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Gateway Round 4: Tsuyoshi Fujita vs. Jon Finkel

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Tsuyoshi Fujita was the first Japanese player to make the Top 8 of a Pro Tour back at Tokyo's Invasion Block Constructed event. The Japanese spectators were firmly behind Fujita throughout the tournament, but he lost in the finals to Zvi Mowshowitz. His opponent Jon Finkel has seen a resurgence in his career lately, as he made Top 4 at Pro Tour Chicago. His passion for the game has been criticized in recent years, but when he was under the lights in his Semifinals match against Kai Budde at Chicago, something became apparent: he wanted to win. Badly. He couldn't stop the German Juggernaut on his way to another Pro Tour title, but his desire to win showed that the Finkel of old may be back.

Game 1

Finkel played Careful Study, discarding Roar of the Wurm and Deep Analysis. On end step, Fujita cast Entomb, putting Visara, the Dreadful into his graveyard. He untapped and played Cabal Therapy, naming Gilded Drake, which Finkel did not have. Safe in the knowledge that no harm would come from it, Fujita cast Reanimate and Visara was on the table turn two. After flashing back Deep Analysis, Finkel had three Careful Study and three Wild Mongrel in his hand. Duress took away one Study, and Visara attacked for five damage.

Finkel used Careful Study to dig into his deck, and found two Fire/Ice, which would at least slow down Visara for a few turns. Finkel flashed back Roar, and Fujita used Coffin Purge to take Wonder out of the graveyard. This cleared the way for Visara to attack once again, and Diabolic Edict killed the Wurm token. A few turns later, Finkel conceded.

Fujita- 1 Finkel- 0

Game 2

Fujita double mulliganed his opening hand. Duress revealed a hand of two Arrogant Wurm, two Circular Logic, Gilded Drake and lands; Logic went to the graveyard. Fujita started going into beatdown mode with his Treetop Village, and with no madness outlet and stuck at four lands, Finkel didn't have much to do with his Arrogant Wurms. A second Duress revealed the same hand, this time with a second Logic (which was discarded) and another Gilded Drake. Fujita was stuck at three lands, and Finkel finally found his madness outlet in Aquamoeba. Arrogant Wurm came out on end step, and Fujita played Diabolic Edict after it hit play, giving Finkel the option of which creature to lose. He decided to send the Wurm to the graveyard, untapped and played Careful Study, using madness to put the other Arrogant Wurm into play. With one mana up to cast Circular Logic and two Gilded Drakes in hand to handle reanimated creatures, things looked good.

Finkel attacked, and Fujita blocked the Aquamoeba with Treetop Village; Deep Analysis was discarded to force a trade. Duress drew Circular Logic out of Finkel's hand, and Cabal Therapy was played on the following turn. Fire was cast in response to bring Fujita down to one life point. Therapy named Circular Logic, and Fujita saw a hand of three Gilded Drakes and Rushing River. Diabolic Edict was cast on Finkel's upkeep, and Arrogant Wurm was bounced in response with Rushing River. It came back out on the following turn, and Fujita conceded.

Fujita- 1 Finkel- 1

Game 3

Fujita mulliganed his opening hand. Finkel kept a one land hand, and it hurt him bad when he missed his second land drop. He had eight cards in hand, and discarded Basking Rootwalla with madness into play. Fujita didn't seem to be having many problems, and played Pernicious Deed. He followed that with Entomb to get Nether Spirit. A second Rootwalla was discarded into play. Cabal Therapy took Wild Mongrel out of Finkel's hand- the rest was Intuition, Waterfront Bouncer, Rushing River, Arrogant Wurm, Careful Study and Aquamoeba. Finkel drew, and still didn't have a second land. Despite the fact that turn after turn passed with Finkel unable to do a thing, Fujita didn't have much going on aside from a lot of lands. Eventually he got a Treetop Village, and Finkel got a second land. Pernicious Deed killed off the Rootwallas, allowing Fujita's Village and Spirit to attack for five.

Finkel had a third Rootwalla, and Fujita tried to eliminate it with Faceless Butcher. In response, Finkel used Fire to kill his own Rootwalla, and when the Butcher came into play, it removed Nether Spirit from the game. Aquamoeba would have given Finkel some defense, but that was handled right away with another Butcher and Fujita continued his assault. Fujita attacked with all his creatures and Rushing River would have given Finkel a blocker in Aquamoeba, but Diabolic Edict killed it before blockers to give Fujita the match.

Final Result: Fujita- 2 Finkel- 1

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