Semifinals: Yuta Takahashi (Miracles) vs. Kenta Harane (OmniTell)

Posted in Event Coverage on April 19, 2015

By Ben Swartz

Both players played a grueling quarterfinals match to make their way to the semifinals. Kenta Harane had to face off against Shota Yasooka in the OmniTell mirror. After barely edging it out against the former player of the year, Harane now has to face off against another one of Japan's greats, Yuta Takahashi. Takahashi, on the other hand, barely defeated Yukihiro Satake in two close games and his Miracles deck prevailed.

Talking with Takahashi earlier this weekend, he mentioned that he picked his deck, Miracles, because of its good matchup against OmniTell. Throughout the weekend he stopped opponents from going off with cards like Venser, Shaper Savant and Ethersworn Canonist. Could Takahashi take out the last remaining OmniTell player, Kenta Harane?

The Games

Harane got stuck on only two lands in the first game of the semifinals. Sensing an opportunity Takahashi used a Counterspell on Harane's end of turn Dig Through Time. Unsurprisingly Harane really wanted his instant to resolve--in order to find an additional land. He thought for a moment and cast Force of Will right back.

Harane found his third land, but continued to use his countermagic proactively: he used a Force of Will to counter Sensei's Divining Top and a Spell Pierce to counter Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

The following turn Harane used Gitaxian Probe to see if the coast was clear. It was, but he didn't have access to a Show and Tell. Takahashi untapped and cast Counterbalance and Sensei's Divining Top.

With Takahashi tapped out, Harane went for it. He cast Show and Tell on his following turn. When Takahashi couldn't find a three mana card on the top of his library, he used a freshly drawn Force of Will on the Show and Tell. Without access to countermagic of his own, Harane let his Show and Tell get countered.

Kenta Harane

This allowed Takahashi to resolve a Jace. When Harane cast Cunning Wish at the end of Takahashi's turn, Takahashi looked at the top three cards of his library and let it resolve. Cunning Wish found another Dig Through Time.

When Harane went to cast eight-mana instant on his turn, Takahashi drew a Force of Will off of his Sensei's Divining Top. Without access to another copy of Show and Tell and facing off against the impenetrable wall of Counterbalance and Sensei's Divining Top, Harane picked up his cards and headed to the second game.

Yuta Takahashi 1 - 0 Kenta Harane

While Takahashi started the second game with a first turn Sensei's Divining Top, Harane got an early look at Takahashi's hand with Gitaxian Probe. Much to his dismay, he saw it included a bevy of answers to his combo: Flusterstorm, Venser, Shaper Savant, and Karakas.

With this knowledge, Harane cast Brainstorms, Ponders, and Preordains. Finally on his fourth turn he went for it and cast Show and Tell. When Takahashi attempted to Counterspell it, Harane cast Spell Pierce. This forced Takahashi to use his Flusterstorm to make sure the Show and Tell would be countered.

This gave Takahashi the opening to play his Karakas and cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Harane fought back with a second copy of Show and Tell. This time Takahashi let it resolve. When Harane put Omniscience into play, Takahashi revealed Ethersworn Canonist. At the end of Harane's turn Takahashi used Red Elemental Blast to remove Omniscience.

Yuta Takahashi

Harane found an Engineered Explosives to deal with the Ethersworn Canonist, but it was too late. Takahashi found a Vendilion Clique and after a pair of attacks found his way to the finals.

Yuta Takahashi defeats Kenta Harane 2-0 and advances to the finals!

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