Grand Prix Brisbane 2011 Day 1 Blog

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  • by Pip Hunn and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Round 8: Feature Match
    Maitland Cameron vs Ian Wood

  • by Pip Hunn and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Saturday 15th October 6:56 pm – Round 8: Quick Questions
    How many Crocodiles/Deadly Animals did
    you have to wrestle on the way to the tournament this morning?

  • by Pip Hunn
    Round 7: Feature Match
    Vidya Jois vs Shouta Yasooka

  • by Pip Hunn and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Saturday 15th October 5:21pm - Round 6: : Quick Questions
    What is the coolest Planeswalker in Standard?

  • by Pip Hunn and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Round 5: Feature Match
    Dan Unwin vs Justin Cheung

  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Saturday 15th October 3:03pm – Round 5: : Quick Questions
    What is the best deck in Standard?

  • by Pip Hunn
    Round 4: Feature Match
    Hao-Shan Huang vs. Gene Brumby

  • by Pip Hunn and
    Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Saturday, 12:31 p.m. – : Quick Questions
    Best Innistrad card in Standard?

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Saturday, 10:50 a.m.: GPT Winning Decks

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet
  • Saturday, 10:50 a.m. - GPT Winning Decks

    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Isaac Egan - GPT Winning Deck
    Grand Prix Brisbane 2011

    Jason Hopson - GPT Winning Deck
    Grand Prix Brisbane 2011

    Matt Ryan - GPT Winning Deck
    Grand Prix Brisbane 2011

    Elliott Campbell - GPT Winning Deck
    Grand Prix Brisbane 2011

    Andrew Vance - GPT Winning Deck
    Grand Prix Brisbane 2011

  • Saturday, 12:31 p.m. – Quick Questions

    by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • What is the best Innistrad card in Standard?

    Wilfy Horig: "Kessig Wolf Run."
    Adam Witton: "Garruk Relentless."
    Anatoli Lightfoot: "Snapcaster Mage."
    Martin Juza: "Forbidden Alchemy."
    Alex McCormick: "Snapcaster Mage."
    Shouta Yasooka: "Liliana of the Veil."
  • Round 4: Feature Match - Hao-Shan Huang vs. Gene Brumby

    by Pip Hunn
  • Hao-Shan Huang hails from Taiwan, and arrives in Brisbane fresh off a Top 8 at GP: Singapore. Now on the sunny shores of Australia, he's shuffling up a Green-Red Ramp list. His erstwhile opponent is Gene Brumby, who's flown over from New Zealand. Brumby has represented New Zealand at several Worlds and played on the Pro Tour.

    Game One

    Huang cast a Green Sun's Zenith for a Birds of Paradise and followed up with a Rampant Growth. Brumby laid lands into a Liliana of the Veil, discarding an Unburial Rites. Huang took advantage of his opponent being tapped out to summon a Primeval Titan. Liliana's Diabolic Edict ability killed Huang's Birds, and then a Tribute to Hunger finished off the Titan. Huang animated a pair of Inkmoth Nexus and attacked Liliana, killing the Planeswalker.

    Brumby asks the hard questions, like "How many Lilianas can you handle?"

    Brumby had a Sun Titan to reanimate his Liliana of the Veil. Forbidden Alchemy dumped more reanimation utility into Brumby's graveyard, and a follow-up Consecrated Sphinx sealed the deal.

    Gene Brumby 1 – Hao-Shan Huang 0

    Game Two

    Huang led Game 2 with a Thrun, the Last Troll and a Garruk, Primal Hunter. Brumby summoned his own Planeswalker, and Liliana of the Veil gently encouraged Huang to sacrifice his Beast token.

    Huang ignored Liliana and summoned a Primeval Titan, and Garruk kept pumping out men. Despite Brumby's best defensive efforts, he fell to the onslaught and reached for his sideboard for the final game.

    Huang mounts his offensive.

