Posted in GRAND PRIX SHANGHAI 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on October 5, 2014

By Chapman Sim

Both players are playing in their first Grand Prix Top 8 and were clearly very excited to qualify for Pro Tour Fate Reforged. Zhang Meng Qiu is one of the best from Hong Kong, while Yu Yin has a National Champion title under his belt. After a little friendly banter, both players commenced their match.

Game 1

Zhang opened with Heir of the Wilds and used Debilitating Injury to kill an opposing Mardu Hateblade. He refilled his hand and filled his graveyard with Bitter Revelation. Scout the Borders added five additional cards to his graveyard, allowing him to cast Hooting Mandrills (for the bargain price of 2 mana) on Turn 5.

Yu could only manage Disowned Ancestor and a morph, but he buffed his army with Abzan Ascendancy. It looked like he was trailing behind, until he added Siege Rhino to the board.

Zhang tried to find a solution with a second Bitter Revelation, and it seemed like he was in trouble. Deprived of any blue mana, it seemed like he was unable to deploy some of the powerful spells in his hand. He found Murderous Cut to deal with the rhino, but Ivorytusk Fortress was too much for Zhang to handle and he bowed down to the mighty elephant.

Yu Yin wields the power of Abzan Ascendancy and Ivorytusk Fortress.

Yu Yin 1 – Zhang Meng Qiu 0

Game 2

Zhang opted to play once again and tried to apply pressure quickly. Heir of the Wilds and Rakshasa Deathdealer were held back by Yu's Kheru Bloodsucker, Ainok Bond-Kin and Salt Road Patrol.

But that didn't prevent Abomination of Gudul from flying in. Zhang triggered its ability and agonized over whether to discard Throttle, Murderous Cut or Dead Drop. He eventually pitched the most expensive spell, using Throttle to kill Abzan Guide, leaving up a single mana just in case he needed to cast Murderous Cut.

It turns out that he didn't need it at all. With the biggest threat removed and the board gummed up, it was the mighty Abomination of Gudul that went all the way.

Zhang equalizes the score with Abomination of Gudul and his powerful Delve cards.

Game 3

Yu offered to let Zhang play first despite losing the previous game. It turned out to be a good decision, since Zhang was forced to mulligan down to 5.

Yu was relentless, curving out nicely with Highland Game, Mardu Skullhunter and Siege Rhino. Fortunately, Zhang had Disowned Ancestor to buy him a little time while he Scouted the Borders twice.

He found Rakshasa Deathdealer and Hooting Mandrills but Yu was beating him down with Gurmag Swiftwing and Sultai Scavenger.

The duo dealt 4 damage.

And then 4 more.

Another 4.

A topdecked Awaken the Bear shortened the clock and Zhang extended his hand.

Yu Yin 2 – Zhang Meng Qiu 1

Yu Yin defeats Zhang Meng Qiu and advances to the semifinals!

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