Quarterfinals: Yuuki Ichikawa (Abzan Control) vs. Yang Dehua (Green Red Devotion)

Posted in GRAND PRIX SHANGHAI 2015 on May 17, 2015

By Chapman Sim

Platinum Pro Yuuki Ichikawa is playing in his third Grand Prix Top 8. Yang Dehua was playing in his first. This matchup promised to be rather exciting. Both decks had great bombs and an excellent end game. Who would prevail? Let's find out!

Game 1

Yang had a great start, leading with Elvish Mystic and Courser of Kruphix. Ichikawa replied with Satyr Wayfinder and Courser of Kruphix of his own.

When Yang presented Ashcloud Phoenix, Ichikawa had Abzan Charm to send it away.

However, Ichikawa's deck offered little pressure and that gave Yang a lot of time to set up his late game plays. Ichikawa used Thoughtseize to bin Dragonlord Atarka, but Yang was ready with another copy.

Yang Dehua

That wasn't quite the end of it though. Despite his board being decimated by Atarka, Ichikawa had another Abzan Charm to exile it. However, Yang had Haven of the Spirit Dragon to resurrect Dragonlord Atarka (the copy that was discarded with Thoughtseize) and Ichikawa was quickly put on a fast clock.

Yuuki Ichikawa 0 – Yang Dehua 1

Game 2

The second game was over in a matter of minutes. Yang was forced to mulligan to five, and stopped drawing lands after his second one. He did have Sylvan Caryatid, but unfortunately, many of the cards in his hand cost four or more.

Ichikawa quickly equalled the score with a pair of Courser of Kruphix and Den Protector.

Yuuki Ichikawa 1 – Yang Dehua 1

Game 3

Despite having a healthy number of mana dorks in his deck, Yang was forced to pass his second turn with none of the accelerants in his hand. This was great news for Ichikawa, who used the breathing room to play a trio of tapped lands, getting his mana issues out of the way.

The first spell of the rubber game was from Yang, a turn-four Thunderbreak Regent. Ichikawa wasted no time, pointing Ultimate Price at it.

Yuuki Ichikawa

Ichikawa then summoned Courser of Kruphix, while Yang replied with Xenagos, the Reveler. A timely Dromoka's Command turned the 2/4 into a 3/5 and fought with the opposing satyr. That cleared the path to send Xenagos to his death.

A second Thunderbreak Regent met the same fate as the first, but Yang had Outpost Siege in an attempt to win the attrition war. Ichikawa didn't want to wait to be buried by the incoming card advantage. To play the long game would be suicide.

He wasted no time expending a pair of Abzan Charms to put four +1/+1 counters on his Courser of Kruphix and Deathmist Raptor.Then, Den Protector returned Abzan Charm from the yard, adding yet another two +1/+1 counters to his team.

Yang was unable to deal with the pair of fatties and extended his hand.

Yuuki Ichikawa 2 – Yang Dehua 1

Yuuki Ichikawa defeats Yang Dehua and advances to the semifinals.