Round 3 Feature Match: Satoshi Nakamura vs. Andre Konstanczer

Posted in Event Coverage

By Randy Buehler

Satoshi Nakamura is by far the most famous Japanese Magic player. Between his two Grand prix wins, his 11th place at PT L.A. last month (the highest finish ever for a Japanese player), and his legendary hats he has become quite a star. He firmly established himself on the "gravy train" and even earned an invitation to the Chicago Masters Series. Andre Konstanczer is one of Germany's brightest stars and the reigning German national champion. Alas, neither player got off to a great start at Pro Tour Tokyo and they each sported 0-1-1 records as they sat down to play each other in round 3.

Nakamura has a reputation as a rogue deck builder and this event was no exception. In fact, Konstanczer commented on this very fact when he played a turn 4 Lobotomy saying, "He's always playing crazy decks and I just wanted to look through this one." What Konstanczer saw was a 5-color domain deck with Collective Restraint to slow down the opponent while an assortment of dragons (including Draco!) fly over for the win. Fact or Fiction, Reviving Vapors, and four main deck Restocks help fuel the deck.

Konstanczer was running a white/blue/black control deck that has been nicknamed "Gomar" by others (including Jon Finkel) who are running variants of it. It's basically a draw-go deck with Dromar for the win. Since Konstanczer had permission in his deck and Nakamura didn't, Konstanczer was at a significant advantage in this matchup. Konstanczer used Lobotomy to remove the Lobotomies and Dracos from Nakamura's deck and then settled in for the long route to victory of decking Nakamura. Nakamura had just one Rith, one Ghitu Fire, and four Restocks left to win with. Between Absorb, Undermine, Spite/Malice, and Dromar's Charm Konstanczer felt he could stop any of those cards from resolving. The players did a lot of discarding and Nakamura couldn't help but laugh when Konstanczer's hand got so good that he discarded Undermine. Eventually Nakamura unloaded his hand full of Restocks, but, predictably, Konstanczer had enough permission to stop them all. Nakamura did get to see most of Konstanczer's deck, though, so he figured it was worth taking the 10 minutes they used to play it out.

Game 2 was even more lopsided. Konstanczer Disrupted Nakamura's Fertile Ground fueled, turn 3 Lobotomy. Nakamura was forced to use is Gainsay on Konstanczer's Recoil (aimed at the Island with Fertile Ground on it and thus Konstanczer's Fact or Fiction resolved. After that Nakamura played out a veritable potpourri of monsters: Jade Leech, Rith, Draco. The couple that got into play were only because Konstanczer preferred to kill them with Malice. Konstanczer eventually played out a Plague Spitter, countered a pair of Fact or Fictions and a pair of Restocks and Nakamura was on the ropes. He was forced to use Urza's Rage just to kill Plague Spitter and preserve his last six points of life. Konstanczer used Lobotomy to make sure the coast was clear and then played out Dromar. Nakamura now needs to win out if he wants to make Day 2 of his hometown Pro Tour.

Final Result: Konstanczer 2 - Nakamura 0

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