Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur
Day 1 Coverage

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  • Saturday, 11:34 a.m. – Grinder Winning Decklists
    by Chapman Sim
  • Twelve Grinders were ran yesterday, awarding their respective winners the much-coveted Three Round Byes. This promises to make their tournament today a little easier, as they try to navigate their decks through the huge field of 612 other aspirants. Ten winners displayed their proficiency in the Standard format, while two others achieved wins from the two bonus Sealed Deck grinders.

    The vibrant metagame was well-represented, with Birthing Pod, Zombies and Esper Control claiming two top spots each. Metagame mainstays like U/B Control, U/W Delver, R/G Ramp and R/G Beatdown also posted wins yesterday. Here are the winning decklists for your viewing pleasure!

    Razif Rosdin - Grinder Winner
    GP Kuala Lumpur 2012 - Standard

    Uzair Faruqi - Grinder Winner
    GP Kuala Lumpur 2012 - Standard


  • Saturday, 11:37 a.m. – Country Breakdown
    by Chapman Sim
  • Country Number of Players
    Australia 17
    Brunei 7
    China 33
    Finland 2
    Hong Kong 15
    Indonesia 22
    Ireland 1
    Japan 15
    Korea 4
    Malaysia 238
    New Zealand 3
    Philippines 69
    Russia 2
    Singapore 149
    Taiwan 11
    Thailand 21
    Total 612
    USA 3


  • Saturday, 1:41 p.m. – Kuala Lumpur's Magical Heritage
    by Chapman Sim
  • The capital of Malaysia is one with a long-running Magical history spanning more than a decade. Let's take a look at what threads have been woven from Kuala Lumpur into Magic's tapestry of history.

    Way back during the start of this millennium, 298 players converged at the Sunway Pyramid Mall to attend the first Premier Event to ever be held in the country. Smashing up the competition with the lethal combo of Illusions of Grandeur and Donate, Ryan Soh created history by becoming the first Malaysian player to win a Grand Prix. On the very same weekend, a legend was also enshrined when Chris Pikula triumphed over Jon Finkel in the Invitationals, giving him the right to create his very own Magic card. The product was none other than the multi-format superstar, Meddling Mage. A truly illustrious start for the books!

    Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2000 Top 8
    1) Soh, Ryan Siong Huat
    2) Tham, Tishen
    3) Au Yong, Wai Kin
    4) Ikeda, Tsuyoshi
    5) Nobushita, Jun
    6) Yamada, Tsutomu
    7) Law, Albertus Hui Chin
    8) Khoo, Wei Ren

    Just a year later, Kuala Lumpur hosted the very last Asia Pacific Championship, where Jin Okamoto emerged victorious. This resulted in him being affectionately christened as "The Last Emperor". Albertus Law once again solidified himself as one of the top Malaysian players by breaking into the Top 8, along with eventual World Champion, Katsuhiro Mori.

    Asia Pacific Championship 2001 Top 8
    APAC 2001
    1) Jin Okamoto
    2) Jun Nobushita
    3) Katsuhiro Mori
    4) Royce Chai
    5) Sam Lau
    6) Albertus Law
    7) Tobey Tamper
    8) Yujian Zhou

    Kuala Lumpur's second Grand Prix returned in 2002, only to be dominated by her closest neighboring country, Singapore. The format was Odyssey block Booster Draft and the champion, Leong Ding Yuan, would later go on to Top 8 at Worlds 2005 and repeat his win at Kuala Lumpur 2010.

    Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2002 Top 8
    1) Ding Yuan Leong
    2) Chang Chua
    3) Yujian Zhou
    4) Veerapat Sirilertvorakul
    5) Alex Shvartsman
    6) Nick Wong
    7) Tobey Tamber
    8) Edsel Alvarez

    The third GPKL in 2004 saw Mashiko Morita claiming the title in an Affinity mirror match after besting fellow countryman Tsuyoshi Fujita in the semifinals. Honorable mention goes to Sim Han How (the first Malaysian player to break Top 8 at a Pro Tour during Worlds 2002) tried to keep the trophy within Malaysian ground.

    Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2004 Top 8
    1) Masahiko Morita
    2) Kwan Ching Yuen
    3) Zhen X Gao
    4) Tsuyoshi Fujita
    5) Han How Sim
    6) Cheng Wee Pek
    7) Bernard Chan
    8) Khang Jong Kuan

    Two years later, Kenji Tsumura would go ahead to capture his first limited victory during Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2006, featuring the well-loved format of Ravnica Booster Draft. Local hero, Terry Soh (a.k.a Rakdos Augermage) also made the Top 8 but lost to eventual finalist Osamu Fujita.

    Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2006 Top 8
    1) Kenji Tsumura
    2) Osamu Fujita
    3) Quentin Martin
    4) Rudd Warmenhoven
    5) Terry Soh
    6) Shouta Yasooka
    7) Cynic Kim
    8) Itaru Ishida

    Having matured as a Magic city, Kuala Lumpur eventually became the first host of a non-Japanese Asian Pro Tour. It was accompanied by the resurgence of Jon Finkel when he took home his third Pro Tour trophy by displaying his prowess in the world of Lorywn.

    Pro Tour Kuala Lumpur 2008 Top 8
    1) Jon Finkel
    2) Mario Pascoli
    3) Marcio Carvalho
    4) Ming Xu
    5) Guillaume Wafo-Tapa
    6) Mike Hron
    7) Joel Calafell
    8) Nicolai Herzo

    John Finkel took home his 3rd Pro Tour Trophy

    In 2010, Leong Ding Yuan clinched the trophy once again, this time using his Mono-Red deck to annihilate a Standard metagame dominated by Jund. He is the only player to have won Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur twice and promises to be a force to be reckoned with. Leong happens to be playing today as well, and all eyes (at least the Singaporean ones!) are on him to see if he can "three-peat" this outstanding achievement.

    Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2010 Top 8
    1) Ding Yuan Leong
    2) Xue Tong Du
    3) Jakguy Subcharoen
    4) Shingo Fukuta
    5) Shouta Yasooka
    6) Wei Han Chin
    7) Raffy Sarto
    8) Zhiyang Zhang
    Leong Ding Yuan - trying to go for a "three-peat"

    From humble beginnings, the Malaysian community has flourished to its current glory. 612 players are competing today in a bid to be crowned the newest Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur champion. Be sure to follow all the action as it unravels!


  • Saturday, 2:47 p.m. – Metagame Breakdown
    by Pip Foweraker

  • Walking around the tournament venue over the last few days, I've interrogated countless players on their thoughts for the current Standard metagame. I was met with an array of shrugs, mumbled conjecture, and outright bewilderment the likes of which hasn't been seen for many seasons.

    Veteran Magic players are not normally reticent in giving their opinions, but this weekend has proved to be the exception. Would the top tables be filled with Geralf's Messengers, or would Huntmasters be staring each other down across their respective Fells? Nobody was sure, and nobody was admitting to having an inside edge or some secret tech.

    After a long and laborious trawl through the 612 decklists handed in to judges, the metagame for GP: Kuala Lumpur started to take a clearer form. A massive amount of hybridisation had been brewing, clearly, as evidenced by the many borrowings and mashups that make up the field for this weekend.

    Birthing Pod decks without Birthing Pod. Seven different flavors of Reanimator deck. Wolf Run splashing every conceivable color and combination of colors. And some decks that, well, I'm not quite sure what they're trying to be, apart from possibly everything.

    The expected archetypes are here, and out in force. Wolf Run in its most recognisable form leads the pack, with U/W Humans, Esper and U/B Control, and the breakout U/B Zombie deck all making strong showings.

    Which strategy will emerge victorious – something outlined in the table here, or perhaps an unknown deck will weave its way through the field to claim the title? Keep your eye on the coverage over the weekend to find out!

