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Grand Prix Beijing
Day 2 Coverage

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  • Saturday, 9:20 a.m. – Day 1 Undefeated Decklists

    by Event Coverage Staff






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  • Sunday, 10:20 a.m. – It's Just The Beginning, It's Not The End.

    by Chapman Sim

  • Both Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash have been very enjoyable to draft thus far and there are a plethora of strategies across multiple colors that have been proven to work. Such an interesting block is not without conundrums, especially with the introduction of Dragon's Maze.

    Previously, players were nudged in the direction of drafting two color decks during the times of triple Return to Ravnica as well as triple Gatecrash. Speed, tempo, focus and synergy were not to be neglected, and players who stumbled early often found the game ending faster than they could shout "Ouch!".

    Draft decks were much more focused, and the format seemed much faster. Smaller creatures were prized highly and there was often a need for speed, since missing your two or three drop potentially spelt doom.


    The Cult of Rakdos steamrolled past their opponents by unleashing oversized threats with no intent to block, coupled with an assortment of efficient removal spells to clear the path. The Golgari Swarm didn't try to compete with speed, but instead tried to stay alive long enough to win the attrition war by generating value out of their slow but powerful scavenge creatures.


    The Azorius Senate and Izzet League would not allow that to happen. They took to the air while detaining and removing troublesome blockers like Trestle Trolls and Towering Indriks. The Selesnya Conclave had a different idea on how to amass an army, and aimed to overwhelm by populating additional threats by and backing them up with powerful tricks like Rootborn Defenses.


    Fast forward three months into Gatecrash, players were trying to survive the incredible onslaught mounted by the Boros Legion as well as the Simic Combine. For the Boros player, curving out with efficient beaters like Boros Elite, Daring Skyjek and Wojek Halberdiers often pressured opponents to suffocation. The perfect draw of quality creatures which grew progressively (Cloudfin Raptor, Experiment One, Shambleshark, Crocanura) often caused opponents to fall behind, especially when supported by cheap pumps and support spells like Spell Rupture.


    The Gruul Clans made blocking decisions extremely difficult without Smite, courtesy of fatties who double up as bloodrushing pump spells. Despite being able to play aggressively, the Orzhov Syndicate and House Dimir could also switch modes and play the defensive game, sometimes using Extort in conjuction with evasive creatures like Basilica Screecher and Deathcult Rogue as a primary route to victory.

    Today, players are greeted with an additional 156 cards to the mix and it marks the beginning of a new era. How will players adapt to a whole new world?




     

  • Sunday, 11:10 a.m. – Back to Glory

    by Chapman Sim and Jim Jen


  • From left to right: Wu Tong, Li Bo, and Zhang Zhiyang

    The China National Team shocked the world in 2009 when they defeated hot-favorites Netherlands and Austria to become the World Team Champion. The team at that time consisted of Li Bo, Zhang Zhiyang and Wu Tong.

    Now that two World Magic Cup Qualifiers are concluded, we have two confirmed members of the China World Cup Team. Han Bing resides in the suburbs of Beijing and heads regularly to the city where he joins his friends at his usual local gaming store. A well-respected player within the local community, Han is no stranger to success, even if he does not travel for events much.

    The second World Magic Cup qualifier was won by Yi-Liu Liu. Liu happens to be a project director of an advertising firm and several of his colleagues also play Magic: the Gathering. A couple of them have even competed at the Pro Tour level, giving him access to playmates who can help him prepare for the upcoming World Magic Cup.

    Currently, the Pro Point leader of China is none other than Li Bo. Yesterday, we took a look at how he tackled the Sealed deck format and he managed to make it through to Day Two with an average card pool. Standing at 17 Pro Points, he needs to secure at least 3 or 4 more to cushion his lead, just in case any of the Chinese breakthrough to the Sunday stage at Pro Tour Dragon's Maze.


    From left to right: WMCQ #2 Winner Yi-Liu Liu, potential Captain Li Bo, and WMCQ #1 Winner Han Bing

    China is a vast country, and it is usually not easy to coordinate team meetings when they live hundreds and thousands of miles away from each other. However, this problem seems to have solved itself, seeing how the three friends all live in Beijing City. Liu expresses that since they are situated closer to each other, they would be able to meet up and playtest and practice with greater ease, and in turn perform better at the World Cup.

