Yuta Takahashi wins Magic World Championship XXVII after 10-0 streak

·Multimedia Producer
·3 min read
Photo: Magic Esports Twitter
(Photo: Magic Esports Twitter)

Long-time player Yuta Takahashi is the new Magic: The Gathering world champion for the season of 2020/2021, after going on a 10-0 streak in Standard to clinch the title.

While the end result might not reflect it, Takahashi did not have a good start as he crumbled 0-3 in the initial Innistrad: Midnight Hunt draft at the beginning of the tournament, which featured sixteen of the best Magic players.

However, following the start of the Standard rounds, Takahashi went 7-0 with his somewhat unconventional Izzet Dragons deck to reach the Top 4 upper bracket, before winning three more series to be crowned the new world champion.

Izzet Dragons

Creature

  • 4 Goldspan Dragon

  • 4 Smoldering Egg

Sorcery

  • 4 Expressive Iteration

  • 3 Alrund’s Epiphany

  • 4 Shatterskull Smashing

  • 2 Thundering Rebuke

Instant

  • 1 Spikefield Hazard

  • 4 Dragon’s Fire

  • 4 Memory Deluge

  • 1 Negate

  • 2 Divide by Zero

  • 1 Prismari Command

  • 1 Fading Hope

  • 1 Dissipate

  • 3 Jwari Disruption

  • 1 Saw It Coming

Land

  • 7 Island

  • 4 Riverglide Pathway

  • 3 Frostboil Snarl

  • 2 Hall of Storm Giants

  • 4 Mountain

Sideboard

  • 1 Fading Hope

  • 1 Environmental Sciences

  • 4 Malevolent Hermit

  • 1 Heated Debate

  • 3 Burning Hands

  • 2 Cinderclasm

  • 1 Prismari Command

  • 1 Mascot Exhibition

  • 1 Test of Talents

Takahashi faced off against Jean-Emmanuel Depraz’s relentless Temur Treasure deck in the Title Match, but was able to win two Best-of-3 in a calm manner to secure himself US$70,000, as well as getting his likeness on a future Magic card (on top of the US$50,000 appearance fee afforded to all sixteen players in the World Championship).

Temur Treasure

Creature

  • 4 Goldspan Dragon

  • 4 Magda, Brazen Outlaw

  • 3 Moonveil Regent

  • 4 Jaspera Sentinel

  • 4 Prosperous Innkeeper

  • 2 Reckless Stormseeker

Sorcery

  • 4 Shatterskull Smashing

Artifact

  • 4 Esika’s Chariot

Enchantment

  • 4 Ranger Class

Instant

  • 3 Dragon’s Fire

  • 2 Negate

Land

  • 4 Riverglide Pathway

  • 1 Mountain

  • 2 Lair of the Hydra

  • 4 Cragcrown Pathway

  • 4 Barkchannel Pathway

  • 2 Den of the Bugbear

  • 5 Forest

Sideboard

  • 3 Tangletrap

  • 4 Burning Hands

  • 2 Reckless Stormseeker

  • 2 Briarbridge Tracker

  • 2 Kessig Naturalist

  • 2 Disdainful Stroke

How the decks work

The Izzet Dragons and Temur Treasure decks are considered to be a little off-meta, considering that the rest of the meta was either Izzet Epiphany extra turn strategy or stompy mono-green beatdowns.

(Image: Wizards of the Coast)
(Image: Wizards of the Coast)

Both Depraz and Takahaishi’s decks relied on the prowess of the Goldspan Dragon, which was considered a little out of favour following the recent Standard rotation. The Goldspan Dragon is essentially a big, flying creature with huge mana generation potential.

(Image: Wizards of the Coast)
(Image: Wizards of the Coast)

Depraz’s deck came with other creatures such as Reckless Stormseeker, Moonveil Regent and Esika’s Chariot to quickly put pressure on opponents’ lives, but it was ultimately no match for Takahaishi’s Izzet Dragons.

(Images: Wizards of the Coast)
(Images: Wizards of the Coast)

While Takahaishi’s decks did run Alrund’s Epiphany, he ditched them for the Title Match, and relied on cards like Dragon’s Fire, Prismari Command, Burning Hands and Jwari Disruption to control the board.

(Images: Wizards of the Coast)
(Images: Wizards of the Coast)

Takahaishi’s win condition was to get Goldspan Dragon and Smoldering Egg out.

(Images: Wizards of the Coast)
(Images: Wizards of the Coast)

He then used cards like Memory Deluge and Expressive Iteration to transform Smoldering Egg into Ashmouth Dragon (as well as search for answers to Depraz’s creatures), and use Ashmouth Dragon to ping Depraz’s board state or life.

(Images: Wizards of the Coast)
(Images: Wizards of the Coast)

Takahaishi has been playing Magic: The Gathering since 1998, and is well-known for his love of the Faeries archetype.

The win marked his first World Championship title, after winning three previous Grand Prix events in his decorated career.

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