    Deck Archetype # Played % Played
    4C Planeswalker Control 3 0.49%
    5 Color Control 2 0.33%
    B/G 4 0.65%
    B/R Zombies 12 1.96%
    B/W Tokens 22 3.59%
    Birthing Pod 21 3.43%
    BUG Control 3 0.49%
    BWG 'Junk' 2 0.33%
    Delver 42 6.86%
    Esper Control 49 8.01%
    G/B Wolf Run 3 0.49%
    Heartless Summoning 8 1.31%
    Infect 5 0.82%
    Mono Black Zombies 6 0.98%
    Mono Green 5 0.82%
    Mono-Black 5 0.82%
    Naya Pod 6 0.98%
    Other 36 5.88%
    R/B Control 4 0.65%
    R/B Vampires 4 0.65%
    R/G Aggro 37 6.05%
    R/G/W Wolf Run 11 1.80%
    R/W Control 2 0.33%
    RDW 10 1.63%
    Reanimator 13 2.12%
    Tempered Steel 8 1.31%
    Tezzeret 4 0.65%
    U/B Control 46 7.52%
    U/B Zombies 43 7.03%
    U/B/W Spirits 7 1.14%
    U/R Control 3 0.49%
    U/R Delver 3 0.49%
    U/W Control 6 0.98%
    U/W Delver 19 3.10%
    U/W Humans 51 8.33%
    U/W Spirits 3 0.49%
    W Humans 5 0.82%
    W/G 17 2.78%
    Wolf Run 82 13.40%


  • Saturday, 4:23 p.m. – Round 4 Feature Match: Au Yong Wai Kin (GW Beatdown) vs. Antti Malin (GW Beatdown)
    by Chapman Sim

  • Au Yong Wai Kin is known to be one of the top Malaysia players and is highly regarded as a formidable opponent within the local community. However, the stature of his opponent still intimidates, seeing how he had lifted the World Championship trophy in Memphis four years ago.

    Au Yong Wai Kin

    I asked him what brought him to this nook of the world (relative to a Finnish) and Antti Malin explained that he had always wanted to go on a holiday to Australasia. Back-to-back Grand Prix over this fortnight gave him an opportunity to play some Magic on his travels. With that, both players shuffled up for the mirror match.

    Game One

    Au Yong won the die roll and Malin had to switch his initial seven. The Malaysian opened with Avacyn's Pilgrim, which allowed him to resolve a turn two Mirran Crusader. All the former World Champion had in play were a couple of Plains. After attacking with Mirran Crusader, Au Yong dropped Sword of War and Peace onto the table, threatening upwards of twenty damage next turn. This prompted Malin to ponder for a moment before scooping up his cards, ending the first game in swift and brutal fashion.

    Au Yong Wai Kin 1 – Antti Malin 0

    Game 2

    "I think I'll play first," quipped Antti Malin. It seems that years away from the game didn't take out the flair in him. His first move was to Gather the Townsfolk, then using Fiend Hunter to temporarily evict an opposing Strangleroot Geist.

    Blade Splicer from Au Yong provided both a source of offense and defense but Leonin Relic-Warder sent the Golem on a journey to nowhere. Honor of the Pure from Malin buffed up his entire army and brought his opponent down to twelve life but Au Yong stemmed the bleeding by using Oblivion Ring to rid the enchantment. He then summoned a second Strangleroot Geist, holding Fiend Hunter as his last card.

    Malin asked if it was a good card, only to receive an emotionless shrug from the composed Malaysian veteran. With little hesitation, Au Yong used his "last card" to keep the freshly summoned Hero of Bladehold in check, but Malin had a second Fiend Hunter to undo that.

    Au Yong seemed to be becoming overwhelmed. He called forth a Hero of Bladehold of his own to stave away the incoming onslaught. Rearranging his permanents against his opponent's, Malin tried to calculate if it was possible to mount a profitable attack. He deliberated that he couldn't and decided to try next turn and passed after summoning a second Hero of Bladehold.

