Round 5 Feature Match: Masahiko Morita v. Kenichi Fujita

Posted in Event Coverage on February 16, 2002

By Josh Bennett

Veteran Mage Kenichi Fujita is no stranger to the Feature Match Area, and after a second-place performance at Grand Prix - Shizuoka, neither is Masahiko Morita. After relaxing for three rounds and winning their fourth, both were on track for Day 2.

Morita checked his opening hand one card at a time and found it acceptable. Having won the right to go first, he kicked off, starting with a turn-three Cabal Torturer. A Firebolt from Fujita dispatched it. However, Morita had drawn into an island, enabling a Puppeteer. He had a Firebolt of his own to dispatch Fujita's Barbarian Lunatic before it could mess with his plans.

Fujita thought hard before deciding to play Krosan Avenger. Morita played the waiting game behind his Puppeteer. Gravedigger rescued the Lunatic. Morita reused his Firebolt to kill the Avenger. With the Aquamoeba gumming up his operation, Fujita threw his Chatter of the Squirrel tokens at it, then finished it off with the Lunatic, tapping out.

Morita continued to play coy, waiting for Fujita to flashback his Firebolt on the Puppeteer before acting. This time it was a Cephalid Looter, and it went to work. Fujita tried to get his gang pants on, sacrificing a land to bring out Stone-Tongue Basilisk, but Morita was ready with a Waste Away pitching Deep Analysis.

But Fujita was not going down without a fight. He laid out Anurid Scavenger and put Seton's Desire on his Gravedigger. Fortune was with Morita, as his Looter turned up his second mountain, and put him at threshold. That meant that his Shower of Coals could destroy Fujita's board.

But it wasn't over! Fujita tried the Chainflinger, only to see it fall to Morbid Hunger. He brought it back with Morgue Theft, and this time Morita couldn't handle it. Morita stripped a Nantuko Cultivator from his hand with a Mesmeric Fiend and brought out Laquatus. Fujita had Fiery Temper at the ready to dispatch him, and his 'Flinger ate the Looter.

By this time Morita had hit nine mana, and reused his Hunger to stop the 'Flinger. Fujita's Nantuko Calmer spelt trouble. Morita shored up his defenses with a Cephalid Sage and Grotesque Hybrid. Fujita took a moment to bring back his by now very tired Chainflinger.

Taking this as a sign of weakness, Morita went all out, casting Patchwork Gnomes and Organ Grinder. Fujita turned the tables with a monstrous Sickening Dreams for three. Morita was lucky to be able to pitch Fiery Temper to regenerate his Gnomes and finish off the Calmer.

Now Morita was hanging on my the skin of his teeth. Fujita had a 3/3 Cultivator and a Chainflinger at threshold. He tried to race in the air with Soul Scourge and Aven Fisher, but he wasn't at enough life. When he drew two successive land, it looked like it was over. His last hope was a Gravedigger that brought up Ambassador Laquatus. Afflict helped the Chainflinger take it down, and they were on to game two.

Morita started game two strong with Looter followed by Puppeteer. He had no answer for Chainflinger, and dug furiously through his deck. His last loot turned up a very lucky Fiery Temper that went with his single mountain. Clockwork Gnomes showed up to help out.

Fujita tried a Krosan Constrictor. Morita attacked with just the Gnomes, then tapped the Constrictor and attacked with the team. Fujita, having made no other plays, conceded to save time for game three.

Morita was slow out of the gates in the deciding game. Fujita let with Krosan Restorer, Chainflinger, and a Firebolt for Morita's Aven Fisher. Grotesque Hybrid fell to Flame Burst and Chainflinger. But he couldn't stop Morita's Aquamoeba and Dreamwinder.

Morita continued to press Fujita's resources, forcing the Firebolt with Zombie Assassin. Morbid Hunger took out Krosan Constrictor before it could become a problem. But then Fujita drew Call of the Herd, churning out some very big guns. Ghastly Demise took out the Dreamwinder to clear a path.

Restless Dreams got Morita back some valuable blockers, including the Hybrid that now held off two Elephants. Fujita made a Twigwalker and waited. When Morita tapped out again the following turn, he used Sickening Dreams to wreck his board, and Twigwalker to save his Elephants. Game and match to Fujita.

Kenichi Fujita defeats Masahiko Morita 2-1

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