Six years ago, Makihito Mihara defeated Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa in the top 8 of the World Championships with his Dragonstorm combo deck. Despite that defeat, PV has since greatly impressed the Magic world, earning a resounding induction to the Hall of Fame earlier this weekend.
Mihara was not overly confident of his draft deck. "No bombs," he lamented. His team of Selesnya beaters looked consistent enough, so his plan would be pretty straight forward: play creatures every turn from turn two onward, and push them through any disagreements with his various combat tricks.
PV's deck did have bombs, but might be a little less consistent, as he was splashing for two Explosive Impacts, and an Annihilating Fire. Between those and his Supreme Verdict, PV would be looking to dominate the long game, but would have to do so with much fewer creatures than Mihara. Mihara would most likely have to hope for PV to stumble if he wished to come out on top, this time.
Mihara won the die roll, and lead with a Sunspire Griffin to fly over PV's Doorkeeper. PV Syncopated Mihara's Selesnya Keyrune, before summoning an Armory Guard. Mihara had no turn five play, but still managed to drop PV to 16 in the air.
PV considered Mihara's five untapped lands, but went for it anyway, suiting his Armory Guard up with a Knightly Valor. Mihara had nothing, and the Guard evened up the scores at 16 apiece.
Mihara attacked back for 2, and made a Seller of Songbirds. PV attacked Mihara to 12, his Knight Token trading with Mihara's Bird Token.
The 4/7 Armory Guard has doing an excellent job of outracing Mihara's Griffin, and an end of turn Explosive Impact, followed by an Azorius Justiciar put away game one tidily.
PVDDR 1 – Mihara 0
Mihara began game two a little better than the first with a Keening Apparition, followed by a Seller of Songbirds, while PV just played tapped lands, and a turn three Tower Drake.
While PV was unable to get any value out of his Drake, Mihara sent in his team. PV went with conservative play, and pushed his Drake in front of the Apparition. Mihara punished him with some Swift Justice. The following turn, PV traded a Runewing for the Apparition, while Mihara summoned a Golgari Longlegs. PV summoned another Tower Drake, and dropped to 10 when the Longlegs ladled out a beating.
PV bounced the Longlegs with a Voidwielder, but Mihara just recast it. PV had no play on turn seven, taking 5 from the Longlegs to fall to just 5 life. Mihara laid his cards on the table, literally, playing out the last two cards in hand, a pair of Sunspire Griffins. PV just nodded, and overloaded a Cyclonic Rift at the end of Mihara's turn, eliciting a chuckle from the Japanese player.
Mihara slowly redeployed his team, while PV got started on the long road to evening up the life totals, slapping a Knightly Valor on a Skymark Roc. The Roc did a fine job of hindering Mihata's progress back into the game, while taking chunks out of Mihara's life total.
When Mihara was finally able to attack with his Longlegs again, PV was ready to throw half of his team in front of it, losing only a single Tower Drake to take down the 5/4. Mihara replayed his second Sunspire Griffin after combat, giving him a pair of 2/3 Griffins, a Concordia Pegasus, and a Selesnya Keyrune. Mihara was now down to 10 life, to PV's 5.
PV's board was his 5/5 Skymark Roc, a 2/2 Knight Token, and the Voidwielder. He summoned an Azorius Justiciar, detaining a Griffin and the Pegasus, and dropped Mihara to 5.
Mihara summoned a Stonefare Crocodile, and a Seller of Songbirds, and passed back the turn. PV simply untapped, and pointed an Explosive Impact at Mihara.
Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa defeats Makihito Mihara 2 – 0