    Antti Malin

    However, the alpha strike never happened. Au Yong had Garruk Relentless to kill a Fiend Hunter, releasing his own Fiend Hunter from its shackles, which was in turn used to remove an opposing Hero of Bladehold. Next turn, he sacrificed Strangleroot Geist to tutor up Geist-Honored Monk, putting an 11/11 monstrosity and two flying spirits onto the battlefield, good enough to jam up the board while his Planeswalker went to work.

    When Au Yong drew into one of his Mortarpods, he used it in conjunction with his deathtouch wolves to demolish Malin's board piece by piece. Despite having Gavony Township, Malin determined that he was unable to recover from this lethal combo and extended his hand in gracious defeat.

    Au Yong Wai Kin 2 – Antti Malin 0


  • Saturday, 5:55 p.m. – Round 6 Feature Match: Daniel Lai vs. Kuo Tzu Ching
    by Pip Foweraker

  • This weekend is Daniel Lai's first feature match, and he's on an undefeated run at his first big Top 8. His previous record finish has been an 11th at Malaysian Nationals, and Lai chose to pilot a finely tuned U/B Control deck this weekend.

    Kuo Tzu Ching's resume is a little fuller, with a Top 4 in the team events at Worlds in 2011, 7 GP Top 8's, 3 National Championships under his belt. Counterbalancing this is a long-standing run of ill luck at the feature match table. Kuo's shuffling up a U/W midrange deck that combines a light permission suite with aggressive, undercosted and untargetable creatures.

    Kuo led the action with a Ponder and sculpted his hand for the turns ahead. He summoned an Invisible Stalker, while Lai cast a Ratchet Bomb an then used a Forbidden Alchemy to dig for answers to the troublesome 1/1.

    A Delver of Secrets joined the board for Kuo. Lai dug for more answers with a Think Twice before attempting a Black Sun's Zenith for 1 to kill off the creatures. Kuo responded with a Vapor Snag to save his Delver.

    A Curse of Death's Hold from Lai was met with a Mana Leak from Kuo, leaving the boards relatively even. Kuo deployed his Delver and Lai had a Snapcaster Mage to squeeze another use out of Think Twice.

    Kuo tried a Geist of Saint Traft, which was countered by Lai. Lai used the break in his opponent's tempo to summon a Liliana of the Veil. In response to Liliana's discard ability, Kuo flashed in a Snapcaster Mage, but Lai had another Mana Leak to stop it.

    After clearing Kuo's hand with Liliana, Lai played a second Curse of Death's Hold, sealing up the first game.

    Kuo surveys his rapidly diminishing options.

    Daniel Lai 1 – Kuo Tzu Ching 0

    Both players had little action for the first few turns, trading small threats and incremental card advantage. Lai resolve the first solid threat with a Liliana of the Veil, and Ku took advantage of his window of opportunity to summon a Geist of Saint Traft.

    Lai had an answer ready in a Black Sun's Zenith, leaving the board clear apart from the imposing Planeswalker.

    Kuo summoned a Snapcaster Mage and then Pondered, letting him cast a Surgical Extraction to remove Lai's Dissapates from the game. Kuo also noted a pair of Snapcaster Mages in Lai's hand. Lai used Liliana to force both players to discard and then tried a Curse of Death's Hold, Kuo unable to stop it. Kuo scooped his Snapcaster into the graveyard and tried a second Geist, which resolved.

    Lai amasses more resources in an effort to bury his opponent

    Lai had another Black Sun's Zenith, earning himself a sigh from his opponent, who once again pushed his creature into the graveyard. Lai used a Forbidden Alchemy to full his graveyard with a Think Twice. His opponent sat with no cards in hand, unable to effectively use his Moorland Haunts because of the Curse. Lai's hand grew and grew, while Liliana glared malevolently across at an empty board.

