Round 14: Tomohiro Kaji vs. Ryouma Shiozu

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The stoic Ryouma Shiozu has a pair of Grand Prix Top 8's to his name, once with his teammates in NAGOYAN, and a solo Top 4 at Shizuoka. His opponent, Tomohiro Kaji boasts no such resume. Both are within a match win of Top 8, but the smart money is on Shiozu, whose deck has apparently dialed "R" for "Ridiculousness".

Game 1

Kaji started off with a pair of Wooded Foothills that suggested he might have been playing too much Magic Online. Few can resist the lure of the rare online. Shiozu was already on the table with a morph, but was soon at the mercy of Kaji's Timberwatch Elf. He made an Embermage Goblin and passed it back. Kaji summoned a Wirewood Savage and handed it back.

Shiozu stared at his hand, and decided to add another morph to the table. Kaji had no play on five mana. Shiozu sent his morphs. Kaji blocked one, and Shiozu revealed it to be Snapping Thragg, finishing off the boosted Elf with the Embermage. Kaji drew, and shook his head. He still had no play. Crested Craghorn hit the table, and Kaji thought it wise to trade his Timberwatch for it, considering he had no creatures in hand!

He did draw a Barkhide Mauler, but wound up trading it for Shiozu's other morph, a Goblin Taskmaster. Then he drew a land, and then Explosive Vegetation. Shiozu had a face-down Skinthinner ready to stop possible shenanigans from Kaji's turn of Goblin Sledder and Crested Craghorn. Shiozu's Embermage Goblin whittled Kaji almost to nothing, and after drawing the game out to see more of Kaji's cards, Shiozu Shocked him.

Shiozu 1 – Kaji 0

Game 2

Kaji got the first morph on the table, prompting Shiozu to drop an off-color morph rather than his Skirk Marauder. The two morphs traded (Nantuko Vigilante and Voidmage Apprentice), and then Kaji added a Flamewave Invoker. Now Shiozu took a moment to think. He could lead with Skirk Outrider, planning a face-up Craghorn on the following turn, or he could set up his Marauder. He did, neither, playing the Craghorn face-up and dissuading any attack, gearing up for a Goblin Machinist. Kaji played a morph.

Shiozu dropped his Machinist and looked to be in good stead. He didn't even blink when Rorix hit the table, calmly accepting his six and then flashing his Cruel Revival. Kaji played his seventh land, the threat of his Invoker forcing out Shiozu's Solar Blast. Though he didn't have a sixth land, his hand was a catalog of goodies. Skirk Marauder, Slice and Dice, and Bane of the Living were the major hits.

Kaji was all frowns. He didn't even know how bad his way was. With nine lands and just a morph and Krosan Vorine on the table he was ill equipped to battle Shiozu's forces. Shiozu dismantled Kaji with surgical efficiency, never needing his best spells.

Final Result: Ryouma Shiozu defeats Tomohiro Kaji 2-0

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