Heading into the final round of Day 1 each half of the tournament had seven undefeated players. That meant eight matches with players vying for a perfect Day 1 record. Here’s a very brief look at them.
Akihiro Kashima vs. Zhang M Qiu
Zhang M Qiu (left) and Akihiro Kashima (right)
Kashima wins 2-1
Masaki Hitomi vs. Sho Ishikawa
In the foreground: Sho Ishikawa (left) and Masaki Hitomi (right)
It went to a third game, with Ishikawa pouring on the aggression. He had tricks to keep Hitomi on the back foot and took the match.
Ishikawa wins 2-1
Hiroshi Ishida vs. Takao Akinao
In the background: Hiroshi Ishida (left) and Takao Akinao (right)
This was all about Ishida’s mighty Master of the Hidden Way. It headlined a quick two-game sweep.
Ishida wins 2-0
Hiroya Wada vs. Yuya Sugiyama
Yuya Sugiyama (left) and Hiroya Wada (right)
Sugiyama was at 7-0-1 and looking to play the role of spoiler. Unfortunately for him, Sorin had Wada’s back and made an appearance early in both games. Wada made a bold play to close out the second game, sacrificing a ready attacker to give Butcher of the Horde haste. Sugiyama had no way to punish, and Wada took the match.
Wada wins 2-0
Youichi Nagami vs. Noboyuki Saegusa
Noboyuki Saegusa (left) and Youichi Nagami (right)
This was the other spoiler match, Saegusa having earned himself a draw earlier in the tournament. Both were playing fairly grindy decks. Saegusa took the role of aggressor and snatched victory just as Nagami was wresting control of the game. He flipped up Ruthless Ripper for the last points, winning in style.
Saegusa wins 2-0
Hirofumi Tanahashi vs. Fumiya Matsumoto
Fumiya Matsumoto (left) and Hirofumi Tanahashi (right)
Matsumoto impressed Hall of Famer Tsuyoshi Fujita with his disciplined play in this match. Catching his opponent off-guard with Swift Kick and never overcommitting to the board, he cruised to victory.
Matsumoto wins 2-0
Akio Chiba vs. Ryota Takeuchi
Ryota Takeuchi (left) and Akio Chiba (right)
Another grindy match that went to three games. In the decider, Takeuchi was taking heavy fire from Alabaster Kirin with Dragonscale Boon counters, but that was Chiba’s only creature. Takeuchi had a small army and played Bitter Revelation to find an answer. He thought he’d found it in Awaken the Bear, but Chiba had been waiting on Smite the Monstrous.
Chiba wins 2-1
Daisuke Ueda vs. Takashi Koyanagi
Daisuke Ueda (left) and Takashi Koyanagi (right)
Koyanagi won the first game thanks to a beatdown draw backed by Ghostfire Blade. He was a little slower off the blocks in the second, allowing Ueda to even the score. In the decider it was Ueda’s evasive creatures that let him win the race.
Ueda wins 2-1