Hall of Famer Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa has been putting up a very impressive showing with Esper Control all weekend, his deck far from unfamiliar to those following Standard right now. If you need some cliff notes, check out the last feature match for an example of how this deck operates.
Mateus Dos Anjos, however, is the sole undefeated player of the event, having just come off of yet another win to ensure his lead in the event as well as his status as King of the Hill. His deck, Mono-Blue Devotion, is one of the top most played decks of the weekend, ranked only below Esper Control in terms of the number people playing the archetype on Day Two.
A win from Dos Anjos guarantees his place in the Top 8. A win from Damo da Rosa however still leaves both players in a good chance for a Top 8 finish assuming either can avoid a pair-down in the next round. Would it be Dos Anjos who will guarantee Top 8 play, or will Damo da Rosa come closer to locking up his second Grand Prix Top 8 in the last two months?
Dos Anjos was first on the board with Tidebinder Mage. Damo da Rosa was hitting his land drops, but was lacking something very important in play: white mana. Syncopate bought him some breathing room on a second Tidebinder Mage, and a Godless Shrine gave him white mana producing land #1 needed to cast Supreme Verdict. What he had not revealed to Dos Anjos however was that the second Godless Shrine was in hand.
Dissolve stopped Master of Waves from hitting play, and Damo da Rosa was content to play his Godless Shrine tapped on the next turn. With Dos Anjos's primary offense stifled, Damo da Rosa's sixth-turn Elspeth, Sun's Champion threatened to take over the game. Worse for Dos Anjos was that it forced him to commit creatures to the field, feeding extra cards into Damo da Rosa's Supreme Verdict. Jace, Architect of Thought solidified his planeswalker one-two punch, and when nothing miraculous was awaiting on top of Dos Anjo's deck, he called it quits on Game 1.
The second game did not start out on a high note for Dos Anjos, who had to mulligan to six for the second game. He had redundant Thassa, God of the Seas in his second hand however, which would let him fight through multiple ways to exile the God. This is what happened, with Thassa #1 having its Existence Revoked. Damo da Rosa took the opportunity to cast Jace, Architect of Thought and minus it for cards while Dos Anjos was stumbling on offense, with Dos Anjos having no Mutavaults to threaten Jace and few options for making Thassa into a creature.
Judge's Familiar attacked Jace down to one loyalty, and Prognostic Sphinx ensured a Supreme Verdict on Damo da Rosa's next turn. Master of Waves gave Dos Anjos something to attack with, at least until Damo da Rosa pointed a Doom Blade at it on upkeep. A Last Breath took out Dos Anjos's second copy of Master of Waves, and without any real action going on, Damo da Rosa felt safe to tap out for Ætherling.
A Nightveil Specter off the top for Dos Anjos ensured his Thassa could finish off Jace, but Damo da Rosa replaced it with another, sending it to two loyalty and finding Elspeth, Sun's Champion. It came down alongside Pithing Needle on the next turn, the artifact locking down Thassa's effect. Nothing came for Dos Anjos in the next few turns, as he quickly succumbed to Ætherling's attacks while being unable to punch through Elspeth's tokens.
This win has also de-throned Dos Anjos from his undefeated record, making the Brazilian Hall of Famer the new King of the Hill!
Damo da Rosa 2 – Dos Anjos 0