    Kuo clung on desperately for a few more turns, but as Lai lay down a second Curse, his options ran out.

    Daniel Lai 2 – Kuo Tzu Ching 0


  • Saturday, 6:11 p.m. – Asia's Perspective on the World Magic Cup
    by Chapman Sim

  • Grand Prix' are some of the most fun and accessible ways to play Magic. Combining the thrill of a huge crowd, the draw of big-name players, and the fun of a large-scale event, what's not to love?

    Aside from being a great avenue to meet friends, it is also an avenue to compete on a larger scale. Some players are happy to treat it like any other tournament – catch up with friends, make new ones, trade, and see how far your skills can take you.

    For others, it's an opportunity to earn some precious Pro Points. The player with the most Pro Points in his or her country at the end of this season will earn the right to represent their country in the World Magic Cup. With that in mind, let's look at how the WMC race is shaping up in Asia.

    The competition within Malaysia is pretty tight. Lee Eing Yung (11), Hiew Chee Choong (11), Chye Yian Hsiang (10), Rick Lee Hup Beng (10) and Au Yung Wai Kin (9) are all within a Top 32 finish from each other, and it's hard to say who will be leading until the dust has settled. Terry Soh (5), having taken a year off for his Masters, is sitting lower on the ladder, but much will depend on his result for the weekend...

    Close friends and competitors Huang Hao-Shan (26) and Kuo Tzu Ching (24) are both here to earn a few extra points so they may represent Taiwan in the WMC. Huang's two Grand Prix Top 8s this season (Singapore and Sydney) gave him the bulk of his points, but Kuo has expressed determination to overtake Huang to the best of his abilities. Both players will also be attending Grand Prix Melbourne next week, and that is another battle in itself.

    The situation in China is similarly interesting. Lv Jiachong (15) is also here with Chen Zhuang (15) in a bid to earn an edge over the other, while Xu Bin (15) declined to make the trip. Chen is the reigning National Champion with Lv also on the team at the alternate. As both players are currently tied (and both expressing no interest to travel the other Grand Prix), this event promises to be of vital importance for both aspirants.

    The neck-in-neck race among the Singaporeans is also a close one, since the entire reigning National Team is present. Kelvin Chew (16), creator of the original Geistpike deck which shook up the metagame on MTGO is here, along with teammates Benedict Lee (15), Joshua Yang (14) and Lim Zhongyi (6).

    Zhang Meng Qiu (20), Hong Kong's top representative this season, seems a solid lock to represent Hong Kong. Lam Tsz Yeung (15) isn't anywhere to be seen today, so Zhang should be looking to reinforce his lead, but is under no pressure.

    Similarly, Cynic Kim (13) is here to reinforce his lead, while his friends Cho Jeong Woo (11), Jang Tae-Jin (10) and Kim Sang-eun (10) are at home, either cheering him on or keeping their fingers crossed. Jan Ang (12) from the Philippines is also here trying to forge ahead while closest competitors Gerald Camangon (10), Ogie Jaro (9), Kevin Gonzales (8) and Jay Pangasinan (8) lay in wait.

    As you can see, the race for each country's representative titles brings about its own unique dramas. How is your country's Pro Point race shaping up? If you don't have enough Pro Points, don't fret! The qualifying season for the World Magic Cup is just around the corner. The winners of each WMCQ (World Magic Cup Qualifier) will earn airfare and a blue envelope to compete. Have you earned your required Planeswalker Points yet?


  • Saturday, 8:57 p.m. – Round 8 Feature Match: Da Feng vs. Gene Brumby
    by Pip Foweraker

  • This is Da Feng's 3rd Grand Prix, and he came in fresh off three byes to stake out an undefeated 7-0 record so far. Happily admitting to being both nervous and excited about his first feature match, Feng was keen to get his game on.