    Team Events in general require the joint efforts of the squad. Li mentions that "cooperation and rapport is of utmost importance" and effective communication is vital to the success of the team. Seeing how Li was an ex-Worlds Team Champion, he seems to know what he is talking about. In addition, the ability to converse in Chinese further strengthens their advantage, allowing them to discuss ornate plans right under their opponent's noses (though they would need to find alternate ways of communication if they were to be paired against the defending Champion Team, currently captained by Kuo Tzu Ching of Taiwan).

    Li hopes that he can secure his spot as China captain smoothly, and advises his teammates to do the very best they can even if he somehow gets dethroned. In just a week, we will know if Li can assume captaincy once again. China looks like they are in good hands, and we wish them the best of luck in the World Magic Cup. Amsterdam is going to be awesome!




     

  • Round 10 Feature Match – Toshiya Kanegawa (White Blue Black) vs. Sung-Bum Lee (Blue Black)

    by Chapman Sim and Jim Jen

  • Lee won the die roll and chose to play first. Kanegawa, on the other hand, had to go down to six. Opening with Wind Drake and Syndicate Enforcer, Lee looked like he was off to a great start but Kanegawa retorted with Doorkeeper and Basilica Guard, ready to impede any ground attackers.

    Hands of Binding kept both defenders tapped down after Wind Drake crashed into the red zone but thankfully, Kanegawa had Assault Griffin to prevent any future ciphering shenanigans and tried to turn to tables with Keymaster Rogue (bouncing the currently useless Doorkeeper).


    Toshiya Kanegawa

    However, Lee was not without a plan. He proceeded to point Dimir Charm at the Basilica Guards, and then attack with his team. After Wind Drake and Assault Griffins gouged each others' eyes out, Kanegawa's life total was reduced to a lowly 5, thanks to a few Extort triggers. Not wanting to perish from additional siphons, he used Warped Physique on Lee's Syndicate Enforcer.

    Lee rebuilt his board (and diminished his opponent's) with Haunter of Nightveil but he immediately lost it to Kanegawa's Soul Ransom. With no profitable attacks from either side, they played the waiting game for a few turns, until Kanegawa drew Hired Torturer and threatened to knock of Lee's life totals two by two.

    However, Lee was not to be outdone and quickly topdecked Rakdos Drake and ended the game with Launch Party, completing the long arduous blue mirror match.

    Kanegawa 0 – Lee 1

    Anticipating a slower game than usual, Kanegawa chose to draw but was under immediate fire from Judge's Familiar and Runewing. His Murmuring Phantasm was useless against Lee's pair of fliers, but he did have Assault Griffin to at least keep the owl at bay.

    Lee would not tolerate any fliers on the opposite side and quickly used Angelic Edict to clear the skies, reducing Kanegawa to 15 (two attacks from Judge's Familiar, one from Assault Griffin).


    Sung-Bum Lee

    Both players added Extort creatures to their board, but Kanegawa destroyed Lee's Syndicate Enforcer with Warped Physique once again, allowing his Tithe Drinker to attack successfully, even if only once.

    Lee gummed up the ground with Frostburn Weird and Ogre Jailbreaker, continuing to race through the air for eventual victory. Kanegawa could not draw any fliers to save his life and could only extend his hand in gracious defeat.

    Kanegawa 0 - Lee 2




     

  • Sunday, 12:30 p.m. – Draft Report (Zhang Zhiyang)

    by Chapman Sim and Jim Jen

  • Talented Zhang Zhiyang is one of China's proudest treasures (aside from the iconic cuddly lovable panda). Aside from being one third of the Worlds Champion Team in 2009, he has also three Grand Prix Top 8s to his name (GP Bangkok 2009, GP Kuala Lumpur 2010 and GP Shanghai 2011). Two those performances were at Limited events, so when the drafts began, we wasted no time grabbing a front seat to peer into one of the greatest minds of the region.

    Possibly the best cards in their respective rarities.

    Booster 1: Dragon's Maze

    Zhang kicked off with Putrefy as the obvious first pick, shipping Zhur-Taa Ancient. He quickly jumped into his 3rd color by pick two and three, picking up a pair of Beetleform Mages, an "Air Elemental" for just three mana. Somehow already decided on going into three colors, he spent his 4th, 6th and 8th and 12th picks fixing his mana, picking up 2 Dimir Guildgates and 2 Simic Cluestone, a testament to how important mana-fixing is in the format. Fatal Fumes and Pilfered Plans pretty much rounded out his Dragon's Maze booster and he was off to a great start.

