Round 5 Feature Match: Yuuya Watanabe (Amulet Bloom) vs. Lee Shi Tian (Grishoalbrand)

Posted in GRAND PRIX SINGAPORE 2015 on June 27, 2015

By Chapman Sim

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.

Game One

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.

Thereafter, he used Khalni Garden to get himself an irrelevant Plant token. Thanks to Amulet of Vigor, he was able to untap the land to cast Ancient Stirrings for Vesuva.

Lee had a rather poor start and could only manage Faithless Looting and double Night's Whisper on his first three turns, still failing to find Goryo's Vengeance.

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.

However, with Lee not having the kill, Watanabe turned up the heat with a second Amulet of Vigor. That allowed him to put into play Simic Growth Chamber, untapping it twice to power out Hive Mind.

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.

However, Watanabe simply untapped the next turn and cast Summer Bloom to generate sufficient mana for a pair of Primeval Titans.

Yuuya Watanabe 1 – Lee Shi Tian 0

Game Two

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.

Pitching a pair of Simian Spirit Guide, he threw out Blood Moon on his very first turn, causing the audience and Watanabe to wince.

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

Game Three

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."

Watanabe's hand was weak, consisting only Azusa, Lost but Seeking and lands, plus a very crucial Seal of Primordium.

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.