Round 11 Feature Match: Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas (Naya Zoo) VS Caua Roca (Pyromancer Ascension)

Posted in Event Coverage on November 1, 2015

By Chapman Sim

This is a matchup that hasn't been witnessed for a long time. Owing to “Blue-Red Storm”'s vulnerability to Black-Green deck, it has fallen out of disrepute in recent time. However, judging from Caua Roca's 9-1 record, his decision to surprise the field with Goblin Electromancer seems to be paying off handsomely.

Facing off against Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas, the only 10-0 player in the entire tournament, it would be a race of whether he could execute the combo before being trampled to death by Wild Nacatl and its friends. Without any hand disruption, De Jesus Freitas' best bet was to burn away Goblin Electromancer on sight, and also sideboard in removal against the deck's namesake enchantment.

If De Jesus Freitas wins, he'll move on to 11-0, way ahead of the field. If Caua Roca triumphs, he'll dash his opponent's hopes of going undefeated and moving up to the same 10-1 record as him.

Game 1

De Jesus Freitas was forced to mulligan to five, but bounced back with Noble Hierarch to allow Tarmogoyf and Wild Nacatl on his second turn. Drawing Knight of the Reliquary off the top, it didn't seem like De Jesus Freitas had suffered from a mulligan at all.

Roca was quickly under immense pressure, but was able to drop Goblin Electromancer after making sure his opponent didn't have a way to kill it with Gitaxian Probe. After he untapped and paid two life to drop Steam Vents untapped, he reached for his dice and began to keep track of his storm count.


Caua Roca reaches for his dice, a bad omen for his opponent.

Really?

With only three lands, Goblin Electromancer and no other permanents on the board, could this really be the final turn?

Roca's first mana was spent on Thought Scour, milling Past in Flames into his yard. His second mana was spent on Serum Visions. His third and final mana was for Manamorphose (remember Goblin Electromancer's “discount” on Instants and Sorceries?), which eventually led to a second Manamorphose and a flurry of Pyretic Rituals and Desperate Rituals.

That got him enough mana to cast Past in Flames as well as Pyromancer Ascension, which he swiftly fulfilled with third and fourth copies of Manamorphose. Now that all his spells were being duplicated, it was simply a matter of digging for the lethal Grapeshot.

With over 20 mana in his mana pool and the storm count at 15, Roca eventually found the Grapeshot he required.

Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas 0 - Caua Roca 1

Game 2

De Jesus Freitas' deck was the epitome of fairness, which he demonstrated by leading with a pair of Voice of Resurgence. Not quite the card you want against a combo deck.

Roca used the breathing room to resolve Pyromancer Ascension and Goblin Electromancer, but was rudely surprised when his opponent dropped Worship. To make matters worse, Qasali Pridemage was added to the board as insurance against Pyromancer Ascension.


Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas hides behind his “Worship”.

Roca tried to stay in the game by adopting an alternative route, summoning 8 Goblin tokens with Empty the Warrens. A third Voice of Resurgence further ensured De Jesus Freitas' victory, for Roca could never find sufficient removal spells to kill all of them and their tokens to get out of the “Worship-lock”.

Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas 1 - Caua Roca 1

Game 3

Despite double Sleight of Hand, Roca failed to find his second land and was quickly under siege by Wild Nacatl and Qasali Pridemage. A third Sleight of Hand finally netted him a second mana source, but against a deck like Naya Zoo, one turn too late is usually enough to kill you.

Going down to 8 life just after two combat steps (Roca also cracked Scalding Tarn for an untapped Steam Vents), it looks like “going off” was impossible with the meddlesome Qasali Pridemage on the table.

Tarmogoyf shortened the clock yet again, while a Lightning Bolt finished off Roca.

Marcos Paulo De Jesus Freitas 2 - Caua Roca 1

Marco Paulo De Jesus Freitas advances to 11-0, likely only needing one more win before taking a draw into the Top 8. Caua Roca drops to 9-2 from this defeat.

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