he players shook hands, wished each other good luck, and proceeded to go on with their match. Fujita won the die roll, and off they were. Both players had picked the aggro side of the deck argument, Fujita with Goblins and Raphael Levy with an update of his "Gaea's Might Get There," or more simply, Domain Zoo. The deck had already carried him to back-to-back Grand Prix wins in Dallas and Singapore. The question now was: Would the deck still be good? Raphael thought as much, including the obvious Tarmogoyf update. Fujita, meanwhile, was going aggressively red, with Goblins and a black splash being his weapon of choice.
Osamu Fujita and Raphael Levy
After three turns, Fujita's mana base of Ghost Quarter
, Blood Crypt
and Chrome Mox
looked positively bleak against Raphael's turn-three array of Overgrown Tomb
, Steam Vents
and Godless Shrine
, showing more colors than a disco ball. And the disco party was on the offense, with Isamaru, Hound of Konda
and his buddy "Goofy" Tarmogoyf
rocking out on the dance floor that was Fujita's life total.
But Raphael had to spend Wax // Wane in the process to keep Isamaru alive, and lost his Tarmogoyf to a cycled Gempalm Incinerator. Boros Swiftblade boogied in to pick up the slack against Fujita's 1/1 Goblin token army, supported by a background choir of Gaea's Might to take out all the little blockers. Silly little 1/1 men, really... Fujita rebuilt with Goblin Matron and Mogg Fanatic.
Fujita did not want to spend the little Mogg to kill Isamaru, though, even as Levy attacked with the second Hound of the game. Fujita chose to double-block instead, trading Goblin Matron and a 1/1 token. Ringleader revealed double Siege-Gang Commander and another Ringleader, and now Fujita was putting a real damper on Raphael Levy's disco inferno. Life totals: Raphael Levy 12, Osamu Fujita 15.
Lightning Helix and Jötun Grunt (actually too clunky to dance) could not do much about the swarming masses of Goblin ladies attracted by Siege-Gang Commander, and Fujita's 1/1 army overwhelmed Raphael in short order.
Fujita 1, Levy 0
Both players were terse during their shuffling time. Both were sporting their usual three-day beards, but looks can be deceiving, and these two aren't slackers at all. Raphael hit it off with Kird Ape off Stomping Ground of Windswept Heath, quite the little combo there, while Fujita started with a first-turn Mogg War Marshal thanks to Chrome Mox. Those Goblins love their bling.
Fujita stopped Kird Ape with the Mogg War Marshal and brought breakdancing champion Skirk Prospector, but the 1/1 army stood no ground battling against Raphael's Watchwolf and Kird Ape combination. When Raphael invited Mogg Fanatic to do his crazy dance, he shoved the Prospector off the dancefloor (allowing Fujita to cycle Gempalm Incinerator), and the Japanese player went to 16. Levy was on 12 life, but the damage he took did not come from Fujita: Onslaught's fetchlands and Ravnica's dual lands are a dangerous two-step.
That didn't matter, though. All Fujita had was 1/1 creatures. The Japanese was losing the battle piece by piece, simply because he had to make too many unfavorable trades. I could catch a glimpse of the Lightning Helix in Raphael's hand, ready to take out any troublesome threat in a flash of red and white. But instead, he just went a step further and did the fandango on Fujita: Gaea's Might on Kird Ape trashed the Japanese player to 6, and double Lightning Helix finished this game for Raphael Levy, having faced no creature bigger than 1/1.
Fujita 1, Levy 1
Osamu Fujita lead with Mogg Fanatic
, Raphael Levy had Isamaru, Hound of Konda
. Fujita also restarted his secret operation to swamp the world with Mogg War Marshal
s, his second turn play. Raphael's Tarmogoyf
fell victim to a cycled Gempalm Incinerator
, which the subsequent Kird Ape
could just stave off with Gaea's Might
That signature card of Raph's also saved Isamaru, Hound of Konda, from almost certain death from Mofgg Fanatic. It didn't do anything against the second cycled Gempalm Incinerator that aimed its fiery load at the Hound. But Raphael had a replacement and once again the upper hand, as Fujita's lonely Goblin token betrayed a clear lack of a background choir.
Raphael kept pecking away, saving his Hound with Wax // Wane against yet another cycled Incinerator. Fujita was on 11 life, Levy on 13, but engine-wise, Fujita picked up a lot of steam when he brought Oversold Cemetery to the table. The dance turned into a goth party when Fujita's Goblins just kept coming back for more. Even headbanger Kird Ape couldn't survive in the mosh pit of Pendelhaven with Mogg Fanatic. While the Frenchman was tapped out, Fujita smashed in with a fresh Goblin Warchief. With Levy now on 8 and just a single Isamaru to defend against six creatures with a total of 7 power, plus a Goblin Piledriver, the Frenchman had no option but to pack it in.
Fujita 2, Levy 1