Feature Match Round 10: Goro Matsuo vs. Masayuki Higashino
This is the second feature match of the weekend for Matsuo and Higashino, who are both 7-2 going into this round. Matsuo probably has the advantage in this match, as he is playing the anti-blue metagamed Fires deck, while Higashino is fielding Merfolk.
Matsuo got off to a slow start in the first game, his hand filled with high-casting cost cards. At the same time, Higashino seemed to be have land troubles, with the only permanent on his side of the table being a Merfolk of the Pearl Trident valiantly whittling away at Matsuo's life total. By the time Matsuo was had enough land to start playing spells, Higashino's hand was filled with counters. Unable to get a single card into play past Higashino's counters, Matsuo was taken down by two Spiketail Hatchlings.
Still, Matsuo's deck is packing anti-blue hate not only in the main deck, but in the sideboard as well. He seemed to take it almost to an extreme, bringing in Obliterate, Kavu Chameleon, Boil, Hull Breech, Artifact Mutation, and Simoon. On the other side of the table, Higashino readied his anti-Fires weapons: Bribery, Hibernation, and Glacial Wall.
Matsuo got off to a rough start in the second game, when his attempt to Breech Higashino's third turn Static Orb was Foiled. His next try to get back tempo, sneaking in a Yavimaya Barbarian when Higashino was tapped out, saw Higashino return all his Islands to his hand to play Thwart. Higashino seemed to have the game locked up after drawing an Opposition off a Merfolk Looter, but Matsuo topdecked another Barbarian. Higashino was unable to draw a Bribery or Hibernation before the Barbarian finished him off, taking the match to a third game.
In the end, the match came down to who drew their sideboard cards first. However, given the odds of Matsuo's drawing his anti-blue cards, it was only a matter of time. With no counters in hand, Higashino conceded on the 5th turn after Matsuo played his second Barbarian.
Result: Higashino wins 2-1