SEMIFINALS: BO SUN VS. CHIHIRO KAWADA

Posted in GRAND PRIX SHIZUOKA 2015 on January 11, 2015

By Josh Bennett

Following a brief heart attack where Bo mistakenly believed someone had walked off with his sideboard they were ready to get down to business. Bo was first on the board with Jeskai Student into morph. Kawada matched it with one of his own. Bo swung in and got through for three, then passed with four mana open, threatening all kinds of mischief. Kawada hit back for two, then summoned Ainok Bond-Kin and tried to off Bo’s morph with Debilitating Injury. Bo paid two to flip up Sidisi’s Pet.


Chihiro Kawada (left) and Bo Sun (right)

Bo played his fifth land and passed. Kawada attacked with his morph and showed Mardu Hordechief to reveal it as Watcher of the Roost. Bo took care of it with Kill Shot. Kawada played out his Hordechief and outlasted his Bond-Kin. Again Bo simply played a land and passed. Kawada sent the Hordechief in alone. Jeskai Student stepped in front and they bounced off each other. Kawada brought out a second Hordechief and a morph. His army was getting serious. Bo’s second Jeskai Student didn’t seem up to the task.

Kawada tested the waters with an attack. He sent what was now a 5/4 Bond-Kin, his two Hordechiefs and the morph. When Bo simply chumped the Bond-Kin with his crippled Pet and pushed the two Students in front of the Hordechiefs it seemd like good news for Kawada. He dealt two, then tapped out for a face-up Witness of the Ages.

Bo was through playing possum. The dead Pet let him delve out the mighty Necropolis Fiend. That mattered little to Kawada, who tapped out for a hefty Briber’s Purse and bought it off for a turn. His whole crew swung in and Bo started going over his unappealing options. He chose to kill off the 1/1 tokens and fall to just two life. Naturally, there were no miracles waiting for him on top of his deck.

Kawada 1 – Bo 0

Kawada’s deck had a little fun at his expense in game two, serving up plenty of unnecessary swamps. It was a morph battle, two on each side, but Bo had the initiative. On his fifth turn he swung in for four, then passed with five mana open. Kawada openly begged his deck for a plains, but to no avail. He turned Watcher of the Roost face-up and hit for two, then played a forest and passed.


Chihiro Kawada

Bo tapped five at the end of his turn to unmorph Ponyback Brigade, then untapped and swung all-out. Kawada’s morph stepped in front of a goblin, and Bo revealed that his other morph was none other than the Master of Pearls. The spectators obliged him with an appreciative chorus of oohs. Kawada suggested they move directly to game three.

Kawada 1 – Bo 1

Bo couldn’t keep his opening seven for the deciding game. He didn’t seem enthused about his six, but kept.

Kawada led out with Mardu Hateblade. Bo answered with Disowned Ancestor. Swamp from Kawada forced through a point. Bo played Ruthless Ripper face-up. Kawada wasn’t keen to make a trade, and so simply summoned Ainok Bond-Kin and passed. Bo played his third land and dropped a morph. A fourth land off the top let Kawada summon Mer-Ek Nightblade.

Just as it looked like things were about to get out of hand, Bo knocked Kawada down a peg with a Barrage of Boulders, leaving him with just the Nightblade. He even got to get in for two with his morph. Kawada rebuilt, first with Sage-Eye Harrier, and then when Bo took a turn off to make Mardu Banner, a very threatening Armament Corps, turning his bird into a 3/7. Bo hit for one with his Ripper and added a face-up Krumar Bond-Kin to his side of things.

Kawada hit for another three in the air, then summoned Alabaster Kirin and outlasted his Mer-Ek Nightblade. Bo untapped and played Crackling Doom, clearing out the Armament Corps. That left just the Kirin on defense, so he swung in with his Ripper, morph and 5/3. After a brief consideration Kawada blocked the morph with his Kirin. Bo flipped up Sidisi’s Pet. Kawada was down to just eight. He returned fire for five in the air, dropping Bo to eleven. He summoned Unyielding Krumar and passed with two mana open and one card in hand.

Bo frowned at the board. After some thinking he attacked with Ruthless Ripper and Sidisi’s Pet. Kawada blocked the Pet with the Nighblade, killing it. That was all according to Bo’s plan as he tapped out for Necropolis Fiend. Kawada decided it was time to put him to the test. He tapped four for Rush of Battle and turned all his creatures sideways. Bo quickly put his 5/3 in front of the Nightblade and his 0/4 Disowned Ancestor blocked Unyielding Krumar. Now he had a choice: He could take nine and fall to one, or he could risk his Necropolis Fiend to take out the Kirin. Kawada had just one card in hand and two mana left. Bo chose to block and held his breath. Kawada had no effects.

The results were two dead creatures on either side and ten life for Kawada. Bo was down to just six. He shored up his ground defenses with a face-up Ponyback Brigade and snuck in another point with Ruthless Ripper. Kawada drew and immediately sent his 3/7 flier. Bo went into the tank. What had Kawada drawn? What was the play? He let it through, falling to three. Kawada passed.


Bo Sun

Bo sent in his Ripper and Ponyback Brigade. Kawada’s Krumar killed the 2/2, giving Bo a third card in his graveyard, more fuel for his Necropolis Fiend. However, Kawada played Debilitating Injury on it. He hit with his flier, forcing Bo to block and spend a card from his graveyard just to stay alive. Bo untapped and couldn’t resist a little laugh. He had drawn Bitter Revelation, leaving him at just one life but giving him valuable weapons.

Kawada played a face-up Witness of the Ages. Bo paid full price for a Sultai Scavenger. Kawada plucked Briber’s Purse, and after a moment’s consideration, played it for the full six. He played a land and passed, empty-handed. He was inches from victory, but the Necropolis Fiend’s ability meant that Bo could hold the line. Bo swung in for three with his Sultai Scavenger. It went unblocked, and he played a second one to keep him safe. Kawada drew and passed back.

Now Bo was rolling. He hit with both Scavengers. Kawada took it and fell to just five life. Kawada passed another blank turn. Bo could sense victory. Bring Low at end of turn took care of the Krumar, and the Necropolis Fiend spent most of his graveyard to kill the 4/4 Witness. Bo untapped and looked like he was going to swing out with the whole team, but balked when Briber’s Purse forced one Scavenger to stay home. He decided to play it slow and safe. He got in for one with the Ripper. Kawada went to four. Another empty turn for Kawada. Another attack with the Ripper. Kawada found no help, and this time Bo was happy to swing for lethal.

Bo Sun defeats Chihiro Kawada 2-1