Sideboard reporter Gary Wise is putting his money where his mouth is, and for him that's no small feat. The outspoken Canadian Pro won Pro Tour New York with Potato Nation teammates Scott Johns and Mike Turian. However, he hasn't enjoyed any spectacular finishes since then. Here in Tokyo he is working to reverse that trend.
He even did a fair amount of research on his opponent Tsuyoshi Fujita for his Wise Words column. One of the best Japanese players, he is the Champion of Grand Prix Kyoto, as well finishing sixth at Hiroshima, the last APAC Grand Prix. A very expressive player, he is a delight to watch.
The two were the subject of a deck check. Wise commented that he'd finally started playing "Good Magic" today, having made it into Day 2 despite his errors, buoyed by luck and favorable matchups. When Mark Rosewater suggested that that was the reason for all of his Pro Tour success, Wise was suddenly serious, saying "Mike Turian is the reason for my success."
Fujita mulliganed and Wise put on a frown before deciding to keep his hand. An Addle for red from Fujita showed that his hand only had two lands, the Shivan Oasis he had in play, and a Swamp in his hand. Fujita chose the Blazing Specter, leaving him with Flametongue Kavu, Bog Down, Ghitu Fire, Nightscape Familiar and Pyre Zombie. He dropped the Familiar into play next turn.
Fujita's development was slowed by a pair of Salt Marshes, but Wise was stuck at two land. He played a Pyre Zombie with the Familiar's help. Fujita wrecked his board with Urborg Shambler. Wise drew a land. With only three cards in his opponent's hand and no better play he tried to Bog him Down. Fujita countered it with a kicked Prohibit.
Wise took two more swings from the Shambler before drawing another business spell, another Bog Down. Fujita responded with Fact or Fiction, and when the cards came down Phyrexian Scuta, Yawgmoth's Agenda, Repulse and two Excludes, Wise scooped.
At the start of Game Two, Fujita thought for a long while at his opening hand. It might have been Wise's unfortunate first game that convinced him to take the mulligan. He kept his six card hand, though it only had one Island.
Wise Voided him for three on his fourth turn, via a Nightscape Familiar, and saw three Addles, an Undermine, an Urborg Shambler, a Fact or Fiction and a Yawgmoth's Agenda. When Fujita still hadn't found a second land, he stripped his hand of Addles with a second Void.
Then he put Fujita on a fast clock with a pair of Crypt Angels. Fujita drew a land, but before he hit three Wise Voided for three. He took away a Repulse and a Recoil. Without the tools to stop the Angels, Fujita took lethal damage two turns later.
"Alright, we're even. Let's have a good game." - Gary Wise
Fujita couldn't keep his game three hand. He looked at the top of his deck while mulliganing and didn't like what he saw. He didn't seem to like his second hand much better, but decided to keep. Wise also mulliganed, but refrained from taking the forbidden peek. He peeled a two-land hand with Addle, two Blazing Spectres and Crypt Angel, and kept it.
His Addle caught an Exclude, but saw that Fujita had fooled him about his hand quality. He had plenty of mana, a Repulse and an Urborg Shambler. Fujita played the Shambler. Wise summoned a Blazing Specter and attacked, with Fujita losing the Repulse. Fujita swung with the Shambler and Wise doubled his pleasure, making another Specter and attacking. Fujita had only three cards.
One of them was Fact or Fiction, which he cast before damage resolved. He turned over a second Shambler, as well as Undermine, Exclude, Spite/Malice and a land. Wise couldn't put the Shambler by itself, trying to salvage this disaster. However, Fujita took the larger pile, discarding a land and Spite/Malice.
He untapped and played another Shambler from his hand. Both Wise's Spectres went to the graveyard. Wise played a kicked Thunderscape Battlemage to further assault Fujita's hand. It even took down one of the Shamblers on the next attack.
Trying to escape the bind his opponent had him in, Wise kicked up a Battlemage. It was Excluded. Desperate to stop the Shambler, he cast Void, knowing that Fujita held Undermine. It was countered, and he extended the hand.
Wise was disappointed with the result. He believed it was in his favor, and it's hard to smile when so much of a match is decided by mana problems. However, he congratulated his opponent and wished him luck. Fujita thanked him and did the same.
Final Result: Fujita defeats Wise 2-1