Jose Francisco D Silva is certainly one of the players to keep an eye on this weekend, as he’s managed to Top 8 the last two South American Grand Prix, including a win just last spring in Rio de Janiero. Rio just happened to be a Standard GP as well, meaning Silva could, with a strong performance this weekend, make it back-to-back Standard GP Top 8s.
And he was certainly playing an interesting deck capable of doing so. Hybridizing Mono Blue devlotion with Black Blue control, Silva was perfectly capable of keeping the permanent count of devotion decks down while his own devotion propelled his Master of Waves to victory. And with a field that was heavy on devotion, it looked like his decision could pay off.
His opponent, Tomas Weibel, is a Santaigo local playing in his first GP and, despite having no byes, has started his admirably at 3-0 with Green Red Devotion. His explosive Nykthos draws were certainly capable of putting anyone under the bus quickly, but Silva had chosen his deck specifically to attack a devotion-heavy metagame. If Weibel wasn’t able to come out strong, it’s certainly possible Silva could be the first to show him what the losing side of a Grand Prix match feels like.
Both kept their openers with Weibel starting with a key Elvish Mystic, hoping to get his more powerful cards online early. Silva, though, had other plans.
Caption: Jose Francisco D Silva’s game plan against RG Devotion was pretty much to kill all of the things. In the first game, it worked pretty well…
He Thoughtseized away Nylea, God of the Hunt, killed a few creatures including a Polukranos, World Eater, and then followed it all up with a Nightveil Specter and Master of Waves. Weibel ran out of gas pretty quickly, and he could only sigh as he drew unexciting card after unexciting card.
When Garruk, Caller of Beasts met Dissolve, Weibel’s first action since Polukranos, he was quick to move onto the next game.
Weibel chuckled as Silva got on the board early with a Pack Rat, a decidedly unexpected card out of a Master of Waves deck. But Weibel would have the last laugh in the second game, as it was pretty much the loneliest Pack Rat ever.
…in the second, however, none of the things died as Tomas Weibel’s Mistcutter Hydra’s did all the dirty work.
Silva had kept a land-light hand and never hit his third land, meaning his Rat could never multiply. Facing down only token resistance—though no actual tokens—Weibel didn’t have to work too hard to win the game. A pair of Miscutter Hydras did plenty of heavy lifting—and heavy hitting on Silva’s life total—to send the match to a third decisive game.
For the final game, both player’s decks started out humming. Silva had a Nightveil Specter and removal while Weibel got things started with some early mana creatures, Polukranos and a Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. The rookie seemed to be just a turn away from completely blowing Silva out of the water.
But he never quite got that one turn. Silva smote the hydra with Hero’s Downfall as it attempted to go Monstrous, and a second legendary Hydra fell pretty to Essence Scatter.
When the dust settled, it was just a few mana creatures against Nightveil Specter.
After that, Weibel was once again on air, as Silva’s Thoughtseize soon revealed just a pair of Forests. Another Garruk met another Dissolve and Nightveil Specter piled up a number of uncastable cards from the top of Weibel’s library. But the fact that they stuck around for that long pinned under the 2/3 flier was pretty bad news for the Green-Red Player.
Nightveil Specter stayed in play for quite a few turns, but never turned up anything useful for Silva—not that it mattered.
Weibel, for his part, was clearly enjoying his first trip to the feature match area. Stuck drawing the wrong half of his deck, Weibel made noises like he was casting some dangerous bomb…but only laid down Voyaging Satyr and land.
A few more sarcastic noises and a few attacks from some Elementals via Master of Waves were enough to push Silva to 4-0 and Weibel to his first loss.
Silva 2 – Weibel 1