    Pick 1: Putrefy
    Pick 2: Beetleform Mage
    Pick 3: Beetleform Mage
    Pick 4: Dimir Guildgate
    Pick 5: Maze Glider
    Pick 6: Dimir Guildgate
    Pick 7: Fatal Fumes
    Pick 8: Simic Cluestone
    Pick 9: Opal Lake Gatekeepers
    Pick 10: Sunspire Gatekeepers
    Pick 11: Pilfered Plans
    Pick 12: Simic Cluestone
    Pick 13: Obzedat's Aid
    Pick 14: Maze Rusher
    Pick 15: Clear a Path

    Picking up so many one drops, Zhang clearly wanted a fast and brutal deck.

    Booster 2: Gatecrash

    Zhang's calm demeanor did not reveal his disappointment in opening a bomb rare he couldn't play and was forced to pass Alms Beast for Experiment One. Since he was solidly in Blue Black and Green, he made use of Gatecrash to boost his creature base by focusing on the Simic cards. He then proceeded to pick up not one, not two, but THREE Cloudfin Raptors by pick six, transforming his originally good deck to great. He was anguished to pass Sepulchral Primodial and Ætherize for those, but at this point, he really wanted a fast beatdown deck as opposed to a slower controllish variant. He also received Zameck Guildmage (a poor man's Stroke of Genius when used in conjunction with Nimbus Swimmer) that would aid him in the late-game, but he had to pass Drakewing Krasis for it.

    Pick 1: Experiment One
    Pick 2: Cloudfin Raptor
    Pick 3: Keymaster Rogue
    Pick 4: Zameck Guildmage
    Pick 5: Cloudfin Raptor
    Pick 6: Cloudfin Raptor
    Pick 7: Nimbus Swimmer
    Pick 8: Corpse Blockade
    Pick 9: Leyline Phantom
    Pick 10: Beckon Apparition
    Pick 11: Scatter Arc
    Pick 12: Paranoid Delusions
    Pick 13: Hold the Gates
    Pick 14: Merfolk of the Depths

    Guildmages (in general) provide early offense and late-game action.

    Booster 3: Return to Ravnica

    Korozda Guildmage was his 1st (and 5th) pick, but he had to forgo Hypersonic Dragon for that. Not wanting others to stymie his plans, he quickly counter-drafted Trestle Troll and plopped Skyline Predator into his pile, denying his opponents effective cards against his strategy. He picked up two decent support spells in the form of Chorus of Might, Launch Party and Cancel and it looked as though his deck was set. Golgari Longlegs would also go nicely with the Maze Glider he already had.

    Pick 1: Korozda Guildmage
    Pick 2: Trestle Troll
    Pick 3: Skyline Predator
    Pick 4: Axebane Guardian
    Pick 5: Korozda Guildmage
    Pick 6: Golgari Longlegs
    Pick 7: Chorus of Might
    Pick 8: Launch Party
    Pick 9: Cancel
    Pick 10: Traitorous Instinct
    Pick 11: Sluiceway Scorpion
    Pick 12: Drainpipe Vermin
    Pick 13: Axebane Stag
    Pick 14: Tenement Crasher




     

  • Sunday, 1:10 p.m. – Quick Questions #3: What card do you wish to open in each booster for your booster draft?

    by Jim Jen

  • Lee Shi Tian:
    Dragon's Maze: Blood Baron of Vizkopa
    Gatecrash: Obzedat, Ghost Council
    Return to Ravnica: Pack Rat
    Tiago Chan:
    Dragon's Maze: Tithe Drinker
    Gatecrash: Basilica Guards
    Return to Ravnica: Knightly Valor
    Gao Zhenxing:
    Dragon's Maze: Ral Zarek
    Gatecrash: Deathpact Angel
    Return to Ravnica: Angel of Serenity
    Sui Xin:
    Dragon's Maze: Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
    Gatecrash: Alms Beast
    Return to Ravnica: Supreme Verdict
    Huang Hao-Shan:
    Dragon's Maze: Blood Baron of Vizkopa
    Gatecrash: Gideon, Champion of Justice
    Return to Ravnica: Pack Rat
    Li Bo:
    Dragon's Maze: Sire of Insanity
    Gatecrash: Obzedat, Ghost Council
    Return to Ravnica: Pack Rat



     

  • Round 12 Featured Match – Qian Wang (White Blue Black) VS Tiago Chan (Red Green)

    by Chapman Sim and Jim Jen

  • At the peak of his career, Tiago Chan came in 3rd at Pro Tour Honolulu 2006 and 7th at the World Championships the very same season. A year later, he defeated Rich Hoaen in the finals of the Invitationals and immortalized himself on his very own card we all love, Snapcaster Mage.

