Round 13 Feature Match: Yoshihiko Ikawa (Dragon Devotion) vs Park Jun Young (Abzan)

Posted in GRAND PRIX SHANGHAI 2015 on May 17, 2015

By Ben Swartz

Round 13 pitted two magic professionals against each other. On one side sat Park Jun Young, 4 time Grand Prix top 8 competitor. Park was looking to make that 5 this weekend in Shanghai. He had made it thus far with a relatively standard Abzan Aggro deck. There's a reason why the deck is so popular; it has the tools to deal with nearly everything. Sitting with two losses, his back was against the wall needing a few more wins to make top 8.

His opponent, Yoshihiko Ikawa, also sat with two losses. It had been nearly 5 years since his last premier event top 8 when he got 7th place at Pro Tour San Diego. Ikawa brought a creation of his own this weekend--a deck he dubs Dragon Devotion. Similar to the Dragon Metamorph deck that Makihito Mihara and Yuuya Watanabe are playing this weekend, Ikawa opted to play cards like Rattleclaw Mystic and Nykthos in order to power out his many colors of dragons. With the solid early game of Satyr Wayfinder and Deathmist Raptor, Ikawa looked poised to take on Park's Abzan deck.

The Games

Play started slowly between the two players. Park played Fleecemane Lion into Wingmate Roc, while Ikawa's first major play was a Dragonlord Silumgar. Silumgar took control of the Roc for a moment, but Park had an answer prepared: Abzan Charm.

Things went back and forth between the two players: Ikawa cast Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and used it to wipe the battlefield; Park used Hero's Demise to remove the planeswalker and followed it up with another Wingmate Roc. Ikawa then used his Haven of the Spirit Dragon to return Ugin back to his hand and used it once again to wipe the board.

Park's big finish was a Siege Rhino. On the following turn, he attacked Ugin with it. When Ikawa double blocked with his newly minted Deathmist Raptor and Sylvan Caryatid, Park used Bile Blight to two-for-on the Japanese Pro.

Park Jun Young

Still with Ugin in play, Ikawa cast Whisperwood Elemental. When Park used his final removal spell to deal with the elemental, Ikawa untapped and cast a second copy of Silumgar, stealing the Rhino and taking the first game.

Ikawa 1 - 0 Park

Ikawa had a turbocharged start in the second game: he chained Rattleclaw Mystic into Whisperwood Elemental on the third turn. Unphased, Park had an Abzan Charm for the Elemental.

Ikawa got lucky--his Manifested card was a Deathmist Raptor. He used Self-Inflicted Wound to take out Park's blocker and dropped him to 6.

Yoshihiko Ikawa

Park had a Siege Rhino and used it to go back up to 9, but Ikawa untapped, and, thanks to Nykthos, cast a Dragonlord Atarka. Atarka removed the Siege Rhino and sealed the match for Ikawa.

Yoshihiko Ikawa defeats Park Jun Young 2-0!