It was a matchup worthy of the final round of Day 1. On one side, Champion of Grand Prix - Sendai, Kazuaki Arahori. On the other, and sporting ultra-chic "Old Man Silver" hair, Rookie of the Year Katsuhiro Mori.
Arahori started with an Organ Grinder. Mori's Mesmeric Fiend was a turn late, and saw Balshan Griffin and Whispering Shade, in addition to the Dirty Wererat he took. He chumped the following turn, and his predicament was clear: He couldn't cast any spells.
Arahori was happy to take advantage, playing out the Shade and then the Griffin. Mori took that as his cue to scoop it up, with a whopping 48:40 remaining on the clock.
The two relaxed their pace as they shuffled for game two. Mori asked for an intentional draw, which Arahori refused, saying "Maybe if you take the next one ..."
A turn-two Fiend stole Arahori's Looter, and showed that he had just two lands, in addition to Syncopate and some monsters. Neither made a play for the next three turns, with Arahori savagely ripping two more land off the top.
When he found his fifth, he snapped and tried a Dreamwinder. It turned out Mori also held Syncopate. Mori went on the offensive with Wild Mongrel. Arahori's Coral Net was foiled by a Mongrel pitch, but Whispering Shade presented a bigger problem.
Mori made Gloomdrifter. Arahori answered by Butchering his Mongrel. Mori tapped out for Deep Analysis and Werebear, and was shocked when Arahori's next play was Gravegouger! Still, Mori had brought a spare tank. Beast Attack was rather brutal. Next he Butchered the Butcher to get his Mongrel back.
But Arahori had more tricks up his sleeve. Ghostly Wings sent the Butcher home, letting his Butcher dispatch the Beast token. Unfortunately, it also let Mori Butcher the Gravegouger and free up his Analysis. On his next attack, he pitched his hand to hit threshold and wipe up Arahori's team. Arahori packed it in.
The two drew up their hands for game three, and Mori immediately asked if the offer for the draw was stil on the table. Arahori checked his hand and seeing nothing exciting, agreed.
Kazuaki Arahori draws with Katsuhiro Mori 1-1