Semifinals: Ryoichi Tamada (Bant Company) vs. Petr Sochůrek (Grixis)

Posted in Event Coverage on March 20, 2016

By Tobi Henke

In this match, Japan's Ryoichi Tamada met Petr Sochůrek of the Czech Republic. Both were no stranger to the feature match area, with one previous Grand Prix Top 8 apiece and a finals appearance at Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar for Tamada.

Tamada had brought a green-white-blue aggrocontrol deck based on Collected Company, while Sochůrek was playing a control deck with all the best cards in blue, black, and red.

The Games

Tamada kept an opening hand of two lands, Den Protector, Eldrazi Skyspawner, and three copies of Collected Company. Sochůrek got to see what was coming thanks to Transgress the Mind, but quickly realized that exiling one Collected Company wouldn't make all that much of a difference here.

Ryoichi Tamada

So Sochůrek devised a different plan. He took Eldrazi Skyspawner instead and soon began to pressure Tamada with an early Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. The Vampire Warrior did a lot: deal damage, gain life, make sure a Deathmist Raptor would never come back from the grave, spit out a Zombie. Eventually, it was returned to Sochůrek's hand via Reflector Mage, then it lost a fight with Sylvan Advocate under Dromoka's Command. But the damage was done.

A Collected Company which only came up with a single Reflector Mage on an at the time empty board and a second Kalitas sealed Tamada's fate.

Ryoichi Tamada 0-1 Petr Sochůrek

Despite playing first in the second game, Tamada was only able to cast his Jace, Vryn's Prodigy second. Also, whereas he had had tapped lands and lost his Jace before long, Sochůrek had sacrificed fetch lands and was able to transform his own well on time.

Petr Sochůrek

Sochůrek had the Jace advantage on his side, but Tamada, through careful timing of various Valorous Stances and Disdainful Strokes managed to keep Sochůrek's threats at bay. Tamada wasn't really able to muster much of an offense, though, especially when Languish was forced past his counter with Dispel.

But, just when I was wondering whether sideboarding all of these Disdainful Strokes might have forced Tamada to take out some copies of Collected Company, the deck's namesake card finally made its first appearance, found a pair of Sylvan Advocates, and the tide began to shift. Attacks with Lumbering Falls killed off both Jace, Telepath Unbound as well as Chandra, Flamecaller, and suddenly Tamada and Sochůrek were back on equal footing. Meaning: both had but one card left in hand and only lands on the battlefield.

The assembled crowd held its collective breath.

Sochůrek cast Dig Through Time. Tamada cast his fourth Disdainful Stroke. Sochůrek drew and revealed another Dig Through Time, eliciting a chuckle from Tamada. Dig led to another Chandra and Chandra ended the game in short order.

Ryoichi Tamada 0-2 Petr Sochůrek

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