Posted in NEWS on December 22, 2013

Six players escaped day one unscathed here in Shizuoka. While many of the 9-0 players were relative unknowns, two relatively well known players sat at table one for the second day of play. Kazuto Mochiki is well known in Japan for winning the second Limits tournament in 2007 as well as being a force in the Saitama area. His opponent, Toshiaki Murata was last seen in the top eight of Grand Prix Taipei in 2012.


Toshiaki Murata came armed with a deck very similar to the one Marlon Gutierrez used to win Grand Prix Dallas/Fort Worth two weeks prior. Featuring the powerful cards from the Mono-black Devotion decks--Thoughtseize, Pack Rat, Desecration Demon--paired with white cards such as Last Breath and Blood Baron of Viskopa, he aimed overpower and outmaneuver his opponent.


Kazuto Mochiki brought a deck that was gaining popularity as of late due to its matchup against the Mono-black Devotion decks: red Devotion. Using Burning-Tree Emissary, Frostburn Weird, and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, he hoped to power out large creatures and planeswalkers quickly and destroy his opponent before he had the chance to fight back.


The Games


Play began with Mochiki’s Boros Reckoner on turn three. This prompted Murata's to cast Thoughtseize. Domri Rade, a pair of Stormbreath Dragons, and some lands were revealed and the planeswalker hit the bin. Murata followed it up with a Devour Flesh to take out the Boros Reckoner.


Kazuto Mochiki vs. Toshiaki Murata


It was only a matter of time until the Stormbreath Dragons started to hit the board. Both were met by removal spells from Murata: for the first a Hero's Downfall and for the second a Devour Flesh.


It was Murata's turn to have a pair of threats: two Blood Baron of Viskopas. This time Mochiki had the answers: first a Domri Rade paired with a 4/1 Frostburn Weird and second a Mizzium Mortars.


Murata was able to get the last word, however, by casting a Pack Rat against Mochiki's empty hand. When a pair of lands came off the top of Mochiki's deck, the rat army sent the match to a second game.


Murata 1 - 0 Mochiki


Toshiaki Murata


Murata had the ideal draw for the second game: first turn Thoughtseize into second turn Pack Rat. After missing his third land drop, Mochiki was able to cast a fourth turn Xenagos, the Reveler.


Turns continued to pass without a third land from Murata. During this time, Mochiki was able to construct a small army of Frostburn Weird's and 2/2 Satyr tokens. After a few more landless turns, the match headed to a deciding game three.


Kazuto Mochiki


Murata 1 - 1 Mochiki


A third turn Domri Rade started the game for Mochiki. Murata countered with a Desecration Demon on turn four.


Fearing the 6/6, Mochiki used a pair of Mizzium Mortars to remove it, but Murata had a second waiting in the wings. In the meantime, Domri Rade started generating card advantage for Mochiki, finding him a Stormbreath Dragon and a Fanatic of Mogis.


Domri fell to the Desecration Demon, and Stormbreath Dragon met a Hero's Downfall. With no answer to the flyer, Mochiki fell a few turns later.


Toshiaki Murata 2 - 1 Kazuto Mochiki