Check out our Top 8 Deck Analysis, Day 2 and Day 1 Coverage to get caught up and then follow along as we track the progress of the march to greatness today at Pro Tour Kaladesh.
Matches are best of five today, but the first two games are played without sideboards.
Our bracket looks like this today, forcing the bottom half of the bracket to battle four times today (a potential twenty total games) if they want to take it all home:
Both Makis (R/W Tokens) and Shota (Grixis Control) are safe until the semi-finals, giving their decks a better than average shot at the title. Notably the bottom half of the bracket forces most of the aggro decks to eliminate each other before facing combo, control or the red/white tokens list.
Quarter-Finals Stage 1: Ben Hull (R/W Vehicles) vs. Lee Shi Tian (Mardu Vehicles)
Game 1 plays out as expected here with Ben Hull managing to stabalize and managing to transition into a Skysovereign, Consult Flagship late game that quickly turns the corner and puts Shi Tian away. Off camera Hull takes the next game as well, but Lee takes Game 3 quickly to fight back, but falls in the next game to put the fledgling Canadian in the Top 6.
Quarter-Finals Stage 1: Carlos Romao (Jeskai Control) vs. Joey Manner (UW Flash Spirits)
Carlos takes Game 1 off camera. In Game 2 Manner gets Carlos down to 1 life, but a Dovin Baan is able to stabilize the game for a few turns, and Romao starts to drown Joey in card advantage until Torrential Gearhulks are able to close things out. Joey loses the third game as well, but Romao’s roll is not to be stopped this weekend, and a series of kill spells sees Manner knocked off the podium for the weekend, putting the Brazilian one step closer to his third big tournament win in as many months.
Quarter-Finals Stage 2: Carlos Romao (Jeskai Control) vs Matt Nass (Temur Aetherworks)
Game 1 finds Nass predictably running multiple copies of Marvel Aetherworks into counterspell after counterspell, and eventually Romao gets his Torrential Gearhulks down to close the game. Game 2 goes much the same and Carlos is up by two.
Quarter-Finals Stage 2: Ben Hull (R/W Vehicles) vs Pierre Dagen (UR Control)
Ben Hull is able to quickly dispatch Dagen, who never really manages to establish his control of the board over the course of a quick three games. Hull moves on to the semi-finals vs. Shota Yasooka and his Grixis Control deck.
Semi-Finals: Makis Matsoukas (R/W Tokens) vs Carlos Romao (Jeskai Control)
LSV points out Torrential Gearhulk as the key card for Romao.
Had to take a quick break, but upon my return I find Romao up 2-1 on Makis. The final game is a grind and Makis nearly gets his aggro amped up high enough to win a few times only to be met by stiff control opposition in the form of Torrential Gearhulk and multiple kill spells, including a key Radiant Flames. Romao is on to the finals!
Semi-Finals: Shota Yasooka (Grixis Control) vs Ben Hull (R/W Vehicles)
The players trade the first two games, with Thing in the Ice and Smuggler’s Copter featuring prominently. Yasooka in Games 3 and 4 however is a lesson in tight control play and when Hull stumbles on land in Game 4, the writing is on the wall. Yasooka is going to a Pro Tour final yet again.
Finals: Shota Yasooka (Grixis Control) & Carlos Romao (Jeskai Control)
All control finals featuring multiple copies of Torrential Gearhulk on both sides of the table. Definitely the card of the tournament, despite the heavy presence of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar in the Top 8, and most copies are now in the $30-35 range online.
Game 1 lasts nearly forty minutes, with both players trading resources left and right in typical control fashion. Shota had even chosen to draw rather than play, a hallmark of control mirrors. Late in the game Carlos has Dovin Baan in play and seems to be setting up shop, only to have Shota squeak through the exact amount of damage necessary with a pair of Wandering Fumeroles and an Unlicensed Disintegration.
Game 2 puts the spotlight on Dovin Baan once again, with Carlos managing to ultimate the control-centric Planeswalker to prevent his opponent from untapping more than two permanents per turn. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, Shota is able, through masterful play, answer only the threats that he absolutely had to, and the Japanese Hall of Famer manages to run Romao out of every threat in his deck, with more gas in the tank. The players move to sideboarding, removing a lot of their dead cards against each other.
In Game 3, Romao starts a bit behind on land drops, but manages to steady the ship by dropping a Torrential Gearhulk in against a Transgress the Mind from Shota, forcing the Japanese master off a Summary Dismissal in hand. A few turns later a large scale counter war over Shota’s Torrential Gearhulk, ends in Carlos favor and he’s able to glide Avacyn home to take his first game of the match.
In Game 4 however, Shota gets a Gearhulk and an awakened Thing in the Ice into the red zone, and Shota is able to clear away both a knight token and Dovin Baan with a Delirium enabled To the Slaughter, putting Carlos on the back foot. A turn later, Carlos attempts an Immolating Glare on the incoming attackers, only to be met with a final Negate and Shota Yasooka with Grixis Control is your Pro Tour Kaladesh champion!
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