Day 2 Recap

Posted in Event Coverage

By Josh Bennett

Tokyo is one of the world's most exciting cities, and the Pro Tour has delivered an event worthy of it. There was tension. There was drama. And there were plenty of people on hand to witness it.

Going into Day 2, the most popular decktypes were Red/Black control and Red/Green beats. The former uses powerful red removal to take apart creature decks, as well as deliver a late-game punch with Ghitu Fire and Urza's Rage. Nightscape Familiars accelerate them to early Voids, good both as a board sweeper and as a "guessing" discard spell, complemented by Blazing Specter. Skizzik provides a heavy hitter. Dave Williams' Top Eight deck is similar to this design, but adds Crypt Angels and Thunderscape Battlemages into the mix.

As for the Red/Green, it plays plenty of quick creatures like Thornscape Familiar, Blurred Mongoose and Yavimaya Barbarian, as well as Nekrataal effects from Thornscape Battlemage and Flametongue Kavu. Raging Kavu and Skizzik give opponent's little breathing space. Most significant is their ability to punish a substandard draw. With so many focused attackers, they are unlikely to find themselves without aggression. Five of these decks made Top Eight.

The Top Eight is one of the most exciting in a while, and is chock full of firsts. Ryan Fuller was the first player to go undefeated in the Swiss of a Pro Tour. His team, Team made the finals of the Masters, but also flexed their muscle on the Tour by posting junior member Philip Freneau and Grand Prix champion Chris Benafel to the final day. Frederico Bastos became the first Portuguese player to make Top 8.

He was joined by the first Japanese Top 8 competitor, Tsuyoshi Fujita. Fujita had to knock out relative newcomer Tomohide Sasakawa on his way there, in one of the most-watched Feature Matches ever. The crowd went absolutely wild when Fujita swung for the win with an Urborg Shambler.

Dave Williams came off his twentieth place finish at Los Angeles to make Tokyo his first Top 8, and is very excited at the prospect. Lucas Hager is also on the eve of his first Top 8. He has played on the Tour for a long time, finishing in the money, but never before reaching these heights. Vaunted deckbuilder and alleged arms dealer Zvi Mowshowitz rounds out the Top 8, having steered his team's "The Solution" into the Top 8. The deck also put Brian Selden at tenth.

Perhaps the best part of the tournament was how efficiently run it was. Many players traveled from the corners of the globe to play here, so busy with the tournament that they haven't seen the sights. However, with the tournament ending earlier than expected, many players are getting the chance to see the city in all its glory.

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