    Despite his illustrious career, it might come as a surprise that he has never made the Top 8 of a Grand Prix and was looking to run the tables to achieve his first one today. In his way was Qian Wang, armed with an Esper control deck, ready to put up a good fight.

    Chan elected to play first and opened with Battering Krasis and Slime Molding for 3, but Wang was able to create a temporary blockade consisting of Dutiful Thrull and Basilica Guards. True to their promise that none shall pass for free, Chan had to expend Savage Surge to bring down the defender, before casting Skarrg Guildmage post-combat.


    Qian Wang

    Wang had Woodlot Crawler as a study blocker, but was toasted to a crisp with Annihilating Fire. Wang then recruited Haazda Snare Squad, leaving one black mana up to regenerate Dutiful Thrull. When Chan pushed his entire team sideways, an overloaded Weapon Surge dealt with the 1/4 Soldier, reducing Wang's board to just the 1/1 regenerator.

    Chan's board currently consisted of Battering Krasis, a 3/3 Ooze token, Skarrg Guildmage and Drudge Beetle, and it looked like Wang's death was imminent. Despite producing Haunter of Nightveil to shrink the opposing team, Chan used Massive Raid to remove it, and then rumbling in to claim Game One.

    Wang 0 – Chan 1

    Wang led off with Dutiful Thrull and Nightveil Specter, causing Chan losing Savage Surge to the spell-stealing specter. In the meantime, Chan deployed a 3/3 Slime courtesy of Slime Molding once again, and also added Crowned Ceratok.

    However, those were trumped and rendered useless by Wang's Crypt Ghast and Maze Abomination, which also gave Nightveil Specter deathtouch, just in case Chan's Crocanura tried to block. Not drawing any other creatures, Chan soon succumbed to the duo of deathtouchers.

    Wang 1 – Chan 1

    For the rubber game, Chan led with Greenside Watcher but it was Wang who had the Guildgates, three to be exact. Both players had relatively slow draws and the next play of the game was Chan's Golgari Longlegs on turn five. Wang beckoned the help of Haunter of Nightveil to shrink the Golgari Longlegs, but it did not stop the insect from nearly halving Wang's life total to 11 (5 the first time and 4 the second).


    Tiago Chan

    Chan added Ivy Street Denizen and Rubblebelt Maaka to his side, yet Wang passed his turn without any play, signaling a trick up his sleeve. Chan attacked anyway and Wang fused Ready & Willing to take down Mr. Longlegs with the help of Haazda Snare Squad, but Chan replaced it with a 5/5 Slime Molding token and Ruination Wurm, signature Gruul monsters capable of ripping opponents apart quickly.

    At this point, severely mana-flooded Wang could only offer up sacrificial fodder to the monsters in order to stay alive, and also managed to cast Debt to the Deathless for 7, reducing Chan to 6 life in one feel swoop and refreshing himself to 20. Unfortunately, there was a total of 19 damage on the board and Chan's had Annihilating Fire to finish the job.

    Chan 2- Wang 1

    Tiago Chan defeats Qian Wang 2-1 and advances to 10-2.




     

  • Sunday, 2:35 p.m. – Things Will Never Be the Same Again

    by Chapman Sim


  • With the introduction of Dragon's Maze, chaos seems to have been unleashed upon the entire drafting table. Players were greeted with a ton of options, and gold cards occupied higher percentage of the boosters. Juicy cards like Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Advent of the Wurm, Gruul's War Chant, Beetleform Mage, Putrefy and Warleader's Helix quickly forced players to jump into two colours.


    The temptation to play both sides of split cards like Far & Away, Turn & Burn or Ready & Willing prompts greedy players to dip into their third or fourth (or even fifth) color, in order to transform their decks from decent into gamebreaking.