    Hao-Shan Huang 1 – Gene Brumby 1

    Game Three

    Huang led the action with an early Viridian Emissary. Brumby once again had an early Liliana, forcing each player to discard. Huang cast a Green Sun's Zenith for another Emissary, while Brumby summoned a Spellskite to defend his Planeswalker.

    Huang attacked Liliana with both his Emissaries and an animated Nexus, killing Liliana. Time was called by the judge. Huang ramped his board with a Primeval Titan, while Brumby clawed for answers As Huang attacked for lethal on the final turn, Brumby had the Doom Blade to eke out a draw.

    Hao-Shan Huang 1 – Gene Brumby 1

  • Saturday 15th October 3:03pm – Round 5: Quick Questions

    by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • What is the best deck in Standard?

    Aaron Nicoll:
    "Mono Green."
    Martin Juza:
    "Solar Flare, but it has a bad mana base."
    Alex McCormick: "Green/Red Ramp."
    Yuuya Watanabe: "Solar Flare."
    Dan Unwin: "There isn't one."
    Maitland Cameron: "Green/Red Ramp."
  • Round 5: Feature Match - Dan Unwin vs Justin Cheung

    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

  • Dan Unwin is widely respected as one of Australia's best deck builders, if not the best. Responsible for many of the decks that Australian players have piloted to respectable finishes over the last few years. Justin Cheung is one of the Australian players with a few respectable finishes himself in the last few years, winning one of the Magic Online Championship Series events, and being a part of the first Australian National Team to make the Worlds Team Finals.

    Both players were content to pass the early game by playing Islands and Island-esque lands at each other. Unwin pairing Black with his Blue, while Cheung opting for White.

    Cheung was the first to get a clock on the table, casting a Midnight Haunting while Unwin was fiddling around with his library with a number of Forbidden Alchemys and Think Twices. Unwin tried to summon a Consecrated Sphinx to hold off the Spirits and, oh I dunno, draw him a bunch of cards, but Cheung was happy to throw a pair of Mana Leaks at it.

    Unwin tried for a second Sphinx, this time protecting it from the first Snapcaster Mage with a Dissipate, but losing it to a second that flashed back one of the Mana Leaks. With two Sphinxes down, Cheung summoned one of his own.

    Justin Cheung Snapcasting to the left.

    "Yeah, this is gonna be a draw," Unwin sighed, summoning his third Sphinx for the game while Cheung was tapped low. Neither player went totally crazy with the triggers, and therefore Unwin lacked the answers he needed to stop Cheung paying 8 life to Dismember Unwin's Sphinx twice. One more attack was all it took for Cheung to take game one.

    Cheung 1 – Unwin 0

    "It's so tempting," Cheung admitted with a laugh, as the players discussed the merits of their two color mana bases instead of the three many people choose these days. "I want to be able to Doom Blade the Sphinx, rather than what I just had to do."

    Game two started in a similar fashion, with Unwin casting Think Twice, and milling himself with Nephalia Drownyard, while Cheung tried to get his fight on with a Midnight Haunting.

    As the game progressed, it became apparent Cheung was short on lands, with four to Unwin's seven. Cheung summoned an Azure Mage, which resolved. Unwin then summoned a Snapcaster Mage at the end of turn, enabling a Doom Blade he'd milled earlier.

    Now, despite the Dismember in game one, Cheung's deck was not actually able to produce Black mana. I mention this, because while Unwin was Doom Blading the Azure Mage, Cheung threw a Surgical Extraction at a Forbidden Alchemy in Unwin's graveyard, and if I didn't mention it, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. The Extraction revealed another Snapcaster Mage in Unwin's hand, a Jace, Memory Adept, and two Consecrated Sphinx.

    Dan Unwin Snapcasting to the left.

