akihito Mihara and Kenichi Fujita are two men in need of a win. Mihara made top 8 at last year's National Championships. Fujita made a top 8 appearance at Grand Prix Sendai '03. This win will help solidify their chances to get back to the forefront of the Japanese Magic community.
Mihara's deck relies on the tried, trusted Goblin Bidding build. More recent goblin decks avoid the massive combo power of Patriarch's Bidding in favor of more reliable draws, but some Goblin players still prefer to have the really big combo win. Kenichi Fujita's G/B Death Cloud build has lots of artifact hate, land fetching, and general aggressive tendencies.
Fujita won the die roll and opted to go first. He mulliganed a hand with 4 land, an Oversold Cemetary, and a Ravenous Baloth only to be served up a hand with beasts and little green mana. Mihara had a solid hand of inexpensive goblins and a Skullclamp. He kept his hand. Fujita dropped a swamp, and Mihara used a Bloodstained Mire to fetch a Mountain and play a Goblin Sledder. Fujita played a City of Brass and dropped an Oversold Cemetary. Mihara attacked with his Sledder, played a Skullclamp of his own, and clamped his Sledder to boost his hand. Fujita had no play on his turn, and Mihara played a Goblin Piledriver. Fujita got a Wirewood Symbiote, but that was little help as Mihara played down the hasty Goblin Warchief. Without any good creatures, Fujita knew he had lost this game, and he scooped quickly.
Makihito Mihara - 1 Kenichi Fujita - 0
Game 2 was another blowout. Fujita played a Skullclamp on turns 1 and 2. Mihara kept a one land hand and used his Bloodstained Mire to fetch out a Mountain. But on his next turn, Mihara couldn't find a land.He played a Skullclamp on turn 2, hoping to clamp the Prospector and draw into mana. But Fujita's Viridian Shaman washed those dreams away. Mihara couldn't find another land for three turns, and by then Fujita had played two Solemn Simulacrums and a Phyrexian Plaguelord to bring the pain. An Electrostatic Bolt only delayed the inevitable. In this game once again the result was determined by mana issues (too much by Fujita in game 1, too little for Mihara in game 2).
Makihito Mihara - 1 Kenichi Fujita - 1
Fujita mulliganed again in game 3, and he complained good-naturedly. Mihara was content with his hand. Mihara played a Skirk Prospector on his first turn and a Sparksmith on his second. Fujita waited to Smother the Sparksmith with Smother until Mihara dropped a Goblin Piledriver. Behind 0 creatures to 2, Fujita played a Pulse of the Tangle. Mihara debated sacrificing a Goblin for mana to keep the Pulse from returning to Fujita's hand, but assented. Mihara drew a Skullclamp and started to churn through his deck, blocking Fujita's army with Siege-Gang Commander. Each turn Fujita's troops slew the little red monsters, but he knew that each of them would be back. After two turns of holding off Fujita's forces, Mihara found a Goblin Warchief and played a huge Patriarch's Bidding, returning almost 20 goblins to the board while Fujita got not a single creature back on the table. The finish was academic.
Makihito Mihara - 2 over Kenichi Fujita - 1
GB Death Cloud