Heading into the final round on day one of Grand Prix Kobe, I decided to take a look into four of the matches between undefeated players. The winners of these matches would join three more players to make up the seven undefeated day one players.
Yuusei Gotou vs. Park Jong-Sun
L-R Park, Gotou
The Affinity player, Yuusei Gotou faced off against Mono Blue Tron pilot Park Jong-Sun. Gotou had an aggressive start in the first game. As he attacked in with his robot army, he forced Park to stall with a pair of Repeals. By the time Park was able to find his first Urzatron piece he was already at 7 life. After Park was forced to use his Mystifying Maze to lock down a Signal Pest, Gotou finished things off with Shrapnel Blast and two points of combat damage.
Gotou 1-0 Park
Park fell 7 before he was able to stabilize, and, while Gotou had a Shrapnel Blast to drop Park to two, it was too little too late. With Urzatron online, Park was able to cast his high mana cost high impact spells and Gotou conceded to an activated Mindslave a few turns later.
Gotou 1-1 Park
Gotou's start in game three was as fast as he could of asked for, dropping nearly his entire hand by the second turn.
When Park used every trick he could to survive Gotou's final attack, Gotou revealed the card he had drawn for his final turn: Galvanic Blast.
Yuusei Gotou 2-0 Park Jong-Sun
Yuya Sugiyama vs. Lai Pak Yin
L-R Sugiyama, Lai
Sugiyama got out a pair of Spellskites, which, while sitting at 17 protected him from a lethal Scapeshift for long enough to go on the aggressive. He dropped both a Pestermite and a Vendilion Clique and Dropped Lai to 5.
Lai 1-0 Sugiyama
Knowing that Sugiyama might have countermagic of his own, Lai simply passed the turn. At the end of Sugiyama's turn, he cast Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. Once it resolved, Lai was able to cast Scapeshift and head into day two undefeated.
Lai Pak Yin 2-0 Yuya Sugiyama
Yosuke Fujimoto vs. Hirosawa Yuta
L-R Fujimoto, Yuta
Yosuke Fujimoto was yet another Affinity player fighting for his chance at being undefeated. His opponent, Hirosawa Yuta, was playing a Blue-White midrange deck.
In the first game, Fujimoto amounted a scrappy army early on, but was unable to resolve any of his important spells--Cranial Plating and Ensoul Artifact. Facing down nothing but 1/1s, Yuta was able to get out Restoration Angel and a Vendilion Clique and bring the beatdown. A few turns later, he was able to attack in for the final points to take the first game.
Yuta 1-0 Fujimoto
With Yuta tapped out, Fujimoto had an opportunity to resolve a Cranial Plating and another Ravager. Yuta played a Vendilion Clique, and Fujimoto fired up his Inkmoth Nexus, equipped it with Plating and threw it into the fray. Yuta blocked with his Clique, and, when Fujimoto went all in with his Ravager to save the Nexus, Yuta tapped his last land and cast Path to Exile on the infector. Without any meaningful permanents, Fujimoto conceded.
Hirosawa Yuta 2-0 Yosuke Fujimoto
Tooru Takeshita vs. Kenta Masukado
L-R Masukado, Takeshita
The final undefeated match I got a look at was Tooru Takeshita sporting Affinity facing off against Kenta Masukado playing White Rock.
Takeshita came out of the gates really quickly in game one, generating an army including Ornithopters, Memnites, and an Arcbound Ravager. In response to Masukado's Abrupt Decay on Takeshita's Ravager, Takeshita went nearly all in on an Inkmoth Nexus.
On the following turns, Takeshita started piling on the poison counters, and, without any further answer from Masukado, he took the first game.
Takeshita 1-0 Masukado
Takeshita's start was much slower in the second game as he looked to a singleton Vault Skirge as his only offensive creature. The two traded blows as Takeshita's Cranial Plating got Abrupt Decayed and Masukado's Tarmogoyf got Galvanic Blasted.
Takeshita was able to land a second Cranial Plating, but Lingering Souls brought a wall of Spirits. When Takeshita found another threat in the form of Etched Champion a few turns later Masukado had the perfect answer: Creeping Corrosion. From there Masukado pressed his advantage to drive the match to a third game.
Takeshita 1-1 Masukado
In the third game Takeshita went on the Inkmoth Nexus beatdown plan, playing one on each of his first three turns and doing nothing else.
Takeshita found an Etched Champion and a pair of artifacts to go with it, but Masukado trapped Takeshita into blocking his Tarmogoyf with it. Masukado used Zealous Persecution to knock away one of the artifacts, turning off Etched Champion and destroying it in combat.
From there it was trivial for Masukado to wipe things up and pass into day two undefeated.
Kenta Masukado 2-1 Tooru Takeshita