Quarterfinals: Thales Santos Navarro vs. Renzo Chiappa

Posted in Event Coverage on June 28, 2015

By Marc Calderaro

In another Brazil vs. Argentina Quarterfinals battle, Mar del Plata, Argentina native Renzo Chiappa, was going face to face with Ribeirão Pires, Brazil native, Thales Santos Navarro.

Chiappa’s largest claim to fame came from this weekend. He was the last remaining undefeated player in the Grand Prix. He had a close call after dropping two matches straight, but was able to rally back and claim his rightful place in the Top 8.

But Chiappa might have a challenge on his hands. Navarro was playing the Mardu Dragons deck that converted a lot of people to Day 2 finishes, and once the Crackling Dooms and other removal take out Chiappa’s Abzan Aggro offense, the big red dragons can do all of Navarro’s dirty work. Or at least, that’s what Navarro hopes.


Thales Santos Navarro

The Games

To start the first game, Chiappa used two Thoughtseize to take both two-drops from Navarro’s hand—Seeker of the Way and Soulfire Grand Master. He hoped to slow Navarro to a crawl, but hasted creatures are good indeed. And despite creature and hand removal, damage was still getting done.

Hits from Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury and Stormbreath Dragon set the stage for an unchecked Goblin Rabblemaster. Chiappa was too far behind, and each creature removal spell he cast was at a net loss. He had to concede the first game.

In the second meeting, rather than being reactive, Chiappa was the first to cast spells with Warden of the First Tree and an Anafenza, the Foremost. Chiappa took Navarro down to 13 life before Navarro committed a creature to the board. Granted, Goblin Rabblemaster is a very good creature to commit at any time, and once resolved can do a lot of things, but Navarro would have to play from behind.

Navarro made the life totals a little more even thanks to the 2/2 goblin—8-11 in his opponent’s favor. But despite the free goblin each turn, he had fallen behind on the battlefield and wiped the board hoping to clear things out. He thought his Crux of Fate would even things again, but Chiappa’s follow-up of Herald of Torment into +2/+2 from Abzan Charm become a big problem. Navarro’s board wipe came back to bite him, and Renzo Chiappa evened the score at one a piece.

Beginning the last game, it looked like Navarro was a lost cause. He mulliganed multiple times, and just had to hope his cards were good enough. Murmurs in the large crowd began to fester, and Chiappa fans began pumping their fists.


Renzo Chiappa

But the celebration was early. Despite being down multiple cards, Chiappa stalled on two land, and Navarro had three, three Goblin Rabblemaster. Though the Argentine kept dispatching them, it was taking his whole turn to do so and that wasn’t going to cut it.

Navarro was keeping the pressure on strong, but Chiappa was still hanging on by a thread. Chiappa was slowly taking care of each creature, while his life total slowly dwindled. It was a downward spiral, but a gradual one.

He finally stabilized at 2 life, but against a deck with so many flying, haste creatures, there is often no real stabilizing. It was a Crackling Doom that did it, but it could have been any number of red-colored threats.

Thales Santos Navarro wins the match over Renzo Chiappa 2-1 and advances to the semifinals!

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