GP Kyoto Round 7 Feature Match: Kentaro Yamamoto (OmniTell) vs Yuta Takahashi (Miracles)

Posted in Event Coverage on April 18, 2015

By Ben Swartz

Teammates Kentaro Yamamoto and Yuta Takahashi sat down to play during round 7 at Grand Prix Kyoto. While it was once the case that Kentaro Yamamoto was the lesser known member of the 2nd place team from Pro Tour San Diego 2007, Yamamoto has found his way into the spotlight since his Top 8 at Pro Tour Theros. Perhaps Kyoto is his lucky city: Yamamoto finished 2nd place at the last Grand Prix in Kyoto. Looking to improve on his result, Yamamoto brought the OmniTell combo deck this weekend.

Known as the Faerie master for his prowess with the eponymous tribal deck, Yuta Takahashi has been less active than his teammate recently. While preparing for this tournament he expected there to be a lot of creature based decks--like Elves or Death and Taxes--and combo decks--like OmniTell and Ad Nauseam Storm. The perfect deck for that metagame, in his mind, was Miracles--the White-Blue control deck featuring multiple copies of Terminus along with the two card combo of Counterbalance and Sensei's Divining Top. His deck choice treated him well thus far, putting him at 6-0 and facing off against another favorable matchup.

The Games:

Game one started off slowly, with both players casting Brainstorms, Gitaxian Probes and Dig Through Times.

The first non-land permanent of the game took the form of Counterbalance from Takahashi. Yamamoto quickly countered the pesky enchantment, but allowed Takahashi to have a Sensei's Divining Top on his third turn.

After casting even more blue draw spells, Yamamoto was ready to go for his combo. He cast Show and Tell on turn four. After looking at the top three cards of his library, Takahashi let the sorcery resolve. Yamamoto revealed that he had both Omniscience and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, in his hand. After thinking for a moment, Takahashi scooped up his cards and the match went to a second game.

Kentaro Yamamoto 1 - 0 Yuta Takahashi

Yamamoto started off game two with a Boseiju, Who Shelters All. On his second turn, he looked to stifle Takahashi's disruption even more with a Defense Grid. Takahashi's only response was a Counterbalance on his third turn.

Yamamoto was then put in an awkward spot. Although he had the combo in his hand, he did not have access to a third land. He cast Brainstorm on his turn but the only land he could come up with was a second copy of Boseiju.

With Defense Grid out and Yamamoto defenseless, Takahashi slammed down a Jace, the Mind Sculptor on the following turn.

At last Yamamoto found another land and looked poised to go off on his turn. Using Boseiju, he cast an uncounterable Show and Tell, but while Yamamoto put Omniscience into play, Takahashi put Venser, Shaper Savant into play returning Omniscience to Yamamoto's hand.

Generating card advantage from Jace turn after turn and casting more disruptive creatures such as Vendilion Clique and Ethersworn Canonist, Takahashi slowly took control over the game. After a few attacks with his creatures Takahashi evened the match at one game a piece.

Kentaro Yamamoto 1 - 1 Yuta Takahashi

For the third game in a row, Takahashi's first play of the game was Counterbalance. Mirroring the first game Yamamoto used Spell Pierce to counter the opening play. With Takahashi tapped out, Yamamoto went for it on his third turn, casting Show and Tell

While Takahashi slammed a card face down, Yamamoto took his time and thought for a while. He had both Emrakul and and Omniscience in his hand and had the choice of getting either into play. Both were weak to Venser, but each card had its own pros and cons. Yamamoto ended up going with Omniscience; Takahashi revelead that the card of his choice was Ethersworn Canonist. While Yamamoto had a Pyroclasm to deal with the 2/2, he couldn't cast it until his following turn. This gave Takahashi the opportunity to take Omniscience out with Pyroblast. Left with just an Emrakul in hand, Yamamoto was forced to pass the turn back.

Having fended off the initial onslaught, Takahashi had time to find a combo of his own; Counterbalance and Sensei's Divining Top.

Using a Dig Through Time, Yamamoto found another copy of Show and Tell. Yamamoto thought through his options. He could try to cast Show and Tell and hope that Takahashi couldn't counter it, or he could give Takahashi more time to control the game and search for a Boseiju instead. In the end Yamamoto cast Show and Tell. Visibly excited, Takahashi flipped through his top three cards and found a Vendilion Clique to counter it.

As if his deck was mocking him, Yamamoto drew a Boseiju on the following turn, but the damage had already been done. Takahashi found a Jace, the Mind Sculptor and started ticking up the loyalty. Seeing the writing on the wall, Yamamoto conceded.

Yuta Takahashi wins 2-1 over Kentaro Yamamoto

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