fter Detonating one Platinum Angel
and Shrapnel Blast
ing another, Masahiro Kuroda emerged from the first day of competition as the only undefeated player. This marked the fourth time that the Japanese player has run the tables on Day One at a high level event. Perhaps the imminent birth of his first child will give him the boost he needs to follow this up with a stronger performance than the first three times--none of which resulted in a high overall finish.
Is deck was part of a liberal grouping of mono-red decks dubbed Big Red. Kuroda's version was clearly unlike many of the others. Like most of the Big Reds his deck featured Arc-Slogger but it also had some unusual burn spells including Barbed Lighting and Pulse of the Forge.
His opponent in the final round battle of the undefeated decks was Rafael Levy. Rafael was playing the TwelvePost deck that was initially designed by Gabriel Nassif and was sported by most of the French players. The deck revolves around the explosive power of Cloudpost. To ensure that it gets its Loci into play it relies on Sylvan Scrying and Reap and Sow--multiple players throughout the day had to read the card and were not aware that it allows you to search out any land not just basic ones. What does the deck do with all that mana? Mindslaver, Tooth and Nail, and Oblivion Stone have served their masters well so far.
There were six Europeans and two Japanese players in the Top 8. Rounding out the Top 8 were Alexandre Peset of France, Raffaele Lo Moro of Italy, Osamu Fujita of Japan, German Michael Neumaier, Jelger Wiegersma of the Netherlands, and German Hans Joachim Ho. In an ominous note for American players there were no Amercians in the Top 8 at the end of the day. The highest finish by an American player was eleventh place by the relatively unknown Michael Stranc.
There were a couple of Magic's finest scrapping in the last round hoping to make Day Two. Kai Budde dispatched Japan's Shin'ya Yamaguchi while Mike Turian fell to Emanuel Canavesi in what could have been the last significant Constructed match of Turian's illustrious career.
Affinity made up over forty percent of the field but it came to the tournament with a huge target on its forehead. Anyone not playing Affinity was playing something that could beat it and by the sixth round there was not an Affinity deck in the tournament that had not been handed a loss. The format was not nearly as narrow as many expected it to be coming into the tournament.
Once Day Two is underway we will bring you the player's deck lists and all the action. Stay tuned for all the details.