Round 11 Feature Match: Kazuaki Fujimura (Abzan Control) vs. Lin Yang (Red Green Devotion)

Posted in GRAND PRIX SHANGHAI 2015 on May 17, 2015

By Ben Swartz

Coming into the second day of Grand Prix Shanghai there were three players sitting with a perfect 9-0 record. After round 10 there were only two: Kazuaki Fujimura and Lin Yang. By the end of this round, there will be only one.

Grand Prix Shizuoka top 8 competitor, Kazuaki Fujimura, was looking to improve on his previous 5th place finish this weekend. Throughout yesterday, Fujimura could be seen with a smile on his face crushing opponent after opponent with Siege Rhinos. Different from the popular Abzan aggro decks, Fujimura opted for a more controlling version of Abzan, featuring 3 maindeck copies of Elspeth, Sun's Champion along with Crux of Fate and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.

His opponent, Lin Yang, ran the tables thus far with Red Green Devotion. Similar to the deck Hugo Diniz used last weekend in Paris, Lin was running 4 maindeck copies of See the Unwritten. This allowed him to sneak early Dragonlord Atarkas and Hornet Queens into play thus far in Shanghai.

The Games

Both players had an ideal start for their decks. Fujimura started with a Fleecemane Lion and Thoughtseize while Lin began with Sylvan Caryatid and Courser of Kruphix.

Fujimura's Thoughtseize revealed a hand full of threats; he opted to take a Whisperwood Elemental, leaving a Dragonlord Atarka behind.

Lin's Courser of Kruphix quickly found him a number of lands, and, while Fujimura had a Den Protector to buy back Thoughtseize, Lin drew a second copy of his dragonlord.


Lin Yang

It didn't take long for Lin to cast Dragonlord Atarka. When he did, he wiped Fujimura's board. Not having an answer to the 8/8, Fujimura conceded one turn later.

Lin 1 - 0 Fujimura

In game 2, Lin started with a risky keep: a two land hand with a lot of power, but only Rattleclaw Mystic as a third mana source.

Fujimura punished Lin's decision on the first turn by casting Thoughtseize and removing the Rattleclaw Mystic.

Without access to another mana source, Fujumura had free reign over Lin. He began with a Courser of Kruphix and quickly cast a pair of Siege Rhinos.


Kazuaki Fujimura

When Lin was unable to find a third land, Fujimura's army of rhinos quickly sent the match to a third game.

Lin 1 - 1 Fujimura

The third game began without much excitement; Fujimura began with a Fleecemane Lion while Lin had a pair of Courser of Kruphixes. Fujimura had answers for both, however, with a pair of Ultimate Prices.

Lin's first big play of the game was a Nissa, Worldwaker. Fujimura made his Fleecemane Lion Monstrous and attacked away the planeswalker, but it left behind a 4/4 Mountain.

Having this 4/4 was really important for Lin. On the following turn he cast a Ferocious See the Unwritten, which netted him a Hornet Queen and Dragonlord Dromoka.

Fujimura found an answer for the Dragonlord in the form of Elspeth, Sun's Champion, but Lin untapped and cast another Hornet Queen.

Staring down a pair of Hornet Queens and a board full of insects, Fujimura had one turn to find an answer. He used a pair of Abzan Charms to draw some cards and eventually found a Bile Blight. He used it to wipe away the insects.

Lin continued the pressure with a Whisperwood Elemental on the following turn. Fujimura was able to find a Crux of Fate, but it wasn't enough. Thanks to Whisperwood Elemental, Lin was able to replace his board with an army of 2/2s and attack for the win on the following turn.

Lin Yang defeats Kazuaki Fujimura 2-1 and remains undefeated at Grand Prix Shanghai!