Round 6: Junichi Kinoshita vs. Masahiko Morita
Junichi Kinoshita is one of Japan's rising stars, with two Grand Prix Top 8's to his name as well as a Top 2 at one of Japan's largest events, called The Finals. Today he sits opposite "Mister Second Place" himself, Masahiko Morita. He's more than just a pretty face carried to Grand Prix gold by his teammates on P.S.2. He's looking to add to his string of finals defeats and is playing an unorthodox Blue-Green Tradewind-Opposition deck. Kinoshita is with mono-red beats.
Kinoshita led with fetchland, Mogg Fanatic. Morita answered with forest, Birds of Paradise. They were not long-lived. Kinoshita attacked and flung his goblin at them, adding Goblin Piledriver to the table. Morita tried again with Llanowar Elves. This time it was Lava Dart that dispatched them. Next Morita tried Call of the Herd. It stuck.
Kinoshita powered out Mogg Flunkies and Grim Lavamancer, but time was all Morita needed. He followed up with Wall of Blossoms, Gaea's Cradle and River Boa, further taxing Kinoshita's removal. He made way with the Lavamancer and Lava Dart to dispatch the Call token and Seal of Fire for the Boa while Morita had no green. He punched through for three.
Morita calmly untapped and laid down Opposition. After that came Tradewind Rider and Gilded Drake. Kinoshita's offense was completely blunted. Morita stole Kinoshita's creatures one at a time, starting with the Lavamancer. Kinoshita tried to keep up, but it was impossible. Soon Morita had enough men to lock up his mana during upkeep while still trapping his creatures, and it was then that Kinoshita scooped.
Morita 1 – Kinoshita 0
Things were a little different in Game 2. Kinoshita kicked off with Pup, then got rid of Llanowar Elves with Mogg Fanatic and dropped Grim Lavamancer. Morita had no play and ate three more, only to watch Kinoshita drop Sparksmith and Goblin Lackey into play. His Call of the Herd was met with Flametongue Kavu. And even though that left Kinoshita empty-handed, he had four points of ready burn on the table for whatever else Morita could muster.
Morita 1 – Kinoshita 1
Game 3 was not to be a repeat of Game 2. Morita had double Wall of Blossoms to start. Kinoshita got a pair of Sparksmiths on board to cut into the problem, but Morita followed up with Opposition. Kinoshita waited. Morita made a Deranged Hermit.
Kinoshita started to saw through his troops. Between his two Sparksmiths, Grim Lavamancer and Seal of Fire he was able to cut down both Walls before he untapped. Then he went to work on the Hermit and his tokens. He hit seven life before he was done with them. In the meantime he added Jackal Pup to his team. He still had enough firepower to take out the second Call token, and then a pair of Elves. A frantic Morita was left with just a lone River Boa, and then Kinoshita brought out the Goblin Piledriver. He stood at a single life. Morita drew a land. Kinoshita forced the Boa to regenerate at end of turn and swung in, taking Morita to seven in one fell swoop. He drew another land, and extended the hand in defeat.
Final Result: Junichi Kinoshita defeats Masahiko Morita 2-1