Semifinals - Gustavo Chapela vs. Gerardo Godinez

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

by Luis Neiman

The first of the semi-final matches pits fellow Mexicans Gustavo Chapela and Gerardo Godinez against each other, both playing variants of Aaron Forsythe's "Angry Hermit" deck. Chapela chose to add Fallow Earths, Tangle Wires and Phyrexian Processors to his deck instead of certain cards from the original version. Godinez completely re-worked the original version, removing the Deranged Hermits, Skyshroud Poachers and Yavimaya Elders in favor of Fallow Earths, Creeping Molds, Tangle Wires, Phyrexian Processors, Ancient Hydras and Blastoderms. Gerardo renamed his deck "Chiclick Trinity", because of his nickname "Chiclick". Both decks are very similar, and the matchup is very similar to a mirror matchup.

The matchup began with a lot of friendly banter between the two players, including lots of trash-talking. Both players know each other from way back, and are friends back in their native Mexico. After contemplating his opening hand for a long time, Gustavo chooses to mulligan down to 6 cards. Gerardo starts by laying a forest, which Gustavo answers with a Karplusan Forest and a Llanowar Elf (but he has neither another mana-creature nor another land in hand). Gerardo plays a City of Brass and a Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary on his second turn, while Gustavo cannot play any other spell from his hand. On his next turn, Godinez plays a Gaea's Cradle and attacks with his Rofellos, which he knew Gustavo would not block because of his mana-screw. Godinez then plays a Fallow Earth on Chapela's Karplusan Forest, effectively making Gustavo lose a turn. This same play is repeated on Gerardo's next turn, setting Chapela back even more. After Gerardo plays a Rishadan Port, Arc Lightning on Chapela's Elf and laying a Blastoderm during the subsequent three turns, Chapela concedes.



Both players turn to their sideboard, Godinez bringing in 3 Vine Trellis, his 4th Masticore, and a 3rd Ancient Hydra, which is absolutely devastating in this matchup, while Chapela brings in 2 Ancient Hydras, 2 Splinters for Gerardo's Masticores and 3 Vine Trellis. Gustavo begins this match by keeping a hand consisting of a Forest, Birds of Paradise, Llanowar Elf, Fallow Earth, Splinter, Rofellos and Arc Lightning, while Godinez mulligans down to 6 and then down to 5, keeping a very mediocre hand. Gustavo begins by playing a Birds of Paradise on his first turn, Llanowar Elf and Rofellos on his 2nd turn and Phyrexian Processor for 8 life on his third turn, while Godinez can only play his first turn Gaea's Cradle and third turn Karplusan Forest and Llanowar Elf. Gustavo Arc Lightnings Gerardo's Elf and Fallow Earths his Karplusan Forest. After starting to make 8/8 tokens and playing a Vine Trellis, Godinez concedes.



Game 3 starts off with a Port war. Gerardo played a Forest on his first turn and a Rishadan Port on his second turn, while Gustavo played a first turn Birds of Paradise and a second turn Rishadan Port, both players tapping each other's lands. Chapela manages to draw a second Port to keep Godinez's Port under control. Chapela is also able to set back Gerardo by one turn by casting Fallow Earth followed by laying a Gaea's Cradle, but Godinez cast Tangle Wire on his turn, forcing Chapela to tap many permanents. But Chapela continues to play mana-producers, playing a Forest and a Vine Trellis, followed by a 3rd Rishadan Port, and starts to tap 3 of Godinez's lands every turn, not allowing him to play anything. After playing a Masticore with tremendous amounts of mana on the table (Forests, lots of mana-creatures and a Gaea's Cradle), Gerardo concedes.



Chapela keeps a hand consisting of a Forest, 2 Birds of Paradise, 3 Llanowar Elves and a Tangle Wire. Both players lay a Forest and a mana-creature on their first turns, but Godinez can cast the first Fallow Earth, setting Chapela back a turn. Gustavo plays the land that was Fallowed and another Elf on his second turn, while Gerardo answers with a Vine Trellis and another Forest. Chapela decides to go all out and play another Elf and 2 Birds of Paradise on his next turn, but Gerardo answers with his bomb: Ancient Hydra, which promptly clears all of Gustavo's creatures and hits for 5 damage before Gerardo plays his Blastoderm and forces Chapela to concede, having only 2 lands and no creatures.



As expected, this matchup would be very close, going into the 5th game. As it turns out, all the previous games were decided by each player's opening hand. Chapela has the advantage of starting in this game. He keeps a hand of 2 Forests, Mountain, Rishadan Port, Arc Lightning, Splinter and Yavimaya Elder. Chapela begins with a Forest, while Godinez answers with a Karplusan Forest and a Birds of Paradise. Chapela plays a Rishadan Port and taps Gerardo's Karplusan Forest during his upkeep. Godinez plays his own Port and taps Chapela's Port, but Chapela plays a Forest and a Llanowar Elf. During his turn Gerardo plays a second Port. Gustavo answers with a Karplusan Forest and a Yavimaya Elder. Godinez goes all out and plays a Masticore during his next turn, tapping out. At the end of Godinez's turn, following the pattern of trash-talk and bantering, Chapela accidentally "drops" a Splinter onto the table, allowing Godinez to see that his Masticore wouldn't live to kill anything, and laughing. Chapela obviously casts the Splinter on Godinez's Masticore, removing it from the game, along with the 2 more that Gerardo had in his hand and the 4th one that was in his library. From here it is all done for Godinez, who plays a Phyrexian Processor for only 2 life (he was at 17 life at the time, which makes this play somewhat questionable), while Chapela plays a Vine Trellis and a Skyshroud Poacher, that allows him to look for a Deranged Hermit one turn later. Before the attack Chapela used an Arc Lightning to kill Gerardo's Llanowar Elf, Birds of Paradise and do 1 damage to Gerardo, thereby removing two of his blockers. After declaring attackers, before assigning damage, Gustavo uses his Poacher to search for another Deranged Hermit, thus making his Squirrel tokens 3/3, and thus forces through more damage than Gerardo has life left, sealing Godinez's fate and putting him into the finals of the Latin America Championship.





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