Quarterfinals: Kai Thiele (Ad Nauseam Storm) vs. Yosuke Morinaga (Grixis Delver)

Posted in Event Coverage on April 19, 2015

By Ben Swartz

Both players had achieved their first top 8 this weekend in Kyōto. Kai Thiele, the half-Japanese half-German player who moved to Japan only two months ago, made it in with his Ad Nasueam Storm deck. Armed with the power to win on the first turn, Thiele's Storm deck hoped to cast a number of Dark Rituals or Cabal Rituals to generate mana and Storm, then use Lion's Eye Diamond in conjunction with Infernal Tutor to find a lethal Tendrils of Agony out of his deck.

His opponent, Yosuke Morinaga is an up-and-coming Japanese player. He was one of many players this weekend to decide on a Delver of Secrets based deck. His version included Red and Black, which gave him access to disruptive cards such as Cabal Therapy and Surgical Extraction along with the Blue-Red staples of Delver decks: Delver of Secrets, Force of Will, Young Pyromancer, etc. Understanding the speed at which his opponent could win, Morinaga shuffled up and focused for the first game of the match

The Games

Morinaga had an ideal opening: turn 1 Delver of Secrets which transformed into Insectile Aberration on the second turn.

Thiele didn't care about the silly 3/2. He cast Cabal Therapy on his second turn. Even though Morinaga revealed Daze to Delver of Secrets, Thiele named Force of Will. Cabal Therapy whiffed, but it revealed that the only piece of defense that Morinaga held was that Daze.

Kai Thiele

Thiele then continued to do what he had been doing all weekend: combo off.

He cast a flurry of rituals and Lotus Petals. Finally, he cast a Lion's Eye Diamond then sacrificed it in response to his own Infernal Tutor. When he searched his deck, he found a copy of Tendrils of Agony, which, by this point, was more than lethal.

Kai Thiele 1 - 0 Yosuke Morinaga

Morinaga brought more disruption for the second game; he started off game 1 with Grafdigger's Cage and followed it up with Monastery Swiftspear

Yosuke Morinaga

Thiele spent his first two turns casting a number of single Blue mana cards: two Ponders and a Preordain.

Thiele continued the trend by casting Brainstorm into Gitaxian Probe on his third turn and saw Morinaga had only Surgical Extraction and Dig Through Time in his hand. He then decided to cast Duress on his opponent. In response, Morinaga used Surgical Extraction to remove Brainstorm and found a Daze off of his Dig Through Time. Presuming the coast was clear, Thiele played the same combo he had last game: Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Lion's Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, and Tendrils of Agony. In a few short turns Thiele found his way to the semifinals

Kai Thiele defeats Yosuke Morinaga 2-0 and advances to semifinals!

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