: 8-1
Day 2: 5-1

What's your favorite card in Standard?
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

What is the best card in your sideboard? What card would have been good to have in your sideboard?
Stratus Dancer. Negate.

What is your favorite card in Battle for Zendikar and why?
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar


Joe Soh

Hometown: Malaysia
Age: 27
Previous Magic Accomplishments: Grand Prix Taipei 2014 Top 8

Where do you normally play Magic?
ETERNAL MAGIC

What deck are you playing?
BW Warrior

Why are you playing your deck?
It's fun to play.

What was your record this weekend?
Byes: 2
Day 1: 8-1
Day 2: 5-1

What's your favorite card in Standard?
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

What is the best card in your sideboard? What card would have been good to have in your sideboard?
Best Card: Disdainful Stroke. I wouldn't have changed anything.

What is your favorite card in Battle for Zendikar and why?
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, it’s the best planeswalker in standard.

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