After two days and fourteen rounds, we've returned to Osaka to find out who will be the Japanese National Champion, and who will represent the country at Worlds. The tournament had traditionally been held in Tokyo every year, but this time around it moved to Western Japan. Appropriately enough, every player in the Top 8 with the exception of Tomohiro Yokosuka is from the West. Whether or not this will spark a bigger rivalry remains to be seen, but one would think that the players from the East will be out to prove themselves after this weekend is over.
If you assumed that this tournament would be dominated by Goblins and Affinity, you'd be wrong. While the two decks did make up a significantly large portion of the field, in today's elimination rounds, other decks are well represented as well. Only two of the players made Top 8 with Affinity, and three with Goblins. Playtest partners Yoshitaka Nakano and Tsuyoshi Fujita played red-green Goblins, utilizing plenty of artifact destruction to disrupt Affinity strategies. Shunsuke Kamei is playing blue-white control with an old-school feel, and Teruya Kakumae brought the Pro Tour Kobe déjà vu with Big Red. The most surprising deck of the tournament is Tomohiro Yokosuka's "26 Crazy Cards", an amalgamation of Affinity hate that he put together Friday morning.
So who will walk into San Francisco to represent Japan? Can Affinity emerge victorious despite all the hate? Stay with our coverage all day to find out.