    PT mainstay Gene Brumby is far more used to the lights of the feature match table, having been proudly representing New Zealand on the tour longer than he cares to remember. A handful of Nationals finishes round out his resume, but no championships – 'So far', he smiled, shuffling his deck.

    Feng started his first feature match inauspiciously, mulliganing to 5. Both players led off with agressive starts. Fang had a Doomed Traveler, while Brumby summoned a Champion of the Parish. Feng followed up with a Gather the Townsfolk. Brumby played a Fiend Hunter and chose to remove the Traveler rather than one of Feng's tokens. Feng had no action to follow up, while Brumby played a Sword of War and Peace.

    Feng had a Lingering Souls and a Hero of Bladehold, while Brumby equipped his Fiend Hunter with the Sword and attacked, dropping Feng to 16. Post combat, he re-equipped the Sword to his Champion and passed, leaving a pro-red, pro-white blocker on the board.

    Da Feng

    Unfazed, Feng cast an Oblivion Ring, removing the Sword of War and Peace, and attacked with his team. The tokens and battle cry damage stacked up, and there was suddenly 15 damage coming in at Brumby.

    After some deliberation, Brumby sacrificed his Champion of the Parish to block an incoming Soldier token, falling to 8 life and with a solitary blocker against Feng's encroaching horde. With no outs presenting themselves, both players moved to their sideboards.

    Da Feng 1 – Gene Brumby 0

    Feng started game 2 off with another mulligan. 'Well, it worked last time', came a wry comment. Brumby led off with a Champion of the Parish and followed with a Doomed Traveler. Feng had his own Doomed Traveler and, after Brumby attacked and traded Travelers, an Intangible Virtue.

    Feng cast a Mortarpod and attacked with his vigilant Spirit token. Brumby had slowed down his offence briefly by casting a Sword of War and Peace, which he then equipped to his Champion and attacked. The black Germ token from the Mortarpod leapt to Feng's defence, heroically sacrificing itself to do Brumby a point of damage on the way to the graveyard.

    Feng summoned a Hero of Bladehold, leaving him once again with an imposing board. Brumby attacked with his Champion of the Parish, this time getting through for an 11-point life swing. A Day of Judgment cleared the board, leaving Brumby with a Spirit token and Feng with an unequipped Mortarpod. Feng had no more threats, playing out another Intangible Virtue and passing.

    Brumby equipped his Sword and attack, following up with a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Feng had a Revoke Existence for Brumby's Sword, but no answer for the incoming creatures.

    Gene Brumby 1 – Da Feng 1

    Feng led play with by Gathering the Townsfolk. Brumby had a Champion of the Parish and a Thalia. His 2/2 Champion traded with Feng's 2 1/1's, Feng following up with a Mortarpod. Brumby attacked with his Thalia, and Feng sacrificed his Germ to get rid of the oppressive first striker. Feng had a Doomed Traveler and an Honor of the Pure, while Brumby had a Traveler of his own.

    Gene Brumby

    Feng attacked, and Brumby declined to sacrifice his man. Feng had a pair of Intangible Virtues after combat, proving Brumby's decision not to block a wise one. Brumby had an Honor of the Pure to pump his own Traveler, and both players traded blows back and forth.

    Feng had a second Mortarpod, and equipped the first one to his Traveler, threatening two damage and an impressively large token against Brumby's fuller hand but emptier board.

    And the end of Feng's turn, Brumby used his Moorland Haunt to get himself a flier, and then attacked with his team. Feng blocked the Traveler with his much larger Germ token, itself a formidable creature.

    Brumby kept growing his army with another Doomed Traveler, making good use of his Moorland Haunt. Unable to fend off the incoming army of 2/2 fliers, Feng was under pressure. He attacked with his own Traveler and then cast a Day of Judgment, leaving the board clear once again apart from a Spirit token. Brumby had ample creatures in his graveyard, but declined to use his Haunt, instead powering out a far more effective Timely Reinforcements.

