Finals: Shota Takao ( Bant Humans) vs. Alexander Johnson (Green-White Tokens)

Posted in Event Coverage on May 30, 2016

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

After fifteen rounds of Swiss and two elimination rounds, the final round of Grand Prix Minneapolis was about to begin.

“Humans did really well this tournament. There were four Humans decks in Top 8,” Alex said as he looked through Shota's decklist. Shota remained relatively quiet as he looked through Alex's decklist but did have to ask the judge what Angelic Purge did.

Shota ran over both his quarterfinal and semifinal opponents in roughly fifteen minutes total with his hyper-aggressive Red-White Humans list, featuring double-digit one-drops and Reckless Bushwhacker. Hometown hero Alex was piloting a white creature deck as well, but a more midrange Green-White Tokens list.


Alex Johnson

Shota was the higher seed and elected to play first. Both players wished each other good luck and drew their opening hands. “I keep,” said Shota.

“Mulligan,” said Alex as he threw his hand back into his deck. He was happy with his hand of six cards and scryed a card to the top.

An Expedition Envoy and a Dragon Hunter started things off for Shota while Alex summoned a Hangarback Walker to stop the 2/1 beatdowns. Shota missed his second land drop and had no choice but to turn his guys sideways and continue to play one-drops. Alex happily traded his Walker for one of the 2/1s and created a Thopter token. He was going to need all the blockers he could get.

Alex played a second Hangarback Walker for one while Shota continued to play one-drops and not play lands. With Alex having two blockers on the battlefield, Shota had to pass the turn without attacking. Town Gossipmonger transformed, forcing the attack, and Alex happily blocked with Hangarback Walker. Dromoka's Command caused the Walker to fight and trade with the transformed Town Gossipmonger, and three more Thopter tokens were created on Alex's side.

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar came down for Alex, and Shota was falling further and further behind. He drew a card for his turn, but it was not the second land he was looking for and he scooped up his cards and shuffled up for Game 2.

Alex Johnson - 1, Shota Takao - 0

“You're going to play first correct?” asked Alex. “Yep.” Players took some time to sideboard and randomize their decks, and after they drew opening hands, Shota quickly took a mulligan while Alex kept his seven.

Shota found a six-card hand he was happy with, and after a scry to the top the players were on to Game 2.


Shota Takao

Shota began the game with a Kytheon, Hero of Akros into a Thraben Inspector while Alex cast a Declaration in Stone to remove the legendary creature. Thalia's Lieutenant pumped the Inspector in an attempt to get in some early beatdown, but Alex had a second Declaration to take care of it.

Abbot of Keral keep revealed an uncastable Silkwrap off the top of Shota's deck, and the beats continued, threatening Alex's life total. However, Alex was able to turn the corner on turn four by playing a Sylvan Advocate and then a Dromoka's Command to pump the Advocate and fight the Abbot. With a 3/4 blocker in play, the attacks came to a halt for Shota.

Alex's follow-up was a second Sylvan Advocate, which gave him an incentive to start attacking. All Shota could do was play a fifth land and pass the turn. Alex had yet another Dromoka's Command to fight Shota's last creature, but Shota had Stasis Snare to take out the target of the fight spell. However, Alex had Dromoka's Command number three, this time to force Shota to sacrifice an enchantment with the Stasis Snare trigger on the stack. With the Snare gone, the target for the first Dromoka's Command was never removed, and the fight spell resolved, taking out Shota's final creature.

Alex's board state was two copies of Sylvan Advocate, one with a +1/+1 counter and another with two +1/+1 counters, while Shota had a board of nothing but lands. Shota had gotten into a position where he was forced to chump block with every creature he played. Eventually a sixth land came down for Alex, pumping the Sylvan Advocates, and after a few more attacks Alex had won the game.


Alexander Johnson defeats Shota Takao 2-0 and is your Grand Prix Minneapolis 2016 Champion!

Latest Event Coverage Articles

July 15, 2019

Grand Prix Detroit 2019 Final Standings by, Wizards of the Coast

Rank Player Points Prize Money 1 Bellis, Ben [US] 37 $7,000 2 Dery, Jonathan [CA] 37 $3,500 3 Moazen-Sayad, Pedram [CA] 39 $1,750 4 Kaplan, ...

Learn More

July 15, 2019

Grand Prix Krakow 2019 Final Standings by, Wizards of the Coast

Rank Player Points Prize Money 1 Bjornerud, Sveinung [NO] 39 $6,000 2 Vanek, Jiri [CZ] 39 $3,000 3 Maurer, Tobias [DE] 37 $1,500 4 Reiter, V...

Learn More

Articles

Articles

Event Coverage Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All

We use cookies on this site to personalize content and ads, provide social media features and analyze web traffic. By clicking YES, you are consenting for us to set cookies. (Learn more about cookies)

No, I want to find out more