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Round 9: www.shop-fireball.com vs. P.S.2

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www.shop-fireball.com
The Megapowers exploded in this round nine Feature Match. One one side was www.shop-fireball.com, the trio of Jun Nobushita, Tsuyoshi Ikeda, and Jin Okamoto. They tried their best not to be smug. They were facing underdog fan-favorite P.S.2, supercharged by the presence of Katsuhiro Mori alongside Masashiro Kuroda and Masahiko Morita.

The way of the packs seemed to favor Fireball. Though Kuroda got a Laquatus's Champion and Mori an Upheaval, Nobushita had an Upheaval of his own, and an Aboshan to go with it. Okamoto had a Champ, too, but he also had Shower of Coals. Fireball couldn't help but laugh at their good fortune.

Ikeda came out guns blazing against Mori, with a pair of Basking Rootwallas through a Rites of Spring and then a Springing Tiger. Pyromania sat there and threatened. Mori had Confessor, Patrol Hound and Auramancer, and took down the Tiger with Gallantry. Ikeda played another.

Okamoto had soaked up a fair bit of early damage from Krosan Avenger, Pardic Firecat and Centaur Chieftain, but his removal ran deep, and soon he had the board cleared and was just waiting for a land or two to cast his Laquatus's Champion in hand. He did, and added injury to injury with Shower of Coals. Morita scooped shortly.

Kuroda go the start he needed against Nobushita. Innocent Blood offed Aquamoeba, and while Nobushit got it back with Gravedigger, Kuroda was shelling the table with Balshan Griffin and Dreamwinder. Zombie Trailblazer made sure the Dreamwinder would always get through. Nobushita looked for an answer, and found none.

Pyromania looked good against Mori's board of one-toughness dudes, but Ikeda had just one mountain to run it. Mori had by this time taken to the skies with Treetop Sentinel and Aven Fisher, and while Ikeda drew ineffective ground creatures, he watched his life total plummet. He never drew a blocker, and died.

Morita thought it was over when Okamoto dropped Laquatus's Champion to stop his Beast Attack token. Okamoto was still at a high life total, so he could race with the best of them. Knocking the top of his deck, Morita was rewarded. First came Anurid Scavenger, to serve as blocker. Next was Engulfing Flames, which teamed up with Flame Burst to take it down. Now the Beasts ran wild, and Engulfing Flames returned to stop a Dirty Wererat. They were soon on to Game 3.

Nobushita and Kuroda were in a terrible situation. Both were manascrewed, Kuroda with two swamps, Nobushita with one. They drew and discarded for six straight turns. Kuroda found a third swamp and dropped Fledgling Imp, but it was stopped by Innocent Blood. Kuroda drew another swamp, and Nobushita's second swamp was right on time, stripping Dreamwinder and Mind Sludge before they could wreck him.

PS2
Meanwhile Ikeda and Mori were completely bogged down. Mori's defences were as spectacular as Ikeda's creatures weren't. Still, Ikeda continued to add to the board in hopes of breaking through.

Okamoto was sick of being smacked around, and decided it was time to smash. For his third game against Morita he opened with Frightcrawler, Ember Beast, Ember Beast and didn't look back. Morita struggled to put enough defenders in the way, but was always a step behind.

Finally, Ikeda struck. He turned all his creatures sideways. Four squirrels got through, and he played Rites of Initiation for seven. Mori was ready with Second Thoughts and Embolden for the save. Still, his side of the board was wrecked. Lucky for him he had Upheaval. He ended up with plains and Hallowed Healer in play. He had Rites of Refusal and Circular Logic for Ikeda's next two plays, and then made a Treetop Sentinel. Ikeda's life total was low enough that it sealed the deal.

P.S.2 1 - www.shop-fireball.com 0

Meanwhile Okamoto had never relented, and Morita's lifeless corpse was the only reminder that a battle had transpired.

P.S.2 1 - www.shop-fireball.com 1

Kuroda broke the stalemate first, finding Soul Scourge to bring the noise. Next turn he finally got an island, and Laquatus's Champion brought Nobushita to five. Lucky Nobushita had Afflicted his way into lands for a Broker, which turned up Waste Away. But by now Kuroda was rolling, and Circular Logic with a Scrivener to recur it made sure that his Scourge would hit the necessary four times.

Final Result: P.S.2 defeats www.shop-fireball.com 2-1

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