It would be hard-pressed for anyone to find a better featured match than this one. In fact, it was probably impossible this weekend.
With 7 Pro Tour Top 8s and 27 Grand Prix Top 8s between them, (3) Yuuya Watanabe and (4) Lee Shi Tian were the highest ranked players in the room, and also the players with the most Pro Points. Both of them are tied at 56, the frontrunners to represent Asia Pacific at the World Championships.
However, what was really at stake was a shot at being the Player of the Year. Both players have yet to utilize their Grand Prix Cap fully and any points they pick up today would increase their point total at full face value. With Eric Froelich at 60 and Sam black at 57, either of these players could steal the title and it starts with this match.
Both players have chosen the fastest decks in the format, but anyone who's been paying attention to the world of Modern should know that Lee's advantaged.
Grishoalbrand is potentially faster than Amulet Bloom and also had the full quad of Blood Moon in the sideboard.
Let's see if that will become Watanabe's downfall.
Watanabe pondered hard about his initial seven and decided it was acceptable. After all, it contained Amulet of Vigor, which he cast off a turn one Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion. He didn't have Summer Bloom to go bonkers though.
Both players played each turn as though it was their last and neither player knew for sure if they would live to see their next turn.
He tried to end the game there with Summoner's Pact but Lee wasn't going to scoop just like that. Lee resolved his free copy of Summoner's Pact to find Borborygmos Enraged, Watanabe used his copy to find Azusa, Lost but Seeking.
On Lee's upkeep, he tapped all his three lands for mana, and added a 4th mana with Simian Spirit Guide. Manamorphose converted a red mana into green, allowing him to pay for Summoner's Pact to stay alive.
Yuuya Watanabe fails to kill with Hive Mind trickery and goes with brute force instead.
Yuuya Watanabe 1 – Lee Shi Tian 0
Lee fanned opened his cards and pretty much decided to keep his hand instantly. Watanabe went down to six, and soon found out why Lee had been so nonchalant.
With Watanabe totally locked out, Lee proceeded to cast Desperate Ritual to resolve Through the Breach. Worldspine Wurm rushed into the red zone and when it bit the dust at the end of the turn, that left three 5/5 Wurms in its wake.
Watanabe of course had no solution and scooped up his cards without ever casting a single card in his hand, nor using a single mana all game.
Yuuya Watanabe 1 – Lee Shi Tian 1
Watanabe led with Amulet of Vigor, and Lee started to shake his head profusely. He had Blood Moon and Simian Spirit Guide in his hand, but might not even survive to cast it. Using his first turn to cast Faithless Looting, he passed his turn after discarding Griselbrand.
Lee: "Second turn kill?"
Watanabe: "Maybe not."
That was the perfect answer to Lee's Blood Moon, which he had a Forest to cast it off with. Watanabe bounced Tolaria West with Boros Garrison and transmuted it for Summoner's Pact, threatening the win next turn.
Lee was ready with a replacement copy of Blood Moon, cheating death once again. Watanabe once again sank into the rut, immobilized.
Lee Shi Tian's trusty Blood Moons paves the way for an unobstructed victory.
Flashing back Faithless Looting, Lee found Goryo's Vengeance which allowed him to reanimate Griselbrand. Going through the motions of drawing almost his entire deck by chaining Nourishing Shoals, Watanabe eventually extended his hand while lamenting how bad a matchup this actually was.
Yuuya Watanabe 1 – Lee Shi Tian 2
Lee Shi Tian defeats Yuuya Watanabe and moves on to 5-0.