Finals: Martin Dang (Red Aggro) vs. Shota Yasooka (Blue-Black Control)

更新日 on 2015年 4月 12日

By Craig Jones

We're down to the last match of Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir. There are only two players left. Martin Dang of Denmark is looking to add a Pro Tour trophy next to the one he won in Grand Prix Liverpool last month. Standing in his way is Shota Yasooka, who finally picked up a long overdue second Pro Tour Top 8 to go along with the team title he won in 2006.

The matchup is a clash of classic archetypes, as Dang's Red Aggro deck is pitted against Yasooka's Blue-Black Control. The red deck is normally considered to be the favorite—Dang won 2-0 when he and Yasooka played in an earlier round—but the control deck benefits more after sideboarding. That last part becomes more relevant as the final is best-of-five rather than best-of-three.

Would Martin Dang follow up his Grand Prix win with a Pro Tour title, or would Shota Yasooka win his second Pro Tour trophy?

The Games

Yasooka will need those extra games. As if going second against a deck as aggressive as Dang's was bad enough, after already going to five, Yasooka noticed he'd made a mistake resetting his sideboard. He received a warning, was forced to mulligan down to four after it had been corrected.

Dang was not in a merciful mood, as he raced out of the gates with Monastery Swiftspear on turn one and then followed up with a second as well as Zurgo Bellstriker on turn two. Yasooka had a Bile Blight to cut down the Swiftspears. Normally, that would be a good start against an aggressive red deck. Normally, Yasooka would expect to start with more than four cards.

The mulligans caught up with him, and he sat there helplessly as Dang finished him off with Zurgo and a hasty, repeatedly dashed-in Lightning Berserker over a few turns. A Wild Slash ended a short and extremely brutal first game.

Dang's deck is merciless.

Now it was time for the sideboard to come into play.

Or it might have, if Dang had drawn more than one land. A red deck can function off one land, but the problem is it slows the deck down enough for the control deck to be able to effectively trade with its more expensive one-for-one answers. Drown in Sorrow becomes even more effective, as it's more likely to undo multiple turns of plays. And if the red deck is slowed down too much, the opponent's much more powerful threats will have time to show up and take over the battlefield.

Icefall Regent followed by Dragonlord Silumgar did exactly that to tie the match at one each.

In the third game, Dang was back to the considerable advantage of being on the play. Again he opened with a pair of hasty Monastery Swiftspears. On turn three, he showed the power of Atarka's Command as he was able to smash Yasooka for 7 for the cheap cost of a red and green mana in combination with the Swiftspears (3 damage mode, +1/+1 mode to both Swiftspears, prowess triggers on both Swiftspears).

Yasooka was able to cast Drown in Sorrow on the following turn. This play was less effective now that Dang had already smashed off half his life total.

Dang kept up the pressure with a steady stream of Goblins from a Goblin Rabblemaster. Yasooka had an Icefall Regent to both keep the Rabblemaster tapped down and stem some of the bleeding. It was only stemming some of the bleeding. The Dragon ate an attacker every turn, but that was no loss to Dang. He had plenty more Goblins and other expendable dash critters. Yasooka needed something to help his dragon. He didn't find it, and enough little red critters were able to slip past to whittle his life down to zero.

Yasooka looks for ways to stave off an early demise so that his blue and black spells can take over the late game.

For Game 4, Yasooka was back on the play. This meant he'd at least have a chance to cast Drown in Sorrow before half of his life was bashed off.

Yasooka didn't have a Bile Blight or even a Drown in Sorrow on turn three. What he had was even worse for Dang, as he dropped a backbreaker of a play on turn four: Virulent Plague. This singleton nasty from Yasooka's sideboard undid Dang's last turn of Hordeling Outburst, as well as any future draws of that and Dragon Fodder. It also changes Goblin Rabblemaster from a nightmare Goblin factory to an extremely unexciting Gray Ogre.

Winning from here would be very difficult for Dang.

Or maybe not.

Before the Plague had hit, Dang had already been nibbling away with a turn one Swiftspear and turn two Eidolon of the Great Revel. Yasooka had dealt with the Eidolon, but the Swiftspear was still around and another attack knocked Yasooka down to 8 life.

Yasooka passed the turn with only lands in play. Dang aimed a Lightning Strike at Yasooka's head at the end of the turn, and then untapped and went for Atarka's Command, doing a further 3 points of damage and pumping the Swiftspear large enough to threaten lethal if Yasooka didn't have an answer.

He didn't, turning over the last card in his to reveal yet another land. Atarka's Command had done it again, giving the game, match and Pro Tour title to Martin Dang!

Congratulations to Martin Dang, Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir Champion!

Martin Dang's Red Aggro Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir

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Shota Yasooka's Blue Black Control Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir

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