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Round 8:

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The letter A!s the feature matches got underway a pouty faced Mike Turian complained that there was no reporter at his table. "This could be my last constructed match ever and no one is covering this?"

Kai Budde, who had been 'snubbed' in the feature match area twice already today rolled his eyes, "Maybe if they cover it they could mention that you are getting married to Rachel--I don't think anyone knows about that yet."

Kai's match against Japanese Shin'ya Yamaguchi was announced as a bubble match. The loser would not make Day Two. Kai was surprised to find himself in this situation after his fast start earlier in the day, "I was 4-0." After a frustrating loss to Tsuyoshi Fujita in the fifth round--he was severely mana screwed in each game--he ran afoul of one of the French players with TwelvePost. "I don't believe I can beat that deck."

In the previous round he faced off against another Japanese player, "I lost to the blue-white-green deck with Pristine Angel. I don't think I can beat that deck either--he boarded in Hallows for my Fireballs. Plus he is running Vex, which is good against this deck since there are only a few cards you really care about."

Kai's deck was the mono-red Furnace Dragon deck that has been dubbed Big Red. His opponent was playing an Affinity deck with all the usual suspects.

Game 1

This one was an ugly affair. It started when Shin'ya mulliganed and kept a shaky hand with only Glimmervoid for land and only a Welding Jar to keep it around. Meanwhile Kai's hand was chock full of removal but he had only one land. He decided to keep it on the draw.

Shin'ya opened with his Glimmervoid powering out Disciple of the Vault and the Welding Jar. Kai killed the Disciple with a Bolt. Shin'ya played another Disciple but had no second land. Kai also failed to find his second land but Bolted the second Disciple as well. Shin'ya smiled as he had no play again. Kai smiled wider when he drew a second Mountain and Shattered the Welding Jar taking the Glimmervoid down in the process.

Kai was still stuck on two lands and cycled a Chromatic Sphere to find one but merely burned for one in the process. Shin'ya played an Arcbound Ravager. Kai cast a Talisman of Indulgence and cast a Pyrite Spellbomb--still stuck on two lands.

Shin'ya drew into a Seat of the Synod and dug into his deck with Thoughtcast. Kai Bolted the Ravager and Shattered the Seat. He finally found a third land on the next turn and was able to search out another when he cast a Solemn Simulacrum.

Shin'ya was pecking away in the air with a Blinkmouth Nexus but threatened more serious damage when he played a Disciple of the Vault and started finding land. Kai played another Simulacrum and Shn'ya came back with Myr Enforcer.

Kai took control of the game with a Furnace Dragon. Shin'ya sacrificed his Welding Jar to get in a point of Disciple damage but when the Dragon was done there was only the 1/1 on the Japanese side of the table. Kai attacked for five on the next turn and killed the Disciple with a Flamebreak. He showed Shin'ya the three Fireballs he was holding and they moved onto the second game.

Budde - 1 Yamaguchi - 0

Game 2

Shin'ya opened with a Vault of Whispers and its Disciple. He also had a Welding Jar but he could not use it to save his land from Kai's lead-off Detonate. Shin'ya came back with Ornithopter and Frogmite. Kai fireballed the Disciple for one on the next turn. Kai stumbled on his mana for a turn but after that had abundant removal for everything Shin'ya threw his way.

When Kai finally played an Arc-Slogger it was Shin'ya's turn to run the removal and he promptly Shrapnel Blasted the beast. Kai was pecking away with his Blinkmouth Nexus until he found another Arc-Slogger. Shin'ya played a Skullclamp with Ornithopter and Ravager in play and when he attempted to Clamp the flier Kai shot it with the beast. Shin'ya sacrificed it and then equipped his Ravager and got in for three.

Flamebreak

Kai kept his Slogger back and was content to get some damage in the air. When Shin'ya played a Myr Enforcer and then sent in his equipped Ravager, Kai blocked and gave the Japanese player two cards.

Shin'ya equipped the Enforcer on the next turn and Kai took it down with a combination of the Arc-Slogger and his ability. Shin played a third Skullclamp and a Somber Hoverguard. Kai played Furnace Dragon and killed everything on the Japanese player's side save the Hoverguard.

Shin'ya played a Blinkmouth Nexus and a Skullclamp. Kai killed the Hoverguard with an Electrostatic Bolt and when the Dragon attacked Shin'ya killed it with Shrapnel Blast at the cost of his Skullclamp. Kai still had four Blinkmouth Nexi in play and played another Arc-Slogger.

There was a cheer from the European contingent as Kai earned the right to play in his umpteenth Day Two.

Final result: Kai Budde - 2 Shin'ya Yamaguchi - 0

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