Posted in GRAND PRIX KOBE 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on August 23, 2014

By Ben Swartz

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

In Game two, Park traded life and spells to deal with Gotou's threats: Vault Skirge and Cranial Plating were countered, while, Park traded 4 life and a Dismember to take out Gotou's Tarmogoyf.

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.

Park was able to get a Relic Barrier down on his second turn, but Gotou's army of Vault Skirge, Blinkmoth Nexus, Memnite, and Tarmogoyf quickly dropped Park to 5.

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

Both players brought combo decks to Grand Prix Kobe: Sugiyama with Blue-Red Splinter and Lai with Scapeshift. The first game started slow as both decks cycled and ramped into their combos.

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 had one turn to go off with Scapeshift, and got there. Thanks to a second copy of Valakut in his deck he was able to overcome the wall of Spellskites.

Lai 1-0 Sugiyama

Lai started the second game by suspending a pair of Search for Tomorrows. Lai was able to remand a lethal Splinter Twin from Sugiyama and get to the magic seven lands that he needed to go off.

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

Fujimoto again was able to get an early lead, but when he cast an Arcbound Ravager and an Ensoul Artifact on his fourth turn, Yuta calmly untapped and removed Fujimoto's board with Supreme Verdict.

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.

Masukado used a pair of Seal of Primordiums to clear away two of the Nexuses and planted a Stony Silence to prevent some future shenanigans.

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