    Unwin untapped, and summoned the first Sphinx right into a Mana Leak. He held the second one back for a while, and instead tried his Jace. Now with a fifth land, Cheung cast Dissipate. Unwin responded with a Snapcaster Mage. As it targeted the Mana Leak Unwin was planning on defending his Jace with, Cheung summoned a Snapcaster of his own, Surgically Extracting the Mana Leak, and letting his Dissipate exile the Jace.

    Unwin finally summoned his backup Sphinx. With no way to stop it resolving, Cheung was quickly buried under an avalanche of Unwin's cards.

    Cheung 1 – Unwin 1

    Both players bounced spells off of each other in the early game, filling their graveyards with tasty Mana Leaks for Snapcasting later. Finally, Unwin again landed a Consecrated Sphinx. Cheung exiled it with an Oblivion Ring, but Unwin cast a Ratchet Bomb.

    With the Bomb ticking, Cheung made a move with Elspeth Tirel, which was Negated, and then a turn later, a Sphinx of his own. Both players Dissipated, but Unwin had a pair of Doom Blades to battle through Cheung's Snapcaster Mage.

    The Bomb struck three and exploded, taking out the Oblivion Ring and freeing Unwin's Sphinx. Cheung could again do nothing as Unwin's Sphinx spilled cards all over the table.

    Dan Unwin defeats Justin Cheung 2 – 1

  • Saturday 15th October 5:21pm – Round 6: Quick Questions

    by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • What is the coolest Planeswalker in Standard?

    Wilfy Horig:
    Aaron Nicoll: "KARN LIBERATED!"
    (yes, he did yell his answer.)
    Isaac Egan: : "Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas."
    Levi Hinz: "Garruk."
    Shuhei Nakamura: "Jace!"
    Yuuya Watanabe: "Gideon Jura."
  • Round 7 Feature Match - Vidya Jois vs Shouta Yasooka

    by Pip Hunn

  • Vidya Jois made Day 2 of Pro Tour: Kyoto, falling down to a bad matchup against some under-cooked chicken. Having Leeched away her poison counters, Jois is currently undefeated in GP: Brisbane and keen to get back on the Tour.

    Standing firmly in her way is Shouta Yasooka, owner of an impressive Magical resume. Top of his highlights are Player of the Year 2006, and the Magic Online equivalent in 2009. More recently, he made Top 8 of Grand Prix: Singapore and the 2011 Japanese Nationals.

    Jois led the game with a pair of Birds of Paradise and then a turn 3 Geist-Honored Monk. Yasooka cast a Tumble Magnet and tapped down the Monk, taking 2 from Jois' tokens. Jois added pressure with a Hero of Bladehold.

    Yasooka's Solemn Simulacrum barely slowed Jois down, who attacked with her Spirit tokens, the Monk staying out of the red zone. A Mikaeus, the Lunarch joined Jois' army, an impressive 6/6 threatening to overwhelm Yasooka, who had solidified his ground defense with a Batterskull.

    Jois rejoices as her army sweeps the board.

    Yasooka cast a Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, but Jois went one better. Smiling, she untapped and revealed an Overrun, her horde forcing Yasooka to his sideboard.

    Vidya Jois 1 – Shouta Yasooka 0

    Jois' early creatures were met with a combination of Wring Flesh's and Mana Leaks. A Garruk Relentless and an Elspeth Tirel joined her early plays in the graveyard, while Yasooka summoned a Consecrated Sphinx. When he followed up with a pair of Curse of Death's Hold and a Consecrated Sphinx, Jois laughed and conceded.

    Yasooka bazookas Jois' creatures' features.

    Shouta Yasooka 1 – Vidya Jois 1

    A pair of Birds of Paradise from Jois were killed with a Ratchet Bomb. Jois followed up with a Hero of Bladehold and a Thrun, the Last Troll. Yasooka countered with a Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas and an animated Tumble Magnet. A second Hero of Bladehold from Jois made her impending attack step very dangerous indeed.

