Round 7: Feature Match - Adrien Degaspare vs. Reinaldo da Silva

Posted in Event Coverage on September 18, 2011

By Rich Hagon

Rich Hagon combines a deep knowledge of the players of the Pro Tour with a passionate love of the game. He's a regular commentator for Pro Tour and Grand Prix live video coverage, and is the official Pro Tour Statistician. He has been covering Magic events since 2006.

You'll be reading this on Sunday, but this is actually from the last round of day one. In order to protect card information from potential opponents, we've kept it back from prying eyes until the rest of the draft rounds are safely out of the way. The match sees Reinaldo da Silva, playing in his second Nationals following a top 32 berth last year, taking on Adrien Degaspare, whose finest Magic achievement to date came when he made the semi finals of Grand Prix Buenos Aires. The winner here will take a gigantic stride toward the top 8, potentially only needing to go 2-3 in the morning to claim a spot in the knockout rounds.

Game One

Both players kept their opening hands, da Silva showing Red-white and Degaspare mono-Black in the early stages. Griffin Sentinel was the first play on turn three from da Silva, while Bloodrage Vampire without Bloodthirst came down for Degaspare. Blood Ogre did get Bloodthirst for da Silva, since the Griffin Sentinel couldn't be stopped by the Vampire of Degaspare. The Bloodrage Vampire and Griffin Sentinel then traded, with Duskhunter Bat up next for Degaspare. Blood Ogre dropped Degaspare to 16, Peregrine Griffin being an upgrade over the Griffin Sentinel for da Silva.

A Mountain arrived for Degaspare, Dispeling the mono-black possibility, and making future Consume Spirits less worrisome. What was worrisome was sending the Duskhunter Bat blindly into the first-striking Peregrine Griffin, which Degaspare hadn't realized. He dropped Drifting Shade into play, still shaking his head over his error. More pressure came from da Silva, who attacked for five, then added four more power to the table in the form of Bonebreaker Giant. Degaspare had Brink of Disaster ready, and was happy to send his Drifting Shade in for one damage. As the saying goes, if it isn't blocking, it's got no business not attacking.

Adrien Degaspare

In came da Silva again, adding Griffin Sentinel, his Bonebreaker Giant stuck because of the Brink of Disaster. Still, Degaspare was down to six. Goblin Fireslinger was likely to be little more than cannon fodder. When da Silva looked to equip his Blood Ogre with Spirit Mantle, Degaspare had Doom Blade to foil the plan. Nonetheless, a Goblin Fireslinger was going to prove deeply awkward, since he was now at four and still falling.

With mana open across the table for Drifting Shade, da Silva was happy to pass the turn, knowing that his Goblin Fireslinger could reach out to finish Degaspare, given enough time. Vampire Outcasts arrived with Bloodthirst when Degaspare used his Goblin Fireslinger to shoot da Silva. When da Silva attacked again, the Drifting Shade was lost, and so it seemed was Degaspare. Still shaking his head, he swept up his permanents.

Degaspare 0 - 1 da Silva

Game Two

Into game two, and Degaspare opened with the perfect Goblin Fireslinger. Perfect, that is, for enabling Bloodthirst, which he did immediately on turn two, shooting da Silva then casting Duskhunter Bat. Da Silva also had turn one Goblin Fireslinger, but he used his turn two to cast Crown of Empires. The Duskhunter Bat attacked for two before Degaspare added Goblin Tunneler. Da Silva's Crown of Empires tapped down the Duskhunter Bat the following turn, but da Silva was stuck without white mana, hiding behind the Crown. If he didn't find white mana soon, he was going to get overrun.

Still, the Crown saved him another two life the following turn as it again tapped down the Duskhunter Bat, and Degaspare couldn't shorten the clock significantly. Mountain number five led to Bonebreaker Giant for da Silva, and now he looked to be gaining the time he needed to find his white mana. Duskhunter Bat attacked him to 11, his own Goblin Fireslinger pinging Degaspare at end of turn, who in turn was down to 16.

Reinaldo da Silva

Bonebreaker Giant went to work for da Silva, dealing four to Degaspare. Da Silva had more land, but it was yet another Mountain. Not great. Off we went once again, with Duskhunter Bat being tapped down, and Goblin Tunneler attacking for one. Lava Axe fired straight at da Silva, who then delightedly drew his Plains, and cast Timely Reinforcements. That, by the way, is on the all-time list for great marriage between flavor and gameplay. Timely? Oh yes. From four life to ten in a heartbeat. Oh, and three soldiers too...

Degaspare still had five cards in hand, but didn't seem to be getting anywhere fast. His Duskhunter Bat was still being kept out of action by the Crown of Empires, and he was behind in the damage rage. Tormented Soul was next, and Brink of Disaster landed on the Bonebreaker Giant. In came the three Soldiers from da Silva. Two damage got through, leaving Degaspare at four. Since Bonebreaker Giant was a 4/4, and da Silva had Fling, that was enough.

It had been a very long day, but with this win Reinaldo da Silva now stood at 7-0, with high hopes for a great day still to come.

Adrien Degaspare 0 - 2 Reinaldo da Silva

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