Yuta Takahashi becomes Magic's 2021 World Champion

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Yuta Takahashi becomes Magic's 2021 World Champion

The player went undefeated through all the Standard rounds of the event and, with his Izzet Dragons, became the fifth Japanese to become the World Champion!

By Romeu, 10/11/21, translated by Romeu, with help from our readers

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The Japanese player

Yuta Takahashi

became, this Sunday night, the newest Magic: The Gathering World Champion by beating Frenchman

Jean-Emmanuel Depraz

in the finals, where he won two rounds with 2-1 matches.
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Yuta Takahashi

Takahashi's Matchups on the World Championship

Takahashi started the event badly, starting the Draft rounds with a 0-3 result. But then he went on to win one round after another in the Standard portion, finishing the Swiss with

7-3

and qualifying in the last round, where the player could not contain the emotion of entering the Top 4 and cried at the camera.

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On the third day of the event, beating the French

Jean-Emmanuel Depraz

in the first round and then beating the German

Jan Merkel

, becoming the first guaranteed competitor in the finals, while the other Top 4 players competed between themselves as to who would face him. In the Lower Bracket, Jean-Emmanuel defeated the Swiss-rounds undefeated player

Ondrej Strásky

and then faced Jan Merkel in the semifinals, where the decisive match was unfortunately decided by a bad mulligan from Merkel, which placed him far behind against Jean-Emmanuel's aggressive deck.

The World Championship's Finals Match

In the finals, Yuta Takahashi played for the title of champion using his Izzet Dragons against Jean-Emmanuel Depraz's Temur Treasures, in two best-of-three rounds where, in the first game, Depraz showed to have a big advantage over Takahashi, who couldn't contain the speed of Temur Treasure's aggressive drops. In the post sideboard, however, Takahashi's heavier or conditional cards came out, making room for important removals like Burning Hands, as well as adding extra copies of Fading Hope and Prismari Command to handle the opponent's copies of Esika's Chariot, while Depraz sided-in his copies of Disdainful Stroke and Tangletrap to deal with Goldspan Dragon, in addition to Kessig Naturalist and Briarbridge Tracker to improve speed and card advantage during the game. However, in the post-side games, Takahashi showed a significant advantage with the addition of his removals added to the absence of heavier drops, as Alrund's Epiphany, which made the match much more difficult for Jean-Emmanuel, as the abundance of card selection effects like Expressive Iteration and Memory Deluge became much more threatening, as they would always find two things: answers or threats. And that's exactly what we saw in the last game: Depraz started the match with an aggressive curve and backed up by Disdainful Stroke, but the 1-for-1 exchanges Takahashi made against the Frenchman, along with the amount of cards selection used, with multiple copies of Memory Deluge and Expressive Iteration gave the Japanese the cards he needed, and not even Depraz's Tangletrap, one of them coming from the topdeck, was enough to advance in the game. Ultimately, it was with a Goldspan Dragon from the top, along with a transformed Smoldering Egg that Yuta Takahashi advanced to the title of World Champion, attacking with both creatures and selecting the spells that would cause the remaining damage with the Ashmouth Dragon trigger, until Jean conceded the match.

Yuta Takahashi's Decklist

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Takahashi's deck was

Izzet Dragons

, a less combo-oriented and more aggressive version of the currently famous Izzet decks, looking to clock their creatures instead of taking a succession of extra turns. The Izzet Dragons were particularly distrusted in the event's Metagame, with Yuta being the only player who piloted the list, which seems to have been built to prey on decks that prey on Izzet Epiphany. Ultimately, the mix of a more aggressive clock, a more straightforward game plan, and a more focused card choice to deal with creature matches rewarded Yuta, making him not only the undefeated player in the Standard rounds, but also the new world champion. With the title, Yuta Takahashi becomes the fifth Japanese player to become the World Champion, joining Katsuhiro Mori (2005), Makihito Mihara (2006), Jun'ya Iyanaga (2011) and Yuuya Watanabe (2012).

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Romeu

Writer and translator for Cards Realm. Plays virtually Magic: The Gathering competitive formats. Pauper Masters' Organizer.

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