A lot of the big names have fallen on the wayside. For example, Willy Edel and Paulo Damo Da Rosa went 0-2 right after their three byes and were on the bubble even before Round 6 had begun. The 2002 World Champion (and the very first South American player to win a Pro Tour) Carlos Romao had also picked up a draw and a couple of losses early.
I was looking for a match. Not just any match, but a great one. A match that was exciting, yet not lopsided. I arrived at Table 1 and I wasn't disappointed, quickly summoning both players to the Featured Match area.
Both Marcelo Rodrigues Cavalcante and Ertom Acres Teixeria were piloting combo decks, but had vastly different takes. Cavalcante was hoping to achieve his kill via Deceiver Exarch and Splinter Twin, but could still assume the role of a control player with Snapcaster Mages and Kolaghan's Commands.
Teixeria, on the other hand, had a different approach. Two different approaches, to be exact. The combination of Amulet of Vigor and Summer Bloom enabled a premature, hasted and usually double-striking Primeval Titan. Alternatively, the lethal pairing of Hive Mind and Summoner's Pact could also do the trick. Yet, Cavalcante has the disruption in the form of Inquisition of Kozilek, Terminate and Remand to stop it.
This was going to be an exciting match, to see who would go 8-0!
Teixeira was forced to mulligan down to six, and wisely remembered to Scry before laying down Tolaria West. Tapping it for Serum Visions the next turn, he found Azusa, Lost but Seeking, which he left on the top of his deck.
Holding Amulet of Vigor, he was threatening the third turn kill. Feigning weakness, all he did was drop a Forest and pass the turn.
Cavalcante cracked his pair of Scalding Tarns for Blood Crypt and Steam Vents and flung Lightning Bolt at Teixeria. The reason was soon apparent, because Snapcaster Mage leapt out the next turn to kill Azusa, Lost but Seeking. This enabled Cavalcante to land a threat on the board.
When Teixeira pitched Simian Spirit Guide the next turn to resolve Primeval Titan, Terminate spelt its doom. Summoner's Pact found a second copy, which Cavalcante wasted no time in killing with a second Snapcaster Mage (flashing back Terminate).
Ertom Acres Teixeria masterfully attempts to exhaust his opponent of resources.
Clearly a very disciplined player, Teixeria was very careful to sandbag the Hive Mind in his hand, preferring to run Cavalcante out of resources before going for the combo kill.
The couple of Snapcaster Mages had brought him down to 9, and with his opponent down to just two cards, Teixeira had expected to live another day to go for the win the next turn.
However, Lightning Bolt and Kolaghan's Command, along with the four damage from both Snapcaster Mages, sealed the deal for Cavalcante and left Teixeria stranded with the Hive Mind and Summoner's Pact in his grip.
He certainly did not expect to get burnt out against Grixis Twin!
Marcelo Rodrigues Cavalcante 1 - Ertom Acres Teixeira 0
Since Teixeria was on the play this game, he was able to resolve Amulet Bloom before Cavalcante could discard it with Inquisition of Kozilek. It forced Teixeria to lose Summer Bloom though, preventing the turn-two kill. His hand also contained Primeval Titan, so Cavalcante had essentially cheated death.
A second copy of the dreaded artifact hit the board, and Cavalcante was in deep trouble. Topdecking Summer Bloom (which he didn't really need), that enabled him to power out Primeval Titan for the overkill.
Oops, I take that back.
Marcelo Rodrigues Cavalcante cheats death.
Cavalcante was able to disrupt with Terminate, cheating death for a second time. However, that was only temporary respite, because all Teixeira had to do was use Summoner's Pact to fetch up another copy of Primeval Titan to go bonkers.
It might not feel like it, but this match only took three turns!
Revealing Deceiver Exarch and Splinter Twin from his hand, he explained that “winning with the Blood Moon was much faster”. Teixeira had pretty much drawn the perfect Amulet Bloom hands, but Cavalcante had the perfect foils, in the right order.
Marcelo Rodrigues Cavalcante 2 - Ertom Acres Teixeira 0