Posted in GRAND PRIX SHIZUOKA 2015 on January 10, 2015

By Josh Bennett

Naoto Yoshimura dethroned the previous King of the Hill in Round 6, and is looking to “pull a Mengucci” and ride the Royal Chair to a Top 8 berth. Standing in his way is Tadahiko Ueda, hoping to earn himself the title of Kingslayer.

The Matchup

Both players have slow decks looking to grind out advantage and seize the endgame. Yoshimura’s 5-color special has to be given the edge thanks to its stable manabase and sheer number of haymakers. Ueda’s more “fair” deck will have to capitalize early.

The Games

Yoshimura made his polychromatic bent known early after rolling out Opulent Palace, Rugged Highlands, and a basic plains. Ueda brought out an Ainok Bond-kin, then grew it to a 3/2 and played a late Disowned Ancestor. Yoshimura got out a morph and then Sultai Soothsayer while Ueda worked to make his crew bigger.

Tadahiko Ueda

Facing little pressure and already ahead on cards, Yoshimura went big with Ivorytusk Fortress. Ueda did little to hide his dismay. He still had nothing to contribute to the board. He mentally crossed his fingers that the 2/6 Ancestor would hold long enough for him to draw into action. It was all in vain, of course. Yoshimura cleared it out of the way with Savage Punch and swung in with his whole team, unmorphing Pinewalker with the last of his mana. Ueda drew, then revealed a hand completely choked with lands.

Yoshimura 1 – Ueda 0

In the second game, Udea got ahead in an early morph skirmish when Feat of Resistance let his mystery creature overcome what turned out to be a Sage-Eye Harrier. Yoshimura simply untapped and cast Mardu Charm to crush whatever momentary joy Ueda had. Ueda shook it off and cast Rakshasa’s Secret.

Naoto Yoshimura

Now, I don’t know about you, but if my opponent were to discard Debilitating Injury and Bitter Revelation from a five-card hand in that spot – sitting on four lands and all five colors – I would probably get up from the table and leave the tournament immediately. There’s no way I have the mental fortitude to endure what is sure to be a beating of the highest order. Ueda is made of stronger stuff than I. He watched as Yoshimura brought out Ivorytusk Fortress for an encore, this time following up with Sultai Soothsayer and Siege Rhino. Dazzling Ramparts bought him a little time, but again his deck failed him.

Naoto Yoshimura defeats Tadahiko Ueda 2 – 0

The Aftermath

Yoshimura couldn’t resist turning over the cards left in his hand: Butcher of the Horde and Sagu Mauler. All the colors of the beatdown rainbow.

He also showed his extensive sideboarding. He had taken out most of his deck’s early plays, and in their place added Kill Shot, Mardu Charm, Bitter Revelation and Flying Crane Technique, further tuning his deck towards the long game. Ueda could only shake his head at the overwhelming power in Yoshimura’s deck.