Round 11 Feature Match: Katsuhiro Mori vs. Shuuzou Iwano

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After the dust from Table One had settled this morning, everyone was in agreement that amateur player Shuuzou Iwano had the best draft. He picked up a pair of Deconstructs and a Shatter before he even opened his own pack and got a third pick Molder Slug in the third set of packs. Despite everyone's predictions, Shuuzou appeared to have used up his luck when he left the draft table. A few bad beats later he found himself 0-2 with the deck and staring down the barrel of 0-3 if he could not dispatch former Rookie of the Year Katsuhiro Mori. Shuuzou had gone undefeated yesterday with a 41 card deck that featured double Troll Ascetic.

Mori was playing a green-black deck with a pair of Nightmare Lashes and cheap creatures to equip with them. If he could muster enough mana his Reiver Demon stood a good chance of being the back-breaker that could send Iwano to 0-3. Mori had one loss yesterday and was 1-1 on the day thus far. It seemed unlikely that an X-3 record would advance and the loser of this match would probably not be able to make the cut.

Game One

Mori opened with a Leaden Myr and he used it to accelerate into a Goblin War Wagon. Shuuzou had the Deconstruct and with the help of a turn two Talisman he played a War Wagon to replace Mori's freshly killed twin. Both players made Fangren Hunters on turn five and Mori got to kill both of Shuuzou's creatures when he double blocked and the former Rookie of the Year had Predator's Strike.

Mori played Relic Bane on the Talisman but Shuuzou was not going to be taking much damage thanks to Molder Slug. Mori had a Disciple of the Vault but it was dwarfed by the 4/6 beast and he scooped when Shuuzou played a Tel-Jilad Archers and his deck did not offer up Barter in Blood on the following turn.

Katsuhiro Mori - 0 Shuuzou Iwano - 1

Game Two

Shuuzou had a Myr and Mori had a Viridian Joiner for his turn three. After Shuuzou made a War Wagon Mori missed land drop number four and sent the turn back. He had a Needlebug and was able to block the Wagon. Shuuzou left it tapped and played a Fangren Hunter. Now it was Mori's turn to double block with the 'Bug and a freshly baked Goblin War Wagon. Shuuzou had the Predator's Strike this time and took them both out. He followed with a Fireshrieker which drew a Shaman out of Mori--still without his fourth land.

Mori had another Needlebug and put it and the Shaman in the way of the War Wagon. Shuuzou Shrapnel Blasted the Needlebug and killed them both. Mori found his fourth land but he could feel the wall pressing against the small of his back. He debated playing his Wall of Blood or his Archers and went with the protection from artifacts route. Shuuzou did not bother to untap his Wagon and sent the Fangren Hunter unmolested into the red zone and he played an Archers of his own.

Mori was at four and he played the Wall of Blood. This time Shuuzou untapped the Wagon and sent everyone into battle. Mori shuffled his blockers around looking for the right answer but found none. He lost the wall and the Joiner and fell to one from trample damage. Shuuzou used a Deconstruct on his opponent's Tree of Tales. Mori looked sadly at the Demon he was holding and scooped.

Katsuhiro Mori - 0 Shuuzou Iwano - 2

Shuuzou had avoided going 0-3 after what was clearly the strongest draft at table one. Both players went 1-2 with their decks. The former RotY was likely eliminated from Top 8 contention--you never know though, stranger things have happened. With only two losses, Shuuzou was still a strong candidate for the elimination rounds if could put together a 2-0-1 performance at the second draft table of the day. He was an amateur coming into this event and he stood an excellent chance of winning some serious cash on the basis of that standing.

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