Earlier in the day last season's Rookie of the Year Masashi Oiso agonized over some final decisions for his deck including whether or not to play an Isochron Scepter, whether or not to play sixteen or seventeen lands and--once he committed to sixteen--whether his final card should have been Trolls of Tel-Jilad or a Clockwork Condor. He played the Scepter with a pair of Shatters and an Annul to go with it and he chose the Condor but he was not happy about it. He had three rounds worth of byes to sit around and debate his decisions but the die had been cast. He would finally get to battletest his decisions.
His opponent was Kouhei Yamadaya, the last winner of a Grand Prix in Shizuoka. When he upset the field at the previous tournament he did so with devilish mana in the Top 8. His first picks were all bombs--Iridescent Angel, Stone-Tongue Basilisk and Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor. He played all three with a 5-5-6 mana base with only a Skycloud Expanse to 'fix' his mana. Somehow he made it all work and defeated a more experienced field to hoist the trophy.
He was unexcited with his solid two color deck this time around despite a pair of Deconstructs, Creeping Molds and a Shatter along with his Spikeshot Goblin and other solid creatures.
Yamadaya opened with Pyrite Spellbomb. Oiso followed with a turn two Myr--one of three in his deck. For the subsequent turn two Yamadaya also had a Myr and chose not to kill his opponent's with the Spellbomb. Oiso had nothing if not land though. His hand contained four Forests--he had opened with Island and Mountain. He attacked and the Myr traded. He followed with a Neurok Spy which was promptly Spellbombed on the next turn. A Tel-Jilad Chosen saw play that turn. Oiso had a Clockwork Condor and a Goblin Replica on the next turn.
Yamadaya was stuck on lands and played a Bottle Gnomes. He got in for some damage with his protection from artifacts elf. The Replica was Shattered. Oiso was holding back on a Duplicant and played another Myr leaving his Condor back on the defensive.
Yamadaya continued to extract damage with his Chosen and hit five lands to play his Clockwork Vorrac. Oiso drew and played a Somber Hoverguard continuing to keep Duplicant in hand for an emergency. When the Chosen attacked again, Oiso offered the Hoverguard in trade but Yamadaya had the Predator's Strike. Oiso's next draw found a Mask of Memory and the Condor was finally ready to deal some damage. He discarded a Mountain and played a Bonesplitter that was freshly drawn.
Yamadaya played a Slith Firewalker and attacked into the lonely Bonesplitting Myr that was holding down the fort. Oiso thought about taking eight and trading his Myr for the Firewalker but was reticent and would not commit to blocking. He was at eleven and looked over the board carefully. He put the Myr in the way of the Bottle Gnomes and Yamadaya gained three after damage was on the stack. Oiso let out a groan when Yamadaya fortified with a Tel-Jilad Exile.
He attacked with his Condor and found nothing useful lurking in the next two cards in his library.
Oiso - 0 Yamadaya - 1
Oiso laughed as he reached for the Trolls of Tel-Jilad that he had agonized during deck construction, exiling his Condor to the board. He seemed unconvinced that this was they right play and went back to put the Condor in--this time sending the Scepter to the bench.
Yamadaya was definitely keeping a hand with Shatter, Creeping Mold and Pyrite Spellbomb but not before Osio made a decision. His hand had one land and a number of Myr. If he drew another land he would be fine but with only sixteen could he take that chance? He decided that he could not and sent it back for six more.
Yamadaya had the first play and the second--Pyrite Spellbomb and Tel-Jilad Chosen. Oiso had nothing for three turns. Yamadaya made some Bottle Gnomes and got in for two. Oiso had his Condor for his fourth turn. He was sitting on Creeping Mold but had no green. Yamadaya played a Tel-Jilad Exile and got in for another two with the elf.
Oiso played his foily Simulacrum and dug out a Forest. He passed the turn with both artifact men back on "D". His Jens chump blocked the Exile and he unmulliganed into Forest number two which he used to power out a Duplicant on the Exile. He could still not block the Chosen and fell to twelve. He played a Skeleton Shard--with four mana open--and passed the turn sans attack.
The Chosen kept on coming. Yamadaya looked through Oiso's bin and the Rookie proudly showed off his foil Jens. Yamadaya Deconstructed the Shard and Oiso brought back the Silent Assassin. Elf Replica followed on the free mana. Oiso played his foil and passed the turn.
And the Chosen kept coming.
Oiso drew his Domineer. His hand was Shatter, Creeping Mold, Domineer and a Myr but he was far from in control of the game. He needed a non-artifact creature. In lieu of that he played a Myr.
The Chosen kept on coming--this time carrying a +1/+1 token due to a Battlegrowth. Oiso fell to five.
Osio finally drew a Tel-Jilad Archers and thought about what cards Yamadaya could be holding. Whatever they were he needed to play the green creature and did so. Would the Chosen keep coming?
They did not. Instead Yamadaya played a Spikeshot Goblin and passed the turn. Now Oiso had to draw removal that was not his deck. Instead he drew a Vulshok Gauntlets. He took a gamble and Creeping Molded Yamadaya's lone Mountain in the hopes of rendering the Goblin impotent. He then Domineered the Elf Replica but had no attack. Yamadaya 'cycled' the Spellbomb EOT.
He found a Mountain. Frogmite came into play as well. Oiso played the Gauntlets on the next turn and they were picked up by the Condor and he sent it across for seven in the air. The Condor was Shattered out of the sky and Oiso sent the turn back to the former GP champion who untapped and Creeping Molded the Gauntlets.
Oiso drew a Wizard Replica and played it. He fell to four from the Goblin EOT. Yamadaya was content to sit and shoot Oiso of the final four points and attempted to shut out any aerial assault with an Archer of his own. He accomplished that goal when the Replica was sacrificed to counter the Archers. Oiso Shattered his own Simulacrum to draw a card and was greeted with a Mask of Memory that was unlikely to be of any use. He tossed the Elf Replica back to his opponent and wished him luck for the rest of the weekend.
Yamadaya got a big laugh when he totaled up how much damage he did with his Tel-Jilad Chosen--fifteen points in the second game alone. Yamadaya's nickname is "BF" which stands for Phyrexian Battleflies--a pet card of Kouhei Yamadaya's. A fierce money draft competitor in Tokyo, he would often decimate his opponents with the unassuming flier that could be pumped to a 2/1. If he continued to dominate games with the 2/1 Chosen he might be changing it to "TJ".
Oiso - 0 Yamadaya - 2
Grand Prix Shizuoka 03 Day 1
Grand Prix Shizuoka 03