As the dust of the quarterfinals cleared, we were left with two very similar matches: Affinity vs Jund. On this table, the Affinity representative was Hitomi Masaaki, who finished 4th in the Swiss. Across the table and waving the Jund flag was Keita Kawasaki, who by virtue of finishing at the top of the Swiss, would be playing first in every match he plays in this Top 8.
Masaaki started off more slowly than I imagine we would have liked, forgetting to earth his first turn Memnite as it immediately died to a Lightning Bolt. Masaaki played out a few other ineffective machines, while Kawasaki quickly delved out a Tasigur, the Golden Fang.
However, before Kawasaki could get too carried away, Masaaki added a Steel Overseer to his board, and then another, and started building up his army. Tasigur was soon both dwarfed and outnumbered, and they were off to game 2.
Masaaki 1 – Kawasaki 0
Hitomi Masaaki got off to a slow start, but soon had the momentum needed to take game 1.
Inquisition of Kozilek from Kawasaki took a Spellskite out of Masaaki's hand, while Masaaki in turn played out a Vault Skirge, a Blinkmoth Nexus, and some disruption of his own, taking a Scavenging Ooze from Kawasaki's hand with a Thoughtseize.
Ancient Grudge from Kawasaki threatened to keep Masaaki light on threats, but he eventually found an Etched Champion and a Cranial Plating. Unfortunately for Masaaki, Kawasaki found a second Ancient Grudge, and followed it up with Kolaghan's Command to clean out Masaaki's board and even up the match.
Masaaki 1 – Kawasaki 1
Masaaki began the decider with a Vault Skirge, while Kawasaki took a Signal Pest out of Masaaki's hand with a Thoughtseize, leaving a Steel Overseer and two Arcbound Ravagers. A second Thoughtseize took one of the Ravagers, but the other came into play, and Masaaki immediately tapped his Overseer to scatter +1/+1 counters across his team.
Keita Kawasaki can't hold a Grudge, because there are too many tasty targets in play.
Masaaki played a Thoughtseize, but found only two land left in Kawasaki's hand. Masaaki activated a Blinkmoth Nexus, and the Overseer started sharing counters with that, too. Kawasaki considered attacking back, but found his life total dwindling under the Blinkmoth Nexus, and Masaaki was soon flying over for the win.
Hitomi Masaaki defeats Keita Kawasaki 2-1.