    With both players life totals dropping rapidly, Feng needed to move towards the endgame before the Haunts overpowered him. He had a substantial threat in the form of a Hero of Bladehold. Despite a pair of Timely Reinforcements for Brumby, the potent combination of the Hero and the Intangible Virtues proved too much for Brumby, and he extended his hand in congratulations.

    Da Feng 2 – Gene Brumby 1


  • Saturday, 9:10 p.m. – Round 9 Feature Match: Zhang Meng Qiu (Delver) vs. Yuuya Watanabe (Delver)
    by Chapman Sim

  • Japanese juggernaut Yuuya Watanabe needs little introduction, but his opponent might. Zhang is currently a reigning National Team member of Hong Kong and he has had a relatively great year. Currently sitting at 20 Pro Points, he is almost locked to participate in the World Magic Cup as his country's representative. Both players are already locked up for Day Two (at 7-1), but the winner of this match would have a less thorny path on the route to the Top 8 tomorrow. Both players are piloting the relatively skill-intensive Blue White Delver deck and this promises to be an exciting battle of wits and flips.

    Yuuya Watanabe

    Game One

    Watanabe wins the die roll and opts to play first, only to be punished by a mulligan. Both players opened with the ubiquitous Delver of Secrets but Watanabe was first to tip the scales by toasting his opponent's copy with Gut Shot. Zhang was ready with a replacement but it was only a nuisance compared to Watanabe's Geist of Saint Traft. Being a mirror match, Zhang naturally had a duplicate of the Legendary creature but the Japanese player trumped with yet another copy. There were still no Insectile Abberations on the table (owing to terrible topdecks) but the Geist (and his angelic assistant) was able to seal the first match for Watanabe.

    Zhang Meng Qiu 0 – Yuuya Watanabe 1

    Game Two

    Zhang elected to play first but this time, Watanabe was first to turn up the heat with Seachrome Coast and Delver of Secrets. However, he stumbled on mana on the second turn and was forced to lay down Glacial Fortress tapped. Zhang made use of this window to resolve Geist of Saint Traft unopposed. To make matters worse, Watanabe's Delver of Secrets continued to remain a 1/1 over the next three turns (drawing two Snapcaster Mage and a Geist of Saint Traft), as he missed his third, fourth and fifth land drops.

    Zhang built up his hand with Ponder, then equipped Runechanter's Pike to the Geist. It crashed into the red zone for two straight turns, bringing Watanabe to a precarious life total. When Watanabe finally found his third land on the 6th turn, he was able to summon a copy of the Geist but he had no time to cast the Oblivion Ring in his hand. Invisible Stalker in conjunction with the Runechanter's Pike combined to deal the finishing flow, evening out the score.

    Zhang Meng Qiu 1 – Yuuya Watanabe 1

    Game Three

    Both players lead with turn one Delvers, but Zhang had Gut Shot to deal with his opponent's copy. When Zhang tried a second one, Watanabe sends it home with Vapor Snag and follows up with Geist of Saint Traft. Revoke Existence was revealed and it transformed Zhang's Delver of Secrets. Zhang uses Phantasmal Image to nuke the opposing Geist, then casts his THIRD Delver of Secrets.

    With a look at desolation, Watanabe could only muster Timely Reinforcements, but Zhang was ready with his own Geist. A couple of Ponders netted Watanabe nothing but a Runechanter's Pike but the next turn proved to be backbreaking.

    Zhang Meng Qiu

    Zhang revealed Vapor Snag off the top of his deck, transforming the unflipped Delver of Secrets, prompting a wince from his opponent and the audience alike. Facing a duo of Insectile Abberations and Geist of Saint Traft, Watanabe was at the end of his line. A third and forth copy of Ponder didn't net him what he had wished for but all Zhang had to do was swing with his army to clinch the match. Watanabe could only be content to be 7-2 while Zhang advances to an 8-1 record.

    Zhang Meng Qiu 2 – Yuuya Watanabe 1

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