ormally you don't feature someone at 0-2, but at this point Japan's only Pro Tour Champion is fighting for survival, and we'd like to make sure we get him in the coverage while it's still relevant. Last year, Kuroda came out of the first day of Nationals undefeated, but couldn't piece together a solid day two in order to make the Top 8. This added to his reputation as a player who could be spectacular on day one, but often had trouble on day two of events. Obviously, that reputation went away in Kobe a few months ago.
This round Kuroda is up against two-time Japanese National Champion Toshiki Tskuamoto, and both desperately need a win before heading into the draft rounds.
Tsukamoto started with a Prospector, and Kuroda played Welding Jar. Tsukamoto sacrificed his Prospector to get Goblin Warchief out a turn earlier, attacking for two. Kuroda played a Frogmite, and Tsukamoto played a Prospector, than cycled an Incinerator towards the Frogmite. Kuroda used the Welding Jar to keep it alive, and Tsukamoto attacked for three. Kuroda played a Ravager, and Tsukamoto added more pressure to the board with Siege-Gang Commander. He then sacrificed a token to the Prospector to play Sparksmith, which shot down the Frogmite. It was sacrificed to make the Ravager 2/2, but with Great Furnace and Glimmervoid as his two other permanents, the usually menacing creature wasn't going to be much of a threat. Tsukamoto played a Goblin Sledder and attacked with his team, bringing Kuroda down to eight. Kuroda untapped, and was now able to get something substantial on the table, playing Welding Jar followed by three Frogmites. Tsukamoto attacked with all his creatures, and Kuroda had a blocker for everything except the Sparksmuth and Goblin token. The creatures that were blocked got sacrificed to the Commander, and Kuroda took lethal damage.
Kuroda- 0 Tsukamoto- 1
Kuroda looked at his opening hand with frustration, and sent it back for a mulligan. He had a first turn Skullclamp, and followed up with a Ravager and a free Frogmite. Tsukamoto's draw wasn't too impressive, as he only had a Polluted Delta on turn one, and when he played a mountain on the following turn he just said go. This may have been a bit of a bluff, as he used Shatter to destroy Skullclamp. It was sacrificed to the Ravager, and Kuroda attacked for three. Lacking any other options, Tsukamoto played Gempalm Incinerator. Kuroda played a second Ravager and attacked- the Incinerator blocked the Frogmite, and Kuroda sacrificed his other Ravager to make it 3/3. Tsukamoto played March of the Machines, and Kuroda sacrificed all his lands to the Ravager in response. He now had no mana, and had to hope that the 6/6 Ravager and 3/3 Frogmite would be able to get the job done. They attacked to bring Tsukamoto down to four, and Siege-Gang Commander slowed things down a bit. The Goblin team took down the Frogmite and chump blocked the Ravager, which was now 7/7. Echoing Truth brought it back to Kuroda's hand, leaving him with no permanents while March of the Machines kept his ability to play lands locked down.
Kuroda- 1 Tsukamoto- 2