Posted in NEWS on April 13, 2014

By Josh Bennett

Hisataka Matsui, playing White-Green heroic sat down opposite Ryousuke Kasuga, who had drafted a Red-Black deck featuring Hammer of Purphoros and Ember Swallower.

In the first game, Matsui's black splash came up in a big way. Kasuga had a removal-heavy hand, killing off Matsui's first few creatures while Matsui got in what damage he could. Pharika's Mender let Matsui get extra action from his Leafcrown Dryad. Kasuga had drawn his expensive bestow creatures but was stuck at five land. That meant that he wasn't able to measure up to the Vulpine Goliath that Matsui had in store.

Ryousuke Kasuga vs. Hisataka Matsui

Kasuga surveyed his options and decided to swallow the bitter pill. He played out a couple small guys and gave Matsui a three-for-one deal on his Goliath. Leafcrown Dryad on Cavalry Pegasus gave Matsui an evasive threat, and he was able to steal the game with Battlewise Valor before Kasuga could turn things around with an army from Hammer of Purphoros.

Matsui 1 - Kasuga 0

Matsui had to go down to six cards for the second game, and his hand was short of action. He had a Nyxborn Wolf that fell to Bile Blight and then had to swatch as Kasuga assembled a squad of clunky beaters. Matsui took care of a Cavern Lampad with Fade Into Antiquity, but the next turn Kasuga found a second mountain to summon Ember Swallower. Matsui went through the motions for a turn, but he was simply too far behind.

Hisataka Matsui

Matsui 1 - Kasuga 1

By this point the other semifinal had finished, so all eyes were on these two. After trading cards early it was Matsui's Nyxborn Wolf up against Kasuga's freshly-cast Insatiable Harpy. Matsui was stuck on three land but had plenty of cheap threats. He hit for three and added Chronicler of Heroes to his board.

Kasuga returned fire in the air and summoned Archetype of Aggressive. Matsui gamely swung in with both his creatures, and Kasuga played right into his hands when he chose to block the Chronicler over the Wolf. Matsui tapped three and put down Feral Invocation. That blunder paid compound interest when Kasuga summoned Wild Celebrants to try another block. Battlewise Valor made the 5/5 a 7/7. Matsui even got to leave a good one on top.

Ryousuke Kasuga

Kasuga untapped and considered his options. He decided it was time to race. He cast Hammer of Purphoros and immediately made a golem, attacking for five. Matsui hit back for five, but the Harpy's life gain was making things tricky. He summoned Stout-Hearted Warrior to work defence with the Nyxborn Wolf. The life totals were 11 apiece. Kasuga almost had the kill that turn thanks to Mogis's Marauder and another Hammer activation. As it was he contented himself with eight damage and keeping the Marauder home, just in case. Cavern Lampad in hand rendered the endgame academic, and Kasuga's friends erupted in cheers and applause.

Ryousuke Kasuga defeats Hisataka Matsui 2-1