    Even the mono-colored cards encouraged players to play with more colors! The cycle of Maze elementals encouraged you to play with more multicolored creatures. The Gatekeepers forced you to grab Guildgates earlier than before, eventually tempting you to give in to your desires to optimize your picks by picking up cards of other colors. Removal spells like Fatal Fumes and Punish the Enemy were costed with only a single colored mana, possibly to encourage additional splashes.


    Aside from the ubiquitous Guildgate (or the occasional Shockland) in every pack, there is also an average of 1.66 Cluestones in each booster. It would seem that drafting a multi-colored deck with a bigger and more impactful cards was the direction that we're meant to be headed.

    Several Pros have suggested to forgo synergy for "generally better" cards. The argument was that the "generally better" cards are "generally better" throughout the entire game, whereas small one drops and two drops quickly get outclassed. With the introduction of Gatekeepers, offensive creatures were invalidated more quickly than before and it was harder to get a deck full of the same keyword (for example drafting a deck with 10 Extort creatures or 10 Evolve creatures).


    Lee Shi Tian

    However, Pro Tour Return to Ravnica Top 4 Competitor, Lee Shi Tian has a slightly different idea. It is actually possible to go fast. A cursory evaluation of the set indicated that the format had slowed considerably. It's intuitive to go with the flow but that's something that Lee may beg to differ.

    "I haven't drafted much yet, so I might be wrong. They seem to want to slow down the format. They want to make everyone play with more Guildgates and more Cluestones. That's why perhaps we should try to go fast, and go back to drafting two color aggressive decks. While players are dropping Gates, stumbling on mana and spending their precious third turns casting Cluestones, perhaps we can go back to the old days and play one drops, two drops and three drops and back those up with efficient support cards. I'm not sure though, but I will try it some other time."




     

  • Sunday, 3:30 p.m. – Draft Report (Xu Bin)

    by Chapman Sim and Jim Jen

  • As Xu Bin had previously taken a draw with Huang Hao-Shan during an earlier Featured Match, he finds himself on the bubble at 9-2-1. In order to make the Top 8, he would need to win out all three of his matches this draft. It was not going to be easy though, since several Chinese players were also in the same pod as him, including ex-World Team Li Bo, veteran Xu Su and Lv Jiachong with multiple China Nationals Top 4 finishes. Let just peer into his boosters and see what strategy he decides to adopt to launch him into the Top 8.

    One Two Punch!

    Booster 1: Dragon's Maze

    Master of Cruelties seemed like a decent starter and quickly picked up Fluxcharger and Punish the Enemy to go along with it. Blood Scrivener allowed him to refill his hand in case it was ever empty, while functioning as an early drop. Passing Izzet Cluestone in favor of Spike Jester, it was an indication that perhaps he wanted a slightly more aggressive Rakdos deck. A 7th pick Haunter of Nightveil could be considered a gift, as well as the Warped Physique which tabled from around the table. More blue cards ensued and he was able to receive Izzet Guildgate 10th and Nivix Cyclops 13th.

    Pick 1: Master of Cruelties
    Pick 2: Fluxcharger
    Pick 3: Punish the Enemy
    Pick 4: Blood Scrivener
    Pick 5: Spike Jester
    Pick 6: Gruul War Chant
    Pick 7: Haunter of Nightveil
    Pick 8: Wind Drake
    Pick 9: Warped Physique
    Pick 10: Izzet Guildgate
    Pick 11: Gruul Cluestone
    Pick 12: Blaze Commando
    Pick 13: Nivix Cyclops
    Pick 14: Hidden Strings
    Pick 15: Crypt Incursion

    Good enough to play in Block Constructed and definitely Booster Draft!

    Booster 2: Gatecrash

    Gatecrash presented Xu with Nightveil Specter, yet another ridiculous bomb if left unchecked. However, after a couple of drafting Rapid Hybridization (although we feel he should have taken Deathcult Rogue instead) and Devour Flesh, he made a gear switch and opted for Firefist Striker (over Devour Flesh) and Act of Treason (over Mindeye Drake), deviating away from the Grixis control deck we had once envisioned, moving towards a faster deck instead. A couple of Foundry Street Denizens threatened to take chunks off his opponents life totals quickly.

