Day 1 Highlights of Grand Prix Shizuoka (Standard) 2018

Posted in Event Coverage on December 2, 2018

By Chapman Sim

This weekend, a whooping 1960 players took part in the Standard Grand Prix. After eight rounds of Standard Constructed, the field was whittled away to just a fraction of that. With the Legacy Grand Prix in the books, let's take a quick tour of the other half of the room!

Glory For Your Guild

This weekend, Grand Prix goers were entertained with a thematic event which gave them a greater sense of identity on the plane of Ravnica. Big Magic, the tournament organizers, came up with a four-day event which encouraged players to join one of the five guilds in Guilds of Ravnica and fight for the glory of their guild.

To participate, all you needed to do was to register for the event by paying a mere 500¥ ($4.40). You'll receive a Guilds of Ravnica booster pack, which you'll have to open immediately. Since every Guilds of Ravnica booster pack contained at least one Guildgate, it would determine your allegiance for the day! For example, if you received Izzet Guildgate in your booster pack, you'll earn an Izzet pin badge, and you would be aligned to Izzet League for the entire day.

As a newly-recruited minion, what do you need to do to help your guild "win the day”? Well, it turns out there're a total of ten missions you need to fulfill and you'll gain points for your guild as you unlock these challenges one by one.

Interestingly, the mighty Selesnya Conclave won on both Thursday and Friday, and I was even told that Selesnya consisted of the fewest members on Friday! Trostani must be so proud!

What's The Best Standard Deck?

It's been a while since this question was that hard to answer. With so many different viable archetypes in the healthiest metagame in years, players were spoiled with choice when it came to their deck choice. Sometimes, it only boiled down to which cards you like the most, or which colors you liked the most. We sought out two Pro Tour Champions in the room for their opinions.

Pro Tour 25th Anniversary Champion, Gregory Orange.

For Pro Tour 25th Anniversary Champion and Platinum Pro, Gregory Orange, he did not try to conceal his love for Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. "I'm playing Jeskai Control today, because of, well, Teferi," he declared as-a-matter-of-factly, "I have been playing Jeskai Control since the beginning of the season and it's a great deck."

On the other side of the spectrum, Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar Champion Kazuyuki Takimura had different thoughts. Not wanting to play even a single white card, blue card, or red card, he opted for Black-Green Explore this weekend.

Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar Champion, Kazuyuki Takimura.

"The deck is probably the best deck in the format. It has a strong early game, and it also has a strong late game. It's good early, and it's good late, so the flexibility and power is there." When asked what his best and worst matchups were, he pondered for a bit before replying "White Weenie” and "Mono-Blue Aggro".

"The white decks are quite easy to beat for my deck because I have a lot of creatures and a lot of value. They can't attack me for much in the early game, and their late game is not as strong as mine. On the other hand, Yukuhiro's deck (referring to the one with Tempest Djinns in them) is horrible for me. I can't block flyers!"

It's interesting that two Pro Tour Champions have such a different opinion on what the best deck in the format is. In addition to Jeskai Control and Black-Green variants, there was also Boros Angels, Izzet Drakes, Mono-Red Aggro (oooh, don't you love Experimental Frenzy?), Selesnya Tokens, and even Esper Control!

Both Pro Tour Champions were 6-1 going into the final round of the day, meaning that they were locked up for Day 2, and were well-poised to make the Top 8. What decks will make it through to Day 2 and what will the metagame look like tomorrow? We'll have to wait and see!

The 8-0 Players

Day 1 of Grand Prix Shizuoka (Standard) 2018 is done! A whopping 1960 hopefuls came to Shizuoka to battle it out in Standard Constructed. However, only 367 players will return tomorrow, including 13 undefeated 8-0 players!

The thirteen players with unblemished records were Kosuke Nakamoto, Toshiki Okai, Liu Xuan, Kazuhiro Noine, Masayasu Tanahashi, Ryosuke Urase, Uta Suzuki, Nobuaki Azuma, Taiga Tsujikawa, Syuusuke Yamada, Hiroaki Nuruki, Shimazu Yoshiko, and Takuya Natsume!

Close behind were Grand Prix Chiba 2016 Champion Kentaro Yamamoto, Pro Tour 25th Anniversary Champion Gregory Orange, reigning China National Champion Liu Yuchen, former Philippines National Champion Richmond Tan, former Japan National Champion Kenta Harane, as well as Pro Tour Hall of Famer Yuuya Watanabe, all at impressive 7-1 records!

Be back tomorrow to catch all the updates as we crown a second Grand Prix Champion this weekend! Have a good night!

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