Sealed Deck is almost never kind. There are those rare occasions where you're handed a god deck, the group of cards so good that it builds itself. The rest of the time it's tooth and nail for every win. The pros know this all too well. They accept it, but they don't like it. Here's a quick look at the big names in Japanese Magic, and whether or not they survived the cut to Day 2.
Reiji Andou - OUT
The always-impetuous Andou was handed a collection of cards that would thank you for calling it "a pile". It boasted a solid Cleric line with a pair of Battlefield Medics, but after that went deep into three-color land. His shortage of byes made things much, much worse. He struggled for a while, but Day 2 was not on his agenda.
Masayuki Higashino - IN
The Man in Black continues to perform. He finished the day with a perfect 8-0 record, menacing people all the way. He even deigned to play white cards, but a pair of Exalted Angels is an offer too good to turn down. He even had twenty-one other cards to go with them!
Katsuhiro Mori - OUT
The twitch-master was vibrating at a slightly reduced frequency today, thanks to a monster illness that probably should have kept him from competitive play. He ran the gauntlet regardless, and was handed a Sealed Deck that boasted Visara, Jareth AND Silvos. He chose to run just the first two. His concentration wasn't the best, however, and he was quickly at 3-1. Further losses convinced him to sit the rest of the day out.
Itaru Ishida - IN
If Sealed Deck is dominated by rares, then Itaru Ishida had a bum draw: Polluted Delta, Goblin Pyromancer, Standardize, Gravespawn Sovereign, and Convalescent Care. He managed to scrape together a pretty aggressive red-black deck that could cripple an opponent thanks to Cabal Slaver and lots of goblins, but he didn't like his chances one bit. An early loss disheartened him further. He toughed it out, and managed to draw in round eight, starting Day 2 in twenty-second.
Kenichi Fujita - OUT
The most physically intimidating man in Japanese Magic was already working on Standard decks by the time round six came and went. His deck was mediocre in the extreme, and he was surprised as the next man that he got what few wins he did.
Satoshi Nakamura - OUT
The Hatman said that his deck was short on the two most important elements: Creature Destruction and Big Creatures. His red-white deck splashed black, but still only had three ways to handle creatures. One of them was Sandskin.
Tsuyoshi Fujita - IN
"Mr. Rolly" continues to impress. This time he made 7-1 look downright accidental, insisting as he always does that he could lose out at any moment. The night before he was getting his draft on, and saying how much he loved the format and was dying to make Day 2. Now he's got his chance to show us why.
Masahiko Morita - OUT
Morita was handed his second loss in the fifth round, and wound up an unexciting 5-3 record. He fought gamely but wound up fulfilling his prediction that his deck was not the thriller he was looking for.
Jin Okamoto - IN
The Okamoto Djinn had every reason to wear his outrageous trademark grin today. A busty red-black splash green deck helped him to the comfort zone of 6-0. Being guaranteed a spot on Day 2 has a way of picking up one's spirits. He dropped his seventh, but played out the final round and crushed.