    Pick 1: Nightveil Specter
    Pick 2: Wight of Precinct Six
    Pick 3: Rapid Hybridization
    Pick 4: Devour Flesh
    Pick 5: Ember Beast
    Pick 6: Firefist Striker
    Pick 7: Shadow Slice
    Pick 8: Dutiful Thrull
    Pick 9: Act of Treason
    Pick 10: Massive Raid
    Pick 11: Foundry Street Denizen
    Pick 12: Guildscorn Ward
    Pick 13: Foundry Street Denizen
    Pick 14: Predator's Rapport

    Tearing through the enemies' flesh, Rakdos-style!

    Booster 3: Return to Ravnica

    After switching gears and trying to go aggressive, he picked up an assortment of two drops, including Rix Maadi Guildmage, Grim Roustabout and then a trio of Gore-House Chainwalkers. It was unfortunate that he was unable to lay his hands on any Auger Spree, Stab Wound or Annihilating Fire, but he should be able to deal his final few damage with the aid of Rogue's Passage or Dynacharge. He ended up splashing for Gruul's War Chant, because giving your whole team "Madcap Skills" seems pretty insane! Good luck Xu Bin in your endeavor to the Top 8!

    Pick 1: Rix Maadi Guildmage
    Pick 2: Grim Roustabout
    Pick 3: Gore-House Chainwalker
    Pick 4: Soulsworn Spirit
    Pick 5: Voidwielder
    Pick 6: Rogue's Passage
    Pick 7: Viashino Racketeer
    Pick 8: Gore-House Chainwalker
    Pick 9: Gore-House Chainwalker
    Pick 10: Dynacharge
    Pick 11: Survey the Wreckage
    Pick 12: Skull Rend
    Pick 13: Skull Rend
    Pick 14: Terrus Wurm


    Xu Bin




     

  • Round 14 Feature Match – Shuo Li (White Black Green) vs. Yuchen Liu (Blue Green)

    by Chapman Sim and Jim Jen

  • Both players are at 11 wins and 2 losses. The victor of this match can comfortably ID into the Top 8 while the other will be eliminated from contention without a doubt. Shuo Li and Yuchen Liu both know that there was a lot riding on this match. To put things in a bigger perspective, the winner here is only one Quarterfinal Match away from receiving free airfare and the blue envelope for Pro Tour Theros.

    Liu won the die roll and opened with Cloudfin Raptor, Spire Tracer and Beetleform Mage, a speedy Simic draw that promised to end the game in a matter of turns.


    Yuchen Liu

    Li started with Deathrite Shaman (not quite the powerhouse here compared to Portland), Selesnya Charm and Syndic of Tithes, equally decent but not quite good enough to mount an offensive attack.

    Activating Beetleform Mage, Li reduced Liu to just 9 life by turn four. Since Li had no proper way to deal with the flyers, all he could do was to attack with all his "walking dudes" and pray for the best. Li's deck failed to cough up a solution and Liu took Game One swiftly on the back of Cloudfin Raptor and Beetleform Mage.

    Li 0 – Liu 1

    Game Two was rather anti-climatic. Liu had chosen to play since he dropped the first game and punished Liu's mulligan with Woodlot Crawler and Jace, Architect of Thought. When Liu failed to draw a second land, he knew he was at the point of no return and promptly scooped up his cards, evening the score.

    Li 1 – Liu 1

    Liu pondered and agonized over his initial seven, and eventually chose to mulligan. Despite winning the first game, it seemed that Lady Luck had forsaken him at this important juncture.

    Nonetheless, he tried his very best, assembling an army of Kraul Warrior, Frilled Oculus and Keymaster Rogue. Li had Selesnya Charm to trade away Kraul Warrior, and temporarily used Death's approach to shrink the unblockable rogue.


    Shuo Li

    Exploiting Liu's lack of removal (traditionally Simic is removal-light other than the occasional Pit Fight and Simic Charm), Li wasted no time pointing the green half of Give & Take on his Crowned Ceratok, reducing Liu to 13 life with one chomp.

    Inaction Injunction prevented the 7/6 trampler from taking another hit but the detention was only a temporary reprieve. Li eventually summoned Sepulchral Primordial (uncovering Kraul Warrior) and dealt Liu the final blow, helpless against the intimidating monster.

    Li 2 – Liu 1

    Shuo Li defeats Yuchen Liu 2-1 and only needs to ID his next round to make the Top 8.




