Round 7: Eric Froehlich vs. Tsuyoshi Fujita

Posted in Event Coverage on March 15, 2002

By Josh Bennett

Tsuyoshi Fujita is once again working his home field advantage. Japan's favorite scarved jitterbug has sawed through the competition to sit just one match win away from a perfect Day 1. Already speculation is rampant about his making a second Top 8. The same goes for his opponent, Pro Tour San Diego Quarterfinalist Eric Froehlich. For Eric Froehlich, the potential for back-to-back Pro Tour Top 8's is close enough that he can taste it.

Froehlich got his frown on early, mulliganing his opening hand. He came back strong, Syncopating Fujita's Compulsion and busting out Basking Rootwalla. Though Fujita had another Compulsion, he didn't have a third land.

Meanwhile Froehlich was having a field day. Careful Study ditched Roar of the Wurm an Mongrel joined the party. He had twin Circular Logics just in case Fujita got any funny ideas. Fujita furiously dug for land, scoring a free Rootwalla in the process but finding no forests. He used it to chump.

Production was stepped up with a Wurm token on Froehlich's side. He had one mana left over to Logic Fujita's Aether Burst. Fujita had a second handy, buying valuable time. Froehlich hit and replayed his Mongrel. Fujita tried to Persuasion it, and met the other Logic.

Then Froehlich drew Arrogant Wurm to ice the proverbial cake.

Froehlich 1 - Fujita 0

The second game was Froehlich's turn to suffer the indignities of mana problems, despite starting with Careful Study, island and forest. While Fujita got busy with Mongrel and two Arrogant Wurms, Froehlich barely found the mana to put a Spellbane Centaur in the way. He packed it in rather than continue the farce.

Froehlich 1 - Fujita 1

Again Froehlich's deck refused to cooperate. He had no green mana early. Careful Study sent Roar of the Wurm to the graveyard, but he was still being beaten by Mongrel and Rootwalla. Finally he found a forest to get out Spellbane Centaur. Fujita attacked him down to ten.

Froehlich returned the beatsk, made a Rootwalla of his own, then watched as his Llawan was stopped by Circular Logic. Another hit brought Froehlich to seven, and Fujita upped the ante with a Spellbane of his own. He held just one card.

Froehlich was in a bind. He had two Circular Logics but no way to pitch them, so he couldn't cast his Roar with counter backup. He held his troops back, and the Centaurs and Rootwalla killed each other off. His draw of Arrogant Wurm laughed at his single forest.

Fujita pressed with Roar of the Wurm. Froehlich countered. The Mongrel hit for two. Froehlich drew island, and was sad. The Mongrel brought him to three. Next turn he found a Looter to chump it up, and was finally rewarded with the second Forest to bust out the Wurm. Fujita had no play.

Froehlich stood his ground. His Syncopate was not spectacular. Fujita simply swung in and pitched three to save the Mongrel from the Wurm. Froehlich needed somethign big to stay in the game. He drew another island.

Final Result: Tsuyoshi Fujita defeats Eric Froehlich 2-1

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