    Yasooka pondered his options and used Tezzeret to animate an Inkmoth Nexus. Jois attacked with her army, swinging in with 4 pumped tokens, two Heros and Thrun. After Yasooka Wrung the Flesh of a token, Jois hit Yasooka for 15 but lost both her Heroes to his blockers.

    Yasooka summoned a Solemn Simulacrum and passed, his life total precariously low. Jois attacked with 3 Soldiers and Thrun into Tezzeret. The Solemn ate a token and Yasooka's animated Tumble Magnet blocked Thrun, but the Planeswalker still died. Yasooka summoned a second Tezzeret, pumped the Solemn Simulacrum, and swarmed into Jois for victory.

    Shouta Yasooka 2 – Vidya Jois 1

  • Saturday 15th October 6:56 pm – Round 8: Quick Questions

    by Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • How many Crocodiles/Deadly Animals did you have to wrestle on the way to the tournament this morning?

    Anatoni Lightfoot: "...?"
    Wilfy Horig: "All of them."
    Ian Wood: "I’ve lost count!"
    Garry Wong: "A kangaroo and a wallaby."
    Martin Juza: "No creatures, but an expensive cabbie."
    John-Paul Kelly: "Levi Hinz."
  • Round 8 Feature Match - Maitland Cameron vs Ian Wood

    By Pip Hunn and Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw

  • Ian Wood, Australian national team member last year and the year before, arrived at the table first. I asked if he was playing Green, so I could make suitable "Wood" jokes, but he apologetically admitted he was playing "Esper," otherwise known as Solar Flare.

    Maitland Cameron, who'll be representing Australia at Worlds this year, is playing Blue/Black Control quite similar to the Dan Unwin designed deck we saw earlier today.

    Game one got off to a slow start, with Cameron breaking the ice by Doom Blading Wood's Archon of Justice. Wood tried to resurrect his Archon with an Unburial Rites, tapping out to pay for Cameron's Mana Leak, but was thwarted by the follow up Dissipate, which exiled the Flashback card.

    Ian Wood eyes up his competition.

    Cameron summoned a Consecrated Sphinx, but Wood had a Doom Blade during his upkeep to keep it from triggering. He followed that up with a Wurmcoil Engine, while Wood had a Grave Titan.

    While the number of turns that had passed at this point wasn't overly high, both players had been digging through their libraries with Think Twices and Forbidden Alchemies. The point of difference was Cameron's Nephalia Drownyard.

    "Card's in library?" Cameron asked, as Wood tried to figure out a way to win by attacking. "12," he replied, turning his team sideways. Cameron didn't come close to dying, and Wood was soon drawing dead.

    Cameron 1 – Wood 0

    Both players repeatedly dabbled in Forbidden Alchemy as they tried to keep up with each other's land drops. Wood made the first move with a successful Surgical Extraction on Cameron's Consecrated Sphinxes, revealing 3 lands, a Doom Blade, a Dissipate, and a Wurmcoil Engine. Cameron again found a Drownyard, and set to work tipping Wood's library into his graveyard.

    Wood fought back with a Snapcaster Mage for a little more Surgical Extraction, this time on Cameron's Forbidden Alchemy, before summoning a Wurmcoil Engine into a Dissipate.

    Maitland Cameron eyes up his handiwork.

    Wood's Snapcaster got started on Cameron's lifetotal, while Cameron was double Drownyarding Wood. Wood summoned a Grave Titan.

    "Cards in hand?" "5" "cards in library?" "15"

    Cameron lapsed into thought, whipping out an abacus. He first responded with a Doom Blade on the Snapcaster, then let the Titan resolve. He ended his turn with a double mill, dropping Wood to 9 cards. On 12 life, Cameron took the Titan and chums to the face, dropping to 2. He milled Wood again twice, untapped, and a single Drownyard activation finished him off.

    "Did you have a counter?" Wood asked.

    "All these," Cameron revealed several in his hand, had Wood tried to defend the Snapcaster from the Doom Blade.

    Maitland Cameron defeats Ian Wood 2 – 0

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