ROUND 5 FEATURE MATCH: LUIS NAVAS VS. SEBASTIAN POZZO

Posted in NEWS on March 15, 2014

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

Round 5 featured a perfect opportunity to display both the old and the new in Latin American Magic. Well, relatively speaking. Back in 2008, when Sebastian Pozzo made the Top 8 of the last Grand Prix Buenos Aires, he was an eighteen-year old Argentinean student. Now, six years later, I don't know that I'd call him old, but his big accomplishment comes far less recently than his opponent, Chilean Luis Navas. Navas comes into this event fresh off an appearance at Pro Tour Born of the Gods, which he earned an invitation to by taking down Grand Prix Santiago last year. He is one of the most exciting Latin American players in the game right now, looking to extend his run of success here in Argentina.

Navas's deck of choice for this tournament is Boros Burn, which he felt was a good choice against many of the control decks in the room. Pozzo, on the other hand, is playing one of the newest variations on an old Standard: Uw Devotion. This version of Monoblue Devotion, the breakout deck of Pro Tour Theros, takes advantage of a white splash to cast Detention Sphere and the new Born of the Gods deity Ephara, God of the Polis.

"Since I have no byes, and I haven't really had the chance to practice or assemble the cards I really want to play, I decided to play Uw Devotion," Pozzo explained. "I feel that it's stronger against an unknown metagame than my other choice, which was Monoblack Devotion. If I had the time to practice it, I would have loved to play UW Control splashing black."

Sebastian Pozzo is looking for his second straight Buenos Aires Top 8.

 

Game 1 was all Navas early, as he utterly refused to let Pozzo get off the ground in the first game of the match. Searing Blood, Chained to the Rocks, and Lightning Strike not only turned Thassa's followers into tempura, they also did a great job of dropping Pozzo into dangerous territory. Still, one of the downsides to playing a nearly monocolored deck reared its ugly head when Pozzo recruited a Master of Waves to his side of the table. It was only able to make a single Elemental, but the protection from red made it a very real threat to end the game before Navas could deal the final few points of damage. When a second joined on the following turn, Navas looked to be in dire straits. Without Chained to the Rocks to remove the attackers, and Pozzo at 4, he was drawing to one of his three remaining Boros Charms to win the game. When he didn't just immediately slam the top card of his deck, it was clear that he hadn't drawn the winner. On Pozzo's next attack, Navas died.

 

Grand Prix Santiago winner Luis Navas is but one of an army of invading Chilean players.

 

Following that disappointing loss, Navas appeared a little depressed to have to throw his first two hands of the second game back. He still managed to get out a great source of consistent damage with a Chandra's Phoenix, but things quickly turned south. Pozzo was able to assemble, and keep in play, Thassa, God of the Sea, and Frostburn Weird over the early turns of the game. This was good enough for four Elementals from his Master of Waves. Fortunately for Navas, one of the three cards he held was a Chained to the Rocks, narrowly allowing him to avoid the same fate as the last game. Down to two cards, however, it was a fate he would be hard pressed to avoid twice. A second Master of Waves and its five Elemental tokens set Navas to thinking. Eventually, he realized that he was out of options, burned by his own deck's mulligans and an impressive draw from Pozzo.

 

Navas 0 – Pozzo 2