Top 8: Tsuyoshi Fujita

Posted in Event Coverage

By Adrian Sullivan

Tsuyoshi Fujita

"It doesn't feel real. It's much more like some kind of dream."

Throughout Day 2, you could often tell when Tsuyoshi Fujita won a match from the applause echoing from the Feature Match area. One of Japan's top players, Fujita has an impressive resume. A former Japanese National Team member, Fujita won Grand Prix Kyoto, the largest constructed Grand Prix ever, and has three other Top 8 finishes in Grand Prix to his name. Cheers for Fujita didn't stop at the Feature Match area - when his name was announced as part of the Top 8, several Japanese players lifted Fujita onto their shoulders amidst loud cheers.

This weekend has been an exciting one for Fujita, but not without some small frustrations. This tournament was the first time the Japanese players worked together for a Pro Tour, and in the final few rounds, Fujita knocked out two other Japanese players still in contention for Top 8, Eisaku Itadani and Tomohide Sasakawa, both playing decks built by Japanese deckbuilder Kazuya Hirabayashi.

Fujita is paired against Texan Dave Williams in the first round, and he feels confident about his chances. Earlier, Fujita beat two players playing the same 'DC-10' Red/Black deck played by Williams.

"I think if I get to play first, it will be very good for me, whether I play against Williams or the Green/Red decks later. I feel that I have a good matchup, and I've beaten the deck already. In testing, Void decks usually lose to me. All of Day 1, I couldn't get matched against Void, but on Day 2, I played against it quite a bit and I did much better."

Fujita's Black/Blue control deck used a very low mana curve (unusual for control decks in this format), counterspells and discard, with Urborg Shambler and Phyrexian Scuta to finish the game. Several deckbuilders praised Fujita's clever design, which included some interesting choices like Ravenous Rats (despite their death to Urborg Shambler) and Prohibit, a counterspell overlooked by most players.

Japanese players are often known for their ingenious or unorthodox card choices, and Fujita is no exception. His sideboard included Spinal Embrace against bigger creatures and against Green/Red. "They can get my life down, and Embrace is just wonderful. I can take out several creatures, and get back the life I lost early."

This kind of innovation won him several positive comments from many American deckbuilders, and many non-Japanese players are excited to see a victory from Fujita. Fujita really appreciates hearing the positive reactions his deck has given him from the other Pro Players.

"I really look up to all of these other deckbuilders. To be given this respect is very good. I'm very pleased with my deck. I came into this tournament and felt that if I had to play against Jon Finkel with a deck, I would be ready with this deck."

Tsuyoshi Fujita

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