     

  • Sunday, 5:00 p.m. – Quick Questions #4: For the upcoming Pro Tour Dragon's Maze, what do you think is the best deck for Return to Ravnica block?

    by Jim Jen

  • Lee Shi Tian: Mono Red Aggro
    Huang Haoshan: Selesnya Aggro
    Park Jun Young: Bant Control
    Kuo Tzu Ching: Selesnya Aggro



     

  • Round 15 Featured Match – Xu Bin (Black Red) VS Xu Jiajun (White Green)

    by Chapman Sim and Jim Jen

  • Earlier, we featured Xu Bin's draft in the Draft Report. If you can remember, it was mentioned that he would need to rattle off three wins to make Top 8. At this moment, he has managed to clinch his first two matches and faces Xu Jiajun as the final barrier. The winner could possibly make the Top 8 if he had good tiebreakers, while the loser would have to make do with perhaps a Top 16 prize check.

    Game 1

    Xu Jiajun opted to play first but it was Xu Bin who demonstrated what it was like to play like a true cultist of Rakdos. He opened with Foundry Street Denizen and Grim Roustabout, ready to spill some blood. When Xu Jiajun produced Crocanura to block, Xu Bin overloaded Dynacharge but had no other creatures, clearly out of steam.


    Xu Bin

    Xu Jiajun rebuilt with Ivy Lane Denizen, Slaughterhorn and Kraul Warrior, while Xu Bin fell profusely behind, managing only Viashino Racketeer and nothing else. Xu Jiajun attacked with everything, and pumped Kraul Warrior, reducing Xu Bin to just 6 life.

    Xu Bin attempted to chump block with Nightveil Specter but it got Totally Lost just like that.

    Xu Bin 0 – Xu Jiajun 1

    Game 2

    Xu Bin had an insane opening, possibly constructed worthy and equalized the match in a matter of minutes. He led with Foundry Street Denizen (the most feared one drop in RTR Block Constructed), before unleashing Gore-House Chainwalker and letting loose Ember Beast.

    He also had to good fortune of drawing one of his green sources, which enabled him to cast Gruul War Chant, ending the game before Xu Jiajun could cast anything other than a Kraul Warrior that couldn't even block.

    Xu Bin 1 – Xu Jiajun 1

    Game 3

    The tension started to build up as the match reached its final throes. The first brawling occurred between Xu Jiajun's Kraul Warrior with Xu Bin's Blood Scrivener. Xu Bin proceeded to unleash Gore-House Chainwalker, against Xu Jiajun's Voice of Resurgence and Selesnya Sentry.


    Xu Jiajun

    Having no choice but to race, Xu Bin attacked with the 3/2 and Xu Jiajun was happy to counterattack, and then engage the help of Nav Squad Commandos, a formidable blocker against the Rakdos player. Xu Bin thought hard, and eventually decided the best play was to attack and force the trade using Dynacharge.

    Next, Xu Bin decided to Punish the Enemy, killing the Voice of Resurgence and netting Xu Jiajun a temporarily 2/2 Elemental token. However, Xu Jiajun dropped Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage and populated a copy of the Elemental, catapulting the situation out of Xu's control. Perhaps Damnation would have saved him, but unfortunately, it isn't in the format.

    Xu Bin 1 – Xu Jiajun 2

    Xu Jiajun defeats Xu Bin 2-1 and would need good tiebreakers to make Top 8. Good luck!

    *Both players have the same last name so their full names have been used in this Featured Match.




     

  • Sunday, 6:20 p.m. – Assemble the Legion

    by Chapman Sim

  • If you wanted your cards autographed, you'd better start queuing up!

    Stunning and breathtaking artwork is the vital life-giving component in creating a fantasy setting. Fantasy artists toil tirelessly behind the scenes to bring us masterpieces which we witness today. Some people love the game because it provides an intellectual challenge and hours of fun. Others are captured by the stunning pieces and drawn to the flavor of the amazing Multiverse.



    Guest artists are invited to every Premier Event and Grand Prix Beijing is no exception. Today, we have the honor of having Eric Dechamps with us. Eric has been a sci-fi fantasy illustrator and has worked on Magic cards for over 10 years. Since joining the team of talented artists, he has painted over 50 Magic cards, including a bunch of wildly popular Planeswalkers.


    Eric Deschamps

    Eric was overloaded with requests from fans when I approached his working station. Between altering cards, autographing them and selling their prints, he was glad to pose for the camera and show off some of his favorite pieces, including an alteration of the Promotional Foil Plains which were awarded at the recently concluded Dragon's Maze Prereleases! Adorable!






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