Quarterfinal Feature Match: Dave Williams (USA) vs. Tsuyoshi Fujita (Japan)

Posted in Event Coverage

By Josh Bennett

Tsuyoshi Fujita

Despite having been on the Pro Tour for several years, this is Dave Williams's first Top 8. After making the cut he was visibly excited. When asked about his chances, he was frank: "I mean, I want to win, but I put myself on a quick exit, you know? I'm just happy to make it." Today he is playing a version of the dominant Red/Black control deck that has access to green mana for its Thunderscape Battlemages.

Tsuyoshi Fujita is in the same boat, but for him the honor is even greater. He is the first Japanese player to make the Top 8 of the Pro Tour. He is playing a unique U/B Control deck of his own design. It has even caught the eye of a number of pros. They are quick to praise it, and he's very pleased to be receiving such respect from the people he looks up to. And it's not just the local crowd who have been rooting for him. It seems like everyone wants the hometown hero to win.

Williams kept a potent opening hand that was shown to the crowd when Fujita Addled him for black on turn two. He removed a Bog Down, but left Williams with Skizzik, Crypt Angel, and Flametongue Kavu. He kept Williams off-pace by Recoiling his Urborg Volcano.

Fujita played an end-of-turn Fact or Fiction that turned over Ravenous Rats, two Repulses, Addle and Island. Williams's first instinct was to stick the two Repulses together, but thought better of it. Fujita got one of them and the Rats.

Williams suddenly realized that not only were there three members of the press and a Judge around his table, but that two photographers were squeezing in for close-ups. He convinced them to give him a little more room, laughing at the situation.

Fujita played Ravenous Rats with three mana up. Williams discarded the less-than-useless Flametongue Kavu. He swung with an unkicked Skizzik, but Fujita Recoiled it, costing him a land. He kicked it into play on his next turn. Fujita Repulsed. He tried again, and it went to the graveyard thanks to Exclude. Another Skizzik met the same fate. His Rats got Undermined.

Fujita untapped and played Yawgmoth's Agenda. Williams knew it was over, saying "Maybe I'll get something to resolve this game..."

He baited Fujita with a Nightscape Familiar, but Fujita held back to Exclude his Blazing Specter. He played an Urborg Shambler to remove Williams's defense and begin the beatdown in earnest. The game ended in a series of counters and 4/3 beats.

Fujita tried to justify keeping his game 2 hand, but couldn't. His second was more to his liking. Williams came out early with Nightscape Familiar, but only had a Darigaaz's Caldera to go with his two land. He pounded his deck and was rewarded with a fourth.

He Bogged Fujita Down, getting an Urborg Shambler and Prohibit. Fujita answered with Ravenous Rats that got a Ghitu Fire. Williams displayed more powerful discard with a kicked up Thunderscape Battlemage, costing Fujita Recoil and Agenda. Next turn, he tried a repeat performance. Fujita had an Exclude. Unfortunately for him, he was stuck at three land. He Undermined William's Addle, untapped, and drew a fourth.

Williams made a Blazing Specter and sent his crew. Fujita cast Fact or Fiction, showing two Excludes and land. He naturally ended up with one of the counters and two land. He made a Ravenous Rats with Exclude mana up. Williams discarded Flametongue Kavu.

Fujita had dropped low enough on life that he had to chumped the Battlemage with the Rats. He dropped an Addle to the Specter. On Williams's next attack he Maliced the Battlemage, losing Exclude to the Specter. His hand was empty.

Fujita drew and conceded. He looked at his next card, Urborg Shambler.

Williams mulliganed in game 3, fanning the top of his deck and shaking his head. He looked at his second hand and shrugged. He kept it. Fujita compounded his disadvantage with Ravenous Rats, catching a Terminate.

Williams stunted his growth with Darigaaz's Caldera and Addled for blue. He found no valid choices, only Ravenous Rats, Shambler, Agenda and land. A second Rats from Fujita caught his Specter. The turn after he had a Recoil for Williams's Caldera, leaving him at one land. Williams pitched Crypt Angel.

Dave Williams

The twin Rats continued to beat. Fujita Addled for black, getting another Specter and leaving Williams with Void and two land. Williams eventually hit four mana off a Caldera, but only had Bog Down to play. Fujita discarded Shambler and Swamp. Fujita untapped and played the Agenda. Williams replayed a fourth land, giving Fujita the window he needed to Addle away the Void.

Williams topdecked Skizzik was Recoiled then Addled away. Fujita brought out the Shambler, then cast Fact or Fiction at the end of Williams's turn. The top five cards contained an Undermine, and Williams dropped his hand of land onto the table.

Fujita scowled at his Game 4 opening hand, but decided to keep it. Williams's Ravenous Rat snagged a Prohibit. He followed it up with Bog Down. Fujita discarded Fact or Fiction and Spite/Malice.

Williams summoned a Blazing Specter off a Caldera, but Fujita had the Exclude to protect his dwindling hand. Williams Addled him for blue, seeing two Repulses, a Shambler and an Undermine. He sent the counter away. Fujita untapped and played the Shambler, but Williams couldn't capitalize. To his surprise, he realized this was because he had forgotten to lay a land on his turn!

He played a Shivan Oasis and passed the turn. The mistake meant his kicked Thunderscape Battlemage came down a turn later. Fujita discarded Repulse and Recoil. Williams dipped into the Battlemage well a second time, but Fujita Prohibited it.

Williams made a Blazing Specter and attacked, leaving his Battlemage behind to block. The Specter was Repulsed before it could assault his hand. The Battlemage took one for the team. Williams tried to stop the pain with a Flametongue Kavu, but Fujita had an Undermine. The next Shambler hit knocked him to one.

Williams thought his topdecked Specter would buy him a turn, but Fujita's deck had just given up an Exclude. Williams conceded before the Shambler could bust him proper. The crowd, who had watched the games in mute suspense, erupted in cheers and applause. Fujita was into the semis. As he walked away from the table he was mobbed, everyone offering congratulations and wishes of good luck.

Final Result: Fujita defeats Williams 3-1

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