It was a title 23 years in the making and it ends with Yuta Takahashi as the latest Magic World Champion. The long-time pro player, known for playing Faeries at Modern Grand Prix long after the deck had fallen out of favor, ran the table in Standard with Izzet Dragons – the copy of the deck in the 16 player field.
Takahashi had a rough start to his tournament. The tournament began with three rounds of Midnight Hunt draft and our eventual champion ended the limited segment without a win. Going into Standard Takahashi would have a monumental task ahead of him. He sleeved up Izzet Dragons featuring the format defining Alrund’s Epiphany, but unlike other Epiphany decks in the field, Takahashi paired the powerful sorcery with Goldspan Dragon. It served him well as he proceeded to go undefeated in Standard.
Takahashi was joined in the Top 4 by Ondrej Strasky on Izzet Epiphany, Jan Merkel on Grixis Epiphany, and Jean-Emmanuel Depraz on Temur Treasures. Only Strasky – who went undefeated in the Swiss – and Takahashi made the Top 4 after the Swiss, with Merkey and Depraz winning a tiebreaker round.
Takahashi’s winning ways continued in the Top 4 as he swept through the Upper Bracket by defeating both Merkel and Depraz. He then waited for several hours in the Grand Final match only to face Depraz again. It was a quick two matches and in the final moments, the emotions were visible on Takahashi’s face. In a flurry of dragon attacks and instants, the long time Japanese Pro claimed the title of Magic World Champion. The last question remaining is this: As every champion now gets immortalized in the official are of a card, will his likeness appear on a Faerie?
Izzet Dragons by Yuta Takahashi – Magic World Championship XXVII 2021
Thus ends the 2020-21 Professional Magic Season. While the Magic Pro League and Rivals League will continue through next year, beyond set Championships, the structure of any events beyond that remain unknown, as does what elite level play will look like in beyond 2022. But for now, that can wait as we celebrate our latest World Champion.