At the end of the 15 rounds of swiss, only one player stood with an undefeated record: Xie Hao Chen. Ending with a 12-0-3 record, the student from Bejing ran the tables with his Green Red Devotion deck. His opponent, Hu Jin, also brought Green Red Devotion to Shanghai, but suffered a pair of losses in the swiss to make top 8. Both players made a good metagame choice this weekend. There were countless Abzan players here this weekend and the Green Red Devotion deck went over the top of them round after round. These two Green Red Devotion players found their way to the top--but only one can make it to the semifinals.
The first game between these Green Red Devotion decks started quietly. The first major play came in the form of a Whisperwood Elemental from Hu.
Xie Hao Chen
It took a little longer for Xie to get online, but, eventually, he got out a Nissa, Worldwaker and a Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Xie couldn't immediately use the Ugin to wipe the board as Hu had manifested too many creatures. After a couple of turns, Xie was able to remove Hu's face-down creatures and wipe the board with his Ugin.
With just the 4/4 lands that Nissa created left around after the board wipe, Xie took the first game.
Xie 1 - 0 Hu
The second game began with Whisperwood Elemental from both players. Each player followed it up with another big creature. Hu found a Dragonlord Atarka, but Xie had the counter in the form of Arbor Colossus.
In the time it took for Xie to deal with the Dragonlord, Whisperwood Elemental generated a number face-down creatures. Xie then added a second Whisperwood Elemental to the board only increasing the count of 2/2s.
Xie 1 - 1 Hu
Destroying the Nissa was key; Xie was holding an Ugin in his hand. If he had access to his Nissa, he would've been able to cast Ugin and punish Hu for overextending. Without either planeswalker, Xie succumbed to the 8/8 dragonlord a few turns later.
Hu Jin defeats Xie Hao Chen 2-1 and heads to the Semifinals!