Ryuji Murae won Players Tour Online 2 this evening, defeating the Magic Pro League’s Jean-Emmanuel Depraz in a Temur Reclamation mirror match in the finals two games to one.

This weekend’s Players Tour events came two weeks after both Fires of Invention and Agent of Treachery were banned in Standard. With the most powerful mana doubler banned, players turned to the second most powerful, Wilderness Reclamation, resulting in 38.5% of the field at Players Tour Online 2 being made up of Temur Reclamation decks—and over 40% of the Players Tour Online 1 field.

The Standard metagame at Players Tour Online 2.

Murae was one of 72 players to register Temur Reclamation to Players Tour Online 2. Unlike Players Tour Online 1 champion Elias Watsfeldt, Murae decided to play three copies of Scorching Dragonfire and only one copy of Aether Gust in his maindeck, with just a single extra Aether Gust in his sideboard.

Standard Temur Reclamation by Ryuji Murai (1st Place)

Creatures (4)
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
Brazen Borrower

Spells (20)
Expansion // Explosion
Growth Spiral
Mystical Dispute
Scorching Dragonfire
Aether Gust
Flame Sweep

Enchantments (7)
Wilderness Reclamation
Shark Typhoon
Lands (29)
Breeding Pool
Fabled Passage
Ketria Triome
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Blast Zone
Castle Vantress
Temple of Mystery

Sideboard (15)
Nightpack Ambusher
Bonecrusher Giant
Commence the Endgame
Aether Gust
Brazen Borrower
Flame Sweep
Mystical Dispute
Shark Typhoon

Murae finished 11-1-2, good enough for first place at the end of the swiss rounds and a spot in the Top 8 of Players Tour Online 2. That Top 8 turned out to be more diverse than the Top 8 at Players Tour Online 1 earlier in the day, featuring four Temur Reclamation decks rather than six. Those players were joined by two Jund Sacrifice decks, one Rakdos Sacrifice deck, and a Sultai Ramp deck.

The Top 8 bracket at Players Tour Online 2.

Murae defeated Abe Corrigan on Temur Reclamation in the quarterfinals and then Christoffer Larsen on Jund Sacrifice in the semifinals to face Jean-Emmanuel Depraz in the finals.

In Game 1, Murae was the first player to resolve a Wilderness Reclamation to double his mana, but was unable to capitalize on the extra resources, allowing Depraz to find an answer to the Reclamation in the form of Aether Gust. Depraz then found his own Wilderness Reclamation and combined it with Expansion // Explosion to end the game.

Game 2 saw Depraz play the role of the aggressor, casting threats like Nightpack Ambusher and Wilderness Reclamation and forcing Murae to answer them, which he did. Murae built up a board of a 4/4 Shark token from Shark Typhoon, a 5/5 Zombie Army from Commence the Endgame, and a Brazen Borrower to push through lethal.

The deciding Game 3 was a long, drawn out affair, with players trading resources until only two cards remained in Murae’s hand and three in Depraz’s—each containing an Expansion // Explosion. Both players were faced with situations where they could cast lethal Explosions, unaware that their opponent didn’t have a permanent answer, but each took a more conservative line to keep themselves in the game. That worked out better for Murae than Depraz in the end, as he was the first player to draw another Expansion // Explosion and finally decided to cast Explosion for lethal and force Depraz to have an answer. Depraz cast a Growth Spiral and cycled a Shark Typhoon looking for a counterspell, but failed to find anything, and Murae won the game, match, and Players Tour Online 2.

This is Ryuji Murae’s first top finish, Pro Tour/Mythic Championship/Players Tour Top 8, and his first win. He previously Top 8’d Grand Prix Nagoya in 2012 and was a member of Team Kusemono for the Pro Tour Team Series 2018-19 season along with Magic Pro League member Rei Sato and Hall of Famer Shuhei Nakamura. His victory earns him $8,000 and an invite to the Players Tour Finals Online in August.

The Players Tour Online concludes next weekend with the Players Tour Online 3 and 4 events.

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