A local pulled me aside as the finals were about to start, “It’s a Brazilian against a hometown hero. He may be from Canada, but anyone playing against Brazil is a hometown hero in this country.”
An early Thoughtseize from Pascal Maynard revealed a hand with only two, then one, threats for Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas.
Deathmist Raptor came down and it looked like Maynard was ahead.
Maynard seemed unphased when Paulo De Jesus Freitas cast Polukranos, World Eater. Sure, he lacked a removal spell, but his Deathmist Raptor would presumably do a fine job of holding off Paulo De Jesus Freitas’s Legendary monster.
Another Deathmist Raptor came down and Maynard meekly looked at a hand that included End Hostilities and a copy of Den Protector to go with the Den Protector he dropped in his graveyard with an early Satyr Wayfinder.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Paulo De Jesus Freitas exploded onto the table with Xenagos, the Reveler and Dragonlord Atarka. Maynard would need to find a second white mana to survive even just one more turn.
It wasn’t meant to be and Paulo De Jesus Freitas, the systems analyst from Rio De Janiero, was up a game and one step closer to claiming his crown.
Paulo De Jesus Freitas 1 - 0 Maynard
The players dealt themselves face-down hands and each let out a strong breath.
Maynard looked up, almost whispering, “good luck.”
“You too,” Paulo De Jesus Freitas nodded.
Paulo De Jesus Freitas failed to find any mana acceleration in the second game, but Maynard was unable to capitalize on the slow start from his opponent. Maynard’s first play of the game was Courser of Kruphix.
Maynard saw back to back Elspeth, Sun's Champions on the top of his library.
“I think there’s a bug,” smiled Paulo De Jesus Freitas, “it’s broken. He just keeps drawing the good ones.”
The first Elspeth, Sun's Champion was easily dealt with by Dragonlord Atarka, the second Elspeth, Sun's Champion did a bit more work by using its -3 ability to kill Dragonlord Atarka and a 4/4 Genesis Hydra, thus completely neutering Paulo De Jesus Freitas’s side of the board.
Polukranos, World Eater came down for Paulo De Jesus Freitas and the board was stalled once again.
Paulo De Jesus Freitas 1 - 1 Maynard
Paulo De Jesus Freitas joked, “It’s a shame things just didn’t work out perfectly for me there. Why didn’t you just have nothing?”
Both players agreed that it had already been a great match, but things were about to get ugly.
Paulo De Jesus Freitas didn’t find a keepable seven... or six... and Maynard was looking to be in good position to win another trophy.
Someone from the sidelines scoffed, “You’re not sorry. This might just be easy.”
Paulo De Jesus Freitas laughed, “Don’t listen to them. You should definitely be sorry.”
Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas
Paulo De Jesus Freitas found a gangbusters five card hand: Elvish Mystic, Sylvan Caryatid, Nissa, Worldwaker, and two forests represented a possible, even likely, turn three Nissa, Worldwaker. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, Maynard had Thoughtseize ready to nab the powerful planeswalker before it could stick to the table.
Maynard had a hand filled with a variety of goodies while Paulo De Jesus Freitas was simply drawing off the top.
Things looked tighter than one might have expected when someone starts with five cards and gets hit with Thoughtseize on their second turn, but they weren’t close enough and Maynard seemed to have a wealth of resources that couldn’t be overcome by any amount of genius or innovation.
Maynard lined up a wall of attackers and smashed his way in for another Grand Prix Victory!
Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas 1 - 2 Pascal Maynard
Pascal Maynard is your Grand Prix Buenos Aires Champion!