This Grand Prix marks Yuta Takahashi's 8th top. It's been nearly 7 years since his last Grand Prix victory, and Takahashi is hungry for another one. Takahashi quietly made his way to the top 8 this weekend with his Miracles deck. Using Terminus to protect him along with the deadly two card combo of Sensei's Divining Top and Counterbalance, Takahashi aims to control the game and lock out his opponent.
His opponent, Yukihiro Satake, is a local player from Kōbe, who has had success on independent tournament circuits. This weekend he came prepared with a UWR Stoneforge deck. While he was one of only a couple people that opted to play a Stoneforge Mystic deck with Red in day 2, he could be seen all weekend, sneaking Batterskulls into play and destroying opponents with True-Name Nemesis round after round.
Takahashi started the first game off with a second turn Counterbalance.
Satake cast a Jitte to see if the coast was clear. When Takahashi decided to to reveal it--knowing the top of his library thanks to a Ponder--Satake decided to challenge the Counterbalance with a Red Elemental Blast. Takahashi quickly put his Blue enchantment into his graveyard.
On Satake's following draw step, Takahashi cast Vendilion Clique. Satake countered it with Force of Will. He then cast True-Name Nemesis. Knowing that the 3/1 would be deadly when matched with Jitte, Takahashi countered it with Force of Will.
Without another threat Satake was forced to pass his next turn back. This gave Takahashi the opportunity to resolve a Jace, the Mind Sculptor. When Takashi chose to use Jace's 0 ability, Satake revealed his last card, Lightning Bolt, removing the planeswalker from the battlefield.
Despite not having a planeswalker, Takahashi found a window to resolve both Sensei's Divining Top and Counterbalance. After a few turns of not being able to play any spells, Satake moved on to game 2.
Yuta Takahashi 1 - 0 Yukihiro Satake
Satake came out of the gates quickly in game 2 with a second turn Stoneforge Mystic.
The Stoneforge Mystic found a Batterskull, but Takahashi seemed unphased. He quickly reassembled his Counterbalance-Sensei's Divining Top combo on his third turn. When Satake put Batterskull into play and attacked, Takahashi cast a Venser to try to bounce the 4/4 lifelinker. Satake had a Mana Leak, however, and, when the top of Takahashi's deck revealed a Scalding Tarn, the attack was good.
Takahashi was okay with that result. He untapped and cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor. When it resolved, he used its -1 ability to remove the token. All Satake could accomplish was attacking Jace down to a single loyalty.
With all his mana at his disposal and Jace in play, Takahashi was in the drivers seat. He kept Jace alive by using its +2 ability and attacked Satake's lands with a pair of Wastelands.
Satake had one more chance. He cast Snapcaster Mage, which forced Takahashi to use a Brainstorm to put a two-drop on the top of his library. Satake then tried casting Brainstorm. When Takahashi responded by using Sensei's Divining Top's tap ability, Satake cast Wear // Tear on on Counterbalance. Takahashi, however, had another one-drop in his top three and used it to counter the two spells. Seeing that there was no way he could win, Satake shook Takahashi's hand and wished him luck in the semifinals
Yuta Takahashi wins 2-0 over Yukihiro Satake and advances to semifinals!